Attila the Pun
Monday, May 31, 2004
allo allo allo, wot do we 'ave 'ere
Victorian coppers may be bent, but at least they dont get beaten up by some American frat boys. They should be ashamed of themselves.
Oh, the stuff back at the university was bad as well.
Worse than a GST
The booming heroin trade in Afghanistan is one of the more commonly used arguments as to how America is 'failing' in the 'war on terror'.
This article raises a few interesting points.
1. How does the UN get its figures for the growing of opium? It claims 8000 hectares were grown under the Taliban, whereas it has exploded to 80,000 after they are gone. Either these figures are wild guesses, sorry extrapolations, made on small samples - which means they should be relied upon, or else they have good information on where the poppies are being grown. (80000 hectares has got to be hard to hide). If that is the case, then destroying the poppies shouldn't be that hard.
2. They claim that terrorists (apparently they are still terrorists in Afghanistan, rather than militants or insurgents, or even mujahadeen as in Iraq) impose a 'tax' of 13 to 15 percent. A taxpayer in the top bracket in Australia pays 47 percent.
Saddle my donkey, I am off to Afghanistan.
oi oi oi
Blind parochialism for anything Australian is supposed to be a sign of Australia's continuing immaturity as a nation, cultural cringe etc etc yawn.
Here is one sitiation where we should all be pitching in to help see an Australian take out a world title.
Not only is she hot, she lists one of her interests as watching the footy with her dad.
My only concern is that she may be referring to rugby league.
Yeah, Saddam wasn't that bad. America is the evil one.
Hey kids! - Next time somebody in a chat room claims to be a spy, and tells you that they will give you a job as a spy as well if you stab a 14 year old boy - dont believe them!
The butcher of Abbey Road
An interesting slide show by the Guardian, regarding banned or altered album covers. The Beatles one is interesting (though i am sure all hardcore Beatles fans would find it hardcore), the Guns and Roses one looks like something a garage band would put out in 1987, and the five keys one is hilarious.
You say tomayto..
Bush is by no means the perfect president. If the islamofascists weren't around trying to kill us all, his presidency, and his support base, would look very different. However, as a useful symbol of the difference between Bush and Clinton, please read this article, concerning their respective uses of a study which adjoins the oval office:
Bush keeps the pistol that Saddam was found clutching in his spider hole, after Bush toppled his thoroughly evil regime. Clinton used it to pork overweight interns.
Friday, May 28, 2004
Counting your chickens
I had heard about this before, and I have no way of knowing if it is true or not, but here is a good summary of the infamous MIT blackjack team - nerds using various tactics to count cards in blackjack and win big. For all of us who have shuffled too much of the ready and folding over to smiling Blackjack dealers, it is a good read.
Wednesday, May 26, 2004
zoom zoom boom
As well as being a sociopathic rapist, Uday Hussein was also car collector.
There is a long list of the cars he supposedly owned, including:
"18 Rolls-Royces, including Corniches, Silver Wraiths, Silver Spirits and Silver Shadows. There were also three Bentleys, at least 22 Mercedes-Benzes, three Jaguars, a Lamborghini Diablo VT, four Bugattis, three Aston Martins and four Cadillacs."
Not forgetting his:
several Ferraris, one a 348 Barchetta, six Porsches, a Lotus Esprit, a McLaren, Maseratis and dozens of Dodges, Toyotas, a Mini Cooper convertible and a Land Rover Discovery Uday used for hunting.
Too bad for Land Rover - they could have used Uday in their latest campaign, rather than Mikey Robbins and the Bush Tucker Man.
That is a sweet list of automobiles, and there is further proof of the sheer evilness of Saddam:
"On one occasion, after a family row in 1995, Saddam ordered the destruction of almost 50 of Uday's vehicles stored in an underground car park in the presidential palace in Baghdad."
Uday apparently wasnt a big fan of factory standard either:
One Mercedes had 150 changes from standard and a Rolls-Royce had been given new bodywork so that the back resembled a Mercedes. Two other Mercedes sedans had war scenes painted on the doors.
Very discreet, tastefully done ones though I am sure.
However, the veracity of all these claims, made by his former personal secretary, Dhafir Mohammed Jabir, have to be questioned, when Jabir claims that one car:
"was capable of changing colour quickly to confuse pursuers."
Either that is a) Bullshit or b) Jabir was impressed with the 'fully sick' chameleon paintjobs that Uday was getting done, and assumed that they were for protective reasons, rather than merely to impress chicks when cruising round the Bagh'.
Tuesday, May 25, 2004
The things that batter... stupid questions
In Parliament yesterday, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer, was asked the following question by a Labor backbencher:
"Would the minister inform the House of efforts by the government to ensure that the two Australians detained in Guantanamo Bay are being treated humanely by the United States?"
Downer goes on to do just that, including assurances received by our ambassador, a visit by the Consul-General 10 days ago, a total of 9 visits to Hicks and 8 to Habib etc. But he then whips out a pearler of a response:
"I appreciate that—if not in the parliament—in the media the opposition, as well as Senator Brown, are now concerning themselves with the welfare of these
two Australians, who are detained because of their involvement with al-Qaeda. But I must say that it is curious that they show a greater interest in these two than
the other 214 Australians who are in prison for one reason or another overseas. They are in prison from El Salvador to Kazakhstan to Nigeria—apparently they are of no interest to the Australian Labor Party at all. The only ones who are of interest are Hicks and Habib."
and why is this?
"they seem to be unconcerned about the 214 other Australians detained for any manner of reasons but, as you would expect from a party which has become deeply anti-American, they are concerned about two Australians who are detained by the Americans. I do not think the Labor Party has any interest in the other 214 Australians imprisoned."
Couldn't agree more Alex. You also get the impression that Downer was waiting for a Labor member to be dumb enough to ask a question along those lines, trying to score cheap points
Jingo for Jihadi
Further to the Hicks website, I have two further points to make:
1. Where is the "Fair go for Habib website? He gets a couple of cursory mentions on the Hicks site, but not one of his own. Its not because he is middle eastern, rather than a whitey from Adelaide, is it?
2. You can download a song for David from the main page, entitled "Dirge for David", I wonder if the artist, Paul Buckberry, sees the irony in that, seeing as any non-religious music was Talibanned in Afghanistan by Hick's backpacking buddies...
Friday, May 21, 2004
Guy Fawkes caught 'travelling' with fireworks
I am not going to add my two cents to the David Hicks 'debate', however I do recommend you read Ted Lapkin's article on the application of the Geneva Conventions to Mr Hicks.
Also worth a look, but for different reasons, is the website "Fair Go For David"
Heading the main page with a quote by Bob Ellis is a bad sign. When that quote states that Hicks has been imprisoned for 'thought crimes' it only gets worse. Those 1984 reference will just never die will they. I wonder if many people on the left ever consider the irony in constantly referring to perhaps the most eloquent anti-communist document ever made.
It gets better though - in the section entitled "Why a Fair Go for David Hicks?", the site explains that Hicks was captured by the Northern Alliance while 'travelling' with Taliban soldiers who were 'defending their territory from the Northern Alliance'
And September 11? Hicks' dad claims Hicks appeared 'unaware of the September 11 attacks and extremely doubtful of their authenticity'. Was he aware of the aims and methods of the Taliban? Support for terrorists? Subjugation of women? Execution of infidels? When backpacking, you really should investigate your 'travelling companions better'.
To wash down this feast, you can peruse their section of cartoons. May I recommend one that suggests Hicks is a rebel or freedom fighter? (freedom from what exactly - rule of law, secular democracy, buddhist statues?) Or here's one that equates Hicks to Howard. (Bet you didn't expect that one).
Can't argue with the logic of this one however.
Yes - this is war, and he chose the other side.
Update: I searched their images section, but couldn't find the picture with him holding the rocket propelled grenade launcher. Why is that?
Update 2: Don't forget to have a look at the interview with Hicks' father as well. Of course I have sympathy for his situation, but check out the leading questions that Trudy is feeding him. Thats not an interview, thats a script.
Wednesday, May 19, 2004
Me on the 18th of May:
"a single shell does not a WMD stockpile make"
William Safire on the 19th of May:
"poison-gas bomb does not a "stockpile" make"
I was going to let him slide, but then he continues to echo my theme that the media will do their best to downplay or ignore any evidence of the presence of WMD in Iraq. Outrageous - I expect a cheque from the New York Times any day now. Go read.
Abreast of all the issues
I previously predicted that a lot of the media would not do follow up stories on the sarin shell issue, and would instead ignore it as much as possible.
A quick scan of the Age's homepage reveals that they dont mention any further confirmation of sarin, but do have pictures of John Kerry's daughters breasts.
Hard hitting investigative journalism at its best.
Tuesday, May 18, 2004
Hang on, I thought these didn't exist.
Obviously a single shell does not a WMD stockpile make, but it is certainly an interesting development.
It will be interesting to see what the spin on this is by many commentators. My guesses:
* It's a plant by the US. I guess finding WMD and picking up Osama from his Kurdish captors in the same week before the election would have been too obvious. Best to spread them out a bit.
* They weren't Iraqi weapons - they were smuggled from Iran or Syria.
* Even if there were WMD, we never said they didn't exist, we just said that they weren't the reason for the invasion.
* It will be ignored. Front page news for a day, then no follow up. It worked for the Nick Berh execution, it will work for this as well.
In the mainstream media, my money is on option 4. The moonbats at Indymedia etc will try a combination of all of them.
Monday, May 17, 2004
Oh, that bribe
The SMH reports that British MP, George Galloway, wants to prosecute Blair, Hoon and Ingram for war crimes.
The report mentions that Galloway was expelled from Labour last year for his "outspoken opposition to the Iraq war".
It is amazing that a newspaper can mention Halliburton in any story involving Cheney, but can print a story involving Galloway, and not mention this little tidbit.
Blue helmets to the young girls!
Read Neville Meaney's story on Iraq (hilariously linked from the homepage of The Australian as "Blue helmets to the rescue), particularly this bit:
"The only solution that can claim a fig leaf of respectability would be for Washington to hand over total responsibility to the UN. "
Then read this list of UN success by Donald Sensing.
Sunday, May 16, 2004
no hostage to reason
Paul Sheehan continues the Sydney Morning Herald's fine tradition of Howard hatred today.
He starts with the Budget:
"He denies it is a profligate budget, but then he has repeatedly asked the Australian public to believe the unbelievable. This has a cumulative effect, and now he must survive the collateral damage of the mayhem of Muslim rage."
Unfortunately for Nick Berg, he was unable to survive the mayhem of Muslim rage. Then onto Iraq and Afghanistan:
"What on earth was Bush thinking when, having routed the Taliban in Afghanistan but not yet stabilised the country, he moved on to subjugate and occupy Iraq, an even bigger and ungovernable tribal society? Is there no limit to his insularity?"
Is there no limit to journalistic arrogance? I know these people are paid to write as though they know what they are talking about, but we were told about how the Taliban would take months to fall, and the harsh Afghan winter, then onto the unbeatable Saddam and the Stalingrad seige of Baghdad. And none of it was correct. Now every anti-war journalist is attempting to grab any piece of bad news (of which there is plenty) from Iraq in order to claim what a disaster the entire operation was. Then we have this:
And then there is the disaster known as Palestine, the fulcrum for the globalisation of anti-Semitism
And this is Howard's fault how?
Thinking like a terrorist, Sheehan assumes that Western countries will baulk at some imagined level of casualties:
What will happen to their political support if more Western soldiers keep coming home in coffins? Five more American soldiers died over the weekend, bringing the death toll to 44 for the month, 785 for the war, plus 59 British military dead, and 50 other allied soldiers, an allied military total of 894 dead.
Every dead allied soldier is a tragedy. The ghoulish fascination that some commentators have with the total number of deaths is a disgrace.
Sheehan then makes more assumptions about the Australian electorate:
What if more Westerners are butchered on video for broadcast on the internet? What if the three young Japanese civilians, cringing on television, had been burned alive as their captives had threatened? What would happen to Howard's standing if another three innocents are actually burned alive, or an Australian is beheaded for the cameras, or a bomb goes off in Town Hall station? How much collateral damage can he sustain before some of the blood sticks?
You and your SMH buddies would do your best to make the blood of any innocents 'stick', and would probably take a perverse pleasure in doing so. Outside media circles though, I think you will find that the 'butchering' of more Westerners will provoke the same feelings among the bulk of the population as the murder of Nick Berg did - revulsion, and white hot anger. Not anger towards Howard however, but towards the animals that perpetrated the foul deed. Sheehan likes to go on about Bush's 'insularity' (it gets mentioned twice) but I think he needs to consider the media's insularity. Various things that are taken as gospel, especially in the fairfax press, are not reflected in the rest of Australia. The ongoing decline of their circulation figures is a testament to this.
Even more transparently disingenuous was his nostrum that Australia was not in greater danger of terrorist acts because it was America's most loyal surrogate. Australians, he argued, were already a target and scores had been massacred in the Bali bombings well before the invasion of Iraq.
Sheehan's reply to this "disingenuous nostrum"? Nothing, he completely ignores it, and goes back to the Budget. Why? Because what Howard said is true. Australia was a target prior to Iraq. Officially because of our actions in East Timor (which, as usual, is not mentioned by an anti-Howard journo), but mainly because we are a rich Western nation.
"Islamic mayhem might just help Howard rather than finish him"
Once again with the 'mayhem'. It isn't mayhem Paul, it is terrorism. Cold blooded murder. Not perpetrated by Howard or Bush, but by islamic terrorists.
Thursday, May 13, 2004
Crean's an idiot - Costello
Watching Latham blunder around as Opposition Leader almost makes one nostalgic for the days of Crean's ill-fated leadership. Then Crean goes on the 'attack' over the Budget.
Costello opens a well deserved can o' whoop ass on him here. The fact that Latham managed to stick his foot in his mouth as well is an added bonus really.
Jack the clipper
Is it okay to clip someone on the achilles when they walk in front of you? Under certain circumstances, I would have to give that question a resounding yes.
Walking the streets as a pedestrian is similar to driving a car, just at lower speed, and with less rules. Unfortunately, the absence of rules, and any sort of financial penalty incurred therein, means that many people act entirely inappropriately when traversing the pavement.
Which leads me back to my original question. In my opinion, if you are walking along, at a reasonable, constant speed, and somebody walking in front of you, at a slower speed, drifts into your way - thus requiring you to either slow down hurriedly or swerve - then you are within your rights to not quite slow down enough and give them a tap on the achilles to point out their inconsiderate behaviour.
I would modify this rule in the case of old people, women, and kittens.
A day that will live in infamy
Hey - I have archives now! In the words of Full Metal Jacket "I didn't know they stacked shit that high"
Paper 'spins' murder
How did the Age headline the murder of Nick Berg? US rocked by 'execution'. Why the quotation marks? Nobody is quoted in the body of the article calling it an 'execution'.
Of course, this is better than the BBC, who stated that the murderers held what 'appeared to be a head' up to the camera.
The Age article is just one of many that provides precisely the spin that the butchers were after - that this was in response to the mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners by the US. Tell me - what was the almost identical murder of Daniel Pearl in response to? Being American (like Berg), or maybe being Jewish? (also like Berg)
Wednesday, May 12, 2004
A baby is for life, not just for christmans
Treasurer Peter Costello has said that the government will take 'steps' to ensure that teenagers don't have kids just to cash in on the new $3000 non-means tested maternity payment.
He didn't specify what these 'steps' might be. May I suggest that anyone naming their child by butchering an existing name (e.g. "Bilynda") or naming them after a current film (e.g. "Aragorn" "Legolas") be automatically disqualified. Likewise for anyone that names their child 'bonus' or 'cha-ching!'
Tuesday, May 11, 2004
"If I were a rich man.."
If I were a layabout multi-millionaire, how would I choose to spend my hard earned cash? Campaign for a better world? Set up charitable foundations in my name? Nope - I would a ludicrously overpowered German saloon, and enter this.
I have a lot more respect for Adrien Brody now. I have less respect for the french police, after they alerted the Spanish to the fact that there was a multitude of high performance machinery coming their way. They were probably just jealous that there weren't any Citreons involved.
Champion effort on the part of the (anonymous) driver who covered 210km in approximately 50 minutes. An average speed of 252 km/h. On a public highway.
Friday, May 07, 2004
The decision of Disney not to distribute Michael Moore's new 'documentary' is being described in various places as "Disney blocks film".
This is not true. Disney has maintained its position from last year, that it will not distribute the film. This is very different to blocking it. If they owned the rights to the film, refused to distribute it, and refused to allow anybody else to distribute it, that would be 'blocking it'.
Moore knew 12 months ago that Disney would not distribute the film, as he admits here, but has only decided to make a fuss now, right before Cannes, and closer to the US election. He is blatantly playing to the gallery, and large sections of the media are happy to play along.
Wednesday, May 05, 2004
Further to the earlier post regarding the explosive combination of food and people - a boarder allegedly threatended to have his landlord fed to the sharks after the landlord took his tomato sauce without asking. It is fortunate he didn't drink his orange juice as well, as then he probably would have tortured him first.
In related news, reports that the Athens bombings were related to a fish and chip shop dispute have not been confirmed...
It is always hard to tell how much credence to give any report coming out of North Korea, and it was no different in relation to the recent train explosion. The cause, and number of casualties, varied wildly. However, after you witness the before and after shots, it is easy to believe that many people lost their lives.
In other photo related news, the BBC has a story on the questions that have been raised in relation to the photos of alleged abuse of Iraqis by UK soldiers. Have a read and make up your own mind.
I was skeptical for a number of reasons, some of which are listed there (though some were more technical than I could possibly have picked up), but mainly because give me $200 and an army disposals store, and i could whip you up some photos 'proving' abuse by SAS soldiers that would be of equal or better quality to those.
Tuesday, May 04, 2004
Cook the man some f%$ing eggs!
Be warned - do not get into any sort of food related dispute with a family member.
A Melbourne woman has stabbed her mother 48 times after a dispute over lamb chops. Apparently they weren't cooked to the mother's satisfaction, and when she went to cook them some more, Ms Smith stabbed her with 25 cm knife. Incredibly, she survived.
In other whacko food/violence news, a 25 year old man has cut the brake cables on his girlfriend's brother's car after the brother..... drank his orange juice!
He left a note that read "Andrew, you can shove the f---in' juice up your arse!! ...I didn't ask for the restitution of the juice either... bloody smart-arse... little do you know what I could do! Ash. By the way!! Happy motoring!"
Pretty tough one for the cops to crack there I am thinking. Also, how many crazies use the word 'restitution' in their threatening notes?
Monday, May 03, 2004
Dear Mr Neville
Fuck off. Signed, a Gen Xer.
There is nothing sadder than an over the hill hippie. Even when they were under the hill, hippies were pretty sad, but at least there were lots of them, and they were getting a fair amount of hippie skirt. Now we are forced to put up with their whiny laments about how 'young people' these days arent radical enough etc. Its pathetic.
More than that, its insulting. I realise it is intended to insult (Richard would probably say 'provoke'), but it just comes across as patronising. People hate being patronised at the best of time, but when it is by Neil from the Young Ones, it is even harder to stomach.
He does his best to push the "Marine snipers killing babies" line, which appears to be gaining some traction. His evidence? "Non-military witnesses say most of the dead are women, children and the aged." Non-military, anti-US witnesses maybe? I would even question the use of the word 'witness' - as I would be happy to bet that those that Richard heard it from heard it from someone else, who heard it from indymedia, who heard it from.. etc.
And watch this little rhetorical two step: immediately after claiming the USMC is picking off women and children, he writes "A 21-year-old sniper put his kill count at two dozen." Yeah, Johnny was bragging about knocking off 2 dozen kids and old people. Honestly, if you are going to write propoganda for the other side, at least try and be subtle about it.
Having started his spin, Richard then goes on to lambast Generation X for being "doggedly conformist". We are "left swimming in cliches, clutching at baubles, barely aware that the ocean's fish stocks are down 50 per cent. Never has the world been in more peril"
Swimming in cliches? Like "Generation X maybe"? "world in peril"? This bit is special though: "Images of sporadic anti-war protests tend to depict wrinkled ex-hippies in headbands sharing quality time with the grandchildren before the last bus back to the nursing home." You forgot a few ratbag rent a crowd socialist alliance types as well Dicky.
Referring to the anti-Stealth protests, he asks "As for the future leaders of Australia, the strapping young professionals, the entrepreneurs, the trainee philosophers, where are they? Locked up with mortgage brokers, every one." Imagine it - rather than standing around trying to stop other people from doing their job, we were off trying to buy a house. Oh the shame.
But when we aren't busy buying property or watching television, we "gorge the shiny stuff, and then, to mask the lack of fulfilment it provides, quaff antidepressants." To be lectured by any member of the 60's 'counter-culture' on the evils of taking drugs to mask a lack of meaning in your life is the very height of hypocracy.
Then we are back to Iraq : "A senior American officer told The New York Times that his forces could turn Falluja into a killing field in a couple of days." So what? The point he was making was that they could go in and kill everything in sight. Many other militaries would - it is the most direct, brutal and effective way to deal with the situation. It is also barbaric, which is why the USMC hasn't done it. Instead they have taken a restrained approach, and incurred greater casualties because of it.
"What do we care? America's got more than enough weapons of mass destruction to turn the whole world into a killing field and we are its long-standing best friend. Ha ha, so there." He is insane.
The lack of irony throughout this whole piece is stunning - "This is perilous appeasement. " What is this appeasement? "We do not sign the Kyoto agreement, we do not take issue with the excesses in Iraq, we do not condemn the assassination of a quadriplegic cleric who could swiftly have been put on trial."
Not condeming the killing of the 'spiritual leader' of Hamas is appeasement? And he could have swiftly been put on trial? You would have supported that would you Richard? You wouldn't have stated that Sharon and Bush are the ones that "really should be on trial"?
In the end, the piece just fizzles out - "In the real world some are working at the front lines to postpone this future." That would be the only sort of 'work' that the anti-globalisation, Greenpeace types would engage in.
"But most of my Xer mates will see it first in the front stalls of their Harvey Norman home cinema." Memo to Richard - you don't have any Xer mates. You are an old man. You might have some guys that hang around trying to score some free dope, but they aren't your mates.
Saturday, May 01, 2004
I want it, and I want it now
This is the coolest invention ever. No seriously, except maybe for beer.