Archive for September 2007
Well… he’s Minister for four an’ a half hairs isn’t he?
This is straight from Al Jazeera. They spoke by phone with a Buddhist monk called Uppekha, who is part of the All Burma Buddhist Monks Alliance.
Uppekha said he had expected more help from the UN and emphasised that all the protests had been peaceful.
He said: “We have a chance to create our own rights. We have a chance to create our own freedom.
“We are peaceful demonstrators but the government is taking this violent crackdown. We are suffering violence from a military junta.
“We dont understand why the UN aren’t helping us. They are just talking, talking, blowing in the wind.”
When a monk suggests military, martial, or international action to support gunned down peaceful protests… it’s gotta mean something. I just think it’s disgusting that the “world leaders” are congratulating themselves on cutting military and financial aid to Burma’s military regime. The media are also singing this song – when there really should be more questions about why these bastards didn’t have their lines of weapon supply and access to foreign assets cut long ago.
And it does seem kind of sick that “democracy” can be delivered by missile, bomb, dictum, and invasion… but not by request or obvious necessity.
Al Jazeera also reports on the cutting of access to Burmese blogs and provides hyperlinks for easy direct access to what remains up online. Al Jazeera has compiled a wide array of background and update pieces and they can all be explored via any of these links.
And thank God for Australia’s strong grip on context. The fact that protesters were allegedly beaten up today by police outside the Burmese embassy in Canberra does not say anything specific about Australian reverence for the military junta. But it does highlight how inappropriate the reflexive clamping down on peaceful protest really is. That Australian protesters in Australia were beaten up for protesting against a government that has been killing its own critics simply provides a striking back drop. The complete picture points toward the natural endpoint of the excessive laws forced through in the last 5 years, with a tip of the hat to the consequent problem of overzealous policing.
Still, at least common sense has prevailed somewhere. Because there is nothin more logical than invading an allegedly despot nation to take away their non-existent weapons, realizing you fucked up, and then selling their unstable government $2.3 billion worth of armaments so you can come back and do it all again, gee – i don’t know, maybe next week?
A Department of Defense official speaking anonymously said “well that clinches it. This time next week, we’re going to be bombing the shit out of Irony.”
It may be a strange question, considering that the old Daily Telegraph is still around. Nevertheless, what other possibility is there? For quite some time, SMH has been putting food on the tables of such self-contradicting wrong-wing nonces as Miranda Devine, Gerard Henderson, Michael Duffy, Alan Ramsey, etc. The justification is that the publication is pluralist and therefore provides comfort and staging to a number of different and potentially valid viewpoints. It’s an admirable goal but goes somewhat unachieved.
Yes, the paper certainly features reputable journalists and writers fluent and competent in a number of areas – Wendy Frew, Peter Hartcher, Philip Coorey, Mike Carlton, Ross Gittins, Annabel Crabb, the FOI Guy – to reel off a few from the top of my head. But that is not balance. That is the essential core of any worthwhile news publication.
But to balance Duffy et al the Herald would need to retain the services of rambling and irrational pseudo left wing quasi-intellectuals with a propensity for verbal diaorrhaea and monocular agenda-driven hateful nonsense poorly hidden behind tolerance for a cult of almost-personality. Maybe they should call me…
But why has my threshold been breached today of all days? Well, how about this – an Opinion piece from Bjorn Lomborg. It’s 2007 and a widely read publication is giving oxygen to Bjorn Lomborg. What reaction would be warranted if they gave similarly unqualified space to David Irving?
The Herald says that
Bjorn Lomborg is head of the Copenhagen Consensus Centre, adjunct professor at Copenhagen Business School, and author of The Skeptical Environmentalist and Cool It.
The Herald does not say that Lomborg is a statistician parading as a climatologist, nor does it mention that The Skeptical Environmentalist was thoroughly eviscerated and buried by specialists and experts when it surfaced like a turd at a pool party in 2001. Read the rest of this entry »
There are ELEVEN people in this Photo.
Pick the TEN which you would trust to run a country…
“Are our childrens learning?” asked George
“Yes,” he replied, “our childrens do learn”
Don’t believe me? It’s all here. File under ‘how dumb is this bastard sent forth from Satan’s junk?’
Although it’s only a footnote to the story really, here is the part which really rocks my world:
Just a day earlier, the White House inadvertently showed how it tries to prevent Bush from making even more slips of the tongue than he already does.
As Bush addressed the UN General Assembly yesterday, a marked-up draft of his speech briefly popped up on the UN website, complete with a phonetic pronunciation guide to get him past troublesome names of countries and world leaders.
The W is for Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeak.
“A moment I’ve been dreading. George [Bush Sr] brought his ne’re-do-well son around this morning and asked me to find the kid a job. Not the political one who lives in Florida. The one who hangs around here all the time looking shiftless. This so-called kid is already almost 40 and has never had a real job. Maybe I’ll call Kinsley over at The New Republic and see if they’ll hire him as a contributing editor or something. That looks like easy work.”
Ronald Reagan in his recently published diaries,May 17, 1986.
Interestingly, mainland papers are obsessing on the mill proposal as a political rather than environmental issue. It is legitimate, obviously, to identify the issue as both politicised and political, but it is a somewhat shameful indictment of social priorities that people are perhaps too “green fatigued” from all the discussion of climate change to give a damn about biodiversity. Anyway, political editor at The Age Michelle Grattan has the story here and Sue Neales at Ground Zero has the story here for the Hobart Mercury.
Long story short – the chief scientist has both rescued and wedged the federal government. Rescued, in that the onus of responsibility for the ineptitude of the proposal is shifted back to Gunns, and there is now an option for the environment minister to legitimately delay further while more modelling and legislating is called for. Wedged, in that the Howard Cabinet most likely wants to just sign off on the mill and lock in their aspirational marginal Tasmanian forest industry lobbyist vote – you know, the easily bought one which both major parties seem so desperate to coddle that they’ll piss away evolution, principle, common sense, and leadership.