Right Thinking From The Left Coast
The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it - Henry David Thoreau

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Best.  Prime Minister.  Ever.
by Lee

I have expressed my admiration, my devotion, and my pride in John Howard many times.  This is just another reason why he’s the greatest leader in the world right now.

JOHN Howard has admitted addressing Federal Parliament while drunk during his so-called “wilderness years” after losing the Liberal leadership in 1989.

A new biography on Australia’s second-longest serving Prime Minister reveals Mr Howard was deeply affected by his 1989 loss to Andrew Peacock, breaking down in a tearful apology to staff and sometimes drinking too much.

“Without the responsibility of a leadership role, Howard would on occasion drink more heavily than he should,” the book, John Winston Howard : A Life by Peter van Onselen and Wayne Errington, says.

On one occasion, after over-indulging at a farewell dinner for a close friend in 1990, Mr Howard admitted entering the chamber drunk.

“I had a couple of South Australian reds ... I remember that night, yes. I can’t dispute the story,” he told the authors.

One more world leader sullied by his support of our president.

Posted by Lee on 07/24/07 at 11:16 PM in Down Under  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Cellular Streuth!
by Lee

Here’s an example of how much the Australians love Bush.

Mobile phone calls will be blocked in central Sydney during APEC as one of many security precautions to protect US President George W Bush from a potential assassination.

A helicopter equipped with signal-jamming equipment will follow Bush’s heavily-armoured presidential motorcade as it blocks traffic to pass through the city, the Daily Telegraph reports.

While temporarily halting business activities in the CBD, the mobile phone blocker will cut down the risk of a remote control bomb attack on the president.

And piss off tens of thousands of Sydney residents.  (Sydneysiders, if I remember correctly.) When Bush comes to LA they fuck up the freeways all over the city.  Now the most hated man in the world is going to block your cell phone coverage.  Yeah, this isn’t going to piss ANYONE off, is it?

Posted by Lee on 05/16/07 at 12:34 AM in Down Under  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Saturday, March 31, 2007

‘Ad Ax
by Lee

It’s the latest Australian gun control success!

A MAN has been charged after allegedly threatening police with an axe on a south-east Queensland street.

The man armed himself with the weapon on King Street, Caboolture, around 9.30pm (AEST) yesterday, police said.

When police went to investigate, he allegedly raised the axe to his shoulder threatening the officers.

In the US, the second he raised the axe in a threatening manner he would have taken six in the chest.  This is, unfortunately, just the latest example of rising knife- and blade-related violence in Australia since they enacted their draconian gun control laws.

Posted by Lee on 03/31/07 at 08:18 PM in Down Under  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Al vs. Bill
by Lee

We shoulda seen this coming.

Former Vice President Al Gore was nominated for the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for his wide-reaching efforts to draw the world’s attention to the dangers of global warming, a Norwegian lawmaker said Thursday.

“A prerequisite for winning the Nobel Peace Prize is making a difference, and Al Gore has made a difference,” Conservative Member of Parliament Boerge Brende, a former minister of environment and then of trade, told The Associated Press.

Brende said he joined political opponent Heidi Soerensen of the Socialist Left Party to nominate Gore as well as Canadian Inuit activist Sheila Watt-Cloutier before the nomination deadline expired Thursday.

“Al Gore, like no other, has put climate change on the agenda. Gore uses his position to get politicians to understand, while Sheila works from the ground up,” Brende said.

I wonder who the other nominees are?  Usually they consist primarily of terrorists and Islamic appeasers and terror enablers (i.e. Jimmy Carter).  The thing that I find so delicious about this is the effect it’s going to have on Bill Clinton.  Clinton, more than anything else, wants to win the Nobel Peace Prize.  Remember all that effort he put into the Israeli/Palestinian peace process?  That was to rebuild his legacy after the impeachment.  If he can win the Peace Prize then it would be the ultimate feather in his cap, the righteous end to a lifetime of public service (at least in his eyes). 

If Al wins one it will be like a stake through the heart.  And I’ll laugh my fucking ass off.

Posted by Lee on 02/01/07 at 09:33 AM in Down Under  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Friday, January 26, 2007

Fair Dinkum Sheilas
by Lee

To my fellow Aussies I wish a happy Australia Day.  The following hotness is courtesy of Tim Blair.

image

Flat out like a lizard drinking.

Posted by Lee on 01/26/07 at 09:19 PM in Down Under  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Good Nukes
by Lee

As so often happens, the Australian government just makes sense.

AUSTRALIANS risk higher electricity prices if the nation fails to embrace nuclear power and relies on low-emission coal technology.

In a new push to force the Labor Party to abandon its opposition to nuclear power, the Howard Government is preparing to warn consumers that the anti-nuclear stance could hit the family budget.
Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane has conceded that companies are unlikely to establish nuclear power plants until a bipartisan approach is offered.

You know why I like John Howard so much?  He has the free market approach that I like in the GOP, but doesn’t come with the fundamentalist Christianity and social authoritarianism.

Posted by Lee on 01/02/07 at 02:16 PM in Down Under  • (1) TrackbacksPermalink

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Send In the Clones
by Lee

Australia has lifted its ban on human cloning.  I’m all for stem cell research, and have no problem with abortion, but this is really opening a door which should remain closed.  I’ll let John Howard explain his vote, because his views are right in line with mine.

As somebody who comes from what might loosely be called the mainstream of Protestant Christianity, I can recognise that Christian people of good conscience can reach diametrically opposed views on this legislation. I happen to have an enormous regard for Senator Kay Patterson, who sponsored this private member’s bill.

As always, a free vote brings out the best in parliament. I can respect very deeply the argument about the relief of human suffering, and I have wrestled with it, as has a person in the church who I admire a great deal. Bishop Tom Frame indicated that, when he spoke to The Sydney Morning Herald a few weeks ago, as an Anglican bishop he was unresolved. He said: ‘I’m still unable to come to a conclusion that sits comfortably with my conscience. I’m not convinced that scientific experimentation on embryos is morally acceptable, but I’m sensitive to the needs of those who might benefit from the outcomes of the research.’ I do not think I could put my own view on this issue any more succinctly or any better than that.

I am not convinced, based on the evidence that has come forward in this debate, that the reasons why this parliament near-unanimously - or was it unanimously - voted in a particular direction some years ago. I do not think the science has shifted enough to warrant the parliament changing its view, and for that reason I am going to vote against the bill. I am also, for a another reason, going to vote against the bill - that is, I think we live in an age where we have slid too far into relativism. There must be some absolutes in our society. That is, in some senses, a religious or Christian view, but it is also an ethical view and it is a view of society that a person of no faith can hold very strongly.

I am not so censorious of alternative points a view in our community as to believe that you cannot, on balance, reach different points of view, but in the end you have to, as an individual, make a judgment on this. My own view is that to vote in favour of this bill is to embrace a relativist view of society and of the value of human life and what leads to it. This does, to use that cliche, get us perilously close to if not on to the slippery slope. It is a very big step indeed; it was a step this place was not willing to take some years ago, and I, therefore, will vote against this legislation.

I absolutely, 100% agree.

Posted by Lee on 12/06/06 at 10:11 AM in Down Under  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Friday, October 20, 2006

Thus Spake Pat
by Lee

You know the fascinating thing about the Tillman letter?  If Pat had not been killed, he would presumably be a civilian now like his brother.  We’ve heard reports of his political beliefs before, and they were much in line with what his brother has written here.  It’s quite possible that Pat Tillman, the man held up by all the right as the exemplary American patriot, would now be calling for Bush’s head on a fucking pike.

I would LOVE to see the Limbaugh/Hannity/Coulter spin on that one.

Update: The coworker who forwarded me the letter this morning is a staunch Democrat, though a moderate right-leaning one.  He’s been in the Army, first on active duty and now the reserves, since 1989.  He did a year in Iraq fighting for his country.  His views are virtually identical to those of Kevin Tillman.

He told me that the Tillmans’ unit (I forget which one it was) is quite possibly the most dedicated, patriotic Ranger unit in the entire Army.

Update2 : Holy crap.  DO NOT MISS this post over at Daily Pundit.

Posted by Lee on 10/20/06 at 12:29 PM in Down Under  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The Smell of Electricity
by Lee

Ouch!

A WOMAN has suffered severe burning to her anus after being struck by lightning which hit her in the mouth and passed right through her body.

Natasha Timarovic, 27, was cleaning her teeth at home when lightning struck the building.

She said: “I had just put my mouth under the tap to rinse away the toothpaste when the lightning must have struck the building.

I don’t remember much after that, but I was later told that the lightning had travelled down the water pipe and struck me on the mouth, passing through my body.

It was incredibly painful, I felt it pass through my torso and then I don’t remember much at all.” Doctors at the city hospital where she was treated for burns to the mouth and rear said: “The accident is bizarre but not impossible.

She was wearing rubber bathroom shoes at the time and so instead of earthing through her feet it appears the electricity shot out of her backside,” a medic told local television news channel, 24 Sata.

“It appears to have earthed through the damp shower curtain that she was touching as she bent over to put her mouth under the tap. If she had not been wearing the shoes she would probably have been killed by the blast.”

Well, look at it this way.  This woman will never have a good excuse not to try anal.  “Come on, honey.  You had lightning shoot out your ass, this couldn’t possibly be worse that that!”

Posted by Lee on 10/11/06 at 10:17 AM in Down Under  • (3) TrackbacksPermalink

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Fit In Or Leave
by Lee

Once again, I can’t express how much I like John Howard.

IMMIGRANTS Down Under MUST learn English, embrace equal rights for women and adopt Australian values, the country’s prime minister John Howard said yesterday.

And the tough-talking premier brushed aside complaints from Islamic community leaders that he was attacking Muslims.

He said: “I think they are missing the point. I don’t care, and the Australian people don’t care, where people come from.

“All migrants have to integrate, and that means speaking English as quickly as possible. It means embracing Australian values.

“It also means making sure that no matter what the culture of the country from which they come, Australia requires women to be treated fairly and equally and in the same fashion as men.”

UK Shadow immigration minister Damian Green backed Mr Howard, saying: “Anyone who comes to live here must sign up to the basic values of a modern democracy. It is also important to learn English as a vital part of embracing British culture.”

Oh how I would love to see Bush say something like this.

Posted by Lee on 09/02/06 at 06:53 PM in Down Under  • (3) TrackbacksPermalink

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Free Speech and Free Downloads
by Lee

Protecting children from girlies what ain’t got on no clothes.  It’s not just for rabid Christian fundamentalists any more.

PRESSURE is mounting on the Federal Government to force Australian internet service providers to outlaw all pornographic websites.

Federal Labor yesterday joined calls from fledgling political party Family First for a crackdown on internet content into Australian homes.

Family First senator Steve Fielding yesterday revealed he had been in negotiations for months with Prime Minister John Howard over measures to block internet porn.

However, Senator Fielding said he was dismayed at the time it was taking to convince the Government to do something about websites many people deplored.

“If the Government was serious about protecting children, they would move on this issue,” he said.

Senator Fielding said a Government report last year had establishing that mandatory filtering of the internet would cost $45 million to set up and $33 million annually to run.

Under Family First’s plan, internet porn would be blocked by Australia’s most commonly used internet service providers.

This would also effectively block smaller service providers that buy their access through major providers, such as Telstra, on a wholesale basis.

Now, call me crazy, but this shows exactly why having an explicit First Amendment is such a precious thing.  Yeah, you can argue about whether or not porno is a good or bad thing, but I’d much rather live in a country where access to porno was the price of free speech than live in one where free speech was something granted at the behest of the government.  All western governments highly prize freedom of speech, but very few of them are denied the right to restrict it the way ours is.  And I really, really like that.

Posted by Lee on 03/21/06 at 11:00 PM in Down Under  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Political Idol
by Lee

See?  At least politics in Australia is interesting.

A Queensland MP has apologised for telling the Australian Idol fiancee of a fellow MP to “f*** off” after she called him a “freak”.

Labor Member for Cook Jason O’Brien was instructed by Premier Peter Beattie to make a public apology to Tarni Stephens after his behaviour was raised in state parliament on Wednesday.

Ms Stephens, the blonde punk-rock singer who got her start in the television series Australian Idol, is engaged to Nationals MP Rob Messenger.

At the start of the parliamentary session, Mr Messenger demanded an apology for his fiancee following a spat between her and Mr O’Brien on Tuesday in a parliamentary lift.

Recounting the incident, Ms Stephens told journalists Mr O’Brien had acted in a “loud, aggressive manner” after she had mistakenly pressed the wrong button in a lift.

“I waited and he went up to his level and got out, and I muttered under my voice `freak’ and closed the lift,” Ms Stephens said.

“Just as the doors were closing, he has yelled `f-you’ in a very loud, aggressive manner once again and ran towards the lift as the doors shut.

Meanwhile, we have 535 stodgy old farts who you wouldn’t trust with the remote control to the TV, let alone the awesome power of government.

Posted by Lee on 03/09/06 at 09:14 AM in Down Under  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Fair Dinkum Dunny
by Lee

The rest of the world loves to make fun of Americans and our big fat asses.  Well, the rest of the world is catching up quickly, like Australia.

Sturdier toilets may be on their way in Australia to cope with the country’s increasingly obese population.

Standards Australia, a nongovernment group that establishes safety and design standards, is considering recommending strengthening loos for larger users, a spokeswoman said Tuesday.

Obesity levels have been rising for years in Australia.

Standards Australia spokeswoman Kate Evans said the current industry standard for toilet seats is just 100 pounds and that the group is looking to increase it to 330 pounds.
Experts will examine the seats “from the perspective that people are getting bigger,” Evans said.

Steve Cummings, a committee member for Standards Australia and head of research and development at toilet maker Caroma Dorf, told Sydney tabloid The Daily Telegraph that toilet seats need to be strengthened for larger Australians.

“If you are going to sit on it, you want it to hold you,” he said.

You know what I’d like the world’s toilet engineers to design?  A low-flush toilet that actually has enough power to suck a turd down in one flush.

Posted by Lee on 03/07/06 at 08:59 AM in Down Under  • (5) TrackbacksPermalink

Friday, January 27, 2006

Fundies Down Under
by Lee

Back in May I wrote a post about how certain fundamentalist Christian groups were opposing a cervical cancer vaccine because they believe that it might lead to promiscuity in young girls.  I asked at the time, “I know there are a lot of religious people who read this blog.  Can someone please explain this type of thinking to me?  What is the puritan American hang-up over sex?  Why is it preferable to expose women to the threat of cervical cancer simply so that (whew!) they don’t engage in any of that icky poo-poo premarital sex?” Well, it seems I was mistaken.  While the objection isn’t as vocal, the same type of people are pulling the same type of stunts in Australia.

CALLS to make a world-first cervical cancer drug available to girls as young as nine have been criticised because of fears it would promote teenage promiscuity.

Trials of the vaccine, developed over 15 years by Australian of the Year Ian Frazer, showed it to be 100 per cent effective in protecting women against infection with four strains of human papilloma virus that together cause 70 per cent of cervical cancers.
But experts concede it raises sensitive issues because it cannot cure existing HPV infections and, for maximum effectiveness, it has to be given before women first become sexually active. As a result it is likely to be recommended for girls aged nine to 15.

The vaccine already has the backing of John Howard but Nationals senator Barnaby Joyce said MPs should be allowed to debate its “social implications”.

Honouring Professor Frazer this week, the Prime Minister said he would discuss with federal Health Minister Tony Abbott making the vaccine, to be marketed under the brand name Gardasil, available to young women across Australia.

“We are looking at the implications of that and I expect to be talking to Mr Abbott about it quite soon,” Mr Howard said.

And then there’s this.

But Senator Joyce said the decision whether to approve the vaccine should not be left to the TGA because “they will talk about the therapeutic aspects - they are not there to talk about the psychological implications or the social implications”.

“There might be an overwhelming (public) backlash from people saying, ‘don’t you dare put something out there that gives my 12-year-old daughter a licence to be promiscuous’,” he said.

Senator Joyce - who has four daughters - said he would be “personally very circumspect” about giving such a vaccine to girls who were too young to cope with the potential consequences of sexual activity.

This is a vaccine which can prevent your girls from getting cervical cancer.  Not giving this to your girls is, in my mind, damn near bordering on criminal negligence.

Posted by Lee on 01/27/06 at 01:48 AM in Down Under  • (5) TrackbacksPermalink

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Skippy the Burger
by Lee

You know why?  Because nobody likes to eat cute animals.

Does the idea of tossing a kangaroo steak on the grill upset you? How about a tender cut of australus?

A food magazine’s hunt for a new name for kangaroo meat—aimed at putting a spring in the step of efforts to sell the product—has a winner, media reported Tuesday.

More than 2,700 people from 41 nations entered the Sydney-based Food Companion International magazine competition to rename meat derived from one of Australia’s best-loved and most-recognizable animals.

Before settling on australus, judges skipped over suggestions including “kangarly,” “maroo,” and “kangasaurus.”

Millions of kangaroos are culled each year, to prevent them eating crops and to supply meat—but most of the kangaroo cuts go to pet food suppliers and only a small percentage is sold for human consumption.

I’ve eaten kangaroo before, it was actually pretty tasty.  If the Outback Steakhouse had any balls they’d offer a kangaroo burger.  As it is there isn’t a single authentic Australian item on the entire menu.

Posted by Lee on 12/20/05 at 08:00 AM in Down Under  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink
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