Attila the Pun
Tuesday, April 27, 2004
There is a lengthy essay in the Age today by Richard Rorty. I wouldnt waste your time reading it:
If terrorists do get their hands on nuclear weapons, the most momentous result will not be the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent people. It will be the fact that all the democracies will have to place themselves on a permanent war footing.
Tell that to the shadows on buildings that were previously people. Looking into his crystal ball, Richard finds that:
The measures their governments will consider it necessary to impose are likely to bring about the end of many of the socio-political institutions that emerged in Europe and North America in the past two centuries.
Desperately trying to avoid hyperbole, he notes that:
They may return the West to something like feudalism.
I am amazed that people can get paid to make such stunning predictions as:
If there were a dozen successful terrorist attacks on European capitals, and if some of them used nuclear, biological or chemical weapons, the military and the national security bureaucracies in all the European countries would, almost inevitably, be granted powers that they had not previously wielded.
But he really hits his stride with:
The actions of the Bush Administration since September 11 have caused many Americans to think of the war on terrorism as potentially more dangerous than terrorism itself, even if it entailed nuclear explosions in many Western cities.
Lets look at this closely - "many Americans" (Richard doesnt volunteer himself there) think of the war on terror (being presumably the Patriot Act and other measures) "as potentially more dangerous than terrorism", even if it entailed nuclear explosions in many Western cities
I am speechless. Further to this litany of lunacy:
Christopher Hitchens has jeeringly said that many American leftists are more afraid of Attorney-General John Ashcroft than they are of Osama bin Laden. I am exactly the sort of person Hitchens has in mind.
you don't say. But wait - there's more:
Ever since the White House rammed the USA Patriot Act through Congress, I have spent more time worrying about what my Government will do than about what the terrorists will do.
And you would probably still be worrying about the Government as the last breath left your sarin destroyed lungs.
Saturday, April 24, 2004
Jumping stumps plough
Whilst Australia always claims to be a nation of inventors, I hadn't realise that we invented this.
Go Aussie Go! I do abhor the crass commercialisation of it lately however, as well as the fact that the channel 9 cameras cut away every time someone does it at the cricket. Blokes maybe, but if a bird wants to get her kit off and run round the pitch for a bit, I say good on them, and I can guarantee the Australian cricket team would agree with me.
Queen of the forest
Police in New York have spent 4 hours trying to talk a semi-naked gay couple out of a tree.
What did these would-be squirells look like?
Police described the two as a 32-year-old man with "feminine breasts", who was dressed in a purple thong, and a 17-year-old boy in boxer shorts.
I shall leave the construction of that mental image up to you dear reader. But in this day and age, can you automatically assume a guy with manboobs in a purple thong hanging out with a young boy in his underwear is gay?
Witnesses told police that the couple had engaged in oral sex while in the branches of the tree.
Oh. Apparently this left somewhat of a sour taste in the mouth however, as:
At one point a policeman handed the 32-year-old a soft drink, which he promptly threw to the ground, shouting: "This is Coke. I wanted vanilla Diet Pepsi."
Pepsi - dump Britney and Enrique and sign up ManBoob and BoxerBoy as your spokescouple instead!
The couple were admitted to hospital for psychiatric evaluation when they finally ending the standoff.
You don't say..
UPDATE: As an aside - how bad is the editing in that piece? I fixed one error in the first bit I quoted, but "when they finally ending the standoff" is pretty piss-poor.
Friday, April 23, 2004
Daddy, whats a tosser?
David Campbell is trying to bring the debate over Iraq down to a level which he can understand - by pretending to answer questions from his child. If my memory serves me correctly, Hugh McKay or similar tried this same line a while, and it was just as embarassing then as it is now.
Witness David's amazing rhetorical abilities! Marvel at the way he uses the innocence of child to highlight our own wickedness! Be sickened at his blatant moral equivalency!
First he equates the ultimatum given to Saddam to disarm and crucially (the bit that anti-war types always ignore) *prove* he had disarmed, with the kidnapping and blackmail of civilian contractors in Iraq. A perfectly logical comparison you would have thought, seeing as those contractors had previously used chemical weapons and invaded a neighbouring country. Oh, wait.
But the worst bit is when the imaginary child asks "Is it a better place?". His response:
I suppose so, but I don't know for sure. Innocent people are still being killed and these kidnappings are terrible things. I feel very sorry for the families of those poor hostages, but we simply can't give in to terrorists. We must stand firm.
Yes - innocent people are being killed, and are being kidnapped. By the Coalition? Nope - by the 'insurgents' whom David seems to have such a softy spot for. The fact that people are even willing to consider the idea that Iraq may have been better off under Saddam is truly disgraceful.
David's persuasive skills seem to have been copied from a young child. A question is asked, an answer given, then the main point of the answer is ignored in order to ask a different question. Read it yourself and see.
Thursday, April 22, 2004
Try "I hope they rot in the burning pits of hell"
After the announcement of prison sentences totalling 70 years for four gang rapists, one of the victims said she was "not overly satisfied" with the result. That shows a lot more restraint than i would have thought possible, and a lot more restraint than i hope the cell mates of these animals show.
Predictably, the rapists have claimed they are victims of an anti-muslim conspiracy. No pal, just an anti-gang rapist conspiracy. For you boys it is going to go from giving it Leb style to copping it Bubba style. Enjoy.
Coolest headline ever
Unpleasant subject matter maybe, but you can't say the headline isn't catchy.
Wednesday, April 21, 2004
You don't say..
What any person with a working eye and a rudimentary knowledge of cricket could tell you is now official - Murali is a chucker.
The official report into his action has found that he extends his arm 10 degrees when bowling his 'doosra'. The maximum allowed for a spinner is 5 degrees.
Predictably, the Sri Lankan cricket board have claimed that there is nothing untoward, and that most bowlers exceed the 5 degrees.
Malcolm Speed, head of the ICC, has actually found some backbone, and stated that not only are the tolerances based on expert evidence, but that if Murali gets reported again, then the ICC will convene its own Bowling Review Group. This will have the power to suspend Chucky for up to 12 months.
The funny thing is that Murali couldn't even bowl his doosra legally when he knew that he was being recorded and tested officially. He managed to send down some legal deliveries when his usual action was tested, and was therefore allowed to go back to chucking when actually playing.
Admittedly Terry Jenner is not an unbiased observer, as Murali is going to beat Jenner's student in the wicket stakes, but he is certainly an expert on spin bowling and coaching. He thinks Murali chucks, and laments the fact that kids try and emulate the delivery. Not a single one can manage it without throwing the ball.
If the ICC stands up to sub continent bullying, and doesnt change the rules, I wonder if there will be an umpire or match referee with the cojones to say what everyone is thinking - and no ball Murali when he next whips out his doosra.
Tuesday, April 20, 2004
bye bye senor
Honduras has announced it will be pulling out of Iraq several months early.
This reuters report states that:
Once the scene of bitter conflicts in the Cold War, Central American countries have been eager to build on close trade and immigration ties with the United States by cooperating in the occupation of Iraq.
But in relation to Honduras:
"Honduras, a small banana-exporting country, allowed pro-US Nicaraguan "Contra" rebels to operate from its soil in the 1980s. "
Honduras' largest export is actually coffee, accounting for 22% of their total export. But putting "a small coffee-exporting country" doesn't allow the subtext of "look - only banana republics are supporting the US in Iraq"
But the following is really unnecessary:
"It also sponsored a resolution at a UN human rights body last week that condemned Communist-run Cuba's rights record. "
Yeah, why don't they just condemn Communist-run North Korea's rights record as well, and prove once and for all what US stooges they are....
Monday, April 19, 2004
Though I realise it wasn't the toughest foreign event call to make, I tipped this.
The choice of venue, al-Rantissi was passing the graveyard where the acrobatic Sheik was buried, shows that the Israelis have a sense of humour to go along with their steely resolve. Cool.
Hamas have named their new target, err leader, but have declined to name him. There's a shock.
Friday, April 16, 2004
Keep her please
Further to that last post, the SMH has some more champagne comedy from Australia's phony hostage.
She claims that her decision to supposedly go to Fallujah was "no more crazy than sitting in my loungeroom and telling myself that there is nothing I can do."
But why Fallujah Donna? Why not Rwanda, or the Ivory Coast? Or Iran even? Is it because it isn't a media hotspot at the moment - or because you couldnt claim martyr yourself there and then and attack Bushitler and Howard?
My favourite bit was this:
"She spoke of a naive expectation that her Australian passport might protect her from US gunfire as she distributed humanitarian aid in the town"
Naive in what way exactly? Did she naively think that Australian passports are 5 ft long and made of Kevlar? Also:
"We held up our passports and used a loud-hailer to tell them what we were doing, but they started shooting."
Personally, i think she is full of shit. Soldiers are trained for many tasks. The main one however, though people dont like to focus on it, remains shooting people. If some dumpy Australian woman is standing around in Fallujah with a loud speaker, waving a passport, and a US Marine platoon starting shooting at her, she would last about as long as it took for the 5.56mm bullet to exit the barrel of an M-16, travel the length of the street, and lodge itself in her self righteous ass.
Kidnapped by fictional characters
I smell a rat, and it's rodent name is Donna Mulheam. The former 'human shield' is claiming that she was recently kidnapped in Iraq. Her story stinks to high heaven, as does the Age reporting of it.
First up is her description as an "Australian aid worker". No organisation name was supplied. The Age doesn't mention her previous career as a pawn, err shield, but surprisingly the Sydney Morning Herald does.
The Age also descibes her supposed kidnappers as "Mujahadeen". That phrase still has some resonance from the days of the Russian occupation of Afghanistan. With all the dispute over whether the attackers should be called militia, terrorists, insurgents, scum, this was an odd choice for the Age to settle on. Umm, not that odd actually.
She also claims that "while undertaking the humanitarian work before she was captured, she and her three colleagues were shot at four times by US soldiers while trying to take an ambulance full of medical aid to a clinic." Which of course is impossible to verify. At least she didn't trot out the "US snipers targetting civilians" line.
Oops - "the worst form of attack was the US snipers hiding on rooftops who kill hundreds of civilians as they tried to move about the city". The problem with morons who will believe anything about the US military is that they assume we will automatically believe it too. Hey - I wonder if there were any US Marine snipers at Jenin?
He credibility then takes another battering:
"When they saw that we were frightened and that we really (were) doing our best to explain ourselves and what we were doing in Fallujah, they said to us 'Look, don't worry too much. We are Muslims and we can't hurt you. We are not violent and we won't hurt you and we won't touch you'."
I dont think the 'not touching you' bit can really be put down to religion - more good taste i would suspect. The line about not being allowed to hurt her because they are Muslims is also comedy gold. I guess the 911 attackers or the Bali bombers were Hindus posing as Muslims then?
The purpose of this fantasy story soon becomes apparent - "I realised quickly that my prime minister, John Howard, had placed me in great danger by making inflammatory comments about the war just a few days ago,"
Assuming any of this is even remotely true - I may believe she is in Iraq, but that is about it - to claim that once you have been kidnapped by armed men, it is comments by the PM that place you in danger, rather than the guy standing behind you with an AK-47, shows the sheer lunacy of those opposed to the Iraq invasion. Ms Mulheam is on an extended vacation from reality, with an eager media reading and reporting her postcards
Thursday, April 15, 2004
What do we want? Limp wristed bitch slaps!
Tim Blair has pointed out a bold plan by the saddam lovers over at indymedia - if any pro-liberation people (characterised generally as young Liberals) turn up at a pro-saddam rally, then 'gilberts' immediate reaction was to:
"charge at these bastards and try to smash thier placards and hurt them as much as possible" and that "In the ideal situation Young Liberals should be left bruised, bashed and bleeding if they dare show thier face at a rally like that."
Now ignoring the irony in the feelings of the so called 'peace protestors' wanting to beat up someone, i would like to consider the actual likelihood of it happening.
I went to university with Gilbert types and young Liberal types. Using broad stereotypes (which become stereotypes for a reason), who would win a punch on between the two?
Your average Gilbert type was badly dressed (a kaftan and rasta hat would be a liability in a fight, as would dreadlocks), underfed (vegans take dietary supplements for a reason) and physically rather puny (sport being all horrible and competitive)
Young Liberals are harder to stereotype. There are certainly plenty of the nerdy mummy boy types, but there are also plenty of the arrogant-private school-played-for-the-first-rugby-XV-types as well. Fed on a healthy diet of red meat, dressed in RM Williams and moleskins, they would hand Gilbert his spotty pinko ass in a fight. (As an aside - Tony Abbott was a heavy weight boxer at university, care to take him on at a demo?)
People like Gilbert get an over inflated sense of their own power by marching around in packs, yelling angry slogans, and occasionally trying to antagonise Police in the full knowlege that the cops can's nightstick the living crap out of them on national television.
Gilbert actually touches on this point, stating that:
"Who cares if the news portrays the protest as violent; they do it anyway, and when they are not violent they don't report them at all. If it looks that way on the TV it just means we look more serious and frankly, it makes us more likely to win our demands."
Sure buddy - which demands are they? Is Bush going to reinstall Saddam because some unemployed hippies in Melbourne attacked some Young Liberals? Is Nelson going to reverse the HECS legislation because you threatened to stink up the university admin building for a few days? Try jumping on the next boat to reality pal.
In a somewhat comforting development, even Gilbert's fellow travellers give him a pasting over this in comments. They range from ironic:
"I bet you call them "fascists", don't you?"
To the one I was going to post till i was beaten to it:
"Come see the violence inherent in the system!"
What brand of tinfoil do you prefer?
Theodore Trout is a rather odd individual.
His main request is:
"I require the implementation of my intellectual data regarding the concepts of "0" and its' copyright dollars paid so as to finance this fusion project in Australia with international involvement. Mathematicians become very upset when confronted with my dividing and multiplying by 0. Seeing and hearing mathematicians and physicists tearing their hair out over my concepts of "zero" is to believe it."
He is an innovative legislator however:
"All Mathematicians, physicists and the World Science establishments and Governments also their legal systems will capitulate, concede and accept my set of dividing and multiplying by zero is correct and is the law worldwide for everything is relative to its' foundations and all the worlds legislation is based on adding, subtracting, dividing, multiplying (by zero) and counting making the Laws of this Universe the foundations of all legislation. Therefore all the world's legislation and governments are subject to the Universes' laws, whether they like it or not."
Do you think the World Science Establishments have some sort of exchange program with the New World Order, or the Elders of Zion?
But one can't go around making claims like this unless there is some concrete proof (the World science establishments wouldn't allow it). So here it is:
I've proven conclusively and absolutely, beyond any doubt in 2001, that mathematicians and physicists are wrongly treating zero as a fraction. This conclusion is confirmed by the following: 1 divided by 1/infinity or by 0 = infinite times; so mathematicians are stating 1/infinity = zero, which is false. 1/infinity has length, breadth, depth and mass whereas " 0" doesn't. So I require my set of dividing and multiplying by 0, demonstrated and proven in 1993, opposed and frustrated for 8 1/2yrs, implemented and the "non exclusive" copyright $dollars paid. The 50yr copyright is to start from its' implementation and the copyright paid. Mathematicians have no choice but to capitulate.
riiiiight. And he has a stunning put down for those established scientists that won't give him due recognition:
They all hide behind their Tertiary play school labels, hide behind their position and status and hide behind their secretaries skirts.
Still, the world may not have long to harness his abilities, as Trout warns us that:
Police attempted to kill me 23rd Feb 04 using the same murder plan they used to kill Colin Winchester, Deputy Police Commissioner in 1989 that was beyond the intellectual abilities of David Eastman
I doubt it was the Police, I think a World Scientist establishment hit squad is much more likely. Beware a group of men in balaclavas and lab coats...
Friday, April 09, 2004
Paging all morons
Stupidity appears to be breaking out all over the place today. First up is our previously sane ex-Prime Minister, Malcolm Fraser, channeling Ted Kennedy to claim that Iraq paralled Vietnam. (The sydney Morning Herald of course headlined it as "Iraq conflict like Vietnam", which isnt the same thing).
The parallel is apparently that "[i]n both cases, you had a largely American army, not completely but largely, trying to support or establish a state in a country that was foreign and alien to them."
And the solution? No prizes for guessing kiddies - "the killing there could be stemmed if control was handed to the United Nations. " Suuure Malcolm, after the slap up job that the UN has done everywhere else. Do people actually believe this stuff, or is it just knee jerk support for the principles underpinning the UN? Have they seen the roll call of countries that are in Iraq? - it is like the UN, without the terrorist hugging countries.
Somehow people manage to claim that this is all the US, and in the same breath state that Australia, Spain, Japan etc should pull their troops out. Which is it to be?
But to return to Malcolm's claim, Iraq is not like Vietnam, other than the US military is involved. Remember how Afghanistan was going to be just like Vietnam? When that didn't happen (though i am sure they are still hoping), the claims have been shifted to Iraq. There are dozens of reasons why they arent the same, but to take just one, look at a topographical map. Iraq is a completely different country to Vietnam. Fighting a war in urban areas and desert is very different to a jungle. Of course the urban areas lead to the "Baghdad will be another Stalingrad!!!" calls. I wonder if anybody will try that one on for Fallujah?
But for sheer teeth-aching stupidity, it is hard to go past former Northern Island Secretary Mo Mowlam. She has claimed that the US and Britain should open talks with Osama and his fellow al-Qaeda pals, lest we condemn large parts of the world to war forever.
Of course you cant go round making statements like that without some pretty heavy justification and well reasoned arguments, and Mo doesn't let us down - "If you go in with guns and bombs, you act as a recruitment officer for the terrorists." Aaah, no mindless cliches for Mo. Of course going in with guns and particularly bombs is what al-Qaeda do quite well, not to mention Mo's friends at the IRA. Speaking of which:
Interviewer Tony Cartledge asked if she could imagine "al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden arriving at the negotiating table"
"Some people couldn't conceive of Gerry Adams or Martin McGuinness getting to the table but they did."
Which confirmed that it is possible to bomb your way to the negotiating table against the West. To do the same with al-Qaeda would be catastrophic.
I know some people have trouble with this, so let me break it down - you do not negotiate with someone when the only concession they are making is to stop attacking you. That isn't a negotiation, that is a surrender.
Thursday, April 08, 2004
On your marks, Get set, Hut!
This article examines the use of private security firms in Iraq, with an emphasis on Blackwater.
The cool bit however is this:
Next month Blackwater will host the World SWAT Challenge—an Olympic-style competition among 20 SWAT teams from around the country—set to be broadcast on ESPN.
I really really want ESPN.
If you false start in that competition, you dont miss out on selection, a la Thorpy, you die.
This is the coolest computer accessory ever.
That is all.
Tuesday, April 06, 2004
Fish in a barrel
Harry Heidelberg is a Webdiary tosser.
He starts off relatively sane:
Air Force One is a powerful symbol of the 228 year old institution of the American presidency, a symbol of a power that is literally projected around the globe. Nowhere is the technological, political and ideological prowess of the United States better encapsulated.
Though you could dispute that - a McDonalds in the streets of Tehran or Moscow would sum it up rather nicely as well I think, but points to Harry for not frothing at the mouth right from the get-go.
Harry isn't shy about nailing his colours to the mast. He states with awe that:
I was on the tarmac at Sydney airport in 1996 when President Clinton arrived.
The most tragic case of Air Force One removing power was in 1963, when it carried the corpse of John F. Kennedy from Dallas back to Washington
and no points for what is going to come after this:
The Nixon presidency was another American tragedy.
Hmm, anybody think this might be leading up to *gasp* Bush? I wont spoil the surprise yet, and neither will Harry, because first he has to let us see what goes on in the head of a webdiarist when the lights are low on a night made for lurve...
I once fantasised about being in Washington to see President Dean inaugurated.
Yuck, I think I need a shower after reading that. Unfortunately for Harry, reality, and the fact that Dean was a looney, hit his fantasy on the head like a giant cold spoon. Harry knows this, and admits:
That will never happen now. My more mundane fantasy now is closer to reality.
Getting a real job? Washing regularly? err, no:
My dream is of the day when President Bush passes over Kansas City Center on his way to Crawford, Texas. The radio will crackle "This is Kansas City Center; your designation changes from Air Force One to regular flight 6294 past this point". The subtext: "You are now a nobody".
You really need to get better dreams Harry, these current ones blow. Nonetheless, Hazza gets on a roll:
It will bring closure to another American tragedy - the George W. Bush presidency. Almost ironically, it will also be a symbol of America's strength - the peaceful transition of power.
You mean like in a democracy? You mean like in the system of government that the US is trying to install in Iraq? You mean like the type of government that doesn't exist in places like Castro's Cuba that people like Harry worship?
This man, who is probably not the legitimate President of the United States, will return to where he belongs.
"probably not"? wtf? what is the point of being a frothy mouthed tinfoil hat wearer, if you go round pretending to be reasonable by saying 'probably not'?
He ends on a poignant, rather nauseating note:
Then, perhaps, the rest of us can hold out some very small hope of a better world. I'd rather a small hope than none at all. My dreams are now more modest, but I hold onto them nevertheless.
"we are the world, we are the children..."