Thursday, 31 January 2013

The Thomson Saga Continues


"I believe from reading the warrant that he was invited to travel to Victoria to surrender himself prior to Christmas," Det Supt Dyson told reporters outside Wyong Police Station.
"He didn't do that, or refused, and the end result was the issue of that warrant."
But Mr Thomson's lawyer, Chris McArdle, said the police version of events was "completely untrue".
The request for his client to travel to Victoria was to attend an interview, not surrender to police, he said.
"If we had been given that invitation we would have done so and we wouldn't have needed this reality TV show that's going on," he said.

In the words of another famous participant in another famous political sex scandal: 'Well, he would, wouldn't he.'

Enjoy the perp walk here. Thomson's lawyer says he was strip-searched by two men wearing rubber gloves. I am dying to say something about Tim Mathieson here, but won't.

However, Thomson has been bailed on condition that he doesn't attempt to contact anyone from whom he had sexual services. A curious condition, unless one considers this unfortunate and apparently forgotten episode, which has never been satisfactorily explained.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Oh Bullwinkle, That Trick Never Works

From today's Aus:

"Ms Roxon sought to portray the backdown as a triumph of process, saying an exposure draft had done its job in highlighting problems with the proposed consolidation of existing laws."

I am very impressed at the way in which this government uses old sitcoms and re-runs to direct its public relations approach. For example, when Julia Gillard was exposed as up to her neck in the AWU scandal, she pleaded the Sergeant Schultz defence.

And now the Attorney General has gone one better. In Dad's Army, one of Captain Mainwaring's recurring tricks is to pull exactly this stunt - when something ridiculous is exposed in any discussion of a planned operation, he always reels and then recollects himself, saying 'I was waiting to see if you'd notice that'.

And of course the World's Greatest Treasurer has learned much from Rocky and Bullwinkle, and can pull something out of a hat that isn't there - like a budget surplus - again, and again, and again.

Uh-huh. Uh-huh.

Right up there with this announcement, really.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

ARE You Being Served?

I realised I hadn't linked to this in QED, so I thought this might help kick off what promises to be the longest, dreariest election campaign in Australian history.

Comment of the Day goes to Boy on a Bike, who noted at that 'It gets bumfinger off the front page. That’s all it’s good for.'

And in more good news, here in the Golden West we are going to the State polls on 9 March, and Mark McWhatsisname is cracking a real sweat over whether Julia Gillard, a.k.a Typhoid Mary, will be visiting the State before the election, or after it.

Speaking of Mark McThing always reminds me of a certain incident. A couple of years ago I took part in HBF's Run for a Reason, in the Old Ladies and Steamrollers category. I saw a middle-aged man across the crowd of participants who looked me straight in the eye. His face looked familiar, but I couldn't place him. Having had a reasonably interesting life, I assumed he was someone I'd either been paired up with or gone out with or had some other experience with, and had since forgotten. He maintained eye contact, so I made my way over and said politely, 'I'm so sorry, but your face is familiar - do I know you?'

He replied, equally politely, 'I'm the leader of the State Opposition.'

It was in fact Eric Ripper.

And this is why the leader of the State Opposition is now Mark McAlien, who looks like Simon Pegg and is Not Even A Proper West Australian, having been born and educated somewhere else.

Anyway, after a Federal election campaign approaching the length of human gestation, Yom Kippur will have never seemed so welcome. Incidentally 14 September is also the ancient Catholic feast of the Triumph of the Cross.

I'm hoping the election outcome will be the Triumph of the Really Cross.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Nova Peris Asks for 3-Quarter-Million Dollar 'Chance'

Nova Peris - and the process by which she has been put forward for Senate pre-selection - has been increasingly criticised.

She has defended herself in the following words:

''I've been chosen not on my athletic ability but as a woman who's been able to get the job done."

''I'm passionate about my people; I'm passionate about being an Australian and a Territorian. Don't judge me now; give me a chance and let's look at where we are in about four, five years' time.''

Two questions from the peanut gallery:

1) What job, exactly, has Peris been getting done?

2) Why give her a chance that will cost the taxpayer, in parliamentary base salary alone, around $762,200 after four years?

Does Nova Peris really think she is the Three-Quarters-of-a-Million-Dollar Woman?

Friday, 25 January 2013

Tolerance, Alecia Simmonds-Style

The other day (22 January ) on that prime source of modern wisdom, Daily Life, Alecia Simmonds asked ‘Do jerks deserve free speech?’ The jerks in question were Alan Jones and Andrew Bolt, and anyone else who Alecia Simmonds didn’t happen to agree with, or particularly like, regardless of how little she actually knew about them and what their arguments were.
I read the article and decided that Simmonds was in fact a prime example of a jerk herself, having completely missed the point of Bolt’s prosecution and the charges which were laid against him.
Simmonds seems to live in fear. For example, she is very keen that all Australian women be protected by law - as they are in Tasmania - from people who use terms like 'whore' and 'dyke'. I'm assuming Simmonds was out of the country during the whole SlutWalk thing, and has not recently been invited to a Dyke March, or ever ridden on the back of a Harley with Dykes on Bikes. (It's very puzzling; those chicks don't look scared to me.)
I have no trouble with Simmonds expressing her opinion and being given the freedom in which to do so. This includes the fact that, at the end of her article, she called for Jones’ and Bolt’s imprisonment for misogyny and racism.  I thought this was very moderate, given the rest of the article; I was ready for public impaling at least, and possibly their heads displayed outside the High Court pour encourager les autres.
Under Roxon's new legislation, it is sadly likely that people like Alecia Simmonds - an educated, white, middle-class writer - will be considered 'reasonable people' whose opinion we should heed when determining the level of 'offence' given by particular terms and phrases.
And this - and more of the same, right down to the calls for jail terms - is what we have to look forward to, if Roxon’s bill becomes law.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Tolerance, Canadian-Style

And this, ladies and gents and those who are still deciding, is what happens when you have legislation that bases its definition of human rights on 'offence'.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Gary the Goat - Guilty as Sin

This just in: Gary the Goat has been exonerated by a Sydney court.

Gary had been charged with eating flowers in a Sydney street, but the magistrate threw the case out on the grounds that 'there was no evidence Mr Bazoobi [Gary's owner] brought Gary there with the intention of vandalising vegetation.'

HAH. If I had been called as a witness, I could have told a different story.

I met Gary the Goat in Fremantle late last year when he was tethered to a street tree near the Juicy Beetroot Cafe, and eating vine leaves off a nearby grapevine fed to him by kind passers-by.

I stopped to have a perfectly innocent chat with him and give him a pat on his head, which he seemed to enjoy, until I realised that Gary was stealthily chewing my shopping bag from Myer with my brand new navy blue linen trousers in them.

We struggled briefly, and I won, but not without a mangled bag. There were several witnesses, including one older lady who was pretty much bent double with laughter.

So Gary has gotten off this time, but I hope this Sydney appearance at least goes on his record for future reference.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Tokenism, Gillard-Style

Today Julia Gillard has intervened in the Senate pre-selection process and chosen Nova Peris as a Senate candidate for the Northern Territory.

It never hurts to put these things through my patented Media Bias Translator™:

INDIGENOUS Australian and Olympian Nova Peris is set to stand as the Liberal Party's number one Senate candidate in the Northern Territory after the intervention of Tony Abbott.
Abbott said he had exercised his discretion to make a “captain's pick” in selecting Ms Peris to run for the seat.
He has asked Liberal chiefs to approve the move by [dumping the longstanding Liberal incumbent], overruling local preselection processes and expediting Ms Peris's application for membership of the party.
Mr Abbott said he was troubled that the Liberal Party had never been represented in the federal parliament by an indigenous Australian female.
"I am determined that at the 2013 election we change that,” he said.

 Now watch Q & A go into meltdown.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

The Black Lung [cough]

A four-year study of black soot has found it guilty of major crimes against the environment. This groundbreaking study has linked brick kilns and wood-fired stoves to the production of a major pollutant, second only to the known evils of carbon dioxide.

A huge amount of legislation will no doubt be quickly passed to restrict the production of black soot, including banning all of the following sources:
  • Beltane fires attended by nude hippies
  • wood-fired backyard pizza ovens
  • pottery kilns used for making environmentally-friendly and insanely overpriced coffee mugs
  • chimnerias
  • Wicker Men
  • Guy Fawkes Night bonfires
  • Bushfires, both natural and arson-inspired
  • Controlled burning of firebreaks
  • Quaint gay-friendly B&Bs in the Tasmanian wilderness featuring open log fires
"But hang on!" you cry. "Surely addressing these piddling little sources of black soot is missing the point. Surely we should be attacking the major sources of black soot, like the diesel engines beloved of the developing world, and huge brickworks in China and India?"

Of course. You'd be exactly right.

So why do we pride ourselves on changing the world when we install a piss-ant eco-lightbulb and solar panels that only work if you prime them with a massive government rebate?

Saturday, 12 January 2013

I Still Call Australia Home

In more news you won't read:

Foreign Minister Bob Carr is expected to issue a directive ordering all departing Australian tourists to be completely encased in bubble-wrap before they leave Australia's international airports.

During their absence overseas, they are neither to eat or drink locally, but will be supplied with hygienically screened nutrition by their local Australian consulate, where they can also live and sleep in complete safety, surrounded by their own culture, and at no time at risk of experiencing anything which may incommode, discomfort or endanger them.

A Foreign Affairs spokesperson said, 'It's clear that more and more Australians are exposing themselves unnecessarily to risk while overseas.

'Unfortunately our foreign policy currently doesn't permit us to impose Australian law on popular tourist destinations. This means that Australians who have grown up in a consequence-free environment are now ill-equipped to evaluate risk and take appropriate precautions involving not engaging in certain actions.

When asked if contemporary Australian parenting and the education system may be connected with this, the spokesperson said, 'This is short-sighted, and also engages in a blame culture which is inappropriate to this situation.'

The Federally-funded International Tourist Care and Protection Program, involving the installation of jumbo sized bubble-wrap dispensers staffed by specially-trained Customs staff, will begin rollout at Sydney and Melbourne's international airports in March 2013.

A follow-up evaluation will consider whether this scheme should be extended to Australia's live animal export trade.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Hitch Your Wagon, Come Along

The IPCC's WGII AR5 documentation has been leaked. Here's the full list of contributors to the Australasia section.

Clearly the IPCC has been stung by Donna Laframboise's proven allegations that most of the early IPCC contributors weren't even published, let alone academics. This time, the IPCC has been sure to sow its contributing list with plenty of bona fide published scholars.

Trouble is, they're all the usual suspects, and the Australasia list is a case in point. What's particularly striking about the entire list is the degree to which every single person on it depends on climate change catastrophe for their living.

If their thesis - anthropogenic climate change at its most drastic and terrifying - was disproven publicly tomorrow, and also discredited by the world's media, almost every single one of them would have to start looking for a new job.

More at Doomed Planet - Quadrant Online.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

News Flash

This just in from the ALP media centre:

The dastardly Tony Abbott - not content with grinding the faces of the poor and chaining stray women to kitchen sinks while refusing them IVF - has forced the Australian Federal Police to summons the clearly innocent feminist and Husband of the Year-elect Peter Slipper to appear in the Canberra Magistrates Court on trumped-up charges of dishonestly causing a risk of a loss to the Commonwealth.

This cheap attempt at smearing the Federal government reeks of the misogyny and negativity we have come to associate with Mr Abbott and his league of sexist pigs on the front bench.

The Prime Minister was unavailable for comment, being stricken with grief at the thought of what her father would have said about the sorry state of parliamentary conduct by the Opposition. She is also struggling with the fact that over 22 million Australians are currently living below the poverty line, barely coping on less than $9000 a fortnight.

The only consolation to the distraught Ms Gillard is the knowledge that her steadfast Attorney General is busy using the limitless resources of the Commonwealth of Australia to ensure that Mr Slipper has adequate legal representation of at least 16 senior counsel, and that he will obtain a fair hearing before Canberra magistrate H V 'Doc' Evatt-Jones, lifetime ALP supporter.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

The Raj and the Rape Laws

Just been reading an article in the Wall Street Journal India blog by Rupa Subramanya, an Indian female journalist who thinks that India's archaic rape laws are a hangover from the British colonial era.

I'm prepared to grant her the argument that the British set up the legal system in India. But funnily enough, a lot of those same archaic British laws have since been overturned or modernised in India.

However, the rape laws haven't been changed that much. Or rather, the same social attitudes are persisting in India which make it almost impossible for a woman to report a rape, have it taken seriously by police, have evidence taken, get an arrest, get a court date, get a trial, and get a conviction. There's no point making penalties for rape harsher if a woman can't even get in the door of a police station to report the crime in the first place.

Subramanya says "It’s a cruel irony that while Britain, along with most western countries, have modernized their antiquated laws on rape, Indians are still shackled by it well into the 21st century."

No, it's not a cruel irony. It's what happens when you have a social system that still operates on caste, buys and sells women in marriage, allows men to murder their wives and go largely unpunished, and selectively aborts female foetuses.

Unless Rupa Subramanya and others like her are prepared to start talking about these issues in more detail and more often, the problems with proving rape will remain.