Friday, September 01, 2006

Afghan Cultural Contribution to Australia. Freya Day's Rant

Alice Mayor
Originally uploaded by Sydney Weasel.
The Afghan Ambassador (left) meets the mayor of Alice Springs, Fran Kilgariff, and Eric Sultan, a descendant of Australia’s Afghan camel drivers.

While philosophically, there is no such thing as a multiculture, one is either of one culture or another, there is a blending of cultures, where a child is from neither parent's culture and isn't local either.

What few people in this argument get is that the individual does not matter, even though it is a longstanding fad to pretend they do. An individual is not representative of culture, but a part of it. Those that feel that there needs to be assimilation feel cheered by the rise of Islamo-Fascism, but they are really just using another excuse. Pauline wasn't wrong because she was stupid, because if she had been smart, she'd still be wrong. Australia is the great nation it is because we don't fit in. Because we can be loyal to those who aren't carbon copies, but who share commonalities not always present overseas. Australia is not the mother or father, but the sons and daughters. That is where this great photo fits into the Australian legend. It isn't about Afghan culture, but Australia, and Afghan contributions to Australia, for which the world is a better place.


Weasel said... in Turkey over new school books:

Some publishers had inserted Islamist ideology into the translations, making alterations in such classics as Hugo’s “Les Miserables,” Spyri’s “Heidi” and Collodi’s “Pinocchio.”...

In one translation, Geppetto’s little son Pinocchio says “Give me some bread for the sake of Allah,” and gives thanks to “Allah” when he becomes an animated marionette.

In Dumas’ “Three Musketeers,” D’Artagnan while on his way to see Aramis is stopped by an old woman who explains: “You can’t see him right now. He is surrounded by men of religion. He converted to Islam after his illness.”

Eleanor H. Porter’s “Pollyanna” confirms her belief in the Muslim apocalypse, while La Fontaine’s fisherman prays using Muslim terminology to catch more fish.

Spyri’s Swiss orphan Heidi is told by Ms. Sesasman that “praying is relaxing.”

The great classics may have been flawed, but they are not improved by this. Aramis, who later becomes Cardinal, is not more modern for his conversion.

The original works (appropriately translated) provide great insight into times past. The changes provide great insight into sick and deluded minds.

Weasel said...

John Howard again outrages Muslim leaders by “marginalising” Muslims and speaking against “Islam and Muslims”:

Mr Howard said: “There is a section, a small section of the Islamic population, and I say a small section ... which is very resistant to integration.

“Fully integrating means accepting Australian values, it means learning as rapidly as you can the English language if you don’t already speak it,” the Prime Minister said during a radio talkback discussion.

“And it means understanding that in certain areas, such as the equality of men and women ... people who come from societies where women are treated in an inferior fashion have got to learn very quickly that that is not the case in Australia.”

Those, er, inflammatory words led to the sadly typical reaction from a member of the Prime Minister’s Muslim advisory group, which - and this may be a clue - includes a Mufti, for instance, who needs an interpreter to speak to Howard despite living in this country for three decades:

The comments prompted a fierce reaction from young female Islamic leader Iktimal Hage-Ali, a member of the Prime Minister’s advisory group. She accused Mr Howard of threatening to further marginalise Muslims. ..

“There’s a whole lot of other ethnic communities whose parents, whose grandparents don’t speak the English language… Yet as soon as it’s a person of Arab descent or a Muslim person ... politicians feel like they need to bring it to mainstream attention as the only group, like marginalising us even more then we already feel marginalised today.”

So the Prime Minister is just picking on Muslims again by speaking what Muslim “leaders” say is the .... truth?

According to a draft of the final report of the Prime Minister’s Muslim Reference Group - to be handed to Parliamentary Secretary for Multicultural Affairs Andrew Robb later this month - among the problems identified by the community are isolation and radicalisation of converts and the treatment of women and young people.

Other examples of truth-speaking damned in this report by these “leaders” include:

While the yet-to-be-released report does not identify the Government figures, The Australian has obtained a letter the reference group wanted to release in March attacking a speech by Peter Costello, in which he said many Australian Muslims had divided loyalties…

They were also upset that Mr Howard singled out Muslims when he told The Australian in February: “You can’t find any equivalent in Italian, or Greek, or Lebanese (Christian), or Chinese or Baltic immigration to Australia. There is no equivalent of raving on about jihad, but that is the major problem.”

These “leaders” do acknowledge:

In a section titled “Addressing isolation and marginalisation”, the group says society must be more inclusive to keep young Muslims away from radicalism.

But one way of becoming more included is to include yourself, isn’t it?

What those yokels on that committee have not yet comprehended is that they, and their bretheren have a responsibility to each other. For a long time, there has been trading down so as to maximise welfare. Welfare is not the sole benefit of the West. The western world allows people who are competent to be rich. Welfare and compoetence don't mix.

Weasel said...

The things this green government will do to avoid even talking about a new dam:

MELBURNIANS could face additional water restrictions — including a complete ban on watering their lawns — in coming months after one of the driest winters in years.

The nature you see and love most - your garden - must die for the sake of a nature somewhere out bush that green preachers can only imagine.

UPDATE. The Age editorial admits the need for more water is becoming desperate but dismisses a new dam in a single line that includes an uncosted, untested assertion and a green absurdity:

A dam involves huge financial and environmental costs, as the Government says, and “doesn’t provide any new water”.

UPDATE 2. Tell that to the desperate of Bendigo:

BENDIGO will be hit with the state’s harshest water restrictions today as anger grows in the parched city that there are no answers on the horizon.

The stage four ban means no outside watering of any kind for the town of 71,000.
About 500 angry residents attended an emergency meeting yesterday in search of answers.

Water is not the only infrastructure to be run down by the states. Health, transport, education, policing and budgets have all been shrunk to support the parasites. However, water is also important.

Australians need to be prepared to pay more for their water. If ALP stay in government, it will be a lot more.

Weasel said...

Tony Parkinson, media advisor to Foreign Minister Alexander Downer, neatly skewers the holey ambulance hoax in a letter to The Australian, which unfortunatey defends it. Parkinson plays unfair, though, becauase he’s actually seen how vehicles look after being hit by missiles:

I’m sure I’m not the only reader of The Australian to have been mystified once confronted by the photographic evidence of these attacks: a single hole in a roof; the vehicle otherwise intact, and little sign in the vehicle’s interior of explosion or fire.

As a former war correspondent with The Australian, I witnessed the scenes of devastation on the so-called Highway to Hell outside Kuwait City during Operation Desert Storm in 1991. Hundreds of molten wreckages littering that battlefield had been struck by missiles fired by US Apache helicopters. If, indeed, this ambulance in Lebanon had taken a direct hit from an Apache assault helicopter, the outcome was like no other I had seen.

Reports of this attack have since become the subject of controversy. Yesterday, in The Australian, Chulov rejected criticism by the Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer, of international media reporting of this incident, and said I was wrong to have suggested the evidence does not sustain the argument the ambulance was struck by a missile ("Downer’s unfounded faith in the internet”, Media).

Chulov had gone back to his sources, notably Qassem (sic) Shalin. This time, he reported the ambulance driver as saying he was closing the vehicle’s rear ramp when it was hit, and was not in the driver’s canopy as reported on July 26. Presumably, to be closing the ramp of the ambulance required that the vehicle be stationary, and had not “veered off the road” as reported on July 26. This time, readers were told, the “munitions” had been fired by an Israeli drone, not an Apache helicopter as reported on July 26.

I have no quarrel with Chulov wishing to stand by his story. I simply make the point that it has become a different story to that he reported on July 26.

I’ve noticed some odd things about The Australian‘s defences mysef.

The Age isn’t quite so gung-ho as The Australian in defending the hoax, but still won’t come clean with its readers:

Despite being scolded by the International Committee of the Red Cross for relying on a right-wing Florida-based website,, to discredit the incident, Mr Downer yesterday said he continued to harbour doubts about the event. “I am convinced that some of the stories were inaccurate,” he said.

His initial scepticism was inspired by looking at television footage and photographs, with his first reaction being that “the ambulance would have been pulverised if it had been hit by a missile”.

Memo to The Age: Why not show your readers the pictures Downer refers to that show clearly this was a hoax? Don’t they deserve to see the truth for themselves? Or can’t they be trusted with the facts - at least when those facts contradict one of your favorite stories?

It doesn't surprise me that Islamo-Fascists claim they aren't. It also doesn't surprise me that IF lie and think they are clever that people beleive them. It doesn't surprise me that Western media believe them. It doesn't surprise me that Downer is attacked for speaking the truth. Lefties are so boring.

Weasel said...

Death of a President will soon screen before the salivating audiences at the Toronto Film Festival:

This is the dramatic moment when President George Bush is gunned down by a sniper after a public address at a hotel, in a gripping new docudrama soon to be aired on TV…

The 90 minutes feature explores who could have planned the murder, with a Syrian-born man wrongly put in the frame

I recall Saddam had similar films made after Gulf war 1. The people that oppose Bush now are the same who supported Hussein then. If it weren't for Bush, it would be decent people being murdered in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.

Weasel said...

Not a single state school is as stupid as the then Education Minister, her Labor colleagues and her advisors:

NO Victorian secondary school has installed a condom vending machine, despite being given the green light by the Bracks Government seven years ago.

Kids don't have time to engage in sex at school, do they?

Weasel said...

THE green zealots in the Bracks Government not only don’t care about gardens, they don’t know how to water them.

Proof? Its new restrictions on your garden’s watering system will most likely waste water, not save it.

(Click on title for full article.)

As of today, with Melbourne fast running out of water, gardeners using automatic sprinklers may water only on every second day. Even days for even-numbered houses, odd days for odd. Or—bang—a fine.

But as any good gardener could tell you, few gardens need that much water.

My own sprinkling system, for instance, is set to water just twice a week. Others will have theirs set for just once, believing one good soak a week is enough and encourages plants to grow deeper roots.

But here is the problem. Look at the average sprinkling system and you’ll find that if you set it to water, say, every Thursday and Sunday, you will break the law every second week. If Thursday is an even day this week, it will be an odd next.

So to use an automatic sprinkler legally under these restrictions you must either adjust it every week or—hang it—just set it to water every second day.

I’d bet a lot of gardeners with big gardens or little time will choose the lazier option, which means they will water one or two more times a week than they did before these restrictions.

If the Government actually had people in it who loved gardens as much as they worship forests, it might have known that. But isn’t it a fact that those who most worship in the green church are also those most likely to live in suburbs with small gardens?

I’ve checked my logic with Alan Hollensen, acting boss of the Nursery and Garden Industry of Victoria, and he says many gardeners have told him of just this problem with automatic sprinklers.

“We are not convinced that the restrictions on watering gardens will lead to the sort of savings the Government is looking for”, he says very politely.

In fact, “most gardeners are probably watering pretty sensibly anyway.” There’s not much more to squeeze from them, Hollensen says.

Correction, Alan. There is plenty left to squeeze from you if the Government is as dismissive of human-made gardens as it often seems.

Do the sums. Melbourne has already cut its water use by 22 per cent over the past decade. But the city keeps growing and our dams keep emptying. With a million more thirsty Melburnians expected in the city within the next 25 years, where is the water to come from?

At some stage, cutting water use even more isn’t the answer—not unless all Melbourne is covered in as much concrete as is Conservation Minister John Thwaites’ home suburb of Albert Park. So what is this Government doing to find the water the city will need?

Find water? It’s instead pouring more into the sea. One river after the other has more dam water flushed down them for their “health”. But if it’s health we want, why not divert the water to the nature most likely to make us happier?

I’m talking of our own gardens at home, of course, and not the trees of some forest rarely seen.

Does the Government understand the quiet virtues of the suburban garden? I fear not because no lover of gardens would impose watering restrictions that urge us to actually drown them instead.

We can water our gardens with the blood of the greens ..

Weasel said...

Not a dollar of your money went into making Kenny, the latest Australian movie, and it shows.
Consider: Kenny Smyth, the hero of this mockumentary, fast becoming a word-of-mouth hit, is just a Melbourne bloke who delivers portable toilets.

He’s nothing flash, then. No one you’d really notice.

But as the film’s opening credits declare: “None are less visible than those we choose not to see.”

And what those on our cultural heights too often choose not to see in the valleys beneath them are not just the Kennys, but the great virtues of so many of these invisible Australians.

Kenny, you see, is loyal, hardworking, honest, compassionate, direct and bloody funny. Cleaning poo tankers, he observes: “There’s a smell in here that will outlast religion.”

(Click on title for full article.)

Not a dollar of your money went into making Kenny, the latest Australian movie, and it shows.
Consider: Kenny Smyth, the hero of this mockumentary, fast becoming a word-of-mouth hit, is just a Melbourne bloke who delivers portable toilets.

He’s nothing flash, then. No one you’d really notice.

But as the film’s opening credits declare: “None are less visible than those we choose not to see.”

And what those on our cultural heights too often choose not to see in the valleys beneath them are not just the Kennys, but the great virtues of so many of these invisible Australians.

Kenny, you see, is loyal, hardworking, honest, compassionate, direct and bloody funny. Cleaning poo tankers, he observes: “There’s a smell in here that will outlast religion.”

Like many Australians, he’s fair and no racist, as we see when he hits a country-and-western bar with his new mate, the Sushi Cowboy.

Nor is he some flag-wearing Cronulla nationalist. He laughs that, as a boy, he thought the lyrics of the national anthem were great:

“Australians let us all ring Joyce, for she is young and freeee . . .”

And he has absolutely no tickets on himself.

“It takes a certain kind of person to do what I do,” he says in this mockumentary as he drives a sewage truck.

“No one’s ever impressed, no one’s ever fascinated.

“If you’re a fireman, all the kids will want to jump on the back of the truck and follow you to a fire. There’s going to be no kids wanting to do that with me.

“So I don’t do it to impress people—it’s my job, it’s my trade, and I actually think I’m pretty good at it.”

Kenny, in fact, is rather like many Australians I’ve grown up with and met, and I like him and the country that produces such people a lot.

So, it seems, do the audiences. Without much fuss, this comedy has taken $1 million in its first fortnight, and earned more in the second week than it did the first.

And when that happens—with other Australian films so grim and dour you might as well try selling tickets to a leper show—there might be a lesson in it.

This is what you get, I guess, when you make a film financed almost entirely by $500,000 chucked in by Glen Preusker, the boss of Splashdown, a local company that hires out portaloos. “Poo money,” Preusker calls it.

I don’t just mean that you get this subject matter, and a string of fine poo jokes.

What you also tend to get when you use real people’s money is a film that tries harder to appeal to the ticket-buying public, rather than to some arts commissar, who signs off on one of the Government’s $60 million worth of easy-money grants.

Is it just a coincidence that of the seven biggest-grossing Australian films just one—Strictly Ballroom -- was made with a grant?

Is it just a coincidence that all the others—the first two Crocodile Dundee films, Babe, Moulin Rouge, The Dish and The Man from Snowy River -- seem on the whole more inclined to see us for what we are at our best?

Maybe that’s in part because when you know you have to sell tickets or go bust, you must try harder to understand the Australians you seek to entertain. And to know us, is to . . . well, it’s sure not to see us as racists or the incurious hedonists of the “aspirational classes” who ruined playwright David Williamson’s last cruise.

Mind you, I doubt director Clayton Jacobson and his brother, Shane, who helped him write the script and played Kenny, needed a push in that direction.

Not given that little motto in the credits.

And not given the history of their family, either.

“Kenny is a tip to our family heritage,” Clayton Jacobson has said. His father—who plays Kenny’s walnut-hearted dad—came from a big family that travelled the country with a carnival.

“Sadly, my grandfather died of a heart attack in front of my father when he was only eight. The carnival was sold and my father, along with his mother, sister and four brothers, lived in a small carnival tent until dad was 23.”

The petty snobberies, some in Melbourne’s west, inflicted on the family in the tent are still in the Jacobsons’ collective memory, and the film settles scores—but not in anger. Jacobson knows Australians well enough to have faith that we will always side with Kenny against those lesser souls who presume to lord it over the portaloo man.

You might think this is all unremarkable. Haven’t other films celebrated the easy-going Australian anti-hero?

You’d be thinking of those Crocodile Dundee films, perhaps, and of The Castle.

But Kenny is real in a way the Croc’s Mick Dundee is not. And he is never patronised in a way The Castle’s Darryl Kerrigan is.

How real is Kenny, and how much respect do the Jacobson brothers pay him?

At a screening for cast and crew, the brothers asked some people in the third row to take a bow. They were workers from Splashdown, who the next day would be back up to their necks in the poop. So to speak.

Preusker hopes his cash helped to make a movie that will do such people honour.

“I hope the guys who do these tough sort of jobs, and someone’s got to to do it, will actually be thought of in higher esteem,” he has said.

Perhaps we all will. After all, we deserve it.

I generally don't watch Australian films, not liking the politics of outspoken actors. Still, you have sold this to me.

Weasel said...

What on earth is the Jewish Holocaust Centre doing in helping to make this link - offensive both to truth and to the victims of the Holocaust:

Jewish Concentration Camp Survivors

Invite you
the Indigenous People of Victoria

to attend a forum to

Discuss how Jews and Indigenous People Survive Genocide

And how Jews and Indigenous peoples of Australia share common issues:

· Having being made non-citizens in the own land
· Displacement and the
· Effects of trauma over generations..

Presented by The Jewish Holocaust Centre and RMIT University .

I can understand RMIT being involved in something like this, with its reputation for promoting false history, militancy and the extreme grievance industry. But the Holocaust Centre?

Unlike the bland left, Jews come in all types. Some are also lefty.

Leftys have a way of infiltrating organisations, and, like pirate traders, trashing anything not in their narrow band of currency.

It comes as no surprise to me.

Weasel said...

Jordanian Prince Hassan Bin Talal tells Arab leaders at a conference in Kyoto to get real:

“The Arab leaders stole billions of dollars from the Arab people and spent it on weapons to fight Israel, which they will never defeat, instead of using the money for health and education purposes to aid their people,” he stated.

Speaking at the world conference of the interfaith group “Religions for Peace”, Prince Hassan also attacked the Iranian nuclear development program. Hassan spoke against nuclear armament, especially on Iran’s part, and said that it needs to be made sure that the nuclear project in Iran does not reach the stage of nuclear weapons.

I look forward thirty years when the middle east is unimportant to the world and China and india have carved up Europe.

Weasel said...

A military source I know, who cannot be identified, has checked to see if Israel has any missile that would pop a neat hole in the roof of an ambulance and explode, causing no scorch marks, no shrapnel damage and no fatalities to the people inside.

He checked his findings with army experts and writes (and apologies that the links did not get through) :

There is no weapon that would deliver terminal effects consistent with the pictures, the alleged story and the reputed damage done to ambulance and people.

Here are some hard facts easily locatable on the internet via which is an invaluable open source free intelligence site.

The Israeli Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV or “drone") index is here. As you can see Israel fields 10 UAV types. Of the ones with technical specifications only the Harpy deploys a weapon payload. However as it is designed to support suppression of enemy air defence it would deploy a radar seeking missile capable of destroying a hardened air defence radar station. Clearly a Harpy wasn’t deployed.

A weapon deploying UAV would be one of the remaining three without technical specifications. Let’s assume it is similar to the US Predator an armed UAV. Here are its specifications and some photos. As you can see from the front page it deploys a Hellfire missile. Here are the hellfire missile specs and some photos. The missile itself is 64 inches or about 1.5m long, weighs around 100lb and has an explosive payload of around 35 lbs.

Clearly something like that slamming through a vehicle is going to destroy it even if it doesn’t go off, after all the missile is designed to kill a 70 tonne tank, so a half ton unarmoured ambulance doesn’t stand a chance.

Now if it didn’t explode there is a 1.5m long 35lb undetonated warhead stuck in the road somewhere near Qana. No doubt Martin Chulov can go and get a photo of it. Of course it is possible that Israel has no anti armoured missile armed UAV as well. I would love to know what Tony Jones’ source is for the Israelis using such a weapon system so that the data can be checked thoroughly.

Israel has two air to surface missiles. The hellfire is not listed so I assume the NT family is the Israeli equivalent. The Gabriel is an anti shipping missile and the NT family are anti armoured missiles. Unfortunately it has no real detailed specs listed and one non photographic image. You can see from its range of over 4km (from link page) that it needs to carry fuel and have a large propulsion and guidance unit, so it is probably smaller than the hellfire (less range) but the deliver system is likely to be at least 1m long.

Once again as it is designed to destroy tanks it would have a significant warhead that would obliterate a lite van ambulance. If it didn’t detonate it would go right through the floor and would be stuck in the road somewhere posing a significant danger to people in the area. Perhaps Martin Chulov could confirm with the UN Mine Action Centre in UNIFIL if they have any reports of unexploded missiles stuck in the road near Qana. Because if any of these weapons went off the vehicle would be incinerated.

Ofcourse there are no lesser warhead missiles listed for Israel, nor any I know of for the US. Who would field a $2 million missile only to equip it with a $200 war head that couldn’t even stop a van? It defies logic that this is the case and pursuing this line, as Tony Jones did on “Lateline”, is not so much a case of hope triumphing over common sense or experience, it is absolute idiocy. And no doubt Tony Jones has previously called “Military Intelligence” an Oxymoron!

Now going through this has taken me my lunch break. Of course twenty years military experience is more difficult to replicate but should the “Australian” or the ABC have really wanted to check the accuracy of its claims it could have gone to a military consulting company and got some independent bomb damage assessment from someone who knows what they are looking at. No doubt a number of people working in Aerospace in Australia, its associated media or companies like Boeing would have been able to provide a more reasonable verification of the story. But no, Martin Chulov goes and asks the guy who lied to him in the first place if he lied. The answer was a definite “no” with some modifications to the original version of events. Sounds a bit like “Justice” Einfeld!

At a minimum the Editor of the Australian owes Alexander Downer and the Australian public a full, fulsome and prominent editorial apology!

Weasel said...

I guess it might stop Iran from building the nuclear bombs it needs to destroy the loathsome Jewish state it says must be wiped off the map:

U.S. and European officials appeared ready Thursday to push for low-level sanctions against Iran, like travel bans, as the country remained defiant on the day of a U.N. deadline to halt uranium enrichment.

Then again, it might tell Iran’s ayatollahs that Europe in particular has not the slightest will to resist.