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Man Falls Out Of Boat Swatting Shark

This wouldn’t be funny if the guy had been hurt. But he wasn’t, so it is:

When a shark began to chew on the boat’s outboard motor, the man tried to fend it off with an oar. The man dropped the oar into the water and then fell in while trying to retrieve it.

“So he’s now in the water, his boat’s in gear and it’s heading off.”

Fortunately the shark, a Great White, merely circled the man a couple of times before heading off itself.

An entirely unrelated and probably photoshopped image of a Great White Shark and some divers somewhere in Australia: 

Great White Shark and Divers
Great White Shark and Divers

Australian Swine Flu Victim Fine

She caught it overseas, didn’t know she had it, and was better by the time she got back to Australia.

Of course the headline is ‘Health Chief Warns of More Swine Flu’

A six year old girl was listed as a ‘suspected case,’ the Herald Sun article tells us, to squeeze out the maximum scariness, just before admitting that in fact the girl doesn’t have anything at all.

Sorry guys, we’re not buying it any more. Time to go back to global warming.

Update.

Andrew Bolt points out that three times as many people (183) have died in the last six months in the Australian state of Victoria from medical blunders, than have died from Swine Flu in total, everywhere in the world.

Stimulus Plans As A Proportion Of GDP

This graphic from GlobeandMail shows the amount of  ‘stimulus’ spending in selected G20 countries in dollars and as a proportion of GDP. I have linked to GlobeandMail, but article content is subscription or pay per view.

Stimulus Spending as a Proportion of GDP
Stimulus Spending as a Proportion of GDP

Australia’s spending is proportionally higher than the US (though not by much), which means the amount of debt incurred for each citizen is higher. Which you would expect to mean a longer recovery.

But in spite of this absurd level of ‘stimulus’ spending, and directionless economic policy by the current Federal government, Australasian Investment Review believes that Australia is better equipped to cope with the global recession than most other advanced nations.

Surely the previous government’s careful economic management and years of surplus budgets wouldn’t have anything to do with that?

Chuck Norris Bites The Frost

And I bet he bites global warming as well. And communism. And terrorists.

Check out these Chuck Norris facts:

There is no ‘ctrl’ button on Chuck Norris’s computer. Chuck Norris is always in control.
Chuck Norris is the reason why Waldo is hiding.
Chuck Norris is so fast, he can run around the world and punch himself in the back of the head.
Chuck Norris can slam a revolving door.

But as well as being the ultra toughest guy in the universe ever, Chuck Norris also has a regular column at Town Hall. And guess what? He can write as well as he can punch stuff.

On Foreign Aid

Know-it-all Sir Bob Geldof is the former front man of the Boomtown Rats, a one hit wonder band from the seventies, and therefore qualifies (in his eyes) as an expert on foreign policy and development. Well, Leonardo De Crapio thinks he’s an expert on the science of global warming, so why not?

Two years ago Sir Bob called Australia ‘one of the meanest countries on the planet’ saying our level of foreign aid was amongst the lowest in the world, as a proportion of GDP.

That would be a moral issue worthy of consideration if there was any evidence that foreign aid, other than emergency aid, did the slightest bit of genuine good. If it could be shown, say, that countries which received development aid actually developed more than those that didn’t.

But as Fredrik Erixon, chief economist with Timbro, a Swedish think tank and book publisher, has shown, development aid to developing nations does not work. The more aid a country receives, the more likely it is to be locked into a cycle of increasing poverty. The graph below (taken from the BBC article linked above) shows that when aid received is high, economic growth is at its lowest. 

Aid to Africa and Growth Inversely Proportional
Aid to Africa and Growth Inversely Proportional

Kenyan economist James Shikawati explains why this is so in an interview with Der Spiegel. In essence, providing free food and clothes undermines any local industry, and encourages corruption and a passive expectation of rescue, which then leads to increasing resentment.

SPEIGEL: The industrialized nations of the West want to eliminate hunger and poverty.

Shikwati: Such intentions have been damaging our continent for the past 40 years. If the industrial nations really want to help the Africans, they should finally terminate this awful aid. The countries that have collected the most development aid are also the ones that are in the worst shape. Despite the billions that have poured in to Africa, the continent remains poor.

SPIEGEL: Do you have an explanation for this paradox?

Shikwati: Huge bureaucracies are financed (with the aid money), corruption and complacency are promoted, Africans are taught to be beggars and not to be independent. In addition, development aid weakens the local markets everywhere and dampens the spirit of entrepreneurship that we so desperately need. As absurd as it may sound: Development aid is one of the reasons for Africa’s problems. If the West were to cancel these payments, normal Africans wouldn’t even notice. Only the functionaries would be hard hit. Which is why they maintain that the world would stop turning without this development aid.

What works to bring nations out of poverty, as South Korea and Taiwan have demonstrated, is open trade, democratic government, and reward for effort and invention.

For related insights see Hal G.P. Colebatch’s article ‘Giving It Away’ in this month’s Quadrant magazine.

Experts: We Have No Idea If This Could Happen

And it has never happened before. But hey, you know, anything’s possible. So just be scared, OK?

A ‘top flu expert’ is warning of the dangers of a mutant swine/bird flu – one that is as infectious as swine flu (that is, about as infectious as any other flu) and as deadly as bird flu.

Bird flu is pretty deadly – mortality rates of up to 60% in the elderly or those in poor health. But only those already in poor health or with compromised immune systems seem susceptible. And there has never been a recorded case of human to human transmission of bird flu.

But who knows, swine flu and bird flu could get together and end up being a super flu with the worst characteristics of both. It is possible. Just. Viruses change and develop all the time.

But is it so likely that we should be worried about it and spend lots of money on it?  Definitely not. Especially not when the death toll from TB and Malaria are so high, and we could quite easily do something about those right now.

After all, leprosy and TB could get together, or bubonic plague and tooth decay. But we aren’t panicking about them. Yet.

I’ve Just Been Stimulated

By Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

My wife was stimulated at the same time.

Then we got a letter from the Tax Office telling us we had been stimulated, just in case we hadn’t noticed.

Most Australians will get a one-off stimulus ‘tax bonus’ of $900 from the Federal government.

I just don’t get it. How is it stimulating the economy to take money away from people who are earning it, working for it, producing something to get it, and handing it out willy-nilly to everyone?

It’s not free money, Mr Rudd.

I have been offering a stimulus special – a decent computer package for $900, with a tie-in to the education tax refund.

It has been going pretty well. But not as well, I suspect, as the ‘Let Us Stimulate You’ deal offered by the After Dark brothel in Sydney.

If experience is anything to go by, it will be liquor stores, brothels and gambling houses that benefit most.

But even if it wasn’t, you cannot spend your way out of debt. You don’t create jobs and increase production by taking extra money from productive people to give to people who are not. And you certainly don’t create any incentive to work, or to be responsible.

Heaven And Earth

Ordered and on the way:

I read Ian Plimer’s Telling Lies for God: Reason vs Creationism some years ago. I found his writing style difficult, but the content was superb – clear and well-organised.

Plimer explained very clearly why creationism is a betrayal of science. In ‘Heaven and Earth’ he does the same thing for global warming alarmism.

‘Heaven and Earth’ has already sold some 25,000 copies, making it (for a book published in Australia) a three times over best-seller.

Even MSN Says Swine Flu Warnings Overdone

A longish article with lots of quotes from poeple saying the Swine Flu alarms were a perfect example of authorities crying wolf.

Many blame such alarms and the breathless media coverage for creating an overreaction that disrupted many people’s lives.

Coming from the breathless to the point of asphyxiation MSNBC that’s…   interesting.

The so-far mild swine flu outbreak has many people saying all the talk about a devastating global epidemic was just fearmongering hype. But that’s not how public health officials see it, calling complacency the thing that keeps them up at night.

Yes but when you are constantly screeching about dangers that don’t materialise, why would you expect people to be anything other than complacent?

What Not To Do In A Horror Movie

Via the Drunk Report.

The top 13 stupidest decisions ever made in the history of horror films.

And some general thoughts on staying alive if you find yourself in a horror film.

5. Don’t read from any books covered in human skin, or which have lain undisturbed under the egyptian sands for the last 3,000 years.

4. Don’t try to bring pets or girlfriends back from the dead. And on a related note, if your friends start growing tentacles, frothing at the mouth or swearing in Latin, leave the room.

3. Don’t go searching in wells, basements, attics, or deserted villages. If you must do so, turn on the lights.

2. Do not open gateways to hell.

1. Never have sex.

Rage And Fear In Northern Pakistan

Some of the stories coming out of the Taliban occupied parts of Nothern Pakistan are shocking:

When Taliban fighters first entered Karim’s village last month, he recounted, they said they had come to bring peace and Islamic law, or sharia, to Swat. But the next day, two of the fighters dragged a policeman out of his truck and tried to slit his throat. Horrified, a crowd rushed over, shouting and trying to shield the officer. The fighters let him go, but the incident confirmed the villagers’ worst suspicions.

“We all said to each other, what sort of people have come here? And what kind of sharia is this? Cutting off people’s heads has nothing to do with Islam,” recounted Karim, 55, a bus driver. “The people were filled with great rage, and great fear.”

As the refugees begin streaming out of Swat and the neighboring Buner district in northwest Pakistan, they carry with them memories of the indignities and horrors inflicted by occupying Taliban forces — locking women inside their homes, setting donkeys on fire — as they tried to force residents to accept a radical version of Islam.

Lectures from the West about the dangers of islamic extremism, and the horrors the Taliban were likely to inflict, had not been believed, and were only causing further resentment of the US and its allies. Orders to the government of Pakistan were even worse.

Tragic as it has been, the people of Pakistan needed to see for themselves just how vile and violent the Taliban are.

Resistance to incursions by islamic extremists will only be successful if it comes from, or is at least supported by, local people. That resistance is off to a powerful start.

If powers outside Pakistan attempt to force the Taliban out, the result will be chaos – and deeper anger and mistrust towards the West.

A Few Tips To Make Your Computer Start More Quickly

From the MSN Tech site.

Basically it comes down to clearing out the accumulated rubbish – unneccessary programmes and services that run automatically at start-up.

I would add deleting any fonts you don’t use, and defragmenting your hard disk every month or so.

Depending on your current configuration, adding more memory can also make a big difference – up to 1GB for XP Home, 2GB for XP Pro, and 4GB for Vista.

This Is Kind Of Fun

If you don’t know whether you are a Mennonite, a Muslim or a Mormon, this quiz will help you work out where you belong.

I found a few of the questions had no right answer, so a couple of times I had to pick the least wrong answer.

My results were:

1.  Eastern Orthodox (100%) 
2.  Roman Catholic (100%) 
3.  Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (94%) 
4.  Seventh Day Adventist (88%) 
5.  Orthodox Quaker (79%) 

There was no listing for disgruntled Anglican.