October 31, 2012

Mittens to lead Zombie Armageddon

Wednesday Wisdom

Higgs boson walks into a church.  "We don't allow Higgs bosons in here!" shouts the priest.  "But without me, how can you have mass?" asks the particle.

The Internet, everywhere

October 27, 2012

That's not misogyny Julia: this is misogyny

Now that Prime Minister Julia Gillard's moment in the viral sun has cooled, and Tony Abbott is inexplicably tarnished by demonstrably untruthful accusations, let's compare and contrast a woman who has suffered so little sexism, so little misogyny, so little social marginalization, that she became and continues to be Australia's first and only female Prime Minister - let's compare that, shall we, with a few other versions of modern day sexism and misogyny.
These pressures will inevitably lead to acts of rebellion. In the Semnan region of Iran a few weeks ago, a cleric was passing two women, and reportedly told one to cover her head better. The woman, punching him to the ground, told him to cover his eyes.

Western politicians can apologise for crooked policies and retreat into passivity for fear of committing new errors. Yet none will change the elemental facts. The notion of an Islamic democracy is merely another euphemism for turning women into lesser citizens, and it ought to be deemed as unjust and anti-democratic as America before the end of racial segregation. ''Terrorism'' is only one manifestation of the evil that the world hopes to root out from the region where part-time terrorists have always been full-time chauvinists.

The real enemy is misogyny. Malala Yousafzai is not just a teenager in Pakistan's Swat Valley but a victim of the greatest apartheid of our time, and a wounded warrior in feminism's newest front line.
Islamic world unleashes the demons of misogyny


Just as in Islamic countries, over in the United States of America, the Republican Party, aka the Grand Old Party (GOP) has, in the twenty first century, thrown off all pretense of modernity, equality, or respect for girls and women.

Out from behind the shelter shed, the men and women of the GOP are loud and proud in their determination to insult and degrade women, and to deny their interests and well-being.  Why let women be second-class citizens when they can be relegated to nothingness, hey?  And they are cheered on, with Mittens a serious threat of becoming the next POTUS.  All on the back of a frightening level of unapologetic sexism and misogyny.  
In Ohio, the state Treasurer, Josh Mandel, rejected a rape exception: ''I'll do everything I can to protect innocent life.''

In Michigan, congressman, Pete Hoekstra, was asked if a woman should have to bear her rapist's child. Already on record against a rape exception, he replied: ''I believe life is a gift.''
...
In North Dakota, a reporter asked the congressman, Rick Berg: ''You would not make an exception for rape?'' Mr Berg replied: ''No.''

The Senate numbers for Republicans are equally striking. Of the 28 non-incumbent nominees, 12 to 15 share the view of Mr Akin, Mr Mourdock and the party platform: a rape victim should not end her pregnancy.

This is no longer a fringe position. It isn't a couple of gaffes by renegade crackpots. It's the predominant view among Republican nominees for the nation's highest legislative body. It's what the Republican Party is.
Mainstream Republicans take hardline on rape and abortion (and loathing of women in general)

Borowitz, as always, hones in on the wonders of American culture and the wonders of the continued existence of the Republican Party.  (Scary reminder:  people do vote for the GOP, lots and lots of them.)
In one camp is the Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock, who says that his view that God is sometimes O.K. with rape is “gaining real traction with a key demographic: men who don’t like women very much.”
"I can’t tell you how many misogynists have come up to me at my rallies and said, ‘Thank you for saying what you said,’ ” he told reporters today. “I think they’re like, finally, someone’s taking a more nuanced position on rape.”
 But in the other camp is the former New Hampshire governor John Sununu, who worries that the Republican Party’s emphasis on misogyny is threatening to drown out its “winning message of racism.”

“I understand the appeal of Mourdock’s anti-woman theme, but I worry that it’s going to overshadow our core value of racism, which is still our best shot at winning this thing,” he said. “In politics, you’ve got to dance with the one who brung you.”

Hoping to heal a possible rift with so little time left until Election Day, the R.N.C. chairman Reince Priebus said today that there is room for both views in today’s Republican Party: “Our ‘big tent’ message to voters should be this: come for the misogyny, stay for the racism.”
 GOP split over whether to emphasize misogyny or racism
 

With a dry, knowing wit, journalist and former news reader, Tracey Spicer, pokes misogyny in a way Gillard and her career-politician female ministers never can, because they don't know any of this, have not confronted it, have never slunk home having been subjected to it. 

Spicer, with her calm intelligence and deep experience, makes Gillard's confected rant at Abbott look deeply embarrassing.

As it turns out, wrinkles were the least of my worries. I'd gotten myself knocked up.

I wanted to go back to work when bubby was three months old but, once again, it took a man to show me the error of my ways.

''Women should be at home with their children,'' my news director said. ''Or the fabric of society will be rent asunder.

''Anyway Trace. You're getting a bit long in the tooth. Why don't you give some of the younger girls an opportunity?''

Suddenly, all the lights went on. And it was so bright - it made your light look like a limp insipid flicker.
This is difficult for me to put into words but if I had to, it would sound a bit like this: F--- you.

F--- you, you misogynist bully with your archaic beliefs, intellect of a pygmy, and tiny dick.

The reason I am writing this letter is to thank you.

Among others - too many to mention - you lit a fire in my belly that's become an inferno and these days, I don't cop shit from anyone. When I was sacked by email after the birth of my second baby, I fought the lot of them.

I do hope you receive this correspondence. I had trouble finding a forwarding address after you lost your house due to that unfortunate sexual harassment case.

(I'm sure the bitch was asking for it.)

Yours in emancipation
Tracey
Tracy Spicer - And here's the news:  my bum's got nothing to do with the story

October 26, 2012

October 25, 2012

Dope

Well, well, well -  now that everyone other than Lance Armstrong has confessed, frowned a lot, wrung their hands, and generally asserted forgiveness in advance, Armstrong is still a wealthy man getting on with his life.

All of his co-conspirators, most of whom waited for nearly a decade to come clean, as it were, are lauded for their honesty.

Strange. 

Armstrong has been striped of his seven Tour De France wins, despite someone's clever mapping demonstrating that, if the award was gong to pass to the next - non-doped - rider in each year that Armstrong won, resort to riders below around the eighth or ninth place would be necessary. 

In other words, Armstrong did, very much indeedy, win each and every ride competing against equals.

Details of doping scheme paint Armstrong as leader

Lance Armstrong's aide talks of doping and price paid


October 24, 2012

Wednesday Wisdom

If it is a miracle, any sort of evidence will answer.  But if it is a fact, proof is necessary. 

Mark Twain

October 19, 2012

October 17, 2012

*Blush*

Not the first time the Prime Minister has lost a shoe.
 She was in New Delhi.

Wednesday Wisdom

I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the sake of my country ... Corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high place will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavour to prolong its pain by working on the prejudices of the people, until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.

Abraham Lincoln (1864)

October 16, 2012

Gillard's lost vision

Tony Blair put education centre stage when he was Britain's prime minister, describing his government's priority as "education, education, education". In a 1999 speech Blair also argued his plans for the future represented a "moral cause" and New Labour's polices a "moral crusade". 
 
In her September 3 speech to the National Press Club titled "A national plan for school improvement", Julia Gillard spoke the same language. Denying children equity in education was "a moral wrong" and she called on others to join her in the government's "national crusade" to give "children a better education and a better future".
Surely an embarrassment that Gillard has stolen the whole artificial gender-war from British politics, but her much vaunted life-long passion for providing education for the peons is stolen from Tony Blair.  She's 13 years out of date on that failed endevour. 

What always haunts me, every time I attempt to decipher Gillard's strategies, her tactics, her policies:  she's  the only PM we've ever had who has no written history of her vision, passions, personal drives, influences, policy obsessions, moral compass, ambitions for humanity.  There's nothing from the past, and during her time in government, she continues to avoid penning her thoughts.  

Gillard takes lessons from Blair that won't pay

October 15, 2012

The 15th law of power

 Law 15
Crush your Enemy Totally 
All great leaders since Moses have known that a feared enemy must be crushed completely.  (Sometimes they have learned this the hard way.)  If one ember is left alight, no matter how dimly it smolders, a fire will eventually break out.  More is lost through stopping halfway than through total annihilation:  The enemy will recover, and will seek revenge.  Crush him, not only in body but in spirit.

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

See, it all makes perfect sense.  The Federal Labor Party crushed Kevin Rudd, who was one of their own, and the guy who defeated John Howard, thus bringing the ALP in from the wilderness.  Grateful?  Damned right they weren't!  Earlier this year they publicly made-out like rabid harpies,  in a last ditch effort to totally crush their enemy:  Kev Rudd.

And yes, getting back to things making perfect sense:  emboldened by the success of that effort, they're now trying the same tactic on the opposition leader.

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

Meanwhile, maybe a wounded Abbott is consoling himself with the words of Ghandi:

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they attack you ... and then you win.

October 14, 2012

Gender War Roundup

Even Graham (whatever it takes) Richo wouldn't go there.

Footnote: I f Tuesday was the worst day in the life of this government, worse is to come. Soon, the Treasurer will introduce a mini-budget of sorts. You don't need to be an economist to know that the cost of refugees has blown out by billions, the mining tax will raise next to nothing, company tax receipts are way down and GST revenue is tanking.

This mini-budget will be a new low that may make leadership speculation superfluous. Who cares who leads a government that is going down?

Sticking with slime goes beyond whatever it takes
 
Strange commentary at The Punch; they're like that, worth the read for the Keating riffs.  It’s not about the cunt word, but let’s take a few moments to genuflect at memories of Keating (any excuse will do).
 
I got a call that night from one of the sub-editors, a man who to his professional detriment had spent some time on Fleet Street, who said ominously that he had given the copy “a small tickle-up”. The sub thought it should be noted that Keating, as an apparent enemy of materialism, owned an extensive number of antique French clocks. It’s the kind of phone call that usually guarantees another phone call the following day, and sure enough it did, with the phone ringing at 9.01am and a woman’s voice saying “Hello David, I have Mr Keating on the line for you.”
“Now you listen to me son,” he began. “None of the dopey c***s who work at The Daily Telegraph would know an antique French clock if they had one shoved up their f*****g arse.”

I should probably have been offended but frankly I felt like I had won the lottery as here was Paul Keating, whose perfection of profanity is rivalled only by Ben Kingsley’s character in the British crime film Sexy Beast, giving a master class in abuse. Keating is a man who knows his way around a swear word and doesn’t shy away from applying the most offensive swear word of all.

This does not make him particularly special in Australian public life, just better at it.

Total weirdness is more of an issue than the c-word

 On second thoughts, maybe that outburst of cheering was a tad skew-if.

The art of thinking independently is very difficult to perfect, but now, more than ever, it is especially important to strive for.

Gillard's fiery retort:  did the mainstream media get it wrong
1
Then Bob Ellis lost the plot, entirely; he's ike that. 

Writer and Labor supporter Bob Ellis accused Mr Abbott of "poofter bashing" over his motion to sack Peter Slipper as Speaker on Wednesday.

"They somehow forgot the gender of the Speaker, homosexual, and how much his sudden stabbing on the floor of the chamber would look like a poofter-bashing," Ellis wrote. "And how soon after his dignified speech of surrender, in which he forgave Tony Abbott, the voting public would begin to think his punishment was disproportionate."
  
Slipper dignified?!  Punishment disproportionate?!

Tony Abbott joke backfires on Labor 

While Wayne Swan became a born again feminist, albeit, it hasn't stopped him and Gillard slashing anything that benefits women on low incomes, women in general, or single parents in particular, around 90 per cent of whom are women.  Yeah, you go girl. 

TONY JONES: OK. When did you learn of the existence of this fresh batch of obscene text messages from Peter Slipper?

WAYNE SWAN: Well when I read about it in the newspapers.

TONY JONES: Right. So not before that at all? Because the question that was being raised was whether the Attorney-General and other members of the Government knew about this before it was published in the newspapers. That was - that goes to the heart of the suggestion, of the allegation, of the question as to whether the payment was made to Ashby to stop these emails, these text messages coming to public light.

WAYNE SWAN: Tony, these matters were all handled appropriately by the Attorney-General.

TONY JONES: But it was reported today that the federal solicitor has had these text messages for months. Did the Attorney-General see them at all prior to the publication?

WAYNE SWAN: Well Tony, that's a matter for the Attorney-General. She dealt with that in the Parliament today. I can say no more about it.

TONY JONES: As the Government lurches from crisis to crisis over the Peter Slipper affair, is anyone ...

WAYNE SWAN: Sorry, Tony, I don't accept that for one minute. I don't accept that characterisation at all. We have a new Speaker ...
...

TONY JONES: Is anyone reflecting in the Government on the fact that if it had not been for your decision to put Peter Slipper, despite many warnings, in that position, that none of this would have happened?
...

TONY JONES: But you can't surely be suggesting that the Liberal Party is to blame somehow for putting him in the Speaker's job in spite of all the warnings about his behaviour?
...

TONY JONES: Some people are writing about the Prime Minister's misogyny speech as if it were something like the Arab Spring, a kind of call for an uprising of women who are mad as hell and aren't going to take it anymore. Do you see it as some sort of watershed in Australian politics?

WAYNE SWAN: Well I certainly think it was an incredible speech and she absolutely slaughtered Tony Abbott. I mean, what she pointed to was his pattern of aggressive negativity. Issue after issue after issue, and it is broader than just his attitudes to women. It extends to his whole attitude to the political system and she simply tore him apart, issue after issue after issue.

TONY JONES: But the key allegation was that he is a misogynist, a woman-hater. Do you accept that? Do you believe that about him seriously?

WAYNE SWAN: Well he's certainly got a record, and the Prime Minister ran through it, of making some extraordinary statements which can only be seen as being very anti-women.

TONY JONES: The word means, literally, "The hatred or dislike of women and girls." I mean, are we meant to take that word at its definition or is it being just abused, is it being used lightly?

WAYNE SWAN: I don't believe it's being used lightly. We've not only had the Prime Minister subject to some pretty extraordinary behaviour from the Leader of the Opposition, including again in the Parliament this week when he across the table and described her as a "piece of work".
...
TONY JONES: So do you stand by the use of this word misogynist, woman-hater, in relation to Tony Abbott or do you want to step back from that because ... ?

WAYNE SWAN: No, no, I certainly do. I certainly do believe that. That's for the public to make up their mind about, but I believe the Prime Minister made a very, very powerful case in that speech and that's why it has attracted so much public interest, not just from women, but from men as well.

TONY JONES: But this a man who works very closely with women, as you know.

WAYNE SWAN: Sure.
...
TONY JONES: I've got to ask you this because since Julia Gillard raised this issue to a dominant issue in her defence of Peter Slipper, Rob Oakeshott told us last night that these misogyny wars are a political game positioning for next year's election. Joe Hockey claims the whole strategy was imported from the UK by the Gillard adviser John McTernan.

Yep, Cameron, on the conservative side of politics, and PM of Britain, is also experiencing a gender problem, apparently.  It's a resurgence of the tactics used during their last election campaign.

Appropriating failed campaign agenda's from other countries is, to say the least, desperate.

And I don't know about you, but I've often thought, very, very often:  "piece of work", in relation to too numerous number of co-workers and managers over the decades - of both genders.  I had no idea I was being a sexist and a misogynist.

October 12, 2012

October 11, 2012

When short on time: rely on Bolt

So much to talk about, so little time! 

(Ashamed to admit), Andrew Bolt to the rescue:

Once again, Gillard reached for anything - the gender card, the victim card, a gotcha, even the death of her father to claw for advantage.

Power over principle.

Smear over reason.

Advantage over honour.

Julia Gillard, Prime Minister.
 
 
Meanwhile, Mark Latham on Abbott - more than "the punch" - a walking contradiction
 
 

October 10, 2012

Actually, Gillard Government has been dying of shame for a long while

Abbott - *phew* - need not whilt or die of shame; he has often suggested that Gillard and her band of histrionic (and handbag carrying) hypocrites should die of shame. 

He has said it over and over.

He has history. 

Long before anyone's relative died, and long before Alan Jones became a hit sensation pariah.

Turns out to be one of Abbott's favorite phrases. 

He's consistent.

Died of shame focus on Abbott's use of controversial phrase




Wednesday Wisdom

Happy father's day - or as they call it in my family, happy brother-in-laws day. 

Ronan Farrow (Twitter, 2012)

October 9, 2012

Insane? You decide.

He's going to step out of a safe little capsule to plummet back to Earth at speeds of up to 720 miles per hour, from a height of 22 miles.

Don't even want to think about the different ways this could go horribly wrong.

The boiled brain issue, the eyeballs popping out issue, the skin pealing off issue.

Yep.  Could get ugly.

Happens our time, around 11pm. 

Felix Baumgartner, a professional daredevil, plans to step off a balloon-borne capsule 22 miles above Earth on Tuesday morning and plummet for five and a half minutes until opening his parachute a mile above the New Mexico desert. If all goes as planned, he will do a series of barrel rolls in the near-vacuum of the stratosphere and then plunge headfirst at more than 700 miles per hour, becoming the first sky diver to break the sound barrier. 
Daredevil sets sight on a 22 mile fall

October 7, 2012

And the thigh bone is connected to ...



The Gillard government has withdrawn an indigenous health poster that wrongly located and named parts of the female anatomy.

About 2000 copies of the female human anatomy poster were printed by the government and 171 were sent to indigenous health workers around the country to promote the ''Live Longer!'' health campaign.

The Coalition's spokesman on indigenous health, Andrew Laming, identified several mistakes in the poster, including mislabelling the ovaries as the kidneys, the stomach as the lungs and the small intestine as the stomach. It also appears to show two pancreas, one of which seems to be inside the stomach, and the oesophagus running into the lung.

A spokeswoman for the Health Department said some errors had ''crept in'' to the poster during its preparation ''and which unfortunately were missed in the final checking process''. 

 Some errors?  Some?  Really? There was, actual, final checking?  Surely they jest!

While presented as an insult to the Aboriginal community, the target audience for these unforgivably incorrect posters, the focus should be on the Health Department, which collectively failed to demonstrate basic knowledge of human anatomy.  That's a worry, isn't it?

http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/wrong-body-parts-that-would-make-the-stomach-turn-20121003-26zs7.html#ixzz28IJNEXSc

Who is responsible for these brats?

It's long overdue for the Australian media to turn off the cameras and walk away.  There presence clearly - without question - indulges these brats, whose father has not had a word spoken against him, and nor is the mother to be prevented from seeing and enjoying shared custody of these obnoxious girls, if she chooses to move back to Italy. 

It's also time that our taxes - which helped pay for the girls to be taken from Italy in the first place - are denied, if there are any further pleas from the mother or the children.  Aren't there Australians with serious problems who could do with consulate help, or a bit of cash, rather than pandering to those who suddenly decide they prefer a Sydney lifestyle?

The whole thing is claptrap, and the brats would have no-one to play to without the cameras. 

All of their behaviours are fueled by the presence of cameras and the media.  It's morally indefensible that journalists are knowingly giving rise to the spiteful, blackmailing behaviour of a couple of indulged school girls. (Some reports have indicated that the youngest child wanted to return to Italy, but was manipulated to turn against her father, told that he did not love or want her.) 

It's bad enough that their heightened sense of entitlement was encouraged by the Australian consulate in Italy a few years ago, worse still that our journalists continue to treat this as a story.  There's nothing to see other than a decent father using international conventions to gain back custody of his four daughters.


Two of the four Queensland sisters in the middle of an international custody dispute have pleaded with the Australian media to "please save them" from their father.

A Channel Nine news crew filmed dramatic scenes outside the father's villa in Florence, when the girls were involved in a heated standoff with their father.

One of the girls can be seen clinging to reporter Sophie Walsh's arm while their father and grandmother attempt to take them inside the villa's gates.

"All of a sudden they came sprinting across the front yard. They were in hysterics followed closely by their father," Walsh said.

"They said that they were scared and that they were going to be hurt. They said they wanted to speak to their mum and weren't being allowed to and said they wanted to return to Australia."
Unmitigated crap.  The hysterical journalists covering this non-story need to step away from the hysterical school girls.  It's unsavory.

Please save them - sisters plea


Gender card plays on

Guess who has a little gender problem? 

Recent quarterly popularity polls show that Tony Abbott is favoured by 29 per cent of women, while Julia Gillard is favoured by 27 per cent of men.

Smells like Julia has a man problem. 

Time to roll out Tim, if it's not to late.  A lost opportunity, that one, as I've said numerous times before.  Tim Mathieson is as good as a first Australian first bloke could possibly be, but being an unwed man and all, he's been hidden away, in embarrassment, instead of being wheeled out regularly, like the little treasure of The Lodge he is.  Tim has to secretly undertake his duties contributing to male health issues, men's sheds, guy stuff, whatever.  It's a shame. 

What else have we got?

Well, overall, the coalition has the support of 48 per cent of men and 43 per cent of woman, and Labor - that would be Julia's party - has the support of 31 per cent of men and 34 per cent of women.

Julia and her handbag hit squad are busy playing the gender card against Tony Abbott, and the media are lapping it up, while Julia has a get out of jail free card for having a quite large voter problem with both men and women.

Gillard and her gals are also playing the gender card as a shield to deflect examination and critique of Gillard's decisions and judgement as our Prime Minister.  Given the width and breadth of the deficiencies of her exercise of power and judgement as PM, as it affects policy, economics and key political players, it's astonishing that the gender card is being permitted.  It's gob-smacking.  Journalists have fallen into line, lest they too be accused of misogynistic fantasies. And in fear, we assume, of an Abbott government.  The luvvies would rather have an abysmal government in federal power - yes, destroying the place.

But none of that was the story this week.  No, the story was the whinging hypercritical left, cynically accusing Abbott of cynically wheeling out his wife (a woman, just by the way, for those not paying attention), to drum up votes.   A desperate bid to woo women, a blatant propaganda exercise.

How then do we label the Labor shenanigans and their handbag hit squad?



Damn

In contradiction of global warming / Armageddon computer models, the area of Antarctic ice continues to expand, as it has done for the last decade or so.  

Don't worry, scientists are working on tweaking their models to ensure that ice area at both poles will shrink in future. 


October 5, 2012

October 3, 2012

Wednesday Wisdom

We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.

Aristotle