Thursday, March 31, 2005


around like a blue-arsed fly.

I've been away from home and work. Scored a nice little wave while I was away, glad I took the board.

Returned home in time for the arvo glass-off at my local beach. I no complain.

Back at work, ultra busy. A pile of emails and a heap of phone calls to respond to. Looks like I won't have much of a chance to skive off on the 'nets and hammer up a few posts until later this eve.

Life is tough.

Friday, March 25, 2005

The hand which guides

Capitol bill aims to control ‘leftist’ profs

But Baxley brushed off Gelber’s concerns. “Freedom is a dangerous thing, and you might be exposed to things you don’t want to hear,” he said. “Being a businessman, I found out you can be sued for anything. Besides, if students are being persecuted and ridiculed for their beliefs, I think they should be given standing to sue.”

During the committee hearing, Baxley cast opposition to his bill as “leftists” struggling against “mainstream society.”

“The critics ridicule me for daring to stand up for students and faculty,” he said, adding that he was called a McCarthyist.

Baxley later said he had a list of students....

Wicked irony (alright, alright, so his list is of those who are allegedly being persecuted, now. A reverse McCarthyism).

As far as I can tell, this Bill will allow idiots to sue Universities for attempting to provide them with the skills to question and attain knowledge.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

For the love of Winston

Susie Bright;

I am convinced Bulldog got into the press corps because someone was deeply in love with him, i.e, with the fantasy he provides. Others in the game saw what he could be used for. Jeff's client wanted more of Jeff, he wanted preferential status, he wanted promises. Gannon, like any pro with a big fish on the line, was growing weary of diamonds and furs.

The personalities are interesting, as is the speculation, which helps maintain interest in the original 'how the f*ck did this guy score a Whitehouse press pass' scandal. But let's not be too distracted and forget that the bulk of the iceberg remains hidden beneath the surface.

An army of 'presstitutes', scale immeasurable.


Three sixty degree view-point

Blast kills two as crisis in Lebanon deepens

The anti-Syrian opposition has refused to sit in a national unity government with pro-Syrian loyalists, almost foiling the task of the Damascus-backed Prime Minister, Omar Karami, to form a unity government.

Nothing to look forward to but civil war and sectarian strife. I blame the entire political spectrum.

Howard's battlers..... duped and screwed

Australians saddled with massive housing debts

For almost one-in-five low-to-middle income families, mortgage repayments gobble up more than half their disposable income. The huge debt burden among the battlers in that group is raising questions about the lending practices of banks.

Heard this on the radio as I wound my way through the storm affected roads and traffic on the way to work in the morning.

Work harder.. must... work... harder..

I work for a Bank. Give myself a big pat on the back.

Ignorance is bliss

U.S.-Backed Iraqis Raid Camp and Report Killing 80 Insurgents

The size and location of the camp suggested a shift in strategy by insurgents, American military officials said: It was first time the military had come across insurgents organized in such numbers in a remote rural location, an arrangement similar to Al Qaeda training camps in the arid mountains of Afghanistan.

Looks like a big 'job' ahead. Mission still being accomplished.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Googlebomb: Ann Coulter

Ann Coulter
Ann Coulter
Ann Coulter
Ann Coulter
Ann Coulter
Ann Coulter
Ann Coulter
Ann Coulter
Ann Coulter
Ann Coulter
Ann Coulter
Ann Coulter
Ann Coulter
Ann Coulter

Check the links, she be scaring me.

[echo, echo, echo]

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Posted 12:43 PM by Scoobie Davis
Scoobie Davis Online: Proudly 100 % Schiavo-free


Update: Alright, I couldn't help myself, Roy Edroso rounds up some stinkers;

CRAPWATCH. The stream of gibberish loosed by the Schiavo case has grown so torrential that to identify the single most stupid statement issued on the subject by a prominent columnist would seem prohibitively difficult. Nonetheless, I think we have a winner!

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Time is of the essence

WBB, slaps forehead;

I am quite a duffer when it comes to politics. I’d daftly assumed that the USA had snookered itself by allowing a Shiite Frankenstein State to arise next door to its old friends the I-Rainians.

If I’d’ve read the fine print of the LAW OF ADMINISTRATION FOR THE STATE OF IRAQ FOR THE TRANSITIONAL PERIOD, which by the way only has a real live preamble1, I’d’ve seen that the Yankee hasn’t lost his Doodle afterall.

Listen and learn.

Of course.. [Tiny Tyrant, slaps forehead] the devil is in the detail.

"To the extent that we overreact, we proffer the terrorists the greatest tribute."

Justice Kirby;

"If a small proportion of the energy and capital that has been devoted to the dangers following September 11, 2001 had been lavished on the problem of AIDS, I feel sure that the world would be a better and probably a safer, certainly a kinder, place."

Justice Kirby believes that we should lock people up on suspicion of having AIDS and torture them?

Monday, March 21, 2005

Stooge has sprung

From road to surfdom - An intervention for the Bush intoxicated;

The current mantra of the Bush loyalists is that war sceptics will not give any credit for developments in the ME because that would involve praising the "hated" George W. Bush. Well, right back at ya. The pro-war crowd refuse to acknowledge what is happening right under their own noses--from lying about casus belli, to violations of civil rights at Guantanamo Bay, to torture at Abu Ghraib--because that would involve criticising Dear Leader. And really, is there anything less democratic than a bunch of apologists who not only utterly refuse to concede fault in their designated hero but also spend most their time trying to silence those who do dare to criticise him?

We have this type here, too. F*ckin' idiot sycophants are the enemy within.

Mostly harmless, until...

A bell rings: One of the more disturbing items in this morning's news is a report that not only are police pushing for special inquisitorial courts with reduced standards of proof for the trial of terrorism suspects, but that apparently the only objection our highly principled Amnesty International member Attorney-General Phillip Ruddock has to the idea is a budgetary one!!

From Ken Parish's post at Troppo Armadillo.

Same chap, same place, a post on the 'constitutional dimensions'.

Neighbourhood watch

US not finished with Pakistan yet

"You can match the situation with the South Waziristan operation. At the start, the US was convinced through its intelligence that all high-value targets [such as Osama bin Laden] were holed up in South Waziristan [tribal region]. Washington urged Pakistan to allow US troops to operate in the terrain to win the 'war on terror' once and for all. However, from the beginning Pakistan drew a line on its cooperation under which it fully cooperated in the hunt for militants and in defeating pro-Taliban and al-Qaeda elements, but it refused to allow US troops to operate in Pakistani territory, though on occasions Pakistan turned a blind eye on US advancement in its territory," he added.

The U.S. needs to be careful not to push Pakistan's leadership into a position of appearing to be overly acquiescent (to the U.S.), in the eyes of the Pakistani's.

Considering Condi is not solely using a discrete form of diplomacy and is also using the mega-phone to convey their requests, perhaps they want to shake Musharraf out of his precarious position?

Or perhaps building the case to bomb Iran is all important.

Either way, more conflict and the resulting death is a given.

Favourite reading

In his explanation of where the term 'tabloid' originated, Julian Burnside QC sneaks in a cheeky one;

By a curious symmetry, Alfred Harmsworth's first venture into journalism was a small gossip sheet which carried innocuous items of social news. It was called Tit Bits. He probably did not realise just how close he had come to the early 21st century meaning of tabloid journalism.

From the Crikey email (sorry, no link to the article).

Friday, March 18, 2005

Common interests

'Brothers' in arms

Pakistan's military made much money from the transfer of technology. It also quietly got back at the US for having used it in Afghanistan and then neglected it thereafter.

Not sure I understand, exactly. I would have thought by selling just enough Nuclear technology to Iran to make them look guilty of being Bomb-aspirationals, but not quite enough to actually have a weapon, it is the perfect set-up.

Iran has the know-how or soon will have. A rationale for invasion.

THIS time, unlike Iraq's WMD hokes, the U.S. will not forget the gravy.

Meanwhile, in Baluchistan, which borders Iran;

The tribesmen want more returns for the natural resources extracted from their territories and oppose the military's moves to set up garrisons.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Definition: Extraordinary Rendition

The outsource of torture. Torture by proxy. The act of relocating a human being from a nation which rules torture as illegal, to a nation which does not, for the explicit purpose of administering torture.

Utilised by an intrinsically hypocritical government bureaucracy in order to maintain a semblance of being fair and just, as measured by actions toward human beings. Paradoxically, the bureaucracy vaguely hints that this tactic is justified and necessary to win a war declared on, at best, a nebulous enemy, if not a noun.

The phrase in itself is a euphemism, tortured to the point of seemingly serving its intended purpose and yet, ultimately proving useless. A new level of irony. Funny, if not for the minds and bodies destroyed by it.

God is still dead

Inspired by Totten (see post immediately below);

In colour!


Looks good, I'll buy two

Roy Edroso;

So why the photo-heavy posts? My guess is that the blog elite have decided that they have done all the recruiting they can from the literate classes, and that it is time to pitch a little lower. And so they run lots of posts showing cute Cedar Revolutionaries versus grim Assadists. We are in favor of happy people! the crude photo juxtapositions say. Join us! It is the "whiny liberals" theme that has served wingers well since the Age of Safire, but dumbed down for an audience increasingly disinclined to read anything, but trained by the electric shocks of mass media to respond affirmatively to pitchers of purty gurls.

I gotta get me some of that. It is human nature after all.

Double whammy

Kurt Nimmo;

“Wolfowitz, No. 2 at the Pentagon, is a divisive figure in Europe and the Middle East for helping shape the Iraq war. Some said the U.S. choice, coming on the heels of the appointment of hawk John Bolton as United Nations ambassador, highlighted White House contempt for international diplomacy,” Reuters reports elsewhere.

No, you think?

Video news releases

The Center for Media and Democracy's Executive Director, John Stauber disagreed. "The use of VNRs amounts to systematic deception of viewers, both by the hidden interested parties behind them, and by news organizations with impure motives themselves," he said.

After much dumbing down and peddling of various products/ideas, barely a skerrick of journalism. Commercial TV news is crap. Why bother watching? I don't.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Tim Blair mirror

Tuesday, March 15, 2005
Lefty Tim Lambert has set up a mirror of this site – apparently hosted on the University of New South Wales server. I’ve sent him a note.

Posted by tim on 03/15/2005 at 05:03 PM
Comments (46) • Trackback (0) • Permalink

Open comments, yo!

Proud to be Un

I undertook Don Arthur's quiz: How Australian are you?

Well, not very.

Not that it means anything…

For the past ten years I have been feeling decidedly un-Australian. Prior, I easily identified with the general purpose of our leaders: furthering the cause of economic rationalism (and/or winning beer drinking competitions).

Apart from petrol for the civic wagon to head down the coast for a surf, I rarely spent money.

Only after a surf would I be hungry enough to buy food. I lived in a shitty, 4 bedroom unit on top of a pizza shop with a heap of mates in order to pay f*ck all rent. All of my jobs came with some sort of functional perk: food, transport, clothing, surf gear.

Being a tight-arse in the hip pocket department seemed so natural and easy.

A perfect fit.

Then along came Howard. The bully in me raged at the sight of this guy.

Short, blind, deaf little f*cker. He should have been beaten into submission at school. I thought, “How the hell did this gimp slip through?”

Peering up at the World, lifting his chin as though attempting to get his head above water. When he opened his mouth I wanted to smash stuff. Lies, black-hearted policies and cynical opportunism. All conveyed with a whining, nasal tone and a greasy enunciation.

What the!?! Aussies wanted this guy representing our nation?

I resigned myself to the dichotomy, however false. Howard is Australian, I am not.

Initially, not used to being an outsider, I was unsure of my position.

Now, I am proud to be whatever this duplicitous little f*cker and his vicious supporters are not.

I am un-Australian.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Beautiful minds

From Jonathan Chait's article (on Social Security privatisation) in The New Republic Online;

"I want to know what problem everybody has with taking care of themselves,"

Gee, can't argue with that. You, f*cking simple stooge.


TT's ToD

Thought of the day: 'cheap labour conservatives' is an appropriately descriptive label for the bulk (if not all) of the Liberal and Labor party politicians.

Think of this term when you are listening to them rationalise their latest economic policy.

The provision of cheap labour. It is the true purpose.

Cedar, lots of it

More than 800,000 people surged into central Beirut to demand an end to Syria's near-three decade military domination of Lebanon.

"Hizbollah organised a giant demonstration last Tuesday to intimidate us," said Nada, 35, as she travelled to Beirut from Zahle in the east.

"Today we're taking up the challenge and invite (Hizbollah) to join us because we represent the true majority of the country."

Organised? You bet.

This season's pejorative


On Bill O'Reilly's Talking Points segment 3/14/05, the usual vilification of all things liberal was replaced with the new buzzword viewers will love to hate, progressives. In the graphics and his reading, "progressives" were named 7 times as responsibe for "undermining the war on terror, part 97", including 2 digs at "the progressive press".

Highly paid shill: Bill O'Reilly.

Shifting sands

Fertile ground, no more;

Community activists note that youth of color are already being deployed at higher rates than whites. Minority groups make up 35% of the military, and black servicemen and women alone make up 20% of the total. That far outstrips the percentage of blacks in US society, where the figure is about 12%.

I'm sure there is a heap of issues leading to this differential, either way, the folks doing it hard are expected to continue the hard work.

A good way to score U.S. citizenship, too.

Monday, March 14, 2005

No cedar for you!

Hizb Allah protest blasts US meddling

Hundreds of thousands of people have turned out for a Hizb Allah rally against foreign meddling in Lebanon, while a UN envoy has met the country's president to press demands for a Syrian pullout.

Meanwhile, Israel and the U.S. continue to threaten Iran with bombing.

Spring has sprung in the Middle East.

More distraction tactics

Rice rules out run for US presidency

"I don't know how many ways to say no, so let me just say it. I don't have any desire to run for president. I don't intend to. I won't do it," Ms Rice told ABC television's This Week. "I won't. How's that? Is that categorical enough?" she said.

You'd have to be a fool to believe anybody in this administration. This fool thinks she is being sincere.

Re-branding via speculation. "Hey, look at us, WE even considered a woman for Prez...!"

Gee, I wonder what would happen to the Republican voter base if they wheeled out Condi for '08?

Friday, March 11, 2005

Flip-flop and ya don't stop

the road to surfdom;

With it, the Bushies get to claim responsibility for everything from elections in Iraq that they opposed to Gadaffi's eschewal of WMD that was already a done deal, while ignoring inconvenient matters like the absence of WMD in Iraq, the abuses at Abu Ghraib or the civilian deaths in Iraq, to the fact that Afghanistan is well on the road to being a narco state and yes, that Hezbollah are now to be dealt with despite years of saying that they were beyond the pale.

Take credit for the good; ignore the bad; vilify opponents.

It's hard work.

Rising Hegemon explains in another way;

Throughout the Bush Imperium, the pattern has been:

1. Something Happens.

2. Spin immediately and hard that it is the greatest thing EVER!

3. Say it is because of Dear Leader.

4. Move on to next over-the-top declaration of Dear Leader's greatness before anyone notices what happened is not the greatest thing ever, but actually made things worse.

5. Blather, Rinse, Repeat!


Media driven

A neat, non-partisan article in the Columbia Journalism Review provides an overview of the recent history of the media in Iraq:

The Qatar-based satellite channel had the only foreign reporters inside Iraq when U.S. forces launched a four-day assault, known as Operation Desert Fox, in 1998. In October 2001 its cameras — the only ones inside Taliban-controlled Afghanistan — captured exclusive footage of the American-led bombardment. When bombs started hitting Baghdad in March 2003, all the American networks, and many European crews, had abandoned the city. Al Jazeera stayed for a close-up view.


Insurgent attacks and fire from U.S. troops have made Iraq a particularly deadly conflict for Arabs to cover. Eighteen of the twenty-three journalists killed in Iraq last year — and all of the sixteen slain media-support workers — were Arabs or Kurds.

Outfits such as the Nazis understood the significance and power of propaganda. Most of us 'little-folk' have some sort of appreciation of it. Subsequently, regardless of political leaning, many folk believe most media outlets are involved in its propagation and approach the morning papers with a touch of cynicism. I like to think 'most folks'. Right or wrong, helps me sleep at night.

In principle, this appreciation is a good thing.

Though I have trouble reconciling this with the beliefs some folks have, such as, Fox is trustworthy, 'fair and balanced' and anything other than speculative opinion with an obvious bias toward pushing the conservative agenda. But, hey, that's the price of freedom, you gotta listen to fearmongering d*ckheads, freedom isn't free.

Other mediums certainly don't escape the perception that they are purveyors of propaganda and for good reason. The cinemas and the internets are flagrant. The former usually being a little more subtle in comparison to the toneless text of the latter. Give the nets as much time as the talkies, it'll 'improve'.

All up, the more media, the merrier.

But, as with Fox devotees, it depends on which way you slice your political pie as to whether you believe the cinema (or print media, tv, internets) industry to be a bunch of pinko-liberals (e.g. Vera Drake) or, conservative warmongers (e.g. Pearl Harbour).

Its all good and all bad (Gee, I'm really limning the issue aren't I?).

I see no reason to shut them down for reporting facts, presenting opinion with caveats and generally doing what they are supposed to do.

Our job is to decide, based on as much information as possible. It all becomes that much more critical during conflict and inside a war-zone. Folks are dying, having limbs ripped off and lives changed permanently.

It seems to be the powerful, power-hungry or those attempting to seize power who want to control and/or limit the various mediums.

F*ck 'em.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Howard has no need for discussion

Crikey email;

Over the past nine years, Howard has trumped the achievements of even Paul Keating in cutting Parliament out of the political equation; empowering the Executive and treating the parliamentary forum as a rubber stamp.

Of course, not informing Parliment until absolutely necessary about key policy decisions helps avoid parliamentary scrutiny over controversies like today's debate over what role the Australian troops will exactly play in Iraq, see The Age - Call for details of troops' role in Iraq

Then we have today's little stunt of accusing Labor of demeaning Howard's Burger Flippers as a way of avoiding the substance of the question. They did nothing of the sort, of course.

They merely questioned why outfits such as Burger King receive welfare from the Government;

Ms MACKLIN (2.17 p.m.)—My question is to the
Prime Minister. I refer to the Prime Minister’s claim
yesterday that Australia is not suffering a skills crisis.
Isn’t it a fact that since 1998 the Howard government’s
New Apprenticeships scheme has provided millions of
dollars in subsidies to corporations that have next to no
traditional trade trainees, including $3.8 million to
Hungry Jacks, which does not have a single trade ap-prentice?
Prime Minister, isn’t it true that, at the same
time as turning thousands of people away from study-ing
plumbing, carpentry, motor mechanics and electri-cal
trades, the Howard government is using taxpayer
dollars to subsidise salaries in fast food outlets? Prime
Minister, haven’t these warped priorities created a
skills crisis?
Mr HOWARD—This is a very interesting question
from the Deputy Leader of the Opposition. Let me get
it right: what the Deputy Leader of the Opposition is
saying is that there is something wrong with encourag-ing
apprenticeships in the entertainment and food pro-vision
industries. That is what the Deputy Leader of the
Opposition is saying. This is the new Labor snobbery:
there is something shameful about a person who works
for Hungry Jacks or McDonald’s. There is something
shameful about that.

Honest John, what are you on!?!

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

The new feudalism

In fact, this bill comes close to being a representative microcosm of US politics. Wealthy corporations get their puppets in the Senate to pass a bill that makes life harder for veterans, the elderly, the poor, and the sick while giving a free ride to the Ken Lays and Leona Helmsleys of the nation and the violent 'moralists' who provide them with political cover.

Everyone gets in a lather about gay marriage, abortion, acting 'French', acting 'tough', or being 'Christian.' Then one day you wake up in a country where if your adored grandmother breaks a hip and can't pay, she can't get bankruptcy protection for her house. You wake up one day and your neighbor whose Reserve unit got called up to go to Iraq can't get bankruptcy protection after losing half or more of their yearly salary by mandate of the federal government. You realize that if your credit card company can come up with a good enough reason, they could charge you any arbitrary amount of interest they pleased.

I'm gonna have to ask you to go right on ahead and read Natasha's post at Pacific Views, The Credit Card Companies Win.

Little Green Footballs

I'm still unable to register at Little Green Footballs.


Apparently, it is anti-idiotarian headquarters.

Not to worry. Instead, I had a go at the Late German Fascist Quiz. I scored 77%.

I bear an average intellect and haven't formally studied the Nazis, but still, those LGF'ers are sure like LGF'ers. Hard to pick the difference.

Got cedar?


The rival rallies, each using the Lebanese cedar flag to show patriotism, reveal deep rifts in Lebanon over Syria's role and the future of Hizb Allah, the country's last armed militia.

Hizb Allah officials and a pro-Syrian security source said one million people attended the rally and witnesses said the crowds were certainly in the hundreds of thousands.

In the words of RWDB, insta-punditizing, jingo-fools, "hmmmmm".

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Keeping up appearances

From The Picket Line, pessimists about human nature;

[C]ontrary to the vision that the military has of Charlie Company, that they were poorly disciplined, I think that what occurred at My Lai shows that they were highly disciplined, that they, in fact carried out orders that were against their grain, and that they, many of them, felt were wrong. They carried out those orders anyway, most of them. And that shows to me that they were disciplined rather than ill disciplined. The ill-disciplined theory comes about with part of the bogus notion that this was an aberration, something that just sort of occurred spontaneously. It didn’t occur spontaneously, it was part of a military operation, it was a plan. And they followed their orders. Should they have fought and not followed their orders? Well, there were probably ten or twelve there that refused to participate and, yeah, they shouldn’t have followed those orders.
The extraordinary few somehow did withstand it. But we shouldn’t — our society shouldn’t be structured, so that only the extraordinary few can conduct themselves in a moral fashion.

You surprised? What are you, twelve?

Via Scratchings.

Disappearing citizens: glad for it

Ellen, demonstrates altruism knows no bounds, she watches Fox so you don't have to;

Napolitano, explained how rendition happens despite the illegality. "The president perceives an immediate need to obtain information, no matter what the consequences or what the legality of the means used to obtain that information so he doesn't do this in public, he just says 'go get this information and if you break the law, you won't be prosecuted so long as I'm president.' Now such an offer or such an executive order is not enforceable.... It's wrong for the president or anyone in the government to be above the law."

Gibson: Yeah (not seriously, can't keep a straight face).

Napolitano, also laughing: It's against the law to break the law, John. Comment: Does this mean Bush broke the law? At the very least he skirted it. What consequences could that bring? Nobody said.

Gibson: I'm glad they're doing it.

Considering the 'information' gained is useless, for what reason? Sick f*cks.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Little Green Footballs: Nutbags or, Jack the Ripper?

Little Green Footballs on Giuliana Sgrena's description of events;

We’re not done with Giuliana Sgrena yet, because CNN has now published a translation of her latest article for the Stalinist newspaper Il Manifesto, in which she claims that shortly before the shooting incident her car was going so fast through “puddles” that they were “almost losing control”—in an area they knew was “heavily patrolled by US troops.”

She titled her article, in true communist style: ‘My truth.’

These guys are nuts. A wonder to behold. The comments are absolutely outrageous, hundreds of 'em, swarming!

I'm disgusted but, can't look away.

Unfortunately I'm unable to comment, 'registration currently disabled', so I wasn't able to join in. Maybe next time.


The 'I didn't do it boy'

Counter Punch, nurses and a stocking full of wallnuts;

A bodyguard rushed up, and under the pretext of a possible meeting with the governor, led her to a room with a California Highway Patrol cop at the door and began to grill DiGiacomo. A few days later a CHP investigator called. DiGiacomo asked why she should be considered a threat. The investigator replied, "Well, you were wearing a nurse's uniform." "Oh, sure, the international terrorist uniform," DiGiacomo scoffed. Californians scoffed with her when they saw the news stories. At least Bush and Cheney can claim they're being targeted by hairy men from the dark side of Mecca. Here's Arnold hiding behind his goons from the woman who cares for you when you're in the hospital.

For so many reasons, it'd be great to see Mr Catch-phrase go down.

The dirty secret

Andrew Bartlett;

There may be some protocol thing I'm unaware of (protocol not being my forte), but it seems very odd that our devoutly Monarchist Prime Minister would be hiding the future King away when he visits Canberra and most MPs don’t get a chance to hear or meet him, while many MPs (and presumably many other people) get invited to attend a function in the heart of Parliament House for a Danish Princess (even if she was born an Australian) whose only political connection with us is that she seems to be on the cover of every women’s magazine and newspaper in the country.

Queen Camilla, I can't wait.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Seen to be making the right moves


Syria vowed a complete and swift two-stage withdrawal of its troops from Lebanon but President Bashar al-Assad said Damascus would still play a role in the affairs of the tiny neighbouring nation it has dominated for 30 years.


Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom of Israel told Reuters that a gradual Syrian withdrawal would not be enough but showed a complete pullout from Lebanon was "more tangible than ever." He also held out the possibility that a full pullout of troops could lead to peace between Lebanon and Israel.

Being a Bush-intense disliker, this was my fave;

He also answered Mr. Bush's charge that Syria was supporting the insurgency in Iraq by emphasizing that Iraq's unity was critical to his country and by insisting that Syria had done everything it could to stop the flow of foreign fighters through its borders.

"If you cannot seal your borders with Mexico," he quipped, directing his question to the Bush administration, "how can you demand the same of us?"

Tough, but fair.

Kurt Nimmo;

Bush and Sharon want the Syrian military to leave Lebanon and thus usher in a return to the sectarian strife and civil war that worked so well in their favor in the not too distant past. Israel and the United States hope for a “Cedar revolution” government in Lebanon that will disenfranchise and demilitarize Hezbollah. However, this will not happen—although the Hezbollah political party may eventually be ejected from parliamentary politics—the struggle against Israeli aggression will continue and the resistance against American occupation of Iraq will increase and intensify until the United States suffers the fate the Israelis suffered in Lebanon in 2000—total defeat and evacuation with its tail tucked between its legs.

Harsh, and likely.

When do we get to light our torches?

Mithras, being a party-pooper, again;

So, apparently, no Muslim involvement at all. But the idea that Muslims are killing Christians in America has now irretrievably spread through the righteous call to arms of the right-wing fuckwits. So, I'd like to give a big Fuck You to Michelle Malkin (who posted a multi-part series entitled "HATE CRIME IN JERSEY CITY HEIGHTS"), Powerline, Adam Yoshida (or a reasonable facsimile thereof), Charles Bird, Junkyardblog, Silent Running, and more fringily (and scarily), American Jihad. I intentionally ignored the literally dozens of other minor fascist twits who ran with the hate ball, because I want to make a clear point: The prominent right-wing bloggers, the so-called A- and B-list, including Time's "Blog of the Year", spread hateful lies constantly. They should be called on it. Sham apologies are insufficient. These idiots should stay away from keyboards for the same reason drunks need to be steered away from bars: the results are never pretty, and innocent people may end up getting hurt.

Mob Member: Hey, hey, hey, I got another question. Hey, uh, doesn't this guy deserve a fair trial?
Sgt. Sisk: You - back of the mob!
Mob Member: "Back of the mob"? What? This is my spot! I came early!
Sgt. Sisk: Okay, *out* of the mob!
Mob Member: Ah, this mob blows.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

War on whatever

Andrew C. McCarthy writes that the U.S. has declared war on terrorism.

Can you?

I don't mean in the way Dubya bleats on, beating his hairy chest and rattling his collection of sabres.

I mean, formally declare war on terrorism in a way that is legally binding.

If you cannot, or have not, declared war, you do not have enemy combatants, just criminals.

According to Andrew (a senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies) the major drama with treating terrorists as 'mere' criminals is this;

And the judge ignores the most frightening implication of his ruling: We must either release a man planning a massive terrorist attack or give him a trial with all the rights accorded an ordinary criminal, including the right to see the government's evidence. That is, in the midst of a war, with our troops in harm's way, we must surrender to the enemy our intelligence, inevitably compromising the methods and sources for obtaining it.

I don't really know much about the criminal justice system (I'm too busy cursing about the moralising and ridiculous plots to learn anything from Law & Order), so I'm not certain if this is an actual issue or, Andrew is being disingenous to sway the reader.

If he is correct, then I can see the issue.

Still, how do you declare war on a noun?

Update: But how can you declare war on terrorism, when terrorism is just a tactic and not the ideology that it is trying to propagate? The war should be declared against the ideology: the ideology of fundamentalism, fanaticism, extremism, intolerance and bigotry.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Standards vary

Chavez renews threat to cut oil to US

The US State Department has dismissed Chavez's accusations that Washington is seeking to have him killed as "ridiculous and untrue".

Now, if I were a betting man and I had the form guide handy....

"US government gets a little bit crazy"

If he is signalling.. a little, then his threshold is a damn sight greater than mine.

I ain't see no politician, alls I see is a damn fool!

More drivel from the NSW Libs leader, John Bandwagon;

"On this issue I think the NSW Police have let a 19-year-old kid run rings around them all week."

Shut the f*ck up, Brogden, you opportunistic, inexperienced, inchoate.

Want to serve the public?

Become a cop. Piss weak little f*cker sooking from the sidelines as though he has any idea, fer crying out loud.

Why googlebomb?

A 'spin-off' from the Out-foxed documentary, Newshounds seem to be bearing a little (rotten) fruit;

The question occurs to me: Why would a big media star like O'Reilly and his henchmen want to go after us? Could it be because if you search "Bill O'Reilly" in Google News, the top two entries plus three more on the page come from us? I should think a "pope" like O'Reilly would have nothing to fear from li'l 'ol us. Note to O'Reilly: I take this as a compliment, that we must be making a difference.

So who is against free speech?

Say no more.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

A shell of the former

Mark Bahnisch at Troppo Armadillo;

"This Economy has Oomph"

...quoth Federal Treasurer Peter Costello. 0.1% growth in the December quarter, 1.5% over the year. This character is looking more and more like a clown...

Poor old Costello. He'll go down with the economy and then have to watch Abbott's political career rise with interest rates.

Stand up comedy

Jackson Thoreau writes about Ward Churchill, no wait, he wants to nuke his own country, no, in fact he is writing about Rep. Sam Johnson [R-Texas];

"Syria is the problem. Syria is where those weapons of mass destruction are, in my view. You know, I can fly an F-15, put two nukes on 'em and I'll make one pass. We won't have to worry about Syria anymore."

The crowd roared with applause.

What a sweet, endearing lot. Even in church, they love a good joke.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Give 'em the old razzle-dazzle....

James Wolcott writes about the next menace;

And lo, I switched on the set today and by chance see the words "Beware Hezbollah" on the screen beneath Wolf Blitzer's bearded mug. His guests were the authors of a new book called "Lightning out of Lebanon," about the threat posed by Hezbollah to the US mainland. The only hazy evidence of Hezbollah activity were threats against Anthony Lake which were never carried out but were "taken seriously." Well, hell, practically everything in this country is taken seriously as a precautionary measure. A ten-year-old can phone in a bomb scare and they'll evacuate the building. Means nothing.

Tappity tappity tap.. tap tap tappity tap...

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

First thing I thought when I heard the tape..

"Yo, recovery at my place, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.."

Googlebomb: Sean Hannity

Sean Hannity
Sean Hannity
Sean Hannity
Sean Hannity
Sean Hannity
Sean Hannity
Sean Hannity
Sean Hannity
Sean Hannity
Sean Hannity
Sean Hannity
Sean Hannity
Sean Hannity
Sean Hannity

Low range regime change

Kurt Nimmo: Lebanon’s Franchised Cedar Revolution;

Is this the beginning of a NED-influenced “Cedar” revolution in Lebanon? “Czechoslovakia had its Velvet Revolution, the former Soviet republic Georgia the Rose Revolution, and Ukraine an Orange Revolution,” writes Barry Schweid for the Associated Press. “In Lebanon, at least according to a State Department official, a less-colorful but catchy ‘Cedar Revolution’ may be under way.” Undersecretary of State Paula Dobriansky, associated with the neocon Project for a New American Century, added, “In Lebanon, we see growing momentum for a Cedar Revolution that is unifying the citizens of that nation to the cause of true democracy and freedom from foreign influence,” that is to say free of all “foreign influence” except that foisted on the country by NED, NDI, and IRI.

Meanwhile, Iran and Syria have formed a mutual self-defense pact.

Art of press control

From the Crikey email alert;

An anonymous media watcher writes:

I am amazed there has been no reaction that I have traced to the Jeff Gannon story - have you noticed it in the Australian press? It has everything - sex, sleaze, hypocrisy unmasked, right wing gays, security breaches, etc, etc.

I am especially surprised at the lack of interest in the security aspects - a person with a false name was able to evade FBI vetting and get into the White House Press Corp with White House assistance – the same person who seems to be the missing link in the criminal exposure of a CIA agent - why is the Australian media so disinterested? Conspiracy theorists - start your engines!

CRIKEY: Indeed, we missed this one too - but it's a cracking yarn that the US media seems unwilling to explore.

This story is breaking much like the Plame outing story, very slowly. Blogs have been all over it like a monkey to a cup cake. The Australian media hasn't gone anywhere near it.

Instead we hear about Michael Jackson's trial. He is an extremely powerful man after all.... geopolitically speaking.