April 29, 2007

Ropes Attached

It isn't what you give that matters, so much as how you give it.

Madonna, having adopted a child from Malawi, appears to be taking steps to adopt the entire country, on condition that impoverished orphans be indoctrinated into her Kabbalah "faith".

One hopes that this is muck-raking, with no truth to it.

Madonna buys a nation ....

In blunt terms, if you are a good person and do good things you will have a nice life, and if you suffer misfortune, that's because you've been a bad person.

On Mrs Chapomba's desk is one belonging to one of the orphans. On one of the leaves, the child has written: "I had a bicycle accident because I did bad things"; on another: "When travelling I hit my foot on a stone because of the bad things I did."

Mrs Chapomba explains: "According to the teachings, because they have done bad things they must expect bad things to happen to them. When they do wrong they have a bad ending. When they do right they have a good ending." Simple.

There's an awful lot of that going around these days, playing into the Western predilection for blaming individuals for their circumstances, along with our force of will desperation to believe that merely wishing for something (and taking full credit) will bring it to magical fruition, a la, the obscenely popular, and Ebola like, The Secret - as evangelized by Oprah (of course).

I’m not exactly convinced that third world or developing nations have any use for these particular brands of weltanschauung.

April 28, 2007

Hunter Tylo’s breasts do not jut out like a shelf


An entire two years after the fact, Awful Plastic Surgery is being sued by Hunter Tylo (of Bold & Beautiful soapy fame), for offering some personal thoughts about Tylo’s breast implants.

We can only assume that it has taken two years for Ms Tylo to come to grips with the disturbing blog commentary and to find the courage to sue. Good for her.


(Awful Plastic Surgery is in auspicious company; Tylo is also famous for suing Arron Spelling.)


The defamation letter is breathtaking, so much so, that when I stopped giggling, and my breath was fully taken, my breasts had increased three cup sizes. Alas, that state only lasted until I turned blue. I should have shot-off some memento photographs of myself.


The offending blog post went thusly:

“I don't believe that anyone besides Stevie Wonder would describe Hunter Tylo's seemingly enhanced bosoms as 'proportional'. Indeed, they jut out like a shelf and look strangely out of place on her small petite frame."

[A little tautology never hurt anyone. Although jutting breasts might.]


The legal letter stands firm about the falsity of the blogger’s opinion, because, holding an opinion about anyone's breasts is illegal.


“... That article is replete with false statements that would tend to harm Ms.Tylo's reputation in her profession. … These statements are false … given the article’s complete lack of truth … Immediately remove the article from your Internet website and refrain from publishing any further false statements or information about Ms Tylo ... "

The original Awful Plastic Surgery post, with supporting illustrations, is here ...

The legal letter is here ...


More gratuitous pictures of Hunter Tylo

April 27, 2007

What would you do?

An Austrian man has been jailed for six years for bank robbery, having stolen money to pay for his transvestite lover to have breast implants.

Alas, neither the money nor the would-be breasts were given a workout.

He was caught only a few hours after the robbery.

Seems that the plastic surgeon was suspicious about being paid $6000 for the breast operation in cash, so he called the police.

The question is this: If someone paid you a healthy sum in cash, for goods or services, or just for fun, would you promptly call the police?

Duck Friday

April 25, 2007

The case of the disoriented bees

Some bloggers are calling it the Rapture of the bees. Not me, no siree.

In the real world of
researchers they're calling it the “colony collapse disorder”. Which is a perfectly decent name for disappearing bee syndrome.

Where have America's bees gone?

The researchers have been busy doing tee wee bee autopsies.
“This is like C.S.I. for agriculture,” Dr. Lipkin said. “It is painstaking, gumshoe detective work.”
Evidence so far points to a pathogen rather than a chemical.

Following irradiation of abandoned bee boxes there has been a return to normalacy for colonies repopulated with Australian bees.

That's about all they know for now.

No one is blaming gerbil worming.

Oversized Smurf Sued

Some happy news!

The oversized smurf-wanna-be, Perez Hilton, who never has any inside gossip and is never the first to report on anything about celebland, is being sued for copyright infringement by no less than five photo agencies, to the tune of around $7 million. Which seems too little to me. He should be sued for at least $70 M, for sartorial crimes and misuse of human resources.

In case you don’t know who this leach on the world’s oxygen supply is, he has a gossip blog, and is frequently described by the MSM (oh, poor twits that they are) as being one of the most feared and widely read of the celebrity blogs. Beggars belief. All he does is apply a childish white pen to other people’s photo’s and his supporting text offers us a view of the smarmy, snarky capacity and content of his mind. That's about it.

I read that the smurf is countersuing the agencies.

For what? Did someone steal his crayon?

Via Splash News

Look for violence unenlivened by talent

Stephen King has sensible things to say about the Virginia Tech situation.

Quoted in full from EW.com

''Certainly in this sensitized day and age, my own college writing would have raised red flags, and I'm certain someone would have tabbed me as mentally ill because of them.'' - Stephen King

”I've thought about it, of course. Certainly in this sensitized day and age, my own college writing — including a short story called ''Cain Rose Up'' and the novel RAGE — would have raised red flags, and I'm certain someone would have tabbed me as mentally ill because of them, even though I interacted in class, never took pictures of girls' legs with my cell phone (in 1970, WHAT cell phones?), and never signed my work with a ?.

As a teacher, I had one student — I will call him George — who raised red flags galore in my own mind: stories about flaying women alive, dismemberment, and, the capper, ''getting back at THEM.'' George was very quiet, and verbally inarticulate. It was only in his written work that he spewed these relentless scenes of gore and torture. His job was in the University Bookstore, and when I inquired about him once, I was told he was a good worker, but ''quiet.'' I thought, ''Whoa, if some kid is ever gonna blow, it'll be this one.'' He never did. But that was in the days before a gun-totin' serial killer could get top billing on the Nightly News and possibly the covers of national magazines.

For most creative people, the imagination serves as an excretory channel for violence: We visualize what we will never actually do (James Patterson, for instance, a nice man who has all too often worked the street that my old friend George used to work). Cho doesn't strike me as in the least creative, however. Dude was crazy. Dude was, in the memorable phrasing of Nikki Giovanni, ''just mean.'' Essentially there's no story here, except for a paranoid a--hole who went DEFCON-1. He may have been inspired by Columbine, but only because he was too dim to think up such a scenario on his own.

On the whole, I don't think you can pick these guys out based on their work, unless you look for violence unenlivened by any real talent.”

A succinct and accurate take on things.

I especially agree with King’s comment that: “He may have been inspired by Columbine, but only because he was too dim to think up such a scenario on his own.”

I had deduced that too. While the V.Tech killer has cited the Columbine shootings, there is no indication that he related to the teenaged shooters in that case, rather, the mere act of killing resonated with him, for no apparent reason, other than, perhaps, his inability to relate to people at all, and his inability or refusal to connect with people via the normal channels of communication, like talking.

April 24, 2007

Brusque handling of penis

"Sales rep Stuart McMahon told The Sun: "This guy came running in then charged into the kitchen, got a massive knife and started waving it about.

"Everyone was screaming and running out as he jumped on a table, dropped his trousers and popped his penis out.

"Then he cut it off. I couldn't believe it."

Really!

Saving the world – one square at a time

I’m ashamed before I even do this.

Mocking and sneering at the rich and fatuous is too easy. It’s exactly like being a little boy pulling wings off a fly. (Do little boys actually do that?)

Still, with nothing more important to say right now, I’ll proceed, as if this is a dignified genre in the blog-posting scheme of things, and as if this is something that you haven’t already seem and snorted over.

Sheryl Crow uses one square of toilet paper, per go. She wants everyone else to do the same.

She also wants to abolish the disposable serviette. People should wipe their mouths and hands on their sleeve.

I presume this logically leads to the end of the tissue box as we know it, and a spare area on the already grubby sleeve should be reserved for nose offerings.

Someone should tell Sheryl that paper is a 100% renewable resource. Spell it out for her:

“ONE HUNDRED PERCENT RENEWABLE”

Crow, obviously applying her arcane scientific knowledge, offers the world the toilet-paper-saving-caper as an easy way for everyone to contribute to solving global warming.

Which would be okay, in a trite and asinine way, if only toilet paper, or paper in general, was a contributor to climate change.

Her time might be more gainfully spent sucking up carbon, on behalf of the rest of us.

Not satisfied with having opened her mouth and proving herself a fool, Crow also seems to be taking some pride in her inability to be a gracious guest at the White House Correspondents' Association dinner in Washington, using that opportunity to touch Karl Rove to get his attention, so that she could attack him about matters environmental.

No brain, no decorum.

Read here ... if you haven't already ...


April 22, 2007

Contribute to something useful

Here’s something constructive you can do to contribute to an understanding and establishment of social standards, specifically in relation to depravity.

No, no, this is not one of those asinine or fun online tests that will tell you where you sit on the scale of human depravity.

This is a serious stuff and we can all take time out to contribute.

“This research will refine into the Depravity Standard, an objective measure based on forensic evidence. This instrument distinguishes not who is depraved but rather, what aspects of a given crime are depraved and the degree of a specific crime's depravity. The research will enhance fairness in sentencing, given that it is race, gender and socio-economic blind.”

The intention is:

“To minimize the arbitrariness of how courts determine the worst of crimes, and to eliminate bias in sentencing, the Depravity Scale research aims to establish societal standards of what makes a crime depraved, and to develop a standardized instrument based on specific characteristics of a crime that must be proven in order to merit more severe sentences.”

That’s good enough reason to sign up to do your small part to help establish a reliable “depravity scale”.

The Depravity Scale

This might take you 15 minutes, or it might take longer. The questions for consideration are quite challenging, requiring careful thought, in other words.

April 21, 2007

Analysis of aberrations

Up until now I haven’t read any blog commentary about the most recent, but destined not to be the last, mass shooting in the US.

Australia holds the world record of 35 people killed by one man - in a historically violent, but long since rehabilitated bucolic tourist location in Tasmania – so the US is not the sole land of random and meaningless killing sprees.

Steve, of Opinion Dominion, sent me off to read a couple of recommended posts about the “Virginia Tech” killings. I wish I hadn’t looked.

Everyone else is such a clever-dick, retrospectively, aren’t they?

Everyone else would have done something.

Everyone else would have known that he was a mass murderer about to going over the edge.

Everyone else would have joined the dots.

Everyone else would have intervened, in some vague or specific manner, to prevent this.

WRONG!

None of them would have.

NONE.

Not then, not now, not on this planet, not in this lifetime.

Feel free tp drop me a line to share with all of us the next person and next location of a public killing spree. Do tell, do tell. I’ll be happy to list all of the predictions. If you intervene with successful preventative measures, there will be a chocolate frog in it for you.

Blogger Spook86 claims to be a former military intelligence officer, but that doesn’t provide him with any insight, other than a strange predilection for wanting to allow learning institutes to be privy to medical records and to be permitted to get rid of students with a mental illnesses.

Spook cites a number of cases in the US involving litigation (of course) all relating to suicidal and / or depressed students. Spook doesn’t seem to be aware that neither depression nor suicidal depression are a precursor or predictive factor for shooting down other people. We can deduce from of the cases he cites that none of the students harmed anyone, other than themselves.

More oddly, Spook offers a “failure of leadership” for the murderer’s continued presence on the campus, and ipso facto, the events that unfolded.

He drones the mindlessly lemming-like “administrators and public safety officials at Tech proved unable to connect the dots”.

As I’ve already said, no one, no one, NO ONE, ever “joins the dots” on these individuals until after the event. Then everyone gets to be a smartass.

The dumbest thing about Spook’s line of thinking though, and others who have probably said similar things on their blogs, is the notion that tossing this guy out of college would have prevented mass murder and a suicide.

I’m not aware that the tech campus is a walled community. Anyone, including unwanted former students would be free to walk in and out and around the grounds and the buildings.

Sorry, I’m probably not being obvious enough: how does removing a person from a geographic location change who they are and what they may be capable of doing? How does further isolating and rejecting the utterly marginalized and isolated improve their demure and prevent harm?

The logic is so nonsensical that I can’t even fathom the thought processes.

Does anyone genuinely think that the guy would have 'come to his senses' maybe, and sought proper medical help if his enrolment was cancelled?

Is the argument, then, one of where he shot people? If he was no longer a student, he would have let loose at the local shopping centre instead, and hey, that would have been so much more acceptable?

Except that people still would have been blogging about the Virginia Tech administration, and blaming them for expelling him / not forcing him into treatment of some kind. The punditry in that hypothetically changed circumstance would have been 100% predictable.

Spook concludes that it’s time to amend some of the laws that prevent schools from getting rid of mentally unstable students, or students with a “troubled past”, despite the fact that such changes would never save so much as one life. It also places a level of responsiblity onto the shoulders of school administrators which is grossly inappropriate, and for which they are entirely unqualified to exercise.

One commenter was equally peculiar in his argument, picking up on Spook’s thought processes all the way from A to B, suggesting that the shooter should not have made it into college in the first place.

Perhaps disturbed and angry people who don't get into college also don’t buy guns and don’t shoot people. If anyone has statistics on that, please, send them in.

Stingingly insightful, the commenter wrote:

“Letting this broken specimen into college was the biggest mistake. It's a stressful environment, and while everyone has a right to try and muddle through on their own, you need some sort of social support to survive.

The conversation should be short: "Your behavior is unacceptable. Is there some mitigating circumstance? If so, we will let you continue studying here while you fix that problem. If you can't admit that there's a problem, we'll have a cab waiting for you by 5pm."

Wow, that's amazing. Problem solved "just like that". Lickety spit!

Oh, for such clarity and assuredness about the character of others and potential consequences, indeed, the character of millions of students across the world. The commenter thinks that “screening” students is a simple task, during which the next mass murderer stands out like a shag on a rock. Which would be very funny if it wasn’t so outrageously arrogant and plain stupid.

And we might venture to ask: how should we go about "screening" all the people in the world, given that most of them are not students at any given point in time? Most mass shooters have not been students.

If the US removed every socially inept, peculiar, or behaviourly aberrant young man from their schools and colleges, the hallways would be all but empty.

Never forget folks: there is a simple and wrong solution to everything.

We can also never forget that there are aberrant individuals in the world who will, one day, do shocking things, and none of us would recognize this if we met them.

Chaos theory of the mind and emotions.

We have no idea which beat of the flapping wing of a butterfly, nor which tick of the clock, propels a person to harrowing or malevolent acts.

Save the world while having sex

Just because you’ve not allowed to water your lawn anymore doesn’t mean you have to give up tending the garden.

You can still save the world while having sex.

There are lots of environmentally friendly things you can do to ensure that your sexual exploits leave a small penis-print on the planet.

The following assistance is bought to you by Greenpeace and Tree Huggers.

Turn off the lights. If you want to see your partner, or what you are doing, have sex during the day.

If using fruit and vegies during intimate activities make sure they aren’t genetically engineered.

No oysters; buy herbal and fruit drinks.

Use natural fertilizers, so that when you engage in sexual fun in your back yard you won’t pick up anything unexpected.

Don’t use fuel based lubricants like petroleum jelly.

Natural substances like rubber and leather are good [please kill the animal humanely first, if using leather - ed], but PVC and vinyl accessories during your playtime are bad.

Soap up together in the shower or bath to save water.

Check that your paddles are made from sustainably harvested timber. [Yes, yes, your paddles! Don't be so prissy - ed]

Most of your other sex toys will have to go. The dildos, vibrators, anal beads, cock rings, and all the rest of the merry band of plastic stuff.

Switch to lambskin condoms, because they're biodegradable. Unfortunately, they won't save you from getting syphilis.

Buy bamboo bedsheets: they're silky and slippery.

For slinky, slippery and sexy, buy undies made from renewable fibers such as organic cotton, hemp silk or bamboo.

You'll, err, last longer, if you stop eating meat.


Don’t blame me. I didn’t suggest that saving the world would put any zing into your wild thing.

---------------------

International Jock has a zany range of men's undies, including the AussieBum range, but I warn you not to click on the soft cup or hard cup menu options - seriously, some of that stuff looks as though it should be used only for, and under, medical conditions.

April 20, 2007

Alec Baldwin doesn’t own a mobile

Alec Baldwin is the owner of intransigently sub-optimal acting skills and an obdurate temper.

The latter having been illustrated for the entire world to hear in a flatulent message he left on an answering machine for his 11 year old daughter.

His is not, however, the owner of a mobile phone. Neither, we assume, is his assistant, or his security guard, or his assistant’s assistant.

His rant commenced with:

"Once again, I have made an ass of myself trying to get to a phone"

Of course, there is a possibility that Baldwin does own a mobile phone and that the inelegance with which he extracts it from his pocket makes him look an ass.

In case you've been in a coma, or trapped in a collapsed gold mine, you can listen to Baldwin coo to his one and only child here ...

Update: Baldwin has a blog (*gasp*), on which he has issued an apology, to the public and anyone who was offended by his rant. He offers no apology to his daughter, other than suggesting that he is sorry for the damage done to (his) child from the release of the tape. Perhaps he doesn't realize that if this message had been kept private, his daughter would still be stuck with it. Baldwin is writing a book, mostly about his divorce, by the sound of it - yet more mud slinging between the couple who can't let go of each other. They should have stayed married.

Duck Friday

April 18, 2007

Cheddar Vision

Everyone is watching the cheese.

We may as well join them, in lieu of having anything else to contribute.

Go on - here's the cheddar ....
“We were thinking, ‘How can we demonstrate to people just how long it takes to make a really good cheddar?’ ” Mr. Lane said. “And then we thought: ‘Let’s film it from start to finish. That’s really funny because there’s nothing to see.’ ”

Hilarious.

The fucking cheese gets more hits than I do.

(But I have a better class of commenters.)

“It seems to have engaged many people who might not otherwise have bothered to engage with cheesemaking,”
Sure. Right. Whatever.

New York Times

April 16, 2007

Al Gore’s Mentor

Quotes from Al Gore’s mentor, Maurice Strong:

"We may get to the point where the only way of saving the world will be for industrial civilization to collapse."

"Isn't the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn't it our responsibility to bring it about?"

He must be so proud

A bit of a kafuffle over blogging etiquette lately, and whether or not “rules” of behavior should be introduced – with, for example, a little logo that complying bloggers could put up to flag to the world their compliant nature.

I keep meaning to write something about all of this … I might even get around to it some day.

In the meantime, I can’t get past some guy called O’Reilly, who keeps getting quoted in pretty much every article about the mooted blogging code of behavior.

His only claim to fame, until now, seems to be – and I only know this because all of the articles keep mentioning it – that he “coined” the term “Web 2.0”.

Which, allegedly, “describes the booming world of citizen media”.

Imagine waking up one morning and putting “web” and the number “2” together.

Then announcing it to ... the neighbors cat.

I’m dazzled by his intellect.

I think I’m suffering all kinds of envy.

I think I’ve never seen or heard anyone use “Web 2.0” to describe bloody anything.

[Just in case you don't believe me it's mentioned in this article ... ]

Bupkis

America has spent more than a billion dollars trying to convince teenagers to abstain from sexual intercourse.

It hasn't worked.

At all.

The return on investment has been diddly, squat, zip, zilch, nada.

Sex ed fails ...



April 15, 2007

Lawyers, guns and money

Number of physicians in the US : 700,000.
Accidental deaths caused by physicians per year: 120,000 (AMA).
Accidental deaths per physician: 0.171 ( U.S. Dept. of Health Human Services)

Number of gun owners in the US : 80,000,000.
Number of accidental gun deaths per year (all age groups): 1,500. Accidental deaths per gun owner: 0.0000188

Statistically, doctors are approximately 9,000 times more dangerous than gun owners.

FACT: Not everyone has a gun, but everyone has at least one doctor. (almost everyone)
Please alert your friends to this alarming threat. We must ban doctors before this gets out of hand.

As a public health measure, statistics on lawyers have been withheld for fear that the shock could cause people to seek medical aid.

April 13, 2007

We found it!


Breathtaking magnificence

The most symmetrical and dazzling space object of its kind, just 5000 light-years away in the Milky Way, found by little Aussie astronomers Dr Peter Tuthill and Dr James Lloyd.

Nice work guys, very nice work.

Science

[H/T - Kath]

Duck Friday

April 12, 2007

Charity starts at home

Brad and Angelina are rewarding themselves and their little league of nations with a bespoke 85-metre-long yacht for $US268 million ($A324.87 million).

For that price, and a two year wait while it's built, they will get two 300-square-metre apartments, two guest suites of 150 square metres each, one swimming pool, one heliport, a collection of speedboats and a small submarine.

*Splutter*

April 11, 2007

Girly Theme Park

Mildly strange, but true:

Chinanews, Chongqing, April 5 - Chongqing is planning to build the first "Women Town" in its Shuangqiao District, which used to be famous for producing heavy-duty trucks. The town will be set up in Xinmin Village of the district, where most men have gone to other places to make money, with their wives waiting for them at home.

"The town will be a new tourist resort, but has very little to do with feminist movement," said Li Jigang, the director of Shuangqiao District Tourism Division.

It is said that a poster bearing the inscription "Women are never wrong, and a gentleman should never turn down a lady" will be put on the entrance to the town."

The Women Town will be a supplement to the Dazu Rock Carvings 26 km away, for tourists to relax and enjoy sweet games," said Tong Jiuying, the future mayor of the Women Town.

In theory (?), in "Women's Town," men will have to obey their wives or girlfriends' orders, satisfy their every demand. If not, they can expect punishment without mercy.

That sounds a tad harsh.

The recreational theme park will actually be modeled after a town completely run by women depicted in one of China's four literary masterpieces, The Monkey King.

Who knows, it might be more fun that visiting people dressed up as rodents.

April 7, 2007

Hey – we’ll be fine!

Not sure about the rest of you, but the latest and greatest scientific doomsayer announcement, shown graphically – here – provides proof that we are the lucky country, indeedy we are!

Click on “The Losers” tab.

Tee, hee – we win, we win, we win!

Our little brown land will be unscathed by climate change!

Yip, yip, yippee!

I vote that we end all immigration, like, right now.

Umm, while I think of it: sorry 'bout the rest of you. Good luck, 'ey?

Where we came from ...

Yes, really, he is why you "blog", instead of "blob".

For a change, a non-disparaging piece of journalism about blogging, revealing the origins (and the guy who coined the term “weblog” and then “blog” – the latter being produced by an accidental nudge of the spacebar).

Some random tidbits:

"Last week, News Limited papers suggested the blog might be set for lean times. Unnamed "analysts" described a "cultish enthusiasm for self-expression" that was "rapidly wearing off".

But some of blogging's most famous exponents believe otherwise, and the figures appear to back them up. In the minute or so you have been reading this story, more than 80 new blogs have been created. Apparently, there's life in the old blog yet.

Then came last week's shrill warnings, cribbed selectively from a four-month-old report by US technology consultants Gartner. The report estimates there are now 200 million dead blogs, basing this on a creative reading of data from Technorati. David Sifry disagrees. "I don't know where they get those figures from," he says.

The News Limited story suggested that net-savvy types were giving up on blogging and turning their attention to MySpace. The owner of Myspace is, of course, News Limited. Also conveniently not disclosed was the fact that, according to the Gartner report, use of MySpace has been falling steadily during the past year.

It is true, though, that many blogs are dead or inactive. Of the 70 million Technorati identifies, just 55 per cent have been updated in the past three months. About 11 per cent are updated weekly or more often.

Some in mainstream media have cast blogging as the new journalism, but there is little support for the idea in the blogosphere. While some blogs aim for genuine news reporting or informed comment, just as many or more are about wine appreciation, football fandom, conservative politics or kinky erotica.

"Not everybody cares about breaking news. Some just want to talk about golf or music or whatever,"

If webloggers aren't apeing mainstream media, the reverse is certainly happening.

Astonishingly, 37 per cent of all blogs are now written in Japanese.

English runs second at 36 per cent. Chinese is third with just 8 per cent.

According to Technorati, the most linked-to blog last year was that of Chinese actress Xu Jinglei.

Many blog analysts evoke the wunderkammer, an idea with roots in Europe's renaissance. Gentlemen would collect and compile items of exotic interest for a "cabinet of wonders" (usually an actual room). Skins and horns of exotic animals, artworks, strange machines — all were sought and hoarded. The idea was to show off your own eclectic taste, to amuse your friends and yourself with a bunch of wacky stuff.

So are many bloggers deluded when they think their lives and thoughts are interesting or worthy of recording? "Of course they are," Rebecca Blood says. "But Paris Hilton's life isn't particularly interesting either and the mainstream press is infatuated with her."

"The blogs that will survive are the ones whose creators find them to be rewarding," she says. "A blogger doesn't have to have a single reader in order to continue publishing every day."

Amen to that!

Captive Behavior

Did you know that there are acceptable and unacceptable ways in which to be held captive by bad people, even if it may cost you your life?

"In The Daily Mail, the columnist Steven Glover compared the captives with those from other conflicts. “I do not blame the hostages for their apparent willingness to confess and apologize,” he wrote. “But we had better be honest with ourselves. In no previous era — not during World War II or Korea or Suez or the Falklands — would British servicemen have behaved in such a manner."

In no modern era have British, or other, servicemen and women been deeply familiar with gleeful pictorials of hostages being beheaded either – and that’s when it comes to the treatment of kidnapped civilians.

You sick fuck Steven Glover. What an absolute bombastic piece of cowardly shit you are. You don’t pillar people for coming back alive you fucking dickhead. You especially don’t dump on service people who likely have no training on how to “behave” if they are taken hostage by a mercurial enemy, and by an enemy with whom they are not even at war.

Next time Steven Glover is held captive by nutters for a few weeks, I demand video footage, to see how he behaves.

"Were they coerced into confessing or did they speak voluntarily?" - the "analysts" are asking.
Good bloody grief!

“I know many military people are concerned about the overly loquacious and positive statements made by the service personnel,” “But as yet we don’t know what kinds of coercion were present before the ‘hostages’ made their TV statements.”

We do actually, or at least we can guess without extinguishing any brain cells: they believed they would be killed. The servicemen have now confirmed this as fact.

Don't know about you, but if these guys had decided that making omelets for the enemy and given them foot massages would help get them home alive I would not have questioned them for a second.

Thankfully, all 15 British service people are now safe. Well, all except for being surrounded by pricks who have never been kidnapped by terrorists, nor ever served their country.

Update:

"The captives said they were subjected to a determined campaign of psychological intimidation."

“We had a blindfold and plastic cuffs, hands behind our backs, heads against the wall,” Royal Marine Tindell said in an interview with the BBC. “Someone, I’m not sure who, someone said, I quote, ‘Lads, lads, I think we’re going to get executed.’

“After that comment someone was sick, and as far as I was concerned he had just had his throat cut. From there we were rushed to a room, quick photo, and then stuffed into a cell and didn’t see or speak to anyone for six days.”

Can anyone be surprised that this is what happened? Anyone?

Gun Shy

I love American politics; it’s more fun than our local flavor.

Over here we get trivia about whether or not Kevin Rudd’s childhood was tough and bedraggled enough to qualify him to be a “true” Labor man.

By contrast, in America, candidates for the GOP need to front up with shining credentials of their shootin’, huntin’, hollerin’ love of guns and killing animals.

Seems that Mitt Romney might not have the intimate relationship with firearms that he has claimed, thus damning him to hell in the eyes of the gun lobby, and more widely, being seen as a bit loose in the undies as far as conservative Republicans are concerned.

Mitt has claimed that he has "been pretty much hunting all my life".

What he really meant was that his hunting adventures have been spread out over the entire course of his life, as in: once when he was a teenager and once last year.

That's twice, to be exact.

His hunting résumé is shamefully puny.

I want new criteria for our local candidates. Yes, really I do. I want their game hunting résumés; the number of schooners they can scull in 15 minutes; how long it takes them to change a tyre; do they ever join the "eight items or less" queue when they have more than eight items; when was the last time they obtained a job on merit; how many animals they personally care for (the ones they pet, not the ones they shoot), and so on.

It's time we started demanding deeper information about our politicians.

I'm not joking. I want the answers! No wonder we have such lame pollies: we don't ask the right questions.

April 6, 2007

PETA Kills Animals

Commentary and extracts from the trial of PETA staff, who kill animals minutes after collection them, claiming they are "sedating" them for the drive.

These people truly disgust me.

Did you know some of the animals PETA kills have names? Neither did we. But pictures of Dalmatians named Toby and Annie tugged at jurors' heartstrings today. The defendants described animals they were about to kill as "adorable," "perfect," and "pregnant." And guess what? PETA isn't licensed to dispense its preferred lethal-injection drug in North Carolina.

"They came to the shelter to take all the dogs that were not being quarantined or on hold for any reason and take them back to Virginia … My understanding was that if it's an animal that's good or adoptable, you try to find homes for them … especially the two Dalmatians that were running around. And I asked her [Hinkle] if she thinks that those two dogs were adoptable. And she said yes, you know, she thought that they shouldn't have a problem at all finding homes for those Dalmatians."

Ahoskie, NC newspaper editor Cal Bryant reported this morning (in the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald) that unnamed "PETA officials attending the trial" now acknowledge Hinkle killed animals from Anderson's shelter -- including those two Dalmatians -- while the PETA van was still in the parking lot. Presumably, this was just minutes after Hinkle assured Anderson that the dogs were adoptable. Jurors may never hear this disturbing detail, but coffee shops in Ahoskie are buzzing about it.

Anderson was optimistic that PETA would give these animals (and all the others that eventually turned up dead) a good-faith effort at adoption. He even handed over his own dog to Hinkle -- a spirited terrier that he and his wife had trouble housebreaking:

Each line on the log has a space to record an animal's breed, sex, age, and condition. Here are just a few of the actual examples read into evidence, as Hinkle and Cook described them:

Breed: Beagle
Sex: Female
Age: 6 months
Condition: Adorable

Breed: Schnauzer
Sex: Male
Age: Born
Condition: Perfect

Breed: DSH [Domestic Shorthair cat]
Sex: Female
Age: 7 years
Condition: Pregnant

Question: If these defendants weren't PETA employees, who do you think would be outside the courthouse protesting? Yep. PETA employees.

On cross-examination, defense attorneys tried to get Anderson to concede that he knew his shelter's animals would all be euthanized after PETA picked them up. After 15 minutes of badgering, the animal control officer finally answered "yes" when he was asked if he ever "saw PETA employees injecting animals."

But this was quickly put into context by prosecutor Valerie Asbell during her "re-direct" questions:

Asbell: When you'd see PETA employees inject an animal, what were you told they were doing?

Anderson: Sedating the animals for the ride.

Asbell: And did you ask them, when you saw them inject an animal, what they were doing?

Anderson: Yes.

Asbell: And what did they tell you?

Anderson: That's what they were doing.

Asbell: Which was what?

Anderson: Sedating the animals for the ride, to take back to Virginia.

Asbell: Did anyone, including Ms. Hinkle, ever tell you that they were killing the animals by injecting them at the shelter?

Anderson: No.

Reise produced a DEA Certificate of Non-Registration (in his words) "certifying that there is no registration in North Carolina for PETA to handle, in any capacity, controlled substances" -- meaning that PETA may not legally "administer, nor handle, procure, manufacture, or distribute controlled substances as a practitioner, retail pharmacy, animal shelter, distributor, researcher, medical lab, importer, exporter, and/or manufacturer in North Carolina."

Transcript from day 4 of the trial.

Duck Friday

Happy Easter Everyone!

Stumpy, a four-legged duckling at Warrawee Duck Farm, in Hampshire, England has a rare mutation which has left the bird with two legs behind the usual two. The above baby picture or Stumpy was taken in February.

And Stumpy now, still going strong. Story here ...

April 5, 2007

Nothing has changed

"It appears we have appointed our worst generals to command forces, and our most gifted and brilliant to edit newspapers! In fact, I discovered by reading newspapers that these editor/geniuses plainly saw all my strategic defects from the start, yet failed to inform me until it was too late."

"Accordingly, I'm readily willing to yield my command to these obviously superior intellects, and I'll, in turn, do my best for the Cause by writing editorials - after the fact." Robert E. Lee, 1863


A critic is one who shows up after the battle and shoots the wounded.

April 3, 2007

Unusual Cruelty

In the “say it isn’t so; please, please, please I’m begging” – Angelina Jolie is allegedly about to pounce on another unsuspecting innocent child, so that she can “balance” her family (and totally unhinge the children she already has).

Other news in icky-ooooh-land – Jessica Simpson, but not John Mayer, could be heard across the whole of Rome having sex, or making noises that would suggest sexual activity of some nature. Okay, so she was only heard across the entire hotel. How about by the people in nearby rooms? No-one – anywhere – heard a squeak from Mayer. Or if they did, they’re not saying.


April 2, 2007

Hilary is cashed up

Hilary Clinton has a frightening amount of support in the US, far more than all of commentary on her divisiveness (and bad Southern accent imitation) would tend to suggest.

Hillary Clinton smashed fundraising records and stashed a staggering $US36 million ($A44.7 million) into her 2008 campaign war chest today, in a daunting challenge to her rivals for the White House.

The funds were raised from 50,000 donors across 50 states.

Still, it’s premature to read much of anything into this. The Obama campaign people have not released the dollar value of their fundraising, but said their candidate had taken 108,095 donations from more than 85,000 people.

No figures yet from the Republican side of the fence.

Whatever the case, Hilary is one happy chicky-babe. Guess we’ll have to wait for the other figures before we see if her smirk stays in place.

Meanwhile, Federal politician, really rich guy, and former lawyer Malcolm Turnbull claims to have no understanding of why David Hicks's lawyers did not push for a plea bargain earlier.

Obviously Turnbull hasn’t been paying attention over the last five years, not least of which over the fact that there hasn’t been a settled legal structure under which Hicks could be tried or plead. He could have pleaded his little heart out, with or without the help of his legal team, but in order to do so, he would, I assume, have had to lay charges against himself. I have no idea how you go about a plea bargain if no court exits and no charges have been laid. It tends to create a little bit of a blocker for pleading-type activities. Minister (and former lawyer) Turnbull prefers to go the sleaze route by implying sleazy motives:

"I've always wondered whether his failure to get a deal done and the apparent lack of interest to get a deal done, I've often wondered what their motivations were there."

Sure Mal, he was waiting for an election year, he really liked the accommodation and the food, and he didn’t want to get a haircut. That would be my best guess.

April 1, 2007

Watch out for the ricochet!

What might have been harmless fun for Sydney residents has become deadly serious.

Last night Sydney was plunged into darkness as private, public and government citizens switched lights off (voluntarily) for an hour.

I don’t want anyone to get into a major panic about this, after all, it was only the lights, not refrigerators, television sets, computers, swimming pool filters, electric blankets or iPods.

This gesture toward all things environmental was confined to a single hour and confined to electrical lighting, nothing more.

Today, Federal opposition Environment Minister, (former rock star and bald guy who dances funny) Mr Peter Garrett, said:

"the act of turning off the lights for an hour would ricochet around the country and the world for years."

It’s not often that you hear a politician issue such a dire and honest warning, and, personally, I would have thought the ricochet would be small, and confined to Paddington and Darling Harbor, but no, this thing is going to effect the entire world and we’ll have to spend years ducking for cover so as to avoid being hit by surprise with the damned ricochet.

See how easily a symbolic gesture can turn truly ugly?

Notwithstanding the international consequences of this prank, some minor good may yet become evident. Mr Garrett also noted:

“Earth Hour signaled a turning point … and individuals now realized that the answers were "literally in everyone's hands".

Yes, apparently there were people in Sydney unaware that by using their very own little hands they could turn off their light switches.

The Earth Hour was also touted as being an hour of “thoughtful darkness”, as opposed to the totally unthinking darkness that we take so much for granted at bed time.

One (walking) visitor to the non-lights of Sydney gushed:

"The blackout was fantastic. I am so happy that the city is celebrating this great event. It is gorgeous to be in the dark."

I guess that's one happy lady who'll finally be giving up her night-light then.