Friday, March 31, 2006

Tautology watch!

Fuck! At least I catch my own mistakes.

When would a surprise be unexpected?


I remember sitting in some old, long-forgotten pub in South Melbourne. There were no customers. The barman was drooping. This jazz band turned up to play, its musicians as old and creaky as the pub's wooden floorboards. I remember thinking sarcastically to myself, 'great, some garish trad-jazz will really brighten up my day.' Well, that old jazz band rocked my jocks off like few bands ever have. Man were they good.

I like unexpected surprises.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Talking Turkey in Iraq

It is amazing the amount of gobbling coming out of the right wing Turkey's mouths, about how the media is only showing the negative aspects of the egregious Iraq war.

Well, Republican candidate, Howard Kallogian, decides to hit back:

"We took this photo of dowtown Baghdad while we were in Iraq. Iraq (including Baghdad) is much more calm and stable than what many people believe it to be. But, each day the news media finds any violence occurring in the country and screams and shouts about it - in part because many journalists are opposed to the U.S. effort to fight terrorism."

But wait! People start to ask questions.

Atrios asks questions.

Josh Marshall's readers ask questions.

Daily Kos asks questions.

Someone took some travel shots in Turkey recently:


The supposed Iraq photos were taken in Bakirkoy, Istanbul.

Here is a real picture from Iraq:

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

There is the flock, but where is the Sheppard?

I noticed with some amusement on the news tonight that conservative Christians, the so called "values voters", are disgruntled with the Republican leadership. It appears that the fundamentalists feel that the Republicans, having courted their vote, have now abandoned them. Hmmm, I wonder why that would be? Could it be because the Republican Junta don't give a fuck about values, Christian or otherwise.

It was even funnier to note that during the same news piece the fundies were welcoming Tom Delay at one of their little Jesus-loving banquets. Tom Delay, in case you haven't heard of him, is the former Republican house majority leader that is currently being prosecuted for corruption.

I guess the moral of the story here is that if you believe in mystical sock-puppets in the sky, then it's no great surprise that you'd be hoodwinked by the Republicans.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The emperor has lost all his clothes

Is there anybody left that cares about this shit? Am I just preaching to the choir?

"During a private two-hour meeting in the Oval Office on Jan. 31, 2003, he (Bush) made clear to Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain that he was determined to invade Iraq without the second resolution, or even if international arms inspectors failed to find unconventional weapons, said a confidential memo about the meeting written by Mr. Blair's top foreign policy adviser and reviewed by The New York Times...."

"Although the United States and Britain aggressively sought a second United Nations resolution against Iraq — which they failed to obtain — the president said repeatedly that he did not believe he needed it for an invasion"....

"The memo also shows that the president and the prime minister acknowledged that no unconventional weapons had been found inside Iraq. Faced with the possibility of not finding any before the planned invasion, Mr. Bush talked about several ways to provoke a confrontation, including a proposal to paint a United States surveillance plane in the colors of the United Nations in hopes of drawing fire, or assassinating Mr. Hussein".... (emphasis BDR)

"At their meeting, Mr. Bush and Mr. Blair candidly expressed their doubts that chemical, biological or nuclear weapons would be found in Iraq in the coming weeks, the memo said. The president spoke as if an invasion was unavoidable. The two leaders discussed a timetable for the war, details of the military campaign and plans for the aftermath of the war"....

"Without much elaboration, the memo also says the president raised three possible ways of provoking a confrontation. Since they were first reported last month, neither the White House nor the British government has discussed them"....

"Mr. Bush agreed that the two countries should attempt to get a second resolution, but he added that time was running out. "The U.S. would put its full weight behind efforts to get another resolution and would twist arms and even threaten," Mr. Bush was paraphrased in the memo as saying. The document added, "But he had to say that if we ultimately failed, military action would follow anyway."

Thanks to Best of the Blogs for the link.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Saturday morning music video clip analysis (the 'why do I do this to myself?' edition)

Daddy Yankee - 'Gasolina': This "song" sounds like the result of a dj attempting to mix two Atari videogame soundtracks together. Its only saving grace is that the rapper in it looks like a parody of Ali G (who in turn is a parody himself - so you can imagine how ridiculous this guy is). In fact, seeing as the video clip is simply a vehicle used to parade as many bikini clad women across the screen as possible, why didn't they just make it silent?

Kate Alexa - 'All I Hear': "All I hear is la, la, lala, la." Ah, the lyrical complexity of Australian pop. I'm not sure what is going on in the clip - our pop star is wandering through the streets of Melbourne, gibbering something about... love lost...? Teen angst...? Partying down...? I found I had to listen to Kid-A three times on repeat aftering listening to this, just to keep from slitting my wrists. And I know that if I'm listening to Radiohead in order to avoid slitting my wrists then I'm in a dark place.

James Blunt - 'Goodbye My Lover': Let me be blunt (a pun as terrible as the song) this is a true 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow' moment. Kermit the frog had a far better voice.

Further songs on my hit list: Ashlee Simpson - 'L.O.V.E', Bob Sinclair's 'Love Generation' (I particularly hate this one. It makes me feel like I should be doing a conga line on a cruise ship), and whatever that new Westlife song is called.

I really need to get voice posting up and running so I can start doing my impressions of some of these songs.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Melbourne can be a bright city

Friday dog blogging

Sandy will keep those damn fundamentalists at bay.


She might just take a little nap first.

Mississippi (do I have the right amount of s's and i's?)

Sex toys are now banned in Mississippi.

And the Rude Pundit is right: they don't want you to experience the joys of consequence-free sex; such elevated freedom may lead you to freedom in other areas, say, freedom of the mind.

Get out and have some casual sex while you still can because Christian fundamentalists are coming to a church near you.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

An apology

Reader Iain, in this comment: "Perhaps yoiu should consider ther terms of derision you use in a post such as this. To refer to these men as "cunts" seems somewhat in conflict with the position that you take here . If you seek to attack sexual violence by men why do you use language that seems so mysognistic?" has quite correctly pointed out an error in my post about the fuckheaded rapists from Adelaide. It's wholly inappropriate to attribute a negative connotation to a part of the female anatomy, especially in the context that it was thoughtlessly assigned in my last post.

Here is the offending sentence: "It is time that men started calling out their fuckhead mates for the despicable c*&%s that they are."

I think I'll amend the post with the new construction "despicable cockheads". I apologize for any offense that it caused, and can only offer the excuse that the word, in the context is arose, came from my outraged thoughtlessness rather than any form of misogyny.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

"REVENGE OF THE QUEERS March 15, 2006"

Ann Coulter emerges from the swamp with fire in her eyes this week. She's after liberals for not endorsing a conservative black judge, who it just so happens went on to a life of theft and fraud. I wonder if, perhaps, an endorsement was not forthcoming because there were questions about Claude Allen's character, not, as Ann would have it, over his race. See, Ann hasn't progressed to that point where only questions about a person's character and abilities are asked when assessing their worth - she still expects people to judge others on the color of their skin.

All Ann's bluster and blather about racist liberals is really just comedic foreplay however, for her defense of Mr Allen's crime summons forth the real orgiastic feast of laughter:

"This week at The New York Times, it was revenge of the queers. I'm sorry it took a tough period in Allen's life for The New York Times to feature him under a banner headline on its front page, but all in all, I'm glad to finally know about Claude Allen. I'm proud to have this great fellow sinner in our party."

Damn the woman can spin like a top.

Other notable Republicans that Ann will be delighted to have join her party of sin:

Tom Delay
Jack Abramoff
John Doolittle
Randy "Duke" Cunningham

Caveat: this is not to say that liberal governments aren't subject to corruption, but the list sited above is just the tip of the iceberg. I think it's fair to say that there is something terribly wrong with the state of conservative politics today.

Next on the corruption menu will be a home-grown scandal - the dark tale of the Australian Wheat Board.

Fuckheads and their fuckheaded friends

Some days... No, no, no - most days I feel ashamed of my gender:

"These delightful characters apparently met Mrs Brimble at the ship's disco on the first night of the cruise. Between then and when she was found dead in their cabin, Wilhelm had sex with her and had photos of this taken by his mates, which they proudly showed to other passengers, and another, Silvestri had received oral sex from her (although what is more likely is he stuck his cock in an unconscious woman's mouth ...what a buzz for him!). Then, after she'd died, our heroes planned to toss her body overboard, but found there was too much traffic on the ship."

It is time that men started calling out their fuckhead mates for the despicable cockheads that they are. I'll bet that at least one of the guys on that trip realized the monstrosity of what their friends were engaging in. But nobody called it. It puts a different slant on all those comments you hear from guys, such as "she's stuck up, mate, she wouldn't talk to me." I mean, do the math - every woman is going to make a calculation when she encounters a stranger out on the town: risk versus reward. What a shit calculation to have to make.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Does this sound familiar to anyone?

"Instead of sitting around, incessantly sniping at President Bush and the US Military, sipping "liberal coward broth", hating America and Conservatives, the wacko liberal poison Left-Wing Nuts — and the rest of The Enemy Within™ — should be rounded-up and put into "re-education camps" and forced to watch 24 hour, non-stop TV news footage of 9-11, Sodomy Insane's rape/torture/murder rooms and the unearthing of Iraqi mass graves. Those hard-core Lefty wacko filth who can't be converted, should be summarily tried and locked away for life; no chance of parole. They're a waste of oxygen and a "clear and present danger" to America, as is the murderous, degenerate cult of Islam. Free and unfettered speech is guaranteed under the First Amendment, but actively working and trying to destroy this Nation, in a time of war, when our very lives are in peril, is a treasonous and seditious offense, and should be treated as such, and punished by death. The much-maligned Patriot Act provides for that very situation, and should be implemented post haste. All verminous, hate-America, liberal-socialist-commie filth should be contained and selectively eliminated."

I just read this article,courtesy of J.A Bartlett, on America's slow creep from soft fascism towards fascism proper. It details how it's being achieved, including how moderate conservatives are being dragged towards the extreme.

Divide and conquer... Wedge politics... Fucking scary...

Thursday, March 16, 2006

My first piece of university work

This really won't mean much to you if you haven't studied determinism, and it is only a 250 word work requirement, but I thought I'd post it to mark the occasion.

Tutor: xxxx
Student: xxxx

Freedom, Mind and Value 2006

Short Assignment

1. Explain in your own words, and using your own examples, the idea of causally necessary conditions and causally sufficient conditions.

When anything happens in this world; for example a car crash, a leaf falling from a tree or a flood - we attribute a range of causes to that event. We could say that a driver's speed caused the crash, or excessive rain caused the flood. In the language of philosophy we call that causation. But, as we shall see, it is only in a very rare instance that we can attribute a single cause to an occurrence. It is based on this that we define causes into two categories: Causally necessary and causally sufficient.

Let's take the example of a flood. Most people would cite excessive rain as the reason for a flood. But, really, excessive rain would not be the sole reason for flooding. A flood would obviously be caused by a combination of individual necessary circumstances, such as breached levies, depressed terrain or soil erosion. If you extracted those factors the event wouldn't have happened. We would, therefore, categorize individual conditions such as excessive rain as causally necessary, because the flood wouldn't have happened without them.

As stated, it would be impossible to suggest that any one condition, such as excessive rain, was sufficient for a flood. Excessive rain may be necessary for a flood to occur, however it may not be sufficient. This is because several factors (breached levies, soil erosion) must have contributed to it. When taking into account all the necessary symptoms that must have been present for a flood we term them as causally sufficient.

In summary we have two categories which define causation - causally necessary forces, which have to be present in order for something to occur; and causally sufficient forces, those necessary but separate forces which combine to make something occur.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Dearest American Democrats

Dearest American Democrats,

When Russ Feingold has finished his task of dragging you into the modern era, erasing your strange fear of conservative wankery, and annunciating a clear, alternative message:

"I’m amazed at Democrats, cowering with this president’s numbers so low. The administration just has to raise the specter of the war and the Democrats run and hide. … Too many Democrats are going to do the same thing they did in 2000 and 2004. In the face of this, they’ll say we’d better just focus on domestic issues. … [Democrats shouldn’t] cower to the argument, that whatever you do, if you question the administration, you’re helping the terrorists."

Can we please borrow him over in Australia?

Thanks in advance,

Don Quixote

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Black-balling Kim

I'm rubbing my black bowling ball and asking it if this man should be leader of the labor party:

My black bowling ball is telling me: "Outlook not good"

And we'll all float on okay...

Time that I left for uni this morning: 7:30 AM

Time that I arrived at uni this morning: 11:00 AM

Someone committed suicide on the tracks along the line that I take towards the city, so I ended up having to take a bus past the unfortunate incident. Then, after arriving in the city, I jumped on a tram only to have the tram slam into a car. Obviously that was the end of tram riding for the day, leaving me to grab a taxi. The upshot of the whole thing was that I met some nice girls from my philosophy course, our budding acquaintance being much strengthened by our shared plight. What could have been an expensive cab ride was greatly alleviated by our sharing of the fare four ways.

Notwithstanding the making of new friends the reality of my massive daily commute was really starting to get to me. Now there is some hope in sight. If you'll remember a few months ago I stayed over at my bosses villa, you know, the one with the nice sports cars? Well, my boss is heading overseas again for a few months and I've been asked to stand sentry over the king's castle.

Some lyrics on good fortune are what is called for:

"I backed my car into a cop car the other day.
Well he just drove off, sometimes life's OK.
I ran my mouth off a bit too much, oh what did I say?
Well you just laughed it off, it was all OK.

And we'll all float on OK. And we'll all float on OK.
And we'll all float on OK. And we'll all float on anyway.

Well, a fake Jamaican took every last dime with that scam.
It was worth it just to learn some sleight of hand.
Bad news comes, don't you worry even when it lands.
Good news will work its way to all them plans.
We both got fired on exactly the same day.
Well we'll float on, good news is on the way.

And we'll all float on OK. And we'll all float on OK.
And we'll all float on OK. And we'll all float on.
Alright already, we'll all float on.
No don't you worry. We'll all float on.
Alright, already. We'll all float on.
Alright, don't worry. We'll all float on.

And we'll all float on.
Alright already, we'll all float on.
Alright, don't worry even if things end up a bit too heavy.
We'll all float on.

Alright already, we'll all float on.
Alright already, we'll all float on OK.
Don't worry, we'll all float on.
Even if things get heavy, we'll all float on.
Alright already, we'll all float on alright.
Don't you worry, we'll all float on.
We'll all float on."

(Modest Mouse - Float On)

Monday, March 13, 2006

The perils of posting when drunk. If the 'shoes were reversed'? Er, I think you might have meant 'roles', loser.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Why would anyone consider me their friend. I wouldn't, if the shoes were reversed.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Happy birthday blog

I just realized that it is exactly a year to the day since I started keeping this blog - happy birthday blog!

The words are so familiar -
all the same greats, the same mistakes
It doesn't have to be like this.

If you don't make a friend, now
One might make you -
So learn
The gentle art of making enemies

Don't look so surprised
Happy birthday...Fucker
Blow that candle out,
We're gonna kick you

(Don't say you're not because you are)
(Don't say you're not because you are)
(History tells us that you are)
(History tells us that you are)

All you need is just one more excuse
You put up one hell of a fight
I wanna hear your very best excuse
Never felt this much alive

Your day has finally come -
So wear the hat and do the dance
And let the suit keep wearing you.

This year you'll sit and take it
And you will like it -
It's the gentle art of making enemies

I deserve a reward
Cuz I'm the best fuck that you ever had
And if I tighten up my hole -
You may never see the light again

(There's always an easy way out)
(There's always an easy way out)
(You need something wet in your mouth)
(You need something wet in your mouth)

Never felt this much alive

(Faith No More - The Gentle Art Of Making Enemies)

Oscar the grouch

Somebody grab me an umbrella, because Ann Coulter just spewed forth another dose of racist, bigoted, hate-filled bile. In her latest quasi column she unloads on the winners of the Oscars and those damn homosexuals that are conspiring to steal Hollywood:

'This may have been the most American Oscars yet, if America consisted of beautiful airheads in $50,000 dresses. And that was just the guys in "Brokeback Mountain."'

I've come to realize that Ann sees the world in strictly partisan terms. She views the Oscars, not as a light and fluffy look at the dubious artistic merits of Hollywood's yearly output, but rather which side of politics the event leans towards:

"Although I must tell you, overall, this Academy Awards ceremony was a major strategic retreat by Hollywood. Despite all their Bolshevik bluster about how Democratic politicians won't stand up to Republicans, the Hollywood left is as scared of decent patriotic Americans as the Democrats are.

"Brokeback Mountain" did not win best picture, "Munich" won nothing, and the Palestinian suicide bombers movie won nothing. There was no angry self-righteousness from Vanessa Redgrave against "Zionist hooligans," or from Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon for the Haitian boat people. There was no Bush-bashing. There was no Michael Moore. The host was not Whoopi Goldberg, so that's a big fat reward to every man, woman and child in America right there."

"Bolshevik bluster"!?! "The Hollywood left"!?! Sure, there are some left wingers in Hollywood - Matt Damon, George Clooney et-al. - but how many people in the audience do you remember applauding Mike Moore last year when he got up to make his acceptance speech; you know, the one that was highly critical of team Bush? I'd say the audience response on that night was evenly divided between cheers and jeers.

As you can see, Coulter sees Brokeback's failure to win best picture as some sort of victory, even though the result smashes down her earlier predictions that it would win simply on account of its subject matter.

I'll leave it up to you to decide why Ann doesn't like Whoopi Goldberg.

But wait! Ann's attack on her favorite minority group hasn't finished yet. No, no - how could she lay down her keyboard without first smacking down gays:

"Even on AIDS — which is something you'd expect people like Clooney to know something about — Hollywood was about seven years behind. Wait, no — bad choice of words. Even on AIDS, Hollywood got caught with its pants down. Still no good. On AIDS, Hollywood got it right in the end. Oh, dear ... Note to self: Must hire two more interns to screen hate mail."

What's a couple of gay jokes between conservative friends, eh?

It is at this point in proceedings that it starts to get a little chilling. Mostly her rage filled outbursts are simply the ravings of a paranoid, ignorant wretch; the mutterings of the local bag lady, standing on the corner trying to swat imaginary flies. But note this little phrase in her retort to George Clooney's speech:

(Emphasis mine)

"Forget about Hollywood being ahead of the big issues: Hollywood has never even been on time for the big issues. This is why, for example, in the middle of an epic war with Islamic fascists, Hollywood is still making movies about the Nazis. Now and then, just for variety, they tackle a more current topic, like the Jim Crow era."

This for me illustrates the current conservative mindset towards war in general and the War Against Terror(TM) specifically - they think that war is "epic". I think that for someone who clearly doesn't get out and watch many movies, Ann has been watching a little too much Lord of the rings. Anyone that has had an IED tear through the side of their vehicle, ripping through muscle, sinew and bone without remorse, would probably disagree that war is epic. I'd say that anyone who has had a misdirected smart bomb - an oxymoron if ever I've heard one - drop on their house, turning women, men, and children into meatloaf, would probably consider Ann Coulter and her epic wars a lunatic.

But if Ann's dark fantasy of epic battles chills me, her take on race relations really get the Goosebumps a-bumping:

(Emphasis mine)

"Only recently has George Clooney heard about segregation. (He's against it.) But he still can't nail down the details of something that ended nearly half a century ago."

Why would Ann need to highlight what should be an obvious position on segregation? What is Ann's position on this matter? Does she think there is room for contrary opinions on the topic? And remember while you ponder the answers to those questions that Ann isn't out of the mainstream - the Republican Party still has her speak at their conservative rallies, she is still given airtime on conservative talk-shows, and she still has a large readership for her column.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

More Australian-made maddness

The heavy-handedness of Australia's dealings with its Islamic residents is continuing. Our Attorney General is calling for Islamic religious leaders to preach in English:

"Attorney General Philip Ruddock, in London for anti-terrorism talks, was told by Islamic leaders moderate Muslims had complained about fiery UK clerics using Arabic to incite followers against the West.

He said a key aspect in preventing radicalization and home-grown terrorism was education and improving understanding between imams and the communities they worked in."

Yes, that'll work, Philip. Tell a group that they should preach in English; assert that the western tongue is to dominate - that is sure to make them less radical.

[Hat tip to Tim Dunlop of Road to surfdom]

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


I haven't really posted since I left work and started school. I'm probably not going to do the whole transition justice with this quickly typed summary, but I've got a Philosophy lecture in 15 minutes - so a summary it shall be.

Finishing work was strange; it was a little more emotional than I thought it'd be. However starting school two days later didn't give me much time for contemplation, which was probably a good thing. I still find myself getting up of a morning and reaching for a shirt with accompanying tie. It would seem that 6.5 years of habit is going to be hard to break.

The bureaucracy at uni has driven me nuts. There hasn't been a single subject which has been free of some sort of stuff-up. Wrong booklets have been handed out; incorrect tutorial times have been posted... I've managed to ignore all these shortcomings, and now I'm starting to get into the nitty gritty of the subjects.

The other interesting thing of note about uni is the uneven proportion of boys and girls. I'd say that there are probably about 5 girls for every guy, which really isn't that terrible.

I'm going to have to talk more about the burgeoning feeling of isolation that arises when walking into a tutorial filled with people born in 1987 later - Descartes calls!

Friday, March 03, 2006

Ann Coulter's weekly bile

Ann Coulter, in her latest column about who will win the Oscars and why, has completely lost her marbles. First up she admits that she hasn't watched any of the nominated films, then she proceeds to site a range of reasons that they will win; reasons ranging from race (crash), sexual preference (Brokeback Mountain), political critique (Goodnight and Good luck)... she even sites anti-anti-Semitism (Munich) at times. So Ann Coulter doesn't like gays, foreigners or talk of the holocaust. You'd think you could therefore write her off as just another nutter. But not so. Ann is still asked to give speeches at conservative functions; she still pops up as a pundit on television from time to time; and she still has a large readership on her blog. At least Ann Coulter, through speaking what's really on her mind, shows us that these views aren't as far out of the mainstream as we'd like to think.

God forbid that a movie about homosexual love be judged as good in its own right (which it is); and god forbid that a film about the insane political machinations of McCarthy (an issue that must hit close to home for Coulter given its close parallels with what’s going on in the world today) be an Oscar contender, because, well, it is a good film.