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Saturday, August 30, 2003

WELCOME TIM BLAIR READERS: Looking for Tim Dunlop's mugging-by-reality? It's a coupla posts below. But feel free to take your jacket off and stay a while.
DRINKING WHILE INTOXICATED: When I first moved to Australia, I thought I had found a new homeland sympathetic to my hooch-hounding ways. No more: First there was the unpleasant little incident when I was given a "responsible service" warning on a QANTAS flight to LA (though granted, the issue was hard liquor, which Aussies seem to have a peculiar fear of). Now there's this:
Being drunk in a pub or club would become illegal and "intoxication" defined formally in state law under proposals by the NSW alcohol summit.

Under the recommendations, patrons - not just publicans - could be penalised for being drunk on licensed premises.,.

"It's time for the public to take responsibility for their behaviour," Mr Armati [chairman of the Liquor Administration Board which introduced the proposal] said. "There needs to be a change in the mindset of the public who adopts the view that it is quite alright to go out and get drunk and . . . to get drunk on licensed premises."

Will someone please get Bob Carr some foreign academic posting or something so he can go overseas and be a professional ex-pat Aussie, where his bitching about the yobbishness of his countrymen won't do any harm, instead of a local pollie, where it's just a pain in the arse?
JUMBO SHRIMP: Just what the hell is so "adult" about the "adults only" edition of Video Hits they're playing on Ten right now? Aren't these things, by definition, for kids anyway?

Anyway, for me, no video will ever top the fantastic collaboration between Ray Smuckles and Roast Beef.

Friday, August 29, 2003

WHAT A DIFFERENCE NINE MONTHS MAKES. Here's Tim Dunlop on 20 November 2002, writing about the Bali attacks and "root causes":
If [the terrorists] did commit these heinous acts as a reaction against, say, western intervention in their country, or as some misguided attempt to escape poverty or meaninglessness, then it behoves us, if for no other reason than self-interest, to consider what role our actions might have played.
Now here's Dunlop just the other day, after being confronted with the news that one of the Bali bombers has thanked Aussie pro-Saddam demonstrators for helping the cause:
Frankly, I don't don't give a toss what some murderer thinks of my opinions and I'm not particularly inclined to adjust my behaviour according whatever twisted logic such a sicko comes up with. I don't need to "bear in mind" anything terrorists say...

Methinks the Dunlop dost protest too much...
JUAN GATO does a nice fisking (if that word isn't totally passé by now) of an AFL-AP-CIO press release/news report.

Yes, that acronym is correct.

UPDATE: Reading this over at Colby Cosh's, I'm now wondering if the AP is becoming the Reuters of domestic policy stories.
SO I GOT HOME A LITTLE WHILE AGO from playing golf with once-and-hopefully-future blogger Paul Wright, who rattled my nerves on one particular fairway with the news that The Bleat might be ending.

Fortunately, it doesn't look as bleak as all that, though it may also mean its time to invest in broadband if Lileks' whole streaming dealy thing comes off.
FUNNY, WE WERE JUST DISCUSSING THIS POSSIBILITY over a nice bottle of '01 D'Arry's Original the other night.

The possibility in question is that Hillary will enter the presidential race - the original source is Drudge, which for this sort of thing is only marginally more credible than Debka - which would be a helluva thing, as they say. It's surely an outside shot, but I reckon it would be great theater.
A BUSTED CLOCK IS RIGHT TWICE A DAY, so I guess it's only natural that a normally spot-on Bunyip is wrong once in a while.

I refer specifically to his backhanded congratulations to blogger Gianna on the impending birth of her heir(ess). The good professor is concerned that the raising of the kid will largely be financed by tax dollars, which is a fairly picayune concern given the fact that they will be particularly well spent - more so on Gianna and her progeny than on many others.

Why? Because motherhood is an inherently conservatizing experience - so for "just pennies a day", as they say on the sponsor-a-third-world-kiddie ads, we get to watch Gianna's political transformation take place on her blog. The fact that she's going through with the pregnancy is first evidence of the shift; I can't wait for the first time Gianna makes a "more maths, less multiculturalism!" post about public school curricula.

I know plenty of women who've gone through this change (just try to talk smack about John Howard to my wife, for example), but even if it doesn't take, that means that a decade or two from now, Gianna's kid will almost surely rebel and become a big-L Liberal, asking mom what she did during the war - and telling her why she was wrong for doing it.

If this happens, I can't wait for him to get a blog.


Wednesday, August 27, 2003

THAT HOMOSEXUALITY IS NOT A PREDICTOR FOR PEDOPHILIA has been considered gospel truth for at least a decade now (though adult attraction to teens is another matter). Yet the New York Times seems to imply something of a link between the two in its report on the murder of child-molesting priest John Geoghan:
State and local officials opened investigations today into the prison killing of John J. Geoghan, a former priest convicted of child molestation, saying the suspect, a self-proclaimed homophobe, had been planning the killing for more than a month.
That's a very interesting way to put it, since it implies that the reason for Geoghan's being marked for death was his homosexuality - a charge which, as far as I know, was never leveled against the man. So why does the story's author, Fox Butterfield - who's worked the crime and prisons beat for the Times for long enough to know that scum such as Geoghan are a favorite target of both guards and inmates - mention it?

As the Times' has a pretty major problem with the death penalty, clearly they can't happy about anyone dying in prison - after all, everyone deserves a second chance to be a recidivist. Is the paper trying to pin a thought crime on Geoghan's killer to make him seem less attractive to readers who might otherwise be sympathetic to his actions? (A homophobe? Why they should lock him up and - oh wait, already done).

Or was the Times guy - er, empowered worker - in charge of making sure articles are purged of un-PC language off on a smoke break with Butterfield's copy came across the desk?

Me, I vote option one.

The guy who killed Geoghan was, by all accounts, a world-class piece of shit. But in a funny sort of way, there's something a little redemptive about his actions in taking out someone else who was at least as big a cancer on society. Which is something the root-causers at the New York Times will never understand.
CONGRATULATIONS, GIANNA! (From a Right-Wing Death Beast who can't be too offended - given that his own kid was born about fourteen months premature, to judge by his marriage certificate...)

Monday, August 25, 2003

DEATH TO JEWS, SELVES! Indymedia's not just the internet home of anti-Semitic, intolerant freaks - no-ho! It's also the hip place to celebrate junkiedom!

I'm hoping the cops up in Darwin are keeping an eye on what the freaks at Sydney Indymedia are up to - which includes promoting something called "the 2nd Darwin International Syringe Festival":
Tracks of a different kind will be laid in the Northern Territory of Australia in September as dozens of illicit drug users converge on the city of Darwin for the 2nd Darwin International Syringe Festival...

This years Syringe Festival includes an art competition and exhibition, a cabaret dinner night for local users, an underground dance party, a community smoke-in and a tour of injustice.
Some of the comments on the site are pretty stunning ("unadulterated heroin would be nice, if it wasn't so damned addictive...gets ya every time... I admit I don't know the Socialist solution to legalising heroin without it becoming another form of guarranteed income for capitalist governments along with tobacco and alcohol"), though amazingly, this one was allowed to stay on the site:
Having lost much of my life to addiction I cannot agree with the concept of celebrating such an insidious disease.

While the NT drug laws are certainly draconian and an invasion of civil rights, the fact remains that IV drug abuse is not a positive experience.

I simply cannot understand how anyone can regard a compulsion to inject toxic chemicals to get through the day as freedom.
Probably the same people who get through the day thinking this is incisive political commentary.

UPDATE: EvilPundit has a snappy new home, and more thoughts on IndyMedia.
ANTI-SOCIAL STUDIES. Here's a great piece on the decline (was it ever at a lofty height?) of "social studies" in the US:
It begins in the early grades with a dreary curriculum called “expanding environments” that acquaints children with “community helpers” (e.g., “your friendly postal service worker”) but neglects to introduce them to the great tales of patriotism and treachery that make history so gripping. It continues in middle school with a multicultural piñata from which the world’s foods, holidays, and quaint customs shower down on youngsters who possess no foundation in basic chronology or geography. It finishes in high school with a quick dash through U.S. history and perhaps a civics course that nowadays may be replaced by semi-politicized volunteer work called “service learning.”

No wonder our kids cannot find Baghdad or Jerusalem on a map, have little or know understanding of how today’s world came to be the way it is, and are clueless about why—and even when—the Civil War was fought. Social studies is a deeply boring, intellectually muddled, and politically correct mess, taught by people who themselves have not studied much history and ruled by statewide academic standards that often consist of present-minded “themes” and pop-psych “strands” but little serious academic content.
Pretty awful stuff, and I'm glad I was never subjected to it when I was a lad. But with a toddler hurtling towards school-age, I'm more than concerned: is this same thin multi-culti gruel being served up in Sydney schools?
GRAZIE, WOGBLOG! Posting has resumed!

Sunday, August 24, 2003

THE LIKES AND DISLIKES OF THE DIVINE MIRANDA: Pseudo-individualist Miranda Devine is at it again, this time adding a new item to the "things I don't like and should be impeded by government" list - "voluntarily shopping for stuff [people] don't need."

Among other things, Devine is concerned that the harmless diversion of shopping at weekend markets promotes "unhealthy acquisitiveness."

So, just so we're all clear: Drinking, driving (small cars only, please) and smoking -- all OK. Gay sex, 4WDs, and shopping for anything other than bare necessities (to each according to his need, indeed) -- verboten!

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