:: Monday, 27 January 2003 ::
Don't don't don't don't don't stop the blogging
:: Saturday, 25 January 2003 ::
Gonna have to, for about a week. And I figure now is a good time to do it. Personally I got stuff on real soon that is gonna cut into my blogging. Plus, my stopping blogging for a bit ain't gonna imact anybody too much, what with all the news that is imminently to be made by Mr Blix.
Easy all. Back super soon.
:: WB 4:54 a.m. [link+] ::
Sad to lose him. He had my respect and admiration. I am well aware he was not flawless. Neither am I. That gives us something in common.
:: WB 2:31 a.m. [link+] ::
Psycho -tic, -sis, -hosebeasts
:: Friday, 24 January 2003 ::
Have just seen a show called 'Shaheed' (not a great link I am afraid) on the Discovery Channel on Foxtel (get it if you have not got it already. 5 news channel and Italian teevee alone make the whole thing worthwhile. And World Moofies and of course Discovery). It was all about Palestinian suicide bombers or, as the prefer to call themselves, martyrs (Shaheeds).
That together with this piece from today's Fin Review is depressing stuff. These folks are really deeply mired in a philosophy of death and hate, or so it seems to me. And they have managed to construct a way of observing their faith that will not let them change or even challenge the deathcult business.
I have read contracts where a customer tries to set in stone the price regime for buying off his supplier. "No price rises ever. Whatever changes may happen over the life of the contract the maximum sum we agree up front is all that will ever have to be paid." Blah Blah Blah. You can sign up to that, if you wanna, as a supplier. But you are not being sensible. In fact, you are being roundly taken advantage of.
Now young Palestinians are the suppliers. And Hamas and Hizbollah, and Al Aqsa and Islamic Jihad are the acquirers - the customers. And what the Discovery show presented was bloody awful. Those videos that they take of the explodey before he sets himself (or her- I should not discriminate) alight are a death warrant. They are the contract. No chnages may be made by the supplier. Try to change the arrangement so you can keep yourself alive - ie try to go back on the video - and you are done for - like a big fat breach of contract action, only with the penalty being death or shame. How bloody awful is that?
The young people they get who volunteer, because they are idiots, are fed a steaming pile of bullshit and obfuscation from dawn til dusk. And if they (and it is a big if, I know) get some conscience and want to get out of the deal, they cannot do so without the most awful repercussions.
This whole thing about how you have to celebrate Shaheeds/Shahids - got that? you have to celebrate them, as in you cannot criticise them - just sets the whole thing in stone all over again, for everyone left behind. If you gotta celebrate them, you cannot even be indifferent to them, much less than critical. So it just goes on. The cycle of violence ain't Arab Israeli. It's the freakin' Arabs on their own.
These bullshit practices of their faith are just that - bullshit. There is some obscene rubbish written in the bible old and new testament about what to do, how to dress and behave. It is possible to set the wording aside and go with the emphasis on the faith. It is possible. Christians have been doing it for ever, it seems.
Having now read Tariq Ali's Clash of Fundamentalisms and seen too much news about Palestinian imbecility, and then these two lengthy pieces today, I reckon I have reached a conclusion. That the whole concept of the martyr is disgusting. Because the martyr has no concept of living well. To be martyr there must be some force against which some resistance, some struggle, must be undertaken. To live well, you have to have your eye on the good stuff, not on the struggly stuff.
That is the difference between folks like me who would not martyr myself for anyone. And folks like the Palestinians who, if we just wait long enough, will all martyr themselves. That is the end point of their awfulness.
They have got to get it together. And stop it. Themselves.
And before anyone writes getting shirty about me not mentioning Israelis in this picture, and settlers and stuff, I do not need to. This whole suicide thing is not an inevitability. It is a choice. Taken by Palestinians. And not taken by hundereds of other peoples who feel themselves oppressed rightly or wrongly. Tibetans for example.
Urgh. This brings me down. Need wine and good conversation with clever buddies. About to get that in spades. Living well, you see. It can be done as cheaply as sitting in your own home with some cheap plonk. Living well. That's the key.
:: WB 2:11 a.m. [link+] ::
Been meaning to post on this
Jason Soon over at Catallaxy Files posted about how he is not in favour of liberating Iraqis from the despot freak who has been causing bunches of them to flee all over, even as far as Oz, for decades. He figures it will be worse for meveryone rather than better if military action proceeds. And then he writes:
Come on, do you really trust the Bushies to do a proper nation building job? It's not even a matter of intentions, it's a matter of capability. The spirit is willing but the flesh will probably be weak.
G'uh. Don't the Iraqis have to lift a finger? I think they do. And I reckon a bunch of them will. Gladly. As they should. They let it get shitful for years. Clean it up.
I got no time for these unreal arguments. What the heck reasoning is it, to leave a people languishing, to leave an international sanctions regime and resolution regime impotent - all on the basis that things might be bad. They will be. For a while. But they can get better. They should be better. Iraq of all nations should step up. Its history is fabulous. Really, get far away if doubting the Americans' committment to rebuilding is your problem with military action. You got a problem with the Americans and their committment, take it up with the Americans when it comes time to rebuild.
And then this closer quote:
Speaking of Afghanistan, Joan Didion has a stark reminder:
In the early 1980s I happened to attend, at a Conservative Political Action conference in Washington, a session called "Rolling Back the Soviet Empire." One of the speakers that day was a kind of adventurer-slash-ideologue named Jack Wheeler, who was very much of the moment because he had always just come back from spending time with our freedom fighters in Afghanistan, also known as the Mujahideen. I recall that he received a standing ovation after urging that copies of the Koran be smuggled into the Soviet Union to "stimulate an Islamic revival" and the subsequent "death of a thousand cuts." We all saw that idea come home.
Does this remind you of anything?
Being on the toilet.
Joan Freakin' Didion. Get. Far Away. I mean, what? Now the Americans are responsible for Islamofacism and mad Arabist Wahhabist nuttiness? There are Gideon's Bibles in every hotel room from here to eternity in the west. End of story.
It ain't the Korans and the Bibles. It is the violent imbeciles reading them.
:: WB 4:51 a.m. [link+] ::
More from the West's most strident opponent of Islamofascism.
And its classiest.
:: WB 4:38 a.m. [link+] ::
I heard a decent 'Late Night Live' last night
Nah for sure. I did. "Saddam on .the couch". Good stuff.
That is all. I am not mental.
:: WB 4:34 a.m. [link+] ::
Thinking Differently. Probably wrongly
Caught a show on the SBS tonight (not much of a link I am afraid). It was all about human smuggling, illegal immigration and Continental Europe's actions to address and seek to limit it. I have not looked for a transcript, but I sribbled a few choice quasi-quotes as the show went on, cos some of it was just logic defying.
~European countries are the best friends to smugglers because the governments create a market for smuggling~.
Wha'? Create a market?
Okay. First ask - how do European countries do this 'create-the-market-for-smugglers' thing? By being successful. More successful than the countries where the smugglees come from. By being countries where work can be found, life can be lived with some welfare net, some medicine, some housing and even education and a distinct lack of civil war or just generalised violence.
Next ask - are these European countries successful in order to attract smugglers to do their business? Or is it just that, as a consequence of being successful, a smuggler driven market that has grown up around those successful countries? Is success therefore an indirect cause of smuggling from unsuccessful countries? I would answer yes. Consequential. Smugglers do not pay European governments to smuggle. They get money from the smugglees. And then they keep that money. So, European countries are not creating a market for smuggling. Smugglers are acting in a market driven by crank countries. To lay the blame on the successful country is really absurd.
Some footage from the show featured a yound African guy, trying to get to Spain via Morocco and the Spanish/EU entrance location walled off on the northern tip of Morocco, a mere 17 kilometres from Gibraltar. He said he wanted in to Europe cos his country was stuffed and all Africa was stuffed because of lousy leaders.
More footage followed a bunch of Iraqis trying to, and actually managing to get to Greece (only to be captured 3 days later, poveretti). On the infrared camera at night, as they arrived one young guy grabbed a sod of earth in his hand, the gesture too poignant really - European soil. So much better than his very own soil, the soil of his family and all the memory and history of his own personal life.
Put these guys together and what have you got? You got two guys who have no respect for where they are from. Now, why would that be? Because where they are from has been ruled ruinously for too bloody long. And they would rather respect the dirt of someplace else than where they are from. Christ. And some idiot says it is Europe creating the market for smuggling? How incorrectly can you read a situation?
~The people who pay to get smuggled into Europe are the victims of Europe's failed border protection policy, because immigration is the same now as it ever was~.
Again. Wha'? Europe's border protection is being breached over and over by newer and newer ways of breaching borders - lorries, fuselages, mountain paths, night-time river crossings etc etc whatever. And that is Europe's fault?
See above reasoning. Blame lies with crap leaders who cause their populations to flee. (I know, I know. Broken record.)
One of the last words on the show, was a German guy and he said something that made me sit up cos I have never even bothered to think of this. He said something like ~we here in Europe need immigration. The great nations built on migration, Australia and the USA and Canada have always been smart. They have always targetted clever young people from the Third World skilled in languages. We should learn from their approach because they are successful nations. But we should also ask, should we also target those kinds of folks from the Third World. Should we deplete those assets from the Third World, thereby keeping it the Third World?~
It is not a bad sentiment - to care about where people come from and worry that they are leaving behind a bad situaiton which they could help to fix, instead of helping an already successful spot, like Europe. But I reckon he is being patronising here. Cos skilled migration, something we here in Oz bang on about all the time, is never permanent. Heck, being born in Oz is not a permanent ticket to staying if you wanna change. People do move. Not for whole of life, but for goodly parts.
Dunno. Gonna have to think on that last point more. But it was a thought provoking show, the SBS doing its thing - playing to its audience on multiculti stuff.
:: WB 4:25 a.m. [link+] ::
I see all
To understand wogs and their lack of interest in cricket you must first understand wogs.
For the benefit of the Guardian hack quoted by the blog above, there is no racism. There is, however, cultural imperialism in spades. And it ain't from the Skippy side, okay?
:: WB 3:30 a.m. [link+] ::
God Smite Fairfax Broadsheets
I mean, really. Please. A headline like that is just plain wrong. Its snippy tone a lemon-lipped disapproval to all who do not shit themselves about Iraq.
War has not been declared, jackass SMH.
UPDATE: Incredibile. Veramente. Have a read of the ravings on the SMH's WebDiary. All one way. And, since it is the SMH you know which way that is. Anti-US. Not a clear thinker among them. Not one entry comes close to even impressing me as a reasoned argument. No wonder Prof Bunyip and Blair (cruise round the archives and scroll - you will find stuff) mine this site. Its got rich veins of stupid bursting out all over.
FURTHER UPDATE: You want to see the press engaged in a service to Oz (by which I mean a service for all Australians to put their views whatever they may be), then go to the tabloid press. I give you the Daily Telegraph page of feedback about the troops directed to the Gulf and the whole Iraq thing. Differnet views. Wogs. Skips. Good Oz stuff here.
:: WB 3:05 a.m. [link+] ::
God Bless Brit Tabloids
:: Thursday, 23 January 2003 ::
:: WB 2:56 a.m. [link+] ::
Prof Bunyip delivers.
:: Wednesday, 22 January 2003 ::
:: WB 3:49 a.m. [link+] ::
Enlightening work from The Economist all about Iran
People flee from there, just like they flee from Iraq. That. Has. Got. To. Stop.
Ain't nobody fleeing Oz. Sure, them Bahktiyari Boys tried it on at the urging of their stupendously cruel and incompetent lawyers. Those boys are from Pakistan, it appears. Either way. A bunch of places in the world get it together. No-one flees. No-one needs to. A bunch of countries do not get it together. That bunch are all on notice to get it together.
The fleeing game has to stop. Way to stop it? Fix the lousiness of 'home'. Afghanistan. Tick. Not perfect by a long shot. But Afghans have to step up to fix their home. You do know about .af, right? That is the Afghanistan internet name affix. Like .au for Oz. Cool, huh? I will wager that that was not a Taliban initiative. Moving on - Pakistan. As we speak, getting sorted - very big project. Looong term. Iraq. Soon. And it should not take long. Because Iraqi's flee, in big big numbers. And they end up in Oz, US, UK, etc etc. So they do not hate those countries or think them imperialist colonisers. And neither do their family back home. So, Iraqis will be rid of Saddam and damned happy about it, for the most part, I reckon. So, soon.
Iran. Soon after Iraq. And probably, as Economist, an internal activity.
January 27 is Blix's report to the UN, right?
Big deal for him. Seriously.
:: WB 3:25 a.m. [link+] ::
Fair and Balanced
:: Tuesday, 21 January 2003 ::
Oops. I meant to type 'Insane in the membrane'.
:: WB 2:52 a.m. [link+] ::
I wish I could write this good
:: Monday, 20 January 2003 ::
:: WB 3:44 a.m. [link+] ::
Dunlop posts on Blair's observation about littery pro-Saddamers.
Let us see. Those folks who got together at the weekend to show they were against any activity, no matter what, which will liberate Iraq from the grip of Madman Hussein (who cares how many - every one is an idiot pro-Saddamer, or, to put it another way, an anti-Liberated-Iraqi) make a goddam mess while they are getting together and leave that goddam mess behind. One of many disconnects between their thinking and their actions.
Blair points this out. Dunlop writes 'Yes, folks, the whole anti-war movement has been undermined by a bad case of littering'. Littering. And nuding up on mountainsides. And Sheryl Crow, and Sean Penn, and George Galloway, and this bra-nonsense, for crying outta loud, etc etc.
Please. Pro-Saddamers are jackasses. They are getting called on it. Right down to the littering. Cos they are jackasses, all the way down the line, to the littering.
And how about this Jason Soon post (cannot link to post called "Wilsonian something Bushie something'.) Anyhow, Jase quotes from a Foreign Policy article which is in favour of containment - ie let Saddam get his nukes and just 'contain' him.
'Containment' for God's sake. That is, like, Soooo '87.
The article contains this (not interested enough in context so let us just go with the quote taken by Jason):
If the United States is, or soon will be, at war with Iraq, Americans should understand that a compelling strategic rationale is absent. This war would be one the Bush administration chose to fight but did not have to fight. Even if such a war goes well and has positive long-range consequences, it will still have been unnecessary. And if it goes badly—whether in the form of high U.S. casualties, significant civilian deaths, a heightened risk of terrorism, or increased hatred of the United States in the Arab and Islamic world—then its architects will have even more to answer for.
~It will have been unnecessary~. Intellectually, for thre authors and their 'containment' point, maybe so. But to every Iraqi asylum-seeker, refugee, or poor bastard who had to flee the murder and mayhem of Hussein's Iraq, liberation is a necessity.
Iraqis have been fleeing for years. That has got to stop. They cannot get rid of Saddam themselves. And Saddam has not gone on his own. It is necessary for others to do something. Others are. Necessary.
And, really, who cares about Arab hate?
:: WB 1:36 p.m. [link+] ::
Tex is good
:: WB 1:04 p.m. [link+] ::
Clear Comment. Not sure where it gets us. But clear.
From The Age's letters page today:
Is the UN really up to the job?
With only 6 per cent of the Australian population in agreement with the war on Iraq and the rest going with the mantra of "only if sanctioned by the UN" (The Age, 18/1), who is analysing the performance of the UN - particularly since Kofi Annan has been secretary-general?
We have seen the UN's poor performance during the wars in the former Yugoslavia to the point where the European Union proposed acting as the unifying force, and the scuttling of the previous arms inspections in Iraq. And it is frustration with the UN that has led the US and Britain to consider acting alone.
:: WB 1:02 p.m. [link+] ::
Hmmm. Things happening.
:: Sunday, 19 January 2003 ::
And now a raid on that superhard Mosque in London, leading to arrests.
And God awful fires in Oz.
Of all three things the fires make me saddest. Some folks have lost family. What can you say? God help them. Others have kept safe and watched as their livestock was taken. Purebred beasts, equine and bovine. The whole thing is so furious.
:: WB 4:07 a.m. [link+] ::
Was watching that SBS show Fond Memories of Cuba last night.
There was a streetside interview with an old guy. The shot was from the waist up. He was wearing a nicish dark blue shirt, his hair was neat and short. He looked kinda cool. He was talking about how great it was in Cuba, how life expectancy was high, he himself was 70-something and he felt he could 'eat a lion' on a good day. He said Fidel was God. He then went on to say that the cost of travelling round in Cuba was very high and it was not worth spending money on travel and he had better cut the interview short because he had a long way to go and he had better get started.
And as he walked away the camera panned after him...and the guy had no shoes on, and he was pushing a wheelbarrow filled with rubbish.
Christ, how I laughed.
Those poeple are idiots. Pigheaded idiots. It is not as though they do not know the better life they could have if they adopted the democratic life that functions well a mere 90 miles away. And what do you do with a man whose head is in the toilet and who maintains his life is good, even better than that of his neighbour?
Elections in Cuba. Pronounced 'rubberstamping for the despot'.
:: WB 3:24 p.m. [link+] ::
Excellent work all weekend from Little Green Footballs.
:: WB 3:54 a.m. [link+] ::
"No War in Iraq" = "Keep Saddam in Power"
:: Friday, 17 January 2003 ::
It does. That is what it equals. If you do not see that, my friend, you are a moron.
First the warheads. Empty, but undeclared. Now this.
Add it to every Iraqi who ever turned up to Oz seeking asylum, pointing straight at Saddam and the violent imbecilic way he runs his country.
Really, what do all these people have against Iraqi folks?
Penny and Instapundit for coverage of the world's imbeciles all getting together on the same day to consign Iraqi's to ongoing despotism.
UPDATE: Even The Guardian editorial from today, Sunday, agrees with me. Finalmente, amici, finalmente.
:: WB 3:45 a.m. [link+] ::
Maybe helpful, maybe not. Not, I reckon.
This SMH poll sounds weird. But it could just be me.
See, there is this paragraph early in the piece:
The poll results came as UN weapons inspectors revealed they had found 11 empty warheads designed to carry chemical payloads, and one unidentified warhead, in a bunker south of Baghdad - their first discovery in 48 days of inspections.
And then this towards the end:
The Herald-ACNielsen poll of 1549 people was taken on Tuesday night, after Mr Howard announced the forward deployment of troops.
It also followed news that Dr Blix had delivered an interim report saying he had yet to uncover stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons.
The poll was taken before the warheads were found. The results got published after the warheads were found. This article makes it sound like Oz folks do not care that the Iraqis have those warheads which were not included in their declaration.
Come on now. If Blix finds a nuclear facility, or some live warheads, how do you think 1549 people will respond then?
In a lively fashion, I will wager. Very very pro-Liberate Iraq from the Madman Saddam and save us all from his lies and insanity.
:: WB 11:47 p.m. [link+] ::
Clear thinking needed to protect Engerland
Following on from the post below, this in the Telegraph in the UK about what should be done to protect against terrorists getting in to the UK under the 'asylum seeker' guise. Top article. The conclusion could be written about Oz, exchanging one letter. You know it.
...could effect a dramatic reduction in the number of asylum seekers. Many members of the Establishment - such as the BBC and lawyers making a living out of human rights - would be appalled. But the people of this country would be relieved. And their lives would be safer.
There is a link between asylum seeking and terrorism. Common sense dictates that there must be a link. The terrorists of September 11 were monied up Saudi jackasses living large in Germany and then the US. But the Bali boys were all low rent. So, from this we can take that terrorists can be rich or poor. What they have in common is a lawlessness, an utter disregard for others, in favour of a full-on world view and total regard for themselves, their views and their actions.
Asylum seekers demonstrate lawlessness and disregard, in mucho smaller doses. Stay with me hear, 'cos this is not a bash of asylum seekers. A claim for asylum can be made inside normal legal routes, legal in the form of international treaties and local laws to do with immigration which have been developed to deal with those poeple who turn up in a country, not their own, seeking asylum. In Oz, parts of those laws are devoted to detention while claims are assessed. Whatever. But the key is there is a legal route. And then there is the non-legal route - the simple turn up and claim asylum. Athletes have done it in the past, from the Eastern Bloc. And some folks do it now, by landing boats on Christmas Island (Oz) or in Pescara (Abruzzo, Italia). And that is to be expected, because the need for saylum is not always a need that can be orderly and patient. So laws kick in to dela with asylum seekers who have arrived without authority to make those claims - these guys are the lawless guys of the asylum seeking world. And a bunch of others are lawful.
Now, this lawlessness is the key. Cos the lawlessness of just turning up and making the claim can hardly be called terrorism. Because it is not. No terrorism in seeking asylum, right? Right. The terrorism is in the activities of the guys who, having sought asylum, get down to business of engaging in terrorist acts.
Like the Algerian guys in the UK.
They had sought asylum. And then they got down to terrorist business.
Link. Link. Link.
To refuse to acknowledge the link would just be stupid.
Now, do you stop letting people even seek asylum, just 'cos they might turn out to be terrorists? Some people might say "G'uh. Yah." I would not. Gotta be able to deal with this. This is a dealable problem. As the Telegraph article suggests.
Could it ever happen is Oz? Yep. Would Julian Burnside bleat about it?
No need to answer.
:: WB 11:29 p.m. [link+] ::
Well, they would say that wouldn't they
Men and boys from Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan and Kuwait are the latest nationals to be added to a list of foreign visitors who must register and be fingerprinted by the United States Government under a controversial anti-terrorism program.
The new list brought angry responses from Egypt and Indonesia, allies of the US in its "war on terrorism".
An Egyptian embassy spokesman said: "We understand very well the security concerns after 9/11 yet we believe that profiling based on nationality or faith will in no way enhance security."
The registration, which applies to males of 16 years and over, has been criticised by Arab and immigration groups who say Middle Eastern men are unfairly targeted.
Oh, you guys are targeted, alright. But it is fair and square.
To put it correctly: males over the age of 16 from Bangladesh, Jordon, Kuwait, Indonesia, and Egypt, together with men over the age of 16 from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan and Syria, Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Eritrea, Lebanon, Morocco, North Korea, Oman, Qatar, Somalia, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen, who are living in the US without authority or on temporary authority must present to have fingerprints taken, authorisation checked and identification generally determined.
Those who have been convicted of criminal acts while on their temporary visas get deported. Those with irregularities in their authorisations get checked out - and either deported or the authorisation is confirmed. Those with no authority to be in the US get deported. Good.
The fact this is happening is evidence that the US Deptartment of Naturalisation and Immigration has not been on top of things in the past (understatement, I know, I know). But the US govt is getting it together now.
When is this gonna happen in Oz? And the UK? and Italy?
How could you be in government and not want to check all the folks in your country from those countries who have not become citizens of your country? In 2003? How could you not?
:: WB 10:57 p.m. [link+] ::
This nails it
:: Thursday, 16 January 2003 ::
Hanson on sloppy anti-Liberated-Iraq thinking.
At least, that is how I characterise the likes of Sheryl Crow. "War is not the answer".
What a skanky B-grader.
:: WB 8:00 p.m. [link+] ::
Great work from Steyn
The antidote to Carmen Lawrence's bullshit below. He calls the left for what they are. Uncaring, when it all boils down. Nasty so-and-sos.
Oooh, gonna sleep peaceful tonight.
:: WB 3:51 a.m. [link+] ::
Sudden superhigh happiness levels, thinking 'bout this car
And these guys.
:: WB 3:35 a.m. [link+] ::
This is not good for lifting one's spirit
Carmen Lawrence, freed from any obligation to utilise logic and reason in her day to day activities, now unleashes a full imbecilic rant into the SMH's WebDiary.
How is this for a closing:
...yesterday, at the invitation of a group of young anti-war activists (the Fremantle Anti-Nuclear Group), I joined upper house Green MP, Jim Scott, an international law expert and an environmental scientist to "inspect" the weapons on the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln. We wanted to make the point that the U.S. is prepared to bomb the people of Iraq (estimates are that hundreds of thousands died as a result of the last conflict) with weapons, which will certainly be indiscriminate in their effect and cause " mass destruction". We also wanted to underline the fact that we do not have freedom of movement in our own waters and that the U.S. navy never allows inspection of its own "weapons of mass destruction".
Did you cum, Carmen? You wanker.
There are some who clearly disapprove of such direct (although lawful) action, but they appear unconcerned about the accelerating pace of war talk and the fact that we're being seduced into accepting the Howard Government's reassuring utterances about going along with the U.N., when it's obvious that the moment George W snaps his fingers, Howard will jump and we'll all suffer the consequences. It seemed to me that we had to seize every opportunity to voice our opposition to the conflict before it is too late.
Another lefty who presumes pro-Liberated Iraq folks, like me and my mother and my father, are stupid and being manipulated by eeevil Johnny Howard, who himself is being ordered about by the POTUS.
Perhaps some of my anxiety stems from the fact that the anti-war movement was so slow to mobilise in response to the U.S./Australia "adventure" in Vietnam which killed so many in our region, producing decades of misery and conflict. Over thirty years ago I spoke at an ani-war rally and urged the young men who'd been drafted to tear up their draft cards. They did. Whitlam was elected on the wave of anti-war sentiment and Australia withdrew from the horror that was the Vietnam war which ended soon afterwards.
Perhaps? It ALL stems from your age, you moron. You think Vietnam is the only war ever faught, and Whitlam is the only good thing ever to get into Canberra. There is no mention in her whole piece of the Gulf War - faught and won in weeks. Or Bosnia. And "killed so many in our region producing decades of misery and conflict"? Oh, nice, Carmen. 'Our region'. Not enough to limit your talk to Oz. Gotta be 'region'.
Whatsamatta, Carmen? 508 Oz soldiers dead in the Vietnam War. 37 Oz Civilians dead. 3131 Oz injuries. Not enough Oz blood for you to make your argument? Gotta lump Oz into Vietnamese 'misery and conflict' - this is unsurprising coming from Carmen since the only 'decades of misery and conflict' Oz experienced as a result of the Vietnam War was none. But what we all had was a bunch of Oz folks just like Carmen, hell bent on making Vietnam Vets, and anyone who liked them, feel 'miserable' and 'conflicted' for those guys having done their duty.
What is the bet Carmen was there to boo them when they got back? Odds On.
She could not give a stuff about the military or the Vietnamese and certainly not the Bosnians, Kuwaitis, Iraqi's or any other peoples who might get liberated from tyranny by military force.
Perhaps, as some have charged, my actions in drawing attention to the double standards employed by the U.S administration are "juvenile". But I know where I'd rather be today - supporting the young enthusiasts - those juveniles - who actually believe that peace is possible and that we all have an obligation to alert the community to the vile consequences of an unprovoked attack on the people of Iraq and the possibility of "blowback" on the Australian people.
This from a woman who bleats about refugees. IRAQI REFUGEES.
God help me, I got a knot the size of a watermelon in my right shoulder.
Must. Calm. Down.
:: WB 3:12 a.m. [link+] ::
O Dio. A pain behind my eyes. And Silvio's too, no doubt.
The thing about Italy is, Italian women are beautiful, Italian men are too. And yet...and yet..a bunch of these beauties are commie red-raggers of the very worst kind. The kind that cannot tolerate even the slightest, the merest, non-commie thinking or activity. The mere suggestion that the labour market might be reformed so employers can sack some of those gorgeous but lazy knuckles (and for sure there are plenty of those - ever been into an Italian bank or post office? Think twice, please. Better to remember the country for its stunningly good looking folks, great cars, coffee and general stuff and views and art and architecture and history...everything else but the actual unionised worklforce - by which I mean public sector persons paid to toil but who decline to, right?) causes the commies to get into gear, and not only will they not allow the reform they will go the extra mile to cause such reforms never to be a possibility in future.
I am rambling. Thye make me weep...and ramble.
Must find good things. Must. Lift. Spirit.
:: WB 2:32 a.m. [link+] ::
How long can this go on?
:: Tuesday, 14 January 2003 ::
El Sur reports on the Venezuelan business. I find this stuff weirdly compelling. A people on strike, a leader who is a jackass, democratically elected but, in the four-hour speechifyin' Castro mould, a Supreme Court which may or may not be making it up as they go along, and everything else. And international oil prices heading north on account of how Venezuela is dirty big producer of the stuff.
Sheesh. A population on strike. For 40 days.
:: WB 2:17 a.m. [link+] ::
From today's Australian we get this from Labor's Daryl Welham (but read it all to see if you share his views):
The circumstances of Hicks and Habib have attracted little public sympathy. Whatever one may think of their alleged associations and allegiances, one cannot ignore the fact that indefinite detention without charge involves an abuse of fundamental human rights and legal principles. The Howard Government's endorsement of this practice by the US military is nothing short of a disgrace.
An Australian citizen accused overseas of murder or drug trafficking would be given more support from our Government than that afforded to Hicks and Habib.
If we are to defeat terrorism, we must uphold the human rights principles our societies hold dear. These include the basic rights of persons held in custody: the right to humane treatment; the right to be informed of the reasons for detention and to be able to challenge the lawfulness of detention; the presumption of innocence; prompt access to and assistance of a lawyer; prompt access to medical assistance; and the ability to communicate with family members.
"Whatever one might think...". Wrong. To imagine that giving a terrorist an even break is a good idea, and one that will be embraced by the Oz community, is stupid. So stupid. Guys who end up giving themselves names like "Jihad", or go a-fighting in Afghanistan, or live comfortably in Oz with their families but do not mind leaving wife and kids behind to go back and forth over the borders of Afghanistan and Pakistan, at a profoundly lousy time in those nations' histories, are not common criminals.
Uncommon criminals is what these folks are.
If we are to defeat terrorism we must get rid of all the terrorists.
And to do this we need to apply human rights, but only enough so as to be just that little bit more civilised than the subjects of our attentions. A little bit. But it is that little bit that counts. And at Guantanamo, last any of us heard, the occupants were alive.
Which is not what the victims are from the Bali bombing, the Grozny bombing, the Moscow Theatre, the New York-Washington-Pennsylvania incidents of while back, which Daryl has not mentioned.
Daryl acts like Jihad Thomas should be arraigned down the Local Court, with a simple bail application being made.
It is a constant catchcry of the left that rights are important, no matter how shitful the subject, and we should all, Oz folks all, enjoy the same rights. They think they are Voltaire. Idiots.
These 3 Oz men are not Oz junkies trying to bring drugs in from Thailand or horrid Oz nannies who've shaken babies to death. These men are Oz folks, caught, having chosen to and then actually made their way to a shitful part of the world, and, once there, not doing a lick of good for that part of the world, you know? Not peacekeepers. Not shop-owners. Not even farmers.
Nothing good. And if nothing good? Then what?
Who cares. Called "Jihad", for God's sake, not that Daryl wants to point that out.
I could not give a stuff about Thomas, Hicks or Habib. Or their lawyers.
When Daryl Melham's mum is as risk of going to Guantanamo, then I will promise to revisit my attitudes. But while Pakistan is full of Pakistanis who have not been sent Guantanamo, and Afghanistan is also full of Afghans who have not been sent to Guanatanamo and only 3 Oz folks out of us all are in Guanatanamo, then I will not worry about infringement of rights and erosion of principle.
The principle is to win.
:: WB 5:54 p.m. [link+] ::
Good essay on why the anti-war crowd do not care one iota about actual Iraqi people
:: Monday, 13 January 2003 ::
Because actual Iraqi people who can speak freely do not live in Iraq. they live all over, anywheres but Iraq, some even in Oz. And they tend not to want Saddam to remain in power. And they admit they have not got the gumption or even ability to remove him. Because he is such a violent despot.
Listen to the refugees, lefties.
:: WB 5:31 p.m. [link+] ::
Great work from Victor David Hanson
:: WB 2:03 p.m. [link+] ::
Good work from Matt Welch.
:: WB 4:37 a.m. [link+] ::
So many letters to the Australian and the SMH, roundly against doing anything to liberate the people of Iraq from the murderous scumbag who has violently abused them for years and years, subjected the nation to two idiotic wars of invasion, causing his population to flee flee flee, some of them all the way down to Oz.
How heartless and cruel can these letter writing folks be? Very, it seems.
Life can rarely be reduced to simplistic formulae to reach a great truth. But sometimes it can. And if you are in charge of a nation, however you got there, and bunches of your people flee that nation seeking asylum or just generally fleeing to get the hell out, then you, sir, are doing a shitful job of running your nation. And you should resign.
Sanctions? Saddam's fault. Saddam resigns. No more sanctions.
Sanctions. Saddam's 100% fault. Not the Security Council. Not the UN accounts. Not the vetting what the Iraqi's can or cannot buy.
But these letter writers. Sheesh. They are some hard bastards. They could not give a shit about the fleeing. They would rather the Iraqi's kept their Saddam.
Let us see some of these letter writers in action, eh?
...Yes, Saddam does have blood on his hands, but to argue that the US is the upholder of peaceful humanitarianism in Iraq is ignorant and naive in the extreme.
Nice, eh? Saddam invades Kuwait, loses Gulf War and gets sanctions imposed unless he does x, y and z. Saddam resolutely fails to do x, y and/or z. Saddam actually kills, directs torture and, yes, I am going to harp on this, has caused bunches of his population to flee. By any objective measure the fullstop should come after the 'blood on hands' statement.
...Though I would agree that, all other things being equal, Iraq could sell enough oil to supply its people with their material needs, all things are not equal. Iraq has been unable to repair much of the oil-producing infrastructure destroyed during the Gulf War. This means that it is unable to produce even half the oil it is allowed to sell.
'Unable'. Hmmm. Saddam resigns. Sanctions lifted. Repair of destroyed stuff miraculously now doable.
See that sloppy language? 'Unable' is the wrong word. The sentences should read: "Iraq's leadership, in the person of Saddam Hussein, has failed to carry out repairs to the country's oil-producing infrastructure. Refusing to comply with UN resolutions which compliance would cause the lifting of sanctions, Saddam Hussein has persitently caused his country to produce less than it can, and thereby to not feed its citizenry enough."
Everything bought by Iraq with oil money is vetted by the UN Security Council. They have systematically prevented supply of essential goods, such as drugs and vaccines for the sick and wounded, and building materials to repair roads, pipelines, water-treatment plants and other vital infrastructure damaged in the Gulf War and in subsequent attacks by US and British warplanes enforcing the "no-fly zones". Even innocuous items such as food and clothing are delayed for months awaiting "approval". I don't doubt Hussein is exacerbating and exploiting the sanctions to strengthen his hold on power, this merely proves that general economic sanctions, rather than military sanctions, are an ineffective way of removing dictators from power.
Again with the focus is elsewhere than on Saddam. But this guy at least gets to a point where maybe he can be credited with giving enough of a damn about Iraqi people to think they might be better off with a military invasion to rid them of the violent imbecile they have as a leader.
....the sanctions on Iraq are imposed by the UN but are definitely sustained and led by the US. Secondly, the "oil for food" money is held in escrow by the UN, after more than a quarter is taken away to pay "reparations". It cannot be spent on palaces or anything else. The products Iraq tries to buy with that money have to be vetted by the sanctions committee, dominated by the US. That committee has put holds on many humanitarian products. Denis Halliday, Hans Von Sponeck and Jutta Burghardt have resigned in protest at the genocidal impact the sanctions are having. To be fair, the widespread destruction of civilian infrastructure by US bombs (in contravention of the Geneva Convention) has contributed to the increased infant mortality, which has doubled since 1991.
"To be fair". Not a word on Saddam in this letter. Not one word.
And the SMH?
Here we go:
Many Australian war memorials feature a statue of a valiant, armed soldier standing in resolute pose displaying the glory and valour of war. It is ironic that the inscriptions below those statues are the names of the thousands of soldiers who stand no longer, killed at too young an age on foreign soil. Then there are the hundreds of thousands more who returned to face a future of physical and, invariably, emotional turmoil. We rightly honour those who have fought, but we should never forget that for every heroic deed there are scores of other actions during wartime that lead to death or a life disrupted. The ripple effect through family, friends and health services dictates that war must be avoided as the cost to society is far too great and unjustified.
How could we do this to another generation?
Cannot argue with this. Fair question. The answer may be - for the same or similar reasons as earlier generations. Because we are right to do this. Saddam is a shit. If he will not fall on his own sword, then he will have to be pushed. Nothing less than the Iraqi people depend upon us to do it. For a mixture of cowardice and shame and a simple desire to keep living, they have found themsleves unable to get rid of him themselves.
Australia is about to lose its world acclaimed reputation as a just and honourable nation. The glory that our defence forces had bravely and rightly earned will soon be lost forever when John Howard, aided and abetted by his Government, send Australians overseas to pillage another nation. History will never again look kindly on Australia as a nation that respected the law of justice for all. Australians who served in previous wars will forever be tarnished by the actions of this Government. When our servicemen go overseas this time it will be with the clear intent to plunder Iraq. It will not be to make the world a safer place; it will not be to protect a threatened nation. It will be for oil for the United States.
Grotesquely obese and shameless talk-show panellists eager to exhibit their tawdry lifestyles and vengeful intentions to a global audience; women-hating, gun-toting, semi-literate gangsta rappers approved of by an equally feral music industry; 350 channels of home shopping; crude and boorish drug-addled has-beens convinced the public is interested in 60-minute insights into their vacuous lives - and the audience which weekly proves them correct; Spielbergian morality; Microsoft's greed; Britney Spears's integrity, and JLo's tedious wedding plans. Hallelujah. And this is the American way of life we just queue-jumped to defend.
Oh Please. Nothing good about America? Do not be an idiot. I give you HIM.
...It's hard at 21 years of age to comprehend the world, let alone be optimistic about the consequences of the decisions of our so-called leaders. The silence of the head-nodding masses is also a mystery.
They are leaders, jackass. That is why they are called 'leaders'. And the 'head-nodding'. Typical of anti-war to think everyone who is not with him must be a dribblin' fool getting manipulated by big something -politics/business. Christ Almighty.
My first grandchild will be born in March. I so desperately do not want this child to be born into a world torn apart by war and terrorism. I call upon our church leaders to summon our nation to a day of prayer and fasting. Better to fight evil on our knees than on the battlefield.
Hey. The world is war torn. Thank Africa for the high stats. And knees? Are you mental?
Would not sending an "SAS regiment of 150 likely to take part in sabotage, reconnaissance and advance incursions" (Herald January 11-12) to a country with which we are not at war be classed as an act of terrorism?
I get to the end of reading these things...and I find I really need another glass of wine.
:: WB 4:27 a.m. [link+] ::
:: Saturday, 11 January 2003 ::
Ken Parish posts about the Windshuttle business. He concludes that Ryan, Reynolds et al have overstated Aboriginal deaths by making stuff up from sources that are not reliable and Windshuttle has probably understated the numbers of deaths by only relying on some sources, which themselves might not be too reliable.
Okay. So somewhere in the middle there is a truth.
This whole back and forth in the press, on radio, all over, is important because the truth is worth getting to.
Parish's own assessment, once we reach that middle, where the truth is, still reveals Reynolds and Ryan and Clements and Moses etc etc to have overstated Aboriginal deaths. Why would they do that? And Windshuttle? He has understated the numbers of Aboriginal deaths. Why would he do that?
I think we know the answers to these questions. The first, is that Reynolds, Ryan etc etc think it is okay to lie in their cause. And the second answer is that Windshuttle thinks it is not okay at all.
I am with Windshuttle on the big picture here.
As for the actual detail, I will quote my father.
:: WB 3:17 a.m. [link+] ::
I cannot locate a link to the piece in yesterday's Spectrum in the SMH by someone called Andrew Stephenson. It is a big piece, of about 800 maybe 1000 words. Its thesis is that Australian multiculturalism is founded on tolerance but would be better if it was founded on acceptance. The difference between the two being the difference between the real world and some chocolate-covered veal-dipped paradise wonderworld. That is to say, he is full of shit. He is not malicious, or at least the impression I get is that the author is a nice, nice man. But sheesh. how about this closing:
Acceptance does not mean pretending our problems away or imagining that there are no inherent inconveniences or frustrations in establishing a muticultural community; it's not about repressing such negative sentiments until they boil over in rages that rupture the social fabric.
Instead, acceptance offers the chance to deal with the difference upfront: the way you imagine and live your life is different to mine but I accept it and, in accepting it, I accept you.
In doing so we can, together, create something better than each of us could possibly achieve alone. Let's put up with other no more [ed: tolerate] and instead boldly go forth and enjoy the fruits of a diverse, multi-ethnic, multiracial community.
At this point I will permit you a moment to delicately wipe the puke from your lips.
I mean, has this jackass ever been in a room with a Serb and a Croat? At the same time? I will wager no.
His whole article is a some white guiltapalooza fest, you know? Wogs only just barely tolerate other wogs, okay? Just barely. Acceptance is not part of the equation. Tolerance is as good as it gets. And you know what? Skips are very woggy 'bout this. They tolerate. They tolerate other skippies and wogs. Tolerate. Acceptance is not something the whole communities do. That is individual. When I see a Greek marry an Italian. I think two things. The second being, how nice it is to see folks with two religious traditions, all in love. Tolerance is a damn fine basis for a multicultural community. To ask for anything more is ridiculous.
The author's thesis is that, if acceptance was the basis of multiculturalism, instead of tolerance, then, in the face of a violent disgrace like Bali, the population would have united behind a condemnation of the criminality of the bombing, and not focussed on the ethnic and cultural background of the perpetrators, filling the radio airwaves with nasty talkback.
The perpetrators perpetrated the disgusting bombing because of their ethnic and cultural background.
Just. Say. It. Some ethnic and cultural stuff is not doing a good job of even tolerating the rest of us, wog and skippy alike, wherever we might be in the world. It will get better, but will take some effort. And not the loving hippy effort. As for 'acceptance', I do not care to 'go boldly forth and enjoy fruits' of everyone even here in Oz. My friends I accept. Love. The rest. I tolerate.
Fuzzy 'love everyone' shit is for imbeciles who do not understand anything about the human condition. To paraphrase that Yank comedian whose name I have forgotten: "You can't love everyone. Where would you put 'em?"
:: WB 10:05 p.m. [link+] ::
Who says Italian TV is not great?
Not me. Fisticuffs. For real. And over something important, too.
The pictures and that insane translation. Favoloso!
:: WB 9:15 p.m. [link+] ::
From a Somali refugee in Holland, a revisiting of criticism of violent imbecilic imams and Muslims who resolutely fail to integrate with local native culture and custom. And, as a natural consequence, a round of applause for law abiding and good Dutch Muslim citizens.
Good. I hope this brave lady does well in the elections. Her credentials seem impeccable. I for one am super glad the debate begun in Holland by Pim Fortuyn will continue.
And God knows, the Italian contribution on the topic of badly behaved Islamic adherents, in the person of Oriana Fallacci, is not so meek as to let this debate risk fizzling out anytime soon.
Sizzle, yes. Fizzle, never.
:: WB 5:03 a.m. [link+] ::
According to this analysis, anyway. Very long piece, be warned.
UPDATE: So what if he is? Italy Rocks according this Economist survey. More length and lots of detail. But it is all about Italia. Which is objectively fascinating. Yes. It. Is.
:: WB 4:31 a.m. [link+] ::
Steyn nails an idiot poet
:: Friday, 10 January 2003 ::
Tim Blair having already begun this parlor game. Fun.
:: WB 4:10 a.m. [link+] ::
Lileks on Scorsese
Is Lileks. Is good.
:: WB 11:39 p.m. [link+] ::
Now there is a question.
:: WB 10:47 p.m. [link+] ::
Moderate Islam, eh?
For sure it is doable. But by who?
Interesting post from Jason Soon. If I understand Jason correctly he takes the position that moderation, reform and development of Islamic theory and practice is not going to come from Lebanese and Egyptian (and presumably neighbouring) adherents, but more from Indonesians and other Southeast Asian nations (Malaysia I guess. Any others? Whatever.)
Why would he take that view? Dunno. I know why I would. Because culture matters. And the cultures of Lebanon and Egypt and surrounding countries making up the Middle East and North Africa are complex and made up of great cooking, warm family ties, seriously weird and often great great music, fabulous flowers and garden life, beautiful design, spirituality, horseriding, you get the picture, right? It is a big picture filled with stuff. And they each happen to include three major flaws: vanity, self-pity, temper.
What do I mean?
Vanity: a sense of self-worth. An ego. Pride. Not a bad thing. Gotta have some. But the more pride and vanity you have, the less and less it takes for something to offend you, to insult you.
Self-pity: a belief that, when the chips are down, you are a victim of some injustice. Some unfairness. Some action outside of your control. Add this to the vanity and you see the problem.
Temper: a habit of overreacting, heatedly, loudly, maybe even violently and almost always clumsily. Add this to the vanity and the self-pity, and, well, what is there to say?
Every culture has these flaws to varying degrees.
The English culture is vain about its cleverness and intellect, its history, resourcefulness, achievements, bravery and goodness. But they are too vain when it comes to 'foreigners' and the 'colonies'. When it comes to Oz, for example, many Poms whinge, as if it is lousy to live here. Zif. Whinging is a kind of self-pity, but a pretty weak kind. The English whinge, but they are so vain it never goes further. Whinge about Oz. Still come to live here though. Quite comfortable with that hypocrisy. Why? Vanity. But there is not a lot of temper. Tell an Englishman his history is shit and he is poor because he is an idiot and he will either happily agree with you or ignore you. Temper? Stiff upper lip and all that. Of course there is temper, at a personal level. Natch. But for sure there is also steely big picture temper a la Churchill. Temper funnelled carefully into precise and decisive action. For the best. But what else? Nothing coming to mind here.
So big on vanity, low on self-pity, very low on temper.
Italian culture, truly the greatest on earth, has the vanity thing down, way more than the English. We got the self-pity too, mostly in the South looking up at the North and wrongheadedly deciding that the South is worse off because the North is somehow stealing something or whatever. And all Italians wonder why we cannot win at tennis and golf the way the Spaniards do. And we got temper too. Hot headedness is definitely there. Tell an Italian his history is shit....actually, do not do that. Some Italians will accept that they are poor because they are idiots. Many will elect to blame someone else. And in blaming they will get angry. The temper is there. It is usually personal. Explosive. Quick picture, rather than big picture. Stroppy declarations about how Italian Art exhibitions are perfect and threats to withdraw said exhibition if apologies are not forthcoming from critics (you remember that kerfuffle) - that is evidence of Italian big picture temper. Embarrassing, but harmless.
Big on vanity, medium on self-pity, low to medium on temper.
Oz. Perfect. And low on vanity. Low on self-pity. Low on temper.
Nations of the Middle East and North Africa have these flaws in spades. Big on vanity. Big on self-pity. Gob-smacking on temper.
Why do I say this?
Let us take Egypt. Vain, vain, vain, and who would not be, with an ancient history like that. If the Romans were impressed at the time, the Egyptians can feel rightly proud of that past. Big on self-pity. They get $2 billion worth of aid from the US every year. Tourism for ever, bringing respect from travellers world-wide. They got plenty of able-bodied people doing stuff all day long. They got natural some resources, too, I presume. But they still have got poverty, still have got corruption, and somehow, the Stars & Stripes and effigies of Bush and Sharon get burned. Huh? And temper. Well, burning stuff for a start. Hot headed, like the Italians, but with the supercharged vanity and self-pity, the temper gets expressed in violence. Flag burning every other day, for goodness' sake. Oppression. And then a bit more violence.
To go back a ways, for example, what were the Egyptians thinking in 1967, eh? See, that is crazy temper. Angry at US and angry at Israel. Ergo war. Crazy temper.
Too many countries made up the Arab side of the Arab-Israeli war. Too many. And each of those countries is still burning flags. But now they are all doing more, you know? More in more places.
To quote from a famous poem of the time called "Footnotes the Book of Setback" (written by a Syrian, Nizar Qabbani):
"Stirred by Oriental bombast,
By boastful swaggering that never killed a fly
By the fiddle and the drum
We went to war.
It is all there. In the poem. The whole thing is a spectacular evidence. But even in just this stanza, can you see it? Vanity, self-pity. And war, well that = temper.
Nations of Southeast Asia. Medium on vanity, low on self-pity, low to medium on temper.
If the balance is right, then cultures can always get ahead. Can develop. Because time is not taken up with blame, or despair or any of those other utterly unhelpful feelings that do nothing to increase GDP or life span, which is what it is all about. And religious theory and practice can develop too.
Including Islamic religious theory and practice.
But it ain't gonna happen in the cultures with high vanity, high self-pity, high temper. That balance is just no good.
Not to say you cannot meet a top bloke from any of the countries I have just maligned. Of course you can. But chances are, he will know a lot about Immoderate Islam or Unmoderate Islam. Ugh. I am not sure which word is right.
Anyway, why am I even thinking about this stuff, eh? Because at the moment I am reading Tariq Ali's The Clash of Fundamentalisms.
He wrote it to counter Western media, apparently. To paint a clearer picture of Islam and Islamic culture. If he is supposed to be making me think better of Islamic culture in the Middle East and North Africa he is doing a lousy job. The book is vanity, self-pity and temper start to end.
:: WB 10:40 p.m. [link+] ::
Perfect blog post
:: WB 8:51 p.m. [link+] ::
:: Thursday, 9 January 2003 ::
I only just got around to reading this piece about Bobby Fischer. I knew he was nuts, but not this nuts.
:: WB 8:48 p.m. [link+] ::
Not sure 'bout the gun thing
Engerland is discussing its guns. The Group Captain more than adequately sets out the deal.
Dunno quite where I stand on guns. I personally do not want to have a gun. I have shot them. That is okay but no so thrilling that I wanna sign up to a club or something. But I do like the idea of a decomissioned delight, Italian designed, of course, hanging on a wall. They can be beautiful bits of engineering and art.
Much of Oz, maybe even most, after Port Arthur happened, was okay with the gun buyback scheme and the later amnesty. Because shooters could still have guns - it was just that the licensing and tracking got a bit more tight, you know? Oz still has shooters. Happy shooters. Many of them wogs. Shooting for sport and hunting. Fine. But the violent imbeciles, as the Group Captain points out, get guns anyway, licensed or not. And they pretty much phuqh it up for the rest of us.
And when I get to thinking about them, then I start thinking maybe I should be armed.
:: WB 4:13 a.m. [link+] ::
Something about law
:: WB 3:52 a.m. [link+] ::
Praise be to TIM
Nope. Not Blair. And not Dunlop neither.
:: WB 3:47 a.m. [link+] ::
Hey. That was no accident.
:: Wednesday, 8 January 2003 ::
A Pom, 2 Chinamen, a Vietnamese and and a Jordanian charged over the detention centre arson and violence.. In all, 19 separate fires lit. 19 is a lot. It is a heap. What the helll where they thinking?
:: WB 3:40 a.m. [link+] ::
How about this for an opening line:
Seeking to torment, humiliate and degrade ordinary Palestinians as much as possible, the Israeli occupation army has imposed additional draconian measures against the Palestinian population of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
See, if you overstate everything and you neglect to mention the suicide bombing that killed 24 and maimed plenty of others that has led to the trouble in the first place, you kind of look like a one-sided kook, right? Right.
This morning I saw on BBC World News a HardTalk thingy with Tim Whatsisname and a former Ambassador or something to Iraq. (Phew, gotta be impressed by that detail, eh? Whatever. I am in a hurry.) And the former Ambassador guy was saying something about how we in the West do not see the bloodshed and terror inflicted upon Palestinians but Arabs do and Israel does the stomping with US and Western support and therefore Arabs will look upon an invasion of Iraq as yet another example of Westerners riding roughshod over a part of the Arab world. And they will not like it.
If what the Arabs are seeing about Israel's actions is the sort of stuff as linked here, then I reckon the former Ambassador guy is correct. Arabs will get shitty.
But they would be wrong.
And how about that request for a tip at the top of the page, eh? "Please do not leave this Site without making a contribution."
It probably would be better if it read: "Please support this Site. Your contributions would be appreciated."
A small matter, I know. But kind of revealing about the mindset, dontchathink?
:: WB 5:38 p.m. [link+] ::
Idiots who hate you and me and the suburbs and everything
Oh but they love their Labor party. G'uh.
I am not going to excerpt any part of either of today's two pieces in the broadsheets of Sydney. They need to be read and understood on their merit. Which is to say, no merit at all. But I can paraphrase:
I do not like Howard. Others do. They are bad. Labor must rule. It simply must.
This country is fine. It has robust citizens who argue and hold contrary points of view. It has successes and real big successes. And some of the citizens are A-grade losers on wheels. G'uh. What do you expect in a whole country?
:: WB 1:30 p.m. [link+] ::
Argentina. Man. Get. it. Together
This from a man on the ground. Depressing.
:: WB 4:29 a.m. [link+] ::
Look at these cheesy guys
:: WB 4:24 a.m. [link+] ::
Lousy EU words and Reform
:: Tuesday, 7 January 2003 ::
There are ways and ways of saying this. And this ain't the good way:
ATHENS (Reuters) - The European Union said on Wednesday an Israeli decision to ban Palestinians from attending next week's Middle East conference in London was hampering efforts to end the bloodshed in the region.
In a statement issued by Greece, the bloc's president until the end of June, the EU called on Israel to lift the travel ban because the decision "perpetuates hatred and extremism."
"The Presidency of the EU calls upon the Israeli government to reconsider this decision and to immediately lift the ban," the statement said.
In Brussels, Cristina Gallach, spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, said Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's response to a Palestinian double suicide bombing that killed 22 people was regrettable.
"We understand very well the cruelty of the current circumstances," Gallach told Reuters. "But it is not by barring people from attending (the conference) that we will help the peace process."
You got that?
22 murdered and sundry others maimed or just hurt = 'regrettable'. And everything that has gone before in the two or so years of this Intifada. The second, for crying outta loud. But not so regrettable that the supporters, appeasers, tolerators, applauders, fans, and buddies of the murderers and the guys who taught them and trained them to be murderers (ie all the Palestinians attending the conference - in case you are not following where I am going with this - they fall into one of the categories, of which the least awful is 'tolerator') should still be able to go to London to participate in a conference that the EU designates is part of the 'peace process'.
Murder is worse than a travel ban. By any objective measure. What the EU could have said was:
The people attending the conference have no connection with the murder of innocent Israelis. They are Palestinians trying to reform their population and authority and institutions to rid themselves of the culture of death for which their people have become infamous. They are seeking peace with Israel.
Instead, we got:
Jeez, Israel. Can't you see we have a conference planned? A conference, okay? Show's gotta on, and all that.
On the news this a.m., I cannot recall which, a Palestinian lawyer who was to attend the conference was arguing that, since the US and other world opinion was pressing the Palestinians to reform themselves, then Israel's travel ban for the conference in London was a real hindrance to that refrom - because they were gonna talk about it in London.
Talking about reform and actually reforming. Two different things.
I accept that good reform needs planning and meeting and talking and plotting the way ahead is the sensible way to achieve change. Or anything for that matter (specially for you Virgos). But there is a point at which meeting and talking and planning about reform becomes a gigantic circle jerk. And we may have reached that point with the Palestians.
They gotta blink first. Just do the good reform yourselves, already. Hold an election for new leadership. Do not assassinate Palestinians with different views and assert they deserve death as 'collaborators' with the Israelis. Hey, maybe even invite the Israelis in whenever Hamas or some other mob of violent imbeciles holds a demonstration with those horrible hooded freaks and their suicide-wannabe kiddies we see nearly every day on Little Green Footballs. That culture of death thing would be a good place to start for reform. Stop the suicides. Stop them. Or at the very least try. And set aside the 'right of return'. It is the single most fundamental stumbling block to peace. Israel is there. You cannot just go back to those apartments and homes. You cannot. But you can demand some recompense, if none has been available - so work on that.
Sure, all these ideas could be fleshed out in London. But actually holding an election (which Arafat has deferred, the swine) would be best. It would be such a breath of fresh air from a people who have a press image as maniacs.
I remember once having a big old conversation in a bar with a supersmart fellow, all widely read and brilliant in his chosen field, who had a pretty leftie or wet wet wet view of the world. He suggested that processes are just as important as outcomes. If a process stops, then the outcome cannot come about. Right? No. Processes are not as important as outcomes. Outcomes trump processes every time.
I can make a list. Means nothing til I do what is on it.
:: WB 4:19 a.m. [link+] ::
Sheik Hilay. Mistake.
:: Monday, 6 January 2003 ::
Uncle at ABC Watch saw tonight's 7.30 Report, as did I. Check out Uncle's piece. It has all the links. To my mind, the show featured one stand out step up wog. The guy who witnessed the reaction of Hilaly and his attendee to mere police contact. That reaction was "uncontrolled". By which he means a complete flip-out.
Hilaly is Egyptian. Blah blah naturalised Australian. No. Egyptian. Blood, family, memory, culture, habit, movement, attitudes, the lot. Here's the thing. He is a family man who runs a huge mosque in a problem part of a huge city - Lakemba in Sydney. He may be a pyramid builder in his past past but here in Oz, he knows the score and he admitted he made a mistake - driving an unregistered and uninsured car on Sydney streets. But he reckons the police overreacted when he was pulled over.
Now, our witness reckons the police simply reacted to an overreaction from Hilaly to the original pulling over, if you follow. Where is the truth? Somewhere imbetween most likely. Jail time is a remote to non-existent option. But I'll wager the coppers tried hard not to inflame this, knowing how bad it could look, and March being election time and all. And I will wager Hilaly's lawyer will, when this gets to court, make a big song and dance about how his client only reacted badly because the police tried to search the car, without any cause for doing so. The lawyer was on the show tonight saying something about how ridiculous the police case is, as if they would have tried to search Catholic Archbishop George Pell's or Anglican Archbishop Peter Jensen's car in the same situation, smirk, roll eyes.
Well, maybe they would not have treated those guys the same way. But if we are going to get hypathetical (yeah, yeah, I know. It is intended) then let us ponder when, if ever Catholic Archbishop George Pell or Anglican Archbishop Peter Jensen ever went for a drive in an unregistered and uninsured vehicle in Lakemba with something sticking outside of the car as they barrelled along?
:: WB 3:50 a.m. [link+] ::
Will he be yin to my yang?
Howdy howdy howdy to the Yobbo Blogger.
:: WB 2:54 a.m. [link+] ::
Tim Blair blogs ups a storm
:: Sunday, 5 January 2003 ::
He is one snappy snappy skippy.
:: WB 2:50 a.m. [link+] ::
God, who could resist?
:: Saturday, 4 January 2003 ::
Italian teenagers live better than skippy teens. And here is the incontrovertible truth.
When you live in the Eternal City, which is full, piena, to bursting, and with buildings which are not about to be knocked down anytime soon to make way for bigger roads, littleness in cars is the go. Must have cars. That goes without saying. But they must be able to handle the city as it is. And it is full. Piena. Right? Right.
If this yummy magical delight is part of your cultural blood how can any rational person expect you not to shoehorn yourself into it or some equivalent as early as possible in your life, hmmm? And take a spin around Rome.
They can not.
:: WB 4:36 a.m. [link+] ::
Where is the right on this? Who cares? We do not need another whiner.
:: Friday, 3 January 2003 ::
All this nanny-statism and big government. Why, tax dollars are being wasted on this 'alert not alarmed' business, according to Tim Dunlop and some of his readers.
What amazes me about this sort of paternalistic, nanny-state-government action is that it is not condemned by those on the right. This whole campaign is a classic example of government coddling, and of them treating us like idiots. As if we don't know that terrorism is a threat. As if we don't know that we should tell someone in authority if we see “something suspicious”. But instead of the outrage that is usually engendered by this sort of government paternalism there is a loyal silence from the full range of rightwing opinion.
Wha'? My elected representative who I elect to, among other things, protect this nation and its occupants as well, and who has access to my tax dollars should not actually use my tax dollars to try to do something about getting the population involved in watching out for terrorism ie to protect this nation and its occupants? Wha'? They should not use the money? They should not do anything at all? Or they should just not advertise? Or call for involvement from all the peoples of Oz? Of course they should do something. And a completely embrasive ad campaign which goes out of its way not to alienate Muslims, but instead treats that community like the Oz community it is, is hardly a bad thing. Dunlop and I will not see eye to eye about this.
The other amazing thing is the claim by Howard and others that this all about community involvement, that, as Howard has said, “everybody has a role”. Funny how conservatives/righties like the PM are happy to encourage this sort of passive, status-quo inducing "participation" but will condemn out of hand any participation that involves criticism of their positions. Thus it is good citizenship to ring up and dob in your Muslim neighbour if you happen to see him/her "looking suspicious" but it is completely unacceptable to question, say, the link between an invasion of Iraq and the quest to control world’s oil supplies.
Constant carping about oil and shit, about how awful Howard is, and all the rest, is often mistaken by the left for 'participation', but in reality it is just a giant waste of breath. Constant carping does not help anyone or anything. Because it fails to morph into an actual suggestion, or maybe a proposed solution for any problems we face. Dunlop acknowledges the terrorism threat. Good man. Dunlop fails to grapple with it, preferring instead to whine about righties. Not helpful.
I am happy with the ad campaign and mail out, and alerts and warnings etc. I do not think the ads and mail are too expensive. I think they are less than a dollar person in the country, and that is okay. We can do the ads and mail as well as other stuff with our tax dollars. That is alright by me. And I approve very much of my elected representatives taking care to include Muslims into the fold and not make them targets. (Some of them have proven quite able to do that on their own.)
I have not seen anything that worries me. But if I did, I would call the hotline. Because life is too short to have it cut shorter, and being snippy and unwilling to give John Howard a break is a lousy reason not to actually participate in fighting terrorism.
A lousy reason.
:: WB 8:44 p.m. [link+] ::
There is a jumbo piece in today's Fin Review (probably need to register but it is worth it).
The piece, titled "Idealogy and the Threat to the Arts" is written by John McDonald, who reveals himself to be a blinkered arts imbecile of the highest order. The piece has everything. Every idiotic attitude and position taken by the arts community.
One guess how he opens the piece. With a quote from Keating, natch. Erm, it is 2003. Keating has been writing angry letters about architecture to the SMH since he resoundingly lost the Prime Ministership in 1996. You do the math on how long ago it was.
Anyway, the piece is so shot full of idiocy it should be enjoyed in full. But I will excerpt some choice cuts of dumb as a taster:
In October 1994, Paul Keating launched his government's cultural policy statement, Creative Nation, with these words: "We emphatically believe that cultural issues should be at the core. ..." Although Creative Nation was widely derided at the time, it is worth considering the distance we have travelled since that moment. As the Howard Government undertakes a confidential review of cultural organisations, and a well-performed museum director is dumped for no good reason, it would seem that the arts are about to enter a kind of nuclear winter. The arts could no longer be said to be at "the core" of Australian life - not even in the wildest flights of political rhetoric. They have been relegated once more to the margins as the domain of the despised "elites" and the chattering classes. Under John Howard, Australian culture has grown more insular and shallow. The arts are not the litmus test of a mature country, they are a mere diversion from more pressing concerns such as the drought, border protection, the threat of terrorism and an impending war in Iraq.
Relegated? Imbecile. The arts have not and never will be the 'core' of this country. And Keating saying they were the 'core' was nothing more than keeping his loyal troupe of wankers sweet. I maintain the Keating era was embarrassing all round for Oz. When the 'arts community' in a democratic peaceful nation roundly supports the government of the day, as they always do under Labor, but most pathetically under Keating, then you can be sure the 'art' will be irrelevant, poor quality and only arts wankers will give two shits about it.
Let us continue with McDonald:
It is only during the last month that we have heard of the government's "efficiency review" of cultural organisations. In response to questions in the media and in parliament, Senator Alston finally acknowledged the existence of the review, but was vague as to its details or motivations. "You need to be sure that you are getting the box office results," he blustered to the ABC. "You need to make sure that you are getting people through the door. You need to make sure that the population appreciate what's on offer."
If this sounds suspiciously like a recipe for economic rationalism being applied to the arts, the senator also spoke about taking the judgements of the critics into account. But which critics? Only the critics that say what the government wants to hear, if past experience is any indicator. Well into a third term, with financial pressures mounting, it seems as though the government has decided to stop mollycoddling the cultural institutions. The kind of "critics" to whom it responds most readily are those such as the PM's biographer, David Barnett, whose tenure as a member of the board of the National Museum of Australia, has marked him out as a relentless critic of the museum's displays and policies.
Look at the language. 'Blustered'. 'Suspiciously'. ''Critics' in quotation marks. Please. When it is a Liberal government it is allll baaad.
And just what is wrong with punters liking art and going to art exhibitions and museums and paying to enter, and picking up some merchandise, and eating at the caf, eh? Punters in large numbers like really good art. Punters in small numbers like art that is not as as good as the capital G good art (and do not get stupid here - some art is objectively great - Old Masters, right? Right.) but which is good nevertheless, like good Oz art. And wankers prefer their art is small galleries, or big empty ones without all the punters, and preferrably without any actual art - but more moudling, building, stacking crap.
Dawn Casey, the [National]museum's inaugural director, has been informed that her contract will be renewed for only one year - making a mockery of the original appointment of an Aboriginal woman to this prestigious post. Since Casey has been a consummate diplomat from the day the museum opened, and has won the respect of the media and her staff, her treatment seems particularly shabby.
A mockery? Continually renewing her contract just because she is a nice Aboriginal, John. That would be a mockery.
What this suggests is that the government's attitude towards cultural institutions is not merely coloured by economics, it is ideologically-motivated. It is not simply a matter of arguing that those who enjoy the arts should pay for them. This user-pays approach - the reductio ad absurdum of economic rationalism - would mean the closure of most cultural organisations. The Australian Opera and ballet, not to mention the galleries and museums, cannot devote themselves solely to the pursuit of profit. Neither can they expect to attract the audiences commanded by Hollywood movies and major sporting events. (The idea that more Australians go to art galleries than sporting contests is surely the biggest furphy ever perpetrated by the statisticians).
No government would go to the extremes of the user-pays approach, but there is certainly a new conviction that if the government pays for cultural initiatives, they should reflect views and opinions congenial to the government. This entails a more celebratory attitude towards Australian history and identity. In other words: replacing the perceived propaganda of "black armband" history, with the healthy, positive propaganda demanded by our duly-elected government. It is exactly the approach once favoured by the dictators of the "Peoples Democracies" behind the Iron Curtain and in Asia. The only difference is that the local approach depends on the apathy of the general public, not force of arms. Suspected dissidents are not imprisoned or put into show trials, they simply fail to have their contracts renewed.
Really, what can you say. Can you feel the anger? Australians are idiots who do not like art and opera enough. The government is manipulating the idiots. John Howard is remaking Oz because Australians are all too stupid to realise what is going on. Only the ride of the arts wankery can save us all from becoming a despotic hellhole. What an idiot, eh?
The black armband history is not perceived propaganda. It is propaganda. The language - that is the thing. Read this McDonald jerk. All cassandra, end of the world rubbish. No measure, no balance. Labor good. Liberal bad. Bad bad bad. Waaah.
The result is a dulling of Australian culture and the creation of a climate of overwhelming conformity... The threat of terrorism has hurt attendances at museums and performances across the world...Neither can we expect business to pick up the slack... It would be futile to expect much political opposition to any changes in cultural policy. The Democrats have undermined themselves as a political force, and the ALP shows an almost complete indifference to cultural matters. Carmen Lawrence's parting shot in her break with the Labor leadership, was that Howard has "diminished us all". For confirmation she need only look to her own former shadow portfolio of the Arts, which has lost all the prestige it enjoyed under Keating. As the ALP has grown less distinguishable from the Coalition it has abandoned the "big picture" issues such as culture. That kind of idealism now seems at odds with the small-world political pragmatism of Simon Crean's party....Culture in Australia has never been an evolutionary process - it is an ebb and flow, a shaky line on the seismograph that is now plunging downwards. If culture constructs our national identity, we are in danger of becoming a nation of sheep.
A nation of overwhelming conformity? Sheep? Has this dickhead read the census figures? Wogs, mate. No conformity between me and my Italian neighbour, okay, much less between me and you.
Skippies like John McDonald are the problem. They have an ideology which is 100% Keatingesque on wheels, except with even more taxpayer dollars. They do not address the failings of their arts, artists, art institutiuons. They cannot accept that a lot of what is produced is insulting as well as poorly executed. They decry economics, as if art should be subsidised without question with my money and yours. And they cannot tolerate a single bit of pressure - none. As soon as the pressure comes, the squealing starts. The whining.
He is sure right that ideology is a threat to the arts. The ideology that paying for art is a government responsibility, art and artists should enjoy the payment without any cares at all, and culture is a trickle down thing that somes from John McDonald to the teeny idiot people.
There is more art in my father's tiny flat than there is in John McDonalds gargantuan tax dollar spending 'big picture' vision.
:: WB 6:35 p.m. [link+] ::
Good Lord. Who knew?
:: WB 6:23 a.m. [link+] ::
"There is certainly much that I do not know."
But how to keep Muslim women down down down, that I can tell you heaps about. Just snuggle up here, li'l Muslim lady. And listen to a tale of (future) woe. For you that is. Natch.
This is just stupid.
:: WB 1:27 a.m. [link+] ::
Doug Anderson. Jackass.
:: Thursday, 2 January 2003 ::
How else to describe a man who writes “Two of the world’s most unpleasant men…are preparing the world for war. A collision of powers whose strategies – on both sides – seem obscured by bluster, vanity and the usual conflicting claims of righteousness endorsed by God” in a review of the film “Stalingrad”.
Doug is a tv reviewer for the SMH.
Doug dislikes Dubya.
Doug wants me to dislike Dubya too.
Doug thinks that being a tv reviewer is akin to being my life coach. Doug presumes me to be an idiot in need of his life coaching moral equivalence. He thinks that a happily married father of two, from Texas, who happens to be a baseball junkie graduate of Harvard and Yale, and former two-term governor of the Lone Star State and elected, albeit closely, President of the US is just as despicable as an Iraqi socialist murderer despot who beats his own children and poisons his population brutally enough for bunches of them to flee all the way down to Oz, seeking asylum.
Equating Dubya with Saddam is the action of an imbecile.
And what are the ‘strategies’ that Doug writes about, which are ‘obscured by bluster’ and ‘vanity’ and boring claims about God’s support, eh? The strategy of securing Iraq’s oil, probably.
Doug does not like oil.
And Doug writes in his tv review “We are presently hearing plenty about lightning strikes, overwhelming firepower, necessity and the righteousness of the cause. Not so much about the post-Saddam dividend or the collateral damage to Iraqi civilians who have no choice and nowhere to go.”
Doug thinks tv reviews are an appropriate place to publish his inanities. And they are inane. The post-Saddam dividend is that Iraq will enter a post-Saddam phase. And Iraqi civilians have previously had choices and exercised them to go from Saddam’s Iraq, (some making it all the way down to Oz – you with me, Doug? asylum seekers, Doug, surely you know this).
Doug Anderson is a jackass. Just review the goddam movies, jackass. Keep your politics to yourself. Or get a blog.
:: WB 1:16 a.m. [link+] ::
From today's Australian
Stories lose in these tellings
I AM a Palawa person (Tasmanian Aboriginal), possess a degree from ANU and have read the debate on Keith Windschuttle's book and would like to raise three points.
If one of Windschuttle's basic premises is to debunk oral histories, why did he not talk to any of my family or any other Palawa person or academic to debunk our stories?
Palawa people have been subject to myth over the years from crazy theories of being blown off-course from Africa to absolute extinction. In the end, while it is sad that Palawa people are subject to the indignation of an unimaginative author, in its true essence this is about white people slugging it out over who has the better story to tell.
Palawa people have been left out of the entire debate, but I would rather have it that way as I am disgusted by the whole sorry mess.
Potts Point, NSW
One. Not three. And that point is? Who can tell? It is put in the form of a question that is erroneous at its core. The point of Windshuttle's thesis is not to debunk oral history, as the letter's author presumes (having been altogether too lazy to buy and read a book that, one would presume, would be of some interest). The point of Windshuttle's book, and there's a clue in its title, is to debunk academic written fabrications of history.
The oral stuff is just that. Oral. It does not need debunking. When it can be substantiated, it is. When it cannot, it remains weak evidence. And when it is wholly countered by more positive and permanent evidence (like written evidence) then it can be wholly set aside. Simple.
The misunderstanding here is profound. And the laziness is disgraceful. The assertion is that whites cannot talk about the Palawa, except to support them, never ever to argue about stuff. And whites must seek the Palawa out. It is not for the Palawa to make any contribution themselves. The Palawa need not lift a finger to publish their own version of events to anyone and need not ever step up to any challenge about their claims.
Great, eh? A person and a people who might have something pretty darned important to contribute to this debate, who might know stories or even sources of other evidence. And what choice do they make? Sit back.
:: WB 4:45 p.m. [link+] ::
It ain't just the SBS, mate
It is the SMH too.
I got the Review piece from a reader and the SMH shite on my own. What both organisations have in common on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is an inability to credit Palestinians with anything other than victimhood. They are, to my mind, no longer victims. Munich Olympics, Achille Lauro and too many squeals of humiliation etc etc blah blah have dulled whatever legitimate complaints they may have. They get press. SBS is a signed up, SMH, ABC, even The Australian, definitely Reuters and every soft American and English rag getting around on the stands too.
The Palestinians are A-grade losers, from dawn until dusk.
I have explained before why. I will do so again for the hard of thinking. Because they have no opposition to their bug-eyed stinker of a leader. And they behave as if they do not care whether they live or die. That suicide bombing business, and the imbecilic rock throwing. At tanks. Which do not break from rocks thrown at them. G'uh.
The Syrians, the Jordanians, the Lebanese, the Saudis etc etc. They also do not care whether you live or die. Why should they? You do not.
If you have not got an opposition you are not whole. You are broken.
Start by sacking that bug-eyed freak.
Remember after 11 September 2001, Seamus Milne wrote in the Guardian, I think, "They do not know how much they are hated"? And he was referring to the Yanks, natch.
Well, I will wager the Palestinians have no freakin' idea how much they are loathed. I mean loathed. From Germany to Italy to Oz.
Urgh. Just the photo on that SMH piece makes me angry.
:: WB 5:50 a.m. [link+] ::