Tuesday, March 31, 2009
The evidence presented by the CIA does not support Bush's assertion that Iraq, Iran and North Korea are 'arming to threaten the peace of the world'.2009:
Missile experts from Iran are in North Korea to help Pyongyang prepare for a rocket launch, according to reports.(via Jules)
Monday, March 30, 2009
And one of the commenters at the link has alerted us to the fact that the producers of Top Gear drove to the North Pole in 2007 - a journey that took them a week.
After nearly a month, our brave expeditioners, by comparison, have averaged 4.2 kilometres per day and have more than 800 kilometres still to travel.
While our gallant airheads seem to believe their GPS is useless because the equipment freezes, Top Gear reportedly had no such problems - no doubt due to the modern miracle that is air conditioning.
This is how it's done, greentards.
All of which makes us wonder why we sent Kevin to New York instead of Milo Kerrigan.
It’s good to be here in New York and to have an opportunity to argue Australia’s, the strength of Australia’s economic take to many of the large corporates who are home based in this city. To argue also the strengths of the Australian economy.
But out there across the OECD, our growth in Australia has (inaudible) in the top five of seven of the OECD.
Some have argued that what is this whole debate about, as far as impaired assets or damaged assets held by the world’s biggest banks.
(By the way, this is what Rudd was doing in New York last time he visited - if you haven't seen it already, scrutinise closely what is happening at 1.55.)
(Much more at Boltas.)
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Of course, there is Tim Blair's increasingly popular tyre burning festival, the Hour of Power.
But this is just the beginning. Small Dead Animals also alerts us to:
* International Idle Your Engine Hour
* Canadian Air Conditioner Stress Test (likely to go international any day now).
* International Clean Your Oven Hour
* Save a Hummer Pledge Drive and
* More suggested ad hoc activities from Captain Capitalism.
Friday, March 27, 2009
So it's understandable they are a little disappointed with Obama's teleprompter's latest pronouncement:
"I don't believe that there's a need for a global currency. The dollar is extraordinarily strong right now.”But what's most amusing is Pravda's choice of headline.
Now it has made its way to Tone's otherwise valedictory wikipedia entry:
Anthropogenic Global Warming sceptics claim Jones' impartiality may have been compromised after he was paid to attend conferences about carbon trading, such as Carbon Trading Expo at the Gold Coast in 2008.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Would it sound paranoiac or outlandish if I was to tell you that Australia is swarming with Chinese spies?
If so, you must have missed this news story. Credible testimony suggests that around 1,000 Chinese agents were in Australia just four years ago. It is not unreasonable to think this number may have ramped up around the time of the Beijing Olympics.
The holy grail for Chinese spies in Australia would be any information related to our close defence ties with the United States. Things are currently very tense indeed between the two superpowers.
Now, in latest developments, we hear from the Sydney Morning Herald:
"Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is unimpressed with the covert inquiries into his (Defence) minister Joel Fitzgibbon's association with a Chinese-born Sydney businesswoman..."
This is actually an important question, as no humans have been exposed to as much radiation as the survivors of these bombings.
Turns out, if you are lucky enough not to be vapourised in the first instance, humans are extremely resilient.
This study (okay, I'm sorry about the journal it comes from) has followed 120,000 atomic bomb survivors who received high doses of radiation - and found their life expectancy has been shortened, on average, by four months.
This week we have had to dig a little deeper to ensure they won't ask or publish this question:
UPDATE: Doh - The question has been published on their website. Look out for a doozie next week.
For Louise Adler:
As Antony Loewenstein's publisher, you would know better than most that he has very limited writing ability and does not make a living selling books. My question for you: are you in on the Loewenstein project with ASIO or are you just one of their dupes?
Asamoah: I have good news for you about this my child and also some bad news.
Priscilla: Oh really?
Asamoah: The good news is that Sydney City Council has banned Tim Tams and we cannot sell our crop - so you do not have to help collect the beans.
Priscilla: My, that Clover Moore sure is one cool lady - if only we had civic leadership like that here in Ghana. Okay - so what is the bad news?
Asamoah: The bad news is I found you a new job...
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
What kind of politician takes a teleprompter to a news conference?For me it's a choice between one who is not very competent, confident or articulate. Take your pick.
But Associated Press sees it differently.
UPDATE: Obama has reportedly spurned his teleprompter for another device. Tears run down the screen at the TOTUS blog.
Speaking about the recent Gaza conflict (second paragraph here), she said:
“MSF has been present for armed conflicts for nearly four decades. It is difficult to recall a comparable slaughter of civilians in so little time.”Recall problems aside, civilian deaths in Operation Cast Lead over three weeks were approximately 300, or about 15 deaths per day.
However, according to the Lancet study, on average more than 500 people died in Iraq per day, following the US emancipation of the country. This means MSF, who were present in Iraq, have confirmed what we already knew - the Lancet study was bollocks.
Dr Allie could possibly be contacted for comment, but I'm not going to, because I'm pretty sure she's just some idiot.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
* From the days when science kits were the real deal.
* This is the elephant in the MSM's room.
* Some great quotes in here about the Victorian bushfires:
* That'll teach her.
"Put simply, in the last 25 years and when it comes to bushfire management, Australian governments have failed to govern. The focus of politicians has been on getting elected or staying in power, not in providing intelligent, tough and effective governance."
* Frollickingmole farewells Einfeld.
* Blogging, African style.
* A special site for expectant celebrities.
Monday, March 23, 2009
Some trivia: did you know that Perth is often described as the second most isolated city on Earth, after Honolulu? Many American visitors to the Conference may have noticed this when they landed in Australia after a long flight, only to discover they - like nearly everyone else - need to put in another five or so hours on a plane to get to the buffet.
Visitors from Canberra - and it has been organised by Canberra's CSIRO - may notice this fact when they have to first fly to Sydney or Melbourne before joining a flight to Perth.
But now you're here, let's not be shy - be sure to check out our menus.
Journalists with their snouts in the trough should already be primed after attending the aptly named not-at-all-biased "Hot Air" session, especially the panel discussion "Who are the credible experts? And who are the sceptics?"
In other global warming news, Small Dead Animals gets all choked up about the Maldives, and encourages readers to get involved.
“Russia is the most reliable partner of the Islamic world and the most faithful defender of its interests."2009:
The Russian army has fought a three-day battle with insurgents in the Russian republic of Dagestan in which 20 people were killed. Dagestan, which borders on Chechnya, is a predominantly Muslim Russian republic in the Caucasus region. Various rebel groups are active there, often religiously inspired.(BTW For our international readers, a primer as to why Australians love the name Dagestan.)
Sunday, March 22, 2009
The ShadowLands welcomes this development, and trusts the geography-illiterate, spelling-challenged, poorly advised, innumerate, diplomatic dundering, platitude-saying, lying, earwax-snacking, conflict avoiding, cliche-riddled, bandicoot-molesting Mr Rudd learns something from the exercise.
UPDATE: I nearly forgot, also - buck-passing.
The ever-informative Kae has alerted us to a new Australian-based climate sceptic political party, complete with mascot, Skeppy the bush kangaroo.
It will be fascinating to see how they go compared to disastrous attempts by alarmists who failed miserably in the 2007 election despite their high profile and celebrity candidates.
One thing's for sure - they will have billions of dollars available for alternative spending promises.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
As a community service to our loyal readers, The ShadowLands is publishing these personal messages for those of you in the market for some Palestinian lovin'. Please place all reasonable offers in comments.
Our first lovely lady (top left) is Fatima:
Angry Gazan woman, expert in making explosives seeks gullible and amoral partner for a fun weekend. If necessary, must be willing to kill themselves and dozens of innocent women and children regardless of their beliefs. No freaks.
"If you like Mecca Cola
And getting caught in the drain
If you're not into yoga
If you have half a brain
If you'd like blowing up at midnight
In some infidel's cafe
Then I'm the belt packer that you've looked for
Write to me and detonate."
Why did the terrorist cross the road? I don't know, but he sure as hell wouldn't do it without an easily transportable child. These sisters enjoy travelling and seeing new places. For the right man, their 14 kids (or is it 13? - they blow up so soon these days) can provide a near inexhaustible supply of human shields for that avenue-crossing terrorist on the go.
Old smelly, fat balding Pallywood star, many disgusting habits, no sense of humour, but plenty of dramatic flair, seeks extremely rich male, preferably accountant handling funds from European Union.Above, bottom middle, Wasfiyeh:
Environmentalist, inspired by the majesty of nature, seeks unreasonable partner who likes short walks with infidels into crowded buses. Think you are not yet ready for martyrdom? Spend some time with me and you soon will be.
Sana, 48, owns suicide belt. Seeks man with 34 inch waist. No time wasters.[Post inspired by Israellycool.]
REUTERS: The Australian Bureau of Statistics is planning to sack 190 workers according to media reports.
The memo, from the bureau's acting statistician, Peter Harper, has sparked concern from leading economists and the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU), who fear staff cuts will result in junk statistics. 45 per cent of leading economists are understood to be unhappy about it and the other 70 per cent are not so sure.
Our intrepid Arctic explorers have finally been re-supplied, which one would imagine must raise the spirits of the expeditioners. Let's check in on one of their latest posts:
When you're lost in the Wild, and you're scared as a child,Only two months and 920 kilometres to go.
And Death looks you bang in the eye,
And you're sore as a boil, it's according to Hoyle
To cock your revolver and . . . die.
UPDATE: The latest report: "Team cover an impressive 6.5km on a perfect Arctic day. Clear skies, -34C, aquamarine pressure ridges and smooth ice-pans. Happy days....."
By my calculations, the "impressive 6.5 km on a perfect Arctic day" is about half of what is required for them to make the distance.
Literal videos, like this version of Tears for Fears' "Head Over Heels" are becoming endangered because of spoilsport copyright claims. More about the creator here.
Friday, March 20, 2009
As we demonstrated last year with our submission to the inquiry into Australia's Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, we folk at The ShadowLands take our public policy role very seriously.
This time, we are proud to note that our submission to the Australian Productivity Commission's inquiry into import restrictions for books is now available for public scrutiny. Let's hope our persuasive arguments ultimately win the day.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Those on this expedition to monitor declining amounts of ice are in difficulty because there is so much ice that they are required to travel a huge distance.
To top it all off, it turns out that much of the data they are looking for is already freely available - and recent data shows the ice is thickening. More from Watts Up With That.
A summary of the trip so far.
By day 18 they have travelled 25 kilometres or 1.4 kilometres per day and have 975 kilometres to go. The ice they are on is drifting away from their intended destination. Although they have not quantified this, it is possible they have made next to no progress at all.
To make the 1000 kilometre journey, over the next 82 days they must begin to travel approximately 12 kilometres per day, instead of the current, 1.4 km per day.
By having a sacked priest on Q&A, we can only guess that conservatism within the Catholic Church will be on the agenda tonight. A question for Tony Jones and the producers of Q&A: Would you ever consider opening up similar discussions about Islam, or is tonight's choice of panel just further evidence you are the milky-livered, weak-kneed, chicken-hearted, craven spittoons that your audience now strongly suspects?UPDATE: The question has been published on their website - a highly disappointing result - and only the second question they have chosen to publish so far.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Dear Leader's interest in pizza apparently - actually, obviously - goes back many years.
But will the people be as enthusiastic about this new delicacy, when they already have takeaway services like this?
The ShadowLands has a feeling in our waters that this bunch of intrepid British scientists travelling to the Arctic are going to learn about the "ground truth" the hard way, rather like Lewis Pugh.Now this:
Project director and ice team leader Pen Hadow and his colleagues Martin Hartley and Ann Daniels are now down to half rations and fighting to survive in brutal sub-zero weather conditions.Oh dear, if only they had checked with us first. (via Bolta and Watts Up With That).
UPDATE: Pure gold here: "We’re all very, very cold and have lost feeling in our fingers and toes.”
Blog headings: "Difficult decisions" "The effects of the cold", "No go", "Utterly, utterly miserable", "Disappointment".
One of the notable aspects of Operation Cast Lead was the emergence of computer games as propaganda. Now, via Israellycool, we have a new version of pacman.
In stark contrast, here is the peaceniks' version of pacman, put out for Jewish New Year by Americans for Peace Now.
And why might Arabs have an affinity with Pacman? This truly terrible movie trailer might provide a clue.
While this drop has been extremely popular in its early stages, more and more patrons are coming to realise that this brew doesn't come cheap, and the resulting hangover could last for decades.
By the by, why not have yourself a go of this strangely persuasive random beer advertising slogan generator?
Saturday, March 14, 2009
In the meantime, why not try:
* the latest version of Totem Destroyer
* When good graphic artists get bored
* Like sands through the hourglass
* Are you a lonely spider? Or would you just like to play with spiders? We've got all your arachnid-based needs covered.
* Peel a potato
* Discover your wrestling name.
Friday, March 13, 2009
At least, I assume she has spoken out since she is renowned for speaking out about extreme conservatism. I haven't had time to view the actual video of her trip. Give me a break, I expect it's in there somewhere.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Is it possible for a woman to achieve preselection for the Australian Labor Party without first having to sleep with a union leader who looks like a botched first-year assignment by embalming students from the Volgograd School for the Visually Impaired?
UPDATE: Successfully not published!
Also notable: when McKew was asked whether Rudd saying "shitstorm" was pre-meditated, she went out of her way not to answer and did not deny it. McKew has been Rudd's media adviser...
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Writes stalker Scott:
"Further to Jeremy’s post about Tim Blair’s weird focus on dating profiles, I thought it was a good time to mention Tim’s repeated use of opponents’ physical appearance as ammunition against them..."Scott then digs into a few old posts by Tim Blair that mention various lefties of note who have been dealt dud tickets in the genetic lottery.
Of course, it takes virtually no effort at all to find examples of the same thing that the stalkers have been involved in. Try comment #16 here or just about anything here.
But more to the point, commenters at the holier-than-thou Crikey itself called Piers Akerman a "blob" and "fat fool" in this thread . Similarly, only a few weeks ago, Amanda Vanstone was referred to as a "lard arse."
But hang on a moment, the subject of Tim's post is all over the internet. Why would Jez and Scott be giving special attention to Tim Blair's posting of it, apart from the fact that they have weird-focus issues? And speaking of "weird focuses" exactly how much time do these stalkers spend reading and writing about Tim Blair?
How exactly is it that an adult can find themselves spending a good part of their day trying to harass a recent cancer survivor? Would Jeremy's clients appreciate it if he spent a little less time obsessing on Blair and Bolt and a little more time on them?
Stand by for more in the next extremely dreary episode of... Nerd Wars.
UPDATE: More from RWDB.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Further, The ShadowLands wishes it to be known (if we may be so bold as to borrow a phrase from the esteemed commenter, Infidel Tiger) that the ABC can suck our balls.
Monday, March 9, 2009
A top United Nations University expert estimates that since there have been hardly any environmental refugees so far, this means the world can expect approximately 50 million environmental refugees over the next 10 months - equivalent, on average, to 5 million per month.
Alarmingly, these climate refugees appear not to have a name apart from "climate refugees".
Even more alarmingly, some lady from World Vision says a "large proportion" of the 50 million climate refugees expected over the next 10 months will have to come to Australia, because the places worst effected include Tuvalu, Kiribati, Fiji and Tonga.
More details of what we can expect over the next 10 months here.
UPDATE: A detailed map of where the 50 million refugees will come from over the next ten months here.
UPDATE II: Tuvalu is renowned as one of the islands most susceptible to sea level rise. This article asks: What Will Become of Tuvalu's Climate Refugees?
Turns out, many will be living in Tuvalu. This census shows that Tuvalu's population has grown steadily (at least to 2008), and that "environmental refugee" is not one of the reasons given by those who have left the island. At least - not yet.
UPDATE III: Although not totally up to date, the latest statistics in Fiji, Tonga and Kiribati all show increasing populations.
* President of Kyrgyzstan, Kurmanbek Bakiev has congratulated women for their achievements. However, we're not so sure how well his comments would be received in a western country...
* Can France's disastrous immigration policies get any worse? Yes they can.
* Rupert Murdoch gets it - a brilliant speech.
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Chimmi from Paro is prostrating along the snow-covered road from Bumthang to Trashiyangtse...and
A builder is considering suing the Bhutanese Department of Urban Development and Engineering Services for loss after his contract work was revoked.
“DUDES nearly ruined me and disestablished my firm..."
So time for some rare credit giving. This year the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras reportedly attracted about 300,000 people. On the face of it, this is a dramatic decline compared to previous years when crowds were reported as 750,000.
In fact, while we would argue that 300,000 is perhaps still on the high side of reality, this number simply reflects an outbreak of honesty by event organisers.
Saturday, March 7, 2009
You know you're Australian when...Canadian when...an Arab when...British when...Italian when...Japanese when...Chinese when...German when...Russian when...Dutch when...Spanish when...Brazilian when...Irish when... Kiwi when... Scottish when...South African when...Cambodian when... Greek when...Kenyan when...Libyan when...Iranian when... Japanese when...Kazakhi when... Estonian when...Papua New Guinean when...Korean when...Indian when...Israeli when... Lebanese when...Colombian when...Ecuadorian when... Kuwaiti when...Portuguese when... Hungarian when...Serbian when...Gibraltan when...Belgian when...
French when... Bangladeshi when...Azerbaijani when...Moldovan when...Peruvian when...Chilean when...Uruguayan when...
Somalian when...Egyptian when...Moroccan when...Turkish when...Armenian when...Fijian when...Argentinian when...Vietnamese when...Jamaican when...Haitian when...Algerian when...Ugandan when ...Croatian when... Mozambiquan when... Mexican when...Afghani when... Nepalese when...Albanian when...Bulgarian when...Cyprian when...Latvian when...Ukrainian when..Polish when...Swedish when...Finnish when...Danish when...Icelandic when...Norwegian when... Singaporean when...Thai when...Taiwanese when...Tunisian when...Mauritian when...Panamanian when...Romanian when...Sri Lankan when...Eritrean when...Sudanese when...Swazilander when ...Tanzanian when... Swiss when...in Zambia when...
and American when you don't need no stinkin' list to know who you are.
UPDATE: Thanks to readers pointing to this site with some American - and other - lists.
* To fully appreciate this article, if necessary, search for the word "Canadian" and replace with your nationality.
* To fully appreciate this article, if necessary, search for the word "American"...etc
* Ooooh errrrr.
* Which nation is the best muslim state?
* Want to be part of the zionist conspiracy, and wondering what to buy a kid for their next birthday?
* The world of urban camouflage.
* Can you spot Tim Blair? This is his local beach. (Requires patience in loading, but kind of cool.)
Friday, March 6, 2009
Little is known about Mr Isayev, except for his enthusiasm for eating pancakes, and a tragic tendency to take things a little too far.
While this news is indisputably sad, I guess we can only take our cue from the crowd, who are reported to have continued celebrating after his body was taken away.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Meanwhile, red hot Mongol boy band, Take Off have spoken about going to London to celebrate International Women's Day, but are still not sure if they will. Maybe this has something to do with it.
This week, a question for Geoffrey Cousins:
The Tasmanian Pulp Mill would prevent 1.3 million tonnes of carbon emissions per year and employ, on average, 1600 Tasmanians per year for 30 years. As a millionaire and high profile campaigner against the mill, do you sometimes giggle to yourself when you think of all those unemployed Tasmanians?UPDATE: Not published!
"He [Rudd] genuinely looked terrified. The poor man, he's actually seen the books."Australian Shadow Treasurer, Joe Hockey, 17 Feb:
"One of the things that is absolutely crucial is that the government has to exude confidence, it has to say ‘we can get out of this, we can get through it’"PM, Kevin Rudd, 26 February:
"...we will see Australia through the economic crisis."3 March:
"...we can see Australia through this current crisis"
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
This time it was a complaint to the ABC's Complaints Review Executive about the handling of a previous complaint by ABC Audience and Consumer Affairs (which was also upheld in favour of The ShadowLands). So even if we win we complain - and win again!
After much stuffing about, the summary of the finding is as follows:
"This report reiterates that the complaint is upheld. I recommend further corrective action should be taken by adding to the end of the online Editor’s Note:At time of writing the second correction had yet to be made. Let's hope they get their skates on, or there will be complaints.
'The Bureau has estimated that 4,100 housing units were completely destroyed and 17,000 buildings and housing units were partially damaged. This estimate was not accurately reflected in the opening line of this item.'"
This is the third occasion where The ShadowLands has had a complaint upheld at the ABC.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Along the same lines, comes this handy map of Berlin Car-B-Qs, namely - Where Not to Park.
UPDATE: Apologies, link may be unreliable.
Caption: A member of Greenpeace tries to remove snow from the solar panels on top of his truck at the recent Washington global warming protest. His snow removal tool is a sign that reads "Stop Global Warming Now".
(From the counter-protesters of the Competitive Enterprise Institute.)
"A senior Pakistan Cricket Board official has called Aussies cowards for twice refusing to play in Pakistan citing security reasons..."2009:
"At least five people have been killed and eight Sri Lankan cricketers wounded in a shooting attack by a dozen gunmen in the Pakistani city of Lahore."
Monday, March 2, 2009
For any protesters heading out there today, the forecast for Washington is a top of -2 degrees C (up from -11 degrees C), snow, and winds of 16 km/h.
Check out the webcam. Liveblogging here and looking forward to the photos.
What deserves the attention of Eric Beecher, publisher of Crikey, is not just the very predictable fact that they were wrong, but the disgraceful comments they are publishing - and we will not be repeating them here.
Since Crikey is paying close attention to the IP addresses of its commenters, maybe it could track down those responsible.
UPDATE: More from RWDB and the Timster is onto it.
UPDATE II: Spot the Dog in comments says the Tizona's post in question has been removed, which is perhaps for the best. However, Crikey owes Tim Blair another personal and public apology.
At the top of the page, we were surprised to see a little green stamp proclaiming, "Made with recycled paper". Like many items in this newspaper, it got us to wondering - how true is it?
And like many items in the newspaper, the answer turns out to be - not very.
This item from the SMH's Fairfax stable-mate, The Age gives us a clue, without telling quite the whole story.
Indeed, some of the pulp comes from forestry operations and - we'll have to take their word for it here - the thinning of pine plantations. Is this good for the environment? Many environmentalists would argue it's not, as pine plantations supersede natural forests that provide environment for natural populations of native animals. And surely, the cutting of these trees does not help in the overall carbon balance sheet.
The Age also notes that Australians recycle more than 75 per cent of their newspapers. But does all of this go back into newspaper production?
Turns out no. To find out exactly how much recycled paper goes into your daily newspaper, we had to turn to google cache.
Deep in amongst there somewhere, you will find that about 40 per cent of newsprint produced by one of Australia's few major manufacturers is from recycled newspaper. It turns out, unsurprisingly, that the Sydney Morning Herald would be much limper than it already is without large amounts of the hard stuff that comes from trees.
So to state, as the Herald does, that their newspaper is made from recycled paper is true, but also devious and misleading. It appears only about 40 per cent of their newspaper is made from recycled newspaper, and the rest from baby pine trees.
Is this bad? In terms of the environment, not at all. Forestry is a vital and sustainable industry. However, to state that their newspaper is made from recycled paper is like declaring that Australia consists of Catholics, or Bloody Mary's consist of tomato juice. It's true, but it's also dishonest.
And when that newspaper is used to lecture others about honesty and the environment, that's when it becomes plain old hypocrisy.
A visit to Iran by a delegation of Hollywood types, including actress Annette Bening, is in jeopardy after being criticised by a representative of the Iranian Government for taking part in movies that were insulting to Iran.
Bening has previously spoken out about Sarah Palin. Now I guess she will be speaking out on behalf of Iranian women or, to take a specific example, the upcoming stoning of Ashraf Kalhori. Or at least about the importance for artists to have freedom of expression - right?
Sunday, March 1, 2009
Arctic sea ice extent at the moment, by the way, is about 14 million square kilometres, or around twice the size of Australia.
However, the European Union Environment Commissioner has confirmed that the last chance to save the planet is actually Copenhagen.