Saturday, January 31, 2009

We Do Not Seek To Control The Media....Except When We Do

Israel's ambassador to Australia, Yuval Rotem, January 16 :
"In the same way that the Israeli Government does not seek to control the media in Israel, it does not seek to control the media in Australia."
Yuval Rotem, January 30 :
"...can you turn that camera off please..."

Interesting. It appears the Israeli ambassador tells his small Jewish audience one thing - expect an attack on Iran in a month - when he thinks the media isn't listening, and then tells ABC News something else when it's clear his comments have been caught on camera.

Does the Rudd government back attacks by Israel on Iran? Or will it clam up and go into hiding, as it did when Israel slaughtered hundreds of women and children in Gaza?

No-one in the Australian media ever bothers to explain what Russia, now a close ally and mega-billion dollar business partner of Iran, will do in the event of Israel attacking Iran. Russia has already made it clear, to Israel's government, and Israel-allied governments around the world (including Australia) that an attack on Iran will be viewed as an attack on Russia. And then there's China...

Friday, January 30, 2009

"What's That, Skip? You Want To Go BodySurfing?"

This is for all the people who are stuck in hot houses and hot offices today and can't get to the beach to cool off.

BTW - these photos came to me through an e-mail (thanks Kerry!), so I have no idea who the photographer was. If you know, leave a comment so I can properly give credit for these very cool pics.
Too Much Trurth....

Anti-Americanist Andrew Bolt, aka The Professional Idiot, is indeed one delicate little flower. I decided to Have My Say, as his Herald Sun blog invites readers, on a post where he horns in on supposedly misleading reporting about one of the many schools Israel recently bombed in Gaza - in this case, an Australian-ally-launched bomb attack that killed almost as many innocent people as the 7/7 terrorist attacks in London.

But you can only Have Your Say if it doesn't upset his pro-civilian slaughter regular readers.

(click to enlarge)


He's lying. Full of shit, as usual. He's never told me that I'm officially banned from commenting on his blog. I've left comments on his blog, here and there, for the past couple of years.

He just didn't like what I had to say this time, which was to point out that defending state terrorist attacks on civilians is just as sick as defending Islamic terrorist attacks on civilians. And that to the people who are being bombed, all bombs feel like terrorist attacks.

Here's a non-banned comment of mine from The Professional Idiot's blog this past Tuesday. This didn't get banned because he agrees with what I said :

(click to enlarge)

By censoring my comment for pointing out that there's not a lot of light between extremist terrorism and state terrorism, the comments section for The Professional Idiot's "Don't Look There! (at all the dead children) Look over there at the Evil UN!" post is filled instead with the usual Megaphone crowd spouting a hundred more excuses why it's okay for an Australian ally in the 'War On Terror' to slaughter hundreds of women and children and bomb schools, hospitals and food warehouses. But that's probably exactly how The Professional Idiot wants it to be.

The Professional Idiot just can't handle The Trurth (sic)
Four Heads Are Better Than One?

It is what you think it is. Kind of.

The Love Train
You Want The Trurth (sic)? You Can't Handle The Trurth (sic)!

Thousands Of Working Families Live Without Electricity, Gas

One of the saddest things, amongst the many, many sad things, I saw during my very short employment with the then Department of Housing, was how many elderly people lived without electricity for extended periods because they couldn't afford to pay their meagre, overdue bills.

It was heartbreaking to sit down for a cup of cold tea with a disabled World War 2 veteran in a dark house, listening to him explain how he was cut off for owing less than $20 and now had to make do with cold water baths. But he knew it what it was all about, and why they were so heartless not to give a fuck about him, or the sacrifices he had made in his lifetime. It wasn't the $20 he owed that they were after, he croaked, it was the reconnection fee.

The eagerness to cut off people from their electricity supply, and other utilities, doesn't seem to have dampened much in the years since, as this story explains :
Homeowners are being disconnected from power, gas and water at twice the rate of four years ago.

And more than 60 per cent of people cut off from utilities are now in paid employment, according to the Public Interest Advocacy Centre.

Its study, to be released today, has found a new underclass of "working poor" forced to light homes with candles, take cold showers and send their children to stay with relatives.

....about 100 people were disconnected every day.

About 18,000 households are disconnected from electricity every year in NSW, and 23,000 from gas.

When Australians have to start paying their Global Carbon Tax, disconnections will rise, and even more people will have to make do without the very basics of a civilised society.

But if you reduce your carbon output by (forced) living without electricity, will that earn you a few Carbon Credits? Enough Carbon Credits, perhaps, so you can trade them to pay your Carbon Tax debt and get your electricity reconnected?

But if you get the electricity reconnected, then your carbon output rises again, so you don't get as many, or any, Carbon Credits, that you could use to pay off the next hit of Carbon Tax. So your electricity gets shut off again, but now you're once more earning Carbon Credits, so....I expect it will be exactly that kind of confusing.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Adelaide Always Delivers

Adelaidians are sweltering through some good old fashioned Australian summer heat. But the grid can't handle all those air-cons and plasma TVs, they're getting blackouts. Adelaidians are not happy, and are complaining loudly about their discomfort, buckled trainlines and cancelled trams, at Adelaide Now. They get to have a bitch about the heat, everyone's sorta happy, still sweaty. But some locals want the complaining about the heat to stop, that Adelaidians harden the fuck up, take the heat, sweat like real men, and real women, and stop whining like...well, like Adelaidians :
you smally people. all acting like only Adelaide has problems. Perth & Melbourne have their fair share of trainline shutdowns when it gets hot... Stop whingeing and find something else to complain about

Posted by: Small minds of Adelaide
The interstaters invade the Adelaidians online space and deliver outright, downright mockery of South Australians plight :
You people in Adelaide have it so easy, think of all us poor Manly Ferry commuters here in Sydney who have to wait in a que to be served at the Cafe on the Ferry taking us across the harbour!

Posted by: Ron of Sydney - Life is tough on the ferry
Naturally, they don't like these interlopers, not one bit :
Backwater Fishbowl - dont they have papers in Melbourne ?? is there not enough bogans there that can read I assume

Posted by: Vic = bogan city of cant read or write
Do we have to put up with the idiots from the other villages having a spray? We've got enough of our own without the yarping from those in much cooler climes interstate.

Posted by: Peter of Northern Adelaide
There is a bit of confusion about whether some commenters are blaming the Rann government for the rail-buckling, blackout causing, tram-cancelling effects of extreme heat, or for the heat itself. Ant of Adelaide lays out the facts for the confused :
Government cant control the weather no matter who is in power.
The free water for commuters debate hots up :
Why should commuters get a free bottle of water at the expense of non-commuters? If people want water but your own bottle and don't expect us taxpayers to pay for it.

Posted by: Tony of Adelaide

Free water? So i should take my empty bottles to trans adelaide and fill up???

Posted by: Yarz of Ingle Farm
Car Driver of Adelaide commutes home in full gloat mode :
To all the bike riding hippies slagging car drivers - enjoy riding in the heat. To all the Public transport riding hippies, enjoy walking home. To all the "older economical car drivers" enjoy sitting on the side of the road with your radiators boiling. Ill just drive past in my fully imported leather clad 4WD with the airconditioner on low (it gets too cold otherwise) and cruise home without having to get held up by the rail crossings or busses. Pity its hot walking from the office to the car, You Beauty!
Adelaidians are easily distracted by other non-heat related news :
Did any notice the photo of a patient suffering from a heat related illness being wheeled into one of our hospitals, and a nurse walking past with a 'fag' in her person maybe fighting for her life.... and another one slowly killing herself.....It makes you think doesn;t it .. dusty
Posted by: Ken Rhodes of Magill.
Kevin Logfellow may or may not be doing some barrel work downstairs as he escapes the heat :
I am sleeping in the cellar and drinking my home brew to keep cool and lubricated. Please let me know when it is safe to come out.
Max of Redlands has weightier issues on his mind :
No matter how many times I read it I can not accept that "impact" is a verb.
I blame the incredible heat in Adelaide for this one :
The government said turn off to save money. ..and the transformer ended up on fire ..and the train tracks melted ..and birds started falling from the trees ..and koala's looked like drowned rats ..and the fish started to boil in the ocean ..and henny penny screamed, "The sky is falling!" I swear, it's ARMAGEDDON. Mike Rann..the third anti-christ perhaps???
John of Warradale casts an eye over the comments and reaches a sound conclusion :
I think the heat's buckled a few brains.
Crikey has an interesting piece on how we dealt with heatwaves in the past, and how newspapers in the 1930s reported city-melting temperatures. It's always fascinating to see how different the style of writing was back then, but an excerpt that Crikey dug up from The Courier Mail, during the height of a March, 1934 eyeball searer, also contains a report of what sounds like an impressive meteor strike :

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Costello : Non-Christians Threaten Australia's Future

Peter Costello addresses Catch The Fire religious extremists on Australia Day, which provokes the crazed Nazi-Green-Commo-Pagan-Lefties at Crikey to praise John Howard. Yes, praise John Howard :
John Howard blocked Peter Costello from the Prime Ministership as long as he could, preferring even to take his party to defeat rather than let him run it. Based on this bizarre rant, it looks like Howard’s judgement was absolutely right.
The bizarre Costello rant in full :

Peter Costello,
your almost prime minister :
"One of the things that has been absolutely central to the development of Australia and the foundation of our society is that Biblical heritage, the heritage that we have through the Scriptures, and through the Ten Commandments, respect for our Maker, respect for our fellow citizens, respect for property, respect for the laws that God has laid down. That’s been the foundation of our society. It’s been the basis of our peaceful tolerance of each other and of order. It has been the basis of creating opportunity for so many Australian’s. If we forget that tradition, if we walk away from those God given commandments, then we as a society will be threatened with the breakdown of that order, will be threatened with losing our heritage and loosing opportunity. So I want to say to you, those that are praying for Australia today, to pray that this nation will always remember its foundations, and always be true to them, and always live according to those laws.

"There are many people today that are telling us that religion is all a lot of superstition, that the laws that have been laid down, of respect for individuals, property and for our creator are all a load of nonsense, that don’t respect life. If we fall for that trap, if Australia falls for that trap then the very basis of our society and its order will be threatened. That’s why we need Christian people to pray for our country, we will never understand the way in which God moves. But we know that if his people pray, He will hear that they will be a light to the nation and the nation will be covered and protected by Godly people who are giving direction and standing for it in prayer."
That's probably a little too much God in politics for most Australians liking. But hey, once you've 'caught the fire' you gotta keep spreading that message, even if it destroys your political career.
Snake Must Not Eat Snake

Photo by Tony Barton

Isn't this one of signs of the Apocalypse or something?
Mr Barton says it took about 10 to 15 minutes for the black snake to fully consume the brown snake, which he says was about 135 centimetres long.

Then it went off for a snooze.

"It was fairly sluggish after such a huge meal," he said.

Not long after, the snake returned - this time to the back lawn.

"I was having a close look at it when it opened its mouth a little bit and I spotted this beady eye and the head of the brown snake in its mouth!

"....the brown snake came out a few inches, fastened onto the black's lower jaw and pulled itself completely out.

"It had all this mucus all over it. Then the two parted ways."

Maybe brown snakes are the morons of the Serpentes world : "Yo Brownie! I got a mouse for you, but you gotta come in here and get it."

Monday, January 26, 2009

"Fuck Off We're Full"....Of Racist Bogans

The media that helps to ramp up this sort of intolerance, hate and racism also gets to report on some of the fallout :
In the Sydney subrub of Manly, hundreds of youths draped in "Aussie pride" livery wore slogans declaring "f--k off we're full" as they smashed car windows and ran up the famous Corso targeting non-white shop keepers.

A 18-year-old Asian female in one of the cars was showered with shattered glass, giving her numerous cuts to her arms. She was treated on the scene by ambulance officers.

A taxi driven by a Sikh Indian was also targeted while an Asian shopkeeper was reportedly assaulted.

Groups of men jumped up on cars chanting race hate to the terrified passengers within, and were heard singing "tits out for the boys" at passing girls and yelled "lets go f--k with these Lebs".
You wonder how they know, without asking, whether the people they're attacking for not being Australian enough (whatever the fuck that means), were born here or not. Of course. those kind of details don't matter to them. It's not about whether you're born here, or whether you fly an Australian flag on your car, or wrap one around yourself like a toga, if you're not bogan white, you're a target.

It only took two and a half hours for police to bring the place under control. By then, of course, the pied pipers who led these kids across the suburbs of Sydney for their Fuckwits Day Out were long gone, just as they melted away at Cronulla.
Hate Australia Day

To celebrate Australia Day, Michael Connor of Quadrant has compiled a checklist of All The True-Blue Aussie Things Evil Pagan Australia-Hating Lefties Love To Hate. Unfortunately, it's not meant to be parody, but it's still bloody funny though :
Australia Day, Anzac Day, people who live in the suburbs, people who live in the country, farmers, fishermen, dams, Quadrant, Australian history, the flag, the constitution, Andrew Bolt’s readers, The Australian, Liberal voters, National Party voters, Family First voters, One Nation supporters, the RSL, McDonald’s, McMansions, plasma TVs, Australian Idol, big business, small business, monolingualists, Christians, our last prime minister, liberal democracy, capitalism, lamingtons, Australians, the national coat of arms, the Samuel Griffith Society, soldiers, conservatives, musicals not about Australian Left politicians, commercial television, non-indigenous trees, dog owners, cats, non-Left talk back radio hosts, timber workers, plastic bags, Howard’s battlers, climate change sceptics, white people, commercial radio, America (pre-Obama), sovereignty (ours), realistic paintings (especially by Albert Namatjira), the Big Banana and other Big Things, cultural dissidents, men, sprinklers, green lawns, cars (other peoples), wood fires, rednecks, Sir John Kerr.
Wow, I bet the most dedicated Australia-hating Evil Pagan Lefty didn't realise just how many things there are that are uniquely Australian (like plasma TVs and McDonalds?) for them to hate.

Happy Hate Australia Day.

Grods continues the Hate Fest.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Tony Abbott : May I Compare John Howard To The Lord, Or Is That Going Too Far?

Below are extracts from a speech that Tony Abbott will give this weekend at the Young Liberals convention. You know, if you think about it, John Howard really is a lot like Victoria Cross winning soldiers, Winston Churchill, John Curtin and Ronald Reagan.

Last week, an Australian was awarded the Victoria Cross for the first time in 40 years. Trooper Mark Donaldson deliberately made himself a target to protect wounded comrades.
Donaldson also scored the appreciation of the nation, and ample popular coverage in the media.
Another Australian received a medal last week. In Washington, then president George W. Bush conferred on former Australian prime minister John Howard the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

John Howard's final money shot with Bush was not exactly popular with Australians.

Reactions to Howard's award, by contrast, ranged from muted compliments to bilious rage.

He's exaggerating. Most Australians who had grown to shudder whenever Howard appeared on the evening news, no longer cared where he was, or what he was doing, and if Bush was involved, then it was more likely to be, "and I'm supposed to give a shit, why?".

Tony parses the arguments for why Bush is not an idiot :

Eighty-two per cent of more than 11,000 respondents to The Age's online poll said he didn't deserve it. My ABC blog, giving credit to Bush and Howard, generated 367 mostly apoplectic responses within two days.

"Only a fool accepts a medal from an idiot," said another respondent. This is the kind of cheap shot that everyone in politics has to get used to. Whatever Bush's faults or mistakes, idiots don't become president of the US.

About 70% of Americans may disagree with you there, Tony.

It's worth pondering, though, in the different reactions to these medals, the different responses people have to courage in battle and to courage in public life.

It never ceases to blow my mind how politicians so freely, and without shame, draw parallels between being under fire in a war zone and sitting around in an air-conditioned parliament trying to think up new ways to outwit Julia Gillard.

Abbott's on about it again, here :

Field marshal William Slim, a fighting soldier who became governor-general of Australia, once said that moral courage was a higher and rarer virtue than physical courage. Moral courage means facing issues and making decisions that every normal human instinct would rather avoid.

Provided you have to answer for the decision, it takes a similar measure of courage to commit soldiers to battle as to face the bullets yourself.

Except for the whole bit where you're actually facing, you know, real bullets.

At least in Western counties, there is no risk of death in the battle of ideas.

Not unless those ideas eat away at the soul of the nation, and then it's just a slow death.

Tony has so many complaints about that which he has devoted his life to.

Public life is not without its satisfactions but they're rarely sustaining.

Tony is finding life in politics, post-being somebody, not so grand. Hopefully, he can draw some comfort from the morbidly obese parliamentary pension and the Super super waiting for him.

But, yes, there are other rewards.

The chief reward is the knowledge that you've tried to serve your country and the hope, often forlorn, that this might be recognised by people who matter.

Forlorn hope must be viewed as some kind of reward if you want to make in Liberal politics now?

Politicians deal with the problems that are too big or too hard for individuals or private organisations to handle on their own.

If that's the core reason why politicians actually exist, you get the feeling they might not be so essential, for much longer.

The difference between a politician and almost every other citizen is his preparedness to take responsibility, not just for his own actions, but for the state of the wider world.

Including, obviously, taking responsibility for the actions you took that fucked up some parts of the wider world.

Here's Tony having a bit of a George W. Bush moment, imagining himself as a voter complaining about politicians :

How dare he change the circumstances of my employment, revise the way I get to work, alter the rules under which I live, or put at risk the reputation of my country.

Yeah, who'd want to ever get fired up about any of those things?

Apparently, some day, we really will think of John Howard as one part of a triple Return Of The Jedi-finale style glowing team, along with Winston Churchill and Ronald Reagan.

There are only two kinds of popular politicians: those who haven't yet made a tough decision and those who have been vindicated by events. Rudd and, for all his undoubted brilliance and promise, Barack Obama are in the former category. Winston Churchill and Ronald Reagan are in the latter. I am sure that Howard too will be one day.
The Politics Is Just Like Fighting In Wars, No Really It Is theme resurfaces as Abbott seeks to honour those who fell in the fields of battle :

There are also all the unknown soldiers of politics who fail at preselection; the backbench MPs, unspectacular ministers, and frontbenchers whose party never made it into government, who are mere footnotes to history.

And on the going down of the sun we shall honour the unknown soldiers who fell at preselection...

Abbott has been caught up in ObamaFever. Feel the call of Change in his words :

At every level, many are called but few are chosen. All of them, at least to some extent, have risked their reputations, livelihoods and personal happiness to try to improve their country.

But he's still talking about politicians.

Abbott gives an apparently miserable, put upon, stressed out, divorce-looming, utterly harassed life in Liberal Party politics the hard sell to the Young Liberals conventioneers :

The hours are long, the responsibilities immense, the exposure relentless, the pay modest, the satisfactions fleeting, and the pressure on families cruel. To the public, travel is a perk of the job. To MPs' spouses, it can be grounds for divorce. Politicians have official and semi-official socialising most days. To the public, it's little more than having fun on taxpayer's time. To MPs' families, it's being married to the job, not them.

And it's an even more shit lifestyle now politicians are not allowed to be raging, or even borderline, alcoholics.

Why would anyone be a politician? It's a fair question. Because there are considerably easier ways to earn a living or to make a name for yourself, the only sustaining reason to be in politics is the determination to make a difference. That's what makes politics a calling rather than just a job.

But compared to a lot of other jobs out there, getting paid good money to be a politician is still a pretty damn fine gig, despite the hours. And most of those there at the Young Liberals convention this weekend, hearing Tony Abbott deliver those words, already know that.

Grods reports that the Young Liberals new plan to unite the nation, following the grand Howard tradition of doing everything possible to piss off the youth vote, involves refusing to give students their university degrees until they've completed nine months of national service.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Why Do They Hate America So Much?

Step forward the new screechers of foam-flecked anti-Americanism :
While it may seem uncharitable to be critical of a new US President on his Inauguration Day...
What the hell, it's never too early to kick off The Great Obama HateFest 2009-2017.

Remember, when Australians were critical of George W. Bush, and refused to believe his deadly lies, and wrote letters and protested about a war they didn't want to be a part of? They were not only Bush Haters, they were damned terrorist-loving anti-Americans as well. Obviously.

Bush Derangement Syndrome, we learned, was just a cover for an all round loathing of Americans and American culture.

If you thought the American president was a dill, or a dangerous fool, you instantly hated all Americans.

So obviously those same rules and labels must also apply now, particularly for those, like Piers Akerman, who can't even wait until Obama sits down at his desk in the West Wing for the first time before he goes after the new American president.

Here another Murdoch journo using sneering mockery to hide his Obama Hating Anti-American extremism :
"...(the inauguration commences) with the ceremonial healing of blind crippled lepers and ending with Obama’s transformation into a single beam of pure light. Let the miracles begin!"
Most of the anti-American extremism in the Australian media today is coming from Murdoch writers like Piers Akerman and Janet Albretchsen and Tim Blair, and Andrew Bolt will of course soon join them, but this core group of anti-American Obama Haters should not forget the warnings from their own boss, Rupert Murdoch, about such easy and tempting hatred :
"The Australian people must not allow their perfectly legitimate doubts about one policy or one American administration to cloud their long-term judgment...Australians must resist and reject the facile, reflexive, unthinking anti-Americanism..."
And they should not forget the warnings of John Howard :
"While anti-Americanism seemingly finds a ready outlet in every age, we should not pretend that it is cost-free. For some, a bit of armchair anti-Americanism may be nothing more than a mild indulgence. But … be careful what you wish for."
The Obama Hating Anti-Americans in the Murdoch media will claim they're only criticising the new American president, and holding him to account, but don't let them fool you : They Hate America.

Obama Wins Presidency : A "Victory For Stupidity"
Reality Has A Hamas-Related Bias

By Darryl Mason

The Australian newspaper reveals there is outrage, from some, that Australians are angered and outraged now they are finally seeing the true horror of what Israel has done to Gaza on the evening news. The outrage that Australians are disgusted by what they see and hear about Gaza on the news is now becoming shrill :

Sure enough, some television programs did invite a token Israeli guest who tried to explain Israel's case. But the answers given seemed to be presented as propaganda, and the implication was that the only story to be believed was the Hamas narrative.

When news finally gets out about how those hundreds of women and children died in Gaza, the news takes on a 'Hamas narrative'. If you believe the stories from the UN, from the Red Cross, from the BBC, from CNN, from ABC, from the Murdoch media, from The Australian itself, about children hiding in UN safe houses and hospital being shelled by Israel, you are believing 'The Hamas Narrative'. It is implied.


...the strategy has worked for Hamas: it produced the images that screamed from the front pages of newspapers and TV screens, pushing the buttons of people across the world.

Yes, why would people across the world have their buttons pushed by images like this?

Presumably, the preferred reaction to images of civilian slaughter by an Australian ally is to not have any buttons pushed at all.

It gets a little creepy.

Emotions cloud the context; the result is a circus.

Don't become emotional when you hear and see on the evening news that an Australian ally, an ally in the 'War On Terror', is slaughtering women and children by the hundreds.

By forgetting the context, voluntarily or not, much of the Western commentators have implied this: it is permissible for terror groups to use civilians as human shields, but not for a legitimate country to mistakenly kill civilians in the course of battling enemy.

The latter is being portrayed as a crime against humanity.

It usually is when hundreds of civilians are killed, and when it keeps happening, to UN buildings and schools, when the UN has told the legitimate country that those buildings belong the UN, and have civilians in them.

The worry about 'Western commentators' forgetting "the context" of how missiles tear off children's legs and shred their faces with shrapnel is misplaced concern. Those who have to sell Israel's side of the state terror attacks on Gaza have got far bigger problems than 'Western commentators' nosing around the words "war crimes".

When even the Murdoch media are running news caps like the one below, on's main page and the Daily Telegraph online front page, for almost 48 hours, you've got a serious, devastating public relations disaster on your hands :

Apparently the people of Gaza got off lightly, writes Albert Dadon, founder and chairman of the Australia Israel Cultural Exchange :
The only surprise is the low number of civilian casualties in an area where 1.4 million Palestinians live....

1300 dead, more than 5000 wounded, thousands of buildings destroyed, including schools and hospitals, playgrounds bombed....

This is a result of the care with which Israel has operated.

Imagine the death toll if they didn't care?

Israel says 12 per cent of casualties are civilians, Hamas say 40 per cent. Whatever the percentage, it is a tragedy. But citing numbers and showing images while forgetting the context creates one more casualty: the truth.

I think you will find The Truth became a casualty in what Israel is doing to Gaza a long time ago.

The headline for the opinion piece quoted above, published in a newspaper, is extraordinary.

Images Of Bloodshed Obscure Truth
A newspaper is telling you not to trust the usually non-bloody images they allow you to see.

But even those images don't obscure the obvious truth of the bloodshed in Gaza, and who is responsible for it.

You've Got Your Notes, You've Been Briefed, Now Go Write Some Blogaganda

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

No Rude Words, Please, This Is A Respectable Tabloid Website

Associate Editor for Sydney's Daily Telegraph, Tim Blair, notices the freedom of reader-generated, straight-shooting news and opinion over at the Pakistan Daily :

It doesn't get any more straight-shooting than that. Not even the Daily Telegraph can so boldly and clearly state an opinion in a headline.

Commenters at the Pakistan Daily
celebrate the freedom of non-corporate online news :
"Damn straight!! All Lefties are cunts!"

"Brilliant headline, this has to be the headline of the year."

"Loving it. Keep up the good work."
Unfortunately, Tim Blair's not allowed to have rude words at his corporate blogging digs, even from commenters :
Incidentally, naughty words will be ******* cut or edited, so don’t ******* use them. And editing the ******* things takes time, which causes delays...
Not like the old, independent days.

Blair can't use words like cunt, fucker, fuckhead or cockhammer, but at least for now he can still link to places that are allowed use those naughty, naughty words.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Buffoon Explains Why Idiot Was Bad In Front Of The Cameras

Alexander Downer has taken time out from his busy international relations work, as Member for Cyprus, to blame "the media" for ex-President George W. Bush- btw, that's ex-President George W. Bush - talking and performing in ways that convinced billions he was either inherently dim, downright dumb, or somewhat brain damaged from alcohol abuse.

"I think a big function of it is the way he appears in the media as a slightly nervous, unconfident and bumbling Texan," Downer said.
Downer doesn't bother to mention that this son from one of America's most elite families dolloped on the "gee shucks, I'm just a good old boy from Texas" as a part of a cultivated image.

Mr Downer says Mr Bush's performance in front of the cameras has been a major problem for the US government.

"I don't think in the media he was ever good actually, I don't think he improved," he said.

Unlike Alexander Downer, who was an outstanding media performer, even when drunk. Downer is the only politician in the country who made Brendan Nelson look like a natural in front of the cameras. Downer's speciality, of course, was to start whining when the questions got too hard, a whine that became so intensely grating, for the interviewer and just about everybody watching at home, that you wanted Downer sent to bed, immediately, without ice-cream.

"I've not of course said that to (Bush's) face...."

Of course not, Alex.

"...but I've said it to a number of people in the administration."

Who then saw you doing interviews and thought, 'You know, we don't have a lot to work with here....But people really seem to like his Bushisms. We can build on that. But this Downer guy has nothing.'

It's interesting that Alexander Downer is on JJJ's Hack doing interviews. He used to despise the program, and then prime minister John Howard refused to even do one interview with the radio show that reached more than half a million young Australians, in every town and village across the country. Downer always made it sound like he was doing Steve Cannane some huge favour by reducing himself to speaking to Yoof Radio.

Now, of course, Downer has plenty of time for Hack. It's one of the few media outlets that reaches a huge audience in Australia that is still interested in what he has to say.
The Sydney Morning Herald on the no-really? shocking revelation that The Woman Who Fell In Love With A Stranger's Jacket is actually a, very successful, exercise in viral marketing :

You've Been Had? No, I think you'll find it was the Sydney Morning Herald, and every single mainstream news echo chamber in Australia that has been had. Not me, not you, but all of them. They ran the ridiculous story as a factual event, even though most of the journalists who covered it suspected from the start that it was all as dodgy as.
Rupert Murdoch's Mum Goes Where Her Son's Newspapers Fear To Tred

Dame Elizabeth Murdoch says what The Australian newspaper's most glorified columnists still refuse to fully acknowledge, in print :
"I could never quite forgive (John) Howard for insisting on going on and destroying the party and himself"
No doubt during one of her weekly hour or so long calls with her son, Liz expressed her dislike of Howard, probably around the time the Daily Telegraph and other Murdoch papers began an Obama-media like campaign hailing Kevin Rudd as the new leader of Australia.

Liz also reveals that delicate Rupert can't stand the lack of central heating in her old house.

"They get soft," she says in reference to her aubergine-haired son.

Complaining about his mum's places not having central heating isn't the sort of behaviour you'd expect from a climate change alarmist like Rupert.

This interesting Murdoch-related note, considering the past three weeks of Israel's civilian slaughter in Gaza, taken from the new Murdoch worshipping biography, The Man Who Owns The News (already being given away with Crikey subscriptions) :
When father Murdoch attacks the Palestinians, (his son) James says he’s “Talking fucking nonsense. … They were kicked out of their fucking homes and had nowhere to fucking live.”

September 2007 : Murdoch Journalist Denies Murdoch Media Conspiracy To Get Kevin Rudd Elected

The Most Influential Australian Of All Time Is....An American

Murdoch's Billion Dollar Bungle In China

Murdoch Admits Using His Worldwide Media Empire To Shape Opinion On The Iraq War

How Murdoch Influences Politicians : Do What I Tell You Or My Newspapers Will Bury You
The Last Day

"I can look you in the eye and tell you I feel I've tried to solve the problem diplomatically to the max...

- US President George W. Bush, April 24, 2006
A few more all but forgotten Bushisms here. I'm not sure Bushisms will be funny, at all, in a decade's time. They will probably just seem...sad. Reminders of too many wasted years, wasted lives, wasted opportunities in the life of America.

Obama will not be the Messiah that unrepentent Bush-lovers hope that Americans are praying for (so Bush lovers can point and hoot if Obama fails to be anything less than monumental), but put it this way : Obama will have to work miracles to be any fucking worse for America, and the world, than Bush was.

Here's my sign-off from The Last Days Of President George W. Bush blog.
A Cool Change

"Seriously man, one day I'm gonna be president!"

Obamamamamamamama : a short essay I wrote over at Your New Reality

Monday, January 19, 2009

Australia Will Back UN Investigation Of Israel War Crimes

The Rudd government treads softly, but the message is clear :

A spokeswoman for the Prime Minister said the government was deeply concerned about the continuing conflict in the Gaza Strip.

"The death of Palestinian civilians in conflict is tragic and we urge Israel to ensure that it takes all precautions to avoid and minimise harm to civilians," she said.

"The Australian government supports the proper investigation of allegations of violations of international law."

That's diplomatic speak for 'war crimes'.

The Rudd government doesn't have to look too far to find obvious violations of international law by Israel :

From the Protocol on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Incendiary Weapons :
1. It is prohibited in all circumstances to make the civilian population as such, individual civilians or civilian objects the object of attack by incendiary weapons.

2. It is prohibited in all circumstances to make any military objective located within a concentration of civilians the object of attack by air-delivered incendiary weapons.

A federal Labor source says that the disgust and anger at Israel's slaughter of hundreds of children in Gaza, and the targeting of hospitals, schools and even UN food warehouses, is deep and wide and very much alive across the government, including many of those politicians who have long thought that Israel could do next to no wrong.

Apparently, during the Christmas-New Year break, a lot of federal, and state, politicians copped earfuls of questions, outrage and abuse from friends and family and neighbours on why Australia was so quiet about what Israel was doing to the people of Gaza, and why we were not, as a nation, voicing our opposition to a War On Terror ally killing and wounding thousands of civilians.

Some will try and convince you that the only Australians fully outraged and disgusted by the destruction of Gaza and the slaying of so many children are Muslims with Palestinian-heritage.

They are liars.

The Inner Hoon Never Dies

It would be very interesting to know how many of these MidLife Crisis Hoons the Victorian Police now claim are now smoking their tyres in the streets never had a hoon-worthy car to hoon hard back when Cold Chisel and The Angels were still at the top of the charts.

...while the majority of hoon drivers are under 25, drivers between 40 to 60 years old are frequently flouting the law.

"That middle life crisis hoon is starting to emerge," he said.

"We have seen more than 150 of those in the 12 months. It is a bit confusing, to be perfectly honest, for the police to understand this. These are mature, sensible people, one would think, but they are putting themselves at risk and other road users at risk."

The inner hoon never dies, it just retreats, saying, 'Okay, you got this family thing for a couple of decades, so I'll leave alone. But I'll be back.'

I'll take a wild guess that a lot of these MiLCHers never actually had a hoonable car, in their youth, when you're supposed to get that kind of thing out of your system, and sometimes die doing it. But in their 40s, they finally had the money to buy that totally fangable car, with no need for child seats anymore, perhaps even something now vintage, the kind of car they'd once had posters of stuck to the walls of their teenaged bedrooms.

And, presumably, the purchase of that grunting car came shortly after the divorce.
For Every Three Babies Born In Australia, One Miscarries

Now that the gruesome hysteria surrounding abortion in Australia has faded with the continuing loss, and influence, of right-wing conservative power, it's time well overdue to bring a true 'dark secret' into the media spotlight. That the Australian mainstream media so rarely even discusses this daily tragedy affecting thousands of people is a tragedy in itself, and inexcusable.

Monica Dux :

I recently suffered a miscarriage. I was deeply shaken by the physical process and by the intensity of my grief. But...very few people were aware I'd even been pregnant. And because the pregnancy was a secret, its loss was doubly hard to broach.

Yet, as word of my "secret" slowly spread through my social circle, I was stunned by the number of miscarriage stories women suddenly had to share, as if I'd been admitted to a secret society. Some talked of long, excruciating waits before they could confirm the "failed pregnancy" diagnosis, others of their anguish as they passed a recognisable foetus. One acquaintance confided the disappointment of five lost pregnancies had been the biggest factor in the breakdown of her marriage. All the women spoke of how difficult it was to publicly express their grief, and of the silence that permeates the experience.

The Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health recently reported that, for every three women who have given birth by their early 30s, one has had a miscarriage. Yet despite its frequency, miscarriage is an almost invisible phenomenon. It seems our society is not geared towards grieving, or even acknowledging, the loss of an early pregnancy.

As the American author Peggy Orenstein has observed, the English language doesn't even have a word for a lost foetus.

Read The Full Story Here

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Australia's Bermuda Triangle? Or Is It Australia's Area 51?

A Google Earth image of the Exmouth military base discussed in the below story.

By Darryl Mason

I've been mulling over ideas for a long-short fiction story about UFOs in Australia, particularly about a UFO visit to a dying country town. Googling UFOs and Australia turns up some interesting stuff, some of it mundane, some of it apparently unexplainable, and some of it downright loco.

Whatever they are, there sure are a shitload of reports about UFOs zipping, zapping, whipping and zooming across Australian skies.

Naturally, the government knows all about it.

According to this site the UnOpposition leader Malcolm Turnbull is "keeping mysteriously quiet on the topic" of UFOs. I think that means he was momentarily stunned into silence when quizzed by a stranger in the street about The Great Australian UFO (You Know Something! Tell Me!) Cover Up :
Michael Cohen, of All News Web, happened to chance upon Mr Turnbull and ask him a few questions regarding UFO related topics, probably the first time he was asked anything on the topic by any media outlet.

Some of his answers were startling.

On whether he would disclose what the Government knew about UFO and Alien visitation and contact with humans he was rather evasive, claiming he wasn't sure they knew anything and if they did they weren't telling him or anyone he knows.

Then he made the surprise revelation: "That information would be above top secret, highest classification of secrecy". This was a truly remarkable comment. He also mentioned that 'Australia hasn't had its Roswell yet' to which our reporter replied 'That's not exactly true.'

When asked if he believed earth is being visited by Aliens and whether he believed in UFO's he simply reversed the question and asked our reporter if he did. Yet the impression gained was that he knew more than he was prepared to give away.
Typical Turnbull. Full of secrets. Fun secrets. I want to see Kerry O'Brien on the 7.30 Report hammering Turnbull about his top secret UFO knowledge and their secret bases in Australia.

And maybe Turnbull can be quizzed more thoroughly on what he knows about the recent mid-air incidents with Qantas jets and how they are not what they appear to be. If you really fire up the imagination, you can clearly see that UFOs had to involved :
Both incidents occurred in almost the exact same spot over the mysterious town of Exmouth in Western Australia. The town happens to contain two highly restricted military bases as a well as the Learmonth Solar Observatory which is also used for planetary defense including ionosphere monitoring and meteor detection and tracking: A great cover for actual UFO related activity.

The Naval Communications Station Harold E Holt is notoriously secretive regarding its activities and reportedly denied any connection to the events. Even Less is known about the RAAF base Learmonth or the very secretive Learmonth Solar Observatory: tellingly managed by the US Air Force. Almost nothing is known of the NASA established Learmonth Magnetic Observatory, now also under US Air Force control.

The question must be asked: Is Exmouth Australia’s Area-51 and are UFO’s either being monitored from here or even using a landing base in the region as a stepping stone for exploring earth?
Yeah, it is a question that must be asked. Someone has to go after Turnbull again, he sounds punchy when people start demanding UFO discolsure from him. He must be made to detail the truth about Australia's Secret UFO Earth Exploration Terminal & Lounge Bar at Exmouth, with all those alien spacecraft landing strips cleverly disguised as dirt access roads for radar tower engineers.


At Katoomba, in the Blue Mountains, there used to be this amazing little museum (under the revolving restuarant, near the Three Sister lookout at Echo Point) that featured wall displays of newspaper reports, illustrations and sometimes even photos of supposed local sightings of UFOs, big cats and Yowies.

To a six year old, learning that wild, ravenous panthers and tall, hairy monster men roamed the mountains was fairly mundane stuff. I already knew from watching Leonard Nimoy hosting Great Mysteries Of The World on Saturday afternoons that monsters stalking urban-fringing forests was no big deal, in the United States, England or Australia.

But that little Echo Point museum also went into great detail about (naturally) top secret UFO bases operating freely in the isolation of the Blue Mountains. They were hidden inside some of the mountains, if I remember rightly, and huge slabs of cliff face would open so massive alien aircraft could zoom into the clouds, all but undetected by earth-based lifeforms.

Even at six years old, the bullshit alarm beeped a little as I wandered that pokey little museum, but what fantastic imaginative fuel it was to feast on before going to the lookout to search the trees and cliffs for just the faintest sign of those UFO base entrances, and exits, that I truly hoped were actually there.

That little museum, and its fantastical local tales of alien spacecraft and forest monsters, long gone now, always made those family trips to the mountains just that little bit more exciting.

I lived in the Blue Mountains twenty years after those family visits, and I saw a lot of weird, unexplainable shit late at night, up there, but most of it involved locals stumbling home from the Gearins Hotel. And I never accidentally came across any entrances to secret UFO bases either, on any of the many long walks through the bush. Not that I was really looking...

Well, maybe....sometimes.
Would You Pay $1100 For The Lasting Pleasure Of Dropping One Tonne Of HorseShit At The Gates Of NSW Parliament?

Fines are supposed to discourage people from not breaking the law. There are many in NSW who must think only being fined $1100 for unlawfully depositing horse shit in front of State Parliament is a a pretty good deal :
When Leonard Devine dumped a tonne of horse manure at Parliament House's Macquarie Street gates, you could not mistake his message.

To be sure he planted a placard in it, saying: "CORPORATE GOVT - JUST STINKS".

Another of his placards read: "Police, firemen, nurses, teachers, ambos, paramedics all underpaid, not politicians."

Devine was fined $1100 yesterday for unlawfully depositing waste, but the unrepentant ex-roof tiler told Downing Centre Local Court: "I don't really think I've done anything wrong."

The court heard on August 28 last year, Devine stopped his tipper truck on Macquarie St, outside State Parliament, dumped a tonne of horse manure on the footpath and was arrested.

Why did he do it? Simple. He "couldn't take it anymore."

Friday, January 16, 2009

Non-Terrorist Petrol Bombs

In the WTF? story of the month :

Two backpackers claimed that they had been unwittingly caught up in a 100km police chase last night, in a van crammed with petrol bombs and fuel drums.

Last night police were trying to determine if the male and female backpackers were unsuspecting tourists or willing accomplices.

The three were cuffed, with the driver pinned face-down on the driveway for 30 minutes, before they were taken away in separate police vehicles.

Witnesses reported more than a dozen police cars were involved in the arrest, while PolAir flew overhead. Service station franchisee Praveen Singh was shocked by the number of police.

"I've never seen that many police any time we have had an armed robbery," he said.

He told The Daily Telegraph police vehicles had screeched in and surrounded the van before police detained the three people, all aged in their early 20s.

"The van had bottles with rags coming out, molotov cocktails, some computer equipment, paperwork, like files, some fuel drums and hoses like you would use for siphoning," Mr Singh said.

"The 44-gallon drums were at least half full of fuel because the cops couldn't move them."

A police spokesman said the incident did not appear to be terrorism related.

Investigations continued last night but no charges had been laid.

A van filled with petrol bombs and fuel involved in a 100km long police chase and no charges have been laid?

What's wrong with this story?

If it's all true, the backpackers must have absolutely shit themselves when the van was surrounded by police. But then, when you look at a photograph of the van, you'd imagine it would be impossible not to know, by the smell alone, that the van was crammed with fuel in containers and drums.

Was something terrible supposed to have happened that thankfully did not?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Joyce Refuses To Goose Step Around Liberal Party Offices

Nationals Senate leader Barnaby Joyce is not a disciple of Al Gore. Climate change is, according to Joyce, basically bullshit, and the emission trading system is a scam to introduce a crippling new tax, on everyone (he's not far wrong there). But don't go thinking that these beliefs put Joyce at odds with Liberals leader Malcolm Turnbull in any way at all, or that a clash of their beliefs will cause yet more chaos for the coalition.

Hell, no :

Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull has played down suggestions of a rift in the Coalition over climate change.

Joyce voiced strong opposition to the Government's proposed emissions trading scheme, labelling it as nothing more than a "new tax" and adding: "I think that is a load of rubbish to think that Australia is going to change the climate."

Cue Malcolm Turnbull with plenty of buckets of cold water for all the other Nationals and Liberals who think Joyce is spot on :

"The Coalition's position on this issue is very well known - it's the same that we had in government," he said.

"We're very committed to action on climate change that is economically responsible and environmentally effective."

Joyce :

"[Does] one has to sort of fall into a lock step, goose step, and parade around the office ranting and raving that we're all as one?"

Yes, according to Turnbull, one does :

Mr Turnbull says the Coalition will be responding with "one voice" when the Government releases its legislation for the scheme in the coming months.

Joyce is convinced that there are plenty of votes out there for politicians who will stand up to The Green Terror (of Andrew Bolt and Tim Blair fantasies), and that the overwhelming number of Australians who backed Rudd on climate change policies are now dwindling away as the economic sleeper hold begins to take effect.

Joyce may be right about climate change true believers peeling away, but there's not a lot of poll proof to back it up. Yet. Regardless, a very public and extended clash between Turnbull (poncy inner city Lefty-friendly, Green religionist, disguised as a Liberal Party leader) and Joyce (Bloody Rational Nationals, mate!) certainly seems to be on the cards.

Rudd will let them brawl out their climate change differences in public, while intricately analysing the public response, and will presumably change his climate change policy accordingly. That is, enough to ensure a second term in office if Joyce's A Great Climate Change Swindle manages to become a bigger issue of concern for most than, say, not having a house, or a job, or reliable sources of food.

If there is a great, unrecognised mass of Australian voters who believe carbon dioxide is not a pollutant, and thinks trying to stop climate change is more of a risk than letting it happen, Joyce will no doubt find them.

But if they're there, Rudd will no doubt find a way to reach them, and win them over, once Joyce has pulled them from the shadows.

But for Rudd, 2008 was a warm-up. In 2009, the RuddBot will joined by Ruddzilla. Well, hopefully, if covering politics in even a distracted and half-hearted way is going to be any kind of intriguing entertainment. I've seen circling flies fall asleep, mid-flight, when Rudd speeches are were droning out of the television last year.

Barnaby Joyce already believes he would make a damn fine prime minister, and that most Australians harbour an affection for him and his straight-talking ways (probably true enough), and perhaps Joyce smells the blood in the water over Turnbull's abysmal polling in the past few months. Turnbull didn't exactly have Rudd, or Julia Gillard, on the ropes in the second half of 2008, did he?

Let's face it, the Liberals-National coalition isn't exactly brimming over with credible leadership choices right now. They've got Turnbull, Joe Hockey and Barnaby Joyce, and that's about it.

Unless, of course, they all come to their sense and bring back Brendan "We've Lost Your Son's Body" Nelson.

John Howard Happy That Al Qaeda's Prayers Have Been Answered

After accepting his Medal Of Freedom from President Bush, ex-Australian prime minister, John Howard, described his happiness that Al Qaeda got what he believed they wanted.

“There is no doubt it is an historic moment for the United States to have for the first time a president who is an African-American and it must be a wonderful thing if you are that part of that section of this country to feel at long last one of your own has been chosen for the highest office," Mr Howard said at a media conference.

“People want him to succeed; I want him to succeed.’’

Obviously he's talking about Barack Obama, but when John Howard doesn't like somebody, he consistently refuses to say their name, even when speaking at length about them. The name "Obama" did not leave Howard's lips during his post-decoration press conference.

Here's what Howard had to say about the possibility of Barack Obama winning the presidency of the United States, within hours of Obama's official announcement, in February 2007 :

"I think that will just encourage those who want to completely destabilise and destroy Iraq, and create chaos and a victory for the terrorists to hang on and hope for an Obama victory."

"If I were running al-Qaeda in Iraq, I praying as many times as possible for a victory not only for Obama but also for the Democrats."

Howard will only say this, now :
“But you say a lot of things to get a point across and I don’t think there is anything served by revisiting it,’’ Mr Howard said.

Here's how President Bush described John Howard, and why he was rewarding Howard for his "loyalty", along with two other "loyal" former leaders, including the already all but forgotten Tony Blair :

“They are the sort of guys who look you in the eye, and tell you the truth and keep their word.”

John Howard gave his word to Bush that Australia would send troops to a War On Iraq within days of the September 11 terror attacks. He didn't bother telling the Australian public that he had committed Australian troops to fight in the Iraq War until the eve of the war itself.

Howard yesterday on Iraq :
“I think it is fair to say that President Bush was right and most of his critics were wrong,’’ saying thanks to the surge there was a reasonable prospect of an “Iraqi version of democracy”.
One of the main reasons why the so-called 'troop surge' succeeded was the implementation of a program where the most deadly of Iraqi insurgents were paid, handsomely, not to kill American troops. Those who we were told were "terrorists!" were rewarded for their ability to slay Australian, American and British soldiers. They didn't negotiate with these terrorists, they just handed them big bags of cash.

On the value of the Medal Of Freedom, a letter from the Sydney Morning Herald :

My father, Murray Tindale, was one of about 12 Australian servicemen who received a Medal of Freedom (which I still have) from President Truman after World War II.

My father, who spoke fluent Japanese, received his medal for his service with the 158th Regimental Combat Team, including "successfully handling over 600 prisoners of war during the Luzon campaign" in 1945.

I have the newspaper cutting listing the famous Australians, such as General Frank Berryman and Lieutenant-General Sir Leslie Morshead, who bravely served their country when Australia was in peril. These are normally the sort of people who are awarded this very high honour by the US.

To present the Medal of Freedom to John Howard denigrates the award, its holders and their achievements.

Gretel Woodward Watsons Bay

CNN tells the truth that most Australian TV news simply will not :

(via Grods comments)

Monday, January 12, 2009

13 Year Old Girl Punches Out Five Metre Shark

Nature's War On Humans hits another major setback. Thanks to 13 year old Hannah Mighall, even teenagers now know that the deadliest living arsenal Nature has to keep us out of its oceans can be beaten, and humiliated :

"We were just surfing and (Hannah) was probably five or 10 metres out in front of me," he said.

"The next thing I know she screamed and disappeared under the water.

"She came up and was fighting the shark and hitting it and screaming 'help me, help me, help me'. We didn't see it coming.

"It grabbed her surfboard and dragged that under and she still had her leg rope on and it dragged her under again.

"She kept it together. There was blood everywhere and I didn't know whether it was going to try and bite her again.

"She's 13 years old. She made me very proud. She gave me the strength to stay there with her in the water - when I saw the way she was fighting it off.

"She was scared but she fought it off. She wasn't going to let it beat her.

"I was stunned - I didn't know what to do. She was the one who pulled me through it. She's the hero. She's my hero."

More here

Hannah hasn't changed her mind about her planned career : marine biologist.

Now we know that teenage girls can take on five metre white pointers, and win, we can't be too far away from the creation of a breathtaking new Australian sport : deep water, bare-handed shark fighting. More action packed than koala wrestling and kangaroo polo.

UPDATE : More shark attacks and more Australians fight back against the so-called lions of the sea. It's time to remake Jaws, but with Australians launching themselves into the water to go one on one, fist versus snout :

A snorkeller has suffered 40 puncture wounds to his leg and abrasions to his hand after he punched a shark that was biting him.

The 23-year-old man was snorkelling under the Windang Bridge about 10.45am when he felt a tug on his leg, a NSW Ambulance spokeswoman said.

He turned around to see a flurry of white water and "punched at a brown shape", believed to have been a bull shark.

Legendary shark hunter Vic Hislop' has a theory about the spate of recent Shark Vs Human attacks and it screams out "Make Me Into A Movie!" Sharks are, according to Hislop, running low on their usual diet of assorted varieties of sea kittens, and view humans are "an alternative food source" :
Mr Hislop said 200 years of over-fishing Australian waters had turned the attention of big sharks to "gentler" prey such as dugong, turtles and dolphins.

"That's what's in their stomach now every day," he said on Macquarie Radio today.

"As the turtles disappear, which is inevitable, and the dugong herds disappear, humans are next in line on the food chain.

"It will definitely get worse."
Boring experts dismiss Hislop's theory :
But Tarango Zoo shark biologist John West rejected the claim saying if any species behaviour was changing it was humans.

He said there may have been a rise in the number of shark sighting but that was only because more people were spending more time in the water.

Population increases and wetsuits that allow people to swim through the colder months would increase the chance of someone coming into contact with a shark.

"It may sound logical that over-fishing would lead to more attacks but it has no basis in fact," he said.
As long as the sharks believe that, too.
A (mostly) native garden in Springwood, Blue Mountains, Australia - January 10.

All photos by Darryl Mason

Saturday, January 10, 2009

John Pilger On The Gaza Genocide

Australian journalist, and decades-long veteran war correspondent, John Pilger, remains one of the most internationally respected and best-selling non-fiction writers this country has ever produced, and yet no Australian daily newspaper will publish his work. Not one. He's a journalist who he can premiere his latest documentary in Sydney and Melbourne and pull audiences numbering in the thousands, but Pilger is effectively black-banned by the mainstream Australian media.

Are stories like this the reason why?
For what happens in Gaza is the defining moment of our time, which either grants the impunity of war criminals the immunity of our silence, while we contort our own intellect and morality, or gives us the power to speak out. For the moment I prefer my own memory of Gaza: of the people's courage and resistance and their "luminous humanity," as Karma Nabulsi put it.

On my last trip there, I was rewarded with a spectacle of Palestinian flags fluttering in unlikely places. It was dusk and children had done this. No one told them to do it. They made flagpoles out of sticks tied together, and a few of them climbed on to a wall and held the flag between them, some silently, others crying out. They do this every day when they know foreigners are leaving, believing the world will not forget them.

Read The Full Story Here