Wednesday, September 30, 2009
The AB frigging C reports that Australia's most trusted newspaper is now going online. For non-Aussies, this scene from the classic movie The Castle will give you some idea of the cultural significance of this announcement. There are audio problems, but you'll get the drift...
* If lottery tickets were to be completely honest with us...
* Jennifer Marohasy is forced to point out the bleeding obvious - melting glaciers provide more water, not less.
* Arguably one of the web's foremost journals of record concerning stuck tic-tacs.
* A new book argues that modern parents are creating a generation of brats and praise junkies.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Former Australian PM Bob Hawke is famed for promising to rid Australia of poverty. It was a claim that was ridiculed, because it simply must be true that Australia has poor people. Though few people in the chattering classes were in any position to have an informed opinion, the idea that the struggle against the rich could end was clearly unacceptable to them.
Many years on, Frollickingmole says poverty in Australia really does not exist, and what's more, he has the figures to support his argument. The bigger problem, he argues, is a lack of education.
This movie, by the way, explored similar themes and came up with similar conclusions.
Like so many issues concerning indigenous health, Government attempts over many years to prevent trachoma in remote Aboriginal communities have failed miserably. This cannot be helped at all by Australia's Minister for Aboriginal Affairs tippie-toeing around the facts.
"Mr Snowdon says something happens between childhood and adulthood to heighten the risk of blindness.The something that happens is that some people within these communities have failed to take responsibility for ensuring kids' faces are cleaned. If the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs cannot bring himself to talk about it honestly, what hope are we of not repeating the many failed attempts to eliminate trachoma?
"There clearly is a crossover point where eye health starts to deteriorate and it deteriorates for a range of reasons, mostly environmental and preventable to do with diet etcetera," he said.
At what point will the government realise that if it's not working, you need to try something different?
It's a complex problem, but the presence of eye disease should be one of the key indicators that some remote communities need to be closed down.
Monday, September 28, 2009
* Who says global warming never killed anybody?
* Water - from the sky! (Careful, mild language.)
* A dude makes celebrities very uncomfortable by asking them how they got to their brilliantly named eco-alarmist movie premiere.
* Sadly, a program to fight drought in the Philippines has proved way too effective.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
In New York recently, Bill Clinton said of the Australian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd:
"In my opinion, he is one of the most well-informed, well-read, intelligent leaders in the world today."Unfortunately for Bill, with this statement - and also by calling him Kevin Rude - Clinton showed that he doesn't know him very well at all.
To set the record straight, here is The ShadowLands' report card on Kevin Rudd:
In March, in the hallowed surroundings of St Paul's Cathedral, London and with British PM, Gordon Brown by his side, Kevin Rudd delivered a defining speech. It is clear from the text that he spurned the use of a speech writer.
Unfortunately for Kevin, his defining speech defined him as someone way out of his depth, and as a spouter of near illiterate gibberish and platitudes, like this:
"I think we are at an unprecedented turning point enable to harness this great potential. So how is this done in the schools and how is it taken better?"...and this...
"There will be a discovery afresh on the part of those affected by that, that those who are their neighbours or their friends of this extra call-back to family and to community, and in that, the discovery afresh of old truths."Kevin desperately wants to be remembered to history. Hilariously, the St Paul's speech reveals that his desire to be remembered is not matched by his ability to say anything profound, memorable or even vaguely interesting.
Kevin also seems to rely on a handful of infuriatingly meaningless catchphrases, such as "The choice is either to do nothing or to do something..." not to mention the cliches. When he tries to avoid the cliches, it only gets worse:
"This is where the current global order is in danger of falling between two stools... "Grade: FAIL
The direct link to the transcript has mysteriously disappeared, but in November 2008, Kevin Rudd had this to say about China - the country for which he is lauded for his expertise:
"Now if you have 1.3 trillion people - 400 million of them still lie south of the poverty line, I stand to be corrected on the exact number, but something like that - then it is a huge challenge."Kevin has also claimed that a reason for a huge influx of queue jumpers on boats has not been his relaxation of laws, it has been a 12 per cent increase in asylum seekers internationally. However, the increase of boat arrivals since Rudd changed the law is hundreds of per cent.
Kevin has repeated the falsehood on many occasions that Australia is the world's hottest and driest continent. He also combined his ignorance of both geography and English in front of the Pope.
As the global financial crisis hit, Kevin predicted that China would drag Australia into recession - this despite the fact that China was experiencing growth of 8 per cent. As it turned out, China was one of the major factors that kept Australia out of recession.
Rudd has blamed the economic crisis on a failure of capitalism and markets, when it was actually a failure of regulation.
Clearly confused, he has then turned to the markets as the mechanism for his Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme.
Rudd once referred, on his own website, to that great Labor hero, John Curtain. However his greatest problem with history is a tendency to re-write it to suit his own ends, and especially a tendency for him to view his every action as a step of unprecedented historical importance.
One of the reasons that Kevin has to visit former Presidents rather than current ones is that he has developed a well earned reputation for being unable to maintain confidences or demonstrate any discretion whatsoever.
During his St Paul's speech, Kevin suggested that he and Gordon Brown had made a commitment to visit Bhutan - a commitment that Brown clearly couldn't back out of quickly enough.
If you need a true indication of Kevin's effectiveness in international relations, just ask Stern Hu.
Grade: FAIL, FAIL, FAIL
Kevin Rudd is a total dweeb who will not miss an opportunity to become a lying dweeb if he thinks it will make him more popular. Kevin is only thought of as intelligent by people who have seen Revenge of the Nerds, and have taken away the key message that if you look like a dork, you must be intelligent. In fact, Kevin displays all of the characteristics of a dork except for intelligence.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
* We don't know much about Guy Rundle, but we do love an internet stoush.
* Hot dang, it's a 12 foot chocolate Eiffel Tower.
* Was Cortez good for Mexico?
* How warmenists spurn non-believers - (via Watts).
* Always, always, make sure you are at the right meeting.
Friday, September 25, 2009
Jennifer Marohasy has previously observed that some fairly well qualified scientists who are climate sceptics are often referred to in the media as unqualified, whereas completely unqualified alarmists get a free run.
With this said, see if you can fill in the blank as to who the latest ABC report uses as their expert:
... is sounding alarm bells about the risks from radioactive dust from the planned expansion [of a uranium mine].a) A Nobel Prize winning nuclear scientist
b) An internationally respected mining expert
c) A fully qualified TAFE science teacher or,
d) An Academy Award nominated documentary maker.
The answer, naturally is here.
The contentions made by this expert are all, unsurprisingly, pretty much a crock. An obvious one is his "grave concerns about BHP Billiton's ability to contain the 70 million tonnes of radioactive tailings he says will be dumped at the mine site each year."
Tailings, let's not forget, is the material left over after the uranium has been removed. The tailings from the mine will probably contain less uranium than the soil it covers.
Another of his many bloopers: "It will have a much bigger impact than the Maralinga atomic tests that the British chief scientist assured us would not have an impact on our population and women in their 50s are now paying for it with breast cancers."
In fact, Maralinga - like Hiroshima and Nagasaki - is perfectly safe to visit in calm weather or during a sandstorm and no link between Maralinga and increased mortality has been established.
It's not a good idea to inhale it, and dust can be radioactive, but so can beach sand, granite kitchens, caves, air travel, bananas, brazil nuts, and human beings - to name just a few things.
Jennifer Marohasy gives the recent Sydney dust storm some historical context here. One of the theories going around for this dust storm is that it has originated from Lake Eyre, which filled with water earlier this year, but the mud has since dried to dust. The dust storms then, ironically, may owe their existence to unusual rainfall events as much as any subsequent drought.
By the way, a useful link here - the Kanye West apology generator.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
ABC television's program, Q and A is a testament to the ABC's commitment to being open to free speech. However, the ShadowLands' Question They Won't Ask is a testament to our commitment to pissing them off. This week:
Not so much a question as a message for Tony:
Conrad Jupiters say they apologise but will not be able to put the 20 grand in cash you are earning at Carbon Expo in your Executive Suite bathtub. They say there are too many security issues. You can, however, pick the money up in a brown paper bag from reception and after that what you do with it is your own business.
Janine from Ovations
UPDATE: Published, dammit.
The following story, from Watts Up With That, ought to be one of the biggest scandals of the year:
Imagine if there were no reliable records of global surface temperature. Raucous policy debates such as cap-and-trade would have no scientific basis, Al Gore would at this point be little more than a historical footnote, and President Obama would not be spending this U.N. session talking up a (likely unattainable) international climate deal in Copenhagen in December.Read all about it here and the fascinating conclusion:
Steel yourself for the new reality, because the data needed to verify the gloom-and-doom warming forecasts have disappeared.
All of this is much more than an academic spat. It now appears likely that the U.S. Senate will drop cap-and-trade climate legislation from its docket this fall — whereupon the Obama Environmental Protection Agency is going to step in and issue regulations on carbon-dioxide emissions. Unlike a law, which can’t be challenged on a scientific basis, a regulation can. If there are no data, there’s no science. U.S. taxpayers deserve to know the answer to the question posed above.
Australia's Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd is famously awkward in social situations, but he did manage to get an audience with Bill Clinton yesterday. It's a shame Bill didn't know his name, though interestingly, it's not the first time he has been called Prime Minister Rude. (Thanks to Seza in comments for the tip-off.)
Clinton's stuff-up was probably divine karma for Rudd's ludicrous twitter site, where he does his best to pretend to be a knockabout bloke bantering about sport. One comment in particular gives the game away:
Dally M’s last night in Syd. Congrats to Jarryd Haynes.Anyone who has a passing acquaintance with rugby league in recent years would know that the 2009 best and fairest player's surname is actually Hayne.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
It is now more than a year since Kevin Rudd first spouted his lie that Australia is the hottest and driest continent.
Yesterday, he has demonstrated that you can lie about climate change as often as you like, and as prominently as you like, and so long as it is on the side of alarmism, nobody will ever challenge you on it.
On the steps of the UN in New York yesterday, Kevin said in his very first paragraph:
Let's never forget the basic fact on climate change. Australia is the hottest and the driest inhabited continent on the planet. Climate change will hit Australia hardest, and will hit Australia earliest.On this rare occasion, Rudd has slipped in the qualifier "inhabited" - clearly he thinks the only thing wrong with the sentence is that Antarctica has less precipitation than Australia. However, he still hasn't figured out that Australia is not the hottest continent. Africa is certainly hotter and South America - thanks to the very large section in the tropics - is probably hotter on average than Australia.
This simple fact was confirmed to me by some poor sod in the Department of Environment late last year.
Dust-storms are not unknown in some Australian hick-towns like Canberra, Adelaide and Melbourne, but were pretty much unheard of in Sydney in recent years - until today.
Conditions have eased, but it did look pretty freaky outside this morning. The redness of the dust suggests that it is high in iron, which is great news for the phytoplankton and the many organisms that feed on them.
* Soon to take a break from blogging, Daddy Dave notes that the swine flu epidemic in Australia has not been all hype. Effects of the disease seem to vary widely, but the dose I had earlier this winter was pretty nasty.
* Speaking of swines, the Egyptians removed theirs and are now swamped with rubbish. Maybe they will need to reconsider this whole throwing-garbage-on-the-street thing.
* The uncanny likeness between a terrorist and a bonsai tree duly noted.
* "Buckle your seatbelts," writes Doug Ross, "It would appear that a major deflationary spiral is yet to unwind."
* Ten things I didn't know about The Beatles.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
The ShadowLands caught a news grab of Hugh Jackman in New York telling the media this:
"I don't do private jets," he assured the media. "I try and do my best and I teach [sustainability] to my kids."However, we couldn't help but notice the sheepish way in which he said it. This is why:
After attending a press conference in Rome, Italy early this morning (April 14), X-Men: Wolverine star Hugh Jackman hopped on a private jet and managed to make it in time for his scheduled appearance on El Hormi- guero later that afternoon .Just a one-off occurrence forced by his promotional commitments, perhaps? Actually, no:
Stuttgart, GERMANY, Sun 14 Dec 2008,
- arrival of the private jet at Stuttgart airport
- the Jackman family gets off the plane
- Hugh Jackman signs autographs
- Oscar throws snow at his nanny
- Deborra-Lee Furness and daughter Ava
- The family gets into the waiting cars
Last month, The ShadowLands noted how, since climate alarmists claim that there will be more flooding in north-eastern New South Wales in the future, you would think it makes sense to put in place measures to harvest the floodwaters. But the environmentalists say no...
Similarly, climate alarmists have long claimed that one of the effects of climate change will be more rain in northern Australia, including desert areas.
You might think, therefore, it would make sense to shift agricultural activities to these higher rainfall areas, and mitigate damage to the Murray Darling basin. But the environmentalists say no...
According to the spokesman for the Environment Centre (whatever that is), one of the reasons is insufficient land for irrigation, which must leave little hope for food production anywhere in the world. However, while it would not be possible to grow food, apparently there is enough land for growing forests.
Most bizarrely, the spokesman claims that refusing to grow food will: "allow Australia to show developing countries around the world how to sustainably develop their tropical areas."
Clearly, this particular sustainable model involves either starvation or flying your food in from somewhere else.
Monday, September 21, 2009
Australia's elite rugby league players, including former NRL Good Guy of the Month, Greg Inglis, have had an unfortunate (alleged) run of beating up their girlfriends. The latest to join the long list is quiet achiever, Daine Laurie of the Wests Tigers.
The ShadowLands is always ready to give credit where it's due, however - so a big pat on the back to David Fa'alogo for thinking outside the square and allegedly beating up his coach instead.
* Australia's fabulous Golden Gaytime icecream - it's worth the embarrassment of asking for one - makes it onto the list of badly named snack foods.
* After enjoying your Golden Gaytime, a green coffee will supposedly help you purge.
* Israellycool's Muslim protest awards.
* The ten worst Las Vegas conventions.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Ten years ago today, an Australian-led international force (INTERFET) landed in East Timor, ended the killing of the Timorese, allowed tens of thousands of refugees to return home, and paved the way for East Timorese independence.
For years, freeing East Timor was a shibboleth of the Australian left as well as a mandatory bumper sticker on their smoke-belching kombi vans.
However, the actual freeing of East Timor has caused them no end of grief. Why? Simply because it was former Australian Prime Minister, John Howard and Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer who ultimately did it. To make things worse, it was that hero of the Left, Gough Whitlam who abandoned Timor to Indonesia in the first place.
The resulting attempts by the Left to re-write history are hilarious.
This bizarre article - suggesting that Bill Clinton should receive the Nobel Peace Prize because of it - is typical, as is this logic bender.
Here are the facts:
* Downer's Foreign Affairs Department was chiefly responsible for convincing Indonesia to hold a referendum on independence in East Timor.
* John Howard approached Clinton to support Australia's efforts to send in the troops. (If you need to check this, you can find it on ABC television's Howard Years. Click on East Timor in the left column.)
* Clinton's back-up support was crucial, but all of the running on the things that ultimately made a difference, was made by John Howard and Alexander Downer.
* Significant casualties or the creation of a major conflict in Timor really could have been disastrous for the future of the Howard Government. For Clinton, it was just one of many foreign policy issues he was dealing with around the world at the time.
First of all, credit for East Timorese independence should go to the soldiers who put their lives on the line. Secondly, someone needs to tip their hat to the Australian taxpayer - each and every one fo them contributed thousands of dollars to the cause.
But on the tenth anniversary of the action that made it all happen, there appears to be no recognition at all, not even a pat on the back in a newspaper article, for the two most effective freedom fighters the Timorese ever had - John Howard and Alexander Downer.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
The Chinese are reputed to be moving into the age of the internet at a rapid pace. The only problem is that it's hard to know what they're saying since they seem to talking in some kind of foreign language - possibly Chinese.
A website that translates Chinese internet stories, China Smack is here to help.
Tales of racism and domestic abuse that would make most westerners' toes curl feature prominently. Wives complain about their husbands in absolute torrents - "His mother is always right, I cannot express an opinion, even more government than the government!" and dirty secrets are revealed ("I once very seriously put a fart in a bubblegum container")...
Friday, September 18, 2009
* The How Happy is Your Dog to See You Graph
* This is not the most scientific video purporting to show which way the water spins in and around the equator, but what the hey...
* Australia's sign-led recovery.
* A disgraceful joke from Theo concerning gender relations.
A great deal has been made in the Australian media about the former PM John Howard's introduction of a citizenship test which included a question about the late, great cricketer, Don Bradman.
The media loved the story because it implied that Australia's downtrodden new immigrants were being forced to learn stuff that only old white cultural imperialists would know or care about. The Labor Party even claimed that John Howard wrote the question himself. It aligned with everything the Left wanted to believe about John Howard. It was the White Australia Policy writ small.
However, leading up to the election campaign, keen not to lose the old, white imperialist fuddy-duddy vote, Kevin Rudd promised to keep the question.
Naturally Kevin faced an uphill battle with this promise, because there never was a question about Don Bradman in the test. Bradman, it's true, was mentioned in sample material. But, as The Oz reports:
Sir Don was never in the original test, and Senator Evans said he didn't have a problem with him not being in the new version.So let's get this straight:
"I understand there are more words about Don in this one than there were in the old one but he's not in the test,'' Senator Evans said.
* There was never a question in the citizenship test about Don Bradman, but there was some mention of him in background notes.
* When the media reported that Labor would dump the non-existent question, Kevin Rudd promised to retain it.
* A new citizenship test has now been written. More information about Don Bradman is included in the background information, however, the question about Bradman that was never included has not been included, nor removed - presumably because that would be impossible.
* Bear with us here - if it was at all possible that a non-existent question really could be removed, removing it, would then amount to a broken election promise - something that the media should have pounced upon.
* Completely unfazed by the available facts, the media are still reporting that the Don Bradman question has been dumped from the new citizenship test.
Why is this so? The ShadowLands ventures that, like most of Australia's poorly written history, the media refuse to disbelieve the existence of the Don Bradman question because it forms part of a narrative they wish to be true.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Each week The ShadowLands tests the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's commitment to free speech by sending in a Question They Won't Ask to their interactive television program, Q and A. This week:
Question for Tony
There seems to be a permanent position available on your panel for people who have previously gone public saying things that any anti-semite would be proud of - a big cheerio, this week to Tanya Plibersek. Do you suppose it will ever happen that you invite a Jewish person on your panel who is an advocate for Israel?
UPDATE: Published - must try harder next week.
Normally, if your Government was alleged to be behind abducting and torturing Muslims who are seeking to establish a homeland, it would lead to a whole bunch of annoying international condemnation, newspaper stories, inquiries and the like.
But you too can avoid all of this hassle through the simple device of not being American or Israeli.
The little video, above, takes a look at the slowly deteriorating film location of Skippy the Bush Kangaroo - showing a potential tourist site going to waste.
Tonight the ABC is airing a documentary on the series, including the revelation that the actor who played Sonny, Garry Pankhurst, went on to become a kangaroo meat exporter.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
There is still time for melting, but as Watts Up With That reports, it appears that the Arctic has reached its minimum ice extent for 2009 and is gaining in ice coverage once again. Assuming that this holds true, here are a few facts about Arctic ice in 2009:
* The lowest ice extent at the North Pole for 2009 looks to have been 5,270,000 square kilometres - an area greater than the size of Western Australia, South Australia, the Northern Territory, Tasmania and Victoria combined.
* At the height of Summer, there was an extra 500,000 square kilometres of ice coverage in the Arctic in 2009 compared to 2008 - an area equivalent to the size of Spain.
* More than two thirds of those surveyed at Watts Up With That - consisting of laypeople sceptics - correctly guessed that the 2009 ice minimum would be more than the 2008 ice minimum.
* Fourteen computer modellers and experts in their fields from various professional organisations who spend their time, each and every working day investigating such things, all underestimated the ice minimum by between 200,000 to 1 million square kilometres. More on this here.
* You will not discover any of these facts from reporting in any mainstream media outlet in the world any time soon.
A Sudanese woman has reportedly been jailed for wearing pants. Do the Sudanese authorities fully appreciate the wrath about to descend upon them from Western feminists? Time to check in on how Germaine Greer is leading the struggle.
UPDATE: Mehaul in comments nails it: "Germaine only hates her own culture."
* We're lost OMG LOL
* Proof of the slow but unmistakeably sinister progress of trees attempting to take over the world.
* Allegedly caught plotting to destroy a skyscraper in Dubai, Iran really needs to work on its international diplomacy.
* Your guide to inventors killed by their own machines.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Of all the mysteries in the world, there can be few quite as mysterious as the appeal of Charlie Sheen.
Reputedly the highest paid actor in television, Sheen seems to get through each episode of the God-awful sitcom, Two and a Half Men, without ever changing the same stupid, perplexed expression on his face.
In a strange way, it's almost gratifying to discover that an actor whose work we really dislike turns out to be a Truther.
Monday, September 14, 2009
Now that the Howard Government has been banished, it must be true that the workers have seen the light and are returning to union membership in droves - at least, so thinks Christian Kerr in The Australian.
A more favourable political climate under the Rudd government and less hostile workplace laws have helped unions defy historical trends and record membership increases across a range of industries.Christian doesn't seem to mind that none of the union types quoted give him any definitive figures about their membership - how much they have increased compared to last year - instead, they give highly selective examples, like this:
Linda White, assistant national secretary of the 120,000 member Australian Services Union, said branches in South Australia and the Northern Territory had grown by 6 per cent in the past 12 months.Hmmm, up all of 6 per cent in our least populous territory and second least populous state. In other words, last year they may have had 100 members in NT and SA, and this year they have 106.
All of this piqued the suspicion of The ShadowLands, so we decided to check out Kerr's claim that:
The most recent ABS data in April showed there were 1.75 million union members, a 3 per cent rise in membership, after many years of decline.So where did he get these figures from? Here it is:
In August 2008, there were 1.8 million employees who were trade union members in conjunction with their main job. This was a 3% increase on the 1.7 million trade union members in August 2007, however in both years, trade union members represented 19% of people who were employees in their main job.In fact, the latest available reliable figures (which were released in April 2009, but actually collected in August 2008) show that union membership is steady. None of the information provided to Kerr by other union types supports his assertion that union membership is making a comeback - and we would be willing to bet that the next Australian Bureau of Statistics figures bear this out.
Having bought lots of new friends with the money they left him, Australia's Doofus in Chief, Kevin Rudd is currently trying to take credit for Australia's strong economic performance by trashing the reputation of his benefactors.
The ShadowLands can't be arsed to check all of his facts, but we only need to look at the first one to discover that Kevin is - how can we put this nicely - a big fat, creepy wax-nibbling hostie-harrassing liar. Naturally, all of this comes under the headline "Arguments in fact always win the day":
In the end, the proof is in the pudding. And the proof of the Howard Government's neglect is in the outcomes they produced.Sorry, Kev, if you want proof, avoid looking in puddings and look at the data - (just insert an earlier starting date at this website, say January 1 2000, to bring up the data you need.)
When the Howard Government left office inflation was running at a 16 year high.
When the Howard Government was deposed in December 2007, Australia's inflation rate - a figure that was apparently of so much concern to Kevin - was at 3 per cent. This was a six month high, not a 16 year high, and in fact, inflation bumped around at higher levels on a number of occasions during that period.
Now - just for the giggles - a reminder of Kevin's Ministerial Code of Conduct:
5.1 Ministers are expected to be honest in the conduct of public office and take all reasonable steps to ensure that they do not mislead the public or the Parliament. It is a Minister's personal responsibility to ensure that any error or misconception in relation to such a matter is corrected or clarified, as soon as practicable and in a manner appropriate to the issues and interests involved.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Because most of Australia's historians suck balls, we seldom see one of former Prime Minister John Howard's best quotes repeated by anyone other than Mark Steyn.
Here, for the record, it is, dating from 19 September, 2001:
MARK WILLACY: Mr Howard we've just heard the latest from Washington, but some commentators back here are saying, we're the only country to give the US a blank cheque when it comes to support. What are the limits on our commitment to the US?
JOHN HOWARD: Well we've said that we will support the Americans to the limit of our capability. Obviously if we're asked to contribute in a particular way, it will be for us to decide, whether we can or will do that. But, there's no point in a situation like this, being an 80 per cent ally.
You are either a 100 per cent ally of a country that was a 100 per cent ally of Australia's in World War II and it made the difference between Australia's surviving or going under to the Japanese assault. We have to remember it - we have to remember the history - that America came to our aid, we have been close allies ever since.
This is an assault, as much on the freedom and the values of Australian society as it is on the freedom and the values of American society. I'm sure the Americans will behave in a targeted, yet lethal fashion. That is what we have encouraged them to do and we've indicated that we'll be part of that response, if that is what they want.
* As this article clearly demonstrates, it is wrong to stereotype Russians as drunkards.
* Meanwhile, the Brits face their own challenges.
* You know you're a bit younger than me if...
* For the person who has everything, or just your regular voodoo practitioner - a personalised doll figurine.
* Graffiti goes mainstream.
Friday, September 11, 2009
Proof here that the world would be a better place if we all conformed to our national stereotypes. Don't miss, at the start, a demonstration of fingerkrok, or Swedish finger wrestling.
The real story of ABBA is fascinating. All of them were famous in Sweden to varying degrees before the formation of the band.
Frida was born in Norway, the product of a liaison between her mother and an occupying German soldier. She moved to Sweden, in part, to avoid the stigma of her origins and was a struggling artist and single mother before the formation of the band. She is now married to a European Prince.
Agnetha was a Swedish teen pop star who wrote her own songs. In her later years, she formed a relationship with an obsessed fan.
Benny and Bjorn were both famous musicians in Sweden well before ABBA. Benny has since also become revered in Sweden for his revival of traditional Swedish music.
The latest reports that South African runner, Caster Semenya is an hermaphrodite, with internal testicles and no ovaries raises a simple question: what is an hermaphrodite?
This definition ( "an animal or plant that normally possesses both male and female reproductive systems, producing both eggs and sperm") suggests that Caster doesn't quite make the grade. Similarly, this definition of a male ("designating the sex producing gametes [spermatozoa] that can fertilize female gametes [ova]) - suggests that she may not make the grade, technically, as a female either.
Not that there is anything wrong with identifying as a woman - unless, perhaps, you use your biological advantage unfairly in athletic competition.
Here, by the way, are some of the quotes from Caster supporters in South Africa prior to the latest reports:
"This smacks of racism of the highest order. It represents a mentality of conforming feminine outlook within the white race,": the Young Communist League.
"We condemn the inconsistency of the IAAF for conducting physical tests and genital screening on Semenya a few hours before the final," it said."It shows that these imperialist countries can't afford to accept the talent that Africa as a continent has.": SA football association.
"Cosatu rejects the attempts by those who tried to undermine her success by raising groundless queries." - Cosatu Trade Union Federation.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Over the last three weeks, The ShadowLands has successfully submitted questions to ABC television's interactive Q and A show that were either too rude or too revealing for them to publish on their website. This week:
UPDATE: Published dammit.
Question for Tony
Congratulations for being selected to host Carbon Expo 2009 once again. Our client says they are very happy with your work on Lateline and Q and A.
As to your query, unfortunately there are no executive rooms with adjoining doors at Conrad Jupiters. But Penny says she is happy to lend you one of her room keys again, so long as you promise not to go crazy in the mini-bar for a change.
Will this be okay with you?
A couple of days ago, Australian Senator and noted AGW sceptic Senator Steve Fielding voted with the Left in the Senate to waive the fees being charged to queue jumpers.
This follows an incident earlier in the week where Fielding made some gaffes in an interview because of his dyslexia. Miranda Devine in the SMH covers it very nicely here.
So how have the Left reacted to Fielding's magnanimous vote? Some comments from Larvatus Prodeo here:
Fielding is so mentally discombobulating that he causes hard drug abuse? Yes probably.
Sadly Fielding will be remembered from this day hence as the man who can’t spell fiscal. But that he is even pausing to consider which way he will vote on this is disgraceful.
I can see how a dyslexic can pass Engineering at RMIT but completing an MBA? It’s about time universities reintroduced standards so that when someone graduates from an MBA or whatever you can feel confident that they can read and write reports to a greater skill level than a year 10 high school girl...
and the coup de grace delivered without a trace of irony:
Fielding is so embarrassing it’s hard to conceptualise.
As no one else has gone for the obvious gag…
“Senator Fielding said he had managed to complete his studies with hard wrok, commitment and the help of Dog.”
What is it about the right and heartless bastardry?
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
* Australia clearly has a shortage of top models. (Thanks minicapt)
* The Sydney suburb of Rouse Hill has history when it comes to trouble-making - and it looks like they are still at it.
* I guess these are what you could call truly tolerant societies - your international guide to wife-beating.
* An example here of intolerance at the other extreme.
* Who would have thunk that warmenist reef experts could get something so simple as the time when corals spawn so wrong?
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
For years Australian taxpayers have been handing out millions of dollars to our film-makers in the hope that they would be so grateful as to make a decent movie or two.
Instead, our canny film-makers figured that while they were growing fat on the taxpayers' teat, they simply didn't need to make a movie that anyone wanted to watch, and they have obliged us many times over.
Film-goers have been wondering who might come along to rescue Australian movies this year and I'll be blowed if it's not, of all people...Paul Hogan. The other is Shane Jacobson, a chap who also made his name in the radical field of making films people want to see.
Incidentally, Hogan is talking of using his new partnership to make a Leo Wanker movie, based on a fondly remembered character from Hogan's years in Australian television.
It might take some work to stretch this out into a feature film. However, if we must spend public funds on films, then Leo is clearly the most deserving of all the wankers in the Australian film industry.
It was only last year that celebrity columnist, Cate Blanchette warned us about animals over-running the planet.
Now the World Wildlife Fund, as part of a whirlwind of media releases it is putting out to try and make us forget about the 911 advertisement thing, now admits that at least two new plant or animal species are being discovered in Australia every week.
And right on cue, here come the giant rats...
By the way, WWF needs to make up their mind about extinctions.
Sunday, September 6, 2009
As Kevin Rudd once said in an address that helped to define him as a semi-literate blowhard:
"I think we are at an unprecedented turning point enable to harness this great potential. So how is this done in the schools and how is it taken better?"Kevin expands on this theme in his latest rejected essay, with comments in italics from the ShadowLands:
This is where the current global order is in danger of falling between two stools...Erm, are you sure about this?
The global architecture therefore needs urgent renovation. Most of all it needs a clear sense of direction.What if you just got a couch to avoid that whole stool-falling thing? Surely what you are talking about here is global interior design...
One alternative is offered by those who would simply assign China to the strategic threat and/or enemy category...The second alternative is to idealistically assume that China will spontaneously constrain its national interests in deference to the existing international order. And the third alternative is policy inertia or strategic drift...Oh fuck no, not the "other alternative is to do nothing" spiel...This is pure Kevspeak. Obviously, you took the alternative where your Defence Minister accepted gifts and lived in a house provided by the Chinese.
A top down approach, driven by leaders, is the most effective way to begin the evolutionary but systemic approach required to manage better global interdependence...and prepare us for the as yet unforeseen.You mean, a top down approach like at Scores? And how exactly do you propose preparing for the unforeseen?
China is the elephant in the living room that can no longer be ignored.By specifying it is the elephant that "can no longer be ignored", clearly there must be an elephant in the room that can be ignored. I don't suppose Therese was hassling you while you were trying to write this, was she Kev?
We must engage China with both intelligence and continuing vigilance...You mean, to engage China stupidly but with continuing vigilance or intelligently but with intermittent vigilance would not be satisfactory. Like... wow.
* Bangladeshi newspapers have impeccable sources.
* Lactic acid is not the culprit for muscle soreness, it's actually a form of fuel.
* Magazines about ordinary people.
* Another Dear Leader has enlisted the kids to sing a creepy tune in his honour. (Link courtesy of minicapt) and a little background here.
Friday, September 4, 2009
* If only these teenagers had known about this valuable web resource.
* Paco points us to the big questions.
* Ear-wax gourmand Kevin Rudd now has an Iranian brother in arms.
* If Kevin Rudd really believed in anthropogenic global warming, the biggest single thing he could do is allow the sale of uranium to India. Now they're shopping for coal.
* This bride thinks marriage is a hoot. (Thanks for the link, Jenny.)
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Mr Percival, the pelican that starred in the 1976 Australian movie Storm Boy has fallen off his perch. Who knew that pelicans lived so long?
But before you go and get all sentimental about this, you should know that old Percy had more than a few skeletons in his nest. Just like the others of his kind, Percy was almost certainly a chick molesting, murderous jerk.
Other species of animals that are known to kill their own include chimpanzees, lions, gorillas, wolves, chickens, dragonflies, monitor lizards, cheetahs, crows, barred owls, lions, baboons, crocodiles, hedgehogs, swine, gerbils, mice, octopus, cats, rats, bats, toads, fish, crustaceans, salamanders, spiders, praying mantises, scorpions, herons, boobies, egrets, ground squirrels, lemmings, hamsters, mice, voles, muskrats, gerbils, prairie dogs, kangaroos, butterflies, marmots, eagles, falcons, bears, rabbits, stags, wild horses, cobras, hammerhead sharks (in utero) and hyenas.
However pelicans are unique because of their added penchant for pelican paedophilia.
Each week, The ShadowLands submits an insulting question to ABC television's interactive Q and A program with the aim of having it not published on their website. This week we are putting on the line our perfect two from two rejection record:
Question for Anne Summers:UPDATE: Someone has submitted an even better question directed at noone in particular: "How come only the left gets the clap."
In your Q and A biography, you say you have written numerous best selling books, however, nobody I know has heard of more than one. Do you think the fact that we have never heard of these numerous best-selling books is a part of a conspiracy by the male-dominated military-industrial complex, or are you just a lying liar?
UPDATE UPDATE: Three out of three rejected! We're on a roll.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Sony BMG and EMI are currently facing legal proceedings from a group who claim that the Men at Work classic, Down Under is a rip off of the equally classic Australian children's song, Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree.
By the way, if you ever wanted to design a way cool bird, you would give it a raucous laughing call, a fervent disregard for the welfare of snakes, and a tendency to hang out on your balcony. Countries that don't have kookaburras really ought to have a long hard look at themselves.
(More kookaburra trivia: the noise used by Flipper the dolphin is actually a kookaburra call on fast forward.)
* A cool map of the seven deadly sins in the US.
* A fine example of bad science reporting - a prediction that kids will live two years fewer than their parents surely fails to take account of other medical advancements.
* Maybe the headline got lost somewhere in translation.
* Looks like Australia's winter stole all the heat from North America's summer.
* At last - the Swine Flu stuffed toy.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
The New South Wales Health Minister, John Della Bosca has resigned following a sex scandal.
However we believe the scandal is not that John Della Bosca had sex with somebody, it's that somebody had sex with John Della Bosca. The ShadowLands hereby calls on their resignation from whatever it is that they do.
However, unfortunately for Mr Della Bosca, he cannot possibly be reinstated on the scandalous grounds that he had sex with Belinda Neal.