Archive for Australia

Crocodile Done

Rolling Stone magazine declares Australia all but dead from global warming, and blogger Tim Blair, Australian, responds.

Hilarity ensues:

It’s near midnight, and I’m holed up in a rickety hotel in Proserpine, a whistle-stop town on the northeast coast of Australia. Yasi, a Category 5 hurricane with 200-mile-per-hour winds that’s already been dubbed “The Mother of All Catastrophes” by excitable Aussie tabloids, is just a few hundred miles offshore.

I have come to Australia to see what a global-warming future holds for this most vulnerable of nations …

Of all the world’s nations, Australia is the “most vulnerable”? To stupid journalism, perhaps.

The sense that Australia – which maintains one of the highest per-capita carbon footprints on the planet – has summoned up the wrath of the climate gods is everywhere.

We need names for these climate gods, so we can ridicule them in more personal ways.

“Australia is the canary in the coal mine,” says David Karoly, a top climate researcher at the University of Melbourne. “What is happening in Australia now is similar to what we can expect to see in other places in the future.”

You mean like record wheat crops?

As Yasi bears down on the coast, the massive storm seems to embody the not-quite-conscious fears of Australians that their country may be doomed by global warming.

Goodell can read our minds.

The oceans are getting warmer and more acidic, leading to the all-but-certain death of the Great Barrier Reef within 40 years.

Just hurry up and die already, reef. Predictions of this coral crop’s extinction have been around for almost as long as the reef itself.

Homes along the Gold Coast are being swept away, koala bears face extinction in the wild, and farmers, their crops shriveled by drought, are shooting themselves in despair.

Australia … happens to be right in the cross hairs of global warming. “Sadly, it’s probably too late to save much of it,” says Joe Romm, a leading climate advocate who served as assistant energy secretary in the Clinton administration.

What is likely to vanish – or be transformed beyond recognition – are many of the things we think of when we think of Australia: the barrier reef, the koalas …

I’d actually like to see koalas be “transformed beyond recognition”.

BTW, you know why koalas are so phlegmatic? Their diet of eucalyptus leaves is so nutrition poor they get little energy from it. Same reason why pandas can’t get it up—bamboo is not a super food, much less an aphrodisiac. Don’t think nature always knows what she’s doing.

But how’d this guy survive the hurricane?

The morning after Yasi, I emerge from my hotel to find a few broken windows and downed trees. The flooding isn’t as bad as had been feared

We walk for a while, watching all the happy people strolling along the boardwalk and drinking wine in cafes and surfing the waves. The sun is shining, and everything is lovely. Too bad that it all has to go.

Aggie, you were looking for cheap stocks to buy? Australia, Inc. It’s a steal.

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When this guy talks about putting another “shrimp on the barbie”, he’s not referring to shellfish. He’s referring to short-statured suitors of his daughter:

A MUSLIM girl caught between her religion, her parents and wanting to be a typical Aussie teenager is at the centre of an apprehended violence order against her father after he found she had a boyfriend.

Police were called to the family home after the man threatened to kill himself and the 14-year-old girl when he discovered the boy in a room of their home, Parramatta Bail Court heard yesterday.

The man, who cannot be named, allegedly told police the relationship was disrespectful to Muslim culture and brought shame on his family in the Afghan community.

After police arrived, the man became enraged because they would not arrest the boy, who had been invited into the house by his daughter.

He said the boyfriend would be killed if the incident happened in Afghanistan, the country he and his wife had emigrated from in 1998.

“The accused then stated, as the boyfriend would not be going to jail, the only thing left to do was kill his daughter and himself,” police said.

“The complainant is stuck between her religion, strict parents and wanting to be a typical Australian teenager.”

Officers claimed that on October 27 the daughter ran away from home. Her father said he would kill himself if she did not return by sundown.

When she did not return, the father attempted to hang himself but was stopped by his wife and son.

I guess I’m glad they stopped him, but if they hadn’t, it would have saved a lot of trouble.

She’s more Australian than she is Afghani, what did he expect? They emigrated 12 years ago (when his daughter was two), and he’s still a Neanderthal.

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There Is A Conservative Revolution Happening

In Australia

Before you read this, it is important to orient yourself to their language. Liberal means conservative, and Labour means liberal. Got it?

n December the smart set in the big cities here thought the Liberal Party—Australia’s traditionally conservative party—had jumped off a cliff by electing Tony Abbott opposition leader. The Liberals, opined one professor of politics in Melbourne, risked becoming “a down-market protest party of angry old men and the outer suburbs.” A columnist in the Sydney Morning Herald summed up Mr. Abbott’s party as “Populist, angry and spoiling for a fight.”

How wrong they were. It’s no stretch to say Mr. Abbott—Rhodes scholar, devout Catholic and family man—has singlehandedly resurrected the conservative movement in Australia. He took over the Liberals after his predecessor had proved too willing to go along with the agenda of then-Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, and he promptly moved the party to the right. Mr. Rudd was overthrown a few months later in his own internal party revolt and replaced in June by Julia Gillard, who as Australia’s first female prime minister (and as a more centrist figure than Mr. Rudd) should have had the political wind at her back.

Instead, the Liberals enjoyed what Mr. Abbott called a “savage swing” on election day Saturday. Though unable to win an outright majority, they made up a double-digit poll deficit in less than five months, denied Labor a governing majority, and may yet take the reins of government if they can form one themselves. He has done it by doing the one thing so many Republicans in America and Tories in Britain shy away from: explaining what conservatives believe in, clearly, sincerely and without a hint of shame.

Point number 1:

Mr. Abbott: “Liberals are just as committed to fairness as their Labor counterparts but understand more readily that holding people back can be just as unfair as not giving them a start. Liberals are just as committed to effective government but appreciate better that too much government can be as bad as too little.

Worth a trip to the link.

- Aggie


Cap and Spayed

Can eugenics be far behind? [via Mark Steyn]

AUSTRALIA needs its population capped at 28 million to save the environment from further damage, former NSW premier Bob Carr has told a forum.

Mr Carr led calls for a national plan for Australia’s future population at a local government forum in Brisbane today.

“Australia needs a population policy that says we ought to be stabilising our population at 28 million,” he said.

Mr Carr questioned Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s statement in October that Australia should aim for a “a bigger Australia” of 35 million people by 2050.

“I disagree with that, because the population numbers might be getting higher, but the rivers aren’t getting more robust, the rainfall isn’t getting more regular, our native species – plants and animals – aren’t getting any more protected, our soils aren’t getting any thicker and our rivers aren’t getting any more volumes,” Mr Carr said.

He said Australia has a real problem with its “carrying capacity” for humans because of its environment.

Is he sure 28 million isn’t still too big? Wouldn’t the rivers be even more “robust” at, say, 25 million—or even 22 million (the number six million sticks in my mind)? They say the soil in Poland is awfully “thick”.

And how would he propose reaching that figure? Ease access to abortion? Limit end-of-life care? They’re both on the table here in America, why not Oz? Maybe split the difference—a few million abortions, a few million ice floes.

Just Photoshop in Granny and Granddad for the bears.

Liberals may die (see ya, Ted!), but their bad ideas never fade away.


Good On You, Mates

If you can keep your head when all around you are losing theirs, you’ll be an Australian, my son:

Australia’s Senate has rejected a bill on the government’s flagship climate change policy for a second time.

Two opposition senators crossed the floor but it was not enough to secure passage of the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) to reduce greenhouse gases.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd had hoped to have the legislation passed by next week’s Copenhagen summit on climate change.

A bottle of wine is nice, Kevin. Maybe an African violet. Ill-considered legislation forced through a reluctant parliament is way more than necessary.

Anyway, Australia emits less carbon than Italy, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, or South Africa. What’s the big deal?


Spontaneous Self-Combustion

I’m sorry, I know 3rd-degree burns aren’t funny, but… well, you read this and try not to laugh:

A man in Western Australia was engulfed in flames when police officers fired a Taser stun gun at him.

The police say they used the Taser on Ronald Mitchell, 36, when he ran at them carrying a container of petrol and a cigarette lighter.

They said that Mr Mitchell, who lives in a remote Aboriginal community, had been sniffing petrol. They suggested the cigarette lighter started the fire.

Mr Mitchell is in critical condition in hospital with third degree burns.

I know, I’m awful.

But sniffing gas in the presence of a cigarette lighter, and causing enough of a ruckus to bring the police—and then charging at them—I mean, come on. It’s a wonder he lived to age 36.

Naturally, race is being discussed as a factor.


Good on Them

The Aussies tell the poms to get stuffed:

British director Ken Loach has withdrawn his film Looking for Eric from the Melbourne International Film Festival to protest Israeli funding of another film participating in the festival.

Loach demanded that the festival reject the Israeli Embassy’s sponsorship of Tatia Rosenthal to visit the festival to answer questions about her animation feature $9.99, but the festival organizers refused, saying that they would not bow to “blackmail,” the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported.

Earlier this year, the Edinburgh Film Festival returned a 300 pound grant from the Israeli embassy due to pressure from the renowned director.

ABC quoted Australian federal Labor MP Michael Danby as having applauded festival organizers for standing up to Loach, and saying that “Israelis and Australians have always had a lot in common, including contempt for the irritating British penchant for claiming cultural superiority.”

Autsralians have their own reasons for resenting the British; I’ll leave that to them.

Aggie’s been harder on the Brits than I have, though neither of us has been shy about lambasting their worse instincts. But I lived in London for several years, and loved my time there. I’m not saying I understand them, but I do have one insight.

Marxism/Leninism, even Stalinism, is alive and well and living in Tooting Bec.

Ken Loach, George Galloway, Harold Pinter, Caryl Churchill—all hard Left, all hostile to Israel (which is redundant). And hostile is being kind.

Australia can come up with any excuse they care to for sending a Commie a-hole like Ken Loach packing. As log as they send him packing.


Shape Up, Woman

It’s not really a beating; it’s more of a whisking:

A Muslim cleric in Australia who said men have a right to force their wives to have sex has been told to apologise by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

The cleric, Samir Abu Hamza, reportedly questioned how rape can exist within marriage, and encouraged “light beating” of disobedient women.

“I would call upon this Islamic cleric to publicly apologise and repudiate his remarks,” Mr Rudd said.

He told reporters that such views have no place in Australia.

“Under no circumstances is sexual violence permissible or acceptable in Australia,” he said.

“Nor are they acceptable in my view to mainstream Muslim teachings,” he said of the views apparently supporting violent treatment of women.

Read the Koran a lot, do you, Mr. Prime Minister? The remarks are of course outrageous and reprehensible, but how does he know they’re not representative?

“You beat them… but this is the last resort, after you have advised them for a long, long time, then you smack them, you beat them.

“You are not allowed to bruise them, you are not allowed to make them bleed, this is just to shape them up – ‘shape up woman’ – that’s about it.

“You don’t go and get a broomstick.”

Sure you so. You get the broomstick, hand it to her, and tell her to shape up.

And then rapes her:

“Even if her husband was to ask her for a sexual relationship and she is preparing him the bread on the stove, she must leave it and come and respond to her husband,” he said.

“In this country if the husband wants to sleep with his wife and she does not want to and… there’s nothing wrong with her, she just does not want to, and he ends up sleeping with her by force, it is… known to be as a rape.

“Amazing. How can a person rape his wife?”

Amazing! Equally amazing is how a religion can have such an animal among it number, let alone speak on its behalf.

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Best of the Best

Not very creative to just cut and paste, I admit, but this post by Australia’s Tim Blair is perfect down to the punctuation:

Supporters of both John McCain and Barack Obama will find positives in a WP/WSJ four-state poll—Obama is leading, McCain is surging—but this one piece of data should please everybody:

In Minnesota, Sen. Norm Coleman has built a 53 percent to 38 percent edge over entertainer Al Franken, thanks in no small part to a series of gaffes by the former “Saturday Night Live” star.

UPDATE. Obama seems to have captured the crucial German vote. They do love a charismatic leader:
“He’s extremely charismatic—I’ve never seen anybody like this,” said Wolfgang Zuchowsky, a 73-year-old retired police officer from Berlin.

They also like men with global ambitions who publish autobiographies in their mid-30s. Here’s Spiegel Online‘s besotted Gerhard Spörl:

Anyone who saw Barack Obama at Berlin’s Siegessäule on Thursday could recognize that this man will become the 44th president of the United States. He is more than ambitious—he wants to lay claim to become the president of the world.
The clincher, according to Spörl—Obama isn’t physically imperfect:

Anyone who saw him make the short way from the Victory Column in Berlin on Thursday to the podium saw a man with the serious gait of a basketball player, a man who seemed young, decisive and focused. For those who witnessed his appearance in Berlin, it is hard to imagine that John McCain still has any chance. McCain is 25 years his senior, a man who because of the torture he endured in Vietnam is in constant pain—unable to comb his hair or lift his arm in celebration.

The inability to lift one’s arm is a particular turnoff for certain German voters.

O…M…G. I am so not worthy.

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Aboriginal Sin

By way of Tim Blair, this antipodean dolly shows just how you deal with racists—and wins one blogger’s heart in the process.

The best three-minute beat down since Round 14 of Ali-Frazier’s “Thrilla in Manilla”.


The First Thing We Do, Let’s Kill All the Terrorists

Australia’s premier pundit boils the good news from Iraq down to a pungent point:

Killing terrorists turns out to be a fine method of reducing terrorism. Who knew?

A few weeks ago, I “came out” to good friends that I was a conservative—what’s more, a shoot-’em-all-let-God-sort-em-out conservative. Actually, I don’t hide my political transformation so much as I just don’t advertise it. I’d rather eat and drink with friends than subject myself to their tired and predictable arguments.

Try as my friends might to understand that my preferred response to terrorism was to kill the terrorists—all of them—they couldn’t wrap their heads around it. As a quencher for blood-thirst, maybe, but as policy?

Nice to see how well it works. I’ll be sure to mention it next time I see my friends.

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Never Happened

Another American war crime that wasn’t:

A judge ruled Friday that an Australian man’s claim that he was mistreated in custody in Pakistan before being sent to the U.S. jail for terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay could not be believed.

Justice Peter McClellan of the New South Wales state Supreme Court ruled against Mamdouh Habib in the man’s defamation suit against a Sydney newspaper, which Habib said had implied he lied about being tortured.

“I am satisfied that Mr. Habib’s claims that he was seriously mistreated in the place of detention in Islamabad cannot be accepted,” McClellan said.

He said Habib was “prone to exaggerate,” “evasive” and had made claims about mistreatment in Pakistan and Egypt which could not be sustained.

Habib, an Egyptian-born immigrant, was arrested in late 2001 in Pakistan. He says he was held there for 28 days and was interrogated by Americans before being transferred to Egypt, then six months later to the U.S. military base at Bagram, Afghanistan and then Guantanamo Bay.

Habib told the court he had been beaten “like a dog” and electrocuted by his captors while he was in Pakistan, and that while in Egypt he was kept drugged and shackled, had his fingers broken, and was sexually molested.

If I were the judge, I would have added that I would personally administer the above-mentioned procedures if he didn’t get out of my courtroom in thirty seconds.


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