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There will be a break in proceedings for an indefinite period.

The last year has been an annus horribilus – Amanda’s accident and ongoing illness, struggles to get my business up and running despite absences caring for family members, and Bruce’s unexpected death.

To top everything off, last week we found that Kathy has cancer and will need major surgery.

At the moment I barely have the emotional energy to go to work and cope with the constant harrassment of running a computer business while still trying to be nice.

I need to give myself a bit of space, and reduce some of the pressure I put on myself to get things done.

I will be back.


It is Saturday evening in South Australia.

I got back from Western Australia this afternoon. I went over to Geraldton last week for the funeral of my brother-in-law Bruce.

A great bloke – honest, caring, intelligent. I will miss him.

I wrote a few posts while I was away, but did not have internet access.

I will upload them tomorrow, along with anything else that seems worth commenting on in the last few days’ news.

Too tired tonight. Need beer, chocolate, sleep …

Posting will be light over the next week or so.

My brother-in-law Bruce died yesterday. Kathy has already flown over to Perth, and I will follow in a couple of days time.

Bruce was 56. He had been a licensed clinical psychologist, and a licensed plumber. Plumbing paid better, and you meet a nicer class of people.

Bruce and I disagreed about almost everything. He was gay, and an atheist.

He thought Obama was an inspiring leader. I wouldn’t trust Obama to run a cake stall.

He thought Michael Moore was an honest reporter, a man of the people.  I think Michael Moore is a disgusting dishonest elitist swine.

He liked Baz Lurhmann’s Australia. Enough said.

But Bruce was an honest, generous, intelligent man, who cared deeply about what happened in the world, and about the people around him.

I loved him, and I will miss him deeply.

Every couple of weeks I seem to pique the interest of some absolute raving nutter.

It usually goes something like this. I post an article on some current news item. The Queen spends $10 million on curtains for Windsor Castle, for example (she hasn’t, as far as I know). So I write a few words about whether the British public are getting good value for money from their Queen.

A couple of days later there is a long and outraged comment, demanding to know why I have used a word that is offensive to the whole gay commuity. Don’t I care that gay people have been oppressed for centuries?

Then there will be several paragraphs detailing incidents of oppression of homosexuals, and perhaps a quote or two from the Magna Carta thrown in for good measure.

Shortly afterwards I will find that this comment has been emailed to a couple of hundred people, pointing out what a hopeless homophobe I am.

Then there will be several more comments detailing at rambling and incoherent length, the hideous oppressions to which the gay community is still subjected. Some of these will include unpleasant personal insults directed at me and any other commenters who have asked what the heck is going through this person’s mind.

Some of those comments I will not allow through. Of course this proves what an unspeakable bastard I am, imposing my views on the gay community, using the power of censorship to silence the oppressed.

There may even be a little exchange demanding to know why I didn’t discuss my inflammatory and biased views with representatives of the gay community before publishing them.

I’ll reply that what I said was in response to a news article, and I was just expressing my own opinion. Others are welcome to do the same, and if any members of the gay community do want to speak with me, I’d be more than happy to talk with them.

That’s typical of my kind of ego-centric gender focussed personality, I’ll be told.

It’s very well for me to sit back and expect the oppressed minority to come to me. I wouldn’t think of making the effort to go to them, would I?

By now there will have been several more comments by the same person, perhaps on different articles.

For example, if I have written about climate change, I will be asked why I have, once again, failed to include the gay perspective, which will be detailed at length.

If I write about agricultural policy in Africa, my homophobia means I won’t even give passing recogniton to the plight of gay rice planters in Swaziland. My fortnightly weirdo will thoughtfully fill in the gaps, while continuing to send examples of my perfidious lack of concern to his or her extensive mailing list.

After the first couple of exchanges I usually recognise the pattern, and ask politely that the person stop emailing me. That request will be ignored.

Eventually, a week or so after I stop publishing any more comments and answering any more emails, my nutter will go away, presumably to pester some other blogger or public figure about why he or she is participating in the marginalisation of an oppressed minority by refusing to acknowledge the extensive gay contribution to highway traffic planning.

And then I’ll have a bit of peace for a week or so till the next nutter comes along.

Back to work today for the first time in two weeks. A queue of urgent computer problems to fix.

Customers come first, so posting will be light today!

Qohel is certainly not the most popular Australian blog – that honour goes without question to Andrew Bolt. But the best Australian blog?

I had a very kind note from a reader saying she thought so.

I’d like it to be, but Qohel is an independent blog, with no budget and no staff. I don’t get anywhere near the amount of time I would like to research and write.

Nonetheless, Qohel will have its 400,000th visitor sometime in January.

For the last six months I have had the number one position on Google, Yahoo and Bing for the following search terms:

leading conservative blog

leading australian blog

australian conservative blog

The blog is one year old this month. Given how difficult a year this has been (Amanda’s illness, especially), I am happy both with what I have been able to do, and with the fact that so many people seem to have found it of interest.

Thank you!

May 2010 bring you good times, good health, peace and prosperity.

This will be the last post for two days – I will be travelling back from Geraldton to Adelaide tomorrow, then Adelaide to Kangaroo Island on Sunday.

Reader James T suggests I should have given Andrew Bolt credit for my comments on James Cameron’s film Avatar.

Proper referencing is important for one’s intellectual integrity. It is also polite.

When I write about a newspaper article or other primary source, I always reference the source, with a link if possible.

If I have already begun to think about a story, to make a notes on a news item, for example, and then come across some commentary on the same story, I will not reference that commentary unless it changes the way I think, or leads me to other information on the same subject.

But where I have been alerted to a story by another commentator, I reference the original story, and the place I first read about it.

For example, in my comments about the Daily Mail’s fact avoiding article on the relationship between fundamentalism and violence, I referenced the Daily Mail, and Robert Spencer’s Jihad Watch.

In my story about the large group of scientists who wrote to Ban Ki Moon questioning the global warming orthodoxy as a basis for for economic or environmental policy, I referenced the scientists’ website and letter, and Australian Conservative, where I had first read the story.

In the case of Avatar, my story (which was basically just an approving note about Jim Schembri’s disapproving review) appeared a couple of hours before Andrew’s similar story.

There is nothing unexpected or untoward about this.

Avatar was in the news – it was due for release in Australia the following day. It is not surprising that two conservative bloggers should comment on the politics of a highly political film the day before its release.

Dear Reader,

There are lots of things I am not sorry for. But I am sorry about thin posting yesterday, and no posts today.

It has been hectically busy at work, which is good, although the whole having to work for a living thing is getting a bit tedious. It is work that involves constant careful, analytical thinking, so at the end of a busy day I am ‘brain tired’ (as opposed to physically tired, a much rarer occurrance).

So, in short, I need a night off, to drink lager, eat nuts, and watch something brainless on TV.

‘I Used to be a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here’, for example.

And wasn’t that ridiculous? Arrested for cruelty to animals for killing and eating a rat. If the rat was beheaded, not for apostasy, presumably, then it suffered a lot less than any mouse ever caught in a mouse trap.

But although I am too tired to put thoughts in order sufficiently to write them with any coherence, there are still thoughts there.

So posts to come on ex Australian of the Year Mr Flim Flannery’s claims about the bad faith of AGW sceptics, on Andrew Bolt’s mis-step over the humourousness of violence against men, on the hypocrisy of Crapenhogen, and on TEOTACAWKI. No, thats’ the end of the Anglican Communion as we know it.

And thanks for sticking around.


The first four posts on this blog were on 20 and 21 November last year. That was just to get us into Google and other search engines. Real posting began two months later on 21 January 2009, and has continued regularly since then with a few minor hiccoughs related to illness or to personal matters or work crowding out blogging time.

This will be the 575th post in a ten month period – about two posts per day. 575 posts – it’s a lot of thinking, and a lot of writing. But I haven’t been nearly as busy as the spammers.

The blog milestone is that today I deleted the 100,000th spam comment. Extraordinary!

It has been a long time between drinks, but this blog has not been abandoned!

For the last couple of months my sister Amanda has been in hospital in Adelaide. I have been as busy as a one armed paper hanger at work, and working long hours, and going over to Adelaide almost every weekend to visit Amanda.

So even when I have had time to blog, I have felt so tired that I have not been doing anything except what I had to do to get by.

But Amanda is out of hospital now, and has moved up to Brisbane to stay with our brother Andrew and his wife Sheila.

I have closed the shop for a few days and have been enjoying a break. I have even spent a couple of hours playing WoW.

So normal transmission should recommence forthwith.

To my regular visitors, thank you for your patience over what has been a very difficult year.

Yesterday I was at the number one position on Bing for the phrase ‘leading conservative blog.’ Now Qohel cannot be found in Bing at all. What gives?

Google at least seems more consistent – I never vary there from second or third. Qohel is still at number one on Yahoo for the same phrase: ‘leading conservative blog.’

Over the last five days I have deleted 6860 spam comments. Thanks for the attention, but it is getting a little tiresome. Genuine comments always welcome!

Apologies again for the slow posting of late. This blog is not my job – I have a retail business which I ruin entirely alone (I know, sob, sob, sound of world’s smallest violin). That business has been getting busier, which means less time for Qohel. I promise to try to do better!

Also, my sister Amanda is still much on my mind. She is in hospital in Adelaide, and I try to get over to see her as often as I can.

The last few days have been the longest break without a post since I began this blog.

There used to be two IT businesses on Kangaroo Island. Two weeks ago my only competitor closed down. I am glad to have the extra business, but it means less time for other things. I think I have always been reasonably good at time managment, but I am going to have to find some new strategies!

Also, as regular readers would know, my sister Amanda has been unwell. She was flown over to Adelaide by the flying doctor just over a week ago. Kathy and I were able to travel to Adelaide and visit her this last Saturday and Sunday. That meant that time we would normally have spent doing other things – work around the house, sleeping, taking the dogs for a walk, doing research for the blog, playing WoW – didn’t get done.

Lots of catching up to do!

I am currently at the number one position on Yahoo and Bing for the phrase ‘leading conservative blog,’ and at the number three position on Google.

They are results I am happy with, given it takes a long time to build blog traffic, and Qohel has only been running for about six months.

I am still only just making enough in advertising revenue to cover my hosting costs. But that’s cool.

But over the last week I have noticed something interesting.

Google ads always display correctly for traffic coming from Google or Yahoo. But two out of three times, do not display correctly for traffic coming from Bing.

Is that error, co-incidence, or is Google being clever?

Apologies for the lack of posts over the last few days.

It has been really busy at my real job – I run a computer store, but more importantly, my sister Amanda has been seriously ill again.

She has been in hospital since Friday evening. She needs constant supervision. The local hospital is small (the island only has a population of about 4500 people) and they do not have the staff to provide that level of care. Kathy and I have been with her from 7.30 in the morning till nine each night.

Amanda was taken to Adelaide at noon today by the Flying Doctor. We hope to get to Adelaide next weekend to visit, and if she is well enough, to bring her home.

Please pray for her.