Madness   31/7/2007

Normally, decentralisation of public spending is desirable. That’s provided expenditure is determined by need, not politics. When you consider the cynical and stupid involved in decision-making at local levels in Australian state politics, the last thing that would drive this policy would be the public’s needs and wishes. Political horse-trading and ideological claptrap is more likely.

THE states will have freedom to determine how they spend money given to them by the commonwealth under a Kevin Rudd plan that could radically change federal-state financial relations.

Here’s the first offer. If this were to result in even a 1 per cent drop in housing prices I would bare the proverbial in Bourke Street.

YOUNG home buyers could see cuts of up to $20,000 in the price of house and land packages under a $500 million five-year plan by Kevin Rudd to boost the supply of housing blocks.

But it’s not enough to curry favour among ineffectual bureaucrats. Wall-to-wall socialist governments must subject the rest of us to their special kind of ideological, interventionist, nanny-state idiocy.

A LABOR government would ban the use of licensed characters such as Shrek to market food and drinks to children as part of a plan to tackle childhood obesity.

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When he wasn’t doing nothing . . .   28/7/2007

Amid all the gush about Steve Bracks, not a lot of attention has been given to his fascist contribution to Victoria’s statutes — anti-vilification laws.
Seems we’re not the only state subject to such lunacy.

NEW YORK (AP) _ A 23-year-old man was arrested Friday on hate-crime charges after he threw a Quran in a toilet at Pace University on two separate occasions, police said.
Stanislav Shmulevich of Brooklyn was arrested on charges of criminal mischief and aggravated harassment, both hate crimes, police said.

Like some Victorians, plenty of New Yorkers see the totalitarianism and hypocrisy behind so-called anti-hate laws. Doug in the comments section to this story:

Burning American flags and Bibles: Free Speech
Flushing the Koran: Hate Speech

I often wonder how fair dinkum lefties can tolerate such affronts to free speech. Or are they the non-muslim community’s version of being against terrorism but not too loudly?

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Poor little terrorists   

Yet more evidence there is no longer anything great about Britain.

Ministers are secretly considering plans for an all-Muslim prison after a series of attacks on jailed Islamic terrorists, it is claimed.
The prison could house the growing number of Muslim extremist inmates, it is said, after increasing signs of tension at the jails in which they are housed.
But critics said terrorists must not given the appearance of special status within the justice system.

It says much about a society when the hardened criminal classes have a more accurate moral compass than those in the highest level of power.

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Holy Koran burner!!!   

Charles Merrill is just another boring postmodern artist who joins a long list of not very creative bible-bashers. He recently edited the Holy Bible with a black marker and pair of scissors. How trail-blazing, how challenging, how original.
But maybe I’m too harsh on Charles, as he more recently displayed the type of courage that was once associated with great art. In addition to desecrating the Bible, Merrill has tempted a fatwah frenzy by burning an expensive rare edition of The Koran.
“The purpose of editing and burning Abrahamic Holy Books is to eliminate homophobic hate,” the provocatively gay Merrill stated. “Both ancient books are terrorist manuals.”
Now this provides a challenge for the critics. And I’m sure they’ll meet it in the cruellest possible way for a postmodern artist: they’ll ignore Merrill, for to do otherwise might upset the followers of the religion of peace.
Christians are easy game, they just turn the other cheek. The mad mullahs — now that’s another story altogether.

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Hear that lettuce scream   

Don’t you love the way seriously earnest people just beg for ridicule?

PETA Protests Fish Fry Fundraiser
Newkirk Steamed over Fried Fish
July 27, 2007 (Alaska)

PETA President Ingrid Newkirk is steamed about a fundraising slogan for an anti-capital punishment campaign that reads, “Fry Fish, Not People.”
There was probably smoke coming out of Newkirk’s ears when she heard the slogan that Alaskans Against the Death Penalty are using to raise money. Her organization sent a letter to the anti-death penalty group asking that it adopt a new motto – “Fry Onions, Not People.”
PETA’s letter said, “Serving the corpses of animals at an anti-death penalty event is like serving cigarettes at an anti-cancer fundraiser.” It went on to demand that the group also change its menu for an annual fish fry, urging them to serve vegetarian dishes.

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Winning the bastards over   27/7/2007

Whoever is the new Victorian premier should create a ministry of silly ideas to be headed by this genius:
Parents would be given extra votes for each of their children under the age of 18 under a radical proposal put forward by a Victorian MP.
Evan Thornley, the parliamentary secretary for national reform policy in Victorian Premier Steve Bracks’ cabinet, has floated the idea that parents should have the right to vote for themselves and on behalf of their children.

I can imagine this being embraced by one of those dorky new-age parents who speak to their tantrum-throwing toddlers as if they’re adults. Here’s that same parent setting the 11-year-old right on his voting intentions: “No Sebastian, the hot chick on Australian Idol is not standing for parliament. And by the way ‘hot chick’ is inappropriate nomenclature.”
Or the Labor hack hanging around the pram park at Corio Village, chasing the single mum kids’ vote: “Let’s get this right, Chelseeeee, you’ve had Rainbow to Travis who’s in Barwon for B and E; Sunset’s dad you’re not sure about, but whoever it is wouldn’t be on the electoral roll; and if you tell me who Daquota’s father is it will upset your mum?”
Or Liberal Lothario, thought to be a bastard son of Bunny Champers, helping electoral roll officials: “Well there was Prudence from South Yarra — got her up the duff after the 1999 Young Liberals ball . . . twins I believe; then there was Carolina from Kirrabilli — definitely child-bearing hips, by jove.”

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Bracks goes   

This was either the best-kept secret ever in state politics or the state government media hacks are worse than previously thought at sniffing out a story.

PREMIER Steve Bracks has quit politics for family reasons.

I’d be surprised if this flash harry didn’t stick around for a shot at the top job. But then he might have read the factional writing on the wall.

And speculation is mounting that deputy Premier John Thwaites is also set to resign.

Anyway, Andy Landeryou is the go-to man for Victorian Labor politics and here’s what he’s predicting:

■ John Brumby will step up and be elected Victorian Labor leader on Monday unopposed;

■ Talk of Socialist Lynne Kosky putting up her hand as Deputy Premier causing tensions within the Left caucus;

■ Cabinet Secretary Tony Robinson will become a Minister;

■ Deputy Premier John Thwaites is definitely going (resigning from Parliament too), creating another ministerial vacancy and a stoush over the Deputy’s prize;

■ Ambitious Tim Holding to claim Treasurer’s prize though many question whether he’s too young; and

■ Vacancies include the state seat of Williamstown, Albert Park, the Deputy Premiership, Treasury, two Ministerial vacancies and a vacancy for Cabinet Secretary start a game of Spring Street Musical Chairs.

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Candle with care   26/7/2007

Sydneysiders have eight months to do nothing. Then they have an hour to watch fellow harbour-dwellers do exactly the same thing.
Fairfax boss David Kirk has announced his antipodean Pravdas will sponsor another Earth Hour next year on March 29.
You may recall Fairfax backed a similar event in March this year when the earth-loving gentle folk of Sydney were meant to turn off all their elektrickity and mutter prayers by candlelight to the earth mother.
Being Sydneysiders who are generally reluctant to take orders from anyone, particularly loopy tree-huggers, their massive indifference made Earth Hour a bigger flop than a Phillip Adams root.
As a publisher, Kirk should be a canny trend spotter. If so, he should know that the manmade global warming myth is a stale fad, particularly amongst the dumbed-down generation, who would welcome a break from the constant cold.

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Despicables   23/7/2007

This letter should be so widely read that whole floors of federal, state and local government offices are squirming with terminal embarrassment.
I’m staying in Melbourne at a relative’s and restricted to a borrowed laptop (never used one before, hard to get used to), so when I get home later in the week I’ll send it to everyone on my mail list.
What concerns me most about wall-to-wall Labor governments is that the compulsory do-gooders who infest the party will have free rein to smother us with their fascist stupidity. Look at the success they’ve already enjoyed with Goebell’s Warning.
The best way to counter political correctness in its manifest neo-nazi forms is through ridicule and righteous anger. If the rational majority can be emboldened to point the finger and state, “I despise you” every time a social dictator adopts a bully stance, they’ll soon scurry for cover like the cockroaches they resemble in every other way.
Favourite quote from the brilliant tract linked above:
1984 was written as a warning, not a fucking instruction manual.

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Lore of conspicuous consumption   21/7/2007

Martin Durkin reacts to myth-believer hysteria over his documentary The Great Global Warming Swindle.
Why are the global warmers so zealous? After a year of arguing with people about this, I am convinced that it’s because global warming is first and foremost a political theory. It is an expression of a whole middle-class political world view. This view is summed up in the oft-repeated phrase “we consume too much”. I have also come to the conclusion that this is code for “they consume too much”. People who believe it tend also to think that exotic foreign places are being ruined because vulgar oiks can afford to go there in significant numbers, they hate plastic toys from factories and prefer wooden ones from craftsmen, and so on.

Nailed it beautifully. Hypocrites and snobs painting themselves into a very cold corner.

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‘Motivated by antipathy’   

Whoo-hoo, hammers and sickles could well be flying in The Age newsroom. Former editor Michael Gawenda has given cartoonist Michael Leuning a right spray over the dauber’s disgusting attempts at illustrated humour.
The Spencer Street Pravda’s ex-chief delivers the sketcher a bollocking in his memoir American Notebook: A personal and political journey, to be launched on August 1.

Gawenda, who edited the paper for seven years, famously clashed with Leunig in 2002 over a cartoon that compared the plight of Jews in Nazi concentration camps during World War II to the Palestinians in modern Israel.
Gawenda, who is Jewish, refused to publish the cartoon, a position he says “took me perhaps 10 seconds to decide”.
“Such cartoons were de rigueur in Europe,” Gawenda says.
But the cartoons were “intellectually lazy, consciously designed to wound and in some cases motivated by antipathy to Jews”, he says.

But that’s just Gawenda on talent-challenged Leunig. The former editor-in-chief’s view of his colleagues is far more important and deserves widespread dissemination:
Gawenda, who moved after his stint as editor-in-chief to Washington to become US correspondent for The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, says the default position of most journalists at The Age was on the political Left.

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Money in garbage   20/7/2007

Call it lumpen inflation: the price of something increases in proportion to its value decreasing. In other words, the worse the crap, the more it costs.

The past few years have seen an explosive rise in the prices paid for exclusive celebrity photos.

If you’re curious about such matters, go here for a slide show of the 10 most expensive pix. When you consider the demand for this excrement along with the popularity of talent-free TV “reality” shows, hip-hop music and that utterly banal Paris Hilton, is it any wonder a shallow plonker like Krudd is leading in the polls?
Not that you can’t learn something from celeb pulp. It seems that when you’re the first couple of Trashville, you’ve got to go beyond naming the sprog after a US state or city (with modified spelling of course — think Daquota). But were the airheads thinking of their last hotel stay in Tel Aviv when they named the tot Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt?

UPDATE: Research endorses my suspicion that the dumbed-down generation is a major Krudd support base. Bit of a worry relying on a demographic with the attention span of a gnat and a passion for five-minute fads.

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No news   

What do lazy, biased political hacks produce on a slow news day? Well, you can always conjure up a split between the PM and his Treasurer. Who knows, it may even expand to a leadership challenge.
But when you build your speculation, masquerading as news, around 12-month-old reflective comments to a biographer, even the biggest mug reader recognises sheer disingenuousness.
Nevertheless, The Age’s Canberra correspondent Michelle Grattan leads the pack in swarming like blowies on a steamer over interviews Peter Costello gave to the authors of a biography on John Howard. The Treasurer told Wayne Errington and Peter van Onselen that Howard as treasurer had not been a great reformer and his treasuryship was not a success in terms of interest rates and inflation.
This is news, ie it’s NEW(S)? Costello a year ago, talking about Howard’s performance 25 years ago?
Grattan thinks so:
The new exposure of the continuing rift between Mr Costello and Mr Howard puts the Prime Minister under pressure.

Thankfully, media consumers and wiser editors obviously don’t agree, for the “story” is flying off the radar like a wounded F111.
This came a day after The Age built its front page lead around the quotes of two unnamed Liberal backbenchers. Pathetic doesn’t begin to describe it.

The Australian at least has one correspondent who gets it:

PETER Costello and John Howard are not soulmates, do not dine by candle light at Kirribilli and have never seen eye to eye on leadership issues. Really?
Next they will tell us that Cain and Abel are off each other’s Christmas card list.
Such revelations are, as they say, like deja vu all over again.

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Mark his words   19/7/2007

On the money. With unintended topicality — brrrrrrr — Mark Twain launches this blog’s latest feature: an occasional quote of the day.

Climate is what we expect, weather is what we get

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Cat-astrophe   18/7/2007

By Jingo, the pressure’s on the Cats now to win a premiership.

FORD’S engine plant in Geelong will close in 2010, shedding 600 jobs, federal Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane has confirmed.

There’s to be some compensation.

The federal government will contribute $15 million to the fund, and the Victorian government $6 million, he said.
“As well as that Ford have agreed with the commonwealth to establish a $3 million community fund and that is to assist those people that will now face a very difficult situation as the plant is wound down in 2010 and Ford moves its next model Falcon to a V6 engine.”

UPDATE:
Guess what? It’s John Howard’s fault. The Australian Greens win gold in irrelevancy by blaming the PM for not dictating to global auto manufacturers about what sort of carbon belchers they should produce. A couple of Ford workers prove that clear thinking is not a pre-requisite for assembly line work.

And they’re blaming Prime Minister John Howard, not the fact that big-six family sedans are suffering a sales slump.
Like many of her co-workers, Ms McCarthy has a mortgage and a young family.
She fears for the future of her 13-year-old daughter, Bree, saying the Howard government’s workplace reforms had demoralised businesses such as hers.
“Since John Howard’s new IR (industrial relations) laws have changed the workforce, it’s been pretty disheartening actually,” Ms McCarthy said.

Ms Baykiz, who has worked at Ford for 18 years, said the company needed help from the government to protect workers’ future.
“John Howard – he has to go and somebody come in and build the people (up), build the company and build our life,” she said.

Hard to know what they want: a protectionist benevolent dictator; a nationalised auto industry; or steroids.

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Grabs   17/7/2007

Hope the deceased had a sense of humour.
MIAMI (AP) – A Miami International Airport terminal was briefly evacuated early Monday after authorities found what appeared to be an explosive device but turned out to be a box containing cremated human remains . . . The evacuation delayed six flights, affecting about 2,000 passengers, airport spokesman Marc Henderson said.

Michael Yon’s latest despatch full of derring-do from the Strykers in Iraq. There’s a great movie script line there:

Walwark saw that Krauss was not crushed, but lying in kind of a ball and still had his headset on, which somehow was still attached to the Stryker with the cord stretched. In fact, Krauss was conscious and was hearing voices. Voices over his headset. He could hear SFC Breaud calling from the Stryker behind trying to figure out what condition people were in. Krauss could hear Breaud on his MBITR radio through the headset, but was dazed and hitting the wrong button to talk.
Walwark stepped out, seeing that Krauss was not crushed, grabbed Krauss’ M-4 rifle, and that’s when he recalls Krauss, who was rolling on the ground, and half out-of-it started yelling, “I’m invincible! I’m invincible!”
Walwark yelled, “No you’re F*&%’ing not! You’re F*&%’ing lucky!”


This
is shaping up to be new British PM Gordon Brown’s first test of character.

GORDON Brown is under pressure to block a £75million “mega mosque”, amid claims one of the suspected Glasgow Airport bombers belongs to the radical Islamic group behind it.
More than 200,000 people have signed a Downing Street petition calling on the Prime Minister to intervene over plans for the mosque near the Olympics site in east London.

Let’s hope Gordon’s got the gonads of fellow Scot John “We’ll set aboot you” Smeaton.

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Mouth-frothing alarmists exposed   13/7/2007

The balance of ABC fundamentalists was tested last night. They failed miserably. This about says it all:
toon

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Lacking confidence   12/7/2007

Isn’t Labor cruising to victory and Howard headed for the dustbin of history? Isn’t manmade global warming a given and those who are sceptical in a miniscule minority?
So how come those who support those conclusions are bunging on the hysterics like the most obvious of self-doubters? According to them, they’re in the overwhelming majority, so why project such fragility?
Why, that bull goose of Howard-haters, Paul Keating, has even resorted to the lamest of political discussion ploys — the Hitler comparison.

But he portrayed Mr Howard, like Hitler, as a nationalist, rather than a patriot and he said that nationalism was “arguably more exclusionary than racism”, with a propensity to stigmatise cultural, religious and linguistic attributes.
“Nationalism is, I believe, a dangerous and divisive tendency: its stock in trade is jingoism, populism and exclusion of the most calculating kind.”
Labor colleagues will be relieved that Mr Keating did not repeat his recent attacks on them, instead concentrating his firepower on Mr Howard.

Poor old Keating. He’s mad and he’s bad but apologists like Phatty Adams could give the “at least” to his supposedly superior wit and savage tongue. That reputation is shot right through with the Adolf gaffe.

Wendy Frew, in the Sydney Morning Herald, is so sure of her Goebell’s Warning position, she has launched an astonishing character attack:

One of the so-called experts on the ABC’s panel that will debate climate change is retired James Cook University professor Bob Carter.
Professor Carter, whose background is in marine geology, appears to have little, if any, standing in the Australian climate science community.

Today, The Australian notes that Professor Carter is the only Australian climate scientist who has given expert evidence to the US Senate and the High Court in London on climate change.
In view of that status, someone at Tim Blair’s opined that Frew’s inept slur could well be defamatory. The online text now reads:

One of the ABC’s panellists is retired James Cook University professor Bob Carter.
Professor Carter, whose background is in marine geology, has previously been criticised by leading Australian climate change scientists.

Although she’s had to ease up on the character assassination, Frew is still free to hurl the greenie’s equivalent of the Hitler slur — the link to BIG EVIL:

He is on the research committee at the Institute of Public Affairs, a think tank that has received funding from oil and tobacco companies, and whose directors sit on the boards of companies in the fossil fuel sector.

Pathetic in so many different ways.

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Cause for concern   11/7/2007

Reckon there could be something sinister afoot in view of these reports over the past couple of days:

Treasurer Peter Costello says Australian tourists should re-consider their travel plans to Indonesia in the wake of intelligence warning of an impending terrorist attack in that country.
He told reporters during a press conference yesterday that anyone thinking of going to Indonesia needed to look at the travel warning carefully.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House has called an urgent multi-agency meeting for Thursday to discuss a potential new al Qaeda threat on U.S. soil, ABC News reported on Tuesday.
Top intelligence and law enforcement officials have been told to meet in the White House Situation Room to report on steps to minimize or counter the threat and what steps are being taken to tighten security at government buildings, ABC said.

But then there’s plenty of experts to say these reports are just scare tactics to give a political edge to the likes of Howard and Bush.

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Left to oblivion   

Here’s a novel way of shutting down a newspaper:
CHICAGO The Chicago Sun-Times is turning left.
The tabloid that shifted toward political conservatism under the brief ownership of Rupert Murdoch more than two decades ago now says that it is “rethinking our stance on several issues, including the most pressing issue facing Americans today: Bush’s war in Iraq.”
Under marching orders from Publisher John Cruickshank and Editor in Chief Michael Cooke, new Editorial Page Editor Cheryl L. Reed introduced a new Commentary section Tuesday with a promise to turn the tabloid back into the liberal-leaning paper it was for decades before the Reagan administration.

Wonder if Rupert is reminiscing about Kerry Packer buying back the Nine network from Alan Bond for a fraction of what he sold it to him.

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