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.’
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.’
This was recorded ten years ago for a CD produced for a local charity. There’s no video, but her clarity, expression and accuracy of pitch make this something I will listen to over and over again.
In other Susan Boyle news, Elaine Paige, whom Susan said was her model, has offered to sing and record a duet with her.
According to Elaine, Susan is ‘a role model for everyone who has a dream.’
Very cool indeed.
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.
It is not clear yet whether Swiss Red Cross worker Andreas Notter was released, or left behind after police chased a group of terrorists who tried to break through the cordon surrounding their camp. The military has been drawing closer over the last few days after months long talks failed to produce any results.
One more (Eugenio Vagni) of that group to go. Still another twenty or so being held elsewhere in the Southern Philippines.
We’re like, you know, really busy and that. Really. And really, it just looks like we lost more than twice as many as in 2006 because we’re, you know, taking the time to report these things. And getting better at reporting and that. But really we didn’t. Really.
I’m sure nursing staff having time to improve their incident reporting skills is a great consolation to parents who are given the wrong baby.
Perhaps if you are planning on having a baby in a Queensland hospital you should take your own luggage labels, or laundry marker, or tattooist.
Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a hoot. Or whatever it was.
Ashton Kutcher of ‘That 70s Show,’ husband of Demi Moore, has beaten CNN to be the first Twitter ‘microblogger’ to reach 1 million followers.
For all that I prefer real blogging to that other kind, it is still a pretty remarkable achievement for one person against the massive publicity power CNN can muster.
But the reason I am mentioning this at all is that when he hit 1 million followers Kutcher gave $100,000 to Malaria No More. This will buy 10,000 mosquito nets.
A child dies from Malaria every thirty seconds, so this is a big deal.
According to the Man Booker Prize website, ‘The Man Booker International Prize recognises one writer for their achievement in fiction.’ Arrgh!
Bizarre that such a horrible gramatical blunder should be sticking out on the front page of a website for a prize dedicated to quality in writing.
One writer cannot be ‘their’. ‘Their’ is plural.
It is an increasingly common error. I suspect because people want to avoid appearing to be sexist, as they would if they wrote ‘one writer for his achievement.’ And quite right – there are as many brilliant female writers as male.
So write ‘for his or her.’ It’s not rocket science.
I saw something similar recently in a newsletter from an expensive Queensland private boys’ school. ‘Your son must wear their hat…’ Not even the wanting to avoid sexism excuse applied in that case. A son could not be ‘her’ by definition. ‘Your son must wear his hat…’ could not have offended anyone.
The only other two time winner is also a Australian – J.M. Coetzee, who was born in South Africa but lives in Adelaide.
Carey is the bookies’ favourite this year. If chosen, he will be the first three-time winner. On ya mate!
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
Carbon dioxide is not poisonous, and it is not a pollutant. It is as necessary to plant life as oxygen is for us, and vital for all life on the planet.
Contrary to some advertising claims, the trees will not thank you for reducing CO2 output, any more than we would be thankful for reduced levels of oxygen.
When most modern trees and flowering plants evolved, levels of CO2 were as much as ten times higher than they are now. Most plants now struggle in what from their point of view is a seriously CO2 depleted atmosphere.
Lower carbon dioxide in the atmosphere means less green, not more. More CO2 means more green, more forests, more productive crops.
We are warned that increasing levels of CO2 will turn the seas acid and destroy coral reefs. Coral reefs evolved and thrived during the Mesozoic Period, when atmospheric CO2 levels stayed above 1,000 parts per million for 150 million years and exceeded 2,000 parts per million for several million years, compared with 380 ppm now.
There is no evidence of any correlation between changing CO2 rates and changing temperatures in the 20th Century. And historical records show changes in CO2 concentration follow changes in temperature, not the reverse.
For more detail, with graphs and pretty pictures, read my Introduction to Global Warming Science.
And more science, less politics, please, you EPA guys.
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.
A couple of posts with an entertainment theme today, so I thought I might as well include this trailer for the new Harry Potter movie – Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.
David Yates, who directed Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – easily the best of the series so far, and better than the book, which was filled with page after page of tedious teenage angst – also directed Half Blood Prince. So it should be good.
Due to open in the US on July 15th. And no doubt available on the internet shortly after. Or even before.
Sorry, that was just too hard to resist.
Warner Bros will start filming the Green Lantern in Sydney in November. It wasn’t one of my favourite comics – I loved Iron Man (and enjoyed the film version with Robert Downey Jnr, too) and Dr Strange. But Green Lantern was still pretty cool. His abilities come from a ring of power given to him by Ganthet, last Guardian of the Universe (in the current incarnation anyway – earlier versions had him being given the ring by a dying alien called Abin Sur).
But his real power comes from within – the power of an unbreakable will informed by reason and moral sense.
In brightest day, in blackest night,
No evil shall escape my sight.
Let those who worship evil’s might,
Beware my power… Green Lantern’s light!
If you like the idea of becoming a hero or building an empire while interacting with people around the world, but want to play for free, these two games might be for you.
Travian – start as the chief of a small village and end up building a wonder of the world.
Or start as a raider and become a civilisation builder with Civony.
Development and server time is funded by in-game gold purchases, but you can manage perfectly well without buying gold.
Both games have had good reviews. Enjoy!
As for me and my house, we will stick with World of Warcraft!
Update. I forgot about Last Chaos, which is probably the biggest of the free MMORPGs (massivley multi-player online role-playing games). Again, I haven’t played it, but it looks great.