Standover merchants   28/8/2011

As the western world struggles under the weight of colossal debt, governments at all levels are under pressure – or should be – to reduce spending.
They could start by axing petty officialdom that seeks to intrude into every aspect of everyday activity.
Locally they should sack the health nasties who force our local pub to label take-away counter meals with warnings on reheating your roast of the day or grilled chops.
In the US, they should get rid of civic bullies that stop kids showing initiative:

Meanwhile, in Georgia, police shutdown a lemonade stand run by three girls who were saving money to go to a water park. Police said the girls needed a business license, a peddler’s permit, and a food permit to operate the stand, which cost $50 per day or $180 per year each, sums that would quickly cut into any possible profit-margin.

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Dog’s new best friend   25/8/2011

Great sparkling barkers’ eggs!

ALBANY, GA (CNN) – A Georgia dog apparently has a taste for the finer things in life.
The pooch dined on a meal of $10,000 worth of diamonds.

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Nurse’s aide   22/8/2011

Professor Bunyip has some advice for hapless Craig Thomson on how to slither from his present dire predicament.
My favourite Bunyip suggestion:

An honest mistake
Driving through Sydney’s CBD late one night, Thomson spied a nurse in obvious distress, apparently lost and wearing a uniform three sizes too small. Concerned for the welfare of a HSU member, he followed her to an alternative medicine centre, where she complained that her employer’s inadequate work-clothes allowance obliged her to initiate many sessions of tantric therapy in the all-together. Disgusted at the boss’ greed, Thomson whipped out the plastic and bought $2475 worth of new uniforms for all the establishment’s workers.

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Take us to your heater   19/8/2011

Is there anything that grants-chasing boffins won’t conjure up for a global warming scare?

It may not rank as the most compelling reason to curb greenhouse gases, but reducing our emissions might just save humanity from a pre-emptive alien attack, scientists claim.
Watching from afar, extraterrestrial beings might view changes in Earth’s atmosphere as symptomatic of a civilisation growing out of control – and take drastic action to keep us from becoming a more serious threat, the researchers explain.

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Tropical tour   18/8/2011

Just returned from a week in sunny Townsville where we helped celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Wulguru Saints solitary Aussie Rules premiership.

View of central Townsville from Castle Hill.

Members of the 1981 Wulguru Saints Aussie Rules premiership team.

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Swaddled by the nanny state   10/8/2011

Brendan O’Neill has a lucid explanation for the criminality sweeping England:

But it is more than childish destructiveness motivating the rioters. These are youngsters who are uniquely alienated from the communities in which they grew up. Nurtured in large part by the welfare state, financially, physically and educationally, socialised more by the agents of welfarism than by their own neighbours or local representatives, these youth have little moral or emotional attachment to their communities. Their rioting reveals not that Britain is in a time warp in 1981 or 1985 with politically motivated riots against the police, but that the tentacle-like spread of the welfare state into every area of people’s lives has utterly zapped old social bonds, the relationship of sharing and solidarity that once existed in working-class communities. These riots suggest that the welfare state is giving rise to a generation happy to shit on its own doorstep.
This is not a political rebellion; it is a mollycoddled mob, a riotous expression of carelessness for one’s own community. And as a left-winger I refuse to celebrate nihilistic behaviour that has a profoundly adverse affect on working people’s lives. Far from being an instance of working-class action, this welfare-state mob has more in common with what Marx described as the lumpenproletariat.

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Hate-speech   5/8/2011

In a small South Australian town someone seems to have gone over the edge into snarling, drooling, vengeful insanity.

Australia, I hate your guts. I suspect as well that tourists, students and migrants will be averse to a country that tortures innocent people in this manner and I hope the entire place collapses in a deep, dark depression brought on by a lazy, racist moron.

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Nanny cracks up   3/8/2011

Nanny of the nanny state has advanced
beyond extreme senility. She’s now certifiably batshit insane.

Vancouver health officials will distribute new crack pipes to the city’s non-injection drug users this fall as part of a pilot project aimed at engaging crack cocaine smokers and reducing the transmission of disease such as hepatitis C.

Hat tip to James Morrow.

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DIY reaction   

Remember when hobbyists were content with making model planes?

Swede held for building nuclear reactor in his kitchen

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