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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

AL AND KEVIN, SITTING IN A TREE

Aaron Timms in the SMH:

The moment it became clear Labor had won last Saturday night, Kevin Rudd should have printed off the Kyoto Protocol and emailed a signed PDF copy to Al Gore.

That must be the correct procedure when dealing with the world ambassador on climate change. Trouble is, ratifying Kyoto might not be so simple:

Donald Rothwell, professor of international law at the Australian National University College of Law, said the normal method for ratifying treaties was not a speedy process and it was highly improbable it could be achieved by the end of the year ...

“The simple act of ratifying Kyoto may create the first set of headaches for the new government,” Professor Rothwell said.

They’ve already broken their first promise. But at least Kevin Rudd is able to speak with Al Gore:

Climate-change campaigner Al Gore’s problems with getting access to an Australian prime minister are well and truly over.

“G’day, Kevin,” was the former US vice-president and Nobel Peace Prize winner’s greeting to Kevin Rudd when he telephoned the prime
minister-elect on Monday to congratulate him.

“Actually, I’ve taught Al how to say g’day. As you know, with some of our American friends it’s very hard to get it quite right,” Mr Rudd told reporters in Brisbane.

Rudd plans to “resume that conversation [at the UN climate change summit] in Bali over a strong cup of tea - or something stronger.” Something stronger? Sounds like another Scores fiasco is on the way. Dance, Al, dance! Rudd does have a point, though, about differences in American and Australian language. For example, US writer Patricia Cornwell recently described her marriage to another woman in these terms:

Finally, I feel rooted somewhere.

Full marks to the Australian subeditor at the UK Telegraph who used that in the headline.

(Via Andrew P.)

Posted by Tim B. on 11/28/2007 at 11:44 AM
(25) CommentsPermalink

NAME SHAMED

Don’t talk to reader Crossie about so-called stolen generations:

I’ll tell you what a stolen generation is. We named our first daughter Monica in the 70s and just before she becomes an adult some bastard American president makes her name a swear word. Where is his apology? Where is the compensation for the damage to her reputation? For a number of years there everyone snickered when they heard her name, including her parents-in-law.

I named my daughter the prettiest name I could find and then someone ruins it. My only compensation is that I am also Sylvia’s mother. OK, Dr Hook, cough up. She was born before your song.

As the son of Ken and Barbie, I empathise with Crossie’s name-rage.

Posted by Tim B. on 11/28/2007 at 10:11 AM
(66) CommentsPermalink

ELDERS OBEYED

The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire ... also the doors, the bonnet, the seats and the dashboard as dozens more cars fall victim to incendiary Parisian youths:

French authorities deployed 1,000 police to a northern Paris suburb Tuesday to prevent a third night of youth riots amid signs that the violence could be spreading.

Much of this is blamed on societal collapse, but it seems these youths are quite obedient:

A report from Le Monde newspaper described boys as young as 13 taking orders from their elders to torch buildings and forming battle ranks against the police, vowing to “do in” a “pig”—a police officer.

No police deaths (yet), but many injuries:

Some 120 police officers have been injured, four of them seriously after being hit by buckshot from hunting weapons, according to police figures. By comparison, 200 officers were injured in three weeks of rioting in 2005.

Scrappleface: “The people of France awakened this morning to the obvious question: Why do youths hate us?”

UPDATE. What with all these car burnings, no wonder the Volvo is sad. (Buy shirt here.)

UPDATE II. Dan Lewis emails:

Bolta’s post about the French ‘youths’ rioting includes this quote:

“One policeman was wounded in the shoulder after being hit by a high-calibre bullet,” a security official said.

Your latest includes another quote:

Some 120 police officers have been injured, four of them seriously after being hit by buckshot from hunting weapons, according to police figures.

What bizarre euphemisms! How hard is it for the media to simply report that the Muslim youths “are using firearms”?

Perhaps they need a refresher in Boomstick training from the Dissident Frogman.

Posted by Tim B. on 11/28/2007 at 07:26 AM
(48) CommentsPermalink

HOWARD MISSED

The Age’s Catherine Deveny experiences a post-election yearning:

So the question is “Who are we going to hate now?”

Every week is hate week in Deveny’s world.

Posted by Tim B. on 11/28/2007 at 04:13 AM
(93) CommentsPermalink

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

VOTES DELIVERED

Jeremy Sear seeks to determine the extent of his influence on the Australian election.

Posted by Tim B. on 11/27/2007 at 10:02 PM
(82) CommentsPermalink

STREISAND DECIDES

STOP PRESS. Hillary Clinton has won the endorsement of Barbra Streisand. Repeat: Hillary Clinton has won the crucial Streisand endorsement:

’‘Hillary is a powerful voice for change as we find our country at an important crossroads. Under her leadership, our country will regain its respect within the global community. She will prioritize issues of global climate change, universal health care and rebuilding a strong economy. After eight long years, the public will once again have faith in their government,’’ said Streisand, a longtime supporter of Democratic candidates.

We now cross to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and Jack Cafferty for further analysis:

CAFFERTY: Give me a hand with something. What exactly does the Streisand endorsement represent?

BLITZER: It means that Barbara Streisand, great singer, is supporting Hillary Clinton.

CAFFERTY: Reclusive, neurotic, over-the-hill vocalist endorses Hillary. I mean, is the ground supposed to shake now, and lightning bolts fly out of the sky. Who cares!?

BLITZER: She’s got a lot of fans out there, Jack.

CAFFERTY: Oh, come on!

Posted by Tim B. on 11/27/2007 at 09:42 PM
(51) CommentsPermalink

AUSTRALIA BAD, AS USUAL

Yet more per capita shame-mongering:

If the rest of the world emitted carbon gases at the same per person rate as Australia, its population would need seven planets to sustain the pollution, according to a damning United Nations report.

If the rest of the world lived in countries as large as Australia, with similarly small populations reliant on non-nuclear energy, the UN might be on to something.

Australia is third in per capita emissions to the US and Canada ...

We’re all the way up to third now? What happened to Trinidad? For that matter, what happened to UAE, Bahrain and Singapore? There’s a serious lack of consensus in these emissions reports.

Prime Minister-elect Kevin Rudd ... has pledged to slash emissions by 60% based on 2000 levels by 2050.

Rudd will be 93 years old by then, and in his 15th term. No man can defeat the Perma-Rudd.

Epidemiologist Professor Tony McMichael, of the Australian National University, said the report was particularly relevant to Australians.

“Our levels of production, consumption and waste generation, per person, are at the very top end of the international league table ...” he said. “Hopefully, the Rudd Government will take rapid action to help redress this serious imbalance.”

Over to you, Prime Minister. What “rapid action” will you take?

Posted by Tim B. on 11/27/2007 at 07:08 PM
(92) CommentsPermalink

MEDIA WADD

Jonathan Holmes - not to be confused with John Holmes - takes over as host of Media Watch:

A four-time Walkley Award finalist and 1998 Logie Award winner, Holmes has been a full-time reporter with ABC’s Four Corners program since 2003 ...

“I’m hoping we’ll be able also to expose the more egregious antics of the industry that all too often tries to sway, or mislead, or simply stonewall journalists who are trying to do an honest job: the army of ‘media relations’ people, employed by government and business at every level, which has so much influence these days on what we read and hear and watch.”

So it’s going to be PR Watch. Sounds exciting.

Posted by Tim B. on 11/27/2007 at 06:36 PM
(36) CommentsPermalink

BERNIE BANTON

Gideon Haigh on asbestos campaigner Bernie Banton, who died early yesterday.

Posted by Tim B. on 11/27/2007 at 06:03 PM
(24) CommentsPermalink

Monday, November 26, 2007

GESTURES FORCED

For one final time, John Howard disappoints feminist author Monica Dux:

The real moment of truth was always going to be Howard’s concession speech. There was a buzz among my friends: would the PM’s lip quiver? Would he stumble over his words, shed a few tears?

We were disappointed.

Nice people. Being lefties, and therefore leader-fixated, Monica and her mates then found themselves annoyed by Kevni’s underwhelming acceptance speech:

When it was Rudd’s turn, I noticed something more surprising. Even in my staunchly Labor living room, guests started analysing his slick performance. The hand gestures were declared forced, the smile suspicious ...

... the ear canals freshly harvested. David Marr didn’t like it much, either:

Kevin killed the party. Before his victory speech disappears into history, it has to be said the nation’s new leader turned a wild celebration into another night on the stump ... Australia is now on notice that the Rudd we got on Saturday night is the Rudd we will hear for the next three years.

And this from people who voted for him. Even down in the left’s lowest, least-read depths, there’s nothing but carping at Kevin:

After last night’s acceptance speech, it’s hard to get too inspired by our “dentist” leader.

UPDATE. More disappointment for the Left:

Frankly, I was disappointed that Kevin didn’t rub [Howard’s] nose in it on election night.

That’s from Jill Singer, the fainting goat of Melbourne journalism.

Posted by Tim B. on 11/26/2007 at 06:28 PM
(281) CommentsPermalink

“NO SPECIES WAS SAFE”

It’s not often one happens upon a story combining issues of architecture, environmentalism, institutes of higher learning and accidental avian windowcide, let alone such a story written in a manner joyously suggestive of B-grade horror movie previews. For this, we thank the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and journalist Andrea Jones:

It is one of Emory University’s most environmentally friendly buildings, a hallmark of the institution’s efforts to “go green.” To hear John Wegner describe it, it’s also a slaughterhouse.

The soaring glass windows in Emory’s Mathematics and Science Center reflect the woodsy view, confusing hapless birds who smash into it at full speed.

“The building killed 60 birds in the first year,” said Wegner, Emory’s chief environmental officer. “It was the wall of death.”

Magnolia warblers, Swainson’s thrushes, ovenbirds - no species was safe.

Read on. If you dare!

(Via Jack C.)

Posted by Tim B. on 11/26/2007 at 10:55 AM
(77) CommentsPermalink

DOWN WITH COMPRESSION-IGNITION SOUL DRAINERS

Diesel is “a poisonous fuel that dilutes the soul of Italy.”

(Via J.M.H.)

Posted by Tim B. on 11/26/2007 at 10:46 AM
(16) CommentsPermalink

TOTAL DEFEAT

So John Howard lost. But how did some of this site’s other favourites fare? Let’s check ‘em out:

• THE CLIMATE CHANGE COALITION

Unbelievably, despite extensive television and online promotion and the support of Phillip Adams, the Climate Changelings scored fewer than eight thousand votes. Out of more than 13 million.

DANI ECUYER

The blonde, Prius-driving Wentworth eco-candidate won massive pre-poll publicity (mostly from the ABC) which she converted into six hundred whole votes. Below one per cent, in other words.

MIA HANDSHIN

Our final hope for electoral success put up a grand fight, possibly deploying crystals and even runes in a desperate New Age bid for victory. Alas:

Assistant Health Minister Christopher Pyne appears to have just scraped home ahead of one of Labor’s young stars, Mia Handshin.

And people think we live in a democracy.

Posted by Tim B. on 11/26/2007 at 10:22 AM
(47) CommentsPermalink

LEFTISTS FORCED OUT

Frustrated leftoids sometimes complain about being locked out of this site. And it’s true; comment registrations are opened only infrequently. One reason for this: every time registrations are invited, a certain mentally-ill progressive posts items from his personal stash of, er, “German art magazines”. As he explained in an email:

This is merely to push you and Andrea over the edge and force you to close new membership registrations ... I know I don’t fight fair but such is life.

Fine; leaving registrations closed means less work for us. Our friends on the left should know, however, that the source of their frustration is one of their own. If they want to take it up with him, look for the guy with the $500 per week Kleenex bill and palm calluses you couldn’t dent with a tungsten carbide circular saw.

Posted by Tim B. on 11/26/2007 at 09:22 AM
(97) CommentsPermalink

RIOTERS RIOTING

It’s car-b-q time again:

Rioting broke in one of Paris’s tinder box suburban housing estates last night after two young boys were killed when their moped collided with a police car.

Molotov cocktails were thrown, and cars and plastic bins set on fire ... One police station was set alight and another, in a neighbouring suburb, was ransacked after youths threw cocktails, and set bins alight and upturned cars.

The rioters are described as ... well, just “rioters”, although Presbyterianism is suspected. According to one witness, certain national stereotypes were observed:

“There were four police cars here, but they’ve retreated. They were charged by the rioters. Some rioters are climbing up to electric cables to try and break them and put the whole district into darkness.”

Darkness? Hey, they’re taking action against global warming! Probably to carbon-offset all that burning.

UPDATE. Further to earlier non-appearance miscreant news, here’s a tale of complete identification. By the SMH, of all people.

Posted by Tim B. on 11/26/2007 at 08:48 AM
(28) CommentsPermalink
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