Category Archives: Uncategorized

Necessity really is the mother of invention

Impeded by the U.S. border fence, creative criminals have taken to using a catapult to lob marijuana from Mexico into Arizona. Yes, that ubiquitous medieval device has found a new life in the modern world. The National Guard caught drug smugglers using an SUV mounted catapult to fling small bales of pot up and over our border fence.  Having toured the U.S. Border Patrol museum I can’t say I’m surprised.  No one shows more ingenuity than criminals.  They’ll modify anything if they think it will get the job done.

Kvatch upon hearing this suggested a couple of clever names for this new device ~ “the potipult” or, my favorite, “the weedbuchet”.  Pull!

A little holiday cheer

A Christmas carol from the Frogs:

O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
This year I can’t be bothered;
O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
I really can’t be bothered;
Oh sure I’d like to have a tree,
But not without delivery.
O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
I really can’t be bothered!

O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
You’re fresh but too expensive!
O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
My search has been extensive!
From lot to lot I seek a tree,
that won’t increase my misery.
O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
You’re just too damned much bother!

O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
Where shall I place these presents?
O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
Where can I place these presents?
On a table or a chair,
It’s not the same though let’s be fair.
O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
You’re just too damned much bother!”

Caveat emptor

“Buyer beware”, yeah be very, very ‘ware.  The Frog sent me an article this morning about a family who had purchased a foreclosed home at auction.  They thought they’d gotten the bargain of the century, a house in California for just under $100 grand.  What they really bought was the second mortgage on the house.  Unbeknownst to them the Bank holding the first Mortgage (Wachovia, now Wells Fargo), sold only the second mortgage at the foreclosure auction.  They then proceeded to let the family move in and renovate to the tune of $13,000 before showing up at their door and foreclosing on the first mortgage effectively taking the house and their $97,606 from them.  Dirty tricks?  For sure, but it appears this may actually be legal.

The lawyer said – and the judge agreed – that the auctioneer has no obligation to disclose whether loans being sold are first or second liens.

What bugs me the most about this is that it’s not a case of right hand not knowing what the left is doing.  Wachovia held both mortgages and Wells Fargo knew what they were doing when they foreclosed on the first mortgage after having sold these people the second.  They say it was the consumer’s responsibility to know what they were buying even though they and the auctioneers didn’t disclose that it was a second mortgage.  In my humble opinion this sale was fraud.  Plain and simple.

Sanctioned murder rules

When an inmate is murdered in a high security prison questions are bound to be asked. Until yesterday Carl Williams was the most notorious inmate in the Victorian (Australia) prison system. (Killed by a trusted inmate)

He was housed with two other prisoners, who he was apparently comfortable with and subject to 24 hour surveillance – cctv, a guard present, shackles outside the immediate cell area.

None of that stopped one of his mates there smashing him over the skull with part of an exercise bike, all caught on camera. The question is not who murdered Williams but how it can occur in such a secure environment.

William’s lawyer is the only one saying what others are thinking; he wants a full independent enquiry. He spoke to Williams the morning of the murder, about a tabloid front page claim of police paying his daughter’s school fees.

Few actually grieve Williams, apart from TV producers perhaps, but that revelation might have given a motive, as is suggested, that Williams was killed for being a dog (informer). Regardless of potential motives the fact that it happened in a high security facility, with a guard only metres away, still raises questions of prison and police integrity.

I, for one, still delight in the blatant openness of Aussie corruption. The truth, on past experience, will never be known and public perception of the country’s innate corruption will increase marginally. Oh, and we should see another Tele-drama too.

A flight of fancy

Australia launched a new set of postage stamps last week, one of them featuring the rural fly spot I now regard as home. I’ve no idea of the actual population of Mia Mia, or neighbouring Redesdale in Victoria. The census lumps them together and they still don’t reach the base reporting number of 300 souls. But fascinating souls if the district can warrant a postage stamp.

The stamp set celebrates a century of flight in Australia, and in 1910 the local Duigan Brothers flew the first plane designed and built in this country. Harry Houdini actually beat them in the first flight stakes, but in a plane he brought here from France. He also left it here, having had his fill of barnstorming.

So one hundred years on another aviation story nocked the history right out of the headlines – THE massive Joint Strike Fighter project is going to be delayed and cost more, the US Deputy Secretary of Defence Bill Lynn says. The relevance is that Australia plans eventually to purchase 100 of the fifth-generation stealth warplanes at a cost of about $16 billion.

With healthcare also on the agenda in Australia and the USA the cost for these toys raises to an estimated $US112 per unit some interesting questions arise. For a start, if it is suggested our countries can afford hundreds of these obscene machines of destruction why is it so difficult to contemplate provision of effective universal health care?

These unrelated concepts tend to coalesce in a mind almost devoid of human engagement, with sheep, kangaroos and cockatoos sort of un-numbering people here by a wide margin. Perhaps the policy makers know something beyond my understanding.

Let us celebrate a win for the extreme right

Okay, it is only Australia, but I am excited to see an extreme candidate take leadership of the countries major opposition party, the Liberals. The issue splitting this fractured party even further is climate change legislation.

The hapless merchant banker cum leader, Malcolm Turnbull, crafted a great watered down version of a watery approach to carbon emissions, but his party has now dumped him in favour of a hard line climate change opponent; well he doesn’t accept the science it seems.

I am thrilled to see Tony Abbot become opposition leader. His fierce conservative (bugger, we need some new adjectives here because he’s a bloody right wing radical) approach will finally out the self serving bastards who call themselves Liberals.

So we Aussies, already suffering the effects of climate change with floods, fire, drought and the rest are probably going to see a new election capitalising on the stupidity of these representatives. It will be a double dissolution of parliament, which means every position, lower house and senate, will be up for grabs.

Personally I’d rather see some effective emission controls in effect, but perhaps a new, clean house might include more greens. The big issue is that most Aussies don’t like the new opposition leader and are actually concerned to see effective environmental initiatives. Onya Liberals! But the Greens had better get working.

iNews Friday, 10/30/2009

A sampling of this week’s output from the iNews 9000 Turbo wi-fi headline translator—

Headline: Behind the War Between White House and Fox
Translation: Inspectors find poison gas in Beck’s private bathroom

Headline: Northwest Airlines Flight Flies Past Destination
Translation: And yet the luggage arrived on time.

Headline: Obama- Winner of the clean-energy race will lead global economy
Translation: Fox News puts sugar in US gas tank

Headline: Alan Grayson admits he went too far in calling a lobbyist “A K Street whore”
Translation: “I apologize to whores everywhere”

Headline: Lieberman ‘the least of Harry Reid’s problems’
Translation: Any move for cloture will happen Fridays after sunset

Headline: Boeing chooses SC for 787 line
Translation: Mark Sanford- “Boeing is South Carolina’s soulmate”
Translation (Turbo mode): Charleston line already 2 years behind schedule.

Headline: Recovery ends US recession
Translation: Robust teabag sales lead economy’s rebound