November 30, 2008

More on the great swindle

"Climates always change," he said. Our climate has changed in cycles over millions of years, as the orbit of the planet wobbles and our distance from the sun changes, for instance, or as the sun itself produces variable amounts of radiation. "All of this affects climate. It is impossible to stop climate change. Climates have always changed and they always will."


Plimer said one of the charts, which plots atmospheric carbon dioxide and temperature over 500 million years, with seemingly little correlation, demonstrates one of the "lessons from history" to which geologists are privy: "There is no relationship between CO2 and temperature."
But we knew both of those facts already, didn't we kiddies?

As for the fraud of creating a carbon market: it's the creation of a new industry, plain and simple, an entrepreneurial opportunity that will achieve nothing - much like orange suntans from a can.

Want to cut carbons? Fine, go ahead. The government can set limits on emissions.

A carbon market, on the other hand, doesn't compel any industry to reduce emissions. It will, however, allow big profits from the import and export of carbons from one country to another and one industry to another. It's a secondary device, on the assumption that a carbon cost will be sufficient incentive for industries to innovate and reduce their emissions. Which is not entirely compelling when all they need do is increase prices paid by the consumer to cover the new cost of carbons wafting into the atmosphere.

It's not a primary device. It's a limp carrot that will cost economies around the world trillions of dollars, mostly paid directly by consumers. Yet another illusory and highly profitable business in and of itself. Just like much of the share market, or the housing market, only worse, because the good in question is intangible, invisible and isn't even a guilty party, according to many scientists.

Why won't the public wake up to being duped?

Beware the church of climate alarm

November 29, 2008

Barbarians break through

Desperate to be the first to get a post Thanksgiving bargain at the already dirt cheap Wal-Mart, shoppers at a New York store trampled one store employee to death.
“When they were saying they had to leave, that an employee got killed, people were yelling, ‘I’ve been on line since yesterday morning,’ ” Ms. Cribbs told The Associated Press. “They kept shopping.”
Here ...

A little levity

November 28, 2008

Why we swoon

Pap falls on her arse trying to get his pic, Beckham stops to assist her to her feet.
What a man.
(Oh, and aren't his shoes fab?)

Duck Friday

November 26, 2008

Wednesday Wisdom

Why isn't there a special name for the tops of your feet?

Lily Tomlin

November 25, 2008

You know times are tough when ...

Russians are cutting back on vodka.

Stockpiles of vodka are six times higher than for the same period last year.

Russian factories are making vodka faster than they sell it.

The exact opposite to the normal vodka circumstance in Russia.

November 23, 2008

In need of definition

From 1934 to 1939 Webster's New International Dictionary carried an entry for "dord", a word that supposedly doesn't exist.

I beg to differ: the word clearly exits and is in need of a definition!

The Oprah Syndrome

"They are calling them the "smug generation". These are the children of American baby boomers who are inculcated by their parents with such faith in their own brilliance that they are shattered in later life to discover that they are not actually much good at anything.

Now, according to research by US psychologists, it is the other way round. Modern parents praise and flatter their children to such an extent that they believe they are the cat's whiskers and destined to rise effortlessly to the top of every tree. Teenagers today think they are bound to outshine their parents in all fields - as workers, spouses and as parents themselves - and so succumb to depression when it turns out that they are mediocre at everything.

The researchers found that there are no grounds for these feelings of superiority. Trawling through the results of previous surveys, they concluded that modern teenagers work less hard and are generally less competent than their parents at the same age. They are just a great deal more pleased with themselves."

The Guardian journalist (unnamed) ventures into a smattering of amateur psychology and concludes this unfortunate situations has been engendered by parents who have themselves been failures in life and attempt some personal compensation by projecting no end of wondrous gifts and qualities on their sub-optimal children.


I would have thought the contrary. Often, not always, a parent who has no sense of achievement in life will resent a child who has more or better options - simply by dint of the era into which they were born. More often though, a failed person will pass on failure to their children, a la, 'inherited' poverty or unemployment.

I blame Oprah and her ilk and their psychological hoodoo pap. A couple of decades worth of telling people that they need more and more and more and more "self esteem", as if a humongous sense of entitlement will lead to success, wealth, and happiness.

Apply ample dollops of self esteem: no personal effort, talent, persistence or sacrifice required.

It's a simple, appealing and dumb equation, certain to lead to Gen X and Gen-Whiners wondering why their brilliance, sterling characters and delightfully stimulating company isn't recognized, rewarded and cherished by the world at large.

Being and doing the best you can isn't as simple as swallowing a few assinine phrases from every new pop-schlock guru, or every Oprah and Dr Phil episode.

Life takes rather more intellectual, physical and emotional effort than chanting: "I have high self esteem, I deserve everything!".

'Little geniuses' forced to face harsh realities

Bikers: tough but floppy

"A survey of more than 230 motorcyclists who ride for about three hours every weekend found that almost 70 per cent had problems getting an erection or emptying their bladders.

About 76 per cent of riders aged 40 to 49, and 93 per cent of those aged 50 to 59, reported severe erectile dysfunction, compared with 37 per cent and 42 per cent respectively among those who did not ride motorcycles."

Born to be, um, mild - and possibly damp

November 22, 2008


Forget Mars and its buried glaciers for a minute, Enceladus is one of Saturn's moons, and what a ripper of a little planet! White as snow to the human eye, Enceladus is wrinkly, puts on amazing performances spouting jets of icy-water into the atmosphere, and accommodates house-sized ice blocks about the place.

Really, have a look at these amazing photo's (some include artistic impressions, not to mention tiny little astronauts, to illustrate scale).

Be dazzled.

Enceladus: Secrets - pic gallery

Secrets of Saturn's strangest moon

America 2004: a global financial collapse in the making

Some of our American friends are resentful of any suggestion that the current global financial collapse is the sneeze that America had and the rest of the world has caught the flu. Sometimes US citizens don't like to let facts get in the way of acting like an overgrown petulant child.

A lot of our American friends, including a vast and illustrious number of MSM commentators and experts, have pointed all fingers at Clinton's policy of promoting home ownership for the poor. 'It all started with Bill' is matra for the intellectually sloppy and ideologically wasted.

They have also, overtly, pointed all fingers at the poor themselves - mostly dark skinned folk and migrants - for taking up sub-prime home loans, as if such an offer to improve their live and the lives of their children, to have stability and a family home, should have been vigorously declined. The covert racism is tacky and reeks of eras long gone.

The really ugly bit (apart from America's continually growing and embarrassingly large and precarious debt levels and trade deficit) wasn't poor people taking up loans they couldn't afford, it was the financial markets convincing the Republican government that they were the best keepers of their own domain - which wouldn't have taken much convincing during the on-going wave of one of the longest periods of remarkable prosperity on record.

If you want the moment in time when it all went pear-shaped (which, gosh darn it, economists are still insisting they could never have predicted it, even in retrospect, using real data), 2004 is that time, long after Bill's blow-job. It was a time when smoke and mirrors, not real assets or real wealth, was formally sanctioned as appropriate business practice by the US government. That policy became a roll of the dice by few that has left us all paying the cost.

"If Hollywood makes a movie about the worst financial crisis since the Great De­­pres­­sion, a basement room in a government building in Washington will serve as the setting for a key scene. There investment bankers from the largest institutions pleaded successfully with Securities and Ex­­change Commission (SEC) officials during a short meeting in 2004 to lift a rule specifying debt limits and capital reserves needed for a rainy day. This decision, a real event described in the New York Times, freed billions to invest in complex mortgage-backed securities and derivatives that helped to bring about the financial meltdown in September.

In the script, the next scene will be the one in which number-savvy specialists that Wall Street has come to know as quants consult with their superiors about implementing the regulatory change. These lapsed physicists and mathematical virtuosos were the ones who both invented these oblique securities and created software models that supposedly measured the risk a firm would incur by holding them in its portfolio. Without the formal requirement to maintain debt ceilings and capital reserves, the commission had freed these firms to police themselves using risk tools crafted by cadres of quants.

The software models in question estimate the level of financial risk of a portfolio for a set period at a certain confidence level. As Benoit Mandelbrot, the fractal pioneer who is a longtime critic of mainstream financial theory, wrote in Scientific American in 1999, established modeling techniques presume falsely that radically large market shifts are unlikely and that all price changes are statistically independent; today’s fluctuations have nothing to do with tomorrow’s—and one bank’s portfolio is unrelated to the next’s. Here is where reality and rocket science diverge."

After the crash: how software models doomed the market

November 21, 2008

Wee & waxing

Ben Cousins doesn't do it for me. Never has. He has a slapable face: pretty, smug, arrogant.

The man brims-to-overflowing with insouciance, which in anyone else would be honey-bee attractive.

A little bit of Ben is too much Ben.

Except when it comes to drug testing.

He's a footballer, but apparently, if any team offers to take him in, Ben will become the world's most drug-monitored individual in the world, with the possibility of thrice weekly urine tests, topped-up with whatever number of hair strand drug tests and whatnot throughout the the year.

Cousins' has never tested drug-positive by the AFL. Never.

Cousins' has never been convicted of a crime of a violent or non-victim impacted nature.

Cousins' has no affect on public policy, the passing of legislation, the economy, or the cultural and social norms of our times.

No footballer warrants such intrusive and abusive treatment proposed by the AFL.

There is always the chance that St Kilda will not take him, and that would leave no team wanting him.

It may all be for the best.

With his game over Ben could continue to wax every aspect of his person without fear of anyone demanding that he grow back a minimum three centimetres worth of head, arm or genital hair so as to facilitate the outrageous testing regime that would be imposed on his being.

Cousins comeback

Cousins on notice

Duck Friday

November 19, 2008


To "testify" was based on men going before the Roman court guaranteeing a statement by swearing on their testicles.

Psssttt: wanna buy some cheap oil?

"They're very well armed. Tactically, they are very good"
Yeah. I reckon!

You don't nic an oil tanker the size of three soccer fields, carrying $100M of oil, without doing a practice run in the backyard.

"The pirates have taken security experts by surprise with their latest strike."
Yeah. I reckon!

You don't expect to wake up one day and find a band of maundering pirates trying to flog a humungous amount of cheap oil down at the local pub.

At this time, pirates around the world are holding onto 16 vessels and more than 250 crew.

Pirates sail oil supertanker to Somali lair

Wednesday Wisdom

Men who never get carried away should be.

Malcolm Forbes

November 18, 2008


Hillary is "gearing up" to be president-elect Obama's secretary of state.

(Cue Jaws theme music)

She's no Condi Rice, that's for sure.

I mean that in a bad way.

Aussie, Aussie, Aussie: Oi, Oi, Oi

"Luhrmann also seems so eager to trowel on the Aussie cliches ... that Australia is often simply irritating. The word "crikey" is spouted so often the film often sounds like a tribute to Steve Irwin."

Was crikey a common member of the Aussie lexicon back in WWII?
"As for the visuals, the film is pretty — you cannot point a camera at the outback and not get something impressive — but there are only so many wide shots of the Aussie outback that the human mind can stand."
Aww, come off it: no such thing as too many wide shots of this great brown land!

(Or Jackman's abs.)

Good, but no classic, and way, way too long

November 17, 2008

Why we love petrol: it's cheap


Think a litre of petrol is expensive?


Can of Red Bull, 250ml, $2.95 ... $11.80 per litre!

Cough Mixture, 200ml, $9.95 ..... $199.00 per litre!

L'Oreal Revitalift Day Cream, 50ml, $29.95 ... $599.00 per litre!

Bundy Rum, 1250ml, $51.00 .... $40.80 per litre!

Visine AC

Visene Eye Drops, 15ml, $5.69 ... $379.00 per litre!

Britney Spears Fantasy (50ml) For Her

Britney Spears Fantasy Perfume, 50ml, $29 ... $580.00 per litre!

Evian water, 375ml, $2.95 ...$7.86 per litre!

(Evian spelled backwards is NAIVE!!)

Finally: cost of printer ink: $1,040 a litre.

$1040.00 A LITRE!!!

So, the next time you're at the filling up, be glad your car doesn't run on water, Red Bull, cough syrup, face cream or, God forbid, printer ink.


November 16, 2008

The end of wrap rage?

Whoo hoo!

The end is - almost - nigh for dastardly packaging!

Impenetrable clams, 55 twisted metal ties to make a two inch plastic toy behave in its box, and in the US alone, 6,000 injuries requiring hospital visits each year - all because manufacturers are lunatics (and male).

"a new era of non-hostile containers"

Whoo hoo!

While I'm certain this human folly will not be fully resolved in my lifetime, I'm just happy knowing that the day will come when children don't grow old waiting for their toys to be released from clam shell & metal tie incarceration.

Packages you won't need a saw to open

Here's looking at Pegusus

Youthful planetary system captured by Hubble.

Here ...

November 15, 2008

Genes not so selfish after all

The selfish gene might be self-centred, or might not be. Either way, it turns out that our genes are nothing but a bit player, almost inconsequential.
"Now it turns out that genes, per se, are simply too feeble to accept responsibility for much of anything.

Scientists have learned that the canonical “genes” account for an embarrassingly tiny part of the human genome: maybe 1 percent of the three billion paired subunits of DNA that are stuffed into nearly every cell of the body qualify as indisputable protein codes.

“the notion of the gene as the atom of biology is very mistaken,” said Dr. Keller, author of “The Century of the Gene” and other books. “DNA does not come equipped with genes. It comes with sequences that are acted on in certain ways by cells. Before you have cells you don’t have genes. We have to get away from the underlying assumption of the particulate units of inheritance that we seem so attached to.”

To focus endlessly on genes ... keeps us stuck in a linear, unidirectional and two-dimensional view of life, in which instructions are read out and dutifully followed."

Gene has a multitude of meanings

And some more on the identity crisis of the gene

Harden up

"It is a Gen X and Y thing that no one much under the age of 33 or 34 has been in the workforce when it was turning down - it's been that long since the business cycle actually turned in Australia. And we have a whole generation of management that has never been in charge of anything more than their lunch money when things were genuinely tough.

The nadir of that particular cycle of self-pity was an SMH article about poor little rich kids finding it hard to live in Sydney's most affluent suburbs: "The situation is particularly dire for young people who have grown up in well-located suburbs. Without the support of parents to help stump up a deposit, finding a home near family and friends can be difficult.''

Oh, my heart bled for them.

There are plenty of reasons to be concerned about the international economy and certainly Australian growth is slowing and will slow. But as Treasury Secretary Ken Henry told us again on Wednesday and Peter Hartcher reminds us today ... there remain good reasons to be relatively optimistic about Australia's outlook.

That can be a bit tricky though when we convinced ourselves life was hard during the very best of times."

Cop a dose of harden up

November 14, 2008

Lot of meat needed to produce meat

"it takes three pounds of fish feed to produce one pound of farmed salmon"
Almost makes a girl inclined to become a vegetarian or a breatharian.

The protein pyramid

Duck Friday

November 13, 2008

Occassional Series

The average smell weighs 760 nanograms.

November 12, 2008

Wednesday Wisdom

Once you can accept the universe as matter expanding into nothing that is something, wearing stripes with plaid comes easy.


November 11, 2008

DIY condiments and relishes

Because I like the heading.

No other reason.

Starting from scratch

Oratory still lost

"Only our Prime Minister could take an event like the election of the first black president of the United States and describe it with all the excitement of a bored automotive mechanic listing off things that have gone wrong with your car."
Yes, Ruddy-Rudd is still in search of his oratory.

Maybe lost in an ear canal.

Which makes parliamentary life a doddle for Turnbull. All he has to do is turn up.
"Unlike Mr Rudd, Mr Turnbull did not mutter his words absently into his notes, like a preacher padding while he looks for the right passage in Corinthians."
Hail the chief: Kevin leaves us speechless

November 10, 2008

Paul Newman & James Dean - 1954

Newman and Dean audition for East of Eden

Make her stop, make her stop

"If you've heard of Repo! at all, it's probably because of the involvement of Hilton, and for no other reason. Hilton actually has a supporting role here as a sort of naughty-vampira version of herself: a black-tressed heiress who is hooked on plastic surgery. And yes, she does sing, but no better or worse than anyone else."
There should be a law, or something.

Not that I've ever seen Hilton in / on moving film, nonetheless, on principle, I believe she should be stopped before vulnerable children, the elderly, animals, or members of the public at large get hurt.

Another shocker

November 8, 2008

John Stuart Mill

On Liberty - 1859
"The peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth."

"We can never be sure that the opinion we are endeavoring to stifle is a false opinion."

"Those who desire to suppress it of course deny its truth; but they are not infallible. . . . To refuse a hearing to an opinion, because they are sure that it is false, is to assume that their certainty is the same thing as absolute certainty. All silencing of discussion is an assumption of infallibility."

"Ages are no more infallible than individuals; every age having held many opinions which subsequent ages have deemed not only false but absurd; and it is as certain that many opinions, now general, will be rejected by future ages, as it is that many, once general, are rejected by the present."

"There is the greatest difference between presuming an opinion to be true, because, with every opportunity for contesting it, it has not been refuted, and assuming its truth for the purpose of not permitting its refutation. Complete liberty of contradicting and disproving our opinion is the very condition which justifies us in assuming its truth for purposes of action."

"The beliefs which we have most warrant for have no safeguard to rest on but a standing invitation to the whole world to prove them unfounded. If the challenge is not accepted, or is accepted and the attempt fails, we are far enough from certainty still; but we have done the best that the existing state of human reason admits of; we have neglected nothing that could give the truth a chance of reaching us."

November 7, 2008

November 6, 2008

CBF* trying

Histrionically suing a fan one minute, casting her blessings (and, ipso facto, what will become a motza of money) on another fan the next.

JK Rowling should have crawled into a hole when she finished the last Potter book and left the world to continue on its way without her regular and inexplicable interruptions.

I can't even try to figure this out.

Rowling endorses Potter history

*CBF - couldn't be fucked

November 5, 2008

Dah News

Those to the left of the political spectrum are miserable humorless gits.

Those to the right of the political spectrum are happy, fun lovin' folks with a wide ranging sense of humor.

For unfathomable reasons, someone in the US had to study this so as to come up with a finding that smacks everyone else in the face on a daily basis.

Obama and McCain walk into a bar ...

Wednesday Wisdom

It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory.

W. Edwards Deming

November 4, 2008

I'll call it


According to a Pew Internet & American Life survey, a third of bloggers consider what they do journalism.

As at February this year, Technorati was tracking over 112.8 million blogs, excluding (of course) the 72.82 million Chinese blogs.

Sooooo, that would be around 40 million blog owners believe themselves to be performing journalistic duties.

Bones real

Rich guy Steve Fossett is ruly truly dead.

Bones found have proven to be his.

Here ...

Stop the nation!

Forget the US election, there are other more important reasons for a nation to stop, like our Melbourne Cup.

As always, I'm predicting a horse will win.

November 3, 2008

136 years

In the USA they have held their federal election on the first Tuesday of the month since 1872.

November was chosen because it was the between harvesting crops and when spring planting needed to begin.

Tuesday was chosen so that people could travel overnight from Monday to a polling place. They couldn't travel on Sunday as that was the day of worship.

The days of being an agrarian nation are long gone, and Sunday as a day of worship is a fading memory (even for god-fearing Americans), but the hayseed and the hymn book linger.

If the world could vote

Go on, you know you want to: cast your vote for the US Prez and spread the word!

If the world could vote?

November 2, 2008

Celebrity tid bits

Best line so far from Guy Richie during divorce preliminaries, describing sexual encounters with wife Madonna as being like "cuddling up to a piece of gristle".

Longest overdue recognition of the obvious: from the set of telly show Ugly Betty where Lindsay Lohan had been scheduled to appear as a guest in six episodes, but was cut prematurely because she wasn't really getting into character, "she was interested in just playing herself".

No escape

We Melbournians will be literary whether we want it or not, whether we like or not.

The will be no escape.

Melbourne is to become the second UNESCO City of Literature in the world.

Those of you in search of a job might have already seen and applied for the Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas directorship.

The new centre will recognize and promote Melbourne's international (huh?) reputation as a literary, cultural and ideas capital (huh?).

As Director, you'll be required to organise around 1000 events a year.

That's almost three events every single day of the year, including public holidays and weekends.

Three. Events. Every. Day.

Being literary, full of ideas and even fuller of culture will be compulsory in our innocent little city.

Bless us all and good luck.

November 1, 2008

Official: Traceeeee is a blithering idiot

I try to give stupid journalists the benefit of the doubt, even thought their chosen job in life affords them ready access, and one would imagine insight, to matters of import that the rest of us don't often have time to indulge.

Tracee Hutchison is equal parts insipid, histrionic, ignorant and irrational. Because of this I have long avoided reading her column, other than the occassional top and tail (first para, last para). Avoidance spares my delicate sensibilities and my deep, abiding intellectual snobbery. Besides, I take no pleasure in a woman making a public twit of herself on a weekly basis, and it raises my ire when she covertly or overtly implies that her views are representative of a wide cross section of women. Despite all of this, I've allowed Traceeeeee to occupy her little space in the paper without a particular drive to see her banished to become a scullery maid or chimney sweep.

But no more.

In her column today, Traceeeeee , yet again, for the upteenth time, drags out her tatty feminist card to, yet again, for the upteenth time, comment on a matter of great social and political importance with all the intelligence, and social and political knowledge of a potato seed.

The headline gives a tip-off: Men don't cop this abuse, so why Palin?
" ... the longer the mocking goes on, the more I do care. Somehow I can't help being niggled by the fact that if she were a man, the hysteria being whipped up by comedy writers and the commentariat about her shortcomings just wouldn't be happening. Not to this degree, that's for sure."
Umm. Where to start with comedy and politicians?

George W? Howard? Rudd? Hawke? Keating? Reagan? Bishop? Downer? Where would comedians be without pollies of both genders, but mostly men (Angela was a nice vehicle for cartoonists), because, well, the fact is, women in politics just aren't as funny as the men. In addition, the number of men in politics outstrips women by a massive margin, so, for the most part, the comedy of politics, the vanity of politics, is about men, men, and more men. Having a woman to pillar is a nice novelty for comedians, especially now that Hillary is done and dusted.

Traceeee is vaguely aware that men dominate politics, but fails to connect the dots between the readily available comedic material and that fact.

"Palin is not the first ill-experienced or ill-equipped person to run for high political office. The big difference is that these people are usually men and they are never — repeat neversubjected to the same scrutiny or reduced to the same kind of personal attacks as women."

Oh really?

Err, can I mention George W again? Or perhaps Howard? The latter spending a decade as PM, yet pillared and ridiculed, not to mention vilified, over everything from his bushy eyebrows, to his morning walk tracksuits, to his love of cricket. Everyman Howard was a comedian's delight, and the public's punching bag.

George W has been everyone's delight, with everything from his IQ to his IQ to his bumbling lack of eloquence having spawned books and thousands of hours of stand up comedic quips. George W, let me remind those who might have forgotten, didn't merely aspire to high office: he has been President "of the free world" for eight years. Didn't spare him an iota of derision or personal attack 'that's for sure'.

But that's not the worst of it. Traceeee can top her own stupidity in the blink of an eye.

"The hullaballoo over [Palin's} $150,000 clothing allowance is a classic example. Has anyone writing this stuff actually been shopping for women's clothes?"
Well, yes. Actually I have. That kind of money would keep me extremely well dressed (and shod) for the next 15 years or so Traceeeee, and I don't exactly shop at K-Mart - more Collins and Chapel Streets.

I guess journalists are paid a lot more for a dinky little weekly column than I get paid for my five day working week.

"Do any of them know how much hair and make-up costs? The woman is running for vice-president of the United States. Not secretary of Wasilla hockey club. If I were Sarah Palin I'd have a personal hair and make-up person too. Can you imagine the carry-on if she appeared onstage or on the telly looking as if she'd been caught in a wind-tunnel? Or if she stepped out in something that looked a little too hokey?"

Hmm. About $US28,000 just for a makeup artist for two weeks (excludes the hair) would keep me going in all manner of cosmetics for this lifetime and several others (assuming I come back in my next several lives as a supermodel).

The cost of even the most expensive lipstick Traceeeee is around $AU75, and it lasts about 6 months, depending on frequency of use. The top range lipsticks mostly cost $AU40 to 50-ish. The most expensive mascara costs around $AU50. Good perfume, an average of $150. A good foundation, custom blend, along with a custom blend face powder: $AU200 for both. My hairdresser, today, cost me $AU125.

So, yes, I do know how much hair and makeup cost Traceeee. Do you?

"Why aren't we similarly learning about the price of Barack Obama's suits? Or what it cost to deck out Michelle and the kids in those colour-toned matching outfits at the nomination acceptance? I'd estimate $25,000 for the four of them on that night alone — minimum."

Ah, good-o. If you have no idea of the facts, if your argument doesn't stand on its own, has no merit, then make shit up.

Mrs Obama, whose style is much admired in the US, wore a $US148 dress (thereabouts) when she made a guest appearance on the television show The View. The price was quoted all over the MSM, along with much commentary about her clothing preferences, and how other women went running out to buy that dress.

Oh, and Traceeeee, you're not young, you were already an adult during the Keating years, the years of Zegna suits and antique clocks. We heard endlessly about Keating's off the rack and quite modestly priced suits. He was our Prime Minister for a while, if you recall.

If you're so worried about the cost of Palin's very ordinary hairstyle (which costs thousands a week to not look wind-tunnel-blown), where were you when the boys in the running were being subjected to ridicule and comedy routines for their $400 haircuts, hey? You didn't take offense then.

In another blink of an eye Traceee gets totally ditzy:

"It is plainly absurd, but the stories of Palin's clothing extravagances squeezed her and Cindy McCain back into jeans this week as a counter-blow while Obama spent millions of dollars on a single ad."

Even a child of, oooh, say, six and a half, wouldn't be dumb-arsed enough to compare or equate the price of a makeup artist or a designer jacket with the cost of political advertising. Is Traceeeee suggesting that Obama should trim his advertising budget in the last week of his run for president? Should McCain do likewise? Would this allow Traceeee to pull-in her misguided feminist hackles? Is Traceee unfamiliar with the nature and cost of US political campaigns? (The cost of running and advertising being an obsenity, a voracious black hole for all candidates.)

But it gets worse, so much worse, with Traceee displaying a gross and unforgivable ignorance of America's social and political history. She also grossly and equally unforgivably equates gender and race, ignores social and cultural context, and she does it with the gobsmacking boastful stupidity only ever seen in white, western, women who live comfortable, cosseted lives.

"And just why has Palin become such juicy fodder for comedians when comment on Obama's race and colour are completely off limits? Clearly it's OK to pillory women but it's not OK to pillory people of colour. Why? I'm not sure. America, after all, has a proud history of burning white women at the stake so it's not as though discrimination and recrimination have been exclusive to colour.

... But playing the woman — once again — as political sport is even less attractive to watch."

Unfortunately, we will have achieved equality when as many mediocre, incompetent, stupid and vile women occupy positions of power as men.

Without the unfortunate consequences, we will have achieved equality when women aspiring to or achieving positions of power are subjected to exactly the same scrutiny and ridicule as men, but without anyone conveniently playing the precious feminist card.

Playing the man, for political sport, is a daily activity in the MSM and on the web. There is no reason why Palin or any other woman should be spared. Politics is exactly what it is.