Brain graze



For Collingwood stalwarts, the boot can't go in far enough when Carlton's down. So when I got a hint of this tasty piece of politico-footy gossip from Tony the Teacher, I swooped in pursuit of further clarification like a dunny budgie on a beached Bondi cigar. I was not disappointed:

G'day Slatts

I was talking to XXXXXXXX
(name deleted to protect sources, but he'd definitely be on the money) on Thursday arvo and asked him in jest if he was going to get dragged into the salary cap shenanigans. Then I mentioned that someone had told me Harry Madden had taken cash slings outside of the salary cap. His response; "Yeah, that's right. Who told you?" I told him it was such and such and his straight-faced reply was "Yeah, he'd know". Although he did go on to mention that loads of players were paid the same way.

I certainly hope he gets pinged. He's a classic example of why state politics scrapes the barrel when it comes to talent.


For those outside Victoria, Harry Madden is Victorian Minister for Sport and Recreation and the Commonwealth Games. He is also a former Carlton ruckman of limited ability but with a gigantic, hard to contest frame that kept him at centre bounces for far longer than a fair world should allow. He's a nice big galoot, but will never trouble the scorers with any worthwhile political achievement.



Nirvana for lardguts-loathers:
MOOREWATCH is dedicated to unearthing the truth behind the doublespeak and falsehood that spews from the mouth (and keyboard) of Michael Moore on a regular basis. Moore is a disingenuous danger to this country, and his assumptions and assertions should not go unchallenged. The collective expertise and research abilities of the entire Internet are more than enough to debunk most of the nonsense Moore regularly puts forth as fact, and we at MOOREWATCH hope to be the clearinghouse for this information.


Here's one for the bah-hum buggers and Santa banners:

----- FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All Employees
DATE: December 1
RE: Christmas Party

I'm happy to inform you that the company Christmas Party will take
place on December 23, starting at noon in the private function room at the
Grill House. There will be a cash bar and plenty of drinks! We'll have
a small band playing traditional carols...feel free to sing along. And
don't be surprised if our CEO shows up dressed as Santa Claus! A
Christmas tree will be lit at 1:00pm. Exchange of gifts among
employees can be done at that time, however, no gift should be over $10.00 to
make the giving of gifts easy for everyone's pockets. This gathering is
only for employees! A special announcement will be made by our CEO at that
Merry Christmas to you and your family.

FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All Employees
DATE: December 2
RE: Holiday Party

In no way was yesterday's memo intended to exclude our Jewish
We recognize that Chanukah is an important holiday, which often
coincides with Christmas, though unfortunately not this year. However,
from now on we're calling it our "Holiday Party." The same policy
applies to any other employees who are not Christians or those still
celebrating Reconciliation Day. There will be no Christmas tree
No Christmas carols sung. We will have other types of music for your
enjoyment. Happy now?
Happy Holidays to you and your family.

FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All Employees
DATE: December 3
RE: Holiday Party

Regarding the note I received from a member of Alcoholics Anonymous
requesting a non-drinking table ... you didn't sign your name. I'm
happy to accommodate this request, but if I put a sign on a table that
"AA Only"; you wouldn't be anonymous anymore. How am I supposed to
handle this? Somebody?
Forget about the gifts exchange, no gifts exchange are allowed since
the union members feel that $10.00 is too much money and executives
believe $10.00 is a little chintzy.

FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
To: All Employees
DATE: December 7
RE: Holiday Party

What a diverse group we are! I had no idea that December 20 begins the
Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which forbids eating and drinking during
daylight hours. There goes the party! Seriously, we can appreciate how
a luncheon at this time of year does not accommodate our Muslim
employees' beliefs. Perhaps the Grill House can hold off on serving your meal
until the end of the party- or else package everything for you to take it
home in little foil doggy baggy. Will that work? Meanwhile, I've arranged
for members of Weight Watchers to sit farthest from the dessert buffet and
pregnant women will get the table closest to the restrooms. Gays are
allowed to sit with each other. Lesbians do not have to sit with Gay
men, each will have their own table. Yes, there will be flower
arrangement for the Gay men's table. To the person asking permission
to cross dress, no cross dressing allowed though. We will have booster
seats for short people. Low-fat food will be available for those on
a diet. We cannot control the salt used in the food we suggest for
those people with high blood pressure to taste first. There will be
fresh fruits as dessert for Diabetics, the restaurant cannot supply
"No Sugar" desserts. Sorry!
Did I miss anything?!?!?

FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All #%&$ing Employees
DATE: December 10
RE: The #$%*!@% Holiday Party

Vegetarians?!?!?!? I've had it with you people!!! We're going to keep
this party at the Grill House whether you like it or not, so you can
sit quietly at the table furthest from the "grill of death," as you
so quaintly put it, and you'll get your #$%^&*! salad bar, including
organic tomatoes. But you know, tomatoes have feelings, too. They
scream when you slice them. I've heard them scream. I'm hearing them
scream right NOW! I hope you all have a rotten holiday! Drive drink
and die, you hear me!?!?!?!?!?!?!!!!!
The Bitch from HELL!!!!!!!!

FROM: Joan Bishop, Acting Human Resources Director
DATE: December 14
RE: Patty Lewis and Holiday Party

I'm sure I speak for all of us in wishing Patty Lewis a speedy
recovery and I'll continue to forward your cards to her. In the meantime,
management has decided to cancel our Holiday Party and give everyone
the afternoon of the 23rd off with full pay.

Happy Holidays!



The wisest retiree in western Victoria is never far off the mark.
So, in the interests of political prophecy -- and the possibility of getting some odds from a rusted-on Labor supporter with a penchant for the punt -- I list here ALAN MCCALLUM'S prognostications for the second term of Victoria's Bracks Government.
It's a worry:
1) Victoria will be a debtor state by 2006. Does anyone doubt this? The Government, read Victorian ALP, run by teachers on the right, and with pressure behind the scenes from a few unreconstructed Marxists ooops Socialists from the factional "system", will roll over everywhere as their client unions --teachers, nurses, police, hospital workers etc-- apply major wage pressure. It is payback time! There are no State banks to lose, but I still expect other stupidities, like the $A60 million loss to taxpayers as the Government undid the Seal Rocks contract.
2) There will be an assault on farmers, particularly over water rights. Expect rainfall on farms to be taxed. Wayout? Not really; likely.
3) Premier Bracks will not have the guts to start work on expanding Melbourne's water storage capacity.
4) Collecting firewood from forests, including private bushland will be banned.
5) Duck hunting will be banned.
6) Electricity prices will skyrocket as further CO2 mitigation measures are introduced.
6b) Unemployment in Vic. will increase to >10%.
7) At least two flaky Ministers will crash and burn. Delahunty? Hulls? Batchelor?
8) Logging will be restricted further. I would not be surprised if Blue Gum plantations are locked up, but that would be stupid, because the next Liberal Government would unlock this resource. Still would not surprise me though.
9) Marine parks will increase in size, and new parks will be created, maybe along the entire coastline. Recreational fishing in the ocean will be banned or restricted.
10) Rural roads will continue to deteriorate.
11) At least one new "initiative" to increase taxes reduce the road toll will be introduced. Breathalyzers set to 0.02 down from 0.05% maybe? Suburban speedlimits reduced to 40 kmh within 1 km of schools? And expect compulsory annual car engine emission checks any time soon.
12) The State will employ substantially more people to "police" the new parks and regulations.
Hmmm. That's enough to be wrong about for now.

I'll add 13): Seeing the nanny-staters here borrow heavily from the loopy left in the US, all references to Christian practices or observations within government fiefdoms will be banned under the separation of state-religion manifesto (which doesn't exist, but, hey, truth's only a pre-po-mo construct). Santa-banning will be state policy!


Constipation is not such a bad thing. You get to read the whole newspaper. But then if you're like my old pal at The Times, Glen Quartermain, you've already read the blats, so you must occupy your mind otherwise while waiting for nature to attempt its course. Glen, it seems, constructs shaggy dog stories:

Far away in the tropical waters of the Caribbean, two prawns were swimming
around in the sea - one called Justin and the other called Christian. The
prawns were constantly being harassed and threatened by sharks that
patrolled the area.
Finally one day Justin said to Christian, "I'm bored and frustrated at
being a prawn, I wish I was a shark, then I wouldn't have any worries about
being eaten..."
As Justin had his mind firmly on becoming a predator, a mysterious cod
appears and says, "Your wish is granted", and lo and behold, Justin turned
into a shark. Horrified, Christian immediately swam away, Afraid of being
eaten by his old mate.
Time went on (as it invariably does...) and Justin found himself becoming
bored and lonely as a shark. All his old mates simply swam away whenever he
came close to them. Justin didn't realise that his new menacing appearance
was the cause of his sad plight. While out swimming alone one day he sees
the mysterious cod again and can't believe his luck. Justin figured that the
fish could change him back into a prawn. He begs the cod to change him back
so, lo and behold, he is turned back into a prawn.
With tears of joy in his tiny little eyes, Justin swam back to his friends
and bought them all a cocktail. (The punch line does not involve a prawn
cocktail - it's much worse). Looking around the gathering at the reef, he
searched for his old pal. "Where's Christian?" he asked.
"He's at home,distraught that his best friend changed sides to the enemy
and became a shark", came the reply.
Eager to put things right again and end the mutual pain and torture, he set
off to Christian's house. As he opened the coral gate the memories came
flooding back. He banged on the door and shouted, "It's me, Justin, your old
friend, come out and see me again."
"Christian replied "No way man, you'll eat me. You're a shark, the enemy
and I'll not be tricked. "
Justin cried back, "No, I'm not. That was the old me. I've
changed."...(wait for it) . . .

....."I've found Cod, I'm a prawn again Christian".



Just when you thought that apart from cheap yuk-yuks like Crackerjack they'd forgotten how to make good movies in Australia, this news to hand reassures immensely:
LOS ANGELES, Dec 10 Reuters - Mel Gibson will earn almost $US25 million ($A44.5 million)
to return to the Mad Max franchise for a fourth time, Hollywood trade paper Daily Variety said in
today's edition.
The $US104 million ($A185 million) project, called Fury Road, will start shooting in Australia
next May.
The project is set up at Twentieth Century Fox, a unit of News Corp's Fox Entertainment Group.
George Miller, who directed and co-wrote the first three films, will direct Fury Road from a script
he has been crafting for the past three years, the paper said.
It did not reveal plot details other than to note that ``Mad'' Max Rockatansky will once again roam
the lawless, post-apocalyptic Australian outback.
The Mad Max franchise kicked off in 1979, and was followed in 1981 by Mad Max: The Road
Warrior and 1985 by Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome. Daily Variety noted that for all their iconic
value, the trilogy grossed only $US69 million at the US box office.
Gibson, 46, whose films include the Lethal Weapon franchise, the Oscar-winning Braveheart and
the comedy What Women Want, scored a big hit this year with the supernatural thriller Signs.

They shot a lot of the first three in the countryside north-west of here where I like to bike-ride. Trouble was, I didn't live here then. Let's hope the return of Max means just that.

A ruling in a defamation case by the Australian High Court is likely to have international ramifications.The case was brought by Melbourne businessman Joe Gutnick who argued that an article on Dow Jones US-based website could be read on the internet by people who knew him in Melbourne.
The court ruled that Dow Jones can be sued in the Australian state of Victoria over the article. Mr Gutnick argued that the article damaged his reputation.
Dow Jones maintained publication took place in New Jersey in the US and so the courts in the State of Victoria had no jurisdiction.
And several international media companies - such as Reuters, News International and - agreed.
But the Australian High Court dismissed the Dow Jones appeal.

Fans weren't exactly chuffed when Axl Rose failed to appear at a Guns N Roses revival concert in Philadelphia last week.
Reason magazine's staff blog HIT & RUN (a must link) reports:
For around 10 minutes, cups of beer, bottles, ceiling tiles and other debris rained down from the upper tier, and audience members on the floor started flinging seats at the stage, mixing board and each other. Several fights were reported, and there were 15 complaints of injury, police said.
Blogger Tim Cavanaugh wasn't reading too much into the riot. It would have been worse had the band fronted, he suspects.
Other attention-catchers linked to the blog include the last piece by assassinated Wall Street Journal writer Daniel Pearl which explains how the Taliban made a killing moving merchandise it banned (e.g. televisions) through Afghanistan and into neighboring countries such as Iran and Pakistan. In 2000, more than $1 billion of smuggled goods made their way into those two countries from Afghanistan, with the Taliban probably skimmed somewhere between $36 million and $75 million.
And for the rugged individual who always gets her desperado, Jeff A. Taylor introduces us to the Most Wanted Terrorists Pocket Directory Database.


Ho, hum, in oh-so-predictable fashion, lefty loser Carmen Lawrence has ceased bagging Simon Crean and the ALP -- which stuck with her despite the blood dripping from her ungrateful paws -- to rip into Prime Minister John Howard.
And what does this champion of independent and original thought accuse Howard of? It might surprise you, so groundbreaking is its character depiction of the PM. Loser Lawrence says he is, wait for it ... a racist!!

She said he believed white Anglo-Saxon culture inherently superior to other cultures and said he had endangered Australia by recklessly alienating Asian neighbours.

Loser thinks that's a terrible attitude to have, imagining you have a superior culture to others.

"He's allowed it to be imagined and a lot of people around the bars in bowling clubs think that's exactly what he's saying."

So what's Loser saying here? Those old geezers and white leghorns in bowling clubs, they'll believe anything because they're from an inferior culture to hers?