Saturday, August 24, 2002

It's late, I'm too drunk.

Tomorrow.

Friday, August 23, 2002

It's this kind of ability that makes me want to give it away and take up something less challenging, like journalism.

Rand Simberg gives us a version of late 1944 history that should make Hugh Mackay slink away with shame. Seriously, if you read anything this week, read this.

I like this cartoon about the looming Iranian meltdown.

Via Little Green Footballs.

SNOW? WHAT IS SNOW ACHMED?

Thanks to Whacking Day for this story about Why Arab Armies Lose Wars. A tasty treat for armchair militarists like myself.

I am minded of the old joke:

Why did Russian tactics cost the Arabs the Six Day War?

They kept pulling back and waiting for winter.

DEAFENING SILENCE.

Ali Bakhtiari, well known wannabe Afghan, has started to unravel his own story, admitting that in fact he did come to Australia from Pakistan. Of course, he is only saying that he was there for two years.

Can anyone keep track of how often this fool changes his explanation? And I'll put hard currency on the line that he is not done yet. Expect more bullshit when this approach flops. Probably he will introduce some form of coercion, possibly from the people smugglers.

I wonder how long before he jettisons the Refugee Action Collective? And will it be before they toss him over the side?

UPDATE: Robert Corr has leapt to the case, demanding Baktiari be removed to Pakistan immediately. Robert is also trying to shame me into not gloating over the fact that he and his fellow loose thinkers stuffed this Royally, that they were wrong wrong wrong, they have cost the genuine refugees a big slice of their remaining credibility, and owe the Immigration Minister an apology for their arrogance.

So I won't.

Thursday, August 22, 2002

I’d like to take credit for this, but The Good Lady Wife found it in her inbox.

THE BEST CHAIN LETTER YET

Hello, my name is Kori. I suffer from the guilt of not forwarding 50 billion fucking chain letters sent to me by people who actually believe that if you send them on, a poor 6-year-old girl in Arkansas with a breast on her forehead and an ear growing on her arse will be able to raise enough money to shit?

Do you honestly believe that Bill Gates is going to give you, and everyone to whom you send "his" email, $1000? How stupid are you ?

Ooooh, looky here! If I scroll down this page and make a wish, I'll
get laid by every good looking person in the magazine!"

What a load of crap. Maybe the evil chain letter leprechauns will come into my house and sodomize me in my sleep for not continuing a chain that was started by Peter in 5AD and brought to the USA by midget pilgrims on the Mayflower.

Fuck them!

Show a little intelligence and think about what you're actually contributing to by sending out these forwards.

Chances are, it's your own unpopularity. The point being?

If you get some chain letter that's threatening to leave you shagless or luckless for the rest of your life, fuck it off by deleting it.

If it's funny, send it on. Don't piss people off by making them feel guilty about a leper in Botswana with no teeth who has been tied to a dead elephant for 27 years and whose only salvation is the 5 cents per letter he'll receive if you forward this email.

Oh, by the way all you idiots out there...
NO COMPANY HAS ANY WAY OF TRACKING E-MAIL OUTSIDE THEIR SYSTEM - NO, NOT
EVEN MICROSOFT!!! THERE IS NO SUCH TECHNOLOGY - YET!!!!!!.

Now forward this to everyone you know.

Otherwise, tomorrow morning your underwear will turn carnivorous and
will Consume your Genitals.


SOLIDARITY SISTER!

Got this through Dodgeblog.

Apparently, Cherie Blair is being touted about the British Labour Party as the Epitome of Working Class Woman
Joe Ashton, a former Labour MP, said Mrs Blair - a QC who is reputed to earn around £250,000 - was a model working class woman. He said family background was the key factor.

Now for those of you without access to your collective farm’s All-People’s Currency Converter, that’s about AUD$700,000.
Mr Ashton did not try to suggest that Tony Blair, who went to private school, fitted the working class label.

Thank heavens for small mercies.
"If you are a bloke, it [being working class] means you have got an army of friends who live off their skills and their wits and don't live off their education,"
Do you get the feeling this guy watched “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels” just a few hundred times too many? What’s next? Forelock tugging? Happy urchins in the sooty streets? “’Ere guv’nor, carry your bags?”

Is this twit serious? Well, yes. And he’ll get plenty of support here. Who can forget the spectacle of coal miner’s wives teary-eyed to camera about how they might lose the house because of lay offs. News Flash for miners: if your household income is over $100,000 per year, and you live in a house that only costs $150,000, then it really is your lookout if you’re not ahead on the mortgage.

UPDATE: Iain Murray is The Edge of England's Sword, and suggests this is part of the post-class consciousness phase for the UK. Interesting.

IF YOU SET A THIEF TO CATCH A THIEF …

Does it make sense to set a Human Rights Abuser to catch a Human rights Abuser?

I can't wait for the Refugee Liberation Army to quote Colonel Gaddafi as their authority on the racist abuses of the fascist Australian Government.

Brink Lindsey puts forward a good case for war on Iraq.
there's no invisible hand in foreign affairs. There are no equilibrating mechanisms or feedback loops in the Hobbesian chaos of state-to-state relations that give us any assurance that, if the United States were only to stand aside, things would go as well for us in the world as they possibly could.
Accordingly, it seems to me that a no-exceptions policy of U.S. noninterventionism rests ultimately on an untenable assumption -- on the implicit belief that unrousable passivity on the part of the greatest and most powerful country that ever existed will somehow yield the most favorable achievable conditions in the world. That, in an intricately interconnected world, leaving everything outside our physical borders to the wolves will ensure that everything turns out for the best.

Lindsey is making a better fist of my theory, that international relations is based on the rule of the schoolyard, not the courtroom.
We are currently in a good position to prevail against Saddam militarily. We thrashed him a decade ago; we're stronger now, and he’s weaker. He has no superpower patrons. We don't think he has nukes -- yet.
Of all the WMD regimes we could go against, Iraq is the most logical target. We fought a U.N.-sanctioned war against Iraq, the cease-fire of which was conditioned on the verifiable dismantling of Iraq's WMD programs. That condition has been breached. We should unbreach it.

And most tellingly, his final words.
I don't think a policy of knee-jerk, indiscriminate interventionism is wise or productive for the United States. But I do believe that, in the present circumstances, Edmund Burke's prudent counsel applies: "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." Now is not the time to do nothing.


Wednesday, August 21, 2002

WELCOME TO MY WORLD.

One of my all-time favourite writers is Orson Scott Card, even though he tends to put one too many books into each of his fabulous series. In a weekly column, Card sums the big problem with the US media, and to a large extent the Australian media. That is, a bias to what passes as Left views.
They [opinion makers] are much happier presenting the news this way: "Here is what attractive smart people like us believe. And here's a weird spokesman for the crazy Right spouting his inflammatory nonsense. That's your choice! A or B."

Ask an ABC viewer when was the last time they saw an item that directly challenged one of their beliefs. They will be as surprised at the answer as you won't be. Most members of the soft Left have no idea just how expertly they are pandered to.

Over to Tech Central for an interesting piece on the Asian Brown Cloud, and the politicisation of the UN climate figures.
Nightmarish reports like the ABC have a way of appearing right before big U.N. environmental conferences—and being proven wrong not long thereafter. In 1995, a Geneva meeting, which gave rise to the infamous Kyoto Protocol on global warming, was prefaced with a breathless pronouncement that we now had climate models that matched the real atmosphere, lending credibility to gloom-and-doom forecasts of climate change. Months later, Nature magazine was compelled to publish a paper showing that the data which the U.N. cited was incomplete, and when all the numbers were put in, the correspondence vanished.

The U.N.'s most recent world environment confab occurred last fall in Marrakech. Days before that one, we learned that the poor islanders of Tuvalu were being drowned by sea level rises caused by global warming. Within days, an article appeared in Science magazine showing that sea level around Tuvalu has been falling, not rising, for most of the last 50 years.

And remember, the Cloud is coming from the very countries that the Kyoto Protocol does not apply to. So the poor of India and Bangladesh can continue to die from ongoing choking smog, courtesy of well-fed Western activists from clean countries.

Thanks to Vodkapundit for this short sharp explanation by Daniel Pipes of why war with Iraq is the necessary course
More good stuff from Shannon Davies, this time on the anti-vaccination lobby.

They've taken to calling themselves the "pro-choice vaccination lobby", conveniently ignoring the lack of choice they are imposing on other children. As a parent, I would like to see these people forced to watch films of babies with pertussis (whooping cough) for days on end until they see sense.

Sensible school policy would be to refuse non-vaccinated children access to Government-funded schools entirely.

TAKE MY WHITES. PLEASE.

Michael Mansell, Australia’s answer to Louis “Screwy Louie” Farrakhan, didn’t get much play with his version of events in Zimbabwe.

From Mansell:
"How does Zimbabwe's choice of dealing with its legacy become wrong, while Australia's failure to do anything become right?" Mr Mansell said.


From Genocide Watch:
Nearly six million people in Zimbabwe, almost half the population,
now need emergency food rations, according to the United Nations
Relief and Recovery Unit’s latest bulletin, issued this week.
Simultaneously, UNAids’s Barcelona report on global Aids this week
estimated that 34 per cent of Zimbabweans between the ages of 15
and 49 are infected with the virus. Aids and famine were made for
each other. Lack of nutrition lowers the body’s resistance, and
the virus is let loose to ravage the infected person. The virus’s
spread is accelerated as the hungry sell themselves for a meal.


From Mansell:
Mr Mansell said whites took and kept the land in both countries.
Zimbabwe's black government was dealing with its white invasion.


From The Tmes:
Drought is causing famine across southern Africa. In Zimbabwe the catastrophe is aggravated by the collapse of commercial farming, and manipulation of food supplies.

“There is only food available for half the country of 13 million people,” an economist in Harare said. “Robert Mugabe is employing the tactics of Pol Pot. He plans to get rid of the dissenting half of the population by starving them to death.”


Is there a common thread to this? Maybe. In 1987 Mansell shot himself and his cause in the foot by taking his cause to that well-known champion of indigenous rights, Colonel Gaddafi of Libya. Now it turns out that Mugabe is in hock up to his eyeballs to the self-same Gaddafi, and has in fact transferred big pieces of the seized farmland not to the “war veterans” or original owners, but to Gaddafi to pay for oil debts. It seems Gaddafi won’t accept Zimbabwe Express anymore, and has demanded something a little more concrete. Like an Embassy. Or passports for thousands of Libyans who for some reason don’t want to travel on Libyan documents.



Mansell himself is embroiled in rorting of Tasmanian aboriginal welfare rolls, because of the ludicrous system that prevails here whereby anyone can claim aboriginal identity for themselves, regardless of proof to the contrary. He is resisting DNA testing of the claims, but I suspect his reasons will get shriller the longer the scandal drags on.

Tuesday, August 20, 2002

Try as I might, I couldn’t make much sense of this article by Aaron Friedberg of Princeton, so I’ll plunk it a piece at a time.
many Australian strategists would prefer to maintain close links with Malaysia and Singapore, help the new nation of East Timor find its feet, prepare to cope with the possibility of further upheavals in Indonesia, and address the deepening social, economic and political problems of the smaller South Pacific islands.

This would be in contrast to our present policy of educating their children, bankrolling some of their governments, bailing them out of their financial meltdowns, hosting their tourists and assisting in guaranteeing their security.
The past decade has witnessed the beginnings of a profound and unusually rapid shift in Asia's balance of power.
Since the end of the Cold War, Russia's strength and influence have declined drastically and it has ceased to be a serious Pacific power. Japan, too, has entered into a prolonged period of economic stagnation and political stalemate that may limit its ability to play a constructive role in promoting regional stability.

Which would make the US, and through them, Australia, the only realistic game in town. Memories are long, and few South East Asian leaders are likely to ever seriously trust the Japanese. China is building an export economy, and is not in the business of military assistance. That leaves Australia as the local welterweight, and there is no-one to oppose us. Witness what happened when we decided to go into East Timor to restore peace. Asian countries lined up behind us, against Indonesia. Asian solidarity is unlikely to get in the way of Realpolitik.

Let no-one say Australians are falling behind in the crucial area of Criminal As Thick As Two Short Planks.

Overnight, some tool entered the Melbourne Crown Casino and robbed the high roller members-only Mahogany Room of upwards of $100,000. All fine so far?

Except Cletus spent plenty of time under security cameras; used his own member ID to get into the Room; made his getaway in a taxi with security cameras; and left a big piece of the swag in the bloody taxi.

Makes you proud.

Required reading today from Andrew Sullivan, and we are pleased to see him back in the saddle. He addresses the feelings of Americans towards European hostility on a war against Iraq.
it's increasingly true that many Americans simply don't care any more. They are used to Europeans instinctually opposing any use of military force; and they are used to reflexive (and often hypocritical) anti-Americanism from the European center and left. But added to this is a relatively new and unanswerable factor: why on earth, apart from good manners, should Americans care about what Europe thinks?

Indeed.

This from the UK Daily Telegraph, about pressure on the Arab Middle East.
American diplomats are sending an uncompromising message to Arab states: those who do not support the planned United States operation against Saddam Hussein will be treated as enemies.

Qatar is something of a maverick among Arab states, and would no doubt relish becoming Washington's favourite in the Middle East.

Good stuff.

Head to Right Wing News for his Q&A on a war against Iraq.

Some samples:
- If we overthrew the governments of Iraq, Iran, etc, would the people of those nations be better or worse off? (Better)


- Is it worth the difficulties and possible casualties of military action in order to have a greatly reduced chance that the US will be the victim of a nuclear or high casualty biological attack? (Yes)

And there's more.

Shannon Davies is back on the job, and pleased to see it we are. Today's lead article is a tasty beat-down of the pretensions of online protesters.
DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME

Voluntary euthanasia group Exit Australia will today launch their suicide bag, designed to allow people to smother themselves quietly.

The truly bizarre part is this: in order to avoid prosecution for promoting suicide, each Exit Bag carries a health warning, telling purchasers not to put it on their heads.

DIDN'T SEE THAT COMING.

Am I the only one who enjoys the spectacle of seeing a hard left union get crucified for, among other things, taking money to stay away from building sites.

But I know you want more. The union has allegedly been extorting donations from employers for their Honest Unionism Fund, and the Cuban Solidarity Fund. There just nothing to add to that, is there?

Monday, August 19, 2002

I can relax this morning, now that Professor Bunyip has addressed today's pantload from Robert Manne. Be sure to read his posts in order, this one second. My favourite?
As an associate professor of that oxymoronic discipline "political science," Manne is professionally immune to shame. What's the SMH's excuse?


Here is today's bold statement of principle from the Australian Democrats.
Democrats against war
TODAY the Senate will test the views of all political parties on the issue of a first strike against Iraq.
I have moved a motion calling upon the Government to rule out Australia's involvement in any pre-emptive military action, or first strike, against Iraq or any other country without evidence that an attack by that country is imminent.
Opposition to a war against Iraq has been voiced by former Australian prime ministers, senior security experts from both Australia and the United States, the leaders of most nations, and the majority of the Australian public.
As Leader of the third party in the Senate, I urge the Prime Minister, John Howard, and the Leader of the Opposition, Simon Crean, to rule out Australia supporting a first strike.
Natasha Stott Despoja
Leader, Australian Democrats
Canberra, ACT

The key phrase here is "without evidence that an attack by that country is imminent". For an attack to be imminent means that the weapons will have been acquired. Without the weapons, an attack cannot be imminent, as defined by Natasha.

Since Saddam has the proven ability to reach Tel Aviv by missile, Stott Despoja is condemning the people of Israel to death, because there is no way that any strike at that point could stop a missile getting through. She is prepared to have third party civilians incinerated, rather than have the nerve to say "this regime is unacceptable for these reasons, and more civilised nations have the right and obligation to remove them".

Sunday, August 18, 2002

In high school and university, there was always a rush to choose the good elective subjects, lest ye be condemned to the wilderness of "Ingmar Bergmann: The Comedic years" and "Wither Estonia?".

Ever suspect that's how proctologists end up in their gig? "Naaah, today I'll sleep in!"

Quick joke: A doctor is walking down a hospital corridor.
"Excuse me Doctor, but why do you have your thermometer stuck behind your ear?"
"Oh hell! Some Arsehole's got my pen!"

Thank You. Thank You. You've been great.


Tips for a happy marriage #22

The more it goes without saying, the more it needs to be said.
As you have no doubt noticed, I am posting instead of enjoying the pleasures of the hotel life.

Well, it turns out The Good Lady Wife arranged a weekend away at home, a practice I thoroughly recommend. Outsource the children, turn off the phones, and take a holiday in your own city. Thus far we’ve been out to dinner, listened to some good blues, been to a very good play, and spent the evening in watching movies. Today there are more activities planned, about which I have not the faintest clue.

She’s is a truly remarkable woman, and proved this yesterday by reshuffling her plans for our time to slot enough time that she could deliver me, unprepared, to lunch with some Australian bloggers, organised by the very lovely Jason Soon. Thanks Jase.

22 years together and I love that woman.

Yes Phillip,


Yes "The past is a foreign country, they do things differently there."

Let’s take the 1940’s, a time that Phillip Adams and the ALP recall as blessed. Labor Prime Minister Ben Chifley made it clear that the future of Australia lay in the protection of our “great and powerful friends” in the United States, the better to protect the country from the yellow hordes to the north. Remember, in the words of perennial Opposition Leader, UN founder, Immigration Minister and nutcase, Herbert “Doc” Evatt, “Two Wongs don’t make a white”.

When the light on the hill was in danger of going out because of a strike by miner’s unions, Chifley founded the great ALP tradition in industrial relations: he sent the army in to break the strike. In later times, Labor Prime Minister Bob Hawke would uphold the vision by using the Air Force to prevent any harm coming to his close friend’s airline holdings.

The 1940’s were a glorious time for women, with the Federal Government in thrall to the power of that well-known champion of women’s rights, the Catholic Church. Women had no access to abortion or contraception, and union strangleholds made sure they could not reach any measure of financial independence by entering blue collar jobs.

In industry, rising tariffs kept international firms at bay, while inflating the price of superior products. Nothing helps the lower classes like rent-seeking industries.

Aborigines could not vote or be counted in the census. It took another 20 years (and a change of government) to bring that to an end.

In the field of financial regulation, only organised religion can match the Australian Labor Party for its ability to extract wildly different outcomes while claiming to be upholding exactly the same principles. The Chifley Banking Act of 1947 proposed to nationalise the entire banking system, placing control of the banks in the hands of an avowedly socialist Government. It was ruled unconstitutional in 1949, and a good thing too. Otherwise how could that self-declared friend of the working class, Treasurer (later Prime Minister) Paul Keating have been in a position to deregulate the financial system in Australia, giving free rein to the terrible terrible 1980’s. Elected again and again, and bankrolled in no small part by a good many of the spivs, crooks and main chance artists that led the storm of speculation, culminating in Keating’s final gift to the working class, 17 per cent interest rates, and one million unemployed.

But never mind. He wore a good suit, talked up the Republic, and made sure that the right jobs went to the right people. And that’s all that matters.

Even today, Labor manages to reconcile their past record of government asset divestiture with today’s firm stance against government asset divestiture. Their support for Suhartoe with support for invading, if necessary, East Timor. Their support for possibly invading sovereign Indonesian territory, with their insistence that we not invade Iraq. And the choicest of all, their writing of the regulations on mandatory detention of unauthorised arrivals, with their stern lecturing on the evils of the mandatory detention of unauthorised arrivals.

Yes, the 1940’s were a grand time. Stalinists to the left of them, hard-line Catholics to right, the USA to back them up, and nowhere to go but down in a screaming electoral heap, condemned to stay there for 23 years because they couldn’t carry an election in a bucket. Good times.

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