Tuesday, February 28, 2006

A few brief points on the Iraq war

  • The Iraq war was originally initiated to prevent a regime from deploying weapons of mass destruction.

There were no weapons of mass destruction found in Iraq.

  • The reason for the Iraq war was then framed as a humanitarian crusade to liberate people from a brutal regime.

Every day Iraq creeps closer and closer to civil war. The average daily death tally in Iraq is rising, not declining. There will be a catastrophic rise in the death toll when civil war takes hold. Basic services - such as electricity, sanitation, and health services - have shown a demonstrable decline. More and more it is looking like the eventual rulers of Iraq will be Shiite Islamic fundamentalists. The eventual result of Shiite rule will be the imposition of sharia law. I wonder if women, when they're forced to wear headscarves, when they're murdered for adultery real or imagined, will feel liberated.

  • Slowly the terms of reference for the Iraq war were changed: the Iraq war, we're told, had to happen to stop the spread of terror in the world. If one doesn't support the war one is "with the terrorists".

Well, in a sick way this last point is true. Iraq wasn't originally a haven for terrorists; in fact it's logical that a tyrannical, but ultimately secular, dictator in the Middle East would have more to fear from religious fanatics than western leaders would. But the imperialist symbol of American military occupation has whipped up Islamic resentment, and allowed Iran to play an ever-increasing roll in Iraqi affairs. Now Iraq, and the symbol of Iraq, is a great terrorist attractor and, war or not, the US is unable to do anything about it.

  • What of today?

The terms of reference have swung again. Conservative pundits are now claiming that a civil war in Iraq is just the thing that they desired. The president's "We'll fight them over there so that we don't have to fight them here" [the quote is not verbatim] rhetoric marks the shift. What he's really saying is this: let war reign in the Middle East so that we don't have any problems at home; after all there may be normal, decent people in Iraq, but they aren't Americans, and therefore their lives are worth less (or worthless if you will). At least faux news (Fox News) has the courage to state the new, freshly manufactured nuance concerning the Iraq war in plain English:

"All-Out Civil War in Iraq: Could It Be a Good Thing?"

Saturday, February 25, 2006

A joke

A man spoke frantically into the telephone: "My wife is pregnant and her contractions are only two minutes apart."

"Is this her first child?" The doctor asked.

"NO!", the man shouted, " This is her husband!"

Isn't irony a dead scene?

There is a song out in the Australian charts at the moment called Wasabi. I think it's performed by some guy called Lee Harding. Really, there are times when I wish I could be appointed global dictator for life so that I could ban the inexcusable dribble flowing forth from such talent-deprived tools.

Behold the rich texture of Wasabi's lyrics:

She's just like wasabi
Looks like a Barbie
Yeah she's too hot for me
She's like a tsunami
Can wipe out an army

The squeaking of sewer rats is far more melodious.

Other so-called groups that have found their way onto my hit list:

The Black-Eyed Peas - I remember back to a time when The Black-Eyed Peas released a good song (Weekends), since that time it's been the unfortunate churnings of a musical belly that would do well to deposit its grim contents into one of Bombay's filthiest, smelliest latrines.

Nickleback - perhaps they have some ironic value; I mean, imitating Bogans seems to be the new black

Rogue traders - Planning on using a Neighbors' starlet as your lead singer? Don't. It clearly doesn't work

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Tick tock, tick tock


  • 2 days and I’ll be finished work.

  • 4 days and I’ll be starting university.

I went to a friend's place for tea last night and, despite not thinking that I’d drunk all that much alcohol, I awoke this morning with a splitting headache. So I used misfortune to my advantage by playing hokey. I actually slept in a park for a few hours, and then I went and watched a couple of movies.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Bush reads stuff

President Bush is apparently a wild revolutionary rebel when it comes to the environment; specifically climate change:

“In his new book about Mr. Bush, “Rebel in Chief: Inside the Bold and Controversial Presidency of George W. Bush,” Fred Barnes recalls a visit to the White House last year by Michael Crichton, whose 2004 best-selling novel, “State of Fear,” suggests that global warming is an unproven theory and an overstated threat.

Mr. Barnes, who describes Mr. Bush as “a dissenter on the theory of global warming,” writes that the president “avidly read” the novel and met the author after Karl Rove, his chief political adviser, arranged it. He says Mr. Bush and his guest “talked for an hour and were in near-total agreement."

In the face of reams of empirical data Bush, scientific luminary, rebel, and – yes! – real live reader of books disputes the facts of global warming.

Thanks go out to Tim “George Bush is my Che Guevara” Blair for the quotes.

Update: America blog weighs in:

"Greenland is melting, polar bears are drowning, earth's tempature is rising, but have no fear. Your president is getting scientific advice from novelist Michael Crichton who doesn't believe global warming is real. This really sums up the whole approach to science by the Bush White House:"

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Some very strange search words have lead people to this site:

police "why do we need them?" watchtower

wild girls nudy

sexy love letters

sex trade

Sexy nerd

frigid fraud

giant testicles

A Pandagonian thank you

Wow, I got this post published over at uber-cool website Pandagon. I'd like to thank the Pandagon folk for giving it a run; in the cut-throat world of the blog, it's rare for the small players to get much of a go. Last time I checked over there I'd received 32 comments, which far surpasses anything I've received in this humble space.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Do billionaires get tax breaks in hell?

A rich man dies, so we give him a taxpayer funded, state funeral:

“Six people have been arrested while protesting outside a state memorial service at Sydney's Opera House honoring late media mogul Kerry Packer.

The four men and two women were part of a small group calling themselves the Kerry Packer Dis-memorial Collective gathered outside the Opera House to protest against the taxpayer-funded service.

The six, whose ages are unknown, were arrested for refusing police directions to leave, and will be taken to Surry Hills police station for processing.

One of the six was also arrested for hindering police.

The remaining protesters then dispersed as guests arrived.

Security is tight around the Opera House, where about 1,800 people are paying tribute to the billionaire businessman, who died on Boxing Day aged 68.

Mr Packer was Australia's richest man.”

Now, given the adage that you can ‘judge a man by those who attend his funeral’ (is that an adage, or did I just make that up?) what do you think the attendance of such quality personages as Tom Cruise, Alan Jones, John Howard or Russell Crowe testifies to the character of the man being deified today?

Australia’s richest man and noted tax avoider, Kerry must have been chuckling to himself from his taxpayer funded condominium in hell today. Such irony his condemned soul must have observed as, even from beyond the grave, he managed to suck a few extra tax dollars from the nation’s coffers.

In other news:

Greenland is looking like becoming the next tropical holiday destination. The ice covering Greenland’s landmass is melting at a rate that surpasses scientist’s direst predictions. I think that we’re probably fucked; I think that we’re all going to die; but, hey, I might as well blog right through till the end, eh?

Sorry about the pervading gloom. Every now and then the realization that we’re on the brink of an avoidable disaster gets me down...

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Portrait of a killer

Following up on my pictorial Cheney post, this post over at Best of the Blogs sets it out nicely:

“Is there anything wussier than the most powerful man on the planet, along with other incredibly powerful men and women, drunk on their omnipotence, hatching plans to cement their omnipotence, dressing up like Elmer Fudd, and celebrating it all by kablooming with shotguns at point blank range animals and birds trotted up before them like metal bears on a revolving track at a carnival? They couldn't shoot skeets? Critters have to die? That won't even be eaten? Skeets, metal targets? How does one prove one's power to decide life and death with clay Frisbees and tin bears?

I don't understand the lure of dressing in camo, dousing yourself in whatever deer hunters douse themselves in, hiking deep into the woods, perching stock still in a tree stand for hours, shooting a deer, dressing it, carrying it out, eating it, but I do understand there is a significant difference between that and massacring trapped animals for giggles. The first is hunting, the second is killing.And it's the killing that gives Cheney - and his colleagues, and everyone else who does this - his thrill. Killing for killing's sake. Such a manly man. Such power he wields. Such a coward. Such a despicable effing wussy.”

For a person such as myself - a person that will trap a spider in a glass jar and carry it outside rather than killing it - hunting is an alien notion to me. But I understand that the cycle of life involves killing and eating. What I’ll never understand is a person’s innate desire to kill something for what amounts to shits and giggles. If you’d kill a bird, why not a bear? If you’d kill a bear, why not an ape? If you’d kill an ape, why not a human? I don’t believe that we are an anointed species, blessed and more important than the next.

Update: On the day in question, apparently Cheney's soul, long since detached from his body when he sold it to the devil, paid his earthly body a visit, and pleaded with him to do the right thing, all to no avail. [if the rude pundit ain't the most entertaining political blogster out there then I'm not sure who is.]

Update 2: Juan Cole delivers 10 reasons why Iraq is like Harry Whittington:

"8. Cheney tried to cover up how bad Whittington's condition was after he shot him. Cheney tried to cover up how bad Iraq's situation is after he had it invaded.

9. Cheney thought Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Cheney thought Whittington was a small bird.10. Cheney shot Whittington while hunting in the dark. Cheney invaded Iraq while being in the dark.

10. Cheney shot Whittington while hunting in the dark. Cheney invaded Iraq while being in the dark."

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Final Supper

Work is taking me out for my final day next Friday. I searched the internet for good Indian restaurants (Indian is my favorite food by far!) in Melbourne today, and Nirankar - the place featured above - looks like the best bet. It's located in a dungeon underneath a building in the city.

Mmmm, curry anyone?

Monday, February 13, 2006

Since we last spoke

As Mr. Cheney just testified: I’m back.

I got a few things sorted out over the last couple of days. I cleared the books at work. I’ve only got nine days left! But who is counting? Leaving corporate life will be like taking a strong laxative after a particularly severe bout of constipation (actually, I’ve never suffered from constipation, but I imagine it must bite badly). On the topic of corporate tedium, Chris Cornell conjured up a fantastic metaphor with his song Pretty Noose; a pretty noose, if you haven’t already guessed it, is the corporate man’s useless adornment: the tie:

Diamond rope
Silver chain
Pretty noose is pretty pain
And I don’t like what you’ve got me hanging from

I attended university orientation and discovered there are quite a few people I know studying at Latrobe. This isn’t necessarily a good thing – I’d kind of like the opportunity to study without the usual distractions. But I’m happy with the campus itself. It is surrounded by bush land, lakes and lots of good places for walking and pondering. There is a free wireless internet signal throughout the university grounds and damned if I can’t pick up wireless on this laptop. The only drawback is that getting there is going to be a massive pilgrimage - it’s a long train ride followed by a tram ride; all told it’ll be four hours in transit a day. I guess that should afford me quality time to study.

In the midst of the transition from corporate whore to academic bore I did manage some time for pleasure. I went to the Mars Volta concert and without going into too much detail (I intend to elaborate in a later post) it was THE BEST FUCKING CONCERT I’VE EVER HAD THE FORTUNE TO BEHOLD.

I really did enjoy that concert.

When a picture can speak a thousand words...

...sometimes a song can say a few more:


It is no small telling point that a man who enjoys shooting birds - and his neo-con buddies - in his spare time is a pro-war nutbag.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Blogging break

I’ve been pumping out a lot of crap on this blog of late. My writing lacks passion and introspection has been at a minimum. Basically, I’ve been untrue to myself, which is draining; and I’ve been unfair to the people that do me the courtesy of occasionally stopping by here.

I’m taking a break to sort out some stuff in my life. Blogging will recommence on Monday, 13 February.

Ciao for now.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

SOTU (part 3)

This little bit of witty acuity over at Best Of The Blogs made me chuckle:

"This year, both Groundhog Day and the State of the Union address occur in the same week. It is an ironic juxtaposition of events: one involves a meaningless ritual in which we look to a creature of little intelligence for prognostication while the other involves a groundhog."

Thursday, February 02, 2006

SOTU (part 2)

I actually missed this little part of the SOTU speech:

"Tonight I ask you to pass legislation to prohibit the most egregious abuses of medical research – human cloning in all its forms … creating or implanting embryos for experiments … creating human-animal hybrids."
Animal-human hybrids? What the fuck is he talking about?

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Words of infinite wisdom

Tim Blair on climate change:

Scientists urged the same things to avoid warming. I advise a system of rewards for carbon emissions, increased air travel, more flights, subsidised sports cars, and packaging to be no less than 150% of the mass of any packaged object. That ought to do it.


Keeping America competitive requires affordable energy. Here we have aserious problem: America is addicted to oil, which is often imported fromunstable parts of the world.

The best way to break this addiction is through technology. Since 2001,we have spent nearly 10 billion dollars to develop cleaner, cheaper, morereliable alternative energy sources – and we are on the threshold ofincredible advances. So tonight, I announce the Advanced EnergyInitiative – a 22-percent increase in clean-energy research at theDepartment of Energy, to push for breakthroughs in two vital areas. Tochange how we power our homes and offices, we will invest more inzero-emission coal-fired plants; revolutionary solar and windtechnologies; and clean, safe nuclear energy.

We must also change how we power our automobiles. We will increase ourresearch in better batteries for hybrid and electric cars, and inpollution-free cars that run on hydrogen. We will also fund additional research in cutting-edge methods of producing ethanol, not just from cornbut from wood chips, stalks, or switch grass. Our goal is to make this new kind of ethanol practical and competitive within six years. Breakthroughs on this and other new technologies will help us reachanother great goal: to replace more than 75 percent of our oil importsfrom the Middle East by 2025. By applying the talent and technology ofAmerica, this country can dramatically improve our environment … movebeyond a petroleum-based economy … and make our dependence on MiddleEastern oil a thing of the past.

This little part of the SOTU speech was quite surprising. I’m all for clean energy and if Bush is serious about implementing it I applaud him. But it is interesting. The need for clean energy is framed as an economic issue, not an environmental one. But in the latter part of his comments on divorcing the oil monster he refers to “…dramatically… our environment”. So, basically what he is doing is not admitting that there are environmental problems, thereby appeasing the right wing environmental apologists, people like Tim Blair, whilst on the other hand he is subtly appeasing the mainstream who is daily being confronted with evidence that we are on the verge of environmental collapse.

The rest of the speech was just blah, blah, blah… Evil doers… blah… add some lies about a robust economy, mix, and consume.

[Update: I was wrong to get excited, it was all bullshit as usual]