Tuesday, December 19, 2006

BPARD - A Pom's worst nightmare


The British People Against Racial Discrimination have reported Tooheys to the Advertising Standards Board over an advert that claims their brand is "cold enough to scare a pom."

BPARD spokesman, David Thomason, claims the word 'pom' is

"every bit as bad as the term n***er".

Err, no, Dave, it isn't. It has no slave connotations nor is it offensive. Dickhead.

BPARD apparently has as committee of 14 and branches in Perth and Melbourne. Dave is, according to Google, a 58 year-old retired gas fitter who emigrated in 1970.

The Human Righs and Equal Opportunity Commission has classified the word 'pom' as inoffensive but would act on the phrase 'filthy pom'.
Dave - fuck off, get a life and get out more. You're an embarassment to your country.

Update; these muppets have lost their case. Nearly as heart-warming as the news that Warney will be retiring.

Update; more here. There's a lot of people who dont like each other on these threads...

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A victory for tolerance and freedom

On Dec 14th, three Victorian Court of Appeal Judges unanimously threw out a previous judgement from the Victorian Civil and Administrative Appeals Tribunal (VCAT) that two Christian pastors had engaged in conduct that incited hatred and contempt for Islam.

This was the first test case under Victoria's controversial Racial and Religious Tolerance Act of 2001 brought by the Islamic Council of Victoria against two Catch the Fire Ministers.

VCAT had alleged that the Ministers had caused 250 Christians to "laugh at" Islam during a seminar in 2002.

The case was sent back to the original tribunal to be heard by a different judge. The Islamic Council of Victoria was ordered to pay half the costs.

Mr. Scot, one of the accused, had apparently read quotations fro the Koran which "made fun of Muslim beliefs in a hostile and demeaning manner".

A victory for common sense?

Not, according to Australia's Islamophobic Watch, which screamed that the "Christian right in Australia has been given the green light to incite hatred against Islam".

Mr Scot added that "people should know it [Islam] from the primary sources, and not be misled by politically correct teachers who don't know the reality of Islam and want to glorify it with false pretensions and assumptions."

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Monday, December 18, 2006

Time Person of the Year


On behalf of the whole pommygranate family, i would like to dedicate this award to my beautiful wife, loving children, the Lord Jesus Christ, bla bla.

Enough.

Why did Time really vote me as their 'Person of the Year'?

i) Given the competition (Nancy, W, Condi, Hugo, the Mad Mullah, Lil Kim), i certainly deserved it.

ii) Take a look at the online voting. Hugo Chavez is miles in front. Followed by Ahmadinnerjacket of Iran.

Perhaps Time panicked and in an attempt to hide its increasingly barking readers' views, plumped for the least controversial recipient. i.e. me.

Anyways, it will certainly look good on the CV.

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Saturday, December 16, 2006

Australia's sharks are back


Update; call me a scaredy-cat but are the waters of NSW just teeming with sharks? And i don't mean the nice ones you get in England.

Feb 2; surfer mauled by a Great White in Lennox Head, NSW
Jan 23; Abalone diver half-eaten by Great White again in NSW
Dec 12; a dozen hammerhead sharks were spotted just 150m off the Wollongong coast, near Sydney.

As a result of the friendly-looking creatures below having returned to Sydney's waters, the heli patrols are back.



Australia suffers about one shark fatality per year, which is astonishing as these waters, according to one expert, are 'packed with sharks - bulls, hammerheads and pointers'.

Yes, pointers. Known to the rest of the world as the Great White Shark. In typical Australian style, they take one of the most ferocious predators on the planet (one of the few with a genuine claim to dinosaur heritage) and change its rather alarming name to the 'Pointer', which sounds about as scary as a mackerel.

Update; 'pointer' mauls surfer off Bells Beach in Melbourne last night and leaves his teeth in the guy's wetsuit as souvenier.

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What happened to the Bikini March?


I was looking forward to taking some pics and joining in with the demonstrators last weekend at the Great Bikini march.

The rally had been planned as a protest against recent inflammatory comments (women who get raped are basically asking for it) made by Australia's most senior Muslim cleric, Sheik Hilali. However, the organisers came in for some pretty heavy personal attacks from the media, which eventually forced them to abandon the event. Choosing the anniversary of the Cronulla riots as march day was fairly insensitive to put it mildly.

The rally also looked as though it was going to attract some fairly unsavoury types, namely Stormfront.

"Some people are very powerful -- it would appear that free speech in a tolerant society is not tolerated," march organisers stated on their website.

Christine Hawkins, the rally organiser was interviewed on ABC radio. She was given a fairly hard time by the interviewer.

Slackbastard has lots of info on his website.

This story has much further to run and should allow me to feature plenty more scantily-clad 'uncovered meats'.




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Brits leaving Britain

The number of British citizens who chose to leave for good doubled from 53,000 in 2001 to 107,000 last year, according to the Institute for Public Policy Research. All in, some 5.5 million Brits now live abroad. The most popular destinations are Australia, Spain, the US and Canada. Going the other way are some 300,000 immigrants into Britain.

It is not surprising to see people move around but it is surprising to see the number leaving Britain permanently double in just five years.

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Thursday, December 14, 2006

The curious incident of Iktimal Hage-Ali


Further update; Iktimal Hage-Ali has relinquished the title of NSW Young Australian of the Year following controversy surrounding her arrest over an alleged cocaine supply ring.

There's definitely more to this story than meets the eye.

Update;

The Australian reports that a former member of Strike Force Gain - set up to investigate shootings involving young men of Middle Eastern descent in southwest Sydney and a forerunner to the Middle Eastern Crime Squad - is the brother of the co-founder of the Muslim Village, the website that attacked Ms Hage-Ali for speaking out against Sheik Hilali.

Friends of Ms Hage-Ali said yesterday the she was a victim of a smear campaign because she had criticised Sheik Hilali over a Ramadan sermon interpreted as justifying rape.
Another friend said her opponents were tarnishing "her reputation because she doesn't wear the headscarf".

Curiouser and curiouser

Update; was Iktimal the victim of a Daily Telegraph stitch-up?
Did they know about her Nov 22 arrest and subsequent release before they dubbed her the state's most promising young Muslim leader?

Crikey is pretty sure they did and accuses The Telegraph of a 'pump and dump' strategy more commonly associated with Pop Idol contestants.

Turns out Iktimal is actually an Alawi, a Syrian branch of Shi'a Islam. Many Muslims commenting on local forums are claiming that Alawis are not proper Muslims. True?

3/1/07 update; now that the title of Young Australian of the Year is vacant, this remarkable young woman is a possible replacement for Iktimal.

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Office Christmas Party

FROM: Pauline Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All Employees
DATE: 4th November 2006
RE: Christmas Party

I'm happy to inform you that the company Christmas Party will take place on December 23rd, starting at noon in the private function room at the Grill House. There will be a cash bar and plenty of drinks! We'll have a small band playing traditional carols...please feel free to sing along. And don't be surprised if the MD shows up dressed as Santa Claus! A Christmas tree will be lit at 1.00p.m.. Exchange of gifts among employees can be done at that time; however, no gift should be over £10.00 to make the giving of gifts easy for everyone's pockets. This gathering is only for employees! The MD will make a special announcement at the Party.Merry Christmas to you and your Family. Pauline---------------------------------------------------------------------------

FROM: Pauline Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All Employees
DATE: 5th November 2006
RE: Holiday Party

In no way was yesterday's memo intended to exclude our Jewish employees. We recognise that Chanukah is an important holiday, which often coincides with Christmas, though unfortunately not this year. However, from now on we're calling it our 'Holiday Party'. The same policy applies to any other employees who are not Christians. There will be no Christmas tree or Christmas carols sung. We will have other types of music for your enjoyment. Happy now? Happy Holidays to you and your family,Pauline.-----------------------------------------------------------------

FROM; Pauline Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All Employees
DATE: 6th November 2006
RE: Holiday Party

Regarding the note I received from a member of Alcoholics Anonymous requesting a non-drinking table...you didn't sign your name. I'm happy to accommodate this request, but if I put a sign on a table that reads, "AA Only", you wouldn't be anonymous anymore!!!! How am I supposed to handle this? Somebody? Forget about the gift exchange, no gift exchange allowed now since the Union Officials feel that £10.00 is too much money and Management believe £10.00 is a little cheap. NO GIFT EXCHANGE WILL BE ALLOWED. Pauline.------------------

FROM: Pauline Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All Employees
DATE: 7th November 2006
RE: Holiday Party

What a diverse group we are! I had no idea that December 20th begins the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which forbids eating and drinking during daylight hours. There goes the party! Seriously, we can appreciate how a luncheon at this time of year does not accommodate our Muslim employees' beliefs, perhaps the Grill House can hold off on serving your meal until the end of the party or else package everything up for you to take home in alittle foil doggy bag. Will that work?Meanwhile, I've arranged for members of Weight Watchers to sit farthest from the dessert buffet and pregnant women will get the table closest to the toilets, Gays are allowed to sit with each other, Lesbians do not have to sit with gay men, each will have their own table. Yes, there will be flower arrangements for the gay men's table too. To the person asking permission to cross dress - no cross dressing allowed. We will have booster seats for short people. Low fat food will be available for those on a diet. We cannot control the salt used in the food: we suggest those people with high blood pressure taste the food first.. There will be fresh fruits as dessert for Diabetics; the restaurant cannot supply "No Sugar" desserts. Sorry! Did I miss anything?!?!?!?!?!Pauline.-----------------------------------------------------------------

FROM: Pauline Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All F****** Employees
DATE: 8 November 2006
RE: The F******** Holiday Party.

Vegetarian pricks. I've had it with you people!!! We're going to keep this party at the Grill House whether you like it or not, so you can sit quietly at the table furthest from the "grill of death", as you so quaintly put it, you'll get your f****** salad bar, including organic tomatoes, but you know tomatoes have feelings too, they scream when you slice them. I've heard them scream. I'm hearing them scream right NOW!! I hope you all have a rotten holiday, drink, drive and die.The Bitch from HELL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!---------------------------------------------

FROM: John Bishop - Acting Human Resources Director
DATE: 9th November 2006
RE: Pauline Lewis and Holiday Party

I'm sure I speak for all of us in wishing Pauline Lewis a speedy recovery, and I'll continue to forward your cards to her. In the meantime, the Management has decided to cancel our Holiday Party and instead, give everyone the afternoon of the 23rd December off with full pay.

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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Iktimal Hage-Ali vilified for toasting her success


The rather delicious looking 22 year old, Iktimal Hage-Ali, has become the target of a hate campaign from her fellow Muslims after admitting that she celebrated her award as Australian of the Year, with a glass of champagne.

"It's true, I was celebrating. Bloody hell, I had a glass of champagne in my hand – so what?"

Vile woman. Or as one commenter on Muslim Village said,

"drinking champagne, that is sick"

Quite. Especially if it's not Cristal.

She was also accused of other heinous crimes such as

"wearing revealing clothes"

"wearing nail polish"

"wearing make-up."
Update and thickening plot; Iktimal has been arrested, but not charged, in a police cocaine raid.

Ms Hage-Ali is the youngest member of John Howard's Muslim Community Reference Group and a former deputy chair of the State Government's Youth Advisory Council.

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Sunday, December 10, 2006

Aggers and Jonners

Is this the funniest 90 seconds ever on British radio?

It's the wonderful giggling fit by Jonners and Aggers over Botham's dismissal by Curtley Ambrose in the 1991 Oval Test match.

I still cry with laughter at Jonners' attempt to carry on with the commentary.

Takes my mind off the Ashes.

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Sunday, December 03, 2006

White Cliffs of Dover

I have now been sent this 'White Cliffs of Dover' email joke from ten different people (all with impeccable anti-racist credentials i might add).

I thought it was rather funny as did my various groups of friends judging by the email traffic.

Forwarding on this email cost Tory councillor and prospective parliamentary candidate, Ellenor Bland, her job.

The Liberal Democrats have been first off the mark. Ed Davey, chair of campaigns and communications said: ‘Despite David Cameron’s best PR efforts, the Conservative party clearly continues to contain some deeply unpleasant elements.’ The Lib Dems have even reported the matter to the Commission for Racial Equality.

However, unless there is more to the email than this photo, i fail to see what is racist about this caption. Xenophobic possibly, but definitely not racist. And anyway, isn't the "piss off - we're full" now the government's official line, since we are not letting in the Romanians and the Bulgarians?

Being accused of racism is still a crime worse than death. But the word's meaning is broadening by the day.

In the UK, a racist used to be someone who insulted people with dark skins. It is now someone who insults people with thin skins. I

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Thursday, November 30, 2006

Saturday, October 14, 2006

The Lancet - sensation seekers?

From the medical journal that brought you this 'peer-reviewed' article in early 2004,

The medical journal that published a controversial study linking MMR to autism says, with hindsight, it would not have published the paper.

Richard Horton, editor of the Lancet told the BBC the researchers had a "fatal conflict of interest",


this 'peer-reviewed' article in Jan 06

Indian experts say a new study which found that some 10 million female foetuses may have been aborted in the country in the past 20 years was sensationalist and inaccurate.

this from the New York Times in 1999

a 'prestigious' medical journal is publishing a study suggesting that genetically modified food may be harmful, even though the research has been widely criticized by scientists and was found wanting by some of the journal's own referees.

and now 655,000 deaths in Iraw (+/- 600,000).

Left-wing site, IraqBodyCount ridicules the methodology here








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Play any of these at my funeral and i'm taking you with me


A survey for the Bereavement Register has unearthed the 20 most popular songs requested at funerals.

Despite 'Goodbye My Lover' by James Blunt topping the poll, Mark Roy (the founder of the Bereavement Register) said without any trace of irony,

Gone are the days of dirges of yore, instead we are seeing contemporary music that is easier to relate to,"

That Top 10 in full;

1 - "Goodbye My Lover" - James Blunt

2 - "Angels" - Robbie Williams

3 - "I've Had The Time Of My Life" - Jennifer Warnes and Bill Medley.

4 - "Wind Beneath My Wings" - Bette Midler

5 - "Pie Jesu" - Requiem

6 - "Candle In The Wind" - Elton John

7 - "With Or Without You" - U2

8 - "Tears In Heaven" - Eric Clapton

9 - "Every Breath You Take - The Police

10 -"Unchained Melody" - Righteous Brothers.

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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Favourite books



The Observer lists their Top fiction books of the past 25 years.

Their Top 10 are;

Disgrace (1999)
JM Coetzee

Money (1984)
Martin Amis

Earthly Powers (1980)
Anthony Burgess

Atonement (2001)
Ian McEwan

The Blue Flower (1995)
Penelope Fitzgerald

The Unconsoled (1995)
Kazuo Ishiguro

Midnight's Children (1981)
Salman Rushdie

The Remains of the Day (1989)
Kazuo Ishiguro

Amongst Women (1990)
John McGahern

That They May Face the Rising Sun (2001)
John McGahern



My Top 10 would be;

Atomised - Michel Houellebecq
Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
Atonement - Ian McKewan
Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Attwood
Animal Farm - George Orwell
The Great Gatsby - Scott Fitzgerald
Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
Cocaine Nights/Super Cannes - J.G. Ballard



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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Spineless Spaniards

The Spanish clearly don't do irony very well...

Spanish villages are toning down traditional fiestas in which revelers blow up dummies representing the Prophet Mohammed for fear of offending Muslims.

Why you ask?
it could hurt some people's feelings

So what are they celebrating at these fiestas?
Villages all over Spain hold annual festivals to commemorate the "Reconquista," the reconquest of Spain by Christians from the Moors, which was completed in 1492 after more than 700 years of Muslim rule in much of the country.

Is there a more spineless country?

via LGF


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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Attacks on Jews up sixfold

Remember the warnings from police and Muslim community groups issued nanoseconds after each terror attack, that law abiding Muslim citizens must not be targetted for revenge attacks?

Well, they're not.

But Jews are.

Australian Jews keep count of anti-Semitic incidents, month by month, state by state. Jeremy Jones, the longstanding record-keeper and immediate past president of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, says the usual monthly average is about 25. In July he received 141 written reports of attacks, and they’re not all in yet.


Jewish students at Sydney University, who identify their faith with religious skullcaps, have been attacked and have been forced to cover their heads with baseball caps as a result reports the Telegraph.

Update - and now it's happening in the U.K.


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Sunday, September 03, 2006

BBC - guide to terror reporting

In order to help with the ongoing staff cutbacks at the BBC, i offer some helpful advice.

The next time there is a terrorist atrocity, simply issue the following statement and fill in the blanks. Easy. No expensive-on-the-ground reporters needed.

"Following the murder of a Jewish rabbi/torching of a synagogue/blowing up of diners in a cafe (insert atrocity here), Inspector Very P.C. Knackered of the Yard reminded the general public that there is most certainly no global jihad-to-see-here. There is absolutely no reason to suspect Islamic terrorism insisted Knacker, as it could just as likely be those pesky Presbyterians again.

Muslim group MPAC/JihadisRUs/Deathtotheinfidel.com/ WotHolocaust? (insert name of moderate Muslim community group here) vigorously condemned the attack but went on to blame Tony Blair's foreign policy/Israeli pigs/Katrina/Bono/Peaches Geldof/(insert excuse here) for poisoning the minds of young Muslim men and called for the immediate implementation of Sharia Law to provide Britain's youth with moral fibre/make their wives do more chores (insert benefits of Sharia here)."

BBC editors - it doesn't matter if P.C. Crap didn't actually say this, because he almost certainly is about to.

It also doesn't matter if a Muslim community leader hasn't blamed Tony's foreign excursions, since by the time you've nipped out for a coffee and a fag (not that sort obviously), he will.

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Saturday, September 02, 2006

Six year old twins pass GCSE Maths!



Two six year-old twins from Waltham Forest, northeast London, have just passed GCSE Maths.

Having studied for the exam for twelve months at a Saturday class, Peter scored a Grade G and Paula an F.

And who said GCSEs were being dumbed down?

The Times

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Saturday, August 26, 2006

No, Non, Nein to multiculturalism

The BBC's excellent 'Have Your Say' site has opened a real can of worms inviting readers to debate the topic of multiculturalism. Usually these debates are relatively two-sided. Not this one. I have never seen such an outpouring of anger and despair.

Is multiculturalism word the most despised word in the English language?

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Wednesday, August 09, 2006

French dhimmis

"It is evident that Iran plays a stabilising role in the region."

Philippe Douste-Blazy, France's Foreign Minister

Right. Good job France are in charge then.

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Monday, August 07, 2006

If only Mel was a Muslim




from Nick Cohen writing in last night's London Evening Standard

I can't help but feel sorry for Mel Gibson. If only he had joined the Muslim Brotherhood or Hezbollah rather than an ultra-reactionary Catholic sect, his views on a world Jewish conspiracy would have done him no harm. Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah declared that it if Jews 'all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide,' yet Channel 4 News bends over backwards to make excuses for him. Hamas, the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, has a constitution which might have been written by Adolph Hitler, yet the Foreign Office gives the Brotherhood public money and the allegedly "left-wing" Ken Livingstone hugs its spiritual leader.

You picked the wrong type of fascism, Mel. If only you'd been cannier, there would be pieces in the Independent denouncing your critics as Islamophobes.

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A proportionate response

Ehud Olmert in The Times on Aug 2nd.

The answer says it all.

Q: But there is a sense in the world, and you must be aware of it, of lack of "proportionality". Many people question how after two soldiers kidnapped and eight killed by Hezbollah we are now seeing upwards of 400 dead and rising in Lebanon. How can such an initial incident justify such a huge response from Israel?

A: I think that you are missing a major part. The war started not only by killing eight Israeli soldiers and abducting two but by shooting Katyusha and other rockets on the northern cities of Israel on that same morning. Indiscriminately.

Now we know that for years Hezbollah - assisted by Iran - built an infrastructure of a very significant volume in the south part of Lebanon to be used against Israeli people. The most obvious, simple, way to describe it to the average British person is: can you imagine seven million British citizens sitting for 22 days in Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham in Newcastle, in Brighton and in other cities? Twenty two days in shelters because a terrorist organisation was shooting rockets and missiles on their heads? What would have been the British reaction to that? Do you know of a country that would have responded to such a brutal attack on its citizens softer than Israel did? Based on my knowledge of history no country in Europe would have responded in such a restrained manner as Israel did.

I don’t want now to draw comparisons [but] one could ask the question what precisely did the European forces [do] in Kosovo 10 years ago. How many innocent civilians were killed in Kosovo 10 years ago? We can draw on and on these comparisons.

What are we talking about? More than a million Israelis are sitting 22 days in shelters because of the fear of terrorists. In every single case...that we kill an uninvolved civilian in Lebanon, we consider it as a failure for Israel. And you know how many Israelis raise their voices as a result of this? And they don’t have to because we feel that we failed when we killed uninvolved people.

The difference between us and Hezbollah is that when we kill innocent people we consider it a failure, when they kill innocent people they consider it a success.

Tell me, who are they aiming at when they shoot already 2800 rockets on Haifa, Hanariya, Akko, Sefat, Afula and the rest of the places, if not to kill innocent people? So I’m sorry for every individual that was killed that was not involved.

And by the way, how do you really know that 400 innocent civilians were killed? How do you know who is innocent and who is not? Why? This is not an army. They don’t wear uniforms that distinguish them from other civilians. We didn’t attack any of the Christian quarters of Beirut. We didn’t attack any of the Christian residential areas in any part of Lebanon. We attacked only those areas where they had the Katyusha launchers, where they had the missile launchers, where they had the command positions of Hezbollah, where they had the storage houses, the logistic centres and so on and so forth.

So the fact that people were killed there who were not dressed in uniforms doesn’t mean that they were innocent civilians. There were Hezbollah people, they are the terrorists. Did you ever see terrorists dressed with military uniforms like we have in our army? No.

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Ten questions for the Beirut Broadcasting Company


Ten questions for the BBC

If i was a journalist and wanted to find out the truth, i might just ask

i) Why haven’t we and the Europeans proposed a resolution calling on Hezbollah to move out of populated areas?

ii) Why is Hezbollah allowed to violate the Geneva Conventions by refusing to wear a uniform and hide among civilians?

iii) Why is there not worldwide condemnation for Hezbollah actually stopping civilians from fleeing areas to use them as human shields?

iv) Why is Hezbollah firing more rockets into Israel than vice versa but the killing ratio is 10:1 from Israel's side?

v) Why was this statement from Iranian nutter, AhmaDinnerJacket, at The Organization of the Islamic Conference on Thursday in front of 50 Islamic nations allowed to pass without any protest, from any single nation

“Although the main cure is the elimination of the Zionist regime, in this stage an immediate ceasefire should be implemented,”

vi) Following a public call from the Lebanese Shiite Muslim militia for Tehran to “accelerate and extend the scope of weapon shipments from Iran to the Islamic Resistance, particularly advanced missiles against ground and air targets.”, why has there been no threat of sanctions against Iran from the West unless they stop arming terrorists?

vii) Why was the official Qana dead number of 54 used by the media and not the 28 number from the International Red Cross?

viii) Why hasn't United Nations No 2 man, Mark Malloch Brown, been fired for refusing to call Hezbollah a terrorist organisation?
"It’s not helpful to couch this war in the language of international terrorism. Hizbollah employs terrorist tactics, it is an organisation however whose roots historically are completely separate and different from Al Qaeda."

xi) Why is the Western media not reporting the numerous attacks on Jews throughout the Western world, namely the desecration of the Brussels holocaust ceremony, the murder of a Seattle Jew on Saturday, the firebombing of a Sydney synagogue on Wednesday, the attack on marching Jews at a Montreal rally last week, the 'death to Israel' rallies that took place in Jakarta this week and
the 4 dead in Thailand on Tuesday, etc etc etc?

x) Why has the fatwa issued by Iran’s ayatollahs declaring that the use of nuclear weapons against its enemies as legitimate not been vigorously condmened?

Anyone who still can't see that this is the beginnings of something just truly awful is either blind and stupid (the majority Hello-reading Western population which frankly deserve to have their freedoms removed), mad (ex-Marxists, Respect, bla bla) or in denial (the Western media, public officials and 'academics'). Oh and by the way, we will all have to choose sides soon.

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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Vote Sarkozy

The best social model is one that gives a job to everyone, so it is evidently not ours

Nicolas Sarkozy, contender for the 2007 French Presidential election

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Sunday, July 30, 2006

Sharia Law in action

Welcome to Sharia Law.

Coming to a Western town near you very soon.

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Monday, July 24, 2006

Something extraordinary is happening in England

The government has just released information on National Insurance numbers granted to foreign workers, reports The Guardian. The numbers are simply astonishing. They represent the single largest change in England's ethnic mix in its recorded history.

In 2004, 439,000 foreign workers were issued with U.K. work visas. In 2005 that already breathtaking number had jumped to 662,000. This out of a total working population of some 30 million.

Most of the increase originated from the new EU members: Czech Republic, Cyprus, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia. In fact, Poland has now produced the largest ever single national group of entrants.

The government has massively underestimated the scale of eastern European migration. In 2003 a Home Office Study predicted that just 13,000 people would arrive each year from the new EU countries. Other EU countries were a little smarter and restricted the ability of these people to seek employment. In fact, only the U.K., Ireland and Sweden permitted full access to their jobs market.

The new arrivals are not spongers. Quite the reverse in fact. Only 3% claimed benefit last year and anecdotal stories abound of these workers putting the local population to shame with their work ethic.

Next year Romania and Bulgaria are set to join the EU with 30 million citizens between them.

This 'open door' policy on immigration may be great for today's middle classes (as the cost of lattes, cleaners and nannies are kept low) and for Business (wages are being kept below the rate of inflation by the arrival of so many skilled workers), but it is dire for the skilled working class who have seen their wages massively depressed and their jobs become more unsecure. Additionally, there are signs that the economy just cannot accommodate so many new workers and unemployment has risen by 120,000 over the past 12 months.

The effect on the local environment of the South-East is perilous. Despite average rainfalls within historic norms, there is an acute drought in the South-East. Accommodation is in short supply pushing prices above affordable levels for most workers.

There is only one MP brave enough to speak out. Frank Field made the prescient warning that "it is only because the BNP are so inept that the debate has not taken off."

If the mainstream parties do not address this issue, it will not be long before someone comes up with an ugly solution.

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Saturday, July 22, 2006

How SuperNanny would deal with Islamists

As any good parent knows, there are five ways to deal with bad behaviour from children. Maybe the same should be applied to the hysterical wailings of the Islamists.

They are, in increasing order of effectiveness

i) Appeasement - "oh little Jonny doesn't normally behave this way, he must be feeling a little low. What can we do to help you Jonny? TV? Playstation? more crisps? Oh please dont say that Jonny, why are you mad at mummy?"

Causes of parental appeasement; guilt (often as a result of absence), weakness
Result; bad behaviour increases in both the short and long term

ii) Angry retaliation - "shut the fuck up Jonny. If you ever do that again i swear i'll kill you" Result; immediate cessation of bad behaviour but serious problems loom longer term as vengeance is planned

iii) Ignore - say nothing, do nothing
Result; bad behaviour persists in the short term but less likely to be repeated.

iv) Ridicule - "look at little Jonny. What a temper tantrum! What a baby! Would you like some milk little baby?"
Result; immediate cessation of bad behaviour but seething resentment builds

v) Deal with bad behaviour on the spot and appropriately punish - "Jonny - that is not acceptable. If this persists, you will not be going to football on Saturday"
Result; bad behaviour stops, child realises he is in the wrong and is less likely to play up again, parent retains moral authority and respect.

The best overall approach is to use (v) most frequently with sprinklings of (ii), (iii) and (iv) thrown in. Maybe Jo, the SuperNanny on Channel 4, should be commissioned to do a new series on "Dealing with Islamists - helping Western governments become better parents"

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Thursday, July 06, 2006

Idiot

"I'll keep my cool...i've been kicked a few times in the tournament and i'm sure it will happen again on Saturday...you just have to get on with it and play your game. Above all, you have to stay cool."

Wayne Rooney
The Sun - Friday June 29

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Monday, June 19, 2006

They're watching you

Over at UK leftist site PooterGeek, an unwlecome visitor left a particularly unpleasant message for the site's host that 'niggers smell of shit'.

What was the reaction from PooterGeek? Ignore him? Ridicule him? Bad-mouth him?

Nope.

They traced him through his IP address back to his school server and called the Headteacher. For the unwelcome visitor was in fact a schoolboy.

The blogging community thrives on anonymity. This heavy handed approach will surely curtail the free and frank exchange of views that pass through blog sites.

A scary development.

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Sunday, June 18, 2006

White Man's Burden

A new book from William Easterly looks at why the $2.3trn spent on foreign aid over the past fifty years has had almost no discernable effect.

Easterly is an ex-World Bank economist and writes in 'The White Man's Burden' of the split between the traditional 'Planners' such as Bono and Geldof and the new 'Searchers' who seek more market oriented, bottom up approaches to Third World Aid. He makes three main criticisms of the traditional approach;

i) Planners announce good intentions but dont motivate anyone to carry them out.
ii) Planners raise expectations but take no responsibility for meeting them
iii) Planners at the top lack knowledge at the bottom

Read on...

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Friday, June 16, 2006

The insidious dominance of the State

Stumbled across these prophetic words on the power of the State from Alexis de Tocqueville in his 'Democracy in America'.

"Government extends its embrace to include the whole of society. It covers the whole of social life with a network of petty, complicated rules that are both minute and uniform, through which even men of the greatest originality and the most vigorous temperament cannot force their heads above the crowd. It does not break men's will, but softens, bends, and guides it; it seldom enjoins, but often inhibits action; it does not destroy anything, but prevents much being born; it is not at all tyrannical, but it hinders, restrains, enervates, stifles, and stultifies..."

Just perfectly sums up Blair's Britain. Nothing overtly sinister, just constant strangulation.

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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

We are losing the war

The world is rapidly dividing into those that believe these events are connected and those that believe they are incidental.

Baghdad: Abu Musab al-Zarqawi found himself on the receiving end of 500 pounds of U.S. ordnance.

London: Scotland Yard arrested a cell of East End Muslims allegedly plotting a sarin attack in Britain.

Toronto: The Mounties busted a cell of Ontario Muslims planning a bombing three times more powerful than Oklahoma City.

Mogadishu: An al-Qaida affiliate, the "Joint Islamic Courts," took control of the Somali capital, displacing "U.S.-backed warlords."

Paris; A French court has jailed 25 alleged Islamist militants for planning attacks in France in support of Chechen rebels.

Rest of the article by Mark Steyn.

Last week Islam lost a general but gained a nation. Not a bad result, really.

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Saturday, April 29, 2006

CEOs of the world unite!

Lately, America's Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) have adopted a form of socialism to defend their soaring pay packets -

"From each according to his ability; to each according to Towers Perrin!"

In 1980, your typical Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of an S&P 500 company earned an average of 42x the pay of their workers. In 2004, this multiple had jumped to an astonishing 431x.

In 1940, George Orwell suggested that the boss should take home no more than ten times that of his workers. This may seem a little low today but it is hard to argue that a multiple of 431x sounds right.

There are many organisations dedicated to bringing down the pay of the corporate "fat cats" but in the past. these have tended to come from the politics of envy, from the Unions (see above), from those committed to destroy the system, and from environmentalists.

This is why, this organisation is so interesting.

The Investors for Director Accountability Foundation comprises successful businesspeople such as Fred Rowe and T Boone Pickens. They would be as welcome at an anti-globalisation march as a pin-striped City broker. In their mission statement, they declare that "We are investors and capitalists. We prize the driven, egocentric, imperial CEO who builds shareholder value" and add, somewhat cheekily, that "We don't sell our stocks because a company damages a tree in Bolivia".

However, they too are concerned at the soaring pay difference and the effect it is having on the returns of shareholders (often pensioners). They have singled out Pfizer as the most egregious example, reports the Wall Street Journal (subscription only).

CEO Hank McKinnell has served as Pfizer’s CEO for the past five years. During this time, Pfizer have paid him $79mm, guaranteed him a neat $6.5mm annual pension and watched the stock price decline by 44%.

Defenders of the status quo will shrug their shoulders and point to market forces. But this is just not accurate. Companies will happily pay megabucks to secure the services of a super-star CEO, but you would hardly expect a fierce bidding war to erupt were the services of Mr. McKinnell to become available.

Despite Enron and despite Worldcom, America's Boardrooms remain a cosy club where 'other people's money' is spent freely amongst themselves.

This group was set up to defend the interests of the small shareholder. But there is far more pernicious impact of the inexorable rise of CEO pay. For a system to survive, it does not need to be popular, but it must not be despised. Socialism died because those exposed to it could see the dire effects it produced. Capitalism is not yet hated, but CEO pay is a propoganda gift that the anti-globalisation Luddites can only dream of.

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Friday, April 21, 2006

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Moral Equivalency in the Sydney Morning Herald


On 17th April, a suicide bomber from Islamic Jihad detonated an explosive in Tel Aviv that killed nine people and wounded many more.

The Sydney Morning Herald report is here. It is what you would expect until you reach the final sentence, which completely changes the tone of the entire piece.

"Since October 2000 Hamas suicide bombers have killed 300 Israelis. Israeli military attacks have killed almost 5000 Palestinians in the same period."

Let me translate for anyone who is in any doubt as to journalists, Tali Caspi and Rami Amichai's, true meaning;

The Zionists have killed twice as many Palestinians as Hamas have killed Jews. So don't you go feeling sorry for them. This isn't London nor is it Bali or Madrid.

Firstly, get your facts straight;

During the second intifada (2000 to the end of 2004), the number of Palestinian and Israeli deaths were reported at 3,334 and 1,017 respectively according to the Financial Times.

In 2005 the death toll dropped 70% for both sides (255 Palestinians and 55 Israelis killed) due to the "informal truce observed by some Palestinian groups", according to the BBC.

This article gives some idea as to the scale of the problem facing the Israeli security services,

"Militant Palestinian groups launched approximately 2,990 anti-Israeli attacks in 2005, In all, five suicide attackers got through Israeli security measures in 2005."

In 2006, there have now been four suicide bombs in Israel, all claimed by Islamic Jihad, a group with links to Iran.

And second, The Sydney Morning Herald is guilty of moral equivalency by;

i) ignoring the fact that 76% of Israeli deaths are civilian verus 30% of Palestinian. Or maybe the SMH subscribes to the Hamas view that all Israelis citizens are "legitimate targets"
ii) ignoring the fact that the terrorists use women and children as suicide bombers.
iii) ignoring the fact that the terrorists deliberately target civilians, whereas the Israeli security forces target those doing the killing.
iv) ignoring the fact that Israeli action is always in response to a terrorist atrocity; "you hit me and i'll hit you back". Noone seemed to think this was unacceptable when the US went to war in Afghanistan, so why should it be different in Israel.

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Back Dormitory Boys


If you're one of the three people left on the planet who has yet to watch the greatest Chinese pop video of all time, here it is again.

The Economist reports that Huang Yixin and Wei Wei, the two students in the video, are now Chinese megastars. Even their roommate, just visible in the background playing computer games, has become a national celebrity.

So big have they become that the duo are set to join David Beckham, Ronaldinho and Janet Jackson as the public face of Pepsi in China.

The power of the internet and a good idea.

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Monday, April 17, 2006

Easter Chick Joke

A lion, a shark and a chicken were having a beer discussing their prowess. The shark boasted that he could close an entire beach resort simply by swimming nearby. The lion replied that one roar from him could send animals up to fifty miles away scurrying for cover.



The chicken looked at the shark and then back at the lion and slowly downed his pint. "Shit guys, that's nothing. One sneeze from me, and i can cause total panic throughout an entire country".

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Saturday, April 15, 2006

A radical new idea to fund students

`
Now this is genuinely radical. And it might just work.

Students currently fund their University educations with a mixture of parental cash and unsecured loans made by the government. However, this still leaves problems. Rather than restrict themselves to debt funding, why not use equity and sell a stake in their future earnings asks Joseph Clark, a PhD student at the University of Queensland, in the latest edition of Policy (subscription only).

The problems are;
i) Universities are poorly funded leading to low quality teaching. But why should the working class foot the bill for the education of middle class kids.
ii) Students need to take on ever larger amounts of debt to enter University. That those who benefit should have to pay seems fair but scary to those assuming large debts, especially from poor backgrounds.
iii) The vast increase in student participation in higher education has lead to a proliferation of degree courses which do not equip students for good, well-paid jobs. Students expectations are unfairly raised and money is squandered on 'useless' degrees.

Equity funding gets around all of these issues.
This is how it would work; Jack Smith needs $50,000 to fund him through a four year Law degree. He expects to earn an average of $100,000 over his first twenty working years. He offers the market 5% of his earnings over this period in exchange for $50,000 upfront. If he earns above $50,000 then the investor makes a profit; if he earns less, for whatever reason (death, change of career, etc), the investor books a loss. This contract can then be traded on the open market.

The benefits would be;
i) the value of a degree would then be reflected in the value of the contract. For example, those wishing to obtain funding for a Media Studies degree would find that they could only raise around half the amount of someone wanting to study, say, Medicine. This would provide students with some indication of their likely future earnings from following a particular degree.

ii) skill shortages would be easier to predict in advance and prevent. If, say, Dentists were in short supply, the price of a Dental contract would rise and more students would choose to study this option.

iii) if these contracts were pooled, they could be listed on an exchange and purchased by pension funds. Hence retirement income would be invested in training the young.

It might just work.

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Thursday, April 13, 2006

Euston Manifesto

Just posted on Normblog amogst others is a document called the Euston Manifesto - a Renewal of Progressive Politics. It appears to be written by Nick Cohen and Norman Geras and looks like a manifesto by the democratic/rational/non-stupid Left.

There is a lot to like.

i) no apology or attempt to understand tyranny and terrorism
ii) a complete rejection of knee-jerk anti-Americanism
iii) a rejection of cultural relativism in favour of universal human rights
iv) a scathing attack on Amnesty International and its appalling comparison of the US with the Russian gulags
v) a complete rejection of racism. And, unusually for the Left, to include anti-Semitism
vi) the acceptance that a country's sovereignty is not sacrasanct. ie there are situations that justify invasion.
vii) a defence of freedom of speech (though they understandably do not get drawn into the cartoon debate)

However, there is also a lot of woolly thinking and the inevitable platitudes

i) the very strident anti-terror language is softened by a predictable sop to the Muslim community, "this does not justify prejudice against Muslims, who are its main victims, and amongst whom are to be found some of its most courageous opponents". If only this were the case.
ii) it is very unclear from the document where they stand economically, "we stand for global economic development". Yes, but who doesn't. "Globalization must mean global social integration and a commitment to social justice". Sounds nice but what does it mean? I think they mean that they accept that globalisation has pulled millions out of poverty but they don't like the fact that the rich have benefited disproportionately. Well i dont either, but it comes with the turf.
And "we support fair trade, more aid, debt cancellation and the campaign to Make Poverty History" could have been written by Bono. More aid? Really? Even though study after study has shown that it perpetuates not alleviates poverty. And why fair trade and not free trade? What is fair trade exactly?
iii) they completely ignore one of the biggest issues of the day - welfare - and they fail to answer the question, as Michael Collins so succintly puts it, of "why the white working class have gone from salt of the Earth to scum of the Earth in a little over sixty years?

However, i nitpick. This is a massive step forward for the Left at a time when they seem to have simply run out of ideas.

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Australia's shark conspiracy continues


A while ago i posted that despite regular shark attacks reported by the daily Australian papers, the year-end stats show almost no danger whatsoever. Australia officially owned up to 12 attacks last year. I would put the real number at about 10x that if the last few weeks are a guide.

The carnage continues. "I could feel my foot inside its mouth, his whole mouth was around my foot, and I just knew it was some sort of shark," Luke said from his bed in John Hunter Hospital yesterday. "Then I hit it and it let go and I didn't see anything."

Jesus. I would have passed out from terror. Never mind started a boxing match with it. Fifteen year olds are clearly made of stern stuff round here.

Yesterday, i went kayaking in Middle Harbour in Sydney. It was beautiful. That evening i dropped into the Middle Harbour Yacht Club and picked up the daily notes. I found this; "a fisherman yesterday tagged and released an 8ft Tiger Shark and a 5ft Bronze Whaler. The fisherman stated he had noticed increased activity of sharks within Middle Harbour."

Did he really have to release it?

Meanwhile, animal rights activists are protesting the NSW government's decision to retain its shark net program. The Avalon-based Humane Society's spokesperson, Nicola Breynon said the nets were "crude and unselective and killed a great many sharks".

Yes, that's the general idea Nicola.

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An American's view of cricket


The Australia-Bangladesh Test is beautifully poised for the final day.

Having just moved to the country myself, i have just finished Bill Bryson's rather mediocre book on Australia, originally titled "Down Under". Its one redeeming feature is his delightful American eye's view of cricket;

"The English invented cricket as a way of making all other human endeavours look interesting and lively...i dont wish to denigrate a game that is enjoyed by millions, some of them awake and facing the right way, but it is an odd game. It is the only sport that incorporates meal breaks. It is the only sport in which the spectators burn as many calories as the players. And it is the only sport, other than baking, in which you can dress in white from head to toe and be as clean at the end of the day as you were at the beginning...

Imagine a form of baseball in which the pitcher, after each delivery, collects the ball from the catcher and walks slowly with it out to centre field; and that there, after a minute's pause to collect himself, he turns and runs full tilt towards the pitcher's mound before hurling the ball at the ankles of a man who stands before him wearing a riding hat, heavy gloves of the sort used to handle radioactive isotopes, and a mattress strapped to each leg.

Imagine moreover that if this batsman fails to hit the ball in a way that heartens him sufficiently to try to waddle sixty feet with mattresses strapped to his legs he is under no formal compulsion to run; he may stand there all day, and as a rule, does. If by some miracle he is coaxed into making a misstroke that leads to his being put out, all the fielders throw up their arms in triumph and have a hug. Now imagine all this going on for so long that by the time that match concludes autumn has crept in and all your library books are overdue. There you have cricket."

And with particular reference to Australia,

"The mystery of cricket is not that Australians play it well, but that they play it at all. It has always seemed to me a game much too restrained for the rough-and-tunble Australian temperament. Australians much prefer games in which brawny men in scanty clothing bloody each other's noses. I am quite certain that if the rest of the world vanished overnight and the development of cricket was left in Australian's hands, within a generation the players would be wearing shorts and using the bats to hit each other."

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Terrorists who abusively invoke Islam


Please amend all references to Islamic terrorists previously made on this blog to

"terrorists who abusively invoke Islam"

Or so say the latest guidelines from the EU.
In addition, my profuse apologies to jihadists who i may have offended as

"Jihad is a perfectly positive concept of trying to fight evil within yourself."

Update - i am informed that henceforth a spade is to be referred to as a "metallic soil redistribution device"

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Riot police working 47 hour weeks


Apparently the only workers in France currently allowed to exceed the 35 hour week are the riot police.


No, im not making this up.







'

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Liberte, Egalite, 401(k) !

pg


They think they're Robespierre. More like Victor Meldrew.

In 1789, France's youth rioted in the streets to fight against the appalling injustices of the French feudal system. In 2006, they are fighting for the right to index-linked pensions and free dental care. The ultra-conservative students' claims would be toe-curlingly embarassing were it not for the astonishing fact that they have the support of the majority of the population and have caused Chirac and de Villepin to completely cave in.

Whilst there is nothing an Englishman likes to see than France in trouble, the recent and rapid decline in France's fortunes should cause all Brits to shiver and to pray that a great nation finally wakes up to its precipitous decline.

In 1836, Mrs. Trollope landed at Calais and overheard the conversation of a young man making his first visit to France. He was accompanied by a more experienced traveller, wise to the ways of the world. She recalled the exchange. ' "What a dreadful smell!" said the uninitiated stranger, covering his nose with his pocket handkerchief. "It is the smell of the continent, sir," replied the man of experience. And so it was.'

Britons have always had a love-hate relationship with the French. We love to see each other beaten (preferably humiliated) at any kind of sport (think 2002 World Cup humiliation), we grab any opportunity to knock each other and our language is peppered with digs at the French; going with a prostitute is to 'take French lessons', contracting syphilis is 'the French disease', using a condom, 'the French letter', and 'pardon my French' usually follows a bout of swearing. But each year, five million of us head for France for our holidays.

George Orwell remarked that "during the war of 1914-18, the English working class were in contact with foreigners to an extent that is rarely possible. The sole result was that they brought back a hatred of all Europeans, except the Germans, whose courage they admired. In four years on French soil, they did not even acquire a liking for wine."

All the most popular French jokes revolve around their cowardice. For example,
As many are aware, the French government recently raised its terror alert level from "Run" to "Hide". The only two higher levels in France are "Surrender" and "Collaborate". The rise was precipitated by a recent fire that destroyed France's white flag factory, effectively paralysing the country's military capability.

Four key events in the past six months give immense cause for concern for this once great country;

i) The leaking of the Obin report on French schools last summer.......'extensive Islamization of French schools in the vicinity of Moslem ghettoes and the imposition of strict conformity with Islamist dictates through violence and intimidation.' 37 pages of this kind of stuff. Followed shortly by...
ii) ...Thousands of Muslim youths rioting and torching Peugeots in the banlieue
ii) Then in the Autumn of 2005, French voters rejected the European Constitution.
iv) And finally on April 10th, the government caved in once again to the rioters (same age as in (ii) just different colour) and scrapped the CPE.

A recent study reported in the Economist showed that 75% of French youth aspire to a job in the civil service and just 35% of them think the free market is the best system (in China the number was 74%).

What is behind this stunning lack of ambition?

Meanwhile, 64% of the young are still on part time jobs one year after leaving education, national debt is building to scary proportions (now 66% of GDP) and unemployment refuses to budge below 10% (it is 23% amongst France's young and a staggering 50% in the banlieue.)

Why can the French not put two and two together?

Hope lies in a man named Sarkozy who seems to 'get it',
"France can no longer maintain the illusory barrage of a so-called model that each day shows itself to no longer work, nor protect anything or anybody."

Or in the resurgent corporate sector and a company called McDonald's, so beloved by the French, which recently reported strong 2005 numbers, citing particular strength in France.

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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Victorian police infiltrating Islamic terror groups


The Victoria Police has become Australia's first force to use an undercover officer to infiltrate a radical Islamic group, reports The Age.

During the operation, the officer arranged for the group's alleged leader, Abdul Nacer Benbrika, to accompany him to Mount Disappointment, north of Melbourne, to test explosives in late 2004. The explosives had secretly been supplied by police, who covertly monitored the trip.
The infiltration was part of the ongoing national counter-terrorism investigation, Operation Pendennis. Thirteen of the group's Melbourne members were later charged with terrorism-related offences, including belonging to an unnamed terrorist organisation.

The infiltration, the first of its kind, has raised concern among the usual suspects about using undercover agents in terrorism-related investigations because of the vagueness of terrorism laws and the potential to entrap suspects.

The accused from Melbourne are charged with laws passed in 2002 that make it an offence to be a member of an organisation "that is directly or indirectly engaged in preparing, planning, assisting in or fostering the doing of a terrorist act", regardless of whether that act ever takes place.

What a shame MI5 failed to do the same in the UK.

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Monday, April 10, 2006

Golf phrases

Congratulations to fellow leftie, Phil Mickelson, on another Masters victory.

Next time you're out on the course, try expanding your golfing lexicon with a few of these choice phrases;

On the Tee
A Princess Di - shouldn't have taken a driver

In the bunker
An Adolf Hitler - two shots in the bunker
An Eva Braun - picked up in the bunker

Striking the ball
An Arthur Scargill - a great strike but a poor result
A Russell Grant - a fat iron
A Peter Mandelson - an unbelievable iron
A Kate Winslett - a bit fat but otherwise perfect
A Rodney King - over-clubbed
An O.J. Simpson - got away with it
A Condom - safe but didn't feel real good
A Sally Gunnell - ugly but a good runner
A Paula Radcliffe - not as ugly as a Sally Gunnell but still a good runner
A Douglas Bader - looks good in the air but doesn't have the legs

The approach shot
A Sister-in-Law - you're up there but you know you shouldn't be

Putting
A Dennis Wise - a nasty 5 footer
A Salman Rushdie - an impossible read
A Rock Hudson - thought it was straight, but it wasn't

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Friday, April 07, 2006

The Stolenwealth Games


An Aboriginal protest group, the Black GST (Genocide to end, Sovereignty acknowledged, Treaty to be made) has set up a camp in Melbourne's Kings Domain during the Commonwealth Games and has since refused to leave.

Today, Mr Howard said the camp should be removed as soon as possible, despite the Victorian government refusing to intervene.

The group called the games the "Stolenwealth Games" and had said they planned to pack up "Camp Sovereignty" on March 25, but have since declared a fire on the site as sacred.

Err, right...

The very white looking guy in the centre of the photo reminds me of an old British eco-warrior, Stumpy. Shame i cant find a picture of him.

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Friday mumble

Thought
Just how important do you have to be before your death is elevated from murder to assassination?

New words in the Oxford English Dictionary
'McSHIT', as in "I'm just going for a McShit"
Entering a fast food restaurant with no intention of buying food as you're just going to the bog. If challenged by a pimply staff member, your declaration to them that you'll buy their food afterwards is known as a McShit with Lies

Quote
Be prepared to take some shit in life; just do not take more than one mouthful at a time
Forrest Gump

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Thursday, April 06, 2006

The Economist is wrong on Iraq - again


Bill Emmott, departing editor of the Economist, describes in his valedictory his backing of the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 as the "most controversial decision of this editorship". In debating whether the Economist was right to back the war, he concludes that "this will outrage some readers, but I still think the decision was correct—based on the situation at that time." This despite calling the last three years in Iraq a "debacle".

Bill, you are wrong, wrong, wrong.

When weighing up such a momentous decision as to invade a country, a multitude of factors must be considered. Namely, can the troops get to the capital quickly, what will be the peoples' reaction, what will be the repercussions with other countries, etc etc. For example, we all agree that the regimes in Zimbabwe and North Korea are equally as odious as Saddam's but noone is advocating invasion of either country. Why not? Because other factors are at work.

Those of us who supported the war at the time, made a number of miscalculations, namely

i) we underestimated the strength of the insurgency
ii) we underestimated the strength of anti-US and anti-Western feeling in the region
iii) we understimated the loathing Sunnis and Shias have for each other
iv) we massively overstimated the Bush administration's competence.

Emmott is honest enough to admit the latter point, stating "a paper whose scepticism about government drips from every issue should have been sceptical about Mr Bush's government and its ability to do things properly in Iraq". You should have been Bill, but you weren't.

We should have listened to PJ O'Rourke - "Republicans are the party that says government doesn't work, and then get elected and prove it."

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Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Don't you dare call me a Pommy, you racist scum

The Daily Telegraph reports that Australian fans could be kicked out of cricket grounds at this summer's Ashes series for calling an English player "a Pommy bastard".

Australian cricket chief, James Sutherland, described the phrase as a "racist comment". What will Jimmy make of some of the Barmy Army songs?

To the tune of "Yellow Submarine"

In the town where I was born,
there lived a man who was a thief
And he told me of his life,
stealing bread and shagging sheep.
So they put him in the nick,
and then a magistrate he went to see
He said "put him on a ship, to the convict colony
"You all live in a convict colony, a convict colony, a convict colony
You all live in a convict colony, a convict colony, a convict colony

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The true colours of Hizb ut-Tahrir


Australian-born Wassim Doureihi, spokesman for the Sydney branch of Hizb ut-Tahrir, organisation. "Just because Muslims were born in Australia doesn't mean we have to accept these conditions".


Islamic group, Hizb ut-Tahrir, have learnt to disguise their true aims in the UK. Their constitution was recently removed from their website after a few people pointed out that it was a little, err, inflammatory. You can read it here.

However, no attempt at disguise is made in Australia.

Hizb has been caught distributing extremist pamphlets outside mosques in Melbourne and Sydney urging Muslims to rise up against Australian troops in Iraq and support the insurgency. At a mosque outside Lakemba in Sydney, the group was handing out leaflets blaming the Shia/Sunni fighting on US forces, saying "what happened in Samarra was of the planning and execution of the occupying forces".

The website of Hizb declares that the party "does not advocate or engage in violence" but the flyers tell a different story, "we urge you to make the calamity of Samarra as a motivator to repel the invaders and that you take them as your enemies."

Hizb was investigated last year by the Australian Attorney-General, Philip Ruddock, but were not designated a terrorist organisation due to lack of evidence.

Hizb ut-Tahrir was set up in 1953 by a Palestinian judge to inspire the creation of a Muslim Caliphate state. Its Sydney arm has more than 200 members. Hizb ut-Tahrir still endorses Sharia law, which stipulates the death penalty for gay and lesbian Muslims, apostates and unchaste women.

In a recent article in the Times (subscription only), Shiraz MaherPublished, a former member of the group, had this to say of the group.

Hizb ut-Tahrir is no paper tiger. It is a revolutionary movement seeking to overthrow governments in the Muslim world, establish a caliphate and then wage jihad on other nations. The mobilisation of British Muslims is an integral part of that vision.
I know because for two years I was a member, recruited while studying for a degree in history. With a presence on campuses across the country, Hizb ut-Tahrir is experienced in avoiding detection. Its members were the architects of the national "Stop Islamophobia" student campaign launched last year. They have also organised seemingly innocuous football tournaments and "welcome dinners" for new Muslim students. Recruiting such members of the UK's emerging middle class is particularly important to Hizb ut-Tahrir.
Although the party's primary role in the UK is to articulate the case for Islam as an alternative to capitalism, such work is intrinsically linked to its wider ambitions. Hizb ut-Tahrir is opposed to every regime in the Muslim world and has orchestrated coup attempts in Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Egypt and Morocco.
Exiled members who have regrouped in the UK have used the freedoms afforded to them here to seek to springboard their recruits and ideas back into the Muslim world. The effects have been felt most acutely in Pakistan, to which scores of British recruits, born and raised here, have returned since the late 1990s to propagate the party's message and incite the army to sedition.


While Hizb ut-Tahrir continues to mobilise British Muslims in pursuit of its cause, its threat to global security cannot be understated. Silencing the party is, therefore, not simply a debate about free speech or criminalising alternative opinions. It is about protecting ourselves, and our allies, from the excesses of a totalitarian Islamic movement with grand ambitions.
Hizb ut-Tahrir's openly stated ambition of global conquest sits uncomfortably with its newfound obsession with free speech. A party leaflet from 1999 reads: "In the forthcoming days the Muslims will conquer Rome and the dominion of the (nation) of Muhammad will reach the whole world, and the rule of the Muslims will reach as far as the day and night." It's a world in which freedom of speech, of course, would be notably absent.

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In defence of globalisation

Bill Emmott, the departing editor of the Economist after 13 years at the helm, ends with a vigorous defence of globalisation.

Since 1993, the globalisation (the liberalisation of domestic and international markets for goods, services, technology and capital) has produced spectacular results in generating wealth and dragging people out of poverty.

In 1993, world GDP growth was 1.2% and inflation almost 35%. Today, the world is racing along at an annual 3% growth rate and inflation has come crashing down to 3.7%. This has pulled hundreds of millions out of extreme poverty. The World Bank reports that the percentage of people living on less than $1 a day has fallen from 22% in 1993 to 17.8% in 2001 and they predict the rate to fall to 9% by 2015 at current trends.

This is over seven hundred million people.

All well and good say the anti-globalisation doomsayers, but by outsourcing everything to India and China, look at the damage done to first-world jobs.

Wrong again, guys.

The actual facts show a totally different story. Unemployment in OECD countries (the so-called "rich" nations) has fallen from 7.8% of the workforce in 1993 to 6.3% today.

Emmott ends with a warning that protectionism is the natural state as politicians seek to curry favour with voters. Despite its stunning success, globalisation is constantly attacked from all sides. The battle is going well, but is not won.

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Monday, April 03, 2006

The rules of political correctness

Thought the phrase "pommy bastard" was safe from the PC thought police? Wrong. Not sure what to call your local ethnic minority community? Not sure who to blame for crime, high unemployment, loutish behaviour etc? Then look no further. Read this ands you should be safely armed for any Eastern Suburb/Primrose Hill/Lower EastSide dinner party.

Rule 1; The world can be neatly divided into a small number of groups.

Rule 2; Each group will consist of Victims or Oppressors.

Rule 3; Victims are always blameless, no matter how they got there. Likewise, Oppressors are always guilty.

Rule 4; The demands of Victims are always to be supported.

Rule 5; Cultural diversity is always to be encouraged unless it benefits the Oppressors.

Rule 6; Groups are assigned Victim or Oppressor status according to their power and wealth. Victims must be less powerful than Oppressors.

Rule 7; There must be no movement between the two groups. An Oppressor cannot become a Victim and vice versa. If Oppressors see the error of their ways, they can start hating other Oppressors but they cannot become Victims. A Victim cannot become an Oppressor because it would require the adoption of behaviour that was not blameless, violating Rule 3.

Rule 8; Free speech is only permitted for Victims but not by themselves. They must be represented by "community leaders" who are above both groups. Anyone who questions a Victim must by definition be an Opressor and therefore wrong. Oppressors' opinions are not worth hearing and are banned.

Rule 9; Victims are to be awarded enormous compensations at all times. Nothing is demanded in return. However, the offspring of Victims may become Oppressors.

Rule 10; Criminal acts committed by Victims are purely a result of their status and as such are the direct responsibility of Oppressors. Criminal acts committed by Oppressors are evidence of their innate evil.

Rule 11; If one group of Victims fights another, support must be given to the least powerful and wealthy of the two groups. For example, when gays accuse Muslims of homophobia, they are acting as Oppressors because gays are more successful than Muslims etc etc.

Rule 12; Actual truths and facts are irrelevant because of Rule 3.

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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

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Thursday, March 16, 2006

Cartoon Rage - publish and be fired!

The list of journalists getting fired and/or arrested for offending the Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) is growing.

Latest to go is Acton Gray, the editor who chose to publish caricatures of Prophet Mohammed in the University of Illinois' student newspaper last month.

He joins an illustrious list including -

Jacques Lefranc was dismissed by the (Egyptian) owner of France Soir for publishing the cartoons.

Jihad Momani, editor of Jordanian weekly newspaper, Shiham, was fired and arrested for publishing the cartoons, which violates Jordan’s press law forbidding insults against religion.

Jussi Vilkuna, editor of Kaltio, a small Finnish culture magazine, was fired for publishing the cartoons following the decision of Tapiola, Sampo and Pohjola to withdraw their advertisements from the Kaltio website.

Alok Tomar, editor of Indian magazine Shabdarth, had to pay 50,000 rupees (943 euros) and provide a personal surety following arrest on 23 February after publishing one of the Danish cartoons of the prophet Mohammed.

David Da Silva, editor of the Christian magazine Gloria, in Java, has been dismissed for reprinting the cartoons. Da Silva was interviewed by local police.

Abdel Halim Akram Sabra, editor of the independent Yemen weekly Al-Hurriya, journalist Yahya Al Aabed and editor of the Yemen Observer Mohammed Al Asaadi were arrested on Feb 10th for publishing the cartoons.

Anna Smirnova, editor of the small local newspaper in Volodga, north-east of Moscow was arrested by police after producing a special issue on the cartoons. Smirnova faces criminal charges for “incitement to hatred or religious hostility” and could go to prison for up to six years for inciting hatred.

Alexei Korol, editor of the opposition weekly, Zhoda, may face up to five years in prison for "incitement to religious hatred" after being arrested following publication of the cartoons. KGB secret police searched the paper’s premises on 22 February and seized four computers. Korol and his deputy, Alexander Sdvizhkov, were interrogated at KGB offices for several hours.

Flemming Rose, commissioning editor at the Jyllands-Posten (the one that kicked it all off) has been sent on "indefinite leave" due to his "errors of judgement". He had indicated that he might publish smoe of the Iranian Holocause cartoons.

Suzette Sands, editor of the Sunday Telegraph, was recently sacked after a mysterious anti-Islamic article was posted and then withdrawn from the Telegraph's online site. The two may not necessarily be connected but follows closely on the heels of the Telegraph's decision to drop Mark Steyn - a known anti-Islamist.

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Selective schools day

Today is selection day in New South Wales for 13,00 Year 6 (11 years) students who are competing for 3,500 places at 30 selective NSW high schools. The students will be assessed on a combination of today's test and a school assessment of their performances in English and maths.

Meanwhile in the UK, Tony Blair has seen his Education Bill sail through Parliament following the support of the Conservatives. There is no talk of a return to selection. Not even the Conservatives dare utter the dreaded "S" word. Both leaders were educated at selective schools - Tony Blair's school selected for academic ability (Fettes College) and David Cameron's for money (Eton). No such luck for those who can't afford it.

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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Sydney to import sharks!


Despite the waters around Sydney containing Hammerheads, Bulls, Bronze Whalers, Makos, Great Whites, Tigers, Blues, Silkys, White Tips, Black Tips, Wobbegongs and Grey Nurses, researchers at Sydney's Macquarie University want to import more of the latter (see photo).

They are kindly considering moving sharks from Western Australia or Africa to the eastern seaboard to replenish grey nurse numbers and "strengthen the gene pool".

Excellent.

However, The National Parks Association today said it was a waste of time to import grey nurse sharks to the NSW coast.

Finally some sense. Because of the risk to swimmers and snorkellers? Err, no.

"...until the government established a marine sanctuary to protect the species, which were being killed due to accidental hooking during fishing activities."

So, protect them first, let their number multiply, and then import them.

The report compiled to the Olympic Committee in 2000 on the risk of shark attack in the Harbour put the risks as 'small'. However, last month a Manly swimming race had to be abandoned due to the unwanted arrival of a Great White Shark.

Not that small then.

Update; a surfer was attacked yesterday by a Bronze Whaler off Bondi beach in a little reported incident. Is there a conspiracy going on here? He was found screaming hysterically on a rock at 4:30 a.m. having been stranded overnight.

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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Time to re-think Aboriginal welfare?


I have discovered that if you want to silence a noisy, packed room in under ten seconds, then just casually ask your host why there are so many drunk Aboriginals around.

No one in 'polite company' seems to want to discuss anything Aboriginal. It's like they don't exist. Fortunately, the newspapers do report on Aboriginal issues.

There appears to be something of a generational sea-change of thinking going on right now with even the Labour Party now calling for a radical rethink. Labour's indigenous affairs Minister, Chris Evans, has branded the efforts of the Hawke and Keating governments as abject failures in delivering better health and economic progress for Australia's Aboriginal communities.

A new scheme is to be trialled in Cape York, Queensland, whereby Aboriginal parents who do not send their children to school will be punished, reports The Australian. The proposal, put forward by an indigenous leader called Noel Pearson, is designed to cut truancy rates and get Aborigines off the dole. Under the scheme, young people who fail to look for work or study will also face reduced dole payments.

James Bartholomew and others have been writing at length about the damage welfare has done to working class communities in the U.K (his blog is here). It would seem that welfare thinking is more advanced in Australia.

The picture above shows aboriginals at Tjapukai dancing the story of the kanagaroo hunt.

note to self - arrange to meet Noel Pearson

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Monday, March 13, 2006

School prizes for 5 year olds?

Parents at a school for 5-7 year olds in Newtown, Sydney have demanded the scrapping of merit-based end of year school awards.

Deputy director-general of schools in the NSW Education Department, Trevor Fletcher said the Government supported the presentation of awards in schools as a means of celebrating individual achievements. "In Australia, for too long we have suffered from the tall-poppy syndrome and we have shied away from recognising excellence whether in academic or sporting areas".

How refreshing but totally different to the desperate Local Education Authorities in the U.K.

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Physalia physalis


Autumn is late in coming to Sydney this year, so i took the family to the huge arc of sand that is Manly beach to experience some surf and some waves. Around 2pm, the wind changed direction and blew thousands of these little monsters up onto the surf.

Europeans call them 'Portugese men-o-war' because they are supposed to resemble a Portugese battleship with a sail. Locals call them blueys due to their blue tinted airbags. Their stinging tentacles can stretch up to ten metres and apparently are the most excrutiating pain imaginable (their phenol poison works its way into your glands and ends up in your groin..).

What fascinated me though, was that despite warnings blasted from tannoys all afternoon, despite lifeguards patrolling the surf warning swimmers and despite literally thousands of these things being washed up on the shore, the surf remained packed with swimmers and surfers.

No wussies these Aussies...

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