news highlights of the week.
Satan’s very own trouser stain went to Israel and went beyond the usual ‘talking shit’ to get into the talking of ‘holy shit‘. Even though Bush was selling masses of weapons to Israel at the precise moment that Palestinian civilians were being killed in their homes, even though the legitimate election of Hamas resulted in a Western tantrum and further restrictions on food and security for the hungry, this prick now thinks he can clean up his CV with some handshake photo-ops with the weakest leaders of Israel and Palestine respectively in years. Not to mention firing off some crap about fighting the evil doers who hate freedom. Duh George, irony.
Still, at least he won popular appreciation for his typically insightful humour:
“You’ll be happy to know, my whole motorcade of a mere 45 cars was able to make it through without being stopped,” Bush said after being asked about the 30-minute journey from Jerusalem and Ramallah.
“I’m not so exactly sure that’s what happens to the average person.”
The average person gets beaten up by Israeli forces armed, trained, and financed by your government, George, becaue you have money for strategic military aid but none for genuine humanitarian needs… but good gag about the check points. ha. ha.
Arnold Schwarzenegger took lots of steroids and never gave back any trophies. He’s a multimillionaire movie star governor and rightly so, I guess. Marion Jones took steroids, has given back 5 Olympic medals, had race results from 7 years ago cancelled, and been sentenced to 6 months jail, 400 hours community service, and 2 years of good behaviour. Forget all the reasons given and the fluffy explanations of instant analysts. She was successful, she’s still black. That’s why this is being done to her. End of story.
The Guardian came out with its list of the 50 people most likely to help save the planet, and it’s definitely worth reading. Obviously there are mistakes, like the inclusion of Bjorn Lomborg – an overrated statistician who does his best to be mistaken for an objective authority and critical thinker. Obviously the inclusion of Peter Garrett is interesting – because Bob Brown and Christine Milne have been left out, because he is in on the basis of his efforts regarding climate change (which have officially been ’0′), because it may well be an accurate forecast.
Speaking of planetary saviours, Paul Watson’s Sea Shepherd are still trawling the Antarctic waters in search of the Japanese whaling fleet. For all their pre-election noise, the new federal government have been utterly disappointing on the whale hunt front. Although combined US and Australian pressure saw humpbacks taken off the Japanese menu, it could be readily speculated that this was always the Japanese intention. By distracting diplomacy and outrage with their proclaimed intent to kill endangered and high profile humpbacks, the Japanese whalers won both gullible kudos and increased space for harpoon-play by rescinding this particular plan – which may never have actually been any more than a ploy.
Not only are the government doing nothing, they’re doing it actively by withholding information about Japanese whereabouts from the Sea Shephered and Greenpeace ships who could take action. Although Greenpeace finally caught up to the whalers later in the week, their new “hands-on, down-and-dirty” branding still doesn’t extend to sharing info with Sea Shepherd – something they have specifically refused to do in the past. To highlight how similarly limp-wristed the federal ALP’s effort has been, Sea Shepherd appointed former Liberal Environment Minister Ian Campbell to their board this week. He takes up a spot beside Terri Irwin, Sean Penn, and others.
Of course, environmentally, a huge piece of news this week was that China has moved to ban plastic shopping bags. The mighty nation currently goes through 3 billion bags every day. They have set a legally binding target of June 1 2008 as the date on which this will no longer occur at all. Not to be outdone, the following day Peter Garrett proclaimed that Australia would ban plastic shopping bags by the end of this year. He managed to claim most of the credit for this comparatively lightweight gesture without making any mention of China.
Also ignored by Australian media, CIA papers from 1974 were released detailing how American analysis at the time confirmed that Israel was developing a nuclear weapons capability. Certainly more convincing than anything they’ve come out with about Iran. Or Iraq (where yet another new ‘official’ death toll has come out – 151 000). Or North Korea. Even though N. Korea conducted an atomic test. To better understand why journalists and news media spend far too much time with their heads firmly up each other’s asses, this piece from Politico is exceptionally useful – not to mention a fun read. Oops, I mentioned it. Called “Why reporters get it wrong” the piece tries to grapple with the wake of the Hillary Clinton resurrection one day before she was officially due to be buried.
And the absolutely legendary achievement of the week has to go to James Castrission and Justin Jones. The young Aussie kayaking duo finally expect to hit land later this morning. After 60 days of rowing, covering over 3000 kilometres when they set out aiming to cover 2200, and with their legs and bodies wasting away, the story of these young men fighting horrendous conditions, a massive challenge of endurance, and their own internal processes has been riveting. Catch up on their story via the Crossing the Ditch website.
And although it probably fits in somewhere between religious bullshit and animal torture, a Footscray man ended up in court for buying an 11-year old girl high heeled shoes and asking her to kick him in the genitals. If the shoe fits….