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Our mission

Are you that special person who - weary from trudging the endless superhighways - just longs to camp next to a glorious oasis of the mind? Do you desire to explore new frontiers, splash in shared ideas, fill your belly with the refreshing fruits of inspiration, and bask in the gentle rays of fond reflection?

Well, you can fuck right off. This, my friends, is not that place. This place is... The ShadowLands.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The road ahead

Monday, June 29, 2009

A trip down memory place

Keep on with the Post Office
Don’t stop ’till you get enough

Show them hot monkey
Just beat it, beat it, beat it, beat it!...
You're a hot monkey, Don't you bite
No one wants to feel your penis
Just beat it,beat it, beat it, beat it
You've got to show them that you're real
Hey Toto, don't you ever come around here...

She ran underneath the table
He could see she was an emo
Annie get your wookiee, are you woking any?
Anything you want, 'kay?
You want, 'kay, any?"

For forty days and for forty nights I was on the slab
I flew in sandwiches from Japan
of steaming lamb curried ants
Village Cheese is not my lover
But the chair is not my size

It took them a little while but...

when it comes to figuring out what causes bad things to happen, the canny netizens of Pravda Forum are nothing if not reliable.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Passing shadows

* A multi-millionaire cartoonist whose work was once enthusiastically accepted in an Iranian holocaust-themed competition says the rest of us should stop complaining and learn to love the recession.

* This is how to win a horse race.

* This is how to carry stuff.

* A car crashes into an optometrists, nyuk, nyuk, nyuk.

* Kate at SDA absolutely nails it under the heading "One last comment" over here.

* Cool WWIII posters this way.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Spookily inaccurate

We at The ShadowLands are fascinated with the strangely ignored, but remarkably accurate, reverse predictive powers of people who are bad at predicting things. We bring you, for example, leading pet psychic and foreseer of general events, Ms Cherie Vergini.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Jokes condemned

The ShadowLands presents these "jokes" only with the understanding that our discerning readers will know far better than to spread them around:

* So, did you hear the Jackson 5 are offering 20 per cent off their next reunion tour?

* Farrah Fawcett gets to the Pearly Gates. St Peter says, "We have been expecting you Farrah. You have led such a good life that, as well as entrance to heaven, God and I would like to offer you one wish". Farrah scarcely needs to think about it. "Thank you, God, thank you St Peter. I would like you to end the suffering of each and every child..."

* I hear it was the second heart attack that killed Jackson - when he awoke and realised he was nowhere near the children's ward.

(More on the web reaction to this shock news over at Harry Hutton's.)

UPDATE: Some more "jokes" that we should all be extremely wary of in comments. Thanks to our vigilant readers.

Our Jackson musical tribute...

Eulogy 2

Apart from paying out millions to stave off child molestation charges, and then having children not biologically related to him that he could keep in his house, he produced some very entertaining videos. For this we owe him our undying respect.

Eulogy 1

Although divorcing the world's best actor, ever, partnering a meth user, raising a meth addict and being interviewed on television in a disoriented state, her hair flicks were indisputably what made her a role-model for us all.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Passing Shadows

The ShadowLands is currently battling the flu, which may slow us down for a few days. In the meantime:

* Some years ago, KFC launched a summer advertising campaign in Australia for a "Cricketer's Box" meal apparently unaware that cricketers refer to this piece of apparatus as a "box". Now we are seeing another advertising campaign with the potential for cultural misunderstandings.

* Life is awesome in Pyongyang, with dancing parties being the order of the day.

* A dumber than usual Price is Right contestant.

* Scroll down to see how to win Prince of Peugeot.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Whingeing for winners

The ShadowLands has finally received a response from the ABC to a complaint we made in April about this story. The complaint has been dismissed, but its existence might have spawned this story - which goes to say it might still have been worth it - although, as usual, the story is slanted by bad headline writing. It would be terrific to see, however, if they can publish any story about Israeli military actions without this phrase:

"The Israeli military's public relations machine has gone to great lengths to justify the three-week war, even posting a five-and-a-half minute animated video on YouTube."
I doubt somehow that they have ever made reference to the "Palestinian public relations machine". There is an opportunity to make a further complaint, which we'll be considering very carefully. The ShadowLands previously made complaints about an item that has now received two corrections.

Here follows the email trail:

Dear MM

Thank you for your email. I apologise for the delay in responding.

While noting your comments, the ABC cannot agree that the ABC News Online report War shocked Gaza children want to die was biased. The ABC Code of Practice states that balance will be sought, but may not always be achieved within a single program or publication; it will be achieved as soon as reasonably practicable and in an appropriate manner.

As you may be aware, the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) does not respond to media inquiries in specific cases, but its defence of its actions in the recent conflict in Gaza has been reported by ABC News Online.

This report covers Israel’s justification for maintaining the blockade on Gaza.

These reports cover Israel’s investigation into its military’s conduct in Gaza.

The ABC is committed to providing comprehensive and fair coverage of events in the Middle East, from a wide range of perspectives over time. The ABC believes that balance is achieved in keeping with the provisions of its Code of Practice.

Please be assured that your comments have been brought to the attention of ABC News management.

Yours sincerely

Some Doofus Pretending to be Polite
ABC Audience and Consumer Affairs

Dear Sir/Madam

Anne Barker's April 13 report "War shocked Gaza children want to die" was clearly biased because it failed to include a comment from Israel.

A number of previous claims by Palestinians (such as the Jenin massacre) have since proven to be false. However, you failed to even give the Israelis a chance to comment on this case.

Iran and the Taliban in Pakistan are on the cusp of obtaining nuclear weapons - and biased reports like this are used in islamic forums as justifications against attacks on Israel.

Whether or not it's covered in your editorial policies - that's why you have a moral responsibility to get responses from each side.

Yours sincerely

MM - also pretending to be polite

Person allowed to speak

I'm not sure I can put my finger on it, but there is something about this headline that I think is hilarious.

Passing shadows

* Are they unbelievers? Some passionate exponents of climate alarmism, like Leo DiCaprio, recently bought themselves low lying islands.

* Part 1: A disturbing article here with graphic images of Iranian protesters being killed. Part 2: Obama goes out for an icecream.

* An advertisement for a kiwi's old washing machine became famous on the internet and ended up selling for more than 5 grand.

* This is photobombing (NB Probably NSFW).

Sunday, June 21, 2009

"Sucky, partisan" ABC "rallies to Kevin's aid"

The Australian Prime Minister and Treasurer are currently involved in a scandal where they are accused of seeking favourable treatment for a constituent who gave the PM a car.

Now let's have a look at the last five stories run by our taxpayer funded news organisation:

AFP probes OzCar 'storm in a tea cup'

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) have now been called on to investigate claims of misconduct in Federal Parliament, but the car dealer caught up in the matter says it is all "a storm in a tea cup".

Swan hits back at OzCar 'smear campaign'

The Federal Government has accused the Opposition of running a smear campaign that has led to allegations that both the Prime Minister and the Treasurer misled Parliament.The Australian Federal Police (AFP) have now been called on to investigate claims of misconduct in Federal Parliament, but the car dealer caught up in the matter says it is all "a storm in a tea cup".

Government slams 'false' OzCar email

The Federal Government has denounced as a fake an email at the centre of accusations by Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull that Prime Minister Kevin Rudd misled Parliament.

Rudd orders AFP probe into 'fake email'

The Federal Government has asked the Australian Federal Police (AFP) to investigate the existence of an email at the centre of a political scandal troubling the Government.

PM stands by OzCar denial

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says he stands by his statements that his office did not lobby for Government funds on behalf of a friend, amid claims he misled Parliament over the matter.

not to mention the classic headline "Turnbull 'threatened' PM's staffer" - where it turns out Turnbull's threat involved advising the staffer not to lie.

Apparently you can say anything you want to say in a news headline if you put it in quotation marks.

UPDATE: Their latest effort: Rudd to Turnbull: Prove it or resign

Saturday, June 20, 2009

For budding composers...

and annoying noisemakers alike this rocks... - just fill in the squares.

(This game is reminiscent, is it not, of this scene from Close Encounters?)

Point noted

Joe Hildebrand in Sydney's Daily Telegraph (no link available) is reporting that Australia's kind of hot Sports Minister has split from her fiance.

This is barely three weeks after a question The ShadowLands submitted to ABC television's Q and A program was published on their website. Did our question help her to see the light?

Where's Mahmoud?

Here he is - trying to look official by meeting the Russian President - and setting the world record for latest ever greeting of "Happy New Year".

The sad, sad olive tree

This article notes that the climate of the UK may soon be like the Mediterranean (erm, you guys think this is a problem?)...

But anyway, also mentioned in the article is a farm in Devon that has decided to get ahead of the game by attempting to grow olives.

Let's check in on how this innovative agricultural venture is really going...

Once more unto the breach

In light of allegations about the offices of senior Australian politicians offering favourable conditions to a Queensland car salesman, the ShadowLands has had a quick look at Kevin Rudd's Ministerial Code of Conduct.

By our calculations, if the allegations turn out to be true, Kevin Rudd and/or Wayne Swan may be in breach of sections 1.3(i), 1.3(ii), 1.3(iv), 1.4, 1.5, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.6, 2.7, 2.8, 2.16, 2.17, 2.20, 3.1, 3.2, 4.3, 4.4, 5.1, 5.2, 6.1, 8.3, 8.4 and 8.5.

If it turns out that Treasurer Wayne Swan has been involved, it may not be entirely out of character, as explained in point 3 here.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Used car salesman implicated in Rudd shame

REUTERS: A Queensland used car salesman has been implicated in a scandal where he may have had business dealings with the Prime Minister and/or possibly the Treasurer of Australia.

The Used Car Association of Australia has called for an independent inquiry into the matter, which has the potential to bring used car salesmen into disrepute.

A spokesman for the UCAA, Mr Waldo Speedowinder, said the inquiry would be given full powers to investigate the situation.

"If we find it at all to be true that our Member has been involved with these people, he will be expelled from the used car profession immediately," Mr Speedowinder said. "From there it is likely he will have only one option - and that's to become a journalist."

Friday foot-tapper

Watch out Simon and Garfunkel...

World's first honest enviro-car

I wonder if this car gets you those reserved parking spaces?

Passing shadows

* Let's get real: there will be no happily ever after

* Obama comments on historical events (via insty)

* Fine art photoshopped with party hats

* Yes, but does it have solitaire?

* Let this be a warning to you.

* Chk Chk boom is now so last week. Get your face tattoos here.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Support sought

A little background here and the resulting thread from a Muslim forum.

What sucks

* Ahmadinejad sucks at photoshop

* Tim Blair sucks at singing

* These children's books are not appropriate

* This is just plain wrong (thanks - I think - minicapt).

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

One of them got it right

Babik Rahimi argues here that "the internet...has played an important role in the ongoing struggle for democracy in Iran."

Ant Loewenstein argues here that "The internet is not in itself a revolutionary force."

Time to check in on who is closest to being right.

Where's Mahmoud?

These Tehrani garbagemen are being urged to "go and get Mahmoud".

Meanwhile, last time I looked, Ahmadinejad's website was having a little trouble.

Know your root causes

Okay, how well do you know your middle east politics? Try this quick quiz.

What is the root cause behind the major threat to peace in the middle east?

a) Thousands of years of conflict

b) Plain old anti-semitism

c) A bunch of Arabs with self-esteem issues or

d) something else?

Answer - here.

Passing shadows

* The position of tattoos explained

* A killer definition right here

* A plan to give up the occupied territories.

Why lefties support Ahmadinejad

with John Butler of the John Butler Trio

Is it just me or does it seem to you that there is a distinct lack of enthusiasm from the left of the blogosphere about the prospect of a revolution in Iran?

Take this luke warm comment at leftie blog, Larvatus Prodeo for example:
Without dipping into the links provided, I am apprehensive at the prospect of violence resulting from this vote and the respective claims of the two leaders. I hope I’m wrong as I believe the west has been quite disparaging of Iran’s attempts at democratic government.
Conservative blogs are all over it, posting stories, links and photos everywhere. Left wing blogs by comparison generally have little if anything to say on the matter. Go on - try, for example, Michael Moore's website. You lefties are into revolutions aren't you Michael? Michael?...

So what it all boils down to is this:

The left are willing to support - or at least, will not vocally oppose - a regime that hangs and oppresses women and gays, and that has supported violence against Israel and is now moving into the nuclear age.

And why would this be so? Ultimately because Ahmadinejad's anti-semitic and anti-US ideology is more precious to lefties than any other belief that they may claim to hold.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The truth about the detention centres

We are way, way late to this discussion but a link from kae has alerted us to this sensational article by a former immigration detention officer at Port Hedland in north western Australia. It is absolutely full of revelations that - because the media had certain points of view - you will never find anywhere else.

Just a few of his observations:
Another weakness of the Australian system is its appeal as a source of funding for some rather nasty organizations. A case in point was the Sri Lankan Tamils. Almost without exception they were young men, sent by the Tamil Tigers military to provide funding for further operations.
One family in particular was involved in a major riot. During this riot one of our pregnant female officers was struck, and lost her child, shattering her mentally. Mum was breaking up pavers, the 2 younger kids were running them forward, and dad and the 2 oldest boys were throwing them.
Another incident was the witnessed molestation of a small girl. The father refused to lay charges, and it was my strong belief he was pimping her out. As the family refused to lay charges the matter was dropped.
On relations with detainees:

Nearly every group of uni ladies that visited ended up screwing a detainee in the visitor’s yard...

I know of at least one escape facilitated by a female “care bear” officer who had allowed herself to be seduced by a male detainee.

On the ABC:
They were never reporters but advocates. They saw fit to send up a media crew to cover a protest by 15 individuals, but never panned the camera back to show how few were there.
And his conclusions
This will shock many, but Ruddock did the most humane thing in the world.

He stopped the boats...

The single greatest stopper of the boats wasn’t the excision of parts of Australia or the Pacific Solution. It was the introduction of the temporary protection visa. Mr Evans’ first action as immigration minister was to reverse that decision...

I sent a submission to the new immigration minister when it was called for last year, offering advice and answers to any questions he and his staff might have on immigration detention issues. I received back a terse reply along the lines of “your experiences are out of date and irrelevant and won’t be considered."

What I did in Bonn by MM

ShadowLands correspondent, Marg Maiden has signed up to the ambitious 1 Million Women project. While she hasn't yet committed to any cuts in carbon emissions, she has contributed greatly to the forum where she discusses her latest visit to Bonn.

UPDATE: Sadly it appears the link to the 1 Million Women Forum is protected by a login. But here is our contribution:
For so long, I had been doing nothing about climate change. But then I learnt about Professor Tim Flannery a man who is constantly attending climate change conferences in top hotels and conference centres around the world.

I realised, if this great former Australian of the Year can attend so many conferences, then why can’t people like me?

To kick things off, I decided that attending the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Bonn, Germany would be a good a place as any to start, so I jetted off two weeks ago to see for myself what it’s all about.

4,600 people from 183 countries representing governments, business and interest groups were meeting in Bonn to discuss the draft text for the December climate change meeting in Copenhagen. 183 countries? Who knew that there were that many countries.

Lucky for me, I had booked my accommodation early, and wound up in the divine Kameha Grand Bonn Hotel in the kind of style that would even make Professor Flannery jealous.

Well, it was nice, but to be honest, the actual conference was pretty damn dull, and the actual town of Bonn, while pretty, has very little to offer by way of shopping. Once you’ve been to a plenary session and cruised the Rhine, frankly there isn’t much to do.

While I had intended to stay and learn about climate change for at least a week or so, who could resist the call of the French boutiques in the summertime?

I feel kind of embarrassed to say that I checked out early and jetted to Paris for a week. However, this was my first attempt at climate change activism, and I don’t think too much could really be expected at this stage. Anyway, I picked up a couple of divine dresses that I can’t wait to wear at the Australian spring carnival races, as well as my first pair of darling Blahniks!

Progress was made, as they say.

More passing shadows

* Twitter is usually unutterably banal, but it doesn't have to be, as this account from an Iranian student demonstrates. (via the Punch)

* Civilisation comes to the DPRK

* Doug Ross on old toys that would be illegal today

* How to make a Russian jet from a cigarette packet

* Popcorn time!

Monday, June 15, 2009

British Columbia leads the way

British Columbia, home of environmentalist David Suzuki (pictured in front of his rock-star style tour bus) is leading the world when it comes to the introduction of a carbon tax.

Let's check in on how it's working out for everybody.

The performing machine

Tired of temperamental human performers whose idea of fun is throwing televisions out of hotel windows? Then you might prefer this performing machine built out of tractor parts by the Robert M. Trammell Music Conservatory and the
Sharon Wick School of Engineering at the University of Iowa.

UPDATE: Doh! This seemed so unbelievable that we did a little checking...

Passing shadows

* Track your flu trends

* A near great escape from Baltimore Zoo

* It's the tiny Obamas

* Who were you in a past life?

* Combine one of the worst songs ever with inept musicians and the result is this...

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Is Iran teetering on revolution?

The MSM have been left for dead by the blogosphere on this story, but this is what you call a demonstration.

Instability in Iran could be dangerous, but it may also prove to be the best news of the year. Can Iran return to its glory years?

An excellent source of news here.

Cultural understandings

Ever wondered why the people of Finland are so rosy cheeked? Allow this typical Finnish couple to demonstrate.

An interesting theory...

and yet, not near interesting enough as to over-ride the singular impression that it is a complete load of bollocks.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Passing shadows

* We like it when blogs cause something to happen in real life - this would be one of the more unusual ones.

* 15 creative advertisements

* The latest geeky internet in-joke is the Three Wolf T-shirt. The comments here will give you some idea of how it all works. Just so you know.

* These things are all frankly just a ridiculous waste of your time and mine.

* Too many species to count: what Cate said here is coming true here. (Thanks minicapt.)

* Daddy Dave in fine form.

Knowing the value of a Bob

Vexnews appears to have a pretty good point here: How is it that a politician with a wealthy partner, a salary and electorate allowance of more than $212,000, and an expected superannuation slush-fund of $2.5 million can claim that legal bills of $240,000 will send him bankrupt?

Friday, June 12, 2009

Act your age

* The top ten signs you are becoming a teenager;

* Twenty-five things you need to learn by the time you are 25;

* 30 signs that you are approaching 30;

* 40 signs you are 40, and

* the many signs that you are way past it.

Saving David Letterman

First came Nelson Mandela, then it was Aung San Suu Kyi, and now it's Daaaa-vid Lettermannnn.

UPDATE: No signatories of the petition so far. I would sign it myself, but I'm tired. And frankly, I'm not totally convinced that it's really such a good cause. One thousand to go.

UPDATE UPDATE: Uh oh, we have a bit of ground to make up.

Misogynists, united, will never be defeated

The brou-ha-ha concerning David Letterman's rib-tickler about the rape of Sarah Palin's daughter reminds the ShadowLands of this little exchange we had with a lefty in comments at Larvatus Prodeo.

Pinnacle reached

In the history of Blair's Law, would there be anything to match a possible visit to North Korea by Al Gore?

I wonder how it would feel, by the way, to know that the only thing that may prevent you from doing 12 years hard labour in this workers' paradise is the commitment of big Al? Judging by the looks on their faces, I'm guessing that these people who are depending on the resolve of Kevin Rudd have a pretty fair idea.

(BTW, NY Mag imagines how the Korean situation may work out.)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

More passing shadows

* How long can we pretend to ignore the mounting evidence about the identity of the anti-Christ?

* Bad news from the past and the awesome Goths in Hot Weather (both via Boing Boing).

* These funny album covers are, erm, funny.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

See you S-S-Saturday

Much of the population of eastern Australia has dived under the blankets following the arrival of a cold snap.

Wondering what brought this on? Wonder no more...

UPDATE: May 29:
"The only thing keeping a coherent “ski season” now in Victoria is snow making."
June 10:
"The snow just keeps falling bringing the base up to a staggering 56cms and still more on the way!"

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Passing shadows

* Okay, well this covers just about everything

* How does your husband rate?

* Someone got rich selling Che t-shirts, now canny capitalists are making another move on the lucrative dickhead market

* The worst of yahoo questions and answers.

Obama's speech reviewed

Some sections of the media are saying that Obama's Cairo speech was well received.

Now let's see if his reviews from this Muslim forum are quite so glowing:

"Serpentine words."

"I hated the way he quoted from the Quran - who is he to do that? A muslim? Hes using words familiar to those listening to him in order to convince them of his sugar-coated deceit. He was basically placing Muslims, Jews and Christains on one platform..."

"I think Im starting to develop a passionate hate for him, more than Bush..."
"He has no right to use our greeting, absolutely none..."
"If he wants to pull out the troops...fine...but do not expect any applause from us nor any friendly gestures. We have an agenda that will continues no matter who is in power in the US, the honest Bush or the liar Obama."

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Enough to be getting on with

The ShadowLands will be away celebrating a birthday this long weekend. Here are a few links to keep you going:

* Can you find 50 movies in the illustration? Or would you prefer some Frogger?

* Pick the perp old do you think these people are?

* Kevin Rudd foreseen and some observations about Russians

* A miracle cure for alcoholism. Unsure of your religion? You may need...belief-o-matic.

* More great moments in contracting...and oratory...and acting

* A gallery of ShadowLands readers and their former cars

* The candle trick

* World-o-meter and what day of the week were you born?

* A literal version of Daydream Believer, and cool guys don't look at explosions.

Friday, June 5, 2009

The magic of towels

ShadowLands Public Policy Unit's latest...

Dear Human Rights Consultation Committee,

How would you feel if some of these jokes were directed at you?:

What's the difference between a Human Rights Consultation Committee Member on a street and a dead dog on the street?

There are skid marks in front of the dog.

What's black and brown and look great on Human Rights Consultation Committee Members?


What do Human Rights Consultation Committee Members and sperm have in common?

One in 50,000,000 has a chance of becoming a human being.

As you may have figured out, these are not in fact “jokes” that are directed at yourselves – but some of the most discriminated against people in Australia.

Yes brothers and sisters, it's high time that the Australian population apologised for the indignity and degradation inflicted on lawyers and moved to a future based on mutual respect, mutual responsibility and a linear and much more consistent transfer of money.

Lawyers across Australia have been subject to ridicule for way too long. No, 500 dead lawyers at the bottom of the ocean is not a good start - it is a an affront to human dignity.

What's worse is that it is highly inappropriate.

But there is something you can do.

Our dream is that one day, everyone will have the right to life, liberty and to charge whatever they like for photocopying.

A Bill of Rights could help to employ hundreds of new lawyers and boost the incomes of countless thousands of their existing number.

While we cannot guarantee that these lawyer “jokes” will ever be truly eradicated, we can guarantee that they are much easier to block out with the help of the surround sound systems they are installing in top of the range Mercedes Benz S Class vehicles these days.

So yes, a Bill of Rights is absolutely necessary. Heck, have a different one for each state and territory. Why can’t people have personal Bills of Rights? The more clauses the merrier - the vaguer and more contradictory the better. In this way, you have the power to end the suffering of lawyers today.

When it comes to treatment of lawyers, Australia has a dark and inappropriate past. But you, my friends, have an historic opportunity to move forward with the establishment of multiple Bills of Rights and any other associated confusing bits of legislation that you may think appropriate. You have the potential to start an absolute Festival of Mandated Appropriateness.

With this in place, we can be confident about our futures. More to the point, what about your futures? Do you guys really want it all to end here? Stick with us and with just a few encouraging recommendations, you can be confident about finding yourselves a first class seat on the gravy train on that long, long journey to Consultation Committee City.

Toot! Toot! All aboard!

(PS Thanks to reader minicapt for alerting us to this inquiry.)

ShadowLands' Public Policy Unit: a backgrounder

Hey, you think we do this blogging thing just for the fun of it? At the ShadowLands, we aim to change the world!

The ShadowLands' Public Policy Unit* is quickly gaining a reputation as having the most influential PPU of any blog, and that's not just because we can't think of any others.

Here are just a few recommendations from our Public Policy Unit, including submissions to:

* the Department of Climate Change (and a background story here).

* the Productivity Commission's inquiry into opening up the book market.

* Our submission to the Senate Select Committee on Climate Change, who ultimately agreed with our suggestion that the whole ETS thing could be at least be delayed.

* The ShadowLands Public Policy Unit is proudly funded by some shadowy multi-national organisations.

Our new theme tune

Over its brief existence, this blog has had two theme tunes.

The first, the 2008 Azerbaijan entry in the Eurovision song contest, was chosen to reflect our status as dark, brooding, cutting edge and perhaps a bit scary.

However, there comes a time when you have to move a bit more mainstream, and that's when we chose Captain and Tenille to provide our new theme tune. This tune also reflected how former Blair commenters-turned bloggers were sticking together.

Sincere thanks to each of these talented artists for inadvertently allowing us to use their music.

The ShadowLands is proud to unveil our new theme song by Pink Martini. This group first came to the attention of our crack team of Australian musicologists when they provided the music to an ad for Cherry Ripes...mmmh.

This, another of their tunes, was chosen because it clearly reflects the high level of sophistication of this website. We are also impressed with the chorus of the tune, which roughly translates to:

"I don't want to work,
I don't want to lunch,
I want only to forget,
And then I smoke"
Many thanks to Pink Martini and Philip Morris International for making it all possible.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Usefulness lost

Dear Paramount Leader Hu Jintao,

As you are probably aware, Informant F has been sacked as Defence Minister of country A.

F has served the People's Republic of China greatly by providing information about the defence plans of country A and of course, anything we wanted to know about country USA.

Now that this idiot is no longer useful, may I have your permission to stop sending him suits, airline tickets and Christmas cards? Also, what am I going to do with the Canberra rental property?

Fuck me, this guy is so dumb it makes my brain hurt. Please advise of the next course of action.

Yours etc...

Helen Liu

Kiwis ripe for invasion

New Zealand now tops the list of countries that would be easy to invade if you had half a mind.

New Zealand has moved up from fourth place to first in the Ease of Invasion list, which is also known by soft cocks as the Global Peace Index. Australia has moved from 27th to 19th.

The Ease of Invasion list is determined by examining the values, attitudes and behaviours that reject violence, endeavour to prevent conflicts by addressing root causes, and aim at solving problems through dialogue and negotiation.

A big mover on the list is Sweden, which has gone from 13th to sixth. Some observers are tipping that the country may soon actually be invaded.


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

What Kevin said, and then what happened

January 2009:

China's growth slump to hurt Australia: Rudd
March 2009:
JOURNALIST: Why are you now saying it’s inevitable we’ll go into recession given you previously refused to pre-empt official economic forecasts?

PM: Well it’s quite plain that we have seen most recently economic data from China, it’s quite plain that we have also seen the fact that during the first quarter of 2009, a range of data emerge from various economies around the world which have a direct influence on Australia, that most of that data has been negative.
April 2009 (ShadowLands):

How is it that Australia's Prime Minister interprets quarterly growth of 6 per cent in China as being a factor in Australia's recession?...

Australia's trade relationship with China is clearly not a factor contributing to recession in Australia - in fact, it is mitigating it.

How on earth would anyone - apart from the most tunnel-visioned China-obsessed economic illiterate - see China's economic position as being a factor in Australia's recession?

June 2009:
AUSTRALIA has defied the collapse in world trade, achieving a growth in exports that may allow the economy to stave off recession.

China's demand for iron ore and agricultural commodities gave Australia the world's best export performance in the first three months of the year.

Butler's amazing prediction streak continues

The ShadowLands' favourite celebrity columnist, John Butler of the John Butler Trio has nailed it yet again with another of his predictions.

This is his column from October 2008:
After some deliberation, I would like to put it on the record that my money is that while Government spending is likely to go into deficit, Australia will not go into recession (that being, two quarters of contraction), nor have an unemployment rate that exceeds 7 per cent. There it is.
Butler's prediction that Government spending would go into deficit came way true. His prediction that Australia would not go into technical recession is still holding up (at least for the next six months), and his prediction for unemployment is also still holding up, although probably looking a bit fragile.

Butler explained his methodology in his October column thus:
And how can I be so sure? Economic modelling? Advice from experts?

The reason is simple. Most people who believe that the current economic crisis will have major ramifications are a collection of AGW believers, English Pravda blog contributors, and Larvatus Prodeo commenters. Rest assured, these retards are wrong about everything.
Asked to update his economic forecasts, Butler told us to "stop hassling me, man" and that he will be analysing the latest predictions by retards and reporting back exclusively to readers of the ShadowLands within a week or so.

Passing shadows

* The Russian Navy re-emerges as one of the world's most feared military forces.

* A chilling conspiracy uncovered.

* Daddy Dave alerts us to this excellent article by Professor Plimer.

* Blogging is expected to be slow here over the next few days, but never fear, blogomatic is here.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Progressive pandas for peace

Brief intermission

The ShadowLands will be in light blogging mode over the next few days. In the meantime, why not enjoy a little avant garde jazz?

Butler 1, Quiggin 0

The ShadowLands' favourite celebrity columnist, John Butler of the John Butler Trio is usually a pretty conservative chap, and a great believer in the free market.

John Butler surprised many ShadowLands readers a couple of months ago with his bold prediction that a terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Pakistan would prove to be the Taliban's Pearl Harbour and that Pakistan would strike back.

Butler has a first name and a hairy chin in common with Professor John Quiggin, but not much else. Quiggin is a Queensland academic renowned for his spectacularly wrong forecasts of Australian unemployment and for advocating that unemployment be solved by getting the government to give everyone a job.

So how did Quiggin's (admittedly, much earlier) forecast go against our own John Butler's? Huzzah - looks like we're winning!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Passing shadows

* The story behind this poster is here - there's a cracking comedy in there somewhere. Mo's Army?

* Death march? Don't even mention it.

* Haaretz asks, can you tell the difference between the Israeli and the Palestinian? I'll give it a go - the one who wants to kill Jews would be the Palestinian. The one who just wants to be left alone would be the Israeli.

* Uh oh, more trouble over at Werribee Watch.

* Looks like another job for The ShadowLands' Public Policy Division (thanks mini). Watch this space, we will definitely be having our say.

Top 10 stories Canberra's press gallery missed

You’ll find no argument here with Andrew Bolt’s post suggesting that many in the Canberra Press Gallery are about as useful as an inflatable dartboard at the Armless Haemophiliacs Christmas Party.

But what are the consequences of having an old, flabby and partisan press gallery?

The ShadowLands presents a list of the top 10 stories that Australia’s political reporters have missed over the last year or so because many of them, with a few honourable exceptions - (how can we put this tactfully?) - really, really suck at what they do.

10. Kevin’s regular stuff ups go unreported , some of his speeches are absolute gibberish, and his code of conduct has been consistently ignored. One of the more interesting stories the press gallery missed - while visiting the United Nations in New York, it appears that a peckish Kevin Rudd may have paid a visit, once again, to the Earhole Cafe. (See at 1.55.)

9. During an episode of Q and A, an audience member asked Maxine McKew (who advises Kevin Rudd on media interviews) if it was a deliberate strategy for Kevin Rudd to use the word “shit-storm” on 60 Minutes. McKew avoided the question and no-one – least of all Tony Jones – was going to press her on it. But I’m willing to bet she knows all about it.

8. Kevin Rudd recently repeated (ad nauseum) in media interviews that Australia’s recession is caused by circumstances in China, when in fact, China’s economy continues to grow by about 6 per cent. No journalist has ever picked him up on it, and some, such as the ABC’s Tony Jones have been repeating it as fact.

7. Tony Jones’ murky world of carbon profiteering.

6. While at the Beijing Olympics, ex-diplomat Kevin Rudd passed on details to the press of a private conversation between Vladimir Putin and George W Bush. While this was reported widely in Australia, few commentators perceived it as the monumental stuff up that may still be affecting – in particular - trust between the US and Australia.

5. The Canberra Press Gallery don’t get the fact that continued regular drownings of illegal immigrants are related to Kevin Rudd’s policies. While there was considerable media concerning the explosion on a boat that led to three drownings, the press gallery failed to understand that the cause of this explosion did not matter. The fact is that Rudd’s policies played a part in bringing them to their fate.

The MSM have also swallowed whole Rudd’s excuse that there has been a surge in refugees and regurgitated irrelevant figures from the UN. On a number of occasions, these incidents have not even been reported or scarcely reported at all. By our count, drownings of people who may have been coming to Australia have reached 34 this year – possibly more following this incident.

4. After announcing that Australia would introduce an Emissions Trading Scheme, with the potential to wipe out thousands of jobs, Kevin Rudd repeated in many interviews that we had to act fast because Australia is the hottest and driest continent. It turns out, both statements are lies. No journalist has ever challenged him on this point, the fundamental rationale for his acting on a scheme that may yet trigger an early election.

3. Australia’s Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan once appears to have been involved in an incident where he delivered money to the Australian Democrats as part of some preference deal. Australia’s Treasurer might be a crook – I don’t know, no journalist seems to think it is worth investigating.

2. The refusal of the Victorian Government to take part in a national bushfire inquiry or take notice of any of its recommendations is an outright scandal that may have been central to the deaths of 173 Australians. Instead, the Victorian Premier has been lionised by some sections of the media. Why did they refuse to take part in the national inquiry? Who refused? Does this sound like a story at all?

1. Australia’s political journalists - apart from a few - don’t seem to see the fact that our Defence Minister has been putting himself in a position to provide sensitive information to the Chinese as a problem.

Most stories about this astonishing stupidity focus on whether or not the defence department has done the wrong thing by spying on Fitzgibbon – something they deny. The real scandal is that they have not been gathering information about this extraordinarily stupid state of affairs. How on earth is this naive dolt still our Defence Minister?

UPDATE: Art Vandelay emails with some additions on the subject of the ETS:

Firstly, Rudd claimed that the costs of inaction on climate change exceed the costs of taking action. Aside from a vague, general statement from Garnaut and a dubious graph, as far as I know there is very little proof of this in the Garnaut Report. There are no net present value (NPV) calculations presented to transparently demonstrate that benefits of an ETS exceed the costs. Indeed, the only way Garnaut could make his numbers look even halfway acceptable was to assume a very low discount rate (between 0-2 per cent) and also to assume that all the costs of the ETS magically stop at some point in the future (2050 from memory).

Wong also lied by stating the Treasury modelling showed that all sectors of the economy showed growth in employment after the ETS is introduced. However this is solely the result of an assumption used in the computer model Treasury used. The model actually assumes that full employment is maintained and that wages will adjust to eliminate any impact of the ETS on unemployment. That is, in the event of an external shock on the economy (like massive price rises for energy), wages will fall so far to equalise the demand and supply of labour so that no-one will lose their jobs (indeed the modelling does show falls in wages).

We all know that this doesn't happen in the real world, particularly in a highly regulated, inflexible labour market like Australia's where wages are often fixed (and this government's recent changes to IR laws make this even less likely). Wong is either being dishonest or she's very much misinformed about the modelling.