Sunday, July 31, 2005


Retired prison doctor Theodore Dalrymple, in an article about the Islamic recruitment of converts within British prisons, observes:"
... a life without boundaries is a life of torment, it is without form, a void."
Maybe public education has something to do with this lack of boundaries – kids do spend the best part of their formative years at school:
And there is a connection between all that and the miserable failure of Britain’s schools; illiteracy here is beyond belief, disruptive behaviour is normal, exams and degrees have been debased and ministers have just had to concede that social mobility — once the pride of British society — has declined in the past 30 years and has actually fallen since Labour came to power. The education secretary has come up with the contemptible sort of gimmick that passes for a political initiative these days; she has promised (at a cost of £27m) to give every baby a book bag, containing volumes like The Very Hungry Caterpillar, to encourage parents to read with their children.
Okay, so education in England's messed up? We don't have problems like that here in Australia. Well, take education in Labor governed Western Australia as an example:
In a far off time, in the confederacy of Oz, teaching and learning coexisted in an artistically symbiotic relationship. Then the experts came along. No, not experts in educational theory, but experts in the art of Isms – scientific rationalism, reductionism, Fordism, Taylorism, sophism, postmodernism and above all, obscurantism.They took their Isms and applied them to the art of education, and lo and behold, outcomes-based education was born. The Ismistic parents cooed and gloated over their cleverly conceived offspring. In fact, the Ismites within one state of the confederacy hailed this birth as a watershed in education, a paradigm shift, and the dawning of a brave new era. “Let us devise a Curriculum Framework” they shouted with glee. The teachers, however, hung their heads in despondency, knowing that a dark beast of mammoth proportions and with great deceptive power had been created.
And so, Outcomes Based Education was born. The Dumbening – there is no such thing as essential knowledge – has begun.


At least on the administration side, the internet seems to run just fine. That hasn't stopped UN bureaucrats wanting to seize control:
Today the internet has 13 vast computers dotted around the world that translate text-based email and web addresses into numerical internet protocol (IP) node addresses that computers understand. In effect a massive look-up table, the 13 computers are collectively known as the Domain Name System (DNS). But the DNS master computer, called the master root server, is based in the US and is ultimately controlled by the Department of Commerce. Because the data it contains is propagated to all the other DNS servers around the world, access to the master root server file is a political hot potato.

Currently, only the US can make changes to that master file. And that has some WGIG members very worried indeed. "It's about who has ultimate authority," says Kummer. "In theory, the US could decide to delete a country from the master root server. Some people expect this to happen one day, even though the US has never abused its position in that way."

Unilateral US action is unlikely, however. The DNS system is managed on behalf of the Department of Commerce by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a not-for-profit company. "Our job is to make sure internet addressing happens stably and securely," says Theresa Swinehart, ICANN's general manager for global partnerships. And it does so, she says, in conjunction with its government advisory committee (GAC), which includes members from 100 countries to ensure diversity of opinion.

Even Kummer admits that ICANN does a good job on achieving international consensus, at least regarding changes to the DNS. "ICANN scores quite highly on involving all stakeholders. Anyone can go to a meeting, take the microphone and give a view," he says. The problem? It's an ad hoc process. And with the internet now a critical global resource, some governments, particularly in developing countries such as China, India and Brazil, want a forum where vast swathes of internet policy - from cybercrime to spam to privacy protection - can be both discussed and acted on.
So, it's a worry that conceivably, someday, the US might possibly act to restrict internet access. Thus, emerging powers like China, which currently restricts internet access for its own citizens, should have a bigger say in running the show. In UN-think it makes perfect sense to give commies greater say in the control of the flow of information. Brilliant.

Saturday, July 30, 2005


According to British blogger Melanie Phillips, Dilpazier Aslam isn't the only Guardian employee to be sacked as a result of his membership in Hizb ut Tahrir:
After he was hired, Aslam mentioned his membership of HuT to the executive who had hired him. Astonishing as this may seem, that executive had no idea what kind of organisation HuT was. The executive is now leaving the paper as a result.
Phillips finds it interesting that the views of a member of Hizb ut Tahrir fit right in at the Guardian:
Whatever may or may not have been known about Aslam’s membership of HuT -- and several intriguing questions about this whole affair are still unanswered -- it remains the case that someone subscribing to its wholly unacceptable platform could find a berth at the Guardian which was perfectly comfortable about publishing his views. And that was because they fitted into its own general view of the world. The horror when it discovered that these views emanated from a HuT member was undoubtedly genuine, because they are genuinely horrified by HuT. And what that surely tells us is that the Guardian really doesn’t grasp that its view of the world is as extreme and unacceptable as it is.
The lack of grasp thing isn't unique to the Guardian, it afflicts the whole of the left.


Detention centre operator GSL has been fined AU$500,000 for allegedly denying detainees food, water and toilet-breaks while they were being transported from Victoria to South Australia. Labor blames the government:
Labor's Human Services spokesman, Kelvin Thompson, says the former and current Immigration Ministers have created a culture in which asylum seekers can be seen as less than human.

"They are the people who have been demonising asylum seekers these past few years," he said.

"They are the people who have contracted out the management of detention centres from public servants to the private company."
The government can be thankful it didn't let GSL go ahead with the planned petting zoo.


Pervez Musharraf thinks Britain isn't doing nearly enough to control fanatics:
In a national address, General Musharraf said Pakistan was waging a strong campaign but insisted "there is a lot to be done in England."

He added that extremists in Britain operated with impunity.
Musharraf's comments were made following a crackdown on madrasas:
President Pervez Musharraf says foreign students attending Islamic religious schools in Pakistan will be ordered to leave as part of a drive to stamp out terrorism and religious extremism.

Security forces have detained more than 600 people in the past week after Mr Musharraf ordered a crackdown on militant groups, mosques and religious schools, or madrasas.
Some 1,400 "students" will be kicked out of Pakistan. Any bets on some of them ending up in Britain?

Friday, July 29, 2005


Mark Steyn argues that Britain must stop messing around and declare its own war on terror:
... I regretfully have to disagree with the editor of this great publication in his prescription of the current situation which appeared in these pages a week or two back under the headline ‘Just don’t call it war’. As you’ll have gathered, the boss objects to the language of ‘war, whether cultural or military.... Last week’s bombs were placed not by martyrs nor by soldiers, but by criminals.’

Sorry, but that’s the way to lose. A narrowly focused ‘criminal’ approach means entrusting the whole business to the state bureaucracy. The obvious problem with that is that it’s mostly reactive: blow somewhere up, we’ll seal it off, and detectives will investigate it as a crime scene. You could make the approach less reactive by a sustained effort to improve scrutiny of immigration, entitlement to welfare and other matters within the purview of government. But consider those two snippets from the Tuesday papers and then figure out the likelihood of that happening. A ‘criminal’ approach gives terrorists all the rights of criminals, and between British and European ‘human rights’ that’s quite a bundle. If it’s a war, you can take wartime measures — including withdrawal from the UN Convention on Refugees, repeal of the European Human Rights Act, and a clawback of sovereignty from the EU. But if you fight this thing as a law-enforcement matter, Islamist welfare queens will use all the above to their full extent and continue openly promoting the murder of the Prime Minister, British troops, etc. with impunity.
Read the whole thing.


Sir Ian Blair doesn't want to see any more would be bombers Tasered:
"I'll be honest, we don't understand how they could possibly... it was an incredible risk to use a Taser on a suicide bomber because the Taser itself could set it off and that is not the policy."

"Despite everything that's been said there is only one way to stop a suicide bomber, which is to kill that person because anything else that happens, unless you can persuade them in some open space to undress, everything else allows the shot to go home but the bomb to go off."


Since he refuses to retire, Macquarie University has cancelled all of controversial academic Andrew Fraser's classes and ordered him not to teach:
But Associate Professor Fraser says he is planning to come to work as usual on Monday morning.

The university says if he tries to teach he will be going against a direct order and action will follow.
Wouldn't want any of the kiddies getting infected with politically incorrect ideas ...

Update: The Macquarie student council has joined the fray with a well reasoned attack on Fraser's views:
"For those who are disturbed by his comments, please ignore it [sic] because this man is just: FULL OF SHIT!"
Good point, but at university, everyone's full of shit.


We've all heard some variation of this environmental mantra, "save the planet, plant a tree". As it turns out, trees can be deadly:
Planting trees can create deserts, lower water tables and drain rivers, rather than filling them, claims a new report supported by the UK government.

The findings - which may come as heresy to tree-lovers and most environmentalists - is an emerging new consensus among forest and water professionals.

“Common but misguided views about water management,” says the report, are resulting in the waste of tens of millions of pounds every year across the world. Forests planted with the intention of trapping moisture are instead depleting reservoirs and drying out soils.

Forests are not always bad, the authors concede. “We’re not saying they never produce water benefits or that they don’t have an important role in the ecosystem,” says Ian Calder from the University of Newcastle. “But if we are trying to manage water resources effectively, the simple view that more trees are always better is bad policy.”
Misguided pretty much sums up the whole environmental movement.

Update: Nashville's Jim Colyer wrote Save the Planet back in the '90s but didn't record it. If only he had, the world might be a different place:
If Bin Laden had heard my song, there would have been no 9/11. Al Qaeda would have used its energy to plant trees rather than to spread chaos.
Colyer could have a point about the song preventing 9/11: if bin Laden had listened to it back in the '90s he probably would have declared war on the environmental movement.


German holiday-makers flock to Italy's beaches every summer. A beach etiquette controversy has ensued:
Italian and German newspapers have exchanged broadsides over beach etiquette in a storm-in-a-teacup spat with shades of the diplomatic row provoked by Italian tourism minister Stefano Stefani in 2003.

The latest argument broke out following the publication of a beach behaviour manual by Italy's Union of Bathing Establishments (SIB), which advised holiday makers to cover up their bodies, avoid excessive drinking and forego hanging up their clothes from parasols, the UK's Independent reports.

The newspaper debate has not attracted any comments from Italy or Germany's political classes so far, but is reminiscent of Mr Stefani's withering criticisms of German behaviour two years ago.

The former tourism minister said that "[Germans] rowdily invade our beaches but in their most widely read daily, Bild, right on cue before the beginning of every season, with a precision that is punctilious to say the least, they never omit to report the number of car thefts in Rimini or even the latest statistics for Mafia victims in Sicily".

The tourism minister also lashed out at socialist German MEP Martin Schulz saying that he "probably grew up amid noisy belching contests after gargantuan beer drinking sessions and huge helpings of fried potatoes".
What's not to like about drunk, scantily clad Huns?


White House correspondent Helen Thomas has offered to do a great public service:
"The day I say Dick Cheney is going to run for president, I'll kill myself," she told The Hill newspaper. "All we need is one more liar."
Run Dick, run.

Thursday, July 28, 2005


British police invited a senior Birmingham cleric to participate in a press conference meant to calm fears within the Muslim community. Things did not go to plan; not to the police plan, anyway:
The most senior Islamic cleric in Birmingham claimed yesterday that Muslims were being unjustly blamed in the war on terrorism and that the eight suspects in the two bombing attacks on London "could have been innocent passengers".

Mohammad Naseem, the chairman of the city's central mosque, called Tony Blair a "liar" and "unreliable witness" and questioned whether CCTV footage issued of the suspected bombers was of the perpetrators.

He said that Muslims "all over the world have never heard of an organisation called al-Qa'eda".

His comments shocked senior police officers.

Sources said that attempts to encourage Muslims to pass them information on the bombers' activities would be hindered. One said: "We are trying to gain the trust of the Muslim community and these kinds of comments have the opposite effect. All they do is encourage communities to close ranks against us."
Terrorist sympathizers 1, police 0.

Via: Clarity and Resolve


Terror suspects have rights that must not be violated:
Detectives who now have access to a man they believe is a would-be suicide bomber hope to persuade him to give them information about the others they are hunting. They have two weeks in which to convince him.

"If they really believe that someone has intelligence which they think can help them and there is an urgent need for it, they may put forward an offer," said one lawyer who has represented a number of suspects who have been held at Paddington Green police station.

"It is a technique most often used if they believe that someone is involved but not the lead person. The police themselves are not in a position to offer definite deals."

Under the Terrorism Act, a suspect can be held for 48 hours after which a judicial warrant can extend the detention for seven days. After 14 days, a suspect has to be charged or released.

An officer of superintendent rank or above can initially deny the suspect access to a lawyer if he believes that a lawyer's presence would interfere with the investigation. During the interrogation period, the suspect is entitled to eight hours' rest in every 24. Under the rules for interviews, "no interviewer may try to obtain answers or elicit a statement by the use of oppression".

The IRA trained its members in techniques which would enable them to resist attempts to "turn" them. The training would involve subjecting the member to humiliation and threats in as realistic a setting as possible.
I suppose the no oppression thing rules out the pliers and Bernz-o-matic torch.


Terror bombs must do more than just explode, they must rip, tear and shred.

More exclusive photos here.

Via: Watch.


The US, Australia, South Korea, India, China and Japan have agreed on an emissions reduction strategy:
The new initiative is known as the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate.

A statement released by the participating nations says areas of cooperation envisioned in the new pact range from the use of clean coal and nuclear power to that of wind and solar energy.

The six nations will also jointly develop technologies that "promote economic growth while enabling significant reductions in greenhouse gas intensities."
Sounds sensible. Naturally, since the agreement is outside the Kyoto Protocol, environmentalists are sceptical even though the details are not known:
Details of the agreement are not yet public but it is clear it is designed to give US and Australian companies selling renewable energy and carbon dioxide-cutting technologies access to markets in Asia.

It is thought the pact does not include any targets and timetables for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, which the rest of the developed world has signed up to under Kyoto.

The US, Australia and China are big coal exporters and are anxious to develop and export clean coal technologies.
Australian Senator Bob Brown is also unimpressed:
The immense power of the US and Australian coal lobbies is the key to the secret Asia-Pacific pact revealed in today's Australian newspaper, Greens Senator Bob Brown said today.

"This is all about taxpayers money being diverted from developing clean renewable technologies to try to make burning coal less dirty. It's putting geo-sequestration before solar power," Senator Brown said.

"And it will continue to hold back the introduction of planet-saving energy alternatives which do not produce greenhouse gases.

"Geo-sequestration - attempting to pipe carbon dioxide from thermal power stations underground - can not be applied to existing stations even if it does become a useable technology," Senator Brown said.

Senator Brown praised today's action by Greenpeace in Newcastle.
Well, it appears China, not being bound by Kyoto, had already opted for coal powered plants, not solar:
The country is on track to add 562 coal-fired plants - nearly half the world total of plants expected to come online in the next eight years.
Environmentalists should be happy China has at least made a gesture to address its emissions. Rather than applaud China they fret that Kyoto is under attack:
The UN wants to bring developing countries into the Kyoto fold after 2012, but the Times says that the APPD arrangement might mean China and India will opt to stay out.
India and China should, of course, act in their best national interests.

Meanwhile, Greenpeace has attempted to disrupt Australia's coal exports:
This morning, Greenpeace flagship, the Rainbow Warrior, slipped through Newcastle harbour and dropped anchor to block the channel and close down the world's biggest coal port.

At least 25 local people took to boats to support the Greenpeace action. Many more stood on shore in a show of support.

Meanwhile, Greenpeace activists occupied a huge coal loader and unfurled a banner "coal fuels climate change" on a 2.5 million tonne coal stockpile. Those activists were later arrested, along with the Rainbow Warrior's captain.
Ah yes, the always impressive Greenpeace banner unfurling.

Paul Bickford points out the blockade had zero effect on the movement of coal:
K Line’s 149,000 dwt Cape Lila was able to sail from Kooragang Island without delay. Two other scheduled departures, Keoyang Shipping’s 149,000 dwt Keoyang Orient , and the Japanese handymax Ace Eagle , were able to sail without problems. Four ships will also enter port today without delay.

Eileen Doyle, chair of Port Waratah Coal Services, which operates coal stevedoring services at Newcastle, said the protest action had not disrupted ship loading.
Keep up the good work enviroloonies.


If you want to catch a woman worth catching, mathematicians suggest gifts that are expensive but worthless. Screw that, I want a woman to love me for my mind.


The Iranian military is recruiting:
A military garrison has been opened in Iran to recruit and train volunteers for “martyrdom-seeking operations”, according to the garrison’s commander, Mohammad-Reza Jaafari.

Jaafari, a senior officer in the elite Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), told a hard-line weekly close to Iran’s ultra-conservative President-elect Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that the new “Lovers of Martyrdom Garrison” (Gharargahe Asheghane Shahadat, in Persian) would recruit individuals willing to carry out suicide operations against Western targets.
The interview with Jaafari appeared under the title, “Commander of Lovers of Martyrdom Garrison: Let America and Israel know, each of our suicide volunteers equals a nuclear bomb”.

The British government should offer free one way tickets to locals who'd like to join.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005


At least in some places, it can:
One of Russia’s most infamous spammers has been found beaten to death in his apartment, prompting thinly veiled jubilation among many of the country’s estimated 14 million internet users.
It'll probably be pretty hard to pin down a suspect, there had to be a queue.


It looks like at least one of the would be London bombers has been caught:
A prime suspect in the failed London bomb attacks is believed to be among four people arrested in dawn raids by anti-terror police today.

Officers shot the man with a Taser stun gun during the swoop on an address in Birmingham. They also uncovered a "suspect" package at the scene.

Sources say the man is thought to be one of the four responsible for Thursday's botched suicide bombings.
A quantity of possible bomb making chemicals were also seized. Fantastic!


Birds of a feather ...
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has been warmly greeted as “an old friend” on his arrival in Beijing by Chinese President Hu Jintao.

During talks, the two leaders signed agreements covering economic and technical cooperation, including the supply of computer equipment.

China was also expected to seek mineral and other trade concessions in exchange for economic help.

Regarded as a pariah by the West for alleged human rights abuses, Mr Mugabe has sought support from China which has publicly backed Zimbabwe’s demolition program.

China has promised to help Zimbabwe and to not interfere in "internal affairs".
China "trusts Zimbabwe's government and people have the ability to deal properly with their own matters", a foreign ministry statement said.

President Mugabe said “We are very, very happy that we have done this to cement our relations with a great friend, historical friend, brotherly friend and that is the People’s Republic of China.”

China is one of the few countries to embrace the 81 year old autocrat who’s banned from travelling in the US and European Union following allegations of vote rigging and oppressing the opposition.

The ties between China and Mr Mugabe date back to the 1970s war of independence, when fighters from his Zanu party were armed by the Chinese.
China quietly tries to fill the void created by the demise of the Soviet Union. Isn't that al Qaeda's job?

Tuesday, July 26, 2005


Here's the result of Mullah Omar's recent call for Taliban forces to unite and fight:
At least 40 militants and two Afghan soldiers have been killed overnight in a raid by US and Afghan troops on a Taliban hideout in south-central Afghanistan.
The Mullah should get all his men together for a group photo, you know, for posterity. I'm sure the USAF would be pleased to provide a Predator for a few happy-snaps, and a Hellfire or two. Say vaporized.


In a post with the seemingly warm and cuddly title, " Working together is essential", Antony Loewenstein both exaggerates and manipulates. In his first paragraph Loewenstein talks about the "increasingly vicious anti-Muslim sentiment within the Australian community". His link is to a Sydney Morning Herald article that says nothing more than this about anti-Muslim sentiment:
A leading Australian Islamic body will send letters to 200 Muslim clerics and community leaders today calling on them to condemn terrorist bombings and to acknowledge that some Muslims have been involved in attacks such as September 11.

The chief executive of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils, Amjad Mehboob, said the decision to send the letters had come after a "very disturbing and very distressing" day when talkback radio callers in Sydney launched what he called a "free-for-all" attacking Muslims.

"It was a pretty bad day from our perspective," Mr Mehboob told the Herald. "There was talk about getting all the Muslims packing from this country and closing down mosques."
Talkback radio is disturbing at the best of times and shouldn't be taken as indicative of the wider community's view.

Apparently to ram home the spread of vicious anti-Muslim sentiment, Loewenstein then edits this:
The Anglican Bishop of South Sydney, Robert Forsyth, said he had no time for Islam, whose teachings he believed were false, but he opposed any discrimination of prospective immigrants based on religion.
To produce this:
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that "he had no time for Islam, whose teachings he believed were false."
Not only is the editing disguised, it changes the Bishop's sentiments to make them seem decidedly intolerant. Regardless, does Loewenstein expect a Christian cleric to say that he believes the teachings of Islam are true? That would make the Bishop a Muslim, wouldn't it?

Jeez, you'd reckon there's enough news out there to blog about without having to resort to making stuff up. Oh well, his leftarded readers apparently don't care, so why should he?



The government says it wants to act to protect lives:
Philip Ruddock, who is in New York, is to outline the case for stronger anti-terrorist laws in speech to the American-Australian Association tonight.

He will tell the association that the Federal Government has an obligation under Article Three of the UN human Rights Convention to protect human life and that may come at the expense of civil liberties.
Australian Council of Civil Liberties president Terry O'Gorman is none to happy about this:
"He would rubbish and dismiss the UN's controversial but influential report in relation to Australia's detention centres when he was immigration minister," Mr O'Gorman said.

"Now, when he's Attorney-General, he's cherry-picking a particular strand of human rights law in order to try to neutralise the criticisms of civil libertarians and defence lawyers."
Only an idiot would compare the detention of illegal immigrants with an Australian's right to keep on living.


Andrew Fraser hasn't been sacked, he merely slipped on a retirement banana peel conveniently placed in his path:
MACQUARIE University denies it has sacked a law professor for expressing racist views, saying the controversial academic had been invited to bring forward his retirement.

Canadian-born Associate Professor Andrew Fraser, who taught at the university for 29 years, has also been blamed for a race-hate campaign at the University of Newcastle in New South Wales.

Macquarie University in Sydney cautioned Professor Fraser last week over a letter in a suburban newspaper, claiming Australia was becoming a Third World colony by allowing non-white immigration.
University vice-chancellor Professor Di Yerbury said Professor Fraser is pretty clear about what's really going on here:
... we do not want his views to be identified with the policies and views of Macquarie University and the university community.
They'd like to shut him up but can't, so it's time for him to go, please, just go.


The offer for his daughter was rejected but got him to thinking:
Former US president Bill Clinton has been offered 40 goats and 20 cows for his daughter by a love-struck African government official.

Mr Clinton was offered the deal on a recent trip to Kenya.

He was offered the animals as a traditional African way of getting a father to give away his daughter's hand in marriage.

The dowry is a very generous one by the country's own standards.
Bubba is reportedly negotiating a deal to swap the Clinton cow for an unspecified number of goats.


Abraham, a Muslim convert and student at a Melbourne university, claims he was questioned by Australian Federal Police in relation to his book borrowing habits:
Abraham says the AFP drew an unfair link between his Muslim name and his topic of study.

"Obviously, they've had access to my library records," he said.

"I don't know if the phone has been bugged. I don't know if they are watching my movements.

"They are drawing a linkage between a person with a non-English speaking name and saying 'okay, well this is suspicious activity'."

Abraham says there are dozens of students studying similar subjects but he is the only one who has been interviewed, despite espousing a moderate approach to Islam.

"I think it's unjustified and unfair and it also sends a message, unfortunately, to the Muslim community that if they're dealing with the Australian Federal Police authorities that possibly they could be targeted," Abraham said.
This whole article isn't news, it's speculation. Did the AFP even talk to Abe much less question him? Has he engaged in behaviour, or had contact with anyone, that might make him of interest to the police? Why include the leading phone bugging speculation?

If the ABC's going to have any credibility as a news source, staff are going to have to do a bit of research before throwing speculative"news" items out there for loony lefties to pick-up and spread.

Actually, the ABC article features its own over-the-top lefty looniness:
The president of Liberty Victoria, Brian Walters SC, is outraged by Abraham's story.

"I think this is extremely serious - it suggests that our AFP and ASIO security police are operating as 'thought police' and undermining academic independence which is so important to a free and democratic society," Mr Walters said.

Mr Walters believes the AFP owes Abraham an apology.

He says the Federal Government should repeal its terrorism laws and take a calmer approach to protecting Australian society.

"I think we should be really concerned about the disruption to our society that these terror laws are creating," Mr Walters said.

"We should be alarmed, not just alert. This is the stuff of Kafka-esque nightmare.

"We do not want a situation where police are vetting the thoughts that we undertake, vetting research and doing so in an environment that cannot be justified."
Yep, Australian society will never be the same and neither will its universities:
Abraham's lecturer, David Wright-Neville, has told his other students that they may also be open to scrutiny by the authorities.
No doubt drug use at this unnamed Melbourne university has plummeted. Local drug dealers will be alarmed.

Monday, July 25, 2005


It's been a long time coming but the Pentagon's war on terror strategy is changing:
The terrorist threat against the United States is now defined as "Islamist extremism" --not just al Qaeda. The Pentagon document identifies the "primary enemy" as "extremist Sunni and Shia movements that exploit Islam for political ends" and that form part of a "global web of enemy networks." Recognizing that al Qaeda's influence has spread, the United States is now targeting some two dozen groups--a significant change from the early focus on just al Qaeda and its leadership.

The new approach emphasizes "encouraging" and "enabling" foreign partners, especially in countries where the United States is not at war. Concluding that the conflict cannot be fought by military means alone--or by the United States acting alone--the new Pentagon plan outlines a multipronged strategy that targets eight pressure points and outlines six methods for attacking terrorist networks.
Really, it's amazing that a huge entrenched bureaucracy like the DoD is as adaptable as it is. Anyway, it's a long and interesting article, well worth reading just to discover that Rumsfeld's famously numerous memos are called "snowflakes" by Pentagon staffers.


The 20cm prehistoric stone phallus recently unearthed in Germany was more than decorative:
Its life size suggests it may well have been used as a sex aid by its Ice Age makers, scientists report.
Somehow, an Ice Age stone dildo just doesn't go with hot sex.


Mark Steyn on the rude awakening of many multiculturalists prompted by the London bombings:
Something about this particular set of circumstances - British subjects, born and bred, weaned on chips, fond of cricket, but willing to slaughter dozens of their fellow citizens - seems to have momentarily shaken the multiculturalists out of their reveries. Hitherto, they've taken a relaxed view of the more, ah, robust forms of cultural diversity - Sydney gang rapes, German honour killings - but Her Britannic Majesty's suicide bombers have apparently stiffened even the most jelly-spined lefties.

At The Age, Terry Lane, last heard blaming John Howard for the "end of democracy as we know it" and calling for "the army of my country ... to be defeated" in Iraq, now says multiculturalism is a "repulsive word" whereas "assimilation is a beaut" and should be commended. In the sense that he seems to have personally assimilated with Pauline Hanson, he's at least leading by example.

Where Lane leads, Melbourne's finest have been rushing to follow, lining up to sign on to the New Butchness. "There is something wrong with multiculturalism," warns Pamela Bone. "Perhaps it is time to say, you are welcome, but this is the way it is here." Tony Parkinson - The Age's resident voice of sanity - quotes approvingly France's Jean-Francois Revel: "Clearly, a civilisation that feels guilty for everything it is and does will lack the energy and conviction to defend itself."
Defend ourselves? Is that allowed?


He was in the neighbourhood and thought he'd drop in:
Australian Prime Minister John Howard has arrived in Baghdad on an unannounced visit, and is reportedly holding talks with Iraqi Premier Ibrahim Jaafari, according to Mr Jaafari's office.

He has refused to set out a timetable for withdrawing troops from Iraq, saying it would depend on issues like how well local security forces can hold back the insurgency and the functionality of Iraq's democratic structures.
Not much chance anyone in the Iraqi grovernment will offer him a beer, I'll bet. While he's there he'll no doubt want to have important discussions with Aussie forces; thumping the Poms in the first Ashes test, for example.


The Sydney Morning Herald asks the question in a poll. 47% have answered "under no circumstances". It'll be interesting to see if that number changes after the inevitable terrorist bombing.

To vote in the poll, go here.

Sunday, July 24, 2005


Although there's no evidence to support the theory, I have a hunch that Jean Charles de Menezes might have suckered police into shooting him. Police claim he came out of a block of flats already under observation for links to terrorist activity. His behaviour was suspicious. He was wearing inappropriately bulky clothing.

Was de Menezes a Muslim? If so, did he intentionally sacrifice his life – I assume this would have given him instant martyr's access to heaven – in order to discredit those manning the London front line of the war on terror?

I could be way off base here but then again ...


Sir Ian Blair has cast iron balls:
And Sir Ian has admitted further people could be shot as detectives hunt down the would-be suicide bombers.

He said: "Somebody else could be shot. But everything is done to make it right. This is a terrifying set of circumstances for individuals to make decisions."
God-damn, how'd you like to be an armed cop in London? Talk about pressure ...


Norwegians Leona Johansson and Tommy Hol Ellingsen have come up with a new startegy to save the Earth's rain forests, they've set up an eco-porn website. They're so keen to do their bit for the environment that last year they had sex on stage, accompanied by rock band The Cumshots, in front of 50,000 fans at the Quart music festival.

If you're interested in watching tree-huggers and their friends have sex go to Fuck For Forest.


Assistant Commissioner Tarique Ghaffur, London's most senior Muslim police officer, wants to recruit more Muslim police as a counter to hate crimes:
While positive discrimination is illegal, Ghaffur told an inter-faith meeting in Southall on Friday that he was determined to look for 'imaginative' ways to recruit more Asians and Muslims to the police. One of his ideas was the possibility of London business leaders funding a recruitment drive for Muslim officers.
I doubt the general public will be reassured by increased numbers of Muslim police.


The man killed by London police, Brazilian Charles de Menezes, has no apparent links to terrorism:
Scotland Yard said Mr Menezes, who lived in Brixton, south London, was completely unconnected to the bomb attacks and added: "For somebody to lose their life in such circumstances is a tragedy and one that the Metropolitan Police Service regrets."
The shooting is unfortunate not just because an innocent person was killed. British police might in future be hesitant to use lethal force against a genuine terrorist, out of fear of again shooting an inncoent person.

The shooting is also of tremendous propaganda value to British Muslims wanting to divert attention:
Massoud Shadjareh of the Islamic Human Rights Commission said: "It doesn't matter if he was a Muslim or not. He was a human being who did not deserve to be assassinated."

He said the killing was the result of British police officers being sent to Israel to receive training on how to prevent suicide bombings.
There had to be a Jewish connection somewhere, didn't there?

Update: As expected, loony lefties have jumped on the divert attention bandwagon:
The London police are looking for a number of men allegedly behind last week's attempted attacks. It's an essential job and hopefully successful. This doesn't alter the facts that an innocent man has been murdered. Phil Gomes explains what is at stake:

"Jean Charles de Menezes was undoubtedly a man of colour, so he now automatically comes under suspicion because of circumstance and the tenor of the times, and of course Jean Charles de Menezes will just be considered collateral damage as far as those who wish to tighten a noose around our civil liberties. They’ll say 'but if he had nothing to fear he would still be alive', but Jean Charles de Menezes as a man of the global south probably knew better than any of us that police with unlimited powers are something to be feared."

We are seeing the birth of extra-judicial killings in the heart of Western cities. No longer hidden or kept secret by shadowy government officials, but committed under the mantra of "blame the terrorists."
Jeez, I know police are dumb but you'd think they'd at least be smart enough to pick someone other than a Brazilian electrician for their first public assassination.

Update II: Just because de Menezes was from Brazil doesn't mean he was dark skinned or even notably foreign-featured – he's on the far right in the photo. My older son, who works outdoors all day is much darker. He can be glad he doesn't live in London, what with trigger happy police going around murdering everyone of colour.

Update III: BBC News explores poverty as a factor in de Menezes's killing:
The BBC's correspondent in Brazil, Tom Gibb, said Mr Menezes had lived for a time in a slum district of Sao Paulo and that could explain why he had run from the police.

He said: "The murder rates in some of these slums are worse than in a lot of war zones and that could explain why, when plain clothes officers pulled a gun on him, he may have run away.
This is starting to make sense. De Menezes ran because he once lived in a lawless slum. The poverty of slum-dwellers is caused by the developed world's exploitation of the less developed. The US is the most powerful and predatory of the exploiters. The UK is the lap-dog of the US. The Jews control the US, and by extension the UK. Thus, the Jews killed de Menezes. Hey, it's only a thoery.

Saturday, July 23, 2005


Cynthia Banham, Mark Coultan and Mark Metherell write in the Sydney Morning Herald:
The US and Britain are staging a draconian security crackdown to defend against terrorist strikes - and Australia is preparing to follow their lead.

As John Howard warned the West was locked in a 19th-century mindset inadequate to deal with 21st-century terrorists, police in Britain demanded new powers to detain suspects without charge for three months, instead of the present 14 days. At the same time, authorities in New York started random searches of people using the subway system.
Yikes! What else is in store for us?
The so-called library clause, allowing the Government to go to a secret court to seize the personal records of suspects from libraries, businesses, hospitals and other organisations, and another permitting roving wire-taps on suspects as they switch between phones, will be renewed for 10 years instead of being made permanent.
Oh no, not the dreaded library clause. Life just won't be worth living.

Update: Thanks to Tim Blair for again linking. Go here to read about the Jewish connection to the police assassination of an innocent man in London.


The Daily Telegraph has commissioned a YouGov poll of British Muslims' attitudes in the wake of the 7 July London bombings. Some one in four of those surveyed are sympathetic to the attackers with only 6% thinking the bombings were fully justified:
Six per cent may seem a small proportion but in absolute numbers it amounts to about 100,000 individuals who, if not prepared to carry out terrorist acts, are ready to support those who do.
How many men with bombs would it take to bring Britain to a standstill?


Anna Kajumulo Tibaijuka recently visited Zimbabwe on a two week fact-finding mission for the UN. She looked into Operation Murambatsvina ("Get Rid of Filth"). A report (full report pdf here) has been issued:
The report ... held the government "collectively responsible" for the urban renewal operation in which an estimated 700,000 people have lost their homes, their livelihoods or both.

The program, which has affected a further 2.4 million people, was carried out in "an indiscriminate and unjustified manner, with indifference to human suffering," said the report, which called for an immediate end to further demolitions.

While noting that the Mugabe government must share responsibility for the "serious suffering" caused by the operation, Ms Tibaijuka declined to hold the president personally accountable, blaming instead an unidentified group of government advisers.

"I was not sent to apportion blame," she said, pointing to a "mixed up chain of command" and warning against simplistic generalisations.

Arguing that a charge of crimes against humanity may be difficult to sustain, the report called on the international community to encourage the Zimbabwean government "to prosecute all those who orchestrated this catastrophe."

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, who appointed Ms Tibaijuka to lead the mission, said her report was "profoundly distressing," but said the priority of the international community should be urgent humanitarian assistance rather than censure.
In other words, big fucking deal.

Update: On Saturday I do my mom's shopping – she lives in a retirement home and doesn't get out much. So, I quickly assembled the post above before going out, without more than a quick look at Tibaijuka's report.

Annan's right, the report is "profoundly distressing" but no more so than all of the other meaningless UN reports that produce no action. The UN's all about producing paperwork, not action.

The title for Section B of the report pretty much sums up the burueacratic thinking behind the report:
Scope, Extent and Impact of the Operation and Capacity of the Government of Zimbabwe and the Humanitarian Community to Respond
The government of Zimbabwe creates a humanitarian disaster and the UN examines the capacity of the government – and the international community – to respond to the disaster it created. What a productive use of time and resources.


Why was David Hicks in Pakistan and later Afghanistan? Fellow traveler Mamdouh Habib knows:
"I believe he is a man who was trying to find his life outside Australia," he said. He was trying to get married.
Well, that explains everything. This Hicks photo was obviously meant to impress local chicks.

Friday, July 22, 2005


Blogger and former Sydney Morning Herald journalist Antony – no "h" – Loewenstein is writing a book (follow link and scroll down to "The way forward is alternative") about Israel/Palestine, to be published by Melbourne University Press. Given his less than firm grasp of some of the fundamental – no pun intended – aspects of Islam, his book should make an unenlightening read.

The other day, in a post titled "The toady's blindness", Loewenstein heaped scorn on Piers Akerman for stating, in an article in the Telegraph, that the Koran exhorts Muslims to violence:
All those sections in the Bible about death, stonings, murder and incest clearly read like a children's fairy tale. No wonder Akerman is Howard's favourite commentator/toady. ABC TV's Insiders calls him a "highly experienced journalist and a columnist." Notice the omission of respect. Why the hell is he on that show again? Yet another tortuous bow to "balance."
Nothing refuting Akerman's claim, just nasty rambling nonsense. In response, I posted a comment quoting from bin Laden's original fatwa which in turn quoted the Koran as justification for killing Americans. Loewenstein responded:
Since when do the vast, vast majority of Muslims, or Christians for that matter, take their holy books literally? Basically, nearly, never. We can always quote extreme comments in the Bible or Koran (or Torah), but how it's interpreted is the main issue, surely....
To which I responded:
Is it possible to be a Muslim and not accept the Koran as the literal word of God?
Loewenstein responded:
As possible as being a Christian and not taking the Bible as gospel. People of many faiths are much more complex than simply living by, or ignoring, their chosen books....
So, according to Loewenstein, Muslims can take the Koran with a grain of salt.

Muslim Irshad Manji, author of "The Trouble with Islam Today", thinks I've got it right, which means – shock, horror – Loewenstein has it wrong. Manji in the Los Angeles Times:
I believe thursday's bombings in London, combined with the first wave of explosions two weeks ago, are changing something for the better. Never before have I heard Muslims so sincerely denounce terrorism committed in our name as I did on my visit to Britain a few days ago. We're finally waking up.

Except on one front: the possible role of religion itself in these crimes.

Even now, the Muslim Council of Britain adamantly insists that Islam has nothing to do with the London attacks. It cites other motives — "segregation" and "alienation," for instance. Although I don't deny that living on the margins can make a vulnerable lad gravitate to radical messages of instant belonging, it takes more than that to make him detonate himself and innocent others. To blow yourself up, you need conviction. Secular society doesn't compete well on this score. Who gets deathly passionate over tuition subsidies and a summer job?

Which is why I don't understand how moderate Muslim leaders can reject, flat-out, the notion that religion may also play a part in these bombings. What makes them so sure that Islam is an innocent bystander?

What makes them sound so sure is literalism. That's the trouble with Islam today. We Muslims, including moderates living here in the West, are routinely raised to believe that the Koran is the final and therefore perfect manifesto of God's will, untouched and immutable.

This is a supremacy complex. It's dangerous because it inhibits moderates from asking hard questions about what happens when faith becomes dogma. To avoid the discomfort, we sanitize.
So, Loewenstein is sanitzing Islam to remove aspects he doesn't want to see. Since he can't get this fundamental aspect of Islam right it's impossible to take anything he writes about Islam seriously.



If only the dreaded Jews would do us all a favour and march lemming-like into the sea, we wouldn't have incidents like this:
A Palestinian rocket aimed at a Jewish settlement in the Gaza Strip fell short on Thursday, killing a Palestinian boy when it hit his home at the edge of a crowded refugee camp, an Interior Ministry spokesman said.

Medics said a 13-year-old boy was killed and his 7-year-old brother critically wounded by the rocket fire in the Khan Younis refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, where Israel plans to evacuate all of its settlements starting in mid-August.

The death could further inflame tensions between militant groups fighting Israel and Palestinian security forces who last week intervened to try to stop rocket fire at Israel, prompting clashes with the Hamas militant group.

DEMOCRATS' HIDDEN AGENDA, ANNIHILATION OF THE SPECIES news service, billing itself as The World's No.1 Science & Technology News Service, currently features an anti-US article headlined: Hiroshima bomb may have carried hidden agenda. The article reads in part:
The US decision to drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 was meant to kick-start the Cold War rather than end the Second World War, according to two nuclear historians who say they have new evidence backing the controversial theory.

Causing a fission reaction in several kilograms of uranium and plutonium and killing over 200,000 people 60 years ago was done more to impress the Soviet Union than to cow Japan, they say. And the US President who took the decision, Harry Truman, was culpable, they add.

"He knew he was beginning the process of annihilation of the species," says Peter Kuznick, director of the Nuclear Studies Institute at American University in Washington DC, US. "It was not just a war crime; it was a crime against humanity."

According to the official US version of history, an A-bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on 6 August 1945, and another on Nagasaki three days later, to force Japan to surrender. The destruction was necessary to bring a rapid end to the war without the need for a costly US invasion.

But this is disputed by Kuznick and Mark Selden, a historian from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, US. They are presenting their evidence at a meeting in London on Thursday organised by Greenpeace and others to coincide with the 60th anniversary of the bombings.
Very loaded language for a science news service: New Scientist should stick to science and leave politics and history to others.

The decision to use the bomb, and indeed, how to use the bomb, were not easy ones, with lots of factors to consider. Japan was, for all practical purposes, defeated well prior to the bombings on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But, Japan had not yet surrendered and there were serious doubts that it would do so unless invaded. Thus, immediately after the defeat of Germany, the US was eager for the Soviets to become involved in the invasion of Japan. By the time the bomb proved workable the US government was no longer so keen for Soviet involvement, having observed Stalin's duplicitous behaviour in Europe.

Using the bomb hastened the Japanese surrender, made invasion unnecessary and kept Soviet forces out of Japan. In the end many thousands more lives were saved by the bombs than were lost through their use. If using the bombs also sent a message to Stalin, great.

Thursday, July 21, 2005


If the likeness reflects reality, Neanderthals were pretty well equipped:
A stone phallus 28,000-years-old has been discovered in a cave in Baden-Wuertemberg in southern Germany, the University of Tubingen said on Wednesday.

In assembling 14 stone fragments found last year in the Hohle Fels cave, archeologists rebuilt the phallus, which is 20 centimetres long and three centimeters wide.
No wonder right-wingers are thought of as Neanderthals.


The Independent has a list of 20 things the Brits love about Australia and another list of 20 things that are maddening:
Lovable: Rolf Harris and Germaine Greer.

Maddening: Vegemite and Rupert Murdoch.
There seems to have been some sort of inversion when these lists were compiled.

What does Antony Loewenstein see in the lists that I don't?
The Independent doesn't know if it loves Australia or finds us irritable.
Australians are irritable? That explains the involvement in Iraq and more troops for Afghanistan.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005


The inimitable – why would anyone in their right mind want to? – Mark Morford produces yet another great big grab-bag of shit containing this nugget:
In sum, one could argue that Rove, as part of a multitentacled stratagems to help Bush lie America into war, intentionally blew the cover of an underground CIA agent (Valerie Plame), and did so merely as revenge, as a smear tactic against Plame's husband, who dared suggest, way back when BushCo was downright desperate to mangle CIA intelligence and fabricate any excuse possible to force us into this unwinnable Iraq war, that Saddam might not actually have any WMD at all.
So, as it turns out, Rove revealed Plame as a CIA mole. Underground ... CIA ... mole ... get it?

Anyway, do yourself a favour and read the whole Morford article, it's laughs from start to finish.


If you're looking for a round-up of Roberts related news, try Real Clear Politics.


According to cbc WATCH, a "mind your language" internal memo recently made the rounds at Canada's national public broadcaster, The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation:
'Terrorist' and 'terrorism': Exercise extreme caution before using either word.

Avoid labelling any specific bombing or other assault as a "terrorist act" unless it's attributed (in a TV or Radio clip, or in a direct quote on the Web). For instance, we should refer to the deadly blast at that nightclub in Bali in October 2002 as an "attack," not as a "terrorist attack." The same applies to the Madrid train attacks in March 2004, the London bombings in July 2005 and the attacks against the United States in 2001, which the CBC prefers to call "the Sept. 11 attacks" or some similar expression. (The BBC, Reuters and many others follow similar policies.)

Terrorism generally implies attacks against unarmed civilians for political, religious or some other ideological reason. But it's a highly controversial term that can leave journalists taking sides in a conflict.

By restricting ourselves to neutral language, we aren't faced with the problem of calling one incident a "terrorist act" (e.g., the destruction of the World Trade Center) while classifying another as, say, a mere "bombing" (e.g., the destruction of a crowded shopping mall in the Middle East).

Use specific descriptions. Instead of reaching for a label ("terrorist" or "terrorism") when news breaks, try describing what happened.

For example, "A suicide bomber blew up a bus full of unarmed civilians early Monday, killing at least two dozen people." The details of these tragedies give our audience the information they need to form their own conclusions about what type of attack it was.
Excuse me for a minute while I go throw up.

Via: Clear and Present

Tuesday, July 19, 2005


The ultimate response to an Islamist terrorist attack:
Rep. Tom Tancredo refused Monday to back down from his statement Friday suggesting that the United States might respond to a radical Islamic terrorist attack by bombing Muslim holy sites.
Strangely, a similar option was long ago recommended by Australian Peter Layton:
Nuclear threats traditionally have been handled using deterrent strategies. In this case, a declaratory policy could be devised based on the threat of retaliation if an attack occurs in the West by nonstate actors using the Arab way of war. In such a circumstance, there could be a strategy of instant, graduated response: nuclear strikes against several of the capital cites of the Middle Eastern nations that long have demonstrated support for this method of war. The response's intensity and discrimination would vary based on the severity of the WMD attack. This approach would be a policy of deterrence through the threat of brutal and immediate punishment of particular societies.
Unfortunately, this would play right into bin Laden's hands.


The left often prefers to see things as they want them to be, not as they are:
As the head of Drummond Middle School in Bradford, where 90 per cent of pupils were Asian, Mr Honeyford was concerned about the consequences of encouraging children to cling to their own ethnic group rather than integrate.

In a series of articles published in the Right-wing Salisbury Review in the early 1980s, he criticised Bradford city council's policy of educating ethnic minority children according to their own culture, predicting that the move would create divisions between white and Asian communities.

At school, where languages such as Urdu, Gujurati and Hindi predominated over English, Mr Honeyford tried to introduce a uniform but he was opposed by the local council, which judged that such a move could be racist. Concerned that "we were getting nine-year-olds who had never sat in the same class as a white child", Mr Honeyford wanted to impose racial integration - if need be, by busing in white pupils from across the city.

His views provoked an outcry among the anti-racism lobby. Some picketed the school and Mr Honeyford was subjected to personal abuse and accused of racial prejudice - leading to his early retirement in December 1985 to save his family from further harassment. He wrote later that he was told he had been forced out because his attitudes were "racist" and his insistence on integrating Asian children was "dangerous and damaging".
Alternatively, multiculturalism can be deadly.

Via: Clear and Present


Mark Steyn:
It was the Prime Minister's wife, you'll recall, who last year won a famous court victory for Shabina Begum, as a result of which schools across the land must now permit students to wear the full "jilbab" - ie, Muslim garb that covers the entire body except the eyes and hands. Ms Booth hailed this as "a victory for all Muslims who wish to preserve their identity and values despite prejudice and bigotry". It seems almost too banal to observe that such an extreme preservation of Miss Begum's Muslim identity must perforce be at the expense of any British identity. Nor, incidentally, is Miss Begum "preserving" any identity: she's of Bangladeshi origin, and her adolescent adoption of the jilbab is a symbol of the Arabisation of South Asian (and African and European) Islam that's at the root of so many problems. It's no more part of her inherited identity than my five-year- old dressing up in his head-to-toe Darth Vader costume, to which at a casual glance it's not dissimilar.
But, the promoters of multiculturalism mean well.

Read the whole thing.


Not only do they outlive men, they're smarter with money:
Research published last month showed that there are now an estimated 360,000 women in Britain who are worth half a million pounds or more each.

Between them, they own assets worth almost £300bn and their numbers are expected to increase rapidly. It is estimated that by 2025, women will own 60% of the nation's personal wealth.

There are currently 25% more women millionaires aged between 18 and 44 (47,355 women compared with 37,945 men). In over-65s women millionaires outnumber men by just under 4,000.
Hmmm, if only I was a bit younger, and fitter, and better looking ... oh, nevermind.


A Macquarie University associate professor's views on immigration are causing quite a stir:
An associate professor in the Department of Public Law, Andrew Fraser, claims that African migration increases crime, says HSC results point to a rising ruling class of Asians and wants Australia to withdraw from refugee conventions to avoid becoming "a colony of the Third World".

Associate Professor Fraser, originally from Canada, believes cognitive and athletic abilities, testosterone and "impulse control" vary according to race, and "civilisations" should look after their own. "The fact is that ordinary Australians are being pushed down the path to national suicide by their own political, religious and economic elites."

Associate Professor Fraser wrote in an email to a Woollahra councillor, David Shoebridge, that Chinese immigration directly threatened the "social, political and economic interests of ordinary Australians and their children".
There's also this from Fraser (Drew) from a Ray Martin interview:
Ray: What is a typical Australian in your eyes?

Drew: It is the sun bronzed, blonde, blue eyed Aussie. That is what brought me down here. That is what, I would say, brought many people down here, the belief that what was really attractive about Australia, was that it was populated by Australians.

Ray: It is 20 million of us. Except that we’re not all blonde and blue eyed, we’re all colours.

Drew: I would suggest, if Australia turned into a country of 35 million people who are majority non white, it would be a much less attractive destination for migrants.

Ray: That is not going to happen. Where you live, and where we all live, is a multicultural society. We get on fine with each other. Why would you raise the spectre of crime?

Drew: It is not a matter of getting on fine, I would say that it is a matter of mutual indifference. Every time I go to Westfield Parramatta, well first of all, what I do notice there is the complete absence, well virtually of white Australians. What I do see is this polyglot mix of people who have nothing in common whatever, except the shopping experience. Do you want your Grandchildren to be part of an ethnic minority? Sub Saharan Africans have an average IQ of 70-75, that is a fact.
I've always viewed race as a dubious concept and think Fraser could be on some pretty shaky ground with his views.

That said, I can't see that dropping the "whites only" policy has greatly benefited Australia.

Monday, July 18, 2005


Europe is one massive bureaucratic cluster fuck:
Germany's highest court has ordered the release of a suspected top Al Qaeda operative, citing objections to a new European Union arrest warrant that would have allowed his extradition to Spain.

The federal Constitutional Court has ruled that handing over Syrian-German businessman Mamoun Darkazanli to Spain as permitted under the EU policy would violate Germany's basic law.

German Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries has condemned the court's decision as "another setback for the German Government in the fight against international terrorism".

The European Union's executive arm, the European Commission, has voiced regret that Germany has failed to implement the arrest warrant.

It has called for it to bring its national legislation into line with EU policy.

Spain accuses Darkazanli, 46, of being Osama bin Laden's "permanent interlocutor and assistant" in Europe.
Why, exactly, was this guy released?
The Karlsruhe-based court found that the EU arrest warrant offered insufficient legal protection for German citizens and must now be implemented with a new German law that allows all extradition orders to be reviewed by German judges.

The ruling will mean that all German citizens being held for extradition within the EU must be released until the new legislation is passed.
Gotta get that paperwork right, guys.


David Hencke writes in the Guardian:
Britain's involvement in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan contributed to the terrorist attacks in London, a respected independent thinktank on foreign affairs, the Chatham House organisation, says today.

According to the body, which includes leading academics and former civil servants among its members, the key problem in the UK for preventing terrorism is that the country is "riding as a pillion passenger with the United States in the war against terror".
Yep, riding on the back of a motorcycle being driven by someone else can be dangerous. But, the report on which Hencke bases his "key problem" assertion also notes a preexisting internal problem:
By the mid-1990s the UK’s intelligence agencies and the police were well aware that London was increasingly being used as a base by individuals involved in promoting, funding and planning terrorism in the Middle East and elsewhere. However, these individuals were not viewed as a threat to the UK’s national security, and so they were left to continue their activities with relative impunity, a policy which caused much anger among the foreign governments concerned. As a result of giving lower priority to international terrorism, the British authorities did notfully appreciate the threat from Al-Qaeda.
So, like the seemingly healthy unfortunates seeded with Alien* spawn who will eventually die as the evil within explodes from their chests, Britain has chosen to ignore the problem within. In comparison, while being a pillion passenger can be dangerous, it isn't necessarily fatal. And, if the evil within gets the passenger, it'll probably gnaw its way right through the back of the driver. Britain might want to consider some radical evil-removal surgery while there's still time to save the host.

* From a short review of Aliens:
The only one who makes any sense in the movie the whole time is Ripley, who keeps muttering "Nuke Them" like a macho sneering Dr Strangelove. Imagine if her sentiments were ever translated into real political terms! Gulp!
Gulp indeed.


In a long article in The Boston Globe, Bryan Bender reports on studies that reveal that Iraq is indeed the front line in the war on terror but that the terrorists would not have become terrorists were Iraq not occupied. Deep in the article is a revealing choice of word:
But the impact of the foreign fighters has been enormous. They are blamed for the almost daily suicide attacks against US and Iraqi forces and have killed thousands of civilians, mostly members of Iraq's Shia Muslim majority. Their exploits have been responsible for much of the headline-grabbing carnage recently, contributing to the slide in American public support for the war.
It takes an unusual mindset to admire those who kill indiscriminately in pursuing a political agenda.


Ignoring the EU freeze on diplomatic relations, France invited members of the Cuban government to Bastille Day celebrations:
The French embassy in Cuba invited the communist officials in order to "open frank and constructive dialogue, which is indispensable to understanding and progress", said French ambassador to Havana Marie-France Pagnier, according to AFP.

The French invitation to Cuban officials was the first of its kind in the two years since the EU froze diplomatic contacts with Havana.

The bloc made the move in June 2003, after 75 dissidents, including 26 independent journalists, were arrested and sentenced to up to 28 years in prison. Only 14 of them have been released since.

"I am sad", said Portugal's ambassador to Cuba, Mario Rodino de Matos.

"It is a success for France, but I would have preferred that the European Union keep a unified position", he added.
A non-aggression pact with Iran could be next on the agenda.

Sunday, July 17, 2005


He was framed.


Christina Lamb visits a Pakisanti madrasah and finds bin Laden posters on the walls, an honour roll of Taliban alumni and lots of mindless students:
The teenagers I spoke to were unable to do simple calculations and had never heard of dinosaurs. They laughed uproariously at the idea that man could walk on the moon.

When I asked what they wanted to be when they graduated, they talked of becoming mullahs. One or two spoke of embracing shahadat, martyrdom, and of going to paradise with its 72 virgins, almost as though this world was just a grade to get through.

My visit was short — as a woman, although clad in an all-encompassing burqa, I had been warned I might be stoned and my questions were clearly provoking some hostility.
Oh well, it keeps them off the streets.


The British government did more than allow an Islamist swamp to form within, it helped stock the swamp with alligators:
To frustrated foreign intelligence services, the British capital city has long been known as Beirut-on-Thames or Londonistan, a safe haven for dissident Islamic groups of varying degrees of extremism from across the Muslim world. Dissident political leaders of radical Islamic parties, firebrand clerics preaching holy war, the footsoldiers of 'jihad' in Afghanistan, Algeria and Chechnya, and the innocent refugees caught in the crossfire: all have found refuge on our shores.
There seemed to be a brutal logic to this arrangement. As long as these individuals presented no threat to British national security, MI5 and MI6 were more than happy to have them here because they were a ready source of intelligence about what became known as 'political Islam'. For the best part of a decade, from the end of the Afghan war against the Soviet Union in 1989, the arrangement appeared to work well.
Security services admit that it will take decades to fully infiltrate the swamp. Maybe it's time for an alligator round-up. Better yet, a cull.

By the way, the excerpt above is from an Observer article well worth reading.

Saturday, July 16, 2005


It looks like David Hicks's will soon go before a GITMO military tribunal deemed unfair by some:
Mr Rudd says Prime Minister John Howard should act to ensure a fair trial for Hicks, who has now been held in detention by the US Government for three years following his capture in Afghanistan.

"Our position throughout has been that US military tribunals do not provide a fair trial and it's time the Howard Government resolved this matter once and for all," he said.

"This has been the subject of mishandling for over three years now and frankly it's got beyond a joke."

A three-judge panel found unanimously in favour of the Bush administration, ruling that the Guantanamo detainees are not covered by the Geneva Conventions and that the commissions are a competent tribunal to hear the charges against them.

They found that the detainees do not have rights in the US civil system. It means the military commissions set up to try detainees can go ahead.
Just like your mother always told you, hanging out with the wrong people can get you in trouble. Funny, the older I get, the smarter my parents were.


Mundher al-Adhami, writing in the Guardian, cries for the victims but does not condemn the London bombings. Al-Adhami sees the bombings as understandable, if not justifiable, blowback:
The pictures of Iraq, Afghanistan or Palestine, with their dust and grime, might be different to the pictures of the London bombs, but they represent a continuity. The war of revenge and collective punishment has arrived in London. And it has its own rationality. Don't give me the nonsense about why do they hate us. They don't.

The response to the neo-colonial adventures in Afghanistan and Iraq should surprise no one. Islamist extremism and terrorism, unknown in Iraq before occupation, now fights side by side with the more measured Iraqi resistance. It responds with callous bombs there, and now in the west.

The spirit of revenge becomes more planned, merging with nationalist or faith ideology such as al-Qaida's, and the targets become more diffuse. Perhaps even in the west, identification with innocent people hit by bombs and napalm - their voices unheard and names unknown - in remote lands of the prophets makes for a holy madness among susceptible youngsters.

As other suicide bombers have said, they may regret the loss of innocent lives in their political, murderous acts - but they atone with their own lives and hope God forgives them. The logic is clear: your security is only assured if ours is. If our women and children are killed, then your women and children are killed.
How then to account for the 32 Iraqi children – mentioned in passing in the article's introductory paragraph – killed earlier in the week by a Baghdad suicide bomber? These children and their families were already the victims of foreign aggression themselves – in al-Adhami's terms – and had probably not ever done anything to warrant a revenge attack. This attack, as with the London attacks, was nothing more than an attack by a smaller, less powerful group on the majority. It's politics at its most violent.

Even though they'd never admit it, the lefties at the Guardian quietly admire those committed enough to their politics to give their lives for the cause.


The Washington Post acknowledges in an editorial that not nearly enough is known about Karl Rove's involvement in the Plame affair to judge that he acted improperly or illegally:
But much is still unknown, and Democratic demands that Mr. Rove be fired immediately seem premature given the murky state of the evidence.
The editorial then proceeds to make a circumstantial case for Rove's guilt, concluding:
Whether Mr. Rove or others behaved in a way that amounted to criminal, malicious or even merely sleazy behavior will turn on what they knew about Ms. Plame's employment. Were they aware she was a covert agent? Did they recklessly fail to consider that before revealing her involvement? How they learned about Ms. Plame also will matter: Did the information come from government sources or outside parties?

It may be that Mr. Rove, or someone else, will turn out to be guilty of deliberately leaking Ms. Plame's identity, knowing that it would blow her cover. Or officials may have conspired to cover up a leak or lied about it under oath. For now, however, it remains to be established that such misconduct occurred.
The "or even merely sleazy" bit is a classic.

Friday, July 15, 2005


Everybody seems to hate it but I actually enjoy Spam.


Real Clear Politics (average):
President George W. Bush

Approve 47.8% – Disapprove 48.2%


Approve 31.4% – Disapprove 58.2%
If Congress got on with its work, Bush could get on with his.


Tests of toilets at the European Parliament reveal traces of cocaine:
The quantities found in MEPs' toilets imply regular use, according to the German TV show revealing the findings last night (14 July).

"Some of the quantities found there would have caused a police drug dog to respond", said pharmacologist Professor Fritz Sorgel from the Institute for Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Research in Nuremberg (IBMP), who analysed the samples.

In total, 41 of the 46 surface swabs taken at European Parliament buildings A to H in Brussels contained traces of the highly-addictive drug.

In one room the concentration was so high that there was only one possible explanation - cocaine had been consumed there just before the sample was taken.
We should cut these guys some slack, they probably need the cocaine to keep up with the work. What, exactly, does the European Parliament do?


Salma Yaqoob, national vice-chair of Respect and chair of Birmingham Stop the War Coalition, writes in the Guardian:
Because what is undeniable is that the shoddy theology - no matter how "unIslamic" and easily condemned by most Muslims - is driven by political injustices. It is the boiling anger and hurt that is shaping the interpretation of religious texts into such grotesque distortions. Such extreme interpretations exist only in specific political circumstances - they certainly do not predate them, and the religious/political equation breaks down if there is no injustice to drive it.

This leaves British Muslims in a very difficult place. To bring in these wider questions requires them to dissent from the government line. This is difficult for them, keen as they are to avoid further marginalisation. However, if Muslim leaders succumb to the pres sure of censorship and fail to visibly oppose the government on certain foreign policy issues, the gap between the leaders and those they seek to represent and influence will widen, increasing the possibility of more dangerous routes being adopted by the disillusioned.

This cycle of violence has to be broken. By confining analysis to simple religious terms, however, politicians are asking the impossible of our security services as well as Muslim leaders. No number of sniffer dogs or sermons denouncing the use of violence against innocents can detect and remove the pain and anger that drives extremists to their terrible acts. The truth is that shoddy theology does not exist without a dodgy foreign policy.
The essense of Yaqoob's commentary is this: terror attacks such as those in London are unacceptable but are understandable and are bound to recur unless Britian changes its foreign policy. All power to the few.


I haven't been to Mexico since driving from Austin to San Miguel de Allende in the 1970s. Back then it was common knowledge that the only way to make it through Mexican customs and immigration was have plenty of $1 notes to hand out: no bribe, no cooperation. Things haven't changed, although the required bribes are now be much bigger:
On Tuesday, five days after the bombings on the London transit system refocused Congress and the American public on the threat of global terrorism, former Mexican Foreign Minister Jorge Castaneda told a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing that "No border security is possible without Mexican cooperation" and that "there can be no cooperation [from the Mexican government] without some sort of immigration reform package." Castaneda, now a professor at New York University, went on to describe immigration reform as amnesty for all Mexicans living illegally in the U.S., the admission of some 5 million additional Mexican citizens to the U.S. over the next ten years, and massive increases in U.S. aid to that country.

In exchange for the admission and legalization of millions of Mexicans, and billions of dollars in U.S. assistance, Castaneda said that Mexico would offer "tough" but "non-coercive" assistance in the effort to prevent terrorists from entering the U.S. via Mexico. Castaneda conceded that Mexico has lost control of its own southern border, and cannot verify the true identities of people to whom it has issued ID documents.

"Jorge Castaneda is not some obscure voice from Mexico's distant political past," observed Dan Stein, president of FAIR. "He served as foreign minister in the current Mexican administration. It is imperative that the Fox government issue a formal repudiation of Castaneda's remarks and assure the American public that their cooperation in the war against terrorism will not come at the price of extortion."
Which reminds me of a near incident while driving in Mexico. I had stopped and filled up with fuel at a petrol station out in the middle of nowehere – one of those last-fuel-for-X-miles spots. After I had paid for the fuel and was about to start up, the attendant – who had several scruffy looking mates in tow – came up to the open window of the car and noticed the Grundig multi-band radio sitting on the passenger seat. "Nice radio", he said. "How much did you pay for it?" I lied to him that the radio hadn't cost much. To which he replied, "Why don't you give me the radio?" I firmly and calmly told him no, started the car and drove away. The only reason I was able to firmly and calmly resist this guy's intimidation was the industrial size spray-can of Mace I had quietly retrieved from the door-pocket with my left hand. There's a moral in there somewhere.


Can't stand the man but it took courage to stand in an open car during a parade:
Mr Chirac stood in an open jeep at the Champs Elysees parade commemorating the storming of the Bastille prison in 1789 - the start of the French revolution.

Protecting the event has been a priority since a gunman tried to kill Mr Chirac during the 2002 parade.


Science may not be biased but science magazines certainly can be:
DESPITE the intelligence failure that led the Bush administration to believe Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, the Pentagon is pressing ahead with the development of technologies designed to destroy WMDs.
So, because multiple agencies around the world were wrong about Iraq's WMDs, that means no other country has, or will have, WMDs that might be warehoused deep underground? What does one have to do with the other?


Karl Marx was the run-away winner of a recent poll, on the greatest ever philosopher, at Britain's Melvyn Bragg Radio 4 show, In Our Time. Andrew Chitty who teaches the UK's only MA in Marxist philosophy explains the result:
"This shows that philosophy should take Marxism seriously. It is possible he won because Marxists organised a mass vote; they're much more organised than Hegelians, for instance.

"But I think it's more likely that people understand that in this increasingly capitalist world Marx gives us the best vision with which to understand that world. Marx talks about capital in a philosophical way - he's unique in that."
Marxists understand the world? About the only thing they understand is the utility of violence.

Thursday, July 14, 2005


Harm Kiezebrink.

Better we get them before they get us.


Journalist, aspiring author and blogger Anthony Loewenstein continues to post bullshit. His latest credibility killing effort bears the simple title "Iraqi dead":
An Iraqi humanitarian organisation is reporting that 128,000 Iraqis have been killed since the beginning of the US-led invasion in 2003. 55 per cent of those have been women and children under 12, according to Dr. Hatim al-'Alwani, chairman of the Iraqiyun humanitarian organisation in Baghdad.
Loewenstein's link leads to a short article credited to UPI – and picked up by a number of reputable news organisations – at Information Clearing House:
Mafkarat al-Islam reported that chairman of the 'Iraqiyun humanitarian organization in Baghdad, Dr. Hatim al-'Alwani, said that the toll includes everyone who has been killed since that time, adding that 55 percent of those killed have been women and children aged 12 and under.

'Iraqiyun obtained data from relatives and families of the deceased, as well as from Iraqi hospitals in all the country's provinces. The 128,000 figure only includes those whose relatives have been informed of their deaths and does not include those were abducted, assassinated or simply disappeared.

The number includes those who died during the U.S. assaults on al-Fallujah and al-Qa'im. 'Iraqiyun's figures conflict with the Iraqi Body Count public database compiled by Geneva-based Graduate Institute of International Studies. According to the Graduate Institute of International Studies' database, 39,000 Iraqis have been killed as a direct result of combat or armed violence since March 2003. No official estimates of Iraqi casualties from the war have been issued by the Pentagon, which insists that it does not do "body counts." The Washington Post on July 12 reported that U.S. military deaths in Iraq now total 1,755.
The original source of this story, Mafkarat al-Islam (Islam Memo), is not a reputable news organization. It supplies "news" that is picked up by sites well outside the MSM. In short, Mafkarat al-Islam cannot be considered reliable.

A Google search for the supposed humanitarain organization Iraqiyun produced too many hits to be useful as Iraqiyun (Iraqis) is used by interim President Yawir al-Ghazi for his political bloc. A revised search for Iraqiyun plus Alwani (Iraqiyun's named head) produced only 33 results, all linking back to the original Mafkarat al-Islam article. I could find no indication that Iraqiyun exists as an independent humanitarian organization in Iraq, or anywhere else for that matter.

So, Loewenstein's original post is bullshit, and so is his update:
An international research organisation in Switzerland claims that US troops have killed 39,000 Iraqi civilians since the beginning of the war and 100,000 Iraqis have died since the US invasion.
Loewenstein's link is again to Information Clearing House, this time to an unbelievable article originally from The Journal of Turkish Weekly:
The US invasion of Iraq to overthrow Saddam Hussein's regime has cost 100,000 Iraqi civilian lives. An international research organization in Switzerland said US troops killed 39,000 civilians since the beginning of the war.

The organization indicated there were far more civilian casualties than the number announced as the "Iraqi Body Count." US troops' direct fire or clashes have claimed 39,000 Iraqi civilians' lives.

With suicide attacks and other accidents, the death toll amounts to 100,000 civilian dead in 28 months. The number of the losses of US and other coalition forces for the same period is 1,937.
So, Loewenstein has posted on and linked to an article that cites an unnamed "international research organization in Switzerland" as the source of an Iraqi body count. Very slack researching.

Just to tie off the loose end, this Swiss based international organization is apparently the Graduate Institute of International Studies, which, through its Small Arms Surveyhelped fund, the Iraq Lancet Study. It has reworked the Lancet data to come up with revised figures:
Nearly 40,000 Iraqis have been killed as a direct result of combat or armed violence since the US-led invasion, a figure considerably higher than previous estimates, a Swiss institute reported.

The public database Iraqi Body Count, by comparison, estimates that between 22,787 and 25,814 Iraqi civilians have died since the March 2003 invasion, based on reports from at least two media sources.

No official estimates of Iraqi casualties from the war have been issued, although military deaths from the US-led coalition forces are closely tracked and now total 1,937.

The new estimate of 39,000 was compiled by the Geneva-based Graduate Institute of International Studies and published in its latest annual small arms survey, released at a UN news conference.

It builds on a study published in The Lancet, a British medical journal, last October, which concluded there had been 100,000 "excess deaths" in Iraq from all causes since March 2003.

The Swiss institute said it arrived at its estimate of Iraqi deaths resulting solely from either combat or armed violence by re-examining the raw data gathered for the Lancet study and classifying the cause of death when it could.

Its 2005 small arms survey generally concludes that conflict deaths from small arms have been vastly under-reported in the past, not just in Iraq but around the globe.
Caution: reading Loewenstein may cause leftardation. (If you read his stuff and take it seriously you're already leftarded, you poor, unfortunate thing.)

Update: As previously noted, on 13 July Loewenstein posted this:
Is the US government hiding the true figure of US casualties in Iraq? The Government of Puerto Rico thinks so during investigations of its own war dead. They claim over 4000 US soldiers have been killed during 799 days of fighting.
If he had read his linked source carefully he would have realised that the 4,000+ figure was not for US forces but was for forces serving under US command, comprised of 1,649 US uniformed troops, 88 from Great Britain, 92 from other coalition countries, 238 private contractors and at least 2,000 Iraqi soldiers. I pointed this out to him in his comments section but he was reluctant to correct his post. Under pressure from commenter Gilbert, he eventually agreed to amend his original post, which came out:
Is the US government hiding the true figure of US and Iraqi casualties in Iraq? The Government of Puerto Rico thinks so during investigations of its own war dead. They claim over 4000 US and "coalition" soldiers have been killed during 799 days of fighting.
It seems to me that Loewenstein should have, for the sake of transparency, noted that he had corrected his original incorrect post. The way it stands, readers have to read his comments in order to be aware that the post was corrected. Tricky.