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Hipness is what it is. And he’s got it.

Watch him walk. Listen to him talk. See the body language, the expressions, the clothes. He’s got attitude, rhythm, a sense of humor, contemporary tastes…

Obama used his personality — the smile, the jaunty stride and the hip-hop verbiage — to disarm critics, charm supporters and persuade fence sitters to elect him president. In an against-the-odds campaign, Obama never lost his poise as he forged a rapport with a new generation of voters while keeping old heads on his team…

Wait a minute. Am I drooling?

No warmth, nothing to buy, no transport, no hope.

The joys and triumphs of socialism …

Documentary photographer Tomas van Houtryve visited North Korea posing as a businessman looking to open a chocolate factory. Despite 24-hour surveillance by North Korean minders, he was able to take some remarkable photos of  Pyongyang and its people. Photos can be viewed on the Foreign Policy website. Don’t look for happiness here.

Via Small Dead Animals.


Hilary Clinton said that the Iraqi government had “come a long, long way” and that the bombings were “a signal that the rejectionists fear Iraq is going in the right direction.”

Perhaps not such a good sign if you are one of the people who has been killed or injured.

It is just as likely that the renewed violence is because Iraqi terrorists have new confidence because they perceive the current US administration as weak and not having the will to take them on.

And why did Hilary need to reiterate to Iraqi leaders that the US would not abandon Iraq, if, as the Democrats insisted before the elction, the Iraqis couldn’t wait for US forces to leave?

On the 25th April 1915 troops from Australia and New Zealand landed north of Gaba Tepe in Turkey at a spot now known as Anzac Cove.

2,000 men from Australia and New Zealand were killed on the first day.

Dawn Service at Anzac Cove

Dawn Service at Anzac Cove

More and more Australians are attending ANZAC services each year. The ANZAC campaign is considered by most ordinary Australians to be the time when we came of age as a nation.

This idea is rubbished (of course) by the trendy elite. We became a nation at Federation. The ANZACS were defeated. It wasn’t our war. We were fighting for the British Empire.

Nitwits like Marilyn Lake seem to think we are celebrating war, or our subservience to England, or the privileges enjoyed by males, or whites, or something:

When participation in foreign wars becomes the basis of national identity, it requires the forgetting or marginalising of other narratives, experiences and values. The Anzac myth requires us to forget gender and racial exclusions, the long history of pacifism and anti-war movements, the democratic social experiments and visions of social justice that once defined Australia; to forget that at Gallipoli we fought for “empire” not the nation, symbolising our continuing colonial condition.

As we prepare to inaugurate a republic, she says, we should move on from this redneck racist view of history, and of our identity, into a more inclusive way of seeing ourselves and the way we relate to the world. People like Professor Lake cannot seem to abide the thought that people might not share her passions, and see things her way, or be thinking about her issues, even for a minute. They should be made to. For their own good.

I am not at all distressed or alienated by the fact that Australia is part of an international community – the British Empire, now the Commonwealth of Nations – which has brought higher standards of living, education, rule of law and stable government to many nations and many millions of people around the world. I am proud to be part of that family. The constant blathering by Australian republicans about the need to cut our apron strings to Britain and form our own identity seems more like teenage rebelliousness than maturity or vision.

The ANZAC campaign was a failure at many levels – politics, planning, local command. Foolish, ill-informed choices were made. Thousands of young men were killed in a campaign that probably made no difference to the outcome of World War One at all. None of that should be celebrated, and it isn’t.

But here’s the thing. We made a commitment and we kept to it. The young men from Australia and New Zealand who landed on that beach had every reason to complain, to refuse to comply, to rebel. But they didn’t. They endured cold, poor food, poor command.  Many of them endured grievous injury and death. And in all of that they were courageous, disciplined, purposeful. They cared for one another, they did not give up, they sacrificed their own hopes and even their lives for the sake of others.

We became a nation at Federation. We showed what kind of nation we could be at Anzac Cove. The qualities shown there – discipline, self-sacrifice, courage, persistence – are exactly the qualities we need now. They are what defines us at our best. They are our best hope for the future.

We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us.
Romans 5:3-5

Well, duh.

Yahoo/Seven has a poll asking this question.

At 9am this morning the answer was entirely predictable.

This is a good indicator of the basic common sense of the ordinary Australian. The kind who never stood a chance of being invited.

Was the 2020 Summit a Waste of Time?

Was the 2020 Summit a Waste of Time?

Eric at Big Hollywood writes about real beauty – the kind Susan Boyle has, and real ugliness, the kind Janeane Garofalo has.

I won’t say much more – it’s worth reading the whole thing.

But I share his frustration at the view expressed by Garofalo and others that the only possible reason any one could disagree with Barack Obama about anything is because he is black.

Worried about tax policy? No you’re not. You’re a racist redneck.

Worried about where money for massive ‘stimulus’ spending is going to come from? No you’re not. You’re a racist redneck.

Worried about Obama’s foreign policy? No you’re not…. You get the idea.

One of the convenient things about that kind of thinking is that you never have to bother engaging with people’s concerns or answering their questions. You can just dismiss them because they are, you know, racist rednecks. But given the kind of nonsensical nastiness Garofalo apparently believes, a lack of further engagement with her is probably a good thing.

And aren’t rednecks ordinary working people, the kind the Democrats were supposed to represent?

At the last possible moment, Australia has been done the right thing and said it will not be sending delegates to the UN’s Geneva Conference for Racism and Anti-Semitism (commonly called Durban II).

The conference is due to start on the 120th anniversay of the birthday of Adolf Hitler.

This means our illustrious leaders will miss words of wisdom from planned speakers like Iranian President Imanutjob.

Australia will join the US, Italy, Germany, Canada, and a number of other countries.

Some in the US have complained that by not going, President Barack Obama is losing a chance to show leadership. The truth is exactly the reverse.

Well done Obama. Well done Kevin.

Despite the extraordinary vindictiveness of the attacks against her and her family during the presidential election campaigns, Sarah Palin kept her dignity throughout.

She spoke in Illinois a few days ago. On the stimulus programme, no shots at Obama, just : ‘This isn’t free money folks.’

That’s common sense. We need more of it.

South Australia’s Minister for Road Safety Tom Koutsantonis has a good record for saying the right things: `Extreme behaviour on our roads, such as speeding, is unacceptable and won’t be tolerated.’ and ‘Unfortunately, you can’t legislate to avoid stupidity.’

You may not be able to legislate to avoid stupidity, but you can surely avoid appointing idiots to executive positions in government.

Mr Koutsantonis has been fined at least twenty-seven times for speeding, three times for running red lights, and once for driving while using a mobile phone. This is not just one or two incidents – careless moments which were out of character. This is a record of long term disregard for the law and for the safety of other road users. Tom Koutsantonis is dangerous and irresponsible.

As at this date he has unpaid fines of nearly $1000 dating back to 2007.

If the Rann Labor Government in South Australia has the slightest regard for road safety, and any respect for the people of South Australia, Tom Koutsantonis must be sacked.


As of about midday on Monday 20th, Tom Koutsantonis has resigned as Minister for Road Safety.

‘I probably should have resigned earlier,’ he said. ‘My past transgressions mean that I can’t go out and do my job properly.’

No kidding.

But we’ll still have the benefit of Mr Koutsantonis’ wisdom in other areas:

‘I will continue to my work in the areas of Correctional Services, Gambling, Youth, Volunteers and assisting on Multicultural Affairs.’

Well, what was he supposed to do?

Some of the criticism seems a little unfair – he couldn’t very well have refused to shake Chavez’s hand. He just didn’t have to look so jolly pleased about it.

Especially after Chavez’s recent remarks about the US during his very chummy visit to Iran:  “It’s a policy of permanent aggression, of war, of terrorism by the US empire. That’s the great guilty one, the great Satan, as they call it here,” Mr Chavez said. He also has been critical of Mr Obama, including calling him “ignorant” last month after the US president accused Mr Chavez of “exporting terrorism” and being an obstacle to progress in Latin America.

The problem is, you just can’t be chummy with everyone. You can’t be friends with everyone. And sometimes it is wrong to try, because if you are happy to be friends with the bully and the dictator, that sends a message to the bullied and downtrodden. It is not the message the US should be sending.

And Obama did look happy. Certainly happier than Bush when he met Rudd at last year’s G20.

Bush Greets Rudd

Like I said a few days ago, the times, they are a changing.

The facts were always there, but it is hard to imagine this news would have been reported this fairly a year or so ago.

Minister for Pussy Cats Peter Garrett still claims that ice in Antarctica is melting because, you know, the world is getting warmer and everything, and it’s all our fault and everything.

But measurements of ice and temperatures show this is a load of cobblers.

The Australian reports that ‘The Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research report prepared for last week’s meeting of Antarctic Treaty nations in Washington noted the South Pole had shown “significant cooling in recent decades”.’ And incidentally, that over most of Antarctica ice is denser and more extensive.

via Andrew Bolt

With a conference to condemn Israel. You couldn’t make this up, honestly.

Hitler was born on 20th April 1889. 20th April 2009 is the first day of Durban II, the second United Nations World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance.

Except of course it isn’t against any of those things. It’s just against Israel. And perhaps the US.

There is one country in the Middle East where people of any race and religion have full rights of citizenship. There is one country in the Middle East where human rights are guaranteed, where there is an independent judiciary, open press and freedom of speech. One country where men and women are equal under the law. One country with fully democratic government. That same country has a consistent record of accepting refugees, and delivering emergency and humanitarian aid around the world.

Of course, that is the only country in the world ever to have been condemned by the United Nations Human Rights Council – on average once every two months since the UNHRC was established in 2006. The UNHRC once expressed some concern about Burma, but that’s it. No other country in the world – not Sudan, not Zimbabwe, not North Korea or Iran, has been considered worthy of attention.

Likewise, the only country condemned at Durban I was Israel. Some media opinions and comment at the time.

The US had already said it would not send delegates if Durban II were to be a repeat of Durban I. Austalia is dithering

Diplomats yesterday reached agreement on the text of Durban II’s declaration. In an effort to encourage the US, and any fence-sitters like Australia to attend, the text does not ake any specific mention of Israel or Zionism. But it ratifies the statements issued at Durban I.

I am glad Barack Obama’s administration has stood firm on this so far.

In addition, an ‘Israel Review Conference’ is being held in Geneva, starting two days before Hitler’s birthday, so people who want to review Israel can then travel straight across the road for the main celebration.

I’m sure Hitler would be delighted.

Further reading and resources on Zionism, anti-semitism, the UN and Durban.

Just ordered this book from Amazon: The Really Inconvenient Truths: Seven Environmental Catastrophes Liberals Don’t Want You to Know About–Because They Helped Cause Them

Like most people, I want to live in a world where we are responsible in our care for creation, and treat the resources of the world as gifts to be nurtured, shared and valued, rather than just as objects to be consumed. But environmental activism and legislation has a pretty sorry history – and has more often harmed than helped.

We need to be wiser, and policy and action need to be based on fact, not feel-good fantasy.

From the book’s cover:

Al Gore is bad for the planet…

Talk about really inconvenient truths–that’s one of the many you’ll find in Iain Murray’s rollicking exposé of environmental blowhards who waste more energy, endanger more species, and actually kill more people (yes, that’s right) than the environmental villains they finger. Did you know that estrogen from birth control and “morning after” pills is causing male fish across America to develop female sex organs? Funny how “pro-choice” and “environmentalist” liberals never talk about that. Or how about this: the Live Earth concert to “save the planet” released more CO2 into the atmosphere than a fleet of 2,000 Humvees emit in a year? We hear a lot about AIDS in Africa, but the number one killer of children in much of Africa is malaria–and guess who was responsible for banning the pesticide that used to have malaria under control? Iain Murray, a sprightly conservative environmental analyst with a long record of skewering liberal hypocrisy, has dug up seven of the all-time great environmental catastrophes caused by the Left and exposed them in The Really Inconvenient Truths. Murray lays bare:

* How ethanol, the liberals’ favorite fuel, is destroying the world’s rainforests–and could cause global food shortages
* How Al Gore’s hero Rachel Carson cost the lives of millions of Africans through her efforts to ban DDT
* How the environmentalists have covered up the polluting effects of contraceptive and chemical abortion drugs
* How the Endangered Species Act actually endangers species
* How Gore’s vision of greater state control over the economy has already produced some of the greatest environmental disasters in history

All of us want a planet with clean air and clean water, vibrant forests, healthy animal populations, and glorious open space. But liberal environmentalists aren’t the ones to deliver it. In fact, they’ve made the planet worse, while old-fashioned property rights, unpopular hunters, and the innovative engine of capitalism have made it better. The facts are all here, in a book that Al Gore would rather burn than read.

So (blinding flash of religious insight) Barack Obama must be wonderful, and Sarah Palin is really, really bad.

Just overlook the fact that Bill Clinton was also a governor. Because he was like, you know, cool and stuff. And so supportive of women. Lots of them.

But just ask yourself: ‘Who of Obama or Pailn is more likely to ask himself (there’s a hint right there) “What is truth?” and then to wash his hands of it?’

I think when it comes to washing your hands because of condemning innocent blood surely this is the modern Democratic party. When it comes to abortion, cloning, ESCR, Euthanasia, and even some cases infanticide then surely you hear the sounds of washing hands from the likes of Obama and company. State Senator Obama determined that it was more politically expedient to let children die that were born alive after a failed abortion to protect abortion. Pilate would have understood Obama’s politically expediency since he did the same thing.

Historian and former teacher Frederick Toben has been found guilty of contempt of court because he continued to publish material claiming the Holocaust never happened, and that some people (notably some Jews) were making money out of keeping the story going.

Holocaust denial is stupid, and probably motivated by racism.

But fining people or putting them in jail for disagreeing doesn’t make sense. It makes the deniers look like victims of bullying. Even worse, it makes people wonder why free speech on this subject is not permitted, and then begin to wonder whether someone is hiding something that someone doesn’t want anyone to know.

You may remember this story: Fiji’s military strongman, Frank Bainimarama, has clamped down on radio and internet access in the troubled Pacific country, declaring free speech causes too much trouble.

He’s right. Free speech does cause trouble, because it means people can say things that are untrue, inconvenient, even harmful.

Look at Minister for Hot Air Penny Wong, for example.

She is free to say, despite the evidence of scientists like Professor Bob Carter, and the cautionary remarks of Labor’s hand picked guru Ross Garnaut, that the government is going to do as it jolly well pleases, and spend billions of dollars fixing a problem that doesn’t exist, seriously damaging our resource and energy industries, and further wrecking our economy in the process.

That is going to cause vastly more damage than some silly old goat saying the Holocaust didn’t happen.