November 30, 2007

We wuz jibbed

Better looking.

Better suits.

Better haircuts.

Duck Friday

November 29, 2007

Post election dissembler

Steve Biddulph can take a bow for being the first, and possibly the last, uber-dissembler to bounce all over a newspaper since the election we had to have.

From this:
"The Liberal Party is in trauma. The corporate sector is attempting to calm its nerves, and even the victors in the Labor Party cannot quite believe the seismic change in the landscape of power. But the ramifications of last Saturday may be much greater than just one election won or lost. In a way that seems unthinkable to us now, 2007 may mark the end of the Liberal Party itself. It won't happen overnight, but just watch it happen."
To this:
"We are a civilisation in collapse. Labor is the right party to manage this. Despite the widespread belief after years of cynical politics that politicians are all the same, Rudd and Gillard are not in power for power's sake. I am willing to stake my 30 years as a psychologist on this, but I think many observers have also come to this conclusion. Kevin and Julia, as Australia already calls them, want to make this country a better place for the people in it. In the coming times of deprivation, they have the value systems that will be needed to care for the sudden rise in poverty, stress, and need"
Someone, anyone: Steve Biddulph needs serious help, now, bad, fast.

Read the whole thing for a sobering look at the worst that can happen if you stop taking your meds ...

Girly job?

Traditionally, the deputy leader of a party is also the Treasurer. Treasury is the most senior ministry.

Since Rudd and Gillard took over the ALP, Gillard has been the shadow industrial relations minister. Not, as I've noted numerous times before, exactly a senior role for a deputy leader.

Now that the ALP have won office, Gillard has been given Education.

Which still leaves the begging question still begging: why is Gillard up to the task of being Deputy Prime Minister of the country, but not up to managing a senior ministry?

Education, let's not forget, is primarily the domain of the states, it's not even a federal function.

Handing out laptops to every high school student - the ALP "education revolution" - will not improve any child's eduction (note: already proven in studies that computers make no difference to learning), but I suppose Ms Gillard will gain the love and affection of the nation, much like Santa Clause.

Who got the discarded IR portfolio?

November 28, 2007

Tuuurrrnbuuulll

Tony and his people skills have pulled out of the Liberal Party leadership race, suggesting that his barnacle-like association with the Howard government has turned his colleagues off, rather than the fact of him being, essentially, too much of an massive arse for the public to tolerate.

That leaves Turnbull and Nelson to bitch slap it out.

Seeing as neither man is likely to want to play second trollop to the other, that leaves the deputy leadership waiting for a taker.

Have not heard a peep out of Nelson, but Turnbull is busy spruiking himself to journalists:
"Mr Turnbull said he was not like outgoing leader John Howard and not an ideologically-driven person.

"We're two completely different people," he said.

"My approach would be one that is much more objective about policies.

[News flash Mal: no one is objective about policies. Does he mean pragmatic perhaps? Or easy? Or popularist? If so, he shouldn't start off on the wrong foot by trying to pass pragmatism / ease / popularism off as objectivity, it won't wash.]

"I am not an ideological person. I am a practical person. I come with a long experience in business."

[Three long years in politics and Mal still isn't getting it: being a merchant banker isn't the same skills set as running the country. Politics isn't, and has never been, the art of practicality. Besides, there are only 36 practical business people in the entire world, only 8 of whom live in Australia.]

Mr Turnbull said history would judge whether Mr Howard had stayed too long in the Liberal leadership.

"I think, with the benefit of hindsight, that will undoubtedly be the judgement of history," he said.

"John Howard is in his last days as prime minister. He's packing up his house and so forth. I don't want to sit here today and criticise John Howard. This is not the time for it.

[He'll wait until later - everyone will - then they'll rip the guts out of the "bestest ever" Prime Minister.]

"But the proposition (that he stayed too long) is one that will be universally held by historians.

"Of course, we all have 20-20 vision in hindsight."

Your hindsight Mal, perhaps, and all the historians.
Your hindsight Mal, perhaps, and all the journo's, the experts, and the historians.

I first predicted the massive Work Choices blow-back, and that Howard would pull the entire party down with him by not retiring, as far back as 18 months ago. I was howled down. Every time I repeated myself since then, I was howled down. Where are all you geniuses now, hey?

I suspect Turnball will get the leadership, but he is not even close to being job-ready, as it were.

We've already had one "Mal" as the PM. I predict we will never have another.

Baaarrrrnaby!!!

The little that is left of the National Party is struggling to come up with anyone willing to take on the mantel of party leader.

Barnaby Joyce could be the man of the hour!

Whoo hoo!

Or Warren Truss, which might not be nearly as much fun as Barnaby.

Wednesday Wisdom

Whenever I dwell for any length of time on my own shortcomings, they gradually begin to seem mild, harmless, rather engaging little things, not at all like the staring defects in other people's characters.

Margaret Halsey

November 26, 2007

Tetchy over Costello

Jeff Kennett, former Liberal Victorian Premier, whose hair is a Victorian living treasure in it's own right, is all tetchy over Peter Costello pulling the pin.

"I pen this contribution having just heard the Costello Declaration. I am angry, profoundly disappointed. That Peter Costello, the man who so desperately sought the leadership of the Liberal Party now, totally unexpectedly, indicates he no longer wishes to serve the party in a leadership role.

For years, Costello has demanded that the Liberal leadership — and the prime ministership of this country — be handed to him on a platter. That was not to be. Now when the leadership is there for the taking, albeit with a heavy workload attached, he reneges.

Costello says he has withdrawn in the interests of renewal within the party. For goodness sake, he is only 50 years of age, he has overseen the best economic times Australia has lived through, and he has a bucket-load of experience.

You can imagine the profound sense of anger and hurt by so many, particularly those Liberals who worked so hard in his electorate for his return to Parliament at this election, expecting they were working for the next leader of the party. Hundreds of Victorian Liberals were counting on him being the next Victorian-bred leader of the party.

Well, one news conference today has destroyed that dream. This one announcement says more about the character of the man than his 11 years as Treasurer of this country."

Yeah,well, go eat worms Jeff.

Costello has spent 17 years (and counting) in Federal politics, six of those years in opposition, and 11 years in government as the Treasurer.

"Albeit with a heavy workload" Jeff?

Sitting in opposition is a walk in the park compared to being a minister in the government Jeff. Just ask the Federal ALP: they did nothing for 11 years, and they still did nothing for the campaign, they just waited for the Liberals to announce policy then photocopied.

Costello afraid of hard work? Pull the other one Jeff, otherwise we'll all have to walk around with a limp.

Where is that man who "desperately sought the leadership" Jeff? Costello never challenged. Never stood. Never raised an eyebrow to grab the spot. If he was desperate, he kept it well hidden. He might have wanted to be Prime Minister, that was certainly an aspiration, but the man has never suggested that his driving ambition in life was to be the leader of the Liberal party in opposition. Get a grip Jeff.

Sure, hundreds of people worked to help Costello win his seat Jeff, but they did so in full knowledge that the Liberals were going to LOSE, LOSE, LOSE government. Very few would have been working for making Costello the PM in the next term of parliament. Hope, maybe wish on a fall star, sure, but they would not have really believed that the Liberals could pull off the win. Therefore, they were not sweating their little hearts out to make Costello the Prime Minister.

All in all: Ooh, snarky, snarky, bitch Jeff. Hope it made you feel better.

Kennett opines about random political stuff ...

Tony, Tony, Tony!

Tony Abbott is putting himself forward for the Liberal party leadership because he believes he has good people skills.

It's your skill-set Tony, you can believe whatever you want to.

[We'll be asking for recent references.]

November 25, 2007

A good man lost

Political columnist, Matt Price, died today, two short months after being diagnosed with brain tumours.

Reported here ...

Hostile rapture

Based on the unbridled schadenfreude squealing last night as every Liberal seat fell, the Rudd Rapture has overwhelmingly left the public of Australia thrilled down to their undies.

The senate, on the other hand, will be hostile for the first eight months, thus ensuring that most of Rudd's early goals will fail.

The senate, come 01 July 2008 is likely to be just as hostile for the ALP.

Forget the platitudes from all-comers, and forget the blunderbuss political commentators, the Greens and Family First - mostly the Greens - will, in effect, be "hostile", mostly because they have such a disgustingly destructive and pointless track record in the senate. Anyone who thinks that will change is simply not thinking at all. Don't listen to the rhetoric - and there will be plenty of it, from all sides - the Greens will be a force for evil. The elfish Rudd has no idea what he's in for.

Senate stuff ...

Costello to quit

No date, no timeline, but Costello will be neither deputy nor leader of the Liberals in opposition.

Turnball?

Good grief!

Costello won't lead ...

Never saw that coming.

Update

On second thought, we did see it coming, didn't we?

This explains why Costello didn't challenge Howard. He and his family had already made a decision, perhaps? He'd had enough, they'd had enough? Good for him.

So much for the critics in their easy chairs claiming that Costello was too spineless to challenge.

It's not gutless if you don't want the job folks.

Transformational?

Inspired?

*Yawn*

In truth, I was too bored to yawn.

Maybe the Rudd Rapture was too much for me, but by the time Mr Visionary was giving his victory speech and declaring that he would “rule for all Australians”, I was, I suspect, already asleep.

Rudd was out to impress - right? - dishing up every asinine, superfluous cliché that came to mind, including the promise to “rule for all” pap.

Hey, all you doltish politicians and would-be politicians, news flash for you: if you win, you have no fucking choice but to “rule” for everyone.

*Yawn*

Not nearly as hideous as poor old Maxine McKew though.

First up, McKew is not gifted at the spontaneous speech, although one would have thought, win or lose, McKew would have had a few pre-prepared words at the tip of her tongue. Apparently not.

I watched her interminable speech live last night, neither conceding nor accepting Bennelong, merely driveling on and being exuberant, much like the head of a girl’s hockey team.

As the minutes turned into months, I felt as though I’d accidentally tuned into Playschool, perhaps an episode from back in the 1970s.

Listening to McKew, I was overwhelmingly struck by the notion that she imagined she was speaking to a large room of three and four year olds.

Cheesy, saccharine, condescending, disjointed, irrelevant.

Ending on an especially discourteous note, McKew proclaimed that Bennelong "would never be taken for granted again". (*Crowd cheers. McKew beams with flushed innocence and happiness at her own astuteness*)

It was an ignorant and ungracious thing to say. The sort of nonsense that could only ever come from a candidate who has yet to work a single day as a sitting member. In her self-absorbed excitement, McKew kinda forgot that John Howard has spent more than 30 years working for the people of Bennelong. They are the people who put him there and kept him there. I doubt that Howard ever took his seat for granted, and if he did, then the voters clearly didn't mind, since they kept him gainfully employed for almost his entire adult life.

It was, perhaps, the sort of school-girl like mistake that only a new pollie would make. Nonetheless, McKew will need to be a tad more careful with her thoughtless and rude utterings in future.
McKew was torture enough – for me, at least – but shortly after, some man, whose identity I didn’t pick up, insisted that Malcolm Turnball is no longer going to be the Minister for Environment because the people of Australia have spoken! The people of Australia don’t want the new pulp mill in Tasmania, and Turnball was wrong, wrong, wrong to approve it! Yes, this chap crapped-on and on, not in the least bit saccharine or condescending, just plain stupid.

The people in Turnball’s seat seemed pretty darned happy about the pulp mill, seeing as they gave him what no other sitting Liberal was given yesterday: a whopping big swing in his favor!

Yet, the unknown dipstick (I assume someone from the ALP; I assume someone who is newly elected) went all hoop-aloop about the whole of Australia rejecting Turnball’s approval of the pulp mill. The interviewer had the sense to point out to the little troglodyte that the ALP agreed that the mill will be built. The unknown dipstick couldn’t be stopped though, suggesting that the ALP, having won, would have the opportunity to reverse their position immediately, and that if Rudd did so as one of his first acts as PM, it would be a truly wondrous thing, and would signal to the country that we have a brave and dazzling new leader.

All in all, the only people oozing with sincerity, warmth and a respectable degree of articulateness last night were John Howard and Peter Costello.

Costello, somewhat shell shocked, mustered up a respectful speech, informal, spontaneous, thanking people, offering no blame, no hint of anger, much in the same vein that Howard took an hour so so later.

The rest were gibbering idiots or superfluous to requirements.

Welcome to the land of the ALP.

Update

Oooh, aaah. My bad. The unknown dipstick suggesting that the Rudd government will reverse the pulp mill decision might have been none other than Greens leader Bob Brown. (Sorry, was listening, rather than paying much attention to the screen.)

Tee, hee. Good luck with the Senate Kev!

The Greens increased their vote by 0.6% above their vote in 2004.

Not quite the 10 to 15% touted by the pre-vote polling.

Not quite the massive support that Bob keeps telling us he has in the general populace.

We elect

Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd

Deputy Prime Minister, Julia Gillard

November 24, 2007

We vote


Update

Exit polling suggests Howard will lose his seat, decisively.

Seven minutes until polls close in Eastern states.


Update

Seems to be a 15% swing against the Nationals in Queensland. Ouch.

Update

The ALP only need three more seats to win government. 7.50 PM Eastern Time.

Howard has lost his seat, based on primary votes alone.

Update

Malcolm Turnball looks certain to retain his seat. (Update: with massive swing in his favor!)

Why? How?

Update

9.09 PM - The ALP have won Government.

It's done.

November 23, 2007

November 22, 2007

Gases being liberated


Planet HD 209458b is evaporating. It is so close to its parent star that its heated atmosphere is simply expanding away into space. Some astronomers studying this distant planetary system now believe they have detected water vapor among the gases being liberated.

This controversial claim, if true, would mark the first instance of planetary water beyond our solar system, and indicate anew that life might be sustainable elsewhere in the universe. Although spectroscopic observations from the Hubble Space Telescope are the basis for the water detection claim, the planetary system is too small and faint to image. The image is an artist's concept of the HD 209458b system.

Only two sleeps to go!

November 21, 2007

Quasar

A growing black hole, called a quasar, can be seen at the center of a faraway galaxy in this artist's concept. Using NASA's Spitzer and Chandra Space Telescopes, astronomers discovered swarms of similar quasars hiding in dusty galaxies in the distant universe.

Wednesday Wisdom

"The man who has nothing to boast of but his illustrious ancestry is like the potato - the best part underground."

Thomas Overbury, "Characters" (1613)

November 20, 2007

The greatest rip off

You do know that when the price of produce and groceries go up - and the supermarket chains patiently explain about the increasing price of freight, production, or wages, or the unfortunate shortages due to drought or crop failures - it's all a big fat lie, right?

Seriously, you do know this?

See, this is one of the things in life that infuriates me.

Happy, thrilled even, to pay more to primary producers for almost anything (well, okay, not broccoli or broad beans, and I'm not a friend to mangoes or offal of any variety), but every single time the prices go up, MOST TIMES, not a single cent more is going to the producers. Very often, their income is heading south, while the supermarket profits head north.

This disgusts me more than I can articulate and I feel underpowered to "do" anything about it, other than voice my fury. Boycotting supermarkets is not an option, alas.

"After that you'll be buying navels shipped in from the US, Spain, perhaps Israel," he says. "And you know what really gets me? The supermarkets have already put the prices up in anticipation of the drought, $3.48 per kilo, and I get paid less than 36 cents a kilo."
Well, that farmer's supermarket, maybe, but at mine, oranges have been around $3.98 for quite a few weeks now.

This is not new. This has gone on since forever, it's jsut getting worse, more perverse.

Read through the list of food staples for which we can be 100% sure that farmers will soon earn less, while the supermarkets continue to increase their profits based on lies. They do it without flinching, as a matter of course. They do it without any social conscience. They exercise their practices with the type of amorality for which we would tar and feather other organizations or other individuals.

Price Check ...

(Notice that this article is not a critical piece. It's softening us up for more spurious price increases, which is exactly what the major supermarkets rely on the MSM and journalists to do, and the latter comply, like fools.)

November 18, 2007

Fairy

Fairy

For Helen, in the virgin shadows and the
impassive radiance in astral silence,
ornamental saps conspired.

Summer's ardour was confided
to silent birds and due indolence
to a priceless mourning boat
through gulfs of dead loves
and fallen perfumes.

-After the moment of the woods women's song
to the rumble of the torrent in the ruin of the wood,
of the tinkle of the cowbells to the echo of the vales,
and the cries of the steppes.

- For Helen's childhood, furs and shadows trembled,
and the breast of the poor and the legends of heaven.
And her eyes and her dance superior
even to the precious radiance,
to cold influences, to the pleasure of the unique
setting and the unique hour.

- ARTHUR RIMBAUD

Is Kevin Rudd real?

Interesting little letter in The Age yesterday:
"For all those people out there who plan to vote for Kevin Rudd, don't bother. He doesn't exist, he is a hologram. How do I know? I have written to him every month since he became leader of the Labor Party about various issues that interest me and I have not had one reply from him. If he is not a hologram, then he is obviously going to be an up-yours PM.

R.A.Marks, Drouin"
Meanwhile, five weeks and counting down: Julia Gillard is still the invisible Deputy Prime Minister in waiting.

I'm not aware of any MSM outlet raising questions about the missing Gillard.

Is the ALP ashamed of her?

Is she ashamed of herself?

Where has she been campaigning?

What about?

To whom?

Not a peep.

November 17, 2007

Galling Gore

Again, via our Florida friend Cubicle, comes the full extent of the ludicrous claims being made about climate change, most especially the consequences of such.

Please, please do notice that these are assertions, with not a smidgen of science behind them.

The assertions are even devoid of any speck of common sense.

Please also consider that this ignorant prattle is routinely accepted as being objective - and scientific - truth by hundreds of millions of people across the world.

Only two weeks ago, local "comedian / muso / personality" Paul McDermott conflated the Californian fires with the (rather silly) bleating of an archbishop who publicly criticized greenies for foisting their opinions on everyone else (yes, yes: pot, kettle, black). On his current television show, McDermott berated the archbishop, along the lines of: the church is still in denial, even when god writes "yes" in big fiery letters across California. The second part of that line was delivered with absolute conviction, along with exuberance and sweeping arm gestures.

The audience, bless their little idiot socks, laughed heartily, as if archbishops are laughingly stooopid for not appreciating that bush fires are caused by "climate change", because, gee, it's not like the world ordinarily has big bush fires, is it?

(Of course, we in Oz are a tad familiar with bush fires ourselves, most of which are started by humans. Perhaps that is the obscure causal link that people like Gore and McDermott are groping for: humans caused climate change; humans cause lots of fires; if A and B are true, then C must also be true: climate change causes bush fires. See, it's quite easy to get the hang of this shit.)

According to Al Gore:
"The north polar ice cap is melting, the fires are burning, the sea level is rising, living species are going extinct. These and many other manifestations, including half the U.S. being in drought last year, are visible to the naked eye. We have got to recognize that even though it's never happened before, it is happening right now."
Five years ago most adults would have recognized the lunacy of such assertions, without having to Google.

These days, no one bothers to Google for confirmation either, but only because they *know* this is the god's honest scientific *truth*.

People have stopped thinking altogether. They are individually and collectively brain dead.

"Not a single one of Gore's five examples of what's "happening right now" has, as he persists, "never happened before."

Not one.

So in how many ways does Gore deceive?

Given five deceptions in three sentences in one paragraph in just one interview, who can possibly keep count?"
Gore's deceptive Rolling Stone interview ....

You can also read the real truth about the Californian fires here -

The Environmentalist Fires ....

Work bits

A study has ranked Australia worst in the world for the proportion of gross domestic product lost due to inefficient work.

Aussies fritter away, on average, 45 working days a year, that is, one in every five days of work.

Factors blamed include: scant supervision, bad planning, poor job control and bad communication.

Oddly, no mention whatsoever of time spent walking to printers, the kitchen, gossiping, waiting for lifts, meaningless meetings, surfing the Internet, updating one's social pages, being hung over or drugged-up, bored, lazy, depressed etc, etc. Nadda. Yet these are the types of considerations that contribute most to stuffing-around-at-work syndrome. The 'present but perpetually unproductive' worker, of which there are millions.

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

One third of surveyed 18 to 24 year old workers think that employers should given them access to social activities, matchmaking services and more opportunities to meet their potential mates.

The unpleasant and peculiar expectation that employers should act as matchmakers, during working hours, for the young-un's on their staff would seem to stem from the belief of 97% that "satisfying relationships" or "dating" were important to their overall work-life balance.

Sure, but so might be, for example, attending church: does Gen-Y want their employer to help them find a well-matched religion too? A pet cat? A share-house with lovely co-residents? A hairdresser who won't make them look ridiculous? Perhaps a bridal service, for all the pesky details and planning that go into even the simplest wedding?

Honestly, my thought on reading this crap was the derogatory: get a life kiddies.

Big bits

Most over weight Australians believe they are healthy, with 70% of a sample surveyed laying claim to being in good or excellent health.

Fine and dandy.

They held this view despite also laying claim to being fat or obese.

Of those deemed to be medically obese, only one third believed they were actually overweight.

No information at hand as to how the other two thirds created their personal rationals for believing they are taut, trim and terrific.

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

In Britain, Marks & Spencer is selling J-cup bras for the first time, so as to meet customer demand for ever-bigger bras.

Could be an economical and snug way to provide accommodation for the homeless.

November 16, 2007

November 15, 2007

Off your bike

Scotsman Robert Stewart, who was caught wearing only a white t-shirt and naked from the waist down while initiating sex with his bicycle, has been sentenced to three years probation for sexually aggravated breach of the peace.

Stewart was with his own bike, in his own hostel room, when two cleaners took it upon themselves to open his unanswered door with the master key.

Stewart has also been placed on the Sex Offenders' Register for three years.

The 51 year old claims he'd had too much to drink and it was all a dreadful misunderstanding.

Long, long winded

1) Dr. Fidel Castro

Title: 'The denouncement of imperialism and colonialism'
Length: 4 hours 29 minutes

2) John Trevor Walker

Title: TBA
Length: 26 hours

3) Jacob Solomon

Title: TBA
Length: 26 hours 9 minutes

4) Masanam Venu

Title: Fundamentals of chemistry
Length: 51 hours 30 minutes

5) Dustin Buehler

Title: The history and evolution of the American presidency
Length: 51 hours 44 minutes

6) Maturu Phalguna Rao Gupta

Title: The fundamentals of computers
Length: 60 hours

7) Errol E T Muzawazi

Title: Democracy
Length: 62 hours 30 minutes

8) Narayanam Siva Sankar

Title: Fundamentals of Hindi grammar
Length: 72 hours 9 minutes

9) Errol E T Muzawazi

Title: Democracy
Length: 88 hours 4 seconds

10) Professor Annaiah Ramesh

Title:Molecular Logic of Life
Length: 98 hours

11) Errol E. T Muzawazi

Title:(i) Democracy; (ii) Desirability and Inevitability of African Federalism (iii) The young people: not the future but the present
Length: 102 hours

12) Jayasimba Ravirala

Title:Personality Development Concepts
Length: 120 hours

The longest lecture ...

November 14, 2007

Wednesday Wisdom

Only the shallow know themselves.

Oscar Wilde


November 13, 2007

High price to woo humans


What is it with humans and white animals?

Is it a subconscious purity thing, or nothing more than the firefly fun of a smidgen of novelty?

Mogo Zoo on the NSW South Coast - which hails itself as an "exotic animals zoo" (much in the way that strippers are wont to describe themselves as "exotic dancers") - is boasting that it has successfully reared a litter of five male white lion cubs, which it says is a world first.

White lion program a roaring success ...

Strange new notion of "success", all things considered.

Breeding for white lions entails inbreeding of close relatives and results in genetic and physical defects and infertility.

Bravo by jingo, hey what?

It's a tad depraved really, all for the passing entertainment of we humans.

Rent a womb

There's nothing new about poor women's bodies being exploited for the benefit of rich women and rich men. It probably started way back in the cave dwelling days.

Forget the too-posh-to-push brigade (well, don't forget them per se, just pity their ignorance and vanity), it's the rent a womb crowd that are setting an even more distasteful trend.

Denis Quaid (remember him?) and his mid-thirties third wife have just become proud parents to twins, whose incubation and birth were outsourced to what we euphemistically like to call a "surrogate mother".

In truth, it's a paid-up "surrogate womb".

Whether out of youthful vanity, or the conceit of waiting until middle age to breed (because one has been far too busy becoming rich and vacuous), the rental of the wombs of poor women for the use of the ridiculously rich is tacky and demeaning to all women.

November 12, 2007

Pressing political stuff

I suppose someone had to do it.

Hmm.

No.

Correction: I suppose someone believed they had to do it:

101 Uses for John Howard

(To think he could have retired with some dignity left.)


--------------
"FORMER Queensland MP Pauline Hanson's hopes of re-entering Parliament at the election have been bolstered after a Senate preference deal between her and the Family First party, a move the Democrats have described as morally bankrupt.

A spokeswoman for Family First told The Age there was no serious indication that Ms Hanson could win a Queensland Senate seat and "on that basis Family First preference decisions were based on keeping the Greens and the Democrats out of Parliament".
--------------

Last week, when Rudd of the Rapture was asked how he will keep a lid on inflation he responded with his usual decisiveness and clarity:
"What Australia needs on the whole challenge of the the future and the whole challenge of dealing with inflation in the future is new leadership with fresh ideas to deal with these future challenges."
Glad he cleared that up.

Lot of stuff happening out there in the future and Rudd is all over it. Good for him.

November 10, 2007

Advice for Politicians


It is timely to offer sage political advice, via one of the greatest orators of ancient Rome, Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC).

Speaking from the floor of the Roman Senate, Cicero could bring down the house with a single line, not to mention shill for his friends, skewer his opponents, and break his arm patting his own back.

Here is the advice that Cicero gave in 46 BC, to fellow statesman (and eventual Caesar stabber) Marcus Junius Brutus:

1. Speak Plainly When It's Right to Speak Plainly

"The orator who is distinguished by the simplicity of his manner . . . will be sparing in the use of new words, easy and modest in his metaphors, and cautious in the use of . . . other ornaments of language and sentiment."

2. But Always Have a Quick Wit

"Oratory will be frequently enlivened by turns of wit and pleasantry, which in speaking have a much greater effect than is imagined. There are two sorts of them: smart sayings and repartees, and humor. Our orator will make use of both--in his narratives, to make them lively and entertaining--and in giving or retorting a stroke of ridicule."

3. Use Zingers and Sound Bites with Care

"The powers of ridicule are not to be employed too often . . . nor with the least degree of petulance and abuse, lest we appear audacious and ill-bred. . . . We should likewise avoid all affected witticisms, which appear not to be thrown out occasionally, but to be dragged from the closet--for such are generally cold and insipid."

4. Wax Lyrical When It's Right to Wax Lyrical

"This is the eloquence that bends and sways the passions! This is the eloquence that alarms or soothes them at her pleasure! This is the eloquence that sometimes tears up all before it like a whirlwind; and, at others, steals imperceptibly upon the senses, and probes to the bottom of the heart!"

5. Repeat--But Only When It's Right

"The nervous, the fierce, the flaming orator, if he is born for this alone, and only practices and applies himself to this . . . is of all the most contemptible. The plain and simple orator, speaking acutely and expertly, has an appearance of wisdom and good-sense . . . but the copious and diffusive speaker, if he has no other skill, will scarcely appear to be in his senses."

6. Prove, Delight, and Push Their Buttons

"He is truly eloquent . . . who in the Forum, and in public debates, can speak as to prove, delight, and force the passions. To prove is a matter of necessity. To delight is indispensably requisite to engage the attention. And to force the passions is the surest means of victory."

7. Cling to Logic--It's Useful

"A finished orator . . . should borrow the assistance . . . of logic. For though public speaking is one thing and disputing another, and though there is a visible difference between a private controversy and a public harangue, both the one and the other come under the notion of reasoning."

8. Cling to Morality--It's Useful, Too

"He ought to acquaint himself not only with the art of logic, but with all the common and most useful branches of morality. For without a competent knowledge of these, nothing can be advanced and unfolded with any spirit and energy, or with becoming dignity and freedom."

9. Hit the History Books, Kids

"He should also be well versed in history and the venerable records of antiquity, particularly those of his country. . . . To be unacquainted with what has passed in the world, before we came into it ourselves, is to be always children."

10. Read Philosophy (Yes, Philosophy)

"The eloquent speaker . . . cannot be formed without the assistance of philosophy. . . . Because without philosophy, no man can speak fully and copiously upon a variety of important subjects."

11. But Don't Talk Like a Philosopher

"Their language has neither the nerves nor the sting which is required in the orator's when he harangues the crowded Forum. . . . For the language of philosophy is gentle and composed, and entirely calculated for the shady walks of the Academy--not armed with those forcible sentiments, and rapid turns of expression, which move the populace."

12. Finally, Understand How Politics Really Works

"Our orator . . . should be thoroughly acquainted with the sources of argument and proof. . . . Otherwise, how can he enlarge upon those which are most pertinent, and dwell upon such as more particularly affect his cause? Or how can he soften a harsh circumstance, or conceal, and (if possible) entirely suppress what would be deemed unanswerable, or steal off the attention of the hearer to a different topic?

I think we can safely suggest that Marcus Tullius Cicero does a regular triple turn with a half pike and an end twist in his grave at the caliber of today's politicians. If Cicero - the politicians politician - wasn't already dead, he would for certain die of mortification.

November 9, 2007

Global Warming - Greatest Scam in History

"Global Warming, i.e., Climate Change, is not about environmentalism or politics. It is not a religion. It is not something you “believe in.” It is science; the science of meteorology. This is my field of life-long expertise. And I am telling you Global Warming is a non-event, a manufactured crisis and a total scam. I say this knowing you probably won’t believe a me, a mere TV weatherman, challenging a Nobel Prize, Academy Award and Emmy Award winning former Vice President of United States. So be it."

It is the greatest scam in history. I am amazed, appalled and highly offended by it. Global Warming; It is a SCAM. Some dastardly scientists with environmental and political motives manipulated long term scientific data to create an allusion of rapid global warming. Other scientists of the same environmental whacko type jumped into the circle to support and broaden the “research” to further enhance the totally slanted, bogus global warming claims. Their friends in government steered huge research grants their way to keep the movement going. Soon they claimed to be a consensus."

Via Cube - at The Blog

Duck Friday

November 8, 2007

Old guy gets a snog

It's nice and all, in an icky sort of way, that some old bloke was kissed by a less-elderly American woman, but I'm not entirely convinced that it warranted world headlines.

Some old folk even have sex, but who the heck wants to read about it on the front page of a newspaper?

Old guy gets a kiss ...

November 7, 2007

Yahoo: Moral Pygmies

"Two top Yahoo officials on Tuesday defended their company’s role in the jailing of a Chinese journalist but ran into withering criticism from United States lawmakers who accused them of complicity with an oppressive Communist regime.

“While technologically and financially you are giants, morally you are pygmies,” Tom Lantos, Democrat of California and chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said angrily after hearing from the two executives, Jerry Yang, the chief executive, and Michael J. Callahan, the general counsel.

The journalist Shi Tao was sent to jail for 10 years for engaging in pro-democracy efforts deemed subversive after Yahoo turned over information about his online activities as requested by Chinese authorities.

Mr. Lantos angrily urged the two men to apologize to the journalist’s mother, who was sitting directly behind them."

New York Times ...

Pathological Science

"There is such a thing as pathological science. Science becomes unhealthy when its only real question --- "what is true?" --- is sabotaged by vested interests, by ideological Commissars, or even by grant-swinging scientists. Today's Global Warming campaign is endangering real, honest science. Global Warming superstition has become an international power grab, and good science suffers as a result.

Freeman Dyson, one of the great physicists alive today, put it plainly enough in his autobiography:
"...all the fuss about global warming is grossly exaggerated. Here I am opposing the holy brotherhood of climate model experts and the crowd of deluded citizens who believe the numbers predicted by the computer models. ... I have studied the climate models and I know what they can do. ... They do a very poor job of describing the clouds, the dust, the chemistry and the biology of fields and farms and forests. They do not begin to describe the real world that we live in."
When the scientific establishment starts to peddle fraud, we get corrupt science. The Boomer Left came to power in the 1970s harboring a real hatred toward science. They called it "post-modernism," and "deconstructionism" --- and we saw all kinds of damage as a result. Scientific American magazine went so far as to hire a post-modern "journalist" to write for it. John Horgan became famous for writing a book called The End of Science, but never seemed to learn much about real science.

Some scientists rationalize this corruption of their vocation by saying that people can lie for a good cause. The record shows otherwise. Fraudulent science and science journalism has led to AIDS going out of control; to DDT being banned and malaria gaining a new lease on life in Africa; to decades of famines in Russia; to children being badly mis-educated on such basics as reading and arithmetic; to end endless slew of unjustified health scares, like Mad Cow; and to a worldwide Leftist campaign cynically aiming to gain international power and enormous sums of money, based on a simple, unscientific fraud.

When the truth-tellers in society begin to sell out and tell lies for some ideological goal, people end up dying."
Global Warming as Pathological Science

Mega kick

If the West Coast Eagles thought that bouncing Ben would wipe their slate squeaky clean, they'll be howling into their hankies tonight.
"The AFL has appointed a retired Supreme Court judge to head a special investigation into whether the West Coast Eagles have sufficiently addressed their players' off-field behaviour.

The Honourable Justice William Gillard will investigate whether the club had undertaken necessary steps to address the AFL Commission's concerns about the conduct of the club and its players."
Ouch.

Judge to head Eagles investigation ...

They forgot the "un"


This is a "C-String" - or as I like to think of it, undies without the "un".

"The C-String is a completely new and exciting innovation in lingerie.

Say hello to a sexy new freedom."

A brave journalist, putting her life and dignity on the line, did a test run, so that we don't have to ... Can ANYONE wear the new C-String?

In case you're still not getting the hang of it, more pictures available at this site ...

Silly British Laws

1. It is illegal to die in the Houses of Parliament.

2. It is an act of treason to place a postage stamp bearing the British monarch upside down.

3. In Liverpool, it is illegal for a woman to be topless except as a clerk in a tropical fish store.

4. Mince pies cannot be eaten on Christmas Day.

5. In Scotland, if someone knocks on your door and requires the use of your toilet, you must let them enter.

6. A pregnant woman can legally relieve herself anywhere she wants, including in a policeman's helmet.

7. The head of any dead whale found on the British coast automatically becomes the property of the king, and the tail belongs to the queen.

8. It is illegal to avoid telling the tax man anything you do not want him to know, but legal not to tell him information you do not mind him knowing.

9. It is illegal to enter the Houses of Parliament in a suit of armour.

10. In the city of York it is legal to murder a Scotsman within the ancient city walls, but only if he is carrying a bow and arrow.

Wednesday Wisdom

We're actors - we're the opposite of people.

Tom Stoppard

November 6, 2007

Our Depressogenic Media

"The media do to our national conversation what depressed people do in their inner monologue. They are compulsively self-critical to the point of national self-hatred. It is not far from the truth to talk about our self-loathing media, except that the media don't loathe themselves: They exempt themselves from criticism. Instead, they hate our country, and teach millions of their psychological victims to do the same. This pattern has now gone way beyond the healthy self-criticism that any nation needs. It has turned into the compulsive anti-Americanism of the American media.

We have a depressogenic media. Diagnosis is a useful step toward a cure. For better national mental health we need a balanced or even an optimistic media, in exactly the same way individuals thrive with an optimistic or at least a balanced attitude to themselves. News consumers are finally figuring out the media's sadistic "flagellate-America" style. They are now changing in droves to more constructive media voices. That process should accelerate and snowball, with new media emphasizing a more balanced understanding of America's virtues, and more constructive solutions for our problems. The present established media are far too stuck to change. We need a New Media for improved national mental health. The media could start by taking a long course in saner thinking themselves. "
American Thinker ...

Let's also not forget the
schadenfreude that the left takes in stirring and maintaining depressogenic world conditions.

The confluence of the left, increasingly some fundamentalists, and the media, in depressogenic preaching is the single greatest threat to the world, and most especially to western countries.

November 5, 2007

An unappealing hunch

Predicting global weather patterns over the next five days is hard enough, never mind the next 100 years, argues John Christy, who shared 0.0001% of the Nobel Peace Price, along with thousands of other scientists this year.
"I'm sure the majority (but not all) of my IPCC colleagues cringe when I say this, but I see neither the developing catastrophe nor the smoking gun proving that human activity is to blame for most of the warming we see. Rather, I see a reliance on climate models (useful but never proof) and the coincidence that changes in carbon dioxide and global temperatures have loose similarity over time.

There are some of us who remain so humbled by the task of measuring and understanding the extraordinarily complex climate system that we are sceptical of our ability to know what it is doing and why. As we build climate data sets from scratch and look into the guts of the climate system, however, we don't find the alarmist theory matching observations.

It is my turn to cringe when I hear overstated confidence from those who describe the projected evolution of global weather patterns over the next 100 years, especially when I consider how difficult it is to accurately predict that system's behaviour over the next five days.

Mother Nature simply operates at a level of complexity that is, at this point, beyond the mastery of mere mortals (such as scientists) and the tools available to us.

Some of us scratch our heads and try to understand the real causes behind what we see. We discount the possibility that everything is caused by human actions, because everything we've seen the climate do has happened before.

Sea levels rise and fall continually. The Arctic icecap has shrunk before. One millennium there are hippos swimming in the Thames, and a geological blink later there is an ice bridge linking Asia and North America.

California and some northeastern US states have decided to force their residents within the next decade to buy cars that average 18km a litre. Even if you applied this law to the entire world, the net effect would reduce projected warming by about 0.03C by 2100, an amount so minuscule as to be undetectable. Global temperatures vary more than that from day to day.

Suppose you ... could replace about 10 per cent of the world's energy sources with non-CO2-emitting nuclear power by 2020: roughly equivalent to halving US emissions. Based on IPCC-like projections, the required 1000 new nuclear power plants would slow the warming by about 0.11C a century. It's a dent.

But what is the economic and human price, and what is it worth, given the scientific uncertainty?

My experience as a missionary teacher in Africa opened my eyes to this simple fact. Without access to energy, life is brutal and short. The uncertain effects of global warming far in the future must be weighed against disasters at our doorsteps today.

Bjorn Lomborg's Copenhagen Consensus 2004, a cost-benefit analysis of health issues by leading economists (including three Nobel laureates), calculated that spending on health issues such as micronutrients for children, HIV-AIDS and water purification has benefits 50 to 200 times those of attempting to marginally limit "global warming".

Given the scientific uncertainty and our relative impotence regarding climate change, the moral imperative here seems clear to me."
It's clear to me too, but it would seem that the first-world is determined to be dumb together, and anyone not willing to be dumb will be offered a lobotomy and retrained in how to be stupid.

Mother nature's inconvenient truths ...

Sure we'll cut back ... some day

The gold and diamond encrusted Apple iPhone has arrived.

For those of you who can’t put anything next to your ear unless it’s covered in glittering gems it has been a tortured wait.

Amosu, a British company that specializes in schmaltz, brings the world this essential accessory at the reasonable price of $US41,225.

The U.K. purveyor of superfluous crap bling has adorned this limited edition with 420 diamonds totaling 5.65 carats set in 18k white or yellow gold, with a choice of white, black or pink sapphires.

For those of you who can't keep their food fresh unless it's covered in glittering gems and floral art, LG have released a fridge encrusted in bits of Swarovski and panels with millefeuilles patterns. But don't worry, it has an "A" energy rating, and an "eco-friendly homebar / catflap (which should make the cat happier, not to mention crisper, in summer).

You can pick up your profligate iPhone now, but will have to wait until you do your shopping at Harrods next year for your LG fridge.

November 3, 2007

Free! Carbon! Offsets!

Who among us really wants to go through daily life worrying about our unattractively ginormous carbon footprint?

Well, Free Carbon Offsets are dead serious about taking the load off, and not a minute too soon.
"FreeCarbonOffsets.com was created with you in mind. We take the conservation steps so you don't have to. After obtaining your certificate of Carbon Offsets from us, you can proudly display it for all to see, to show others that you care about our environment. You can continue on in your daily life worry and guilt free.

What exactly will you do for my carbon offsets?

A: There are several steps we will take to do our part to help the environment, based on your level of participation:
  • 1-100 offsets: We will try our hardest to turn off the water for an extra ten seconds while we brush our teeth.
  • 101-1000 offsets: We will think about possibly using one less square of toilet paper every time we use the rest room. So you don't have to!
  • 1001-10000 offsets: At this level, we will think about not going out to lunch for one day. Gas savings, plus savings on one less burger made that day!
  • 10000+ offsets: Premium offsets. We will consider not taking a shower for a whole week!"
  • How good is that?!
  • Sign up for your free certificate, your free carbon offsets, and your guilt free future!
  • Marvelous stuff, truly marvelous.
  • Free Carbon Offsets

Ben's final bounce

"Ben Cousins has been ordered before the AFL commission on November 19 to defend a charge that he has brought the game into disrepute or acted in a manner likely to have prejudiced the AFL."
Yes, Ben is in the US, ostensibly receiving treatment for drug addiction/s.
"Evidence the date Cousins must front the commission. November 19. It treats Cousins' claim that he is in Malibu in a rehabilitation clinic with contempt. The AFL knows he is not."
Note the tricky machinations that have gone on behind the scenes (I didn't realize that Cousins was still "listed"):

"West Coast was told to keep Cousins on its list even though he had officially been sacked. The reason was obvious. As an unlisted player the league could not take action."
This is all for show - symbolism, to placate the politicians and the public - with no regard for the individual's well being.

Am I wrong to find it a bit repugnant?

Am I foolish to think that the AFL is not entitled to sacrifice this one man - who has already irredeemably wrecked a successful and highly privileged life; tossed it away - for no useful purpose, other than, belatedly, to salve their own complicity?

Call it what you will, but it isn't "leadership".

Unsavory and unnecessary.

Cousins hit with heaviest blow ...

November 2, 2007

Round two?

Channel Seven are trying to gain agreement for a rematch.

Rudd has accepted.

No word from Howard's office.

A second debate would be chaired by John Singleton, which is hardly unbiased, but would almost certainly prove to be more interesting than either Rudd or Howard.

From the ALP trenches:

Mr Rudd looks forward to comparing his fresh ideas and plans for Australia's future against Mr Howard's record.

Yeah, yeah, right-o, blah-de-blah-de-blah.

That would be "fresh ideas" photocopied from Liberal headquarters?

Slippery bucket of eels.

Copycat

Rudd is bleating about the Libs copying one of his policies, and he's doing it with a straight face:

A coalition promise to build 50 new family emergency medical centres for after-hours care has been written off by Labor as a me-too promise that copies, almost entirely, its policy.

And while the Australian Medical Association has lent its support to the Coalition's plan over Labor's, emergency medical specialists have condemned the plan as an "old and unsuccessful strategy".

Meanwhile, Rudd has now notched up his 22nd major "me too" policy by matching the Howard Government's $4 billion handout for pensioners.

That would be 22 policies over which the ALP was clueless, so they had to wait until the Libs released their policies.

This is the party people are going to sweep to an unprecedented election win?

If they can't even devise and write policies of their own, how are they going to implement policy and manage the country?

Duck Friday

November 1, 2007

Ben about

Ben Cousins didn't book into rehab in LA on Monday.

He has not been reported missing.

Possibly he's detoxing in a medical facility, prior to starting in rehab.

The AFL have softened their stand against him never playing again. They appear to be leaving that door ajar.

Note the incorrect assumption in the headline.

Ben Cousins "skips drug rehab" ...


Update

Ben has joined the big time. Yes, he has made the US gossip columns, much to the bemusement of some US gossip column readers, and much to the umbrage of other US gossip column readers, who have taken the time to explain AFL to the locals, and to berate them for not taking an interest in "other countries" and "other people".

Perez Hilton ...


Found amongst the comments:
"Did you hear about the new McCousins meal at McDonalds? No burger … just coke and ice … with a free straw."

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

"This blog has just proven one thing to me, Americans are stupid, self centered and ignorant. There are other countries in the world, and there are other types of sports than those invented and/or played by you. This is a star player of Australian Rules Football, not soccer, not rugby. It is a mixture of Rugby and Gaelic Football and was invented a century ago to keep cricketers fit in the off season, it is also hugely popular in OZ and if you Americans removed your heads from your own asses for five minutes and explored to world beyond your borders you would realise this. Meanwhile this is also a guy with a very bad problem who is missing, it is not funny, he could be anywhere and I for one am hoping he is found safe and well and returned to rehab (he is also way hotter than that photo would suggest)"