Friday, September 06, 2002

I'm lifting this wholus-bolus from Sand In The Gears. Contributions welcome, and perhaps a few about blogging rules. Email to the above address, and if you're too pissy, you will regret it.

Road Rules

Everybody gripes about other people's driving. This is, of course, because other people drive like monkeys on crack. But everybody complains about driving, and nobody does anything about it -- for the most part, beyond some encouraging signs of road rage a few years ago which have since petered out. Well, today I'd like to remedy that situation with some proposed Rules of the Road:

1. Left turn lights: Anyone who allows more than two car lengths between himself and the preceding car during the brief opportunity afforded by the left-turn arrow will have his bank account reduced by a third, all his timepieces confiscated, and his right foot run through by a red hot javelin. He clearly does not appreciate the value of time, or the responsibility he has to free those behind him in the turn lane, rather than condemning them, through his insouciance, to another eternity waiting for the next green arrow.

2. Multiple lanes: People who drive in the passing (left) lane without making a visible effort to pass those on the right may be fired upon, so long as this is done with reasonable accuracy, by drivers and passengers in trailing vehicles. Given the high probability that the driver shares significant genes with passengers, collateral damage to the latter is acceptable.

3. Vehicle size: Nobody under the age of twenty-five may drive any vehicle larger than a Honda Civic.

4. Taste: Men over 50 driving pimped out 1990 or newer Corvettes, Cadillacs, or Firebirds will be stripped to have their inadequate manhoods displayed to all passersby with eyesight sufficient to notice.

5. Vehicle adornment: Drivers who display stickers of the cartoon character Calvin urinating on various objects of disdain may be pulled from their vehicles by nearby passengers, tied to the hood, and castrated with a reasonably sharp instrument. Drivers with a "My student beat up your honors student" bumper sticker may be pulled from their vehicles and physically beaten by any current or former honors student who believes he can take them.

6. Music: Drivers with their windows down so that surrounding passengers have to listen to lyrics about "ho's gettin' doggied" are subject to imprisonment in the solitary confinement wing of a state penitentiary for not less than three years, during which time they will be forced to listen to Donny and Marie Osmond's 1975 album, "I'm Leaving It All Up To You," played on a continuous loop 24 hours a day.

7. Intersections: Drivers are free to ram, at their own risk, the protruding front ends of vehicles on side roads that have failed to halt behind their stop sign or stop light. Drivers turning left at an intersection are free to do the same to vehicles in the left-turn lane on the street perpendicular to their own, when said vehicles protrude more than three feet into the intersection.

8. Four-Way Stops: One car per stop sign at a time, rotating counter-clockwise. All violators will be removed from their vehicles and placed in the middle of the intersection where the offense occurred, and required to dodge traffic for one hour, or until such time as hospitalization is urgent.

9. Highway entrance ramps: Drivers entering the highway are free to sideswipe passing vehicles that fail to give them entrance by temporarily moving to open left lanes. Highway drivers who brake in order to allow vehicles to enter the highway will be required to suck on a hot brake pad for one hour.

10. Parking: When waiting for someone who has entered his vehicle for the purpose of leaving a parking spot, drivers need wait no longer than two minutes once said individual has closed his vehicle door. Once this time period has elapsed, a driver may park directly behind the offending vehicle.

11. Litter: Drivers will be required to eat anything they throw from their cars. This includes cigarettes, which will be re-lit before ingestion.

Got 15 minutes to spare? Then bop over to Philosoblog for a readable rundown on the The Fundamental Errors of Leftism.
To quote Tex, Yowzah!
…the people who substitute doctrine for knowledge and irritation for concern, the revolutionaries who visit centers of revolution with return air tickets, the hippies, the people who wish themselves on societies more fragile than their own, all those people who in the end do no more than celebrate their own security. VS Naipaul

Thanks to Instapundit for the link.

Jane Galt contributes to the reasons for optimism about the possible resistance in Iraq.
I think that at the first signs that Sadaam is going to lose, his people will start losing their enthusiasm for guarding him with their bodies. History loves a winner, and historically, populations ruled by nuthatch dictators generally sell out to the conquerors as soon as the outcome becomes obvious.

And an excellent debate in the comments section.

It's a bumper crop today.

At Whacking Day, Tex comprehensively bookends the Bunyip's work.

Tim Blair sinks the slipper into Greens who would rather see Africans die than let them eat GM food.

The Indepundit has a summary of Saddam and the Bomb, as well as good linkage to other resources.

Public Interest UK shoulders the duty of knifing this wingnut from The Times, who has the classic Greens logic:
"But Kyoto is not about solving the global warming problem in one fell swoop, any more than the summit in Johannesburg was about eliminating all global poverty and environmental degradation. These protocols, treaties and summits are steps in a long journey whose ultimate destination cannot even be defined".

Geddit? Don't know where we're going, or why, but let's get started. How could that approach possibly go wrong?

Pejman Pundit can rest easy, after his contribution on
the knuckle-draggers at Warbloggerwatch, and their various intellectually supine supporters.

Intellectually supine! Gold star for you.

Drop a line into the billabong for Professor Bunyip's latest screed. The good Prof dissects the finely-honed ability of leftist academics to apply their many high-falutin' standards to all Westerners, while ignoring and often defending the most vile practices in other cultures. Surgically-proficient.

Thursday, September 05, 2002

SIGH.

Robert Corr is wriggling with delight at the thought of catching me out in recent evaluations on the Middle East.

According to Rob, when the Kuwaitis are in favour of the War on Iraq, it's a "government mouthpiece", but if the Qatari Foreign Minister says the same, it's proof positive.

Hey Rob, just how big does a US air base have to be before it qualifies as support? By that logic, Pine Gap doesn't mean a thing, does it?

And not all Middle Eastern countries are not Arab. They aren't the same thing, never have been. You might keep that in mind if you're standing next to an Iranian; they're a bit touchy.

Let me put this as clearly as possible Rob: the opinions of Middle Eastern nations, with the exception of any democracies that happen to be present, matter not a jot to me. The various nabobs, Pashas, Shahs, Ayatollahs, sheikhs, Caliphs, Kings, Glorious Leaders, Khans and Presidents For Life JUST DON'T COUNT ANY MORE.
A rare chuckle from the Sydney Morning Herald letters page this morning, an area increasingly under the sway of the professionally compassionate.
Ross Gittins ("We're buying more but enjoying it less", Herald, September 4) asks the perennial question: "Does money buy happiness?"
I have always liked ex-Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth's answer: "Money can't buy you happiness - but it sure can buy you a boat big enough to sail right up next to happiness."

Thank you Tim McMasters of Surry Hills.

Wednesday, September 04, 2002

Greg Easterbrook has his own spin on the Jo'burg Blowout.
the European Commission, plus several European Union member governments, gave several million dollars in travel grant funds to various left-wing NGOs to send people to Johannesburg. Officially this was for diversity and democracy, but the real motive was to ensure that there would be angry people denouncing the United States in the streets while the summit took place. Just think how many lives might have been saved if the millions used to fly a European street demonstration all the way to the tip of Africa had, instead, simply been given to the poor of Africa.

Nice thought, but given that the entire circle-jerk has achieved three-fifths of bugger-all, why worry about a few hundred starving Africans. As long as present policies are maintained, starvation is after all a sustainable resource.

Read this from Fareed Zakaria, about the withering of radical Islam.
The French scholar Gilles Kepel, who documents the failure of political Islam in his excellent book "Jihad," makes a comparison to communism. It was in the 1960s, after communism had lost any possible appeal to ordinary people -- after the revelations about Stalin's brutality, after the invasion of Hungary, as its economic model was decaying -- that communist radicals turned to terror. They became members of the Red Brigades, the Stern Gang, the Naxalites, the Shining Path. Having given up on winning the hearts of people, they hoped that violence would intimidate people into fearing them. That is where radical political Islam is today


Good head vittles.

It's good to ahead be of Big Media. In today's Australian, Janet Albrechtsen wallops Multicultural Man for leading us to the path of self-loathing.
Multicultural Man taught us to see anti-Westernism as the last acceptable prejudice. "Western culture" was clamped by quotation marks to signal its distasteful colonising, imperialist past. Our self-loathing gave terrorists a licence to ratchet up their anti-west sentiment to murderous proportions.

Albrechtsen finishes with this warning:
As Americans wake next Wednesday to the words of Lincoln's sombre Gettysburg address, they will ask what those lost lives count for. If they count for anything, it is the right to be proud of and defend to the death the West's achievements. If that truth offends Multicultural Man, that is all to the good.


WANTED: ACTORS WHO WILL SHUT THEIR BLOODY HOLES

Claudia Karvan is an Australian actor who is not content with fame, fortune and a place in a protected, subsidised industry. Last night she took advantage of a Marie Claire sponsored girlie fest to fluff her compassion feathers for the benefit of any producers who might have been watching.

We are fortunate indeed to have actors prepared to use their expertise in public policy, international treaties and human right agreements in order to show the overwhelming majority of Australians the error of their ways. Karvan even spelled out a few of our delusions in easy to digest pieces.
Myth: Boat people are queue jumpers.
Fact: Most asylum seekers arriving here by boat are from Afghanistan and Iraq. Australia does not have any diplomatic representation in these countries. There are no queues for anyone to join, let alone jump.

More Facts: Few asylum seekers appeared on boats by magic. All transited two, and up to five countries that are considered safe havens. Queues exist in all those countries, for those who feel like getting in line.
Myth: Australia already takes in more than its fair share of refugees.
Fact: Australia takes in a maximum of 12,000 refugees a year - that is less than half the number accepted by Britain and the United States on a per capita basis, and about half the number we accepted in the early '80s.

More Facts: The figure of 12,000 applies to permanent settlement, not asylum seeker status. When permanency is your game, Australia is your aim. Note She did not examine anyone else's record, like Bahrain.
Myth: There is no alternative to mandatory detention.
Fact: Mandatory detention costs about $104 a person a day while home detention, out in the community, would cost about $59 a day.

More Facts: This cost does not include the price of tracking down those hundreds of asylum seekers who will fade into the landscape when their applications are refused. Without a universal ID system, the blowout in detection and apprehension costs will soar.

In a moment of candour, Karvan glimpses her place in the public debate:
I certainly don't have all the answers to this situation. I don't advocate open borders.

"I don't know what to do, but being on television qualifies me to demand change".

Now compare it to this item that didn't rate the same prominence.
ONLY 3 per cent of new migrants find Australians racist or unfriendly and an overwhelming number are happy about the decision to move

Well that doesn't make sense. Why would new entrants into the world's most diverse society NOT find us racist? Aren't they listening to international opinion? Or is it that opinion, as held by actual people, is that this is the place to be.
Climate, crime and a lack of discipline, and the lack of services and facilities appear to be among migrants' greatest dislikes – around 11, 13 and 11 per cent respectively.

Their greatest dislike is the level of crime in their own community, since that is what they know. 75% say they would encourage others to move to Australia. Sure sounds like the land of fear and scapegoating, doesn't it?

So the lesson is: rich, white television personalities will give you a different perspective on immigration and Australian society, than do immigrants. Who should we believe?


Tuesday, September 03, 2002

THE ARAB STREET IS HEARD FROM

But not in the way the Glorious Antiwar Crusade might have hoped for.
Kuwait became the first Arab state yesterday to signal support for a US-led military coalition against Iraq, in marked contrast to the caution shown by other countries in the region.

Yeeessss.
A Kuwaiti government official said: "If America asks for support Kuwait will give it. I expect the same response from all Gulf states. There may be the need publicly to be anti-war, but under-the-table deals are being struck."

This highlights the danger of talking to people who will have to deal with the consequences; they seldom agree that talking is a good thing.
A spokesman for the deputy prime minister's office said: "The Kuwaiti people are tired of living under the constant threat of aggression from Iraq.
"Those people who say that sending weapons inspectors into Iraq may be a solution to the current crisis are not those who are living within reach of his missiles and his chemical weapons. How can we feel safe with Saddam Hussein next door?"


UPDATE: I forgot to add other Middle Eastern nations in support of the invasion, namely Qatar and Israel. It's certain that Jordan will vacillate until the rubber hits the road, and Syria will jump on the bandwagon to eliminate a rival Ba'ath party. Further, it looks like the Europeans are starting to see the light of the oncoming train.

IT MUST MAKE THE BALL HARD TO HIT.

Normally I don't give a tinker's curse about cricket, but I am intrigued to hear of the existence of triangular cricket.

Just heard the Federal Assistant Treasurer Senator Helen Coonan on the radio. She wants to reform the insurance business to get rid of "dickhead claims".

Where else are you going to hear a high public official talk like this? I love this country!
OUR VERY OWN TED RALL?

I'm happy to be on record as a fan of The Chaser. Their series on the last Australian election was some of the ballsiest television I have seen since The Dingo Principle.

But this week they have truly stepped over the line, going from funny to appalling. Their distributor has refused to transport the print edition, and you can see why. When someone thinks it is amusing to laugh about the murder of two little girls, it is time to look for other work.

UPDATE: Robert Corr says this article is
Sick, yes. Twisted, yes. Disturbing, yes. But above all, fucking hilarious.

Expect some thigh-slapping child molester gags soon.

Here's a grab from the recent speech by US Vice President Dick Cheney, on pre-emptive strikes.
If the United States could have preempted 9/11, we would have; no question. Should we be able to prevent another, much more devastating attack, we will; no question. This nation will not live at the mercy of terrorists or terror regimes.

You can get the rest here.

So the question on the table for the anti-war crew is this: would the US have been justified in striking first, had they had warning and excellent proof that a strike against (insert Arab country here) would have prevented the September 11 attacks?

AND I'LL HEADBUTT MOTHER THERESA TOO!

Nelson Mandela is continuing to trade on his (partially deserved) Godhead status, by calling for the US to stop ignoring the UN over Iraq.

Sorry to correct you Sunshine, but the US is spot on so far. They are acting under an established UN resolution, with no expiry date. And doesn't this
"We are really appalled by any country, whether a superpower or a small country, that goes outside the U.N. and attacks independent countries,"

mean that if the US gets Security Council approval, you will line up with them?

And as for your concern about countries interfering with the domestic affairs of others, remind me again how you got out of jail?

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