September 29, 2014

Stuff the public know

Scene: Islamic State instructs Muslims to kill Westerners; a known terrorist suspect and Muslim youth in Victoria meets two policemen while carrying two knives; attempts to kill them; one policeman kills youth.
Response: Tony Abbott says it's a ''nasty incident'', that some in the community are capable of ''very extreme acts'', but ''police will protect''; Denis Napthine says it's ''not about faith [or] ethnicity, it's about alleged behaviour of an individual''; Police Commissioner Ken Lay says ''diversity and multiculturalism is critical'' and warns of a need to ''exercise extreme caution''; Muslim leader Ghaith Krayem refuses to condemn youth, says underlying issues are social rather than religious.

Who do our leaders think they are fooling? Most of us are aware that some interpreters of the Muslim religion claim it justifies violent behaviour. We look to our leaders to acknowledge this openly and state we will not tolerate either the advocacy of violent behaviour or its actuality from whatever religion it may come.

Des Moore, South Yarra

From The Age, Letters, Sept 22 2014

September 24, 2014

Weazle words reach new lows

Soooo, in the Herald Sun, quotes from a local Muslim leader:

'Incident highlights the alienation and disaffection felt by the community'.

Calls for an inquiry. Into the shooting, not the stabbings, we assume.

Urges the public not to be too quick to apportion blame.

He says the police have been took quick to put the blame on the teenager.

He's disappointed.  He thinks that's a bit 'pre-emptive'.

'The police have come out very clearly and almost said 'it's all the young man's fault', he says.

An official statement reads:

'There needs to be a full and objective investigation into this incident to ensure that such a tragedy is never repeated.  This tragedy highlights the real cost of a failure to deal with these serious issues and why we have made numerous calls on the Australian government to deal with the root causes of alienation and disaffection of people such as this.'

You'd never know two police officers had been stabbed. 

September 21, 2014

Excellent Sheep

Book review:  Excellent Sheep, William Deresiewicz



Humungous dinosaur

The death of adulthood in American culture

This is about the death of adulthood in American culture, but only if television shows are, in fact, the sum total of American culture, and only if American culture is played out nowhere other than in their television shows.

The death of adulthood in American culture


It all started with Gary Hart and Donna Rice

 Fascinating read.

How Gary Hart's downfall changed American politics


September 17, 2014

Clive Palmer goes missing

Proving that it's possible to be paid to represent an electorate and have a lower parliamentary voting record than Bob Brown:

Palmer votes 19 times out of possible 202

That would be a fail, then.

September 14, 2014

Apple goes somewhere with time

If the battery of the Apple Watch lasts 10 hours, which is the claimed rate for some iPhones, it will be a quarter of the running time of the first watches ever made.

Apple Watch can be clasped and unclasped.  That means you can put it on and take it off - at will.

Apple is amazing.




September 6, 2014

Aussie butter knife designers solve a problem that doesn't exist

A group of Aussies who invented a butter knife that grates butter to make it instantly spreadable have won 10 times the amount of money they sought on crowd-funding website Kickstarter. 
They've raised nearly $400K, in fact, for a butter knife that no one needs, so the funds raised are an amazing achievement.

A knife that grates butter to make it instantly spreadable?

That's why spreadable butter was put on the shelves of every supermarket decades ago, and by golly, it works too, without grating. 

New butter knife 




Or maybe the last official sign that she's about to give birth?

 The headline:

Chelsea Clinton quits TV news job as 'Hillary 2016' gains momentum

 The report:

Chelsea Clinton has quit her high-paying TV news job in what could be the first official sign Hillary Clinton is set to run for president in 201.

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It's always been possible that Hillary Clinton would run in 2016, after all, she's run once before.  It wouldn't be a matter of astonishment if she gives it another whirl.

But Chelsea Clinton is expecting her first baby to arrive quite soon, and with no financial need to work, it would seem obvious to the average idiot that this is the reason for her giving up some of her numerous work  commitments.

Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson has trouble identifying good and evil

Apparently unable to distinguish between light and dark, good and evil, he blundered into the sort of faux deliberation favoured by ill-prepared undergraduates.

“I think we need to find better words than ‘terrorist’ and ‘terrorism’ because, to me, this implies a very one-sided view of the world,” Whish-Wilson said. “Often our forces could be seen by Iraqi civilians as being terrorists. ‘Terrorist’ is a word that is very commonly used against us by those same people in Iraq who have been radicalised — anything that creates terror is, by definition, terrorism. We use that word because it is a very simple word to use and it demonises people.”

Correct. We use the word ‘‘terrorist’’ because it best describes those people who practise ‘‘terrorism’’, that is, participate in violent acts intended to create terror.

Whish-Wilson seems puzzled that it implies a “one-sided view of the world”. Further, and by clear implication, he is drawing a parallel between the actions of terrorists and our armed forces in Iraq — though he later attempted to row back when questioned by Coalition senators.

“I said any soldier in any country can be seen as a terrorist by their enemy, and that the word ‘‘terrorism’’ is a word we should consider not using — that we should come up with a better explanation,” he laboured.
  Peter Whish-Wilson