The April Off-Topic Thread

By March 31, 2018Other


Like many others I was angry and sad in about equal proportion to discover the ‘ball-tampering’ event in South Africa. I  played cricket from an early age, and thoroughly enjoyed it, though it was always second to tennis and later to squash racquets. To me the action of Warner, Smith and Bancroft was simply inexplicable. It took me a day to calm down. Ball-tampering is now new, and du Plessis in South Africa was fined for doing it only a couple of years ago. At the core of it is the problem of money. Cricket is enmeshed in a vast amount of money, network money, corporate money, advertising money, sponsorship money, winning money. Those who excel at the game will do very well out of it. But winning is all-important. If there is to be ‘clean-up’ it will be a most difficult business. I’m not sure it is possible to return to the time, before the second world war), when it was a sport for amateurs (or in the UK, ‘gentlemen’). I’m not even sure I want that.

I cannot imagine that any of three had any conception of the possible cost to them of doing what they did. For what it’s worth, my sense is that the punishments handed out are about right, though the banishment of Warner from any leadership position in the future seems a bit vindictive.

Join the discussion 92 Comments

  • bryan roberts says:

    When I was young, the ABC would truncate its coverage at 6pm, when it crossed to the news. Although irritating at the time, in retrospect, it probably had its priorities right. Commercialisation and jingoism ruined the game. The current fracas is a reflection of that, and frankly, who cares?

  • margaret says:

    I wonder what Jordan Peterson would think of sledging and ball tampering. I think sledging is the big issue – ball tampering – well if you can polish a ball, maybe you should be able to rough it up as well.

    • spangled drongo says:

      Good points, marg. It would be good to have a cricketing Jordan Peterson’s opinion.

      However, I think polishing is only maintenance of existing condition whereas a rough-up is modification.

      But I agree with Don about the professionalising which destroys the “innocence” of the game. Out west we would travel hundreds of kilometres to play a single game and it was a great social and sporting event.

      When sport is amateur the standards may be lower but participation is higher. As is enjoyment by the participators.

      • Brian Austen says:


        The bureaucratisation of sport is destroying what we used to regard as sport.

        The AFL is a good example. It has all but destroyed the game as community spectacle in Tasmania.

        And cricket seems to be going down the same path.

    • dlb says:

      From “12 Rules” Rule 7-pursue what is meaningful (not what is expedient)

      Page 199 “Expedience is the following of blind impulse. It’s short-term gain. It’s narrow, and selfish. It lies to gets its way. It takes nothing into account. It’s immature and irresponsible.”

      “If you act properly, your actions allow you to be psychologically interrelated now, and tomorrow, and into the future, while you benefit yourself, your family, and the broader world around you.”

  • bryan roberts says:



  • margaret says:

    I’ve heard that DW didn’t come up through the route of boring gruelling Sheffield Shield but landed magically on his cricketing ability and patently unformed as a human being. I doubt he could even understand Jordan Peterson but perhaps he could be a candidate for attempting to read it during his dark night of the soul. I think the decision to not consider him for leadership is correct.

    “So let’s take stock: Masculinist persecution myth? Check. Repeated appeals to Darwinism to justify social hierarchies? Check. A left-wing conspiracy to take over the culture? Check. Romanticization of suffering? Check. Neurotic angst about “chaos”? Check. Like many of his sort, Peterson sees himself as a defender of the best traditions of Western civilization and the Enlightenment. But there is an old adage: if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, chances are it’s a duck.”

    • dlb says:

      Obviously Barekat hasn’t understood, or does not want to understand the book.

      Rule 9- Assume the person you are listening to might know something you don’t.

    • Don Aitkin says:

      My appreciation of this big and absorbing book will be my essay later in the week. Perhaps you might buy a copy and read it, rather than relying on what is a patently skewed review.

  • margaret says:

    Warner is the first Australian cricketer in 132 years to be selected for a national team in any format without experience in first-class cricket.

    • Don Aitkin says:

      Indeed so. But he was unsurpassed in T20, and then showed that he could last as well as blaze away. I don’t think the distinction you are making, though true, is significant. Perhaps you could explain why you think it is.

      • margaret says:

        I think it would be a factor in his non-understanding of the spirit of the game that people who followed cricket as youngsters, expected. Irrespective of bodyline, underarm bowling incidents etc.
        I’m not even a cricket follower – but have a couple of now adult children who enjoyed it up until a point in time when vicious sledging became part of the MO.
        As you pointed out – money becomes the reason for playing – big money, so — win at all costs.

  • Neville says:

    Their ABC is showing Louis Theroux’s “My Scientology movie” tonight at 9.30. These people are the scum of the earth as was the founder Ron Hubbard.
    There is plenty of dirt on these vile con merchants on You Tube, let’s hope this may add to the condemnation.
    Perhaps his way of poking fun and annoying them is just another way of keeping young kids from joining them in the first place. Who knows?

  • Roger says:

    To be fair to Du Plessis he was caught polishing the smooth side of the ball with saliva augmented by a mint in order to maintain the ball’s ability to swing. That’s but one illegitimate step on from legal polishing of the ball. Roughing one side of the ball up with sandpaper smuggled on to the ground in a bid to encourage reverse swing and then lying about it afterwards when given the opportunity to come clean is cheating of a different order. It brought the game into disrepute. The players may have thought they were a law unto themselves, but when you go out to play in the name of Australia with the coat of arms on your caps you must ultimately submit to the public’s judgment, which was no doubt coloured in this instance by moral indignation at the ugly manner the Australians have been playing the game for some years. As Graeme Swann predicted, don’t imagine playing the game this way won’t come back to bite you some time in the future. Now that it has, it’s time for a change of culture. Play to win, to be sure, but do so in a manner that is in the spirit of the game and respectful of opponents.

    • Andrew Kennett says:

      Du Plessis was also found guilty of using a strange zipper (only on one side and nobody else has a zipped up side pocket in the SA team) on the side of his cricket pants to rough up the ball — no different really the the Sandpaper 3

  • Don Aitkin says:

    Mark Taylor from Australia and Michael Holding from the West Indies have both suggested that cricket adopt the yellow card/red card rule of soccer. You do something that the umpire(s) consider(s) out of court with the rules and/or spirit of the game, then you get a yellow card. One more such offence and you are sent off the field for the remainder of the innings.

    Of course, that would require the umpires to take back some control of the game, which they seem to have lost, given appeals and the third umpire. Worth thinking about anyway.

  • Chris Warren says:

    So its not just about cricket: Its all about sport. Sport in general, when it comes to great community displays and representations of nations or races, can be exploited or turned to adverse purposes. Our cricketers were trying to win for Australia – and their own bank balances.

    The type of sport – bull fights, Roman gladiators, and level of organised public attention, reflects the nature of society surrounding us at the present time.

    Today, high level sport is seen coupled with national identity. This, crazy nationalism, is a corrupting force independently of financial considerations.

  • Neville says:

    The barking mad lefties remember Winnie Mandela. This horrible woman should have spent the rest of her life in prison for her crimes.

  • spangled drongo says:

    In the meantime these same barkers are introducing apartheid in Australia as fast as they know how:

  • Neville says:

    On the real planet earth coal is very hot property and Japan and China are hungry for the spoils.
    Up to 1600 new coal plants ( see NY Times as well) are waiting to be built and both China and Japan have new technology plants that produce much less co2 and use less coal to generate the same electricity. What’s not to like and why don’t we do the same? Instead we rely on idiocy like clueless S&W. Plenty of links in this article.

  • Chris Warren says:

    Here’s a run through of some of the claims in that NYT story, and a summary what’s actually happening on the coal front:

    “1,600 coal plants are being planned or under construction in 62 countries”

    This statement is correct, but should not be interpreted to mean all these projects are bound to or likely to happen. Many of these planned power plants come from company announcements, not government policy.

    China effectively stopped approving new coal-fired power plants a year ago, while India – the other global coal boogeyman – has seen a dramatic fall in new coal power projects due to overcapacity and increasing competition from renewable energy.

    Broadly speaking, there is a long way from a company announcement to a coal-fired power plant being built, and a lot of projects never make it. For example, since 2007, more than 150 coal-fired power projects have been cancelled in the U.S. while only a handful have moved to construction.

  • Neville says:

    Here’s the EIA graph on use of coal from 1980 to 2040. Note that the OECD countries have been using about the same tonnages of coal since 1980 and projections show little change out to 2040.
    But the non OECD (China, India etc) strongly increased their use and will continue to do so until 2040. In fact China generates 66.7% of it’s total energy from coal while the US only generates about 17%.
    IOW there will be an increase in co2 emissions until at least 2040 because of development in non OECD countries.
    And Lomborg’s latest update shows that S&W now generates about 0.8% of the world’s total energy and the IEA estimates this could increase to just 3.8% by 2040. Just more proof that COP 21 is BS and fra-d, according to Dr Hansen.

  • spangled drongo says:

    “The key point here is that while NOAA frequently makes these adjustments to the raw data, it has never offered a convincing explanation as to why they are necessary,”

    Ah! the book cookers, the bakery fakers and the bed wetters:

  • spangled drongo says:

    Any body else notice that many of the sceptic blogs are down.

    I suppose when they cant win with their “science” the next best thing for consensual alarmists is to throw bombs.

    • Don Aitkin says:

      Looks like what is over now? Somebody in the BoM forgot about Broome and the Kimberley, which has had its heaviest rainfall so far, according to the unimpeachable

      The truth is, Chris, that these ‘records’ don’t mean anything. According to the conventional wisdom. ‘climate’ is the average of 30 years of ‘weather’. Let’s get back to these records in a decade or two, eh?

      • Chris Warren says:


        Yes and no. Hitting new high records in temperature and rainfall suggest more heat and more water vapour. A warming climate will warm the weather.

        However the 30 year standard is still the real measure of climate change.

        If you download the data from the BoM for Canberra and produce 30 year averages, then you will see strong climate change in Canberra.

        In the 70’s the previous 30 years average was around 19.5C
        In the 80’s it was around 19.7C
        In the 90’s it was around 19.8C
        In the 2000’s it was over 20.0C
        IN the 2010’s it is around 20.5C

        So in 40 years Canberra’s climate has warmed around 1C, and the warming will continue.

        • spangled drongo says:

          “So in 40 years Canberra’s climate has warmed around 1C, and the warming will continue.”

          It’s called Urban Heat Island Effect, blith.

          In most major cities in Australia it averages out at around 5c so at that rate Canberra is cooling considerably.

          I thought you knew enough about it to not selectively cherry-pick and bed-wet.

    • spangled drongo says:

      What’s “all over” probably isn’t what you think, blith:

    • spangled drongo says:

      Could it be the groupthink that’s “all over”, blith?

      New Insights on the Physical Nature of the Atmospheric Greenhouse Effect Deduced from an Empirical Planetary Temperature Model:

      “A recent study has revealed that the Earth’s natural atmospheric greenhouse effect is around 90 K or about 2.7 times stronger than assumed for the past 40 years. A thermal enhancement of such a magnitude cannot be explained with the observed amount of outgoing infrared long-wave radiation absorbed by the atmosphere (i.e. ? 158 W m-2), thus requiring a re-examination of the underlying Greenhouse theory…..”

  • spangled drongo says:

    I wonder why there has been some reduction in Arctic sea ice?

    And why this point is never mentioned by the gatekeepers:

  • Neville says:

    They’ve spent 4.5 M $ on Solar road panels and the return on investment is about $37.
    But I’m sure it makes sense to clueless lefties like the Greens and Labor or US Democrats. Is this idiocy really happening in the 21 st century?

  • Chris Warren says:

    Latest status of climate change and causal factors.

    • Don Aitkin says:

      Gosh. It’s scary isn’t it! Try climate4you. Better data. Less scary, and no attempt to scare you, either.

  • spangled drongo says:

    These “causal factors” have yet to reach nat var, blith.

    And the “science” of that ANU crud can be judged by all the obvious things they fail to mention. Such as:

    “But how much of this melting is man-made and how much is due to hot-magma?

    In 2015, a seismic survey found there is a blob of superheated rock 60 miles below West Antarctica. Then there are the 91 (count them) new volcanoes we only discovered last year, plus who-knows-how-many we don’t even know about. Perhaps that has something to do with making the water warmer?

    Follow the reasoning, either a trace gas 10 kilometers up is causing some spots of Antarctica to warm and other parts to cool, or hot magma at 1,200C is. What’s more likely?”

  • Chris Warren says:


    Israeli forces have killed 29 Palestinians in Gaza, including 25 protesters, since 30 March – which Palestinians mark annually as Land Day. Rallies are planned to continue through to Nakba Day, the 15 May commemoration of the 1948 ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

    Israel has declared itself a Jewish State and as if Jews had superior rights to land and livelihood than the original inhabitants.

    • Don Aitkin says:

      I’ve been to Israel. The Jews believe that they are the original inhabitants, displaced by the Ottomans. Of course, ethnically the original tribes were all much the same, and it’s simply religion, and the culture that follows from that religion, that make the difference.

      • Chris Warren says:


        Actually religion may be the underpinning problem. Israel was originally meant as a solution to anti-Semetic, anti-Jewish genocide from the Second World War. Unfortunately terrorists from within earlier British Palestine had other ideas and started bombing and assassination. UN and British officials were assassinated.

        So despite original good intentions, the base of Israeli nationality is rotten in practice.

        If you think you were “original in habitants” does this allow you to expel and kill generations of others?

        • Don Aitkin says:

          Chris, more reading needed. The British Government’s Balfour Declaration of 1917 foreshadowed a Jewish state in what is now Israel, but little was done to pursue the goal in the Middle East until after the next war, where the British had a League of Nations mandate to control ‘Palestine’. Yes the Israelis hurried the process up, which didn’t win them brownie points. Jewish settlements had been purged all over Europe, long before the Nazis, and the Balfour notion was the gathering together of those who had suffered Exodus, so to speak, and a return to their original home.

          I don’t take sides in this conflict, but Israel has survived and prospered, which is I think a great international success. The Arab proportion of Israel’s population is around half. They live much better lives than those outside the nation.

          • Chris Warren says:


            What is the reference for the Balfour notion being:

            “the gathering together of those who had suffered Exodus, so to speak, and a return to their original home.”

            This idea of an original home seems strange if other people quite innocently now made their livelihoods there.

          • Don Aitkin says:

            Chris, Look it up. Try


            or go to Wikipedia. Of course there were other people living there, not many, and not well. That didn’t matter to Balfour. He wanted the Jews on side during the war. There’s a certain resemblance to Australia. Aboriginal people today live longer lives, are much better educated, and eat much better — indeed their whole style of life is better, in ordinary terms — than was the case in 1788. Yes, there was a loss of the old culture, and of the certainty, if that is what it was, of their place in the cosmos. What do you think should have happened?

    • spangled drongo says:

      Blimey indeed, blith.

      When you are too obtuse to recollect two recent substantial wars of invasion of Israel by Palestine and other surrounding muslim countries [not to mention the countless smaller wars plus the almost daily incursions] where Israel was the winner against much greater odds and that the result of those victories alone give Israel the right to do much more than she is doing, you are being your usual one-eyed, blithering, bed-wetting, irrational self.

      If, after winning those conflicts convincingly they then sit down with their perpetual antagonistas and are prepared to talk to these intolerants who still refuse to even acknowledge their right to exist, it shows very plainly who has the moral high ground.

      But then, why should I expect anything less with your form?

      • Chris Warren says:


        As far as I can see the recent decades are nothing but a tit-for-tat between armed Arab factions and Israeli. This is no excuse for firing bullets into stone throwers.

        Do you have any evidence of Arabs killing innocent people at the time the Stern gang and Irgun started their terrorism.

        What Arabs in the 1940’s bombed a hotel killing around 90 innocents?

        This is the real start of the troubles – plus of course the spread of Zionism.

      • spangled drongo says:

        When the Hamas rockets fail because of the iron dome and their underground terrorist tunnels fail because of new detection methods, Hamas has to come up with a new scheme and this long-term Palestinian protest gets more public sympathy and keeps them in power.

        But it is getting more complicated with Hamas doing desperate things:

        “The Egyptian government blockaded the Gaza Strip over a month ago in response to attacks by Islamist militants in the Sinai Peninsula.

        It is shameful for the Egyptians and other Arabs that, while they are imposing various restrictions on Palestinians, Israel is helping patients from the Gaza Strip undergo surgery in Jerusalem. Ironically, the frustration and bitterness eventually translate into violence against Israel, not Egypt. The Palestinians are well aware that attacking Egypt would draw a very strong response from the Egyptian military.”

  • margaret says:

    Lobsters with religious conviction.

  • Chris Warren says:


    It is important to have a balanced view of these troubles.

    Maybe you are aware of how many Zionists were killed by Palestinians or similar instances, during the early years?

    • The Jerusalem Massacre?—?1/October/1937
    Bomb in the vegetable market near the Damascus (Nablus) Gate in Jerusalem killing dozens of Palestinians.

    • The Haifa Massacre?—?6/March/1937
    Bombed market in Haifa kills 18 Palestinians.

    • The Haifa Massacre?—?6/July/1938
    Two car bombs in a Haifa market kill 21 Palestinians.

    • The Jerusalem Massacre?—?13/July/1938
    10 Palestinians killed in a massive explosion in the Arab vegetable market in the Old City of Jerusalem.

    • The Jerusalem Massacre?—?15/July/1938
    Hand grenade kills 10 worshippers leaving their mosque.

    • The Haifa Massacre?—?25/July/1938
    A car bomb in Haifkills 35 Palestinians.

    • The Haifa Massacre?—?26/July/1938
    Hand grenade in Haifa kills 47 Palestinians.

    • The Jerusalem Massacre?—?26/August/1938
    A car bomb kills 34 civilians.

    • The Haifa Massacre?—?27/March/1939
    Two bombs in Haifa kill 27 Palestinians.

    • The Balad Al-Shaykh Massacre?—?12/June/1939
    In the city of Balad Al-Shaykh, 5 residents captured and then killed.

    • The Haifa Massacre?—?19/June/1939
    Hand grenade in a Haifa market kills 9 Palestinians.

    • The Haifa Massacre?—?20/June/1948
    78 Palestinians killed by a bomb inside a vegetable box in Haifa vegetable market.

    • The Al Abbasiyah Massacre?—?13/December/1947
    Village of Al Abbasiyah attacked. 9 killed..

    • The Al-Khasas Massacre?—?18/December/1947
    73 Zionists shoot 5 Palestinian workers on their way to work but one Zionist is killed. 12 women and children were then massacred in revenge.

    • The Jerusalem Massacre?—?29/December/1947
    A barrel full of explosives near Bab al-Amud (Damascus Gate) in Jerusalem kills 14 Palestinians.

    • The Jerusalem Massacre?—?30/December/1947
    Bomb kills 11 Palestinians.

    • The Balad Al-Shaykh Massacre?—?31/December/1947
    Village of Balad Al-Shaykh attacked killing 60 civilians, including children, women and the elderly.

    • Al-Sheikh Break Massacre?—?31/December/1947
    Village of Al-Sheikh Break attacked killing 40 Palestinians.

    • The Jaffa Massacre?—?4/January/1948
    Bomb killed 15 people.

    • The Al-Saraya Massacre?—?4/January/1948
    Car bomb ear Al-Saraya in Jaffa killed 30 Palestinians.

    • The Semiramis Massacre?—?5/January/1948
    Semiramis Hotel located in the Katamon neighbourhood in Jerusalem. 19 Palestinians killed.

    • The Jerusalem Massacre?—?7/January/1948
    Bomb at the Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem, kills 18 civilians.

    • The Al-Saraya Al-Arabeya Massacre?—?8/January/1948
    Car bomb kills 70 Palestinian civilians.

    • The Ramla Massacre?—?15/January/1948
    Arab neighbourhoods in Ramla bombed.

    • The Yazur Massacre?—?22/January/1948
    Village of Yazur attacked killing 15.

    • The Haifa Massacre?—?28/December/1948
    Barrel filled with explosives kills 20 Arab citizens.

    • The Tabra Tulkarem Massacre?—?10/February/1948
    Village of Tabra Tulkarem – 7 Palestinians killed..

    • The Sa’sa’ Massacre?—?14/February/1948
    Village of Sa’sa’ attacked killing 60 villagers, mostly women and children.

    • The Jerusalem Massacre?—?20/February/1948
    Vehicle bomb in front of the Al Salam building in Jerusalem kills 14 Palestinians.

    • The Haifa Masacre?—?20/February/1948
    In Haifa mortar fire kills 6.

    • The Al-Husayniyya Massacre?—?13/March/1948
    Village of Al-Husayniyya attacked. 30 families killed.

    • The Abu Kabir Massacre?—?31/March/1948
    Abu Kabir neighbourhood in Jaffa attacked. Fleeing reidents killed.

    • The Cairo Train Massacre, Haifa?—?31/March/1948
    Cairo-Haifa train bombed killing40 people.

    • Ramla Massacre?—?1/March/1948
    In a market in the city of Ramla, 25 Palestinian civilians killed.

    • The Deir Yassin Massacre?—?9/April/1948
    Tanks attack the village of Deir Yassin. About 100–120 of its residents, a great number were women and children killed.

    • The Qalunya Massacre?—?14/April/1948
    Qalunya raided and 14 residents killed.

    • The Nasir al-Din Massacre?—?12-13/April/1948
    Village of Nasir al-Din raided. 50 killed. Nasir al-Din and Al-Shaykh Qadumi attacked and 12 killed.

    • The Tiberias Massacre?—?19/April/1948
    A home in Tiberias bombed killing 14.

    • The Haifa Massacre?—?22/April/1948
    Haifa attacked from Hadar Alkarmel. 50 Palestinians killed. 100 residents fleeing killed.

    • The Ayn al-Zaytoun Massacre?—?3 or 4/May/1948
    Ayn al-Zaytoun village on the outskirts of Safed , nearly 39 bound prisoners were shot.

    • The Safed Massacre?—?13/May/1948
    70 young men from Safed killed (no details available).

    • The Abu Shusha Massacre?—?14/May/1948
    Village of Abu Shusha, about 60 of its residents, including men, women, children and the elderly killed.

    • The Beit Daras Massacre?—?21/May/1948
    Tanks surround the village of Beit Daras. W omen, children and the elderly flee and a large number killed.

    • The Al-Tantura Massacre?—?22/May/1948
    Third battalion of the Alexandroni Brigade attacked the village of Al-Tantura from two sides. 200-250 killed.

    • Bazza says:

      You know a great deal more than I about the events of this conflict Chris.
      I saw Via Dolorosa a play by David Hare years ago and it had a profound effect. The playwright, who performed his own work showed the adverse effects of extremism in religious and political beliefs.
      A brilliant play.
      It changed my views from an easily influence youth who watched the film Exodus – a piece of propaganda.

    • spangled drongo says:

      What a “balanced” report, blith. You haven’t got a clue.

      Do you think that even begins to sum up what has been happening there for the last 3,000 years?

      Can I remind you that the Middle East fought with the Germans in WW1 and when we defeated them commencing with the battle of Beersheba, the allies had a mandate to re-establish previous occupants.

      The leader of the Muslims in pre-Israel Palestine, Grand Mufti Mohammad Amin Al-Husayni, was closely allied with, and actively assisted the Nazis throughout the Second World War. Al-Husayni met with Hitler several times, and was hosted in Berlin as the Nazis’ honoured guest for most of WWII.

      As a result, the settlement of the mandate took far too long and cost the lives of millions of Jews who finally got the allies off their bums and sorted something out by 1948.

      What you offer there is a pathetic argument in comparison.

    • Don Aitkin says:

      ‘It is important to have a balanced view of these troubles.’ I agree, but yours is hardly that, Chris. To provide one you would need a list of Jews killed by Arabs, not to mention Jews killed elsewhere by Europeans of various kinds — just as an indication of why Balfour’s declaration had some power elsewhere in the world.

      • Chris Warren says:

        I never claimed my list was either complete or balanced.

        Yes you need a list of Jews killed by Arabs but without including lists of Jews killed elsewhere.

        Some Jews had already settled in Palestine well before 1900.

        • spangled drongo says:

          “Yes you need a list of Jews killed by Arabs but without including lists of Jews killed elsewhere.”

          So blith thinks that the millions of Jews killed in the Holocaust had nothing to do with the fact that they would not have been killed if they had been allowed to settle in their traditional homeland as intended.

          Speaks volumes about his rationality.

  • spangled drongo says:

    Blith, do you know why Jews didn’t go to Palestine before the war as was intended and as they strongly wished after about 1933?

    The basic reason was that control over immigration to Palestine between the world wars was held by the mandatory power, the British, who cited the formal criterion of “economic absorptive capacity” to strictly regulate Jewish entry in accordance with their own imperial and strategic interests.

    So do you think Jews may have had a reason to be a little “unhappy” with the British and Palestinian performance?

  • Chris Warren says:


    If you further back you will find earlier riots and conflicts.

    The Balfour Declaration seems to have lit a powder keg.

    It also seems it was never agreed by the Palestinians.

    Imagine what would happen if Trump, Turnbull, and Teresa May decided that New Zealand would be a suitable homeland for the Rohingya against the wishes of the NZ population.

  • Don Aitkin says:

    In 1917, Chris, there were no Palestinians, at least none in a position to agree to anything, and none holding such a name.. The area was part of the Ottoman Empire, ruled from Constantinople, a long way away. That city was also colloquially called ‘Stamboul’, and later, officially, Istanbul (a Greek word in origin, not Arab at all). Indeed, the Arabs were not at all regarded highly within the Ottoman Empire.The British gained a mandate for the administration of an area the League called Palestine, a set of bits of the Ottoman Empire, which of course had not much lasted the end of WWI. The French had a similar mandate to the north, which is the cause of the old French influence in Lebanon and to a lesser degree Syria.

    Your analogy with NZ is quite erroneous. NZ is a nation with a defence force, a strong national feeling, allies, a language that is common to all, and a real history. You should not assume that there was a Palestine of the same kind in 1922. The area was given that name for historic reasons.

    Indeed, to repeat, there is a lot to learn about the area and its history before you take a strong stand for one side rather than another.

  • Chris Warren says:


    I don’t require there to be a recognised, formal, nationality for inhabitants to have the rights of livelihood and land ownership.

    We know the British used the same logic (or rather later historians have imputed the logic) as claiming all is valid because there were none in a position to agree to anything.

    I international law, effective occupation creates sovereignty. A people, call them what you will, had effective occupation, within the Ottoman regime and later. The British were using the term Palestine in 1847 and 1851 (Lord Lindsay, Lord Stanley, Benjamin Disraeli).

    The fact that NZ has different characteristics does not change the essential point.

    Parcelling out parts of regions to foreign powers, without any form of endorsement by the inhabitants, or forceful annexations will always lead to trouble.

    Whatever the historical background, the modern acts by Israel cannot be justified on some need to protect Israel from attacks as the Israelis have done just as much attacking, killing, and ethnic cleansing.

    When I read the Balfour Declaration I saw the explicit statement:

    “…it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, “,

    but the civil and religious rights of others were savagely attacked.

    The Balfour Declaration was a strange document as only British signatories were included. It was as if politicians in Adelaide signed a fancy Declaration with some Chinese community in Sydney that Taiwan would be a homeland for European gypsies.

    • spangled drongo says:

      Have you ever seen anyone is such denial and discombobulation as our blith?

      When the Jews had lived in that land for over 3,000 years and the people who had driven them off came much later yet had fought against us in both world wars and lost and yet in the final washup were allowed to stay, justice was not only done but seen by all [except these demanders] to be done.

      According to our blith’s logic, the only way Israeli possession can now become legal is to drive these “Palestinians” into the sea as the Jews were in the past.

    • Don Aitkin says:

      ‘I don’t require there to be a recognised, formal, nationality for inhabitants to have the rights of livelihood and land ownership.’ I agree with you. There were Jewish settlements there as well. Indeed there had always been Jewish settlements under Ottoman rule, though not many. Nor were there many Arab settlements. The Arabs were nomadic, for the most part.

      I repeat. You need to do a lot more reading about the issue. There seems to me no ‘right’ side in this issue, and I’ve copped some flak in the past for saying so. The real question is what, if anything, anyone can do about it at the moment. The answer may be nothing: that is, this is not the right time for a fundamental shift in this area.

      • Don Aitkin says:

        You might start with this:

        It’s only a beginning.

        • spangled drongo says:

          Thanks, Don. I, too don’t have a dog in this fight and I come from an Anglo family who has always been a little sceptical of Jews nevertheless I have always been impressed by their work ethic and achievements and to see a certain religious culture arrogantly assuming they have no right to exist in their own country just screams of fundamental injustice.

          Particularly when that same religious culture since its inception has made an art of invading and infiltrating nearly every country in the world to the general detriment of those countries.

          It’s not hard to work out who are the original bully boys. And why they are even more extreme when the numbers are on their side.

          It’s just that the Jews are a little smarter than most, have been through the mill more than most and are more aware than most of what it takes to stand up to incredible odds.

        • spangled drongo says:

          I strongly believe that the British after WW1 should also have placed Turkey in a similar mandate in order to return control of it to the Greeks.

      • Chris Warren says:


        IN modern times, if we assume that the only meaningful agreement is the Oslo Accords, then UN and global pressure should be applied to get each side to comply with Oslo accords and associated sub agreements.

        Now Israel, or at least Jewish settlers, have used Palestinian violence, and Zionist ideology, as cause and pretext to remain in Area C and increase Jewish population in Area C. However Palestinian violence has the same basis as Israeli violence ie reaction, revenge, for earlier incidents.

        Unless there is an agreement, monitored by UN, the only option is “Might is Right” but with modern arms this only leads to more and more escalation.

        • spangled drongo says:

          “IN modern times, if we assume that the only meaningful agreement is the Oslo Accords”

          Oslo 1 & 2 were only interim agreements as were several additional agreements but no permanent agreement ever eventuated.

          The 2002 Roadmap for Peace abandoned the Oslo Accords anyway so nothing exists formally.

          Stalemate reigns supreme particularly since Hamas came along.

          Go and put some of your lefty pressure on them, blith, and give the little guys a break.

        • Don Aitkin says:

          Chris, I don’t disagree much with any of this. And your solution? (Since the UN and ‘global pressure’ have not tempted either side…)

          • Chris Warren says:

            As with Australian aborigines – and many instances around the world, there has to be equality in justice, security, sovereignty and economic opportunity.

            Israel was founded on “might is right” based on assassinations, bombing, and expropriation sometimes overt but also covert. The Zionist ideology is probably the bigger problem than Judaism or anti-Semitism. Unless of course there is any other reason for the Stern Gang and Irgun attacks on the British.

            Obviously as with the break up with Pakistan, IF two groups cannot live peacefully together, then they must have different independent States, and huge movements of people must be catered for. The alternative is escalating mayhem. I can’t bear to think what some Palestinian militant is dreaming up to take their revenge on Israel shooting live ammunition at stone throwers and killing dozens.

            There are proposals floating, so new international efforts have to be launched. A start must be to give Palestine equality in the UN, and revisit Oslo approaches. If any UN Member blocks Palestine obtaining equality in the UN then they too are part of the problem and are murderers by proxy.

            In hindsight it seems that the creation of Modern Israel was a huge mistake, and more should have been done to protect or reconcile, Jewish settlements of WW2refugees, within the pre-existing community.

          • spangled drongo says:

            “Israel was founded on “might is right”’

            What absolute one eyed, lying drivel. blith!

            And there I was beginning to think you were trying to work your way through your blinkered mindset.

            The Jews are smart enough [they should be by now, they’ve had enough harsh lessons] to realise that if they don’t look after their own future they can’t expect anyone else to.

            As instanced by the Brits, with the best of intentions, delaying the Jewish homeland decision and the Palestinians helping the Nazis to exterminate them by the millions.

            There is probably no nation on earth that has had the rough end of the pineapple anywhere like the Jews.

            Always overwhelmed in numbers and kicked from pillar to post for millennia.

            And now that they have finally come back to their homeland below Zion against incredible odds, set up a democracy to be proud of [unlike any of their opponents], stand up to the world’s worst bullies and haters who just happen to surround them on all sides, and incorporate millions of those same bullies in their midst, the feeble-minded blitherers [who are hard to distinguish from the bullies with their complete lack of feeling] choose to blame the victim.

            As in so many other instances please do yourself a favour, blith, and try the real world for a change.

          • Bazza says:

            “Might is right” – Chris is correct.


            “The so-called mandate system, set up by the Allied powers, was a thinly veiled form of colonialism and occupation.”
            “The declared aim of the mandate system was to allow the winners of the war to administer the newly emerging states until they could become independent.

            The case of Palestine, however, was unique. Unlike the rest of the post-war mandates, the main goal of the British Mandate there was to create the conditions for the establishment of a Jewish “national home” – where Jews constituted less than 10 percent of the population at the time.”

          • spangled drongo says:

            “…the majority of Palestinians expressed a strong opposition to Zionism”

            “Our country is Arab, Palestine is Arab, and Palestine must remain Arab.”

            Does bazza really think that claims like this can justify and balance the murder of millions of Jews that the Arabs and Palestinians were complicit with the Nazis in carrying out?

            In the wake of the Holocaust, if the Jews hadn’t pressed their case for final settlement of their homeland they would still be copping empty promises.

            Your “might is right” argument is a little hollow when Muslims are the chief Holocaust Deniers.

            Your “might is right” argument is a little hollow when the wars of 1948 and 1967 that were prosecuted against the Jews is considered.

            If those wars had been successful, what do you think would have been the outcome?

            Do you think the Jews would still be there firing rockets at their neighbours?

            And quoting Aljazeera on Jewish/Muslim problems tends to show a certain lack of critical thinking.

          • Bazza says:

            Aljazeera English and Aljazeera Arabic are distinct entities.

  • spangled drongo says:

    Ah! The infallibility of satellite measurement.

    If only all “adjustments” could be explained as honestly as this.

    UAH finds a warming error in satellite data, lowers “tropical hotspot” temperature trend, contradicts IPCC models:

  • Chris Warren says:

    UN Resolution on Palestine defending the rights of self-determination etc.

    • spangled drongo says:

      “Affirming the right of all States in the region to live in peace within secure and internationally recognized borders”

      Yeah, riiiight, blith.

      Could this possibly be preventing that resolution?:

      “There are, of course, many personal factors that induce a person to become an Islamist. But usually among them one can point to an exposure to aspects of the Koran that extol the killing of infidels and a willingness to sacrifice oneself for the sake of Allah. In an Islamic State proclamation put out on the internet, we are informed that we in the West are hated by Muslims because we are disbelievers and they “have been commanded (by Allah) to fight the disbelievers until they submit to the authority of Islam.” (Koran 9.29)[xii].”

      My, blith, but you are slow on the uptake.

      I didn’t realise how hard it is for some to check the real world.

  • Neville says:

    There has been a big increase in winter deaths across the UK. This has been the worst winter in the last 42 years.
    And the elderly have been the hardest hit because many pensioners haven’t the resources to heat their homes properly. What a disgrace.

  • Chris Warren says:

    While we have this so-called Prince swanning about the place it is worth remembering that he and his Mum were part of a conspiracy with a likely CIA friend John Kerr and Malcolm Fraser to sack one government and appoint another more amenable to global power dictates.

    Meeting in PNG, Charles discussed Kerr’s maneuvering against Whitlam in August 1975 and Charles told Kerr, in effect, he was safe from any attempt by Whitlam to sack him should the ALP catch wind of what he was up to.

    There is no doubt his Mum was part of all this as Martin Charteris and William Heseltine both would have consulted her to reply to Kerr’s correspondance.

    • spangled drongo says:

      “…he and his Mum were part of a conspiracy…”

      Got any evidence for your claim, blith?

      Or is that just the usual lefty conspiracy theory coming out?

      For the multi-millionth time [YAWN].

      Where you can tar all your favourite detestables with the one brush?

      Kerr didn’t do anything more than give the people a chance to vote on Gough’s mess.

      And guess what happened?

      Republicanism is still about voting, after all.

      It’s long past time for you precious Whitlam Worshippers to get over yourselves, blith.

  • spangled drongo says:

    Modern madness.

    How progressive is Qld? Anastasia is determined to get men into women’s toilets:

    The Palaszczuk government proposes to change the sex identifier on Queensland birth certificates from Male/Female, to a range of options that include Male, Female, Indeterminate, Unspecified, Intersex and Non-Binary.

    If you can change your sex, can you change your age and anything else you don’t like about yourself?

  • Neville says:

    Another march by groupthinkers urges OZ to do something about their so called CAGW. Trouble is that hardly anyone bothered to show up. So what should OZ do and how and what difference would it make? And at what cost for a guaranteed zero return on our billions $ investment?
    But who cares as long as it makes the religious fanatics feel that they’re doing something.

  • Don Aitkin says:

    An American friend sent this one, which I thought deserved a wider audience:

    ‘It’s been snowing all night. So the morning goes like this;

    8:00 I made a snowman.

    8:10 A feminist passed by and asked me why I didn’t make a snow woman.

    8:15 So, I made a snow woman.

    8:17 The nanny of the neighbors complained about the snow woman’s voluptuous chest.

    8:20 The gay couple living nearby grumbled that it could have been two snowmen instead.

    8:25 The vegans at No. 12 complained about the carrot nose, as veggies are food and not to decorate snow figures with.

    8:28 I am being called a racist because the snow couple is white.

    8:31 The Muslim gent across the road wants the snow woman to wear a headscarf.

    8:40 Someone calls the cops who show up to see what’s going on.

    8:42 I am told that the broomstick of the snowman needs to be removed because it could be used as a deadly weapon. Things get worse after I mutter : “Yeah, if it’s up your a***”

    8:45 Local TV news crew shows up. I am asked if I know the difference between snowmen and snow-women? I reply, “Snowballs” and am called a sexist.

    8:52 My phone is seized and thoroughly checked while I am being blindfolded and flown to the police station in a helicopter.

    9:00 I’m on the news as a suspected terrorist bent on stirring up trouble during this difficult weather.

    9:10 I am asked if I have any accomplices.

    9:29 A little known jihadist group has claimed it was their plot.

    Moral: There is no moral to this story. It’s just the America we live in today!’

    • spangled drongo says:

      Yes Don, and our local activists are also protesting that our society’s becoming too confrontational.

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