Friday, October 24, 2008

Friday Fuckwit x 2

Parliament Portion Probe
An Australian Federal parliamentary official has confirmed that he checked the size of the portions of beef stroganoff in the parliamentary canteen after a complaint was received from a Labor M!

Federal Labor MP John Murphy complained to the Parliament (not the dinner lady) that his wife was given a serve that was too small whilst dining on Beef Stroganoff in the Parliamentary Dining Room.

He later apologised for raising the issue in Parliament which was quite clearly an inappropriate forum considering that parliamentary debate this week has focussed almost entirely on the economy and how to get money circulating again.

The head of the Department of Parliamentary Services, Alan Thompson, has told Senators at an estimates committee that he tried the stroganoff and was satisfied. I just hope it was in passing converstation and that an estimates committee was not convened to discuss the portion size of stroganoff!

What was a member's wife doing helping herself to polly's tax payer funded beef stroganoff - fuck 'em - let them eat cake!

No Kangaroos in Austria

Austria narrowly won a coveted seat on the UN Security Council and diplomats said Vienna was lucky that only one country appeared to have confused the small Alpine nation with Australia.

Austria, which gets one of 10 nonpermanent seats on the council in 2009-2010, received 133 votes from the 192 UN member states, just five over the required two-thirds majority of 128.

While most of the other votes for the grouping went to the other two contenders Turkey and Iceland, one went to Australia, which was not competing for a seat.

UN diplomats said the most likely explanation for the mystery vote for Australia is that someone confused the two countries because of their similar spellings.

But, they said, the possibility could not be ruled out that it was an innocent joke or an attempt to annoy the Austrians.

So many people confuse Australia and Austria - Oesterreich in German - that tourist shops across the mountainous central European state sell T-shirts and other souvenirs sporting the slogan "there are no kangaroos in Austria".

Last year US President George W Bush confused the two countries when he thanked former Australian prime minister John Howard for visiting his "Austrian" troops in Iraq.


Thriftcriminal said...

Jesus. Just....just, jesus. I'm lost for words.

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

LMAO! I can verify it: there are definitely no kangaroos in Austria - and I'm figuring there also aren't that many who were lederhosen in Australia...

As for the stroganoff story... did someone actually vote this guy into government and if so, they should be force-fed stroganoff for a month!

Nick said...

Good grief, you mean it's not just the global financial meltdown we have to worry about, but the size of beef stroganoff portions as well? It's all too much, I think I need a little lie-down.

Maxi Cane said...

None of that surprises me.

None of it.

Ces said...

I'm with Maxi cane.

ian said...

The guy saw Osterreich and assumed it was Oz written in full!

I have not seen kangaroos in Austria, but there are a lot of Australians on the piste.

Grannymar said...

Increase the wages for your Government Ministers if their wives have to come to work for a free lunch! lol

As for the Austria/Australia bit... GW said it all!

Christopher said...

Admittedly I haven't done any thorough checking on this, but aren't there zoos in Austria? I didn't visit any when I was there, but I'm pretty sure there was at least one zoo in Vienna. So technically there may be kangaroos in Austria. They're just in cages and not native.
Of course the same is true of Tennessee where I live. In fact, up until a few years ago there was a very big Australian festival held here every year, and one of the things I enjoyed most was the petting zoo where I got to pet actual kangaroos. But no one ever confuses Tennessee and Australia.

Quickroute said...

Ah the alpine mountains of Australia, great skiing, efficient transportation - must check if Ryanair fly there!

laughingwolf said...

dumb and dumberer, fir shir!

Bear Naked said...

No wonder the whole world is in the shape that it is.
Shaking my head here.
The people who voted for Mr. Murphy must be so very proud.

Bear((( )))

Nick said...

Quicky - Oh yes, Ryanair fly to Australia, I've just booked my ticket. It only cost £1.99. Mind you, they charged £200 booking fee, £100 to email the confirmation, £400 for a life jacket and £300 for food.

Jay said...

He complained about his wife's portion? Was she entitled to be eating in the parliamentary canteen?? Why??


As to the No Kangaroos thing, I'm ashamed to say that I read the title as 'No kangaroos in Australia' ... thus proving the point.

I hope I wouldn't be daft enough to vote for the wrong one though!

Ces said...


adjective: Southern.

From Latin auster (south). That's why Australia is so named, but that does not apply to Austria, in central Europe. Austria's name is a Latinized form of its German name Ă–sterreich (eastern empire, referring to the eastern boundary of the Frankish Empire at one time).

Anonymous said...

So Mozart didn't compose Concerto No. 5 in B flat minor for didgeree doo and wobbleboard then?

Ernest de Cugnac said...

blimey baino - I just can't believe that Bush quote. Oh, hang on a sec, I think maybe I can.

Megan said...


Maria said...

Oh yes, that happens from time to time that Austria is confused with Australia. I know these T-shirts waying No cangaroos in Austria...
In Schönbrunn, the zoo, there are some of them...

Maria said...

Baino, thank you for being my first follower! :) Austria and Australia go together well, hehe!

TCL said...

And the fair people of my country saw fit to elect the man to office twice!

I must visit Australia for the lederhosen and the fine alpine skiing someday. How can I get there on train from Paris?

Baino said...

Aww Thrifty,that's unusual! I was surprised that pollies can take their wives into the Parliamentary canteen frankly let alone that he raised it in Parliament with all that's going on now, what a trivial issue!

Erm no lederhosen thank goodness . . no um pa pa bands either! Americans travelling with us 10 years ago wanted to know what language we spoke and did we enjoy the skiing in winter!

Amazing during these times Nick. Parliament's been in hot debate over the deposit bank guarantee and he's worried about portion sizes . . he'd better get used to smaller portions!

Me either Maxi . . .their super's safe he'd do well in Ireland!

Stupidity everywhere Ces, I notice Mrs Palin is under attack also for being a little generous with her wardrobe! $150K spent on clothes in a month! That's twice my annual salary!

Ian we're absolutely fantastic at getting on the piss, I mean piste.

Grannymar, they get paid far too much AND a free lunch! GAH!

Chris, a pedantic point but taken! We have a little native zoo near us where you feed and pet a variety of kangaroos and wallabies but you can't touch a koala any more in NSW go figure!

Beautiful place isn't it Quickie. Loved all those alpine regions but I'm not much of a skier, more into the 'apres' ski schnapps and gluvine myself! And Vienna . . ah Vienna . . .

Wuffa I have great difficulty sticking to just 2 items for the FF believe me. . . stupidity reigns supreme!

Fortunately Bear he holds no portfolio! I just hate the 'junkets' that these guys get. In a recent parliamentary discussion that went into the night, they made the bar staff . . yes the bar staff . . .work until after midnight!

Ooh Nick . .you've booked . . very excellent. Good time to travel but for me to fly to Ireland, it would cost $3 million dollars plus the airport tax given the exchange rate. (I think Quickie fancied Austria actually - he's already been here for far too long!)

Jay, I know. Talk about pussy whipped! Australia wasn't even vying for a place on the UN committee. . .ah ignorance is bliss. That's what we get for living in the arse end of the world.

Thanks Ces, you been reading the dictionary again! Australia, short for Terra Australis . .

Haha I guess not Jack but wouldn't mind hearing it. *asks the Warumpi Band if they can tackle classical*

Ernest it's rather sad that we have come to expect this idiocy from pollies as normal.

Megan, I don't speak l33t . . what on earth does that mean I take it you're not referring to TANSTAAFL the derivatives research and trading firm founded in 1992? "There Aint No Such Thing As A Free Lunch" (had to Google it)

Yay, first follower - No worries Maria . . I've been to Shonbrunn but didnt's see the zoo. Mind I was only there for three days.

G'day tcl, we do a mean schnitzel and butterscotch schnapps as well!

Bimbimbie said...

Just goes to show that particular Poli had the dietry concerns of the pensioners uppermost in his mind ;)

kj said...

all of this is news to me. now i will confuse the two countries too.


Baino said...

Bimbimbie . . all their perks and they complain about a portion of beef stroganoff . .it had better not have been made with fillet steak!

kj no you won't Ces has provided a clear definition. "Turramurra warrawee, wooloomoolo wahroonnga bennelong!" There . . clear as mud!

Nick said...

Actually we wanted to fly Qantas but they couldn't guarantee the extra comfortable seats on the flights we wanted so now it's part BA, part Qantas. We try to avoid BA because they've had sudden industrial disputes several times. On the other hand, Qantas has exploding oxygen cylinders....

Ropi said...

Well, yeah, for me the difference quite obvious since I live near to Austria.

TCL said...

At least your Americans are the ones who travel. US and Oz are both large country. Both lands have tremendous diversity of places to visit. But it always strikes me as odd that most Americans handle their relative geographic isolation by staying put. I was amazed when I got to university that many of my classmates have never left their home state.

But Australians (and Kiwis) look at their isolation and decide to travel - sometimes years at a time. I've always been very envious that Aussies and Kiwis just pick up and go to Earth's farthest reaches with nothing but their pack. Most Americans just don't have the travel bug. It's not good or bad. It's just a different lifestyle.

I'm about to embark on my own travels and move to Argentina for a year. It's the first time since I was a wee kid that I'll be abroad for more than weeks or a couple months. Very excited!

BTW - what language do you speak over there in Australia?

Baino said...

Ah Nick I always thought the probability of an accident high with Qantas since we keep banging on about it being the safest airline in the world! I fancy Emerates myself. Cheap, new planes and nobody's going to board them with a bomb strapped to their waist!

Ropi that you do, good to see the Viennese trip coming along!

TCL I've had this discussion I think there are a couple of reasons that Americans don't do the 'gap' year thing. They have it all on their doorstep, many are unaware of what the world has to offer and maybe fewer 'work' during their school years. My two have had part time jobs since they were 15. My daughter is currently in the 10th month of a 12 month trip overseas, doing as you say, slinging on a back pack and staying in hostels. She's travelled to South America, America, Canada, England, Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia and is now in Spain! Very common for our younglings to take off for extended periods. If you want to know more about Argentina, go to Expat in Buenos Aires site! Links in the blogroll.

TCL said...


You cited one reason. We've a big country and there are lots to do and see. But I was talking about this subject with another friend just yesterday. It's also the money.

Just think, a few months after one graduates from university one needs to start servicing the student loans straight away. Education cost in the States is astronomical and many graduates are required to start work right away or risk defaulting on their student loans.

Another reason is healthcare. As soon as one is away from university one loses medical coverage. Travel insurance is a possibility but it isn't cheap for someone just out of school.

I'm not sure how it is is Oz. But I do know my Aussie friends travel far and wide.

For me, I just want to see the world. I get bored easily if I stay in one place for too long.

Baino said...

TCL hello again, just been over to yours. So sorry to hear about your Dad. I lost a very close friend to a brain tumour just four years ago and another close friend's dad is currently in Palliative care. Very sad business. My heart goes out to you.

It's the same here. Both my kids have student loans to repay but they don't have to repay them until they earn more than $37,000 pa at which time 4% of their salary is deducted or they can pay it off in bigger payments or a lump sum if they wish . . .Clare particularly raised money for her trips by working part time in Target all through school. There is free health care here but once you travel, you're not covered so insurance is a 'must'. It's not that expensive . . .about $360 for 12 months cover. We're not that different to you guys really except we pay more TAX!

TCL said...


Thanks for the kind thoughts about me dad. The lost father club is a sad organization to own membership.

I've signed up for travel insurance as well but heard the Argies have pretty good and affordable insurance schemes as well.

Americans also don't have the plush payback system for student loans. It doesn't matter how much one makes. As soon as one is out of university the bankers start knocking on the door. It doesn't matter if you're homeless and jobless. I guess we take our love affair with laissez faire economy very seriously. That's why the Bushies were in love with your Liberal Party and your previous PM there.

You do pay a lot in taxes and conservative Americans always like to cite the high tax Aussies, Canucks or Europeans as models not to follow. But I'm not sure we really pay less taxes here. Sure, if you make peanuts here in the States the 25% federal marginal tax rate you're in is a bit lower than the 40-50% tax rates of other nations. But keep in mind that's just the federal taxes. Throw in another 5-10% on the state taxes, another few from municipal, plus that lovely sales and food tax when visiting the store (VAT for most of the world), we're paying pretty close to 40% of our income to Uncle Sam too. All that and we still don't get proper education and health care benefits.

What many people in America object to isn't high taxes. What they mean is don't use my money to solve other people's problems. Some places, like Portland, Oregon, actually tax themselves to make their own city more pleasant. Oregon has an urban growth boundary tax. Outside the little circle one cannot build without receiving a massive tax bill. A lot of people cry about the excessive government but I think it makes Portland unique and a much more pleasant place to visit and to live. It's green, air is good, skiing, rafting, the country, and great wine is close, and it has fantastic public transpo (funded by those high taxes but loved by everyone - well everyone except this cranky fellow who protest the fact that the light rail runs behind his back yard. I would too I guess.)

Flores Hayes said...

ooo...I love pandas.
Here I bought a cuddly panda bag (L) that I can hardly put it down!
I believe it is a GREAT find for every panda fanatic!
Flor (