10/19/2002

Sniper?
If this is another one, he's expanding South. Not a good move apparently depending on the I-95 corridor, although it makes a good red herring with the various back roads available. Meryl describes the best reason this bastard needs to be caught, simply describing how it feels as he draws closer. Hopefully, if it is him, by ranging so far afield, he's screwed up, and he gets caught. Still hoping for a confrontational take down that he doesn't survive, for more than a couple of excruciating hours.
Clarity
Hanson on NRO.


THE DIAMETER OF THE BOMB This is by Israeli poet Yehuda Amichai.

The diameter of the bomb was thirty centimeters and the diameter of its effective range about seven meters, with four dead and eleven wounded. And around these, in a larger circle of pain and time, two hospitals are scattered and one graveyard. But the young woman who was buried in the city she came from, at a distance of more than a hundred kilometers, enlarges the circle considerably, and the solitary man mourning her death at the distant shores of a country far across the sea includes the entire world in the circle. And I won’t even mention the crying of orphans that reaches up to the throne of God and beyond, making a circle with no end and no God.

FIVE BELLS This is an excerpt from the poem "Five Bells", by Kenneth Slessor, which Sophie Lee has just read out at the end of the minute's silence at the national day of mourning.

The night you died, I felt your eardrums crack, And the short agony, the longer dream, The Nothing that was neither long nor short; But I was bound, and could not go that way, But I was blind, and could not feel your hand. If I could find an answer, could only find Your meaning, or could say why you were here Who now are gone, what purpose gave you breath Or seized it back, might I not hear your voice? I looked out of my window in the dark At waves with diamond quills and combs of light That arched their mackerel-backs and smacked the sand In the moon's drench, that straight enormous glaze, And ships far off asleep, and Harbour-bouys Tossing their fireballs wearily each to each, And tried to hear your voice, but all I heard Was a boat's whistle, and the scraping squeal Of seabirds' voices far away, and bells, Five bells. Five bells coldly ringing out. Five bells.

And here is the Te Rauparaha haka, which the New Zealand national rugby team, the All Blacks, begins all its matches with.

Ka Mate! Ka Mate! Ka Ora! Ka Ora! Tenei te ta ngata puhuru huru Nana nei i tiki mai Whakawhiti te ra A upane ka upane! A upane kaupane whiti te ra! Hi!! I will die! I will die! I will live! I will live! This is the hairy person Who caused the sun to shine for me Up the ladder! To the top! Into the sun that shines!

Waste of money
You have to feel sorry for this kid's parents. All that money spent to send him to college, and he hasn't picked up a single clue yet. In his letter to the Washington Post, Joshua Healey writes -
[...]Similarly, I believe that my university should not invest in an Israeli government that is occupying another people's land while practicing anti-Arab discrimination within its borders.
And this little gem
The only way for there to be peace in the Middle East is for the Israeli government to face repercussions for its violations of human rights.
This might seem fairly routine idealist/leftist college punk drivel, but young Joshua claims to be a Jewish student enrolled at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Unfortunate that his tuition didn't cover any classes that let him catch on to the small fact that Israel is about the only place in that area of the world he or anyone else for that matter is likely to have very many 'human rights', and that the activities he decries are actually the upholding of a fundamental human right - the fundamental right not to be blown to smithereens by a maniac while you get some pizza, or wait for a bus, or just happen to be walking on the street. Its also unfortunate that his tuition didn't get him into any seminars or lectures that would clue him in to the detail that the 'repercussions' the Israelis are resisting is that of being thrown bodily into the East Med by their Arab neighbors, and that his body would be one of the ones being chucked, if he happened to be on the scene at the time. Wonder if his parents can get a refund?
Yes, We stand with you
President Bush spoke Saturday evening, offering the following words to the people of Australia
"Our country grieves with you, and we suffer with you. And we send our prayers to the families who cry, and we send our prayers for a speedy recovery for the injured" "Together we face an enemy which does not value innocent life, an enemy which tries to terrorise the free world into inaction. They will fail. Together we will hunt down the killers so that there's justice in the world. Together we will fight terror so as to keep the peace and to make the world more free" "This Sunday is a day of national mourning in Australia, a day in which our friends mourn the needless loss of life," "We remember so well after September the 11th, 2001, your prayers, your sympathies, your strong support. And we will never forget it." "On this sad day, on this day of mourning, America is with you in spirit."
Yes, we stand with you Australia. There was also this encouraging news
And on Saturday, Indonesian police arrested a militant Muslim cleric, Abu Bakar Bashir, who has been linked to al Qaeda and a regional group of militants in Southeast Asia. He denies any connection, saying he is just an Islamic teacher.
Might have some sympathy, if all Bashir was teaching was Islam. But aside from that, he's been teaching hate, and fomenting the insanity that led to the Bali Bloodbath. Another step, with a long way ahead. A path our countries and our peoples walk together.
Congratulations to our 10,000th customer
The counter just clicked over, and visitor #10,000 appears to be an Australian, using Windows 2K and IE6, possibly located in the Melbourne area, who surfed in directly. G'day mate, and thanks. Update Nevermind, it was just Bruce.
WARNING! Danger Will Robinson!
DO NOT, under any cirumstances, invite Mean Mr. Mustard to your wedding, unless you want to be sure its an event people will talk about for years. (And won't be to compliment the food at the reception, or the bride's dress design) And M3, as the saying goes, I don't think I woulda told that one.
Piquant? Who uses that?
Rachel Lucas does. She's the one that helped Drudge bag Streisand for the "Iranian Dictator, Saddam Hussein" gaff. Give her a looksee (pictures, she has pictures! And she's a looker!) (Sorry Rachel, that was a cheap gimmick to get the Australians in the door)
Uh oh, Mike isn't gonna be happy
Den Beste speaks Mac follower heresy. Everyone might want to step back, this could be ugly.
Rall tilts head, idiocy dribbles out - "Wet cleanup on aisle four!"
Ted Rall shifts his awe inspiring analytical abilities and solid grounding in gritty reality to the DC area Sniper case, illustrating his detachment from reality once again. Ralls's basic premise seems to be that the killer is a product of American entertainment, a variation of the 'its our own fault' theme. Rall's searing insight into the situation is extrapolated from coincidences that the rest of us failed to pick up on between the movie 'Red Dragon' , which opened two days after the shooting attacks began. He explains this apparent stumbling point by citing the pre-release hype for the movie. I've seen the 'Red Dragon' trailer at least four times in the past couple of months, seem to have missed the long range shooting segment. Perhaps the rest of the unenlightened masses missed the connections, because they only exist in Rall's mind? Rall juxtaposes a number of factors in the movie (and the 1981 book, by Thomas Harris), about the killer's methodologies, but the only similarity apparent is the final result of somebody ending up dead. To flesh out the 'analysis', Ted throws in some boilerplate tidbit factoids to fill out the column inches, and they definitely indicate...well, something, at any rate, goshdarnit
Other serial killers have taunted the police, and seemed to randomly select their victims. San Francisco's still-at-large Zodiac killer, David "Son of Sam" Berkowitz and Unabomber Ted Kaczynski all wrote letters; the first two included astrological or supernatural imagery in their communiqués. And tarot cards have been left by other murderers, particularly in drug-related killings by people from the Caribbean or South America, according to Sgt. Cynthia Bergen of the Bexar County (Texas) Sheriff's Department
Ted almost, almost has me going till the closing line
But the unique power of film coupled with the timing of the murders forces one to wonder whether, consciously or otherwise, bad people are imitating bad art.
Though I'm sure that as far as Ted knows, he was hoping to convince his editor that this was a DC Sniper piece, I think I'd only be wondering about life imitating bad art if people were play-acting scenes from Ted's comic strips...
Cool toys department
Popular Science has a look at an experimental stealth design just released by DoD and Boeing. The thing first flew in 1996, probably out at Area 51, in Nevada. As radical as the design is, no doubt it was the cause of a few 'sightings reports' by the tin foil hat crowd. Pictures are here and the Boeing 'sales pitch' video is here (Quicktime movie, broadband recommended) Its amazing to see this thing actually fly. As an aside on area 51, insiders tell me that rumor has it the aliens really like ice cream, and their favorite flavor is strawberry. (/sarcasm)
Next time, just give me the 56K
More celebrity tripe. Sean Penn spent $56,000 for space in the NYT to publish an 'open letter' to the Prez whining about Iraq. Well, at least he forked over his own dough to speak his peace, and his criticism of methodology -
"bombing is answered by bombing, mutilation by mutilation, killing by killing."
is an apparent improvement over his reportedly preffered method for handling his ex-wife. Then again, that was domestic, this is international, and Bush isn't married to Hussein.
Free Cheese sandwiches!
Just take the simple quiz Bill offers here.
Tim Blair, on scene
Tim Blair is currently guaging American attitudes in New York City. He was passing by the UN and noticed a stalwart "No blood for Oil" protest in progress. He notes they were a passionate bunch - all 20 of them.
GAY TORY SPOTTED IN NEW ZEALAND The woods are full of them you know. Anyone who quotes approvingly a woman whose heroines include Jane Austen, Lady Thatcher and Enid Blighton; and simultaneously labels the Anglican Primate of Australia "Pontius Pilate" gets my vote. Come to think of it, what is an Anglican Primate? Is it a gorilla that's been shaved and stuffed into a set of robes and a silly hat? Current evidence would seem to suggest the answer to be...yes!

In an address tonight to the annual synod of the Anglican Church in Perth, the Most Reverend Dr Peter Carnley stopped short of blaming the Prime Minister, but says he was warned.But he says there is a widely-held view that the Mr Howard's comments in the early stages of the US call for a war in Iraq, marked Australia as a target for retaliation by militant Muslims.

10/18/2002

Speaking of whining...
Was passing by the dark, dank closet where we keep the crack web staff chained up, and they asked for some feedback from some folks out there - particularly the Linux and Mac visitors (they say you guys are regulars, as your percentage numbers in the stats are holding steady). Also our one fan using Opera. Question - any particular font preference you'd like loaded in the style sheet to make it easier to view on your non-IE browsers (if your browser will handle the style sheet, that is). If there is anything I can force the ingrates that wrote our code for us to do by witholding their weekly moldy bread and rancid water ration, I'll be more than happy to oblige.
And in London Woody Harrelson said...
Does anyone really give a crap what Woody said, or his deep thoughts on international relations? Didn't think so. Next?
Sports snorts
And no, M3 is not paying me for all the links. Not a bad idea though... Anyway, taking a short break from politics, lets move on to sports... :UPDATE: Actually, just following Tom's lead, in an effort to provide complete California sports scene coverage...
CALL THIS A SOCCER RIOT? A feeble, candy-ass, California crunchy-granola-style slapfest has erupted at a kids soccer match, and CNN are acting like it's the end of the world. Hah! Come on lads, let's take 'em to school!

PICO RIVERA, California (AP) -- Two men were arrested Thursday for allegedly kicking a man in the head repeatedly in a videotaped brawl that erupted after a weekend youth football game. Joe Saracho, 32, and his brother Gino, 25, were booked on charges of assault with a deadly weapon, said Los Angeles County sheriff's Lt. Al Grotefend. The deadly weapon was their feet, he said. The fight involving about 25 children, teenagers and adults occurred Saturday immediately after a San Gabriel Valley Junior All-American Football Conference game in this suburb just east of Los Angeles. Authorities said no one was hospitalized.

No one was hospitalised? NO ONE? Pussies.
A CONTRIBUTION FROM MURRAY
RUNNER-UP TO ARSEHOLE OF THE WEEK... ...is whichever kindergarten dropout did this to a mosque in Doncaster, a suburb of Melbourne. Idiots, don't they know that's what Osama's buddies want?

Arsonists threw three molotov cocktails through windows of the George St mosque about 4.45am yesterday. Two cocktails failed to ignite, but the other burned carpet in a women's prayer room before it was put out. Deputy Commissioner Bill Kelly urged Victorians to avoid racially motivated attacks. "The fire is one thing, the reason behind it is another. It's disappointing. "We would not like to see the community's anger and frustration translate into further criminal activity." [ ... ] President of Victoria's Islamic Council Victoria, Yasser Soliman, said security around Muslim buildings would be tightened after the bombing. Mr Soliman said any retaliatory at tacks against Australian Muslims were carried out by an irrational minority. "Most people are apologetic that a backlash is happening," he said.

ARE THERE ANY QUESTIONS? Jamaah Islamiah leader Abu Bakr Bashir was asked if there was anything he wanted to say to families who lost relatives in the bomb blast. Here is what he said, as quoted in the Age.

"My message to the families is please convert to Islam as soon as possible." Mr Bashir offered no sympathy for those who died; just his belief that by converting to Islam, the survivors could ensure they would avoid the fate of those non-Muslims who died and went to hell. [ ... ] "The second message is for Australia because you suffered the most: please advise your government not to follow the US policy because it will bring tragedy for your country." [ ... ] Mr Bashir, though, would not condemn the bombings. "Such places will be banned if we have Islamic government. Although it doesn't have to be destroyed, it must be prohibited because it corrupts the morals of society." Pushed on whether he believed it was good that a "sinful" place had been destroyed he said only: "The building can still be used for a mosque."

The first of the funerals was held today. There'll be plenty more over the weekend. There will be funerals for some time to come, as the process of indentifying the bodies continues and they can be released to their families. At some point the time for grieving will end, and the time for action will come. Australia and New Zealand have never shirked a fight yet, and I don't believe that's about to change. We may need to have a change of government in New Zealand, granted, but as we're a democracy, that's fairly easily arranged. ANZACs help each other out. Especially when the choices are to convert to Islam or die.
Anti-Idiotarian Manifesto
Anti-Idiotarianism (extrapolation of the phrase coined by Charles Johnson) becoming a movement? Nice concept. Well, if its going to be a movement, then it needs a manifesto. Armed and Dangerous has a working draft. Not too shabby, check it out.
MICHAEL LEUNIG - ARSEHOLE OF THE WEEK Moral equivalency never had a truer champion than Leunig - Australia's answer to a question no one asked. Words absolutely fail me when I look at that cartoon. Check it out and bring a bucket.

10/17/2002

Being John Malkovich
Mean Mr. Mustard came across this article posted by Josh Martin at The Empire of Man on a true slimeball, George Galloway, MP. In this truly disgusting list of the accomplishments of a wretched little man, there is one cool item - the reaction of Mr. John Malkovich to Mr. Galloway. My appreciation of Malkovich movies just raised another notch. Thanks M3
The bastages are raising money and making a PROFIT, too!
This is one of the reasons I try not to watch news on Television. This evening, on the NBC nightly News (just happened to be the station tuned in as I hit the 'on' button), ace reporter Lisa Meyers ripped into those dastardly companies that are hosting campaigns that donate a portion of sales proceeds to The pink Ribbon Campaign to fight Breast Cancer. The companies' participation was portrayed as a thinly veiled marketing campaign simply to push more product on a duped US public by those slimy capitalist bastards running those wicked, wicked corporations. This report gave a platform to a group ostensibly fighting to raise awareness and seek action to lead to a cure for this horrid affliction. Seemingly noble enough. But the basis of the report, and the activists position was a slam of companies that, through their completely voluntary activities, have raised literally millions of dollars in contributions to fund research into fighting breast cancer. Millions of dollars raised, and the criticism is that they aren't, what, altruistic enough? In the most egregious example of this 'can't win regardless' reporting style, one of the targeted companies was lambasted for not only donating a portion of sales proceeds, but spending almost a matching amount in awareness advertising to notify people of the arrangement. Odd thing, that if people don't know about something, they can't participate? The 'shocking facts' presented were a breakdown of what each individual purchase of a serving of yogurt contributes (a dime). This was then extrapolated out to say that one person would have to consume a huge amount of yogurt to make a rather small contribution. Then, hoping no one would notice, Meyers rushes right over, in a single sentence, with an unrelated visual on screen, that the overall contribution by the company in question would actually total several hundred thousand dollars. Well, I don't think the company produces hundreds of thousands of cartons of yogurt monthly to just be eaten by the single consumer pictured in the piece. NBC gave a lot of time to the righteous ranting of the activist representative, decrying the participants as basically being greedy rat bastards, but, for balance, they did air a few seconds of a spokeswoman for another group simply saying that the campaign was generating a lot of cash. Only a few seconds, but it is kind of hard to get around that annoying little point. It is raising money. Money that otherwise wouldn't be available. Period. Surprise folks, yes, these companies primarily are in business to manufacture and sell their products. If you're going to slap them for being capitalists, well, they might as well just avoid the hassle, and just not participate or contribute at all. I noticed an absolute lack of criticism for industries and businesses not contributing anything to the Pink Ribbon Campaign. Now, for the next topic of discussion. The plan to replace the funding that these efforts raise would be.....? Thought so. Activists shrieking about manufactured injustice, and stupid presentations about it on television amount to basically one thing - not helping.
No, No, kick OUR asses, please!
In a pithy fit of apparent jealousy at not being number one on the 'axis of evil' list, North Korea today made a bold bid to shoot for number one like a nuke tipped rocket. After the recent spate of announcements, one has to wonder if the son of 'The Great Helmsman', Kim Il Song, current leader for life or till I say otherwise Kim Jong Il hasn't had some sort of epiphany. Confession is good for the karma? Yes we kidnapped Japanese citizens. Yes, we are trying to build a nuke. Its not like the Northern Hermit Kingdom's residents haven't acted loony tunes before; snatching US Navy vessels on the high seas and holding the crew, shooting down a US P-3 for the elder Kim's birthday present, or hacking up a US Army officer at the DMZ during a tree trimming outing - but this is just plain...wierd.
A TALE OF TWO AUSTRALIANS I have always liked and admired Clive James. First and foremost he is a very clear thinker and writer. His prose style is unaffected and jargon-free, while never talking down to the reader. I always feel challenged to be a better writer when I read him. I don't always agree with him, but like Christopher Hitchens, he's someone I will always listen to. He also did some witty shirt commercials in New Zealand, which did him no harm in the estimation of most Kiwis. He's that rare breed, the 1960s Australian intellectual who went to London and did NOT become a pompous bore. Robert Hughes has gone down that route, despite being a brilliant art critic. I first came across him in the pages of "Time", and although his criticism came in necessarily small doses, I would always learn something new from him. So I'm inclined to give him something of a free pass since that bizarre incident in Western Australia with the car smash, and the fish, and the court case....well, let's just draw a discreet veil over proceedings, shall we? Germaine Greer, I have to say, is a mad bitch on wheels and if she stayed in London that would be fine with a great many people, myself included. We have just received the first responses from Clive and Germaine, the two leading expatriate Australian public intellectuals, and they couldn't point up the yawning cultural abyss that divides the West more sharply. First, Clive James speaks somewhat sharply to the Left in, of all places, the Guardian. Although on second thoughts, what better platform to address the serried ranks of wishful thinkers and tyrant-coddlers?

But let us allow, for the moment, that the mass outcry against American hegemony is the voice of the true, the eternal and the compassionate left. Allowing that, we can put the best possible construction on its pervasiveness. Not just the majority of the intellectuals, academics and schoolteachers, but most of the face-workers in the media, share the view that international terrorism is to be explained by the vices of the liberal democracies. Or, at any rate, they shared it until a few days ago. It will be interesting, in the shattering light of an explosive event, to see if that easy view continues now to be quite so widespread, and how much room is made for the more awkward view that the true instigation for terrorism might not be the vices of the liberal democracies, but their virtues. The consensus will die hard in Australia, just as it is dying hard here in Britain. On Monday morning, the Independent carried an editorial headed: "Unless there is more justice in the world, Bali will be repeated." Towards the end of the editorial, it was explained that the chief injustice was "the failure of the US to use its influence to secure a fair settlement between Israelis and Palestinians." I count the editor of the Independent as a friend, so the main reason I hesitate to say that he is out to lunch on this issue is that I was out to dinner with him last night. But after hesitating, say it I must, and add a sharper criticism: that his editorial writer sounds like an unreconstructed Australian intellectual, one who can still believe, even after his prepared text was charred in the nightclub, that the militant fundamentalists are students of history.

There's more, and I urge you to read the whole thing. Clive James is one of the modern inheritors of the mantle of George Orwell. Poor George is being fought over by left and right, each arguing that he would be on their side in the current unpleasantness. Of course Mr. Blair himself was only concerned with one thing - the truth. He spoke it, wrote it and lived it as best he could in his times and circumstances. It's a good example. For contrast we turn to the woman who is not much of an example of anything except foolish self-regard. Germaine "The Aborigines love me, I'm one of them" Greer. Apparently it's all our fault. Ho hum.

The vast country lies as defenceless as a turtle on its back, because there is not sufficient wealth in the economy to underwrite the cost of developing any kind of infrastructure along the endless coastline. Though the ragged millions to the north might envy whole mountain ranges made of pure iron ore, they have never tried to annex them. The rest of the world lets Australian uranium mines operate with impunity. The international community did not support the desperate attempts of the aborigines to prevent the release of radioactive poison from the earth. It did not occur to Australians to think that they might be getting away with murder.

More than a hundred of her countrymen lie in charred, unrecogniseable pieces in a morgue while families mad with grief try to identify their loved ones, small children are told "Mummy's gone to heaven" by their weeping father, football teams return home unable to bring their mates back with them...and this is what an allegedly significant Australian thinker comes up with? Could the Left BE any more bankrupt? And if it isn't all Australia's own fault, the rest of the blame must be sheeted home to...you guessed it! The United States, the Left's very own Land of Mordor where the shadows lie...

Eagerness to be involved in the Gulf actually marked Australia as a conspicuous member of what was perceived as the pro-Israel axis. In East Timor, Australians came up against another unpleasant fact. America refused to help them with men or materiel in their peacekeeping commitments, and billions of dollars were drained from the public purse. The ultimate effect was probably what America would have desired. Australia increased spending on defence, enough to have an impact on the Australian economy but not enough to make them important players in the international war-game. Australia then volunteered men and materiel for the American-led operation in Afghanistan, where it is still involved.

Germaine Greer is a bad thinker, an inadequate writer, and clearly possesses a tin ear when it comes to linking words to an occasion. This shrill, facile and conspiracy-obsessed piece would not be out of place in a speech by Green Party Senator Bob Brown. I cannot think of any way to condemn it in worse terms that that. One Australian has already given the Daily Telegraph an earful in its comments section, and I heartily concur with the sentiments expressed.

Sir - The Internet makes things so fast that I have nearly always read your paper before one am GMT. With this in mind, couldn't you have found a more credible Australian than Germaine Greer to comment on the recent atrocities in Indonesia which killed so many innocent Australians? Through it's website, telegraph.co.uk, this newspaper reaches around the globe in seconds and I'm extremely thankful to read your opinion pages online, especially as the writing is often much better than what is dished up here in Australia. Ms Greer, however, has been a laughing stock in Australia after her recent comments about Aborigines and her supposed special status with them. Her recent instructions to Tony Blair have not added to her credibility. Next time the Telegraph writes about Australia, please remember that some of us are actually watching and reading and may have a view that contests that presented by Ms Greer.

I have been reticent about saying too much about Bali so far, as I'm still in some shock over it. It's an almost physical thing; it limits my ability to think clearly. I'm not enraged; I was already angry enough well before. I'm not fearful either - I walk through the streets of a city with a substantial Muslim population, some of whom are bound to be anti-Semites, wearing a kippa. Nor am I paralysed by indecision. Nothing that has occurred in the last few days has altered my fundamental view of this conflict in the slightest. But my mind simply refuses to function. The fog of grief seeps out of the television and coils round my body, gradually freezing my heart and clouding my brain. It will take some time before I can return to whatever it is that passes for normality these days. I beg your indulgence until then.

10/15/2002

Feel that strongly?
Well actually, yes, but the dual posting is actually courtesy of the outstanding 5 nines service that we've all come to know and love from Blogger... UpdateThe blogger servers seem to have decided to grace us with their cooperation, so the double posting is no more...
Embarrassingly Sad State of American Media
Noticed several comments in various venues remarking on a lack of expressions of American sympathy for the victims of the Bali bloodbath, and Australia in general following Saturday's nightmare. Sat down this evening to surf the web and harvest a representative sampling of articles in the American media expressing the shared sense of loss and describing the outpouring of sympathy for Australia and her people. Following the worldwide outpourings of support, sympathy, and condolences for the grievous wounds suffered on 9/11, I expected to have little trouble rounding up some fine examples of reciprocity to highlight. I am deeply troubled to find that outside the blogsphere, which is replete with these expressions of simple human emotion, I was able to find nothing more than repetitive entries of wire service stringer reports of the horror. I sifted editorial pages, letters to the editors sections, all to no avail, and with a growing sense of sadness, embarrassment, and dismay. I looked in small town papers, the chronicles of large cities, aiming for the reaction of the American public, and found no overt evidence that there was one, which I know is not the case. A sampling of the sources I checked:
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Boston Globe
Chicago Sun-Times
Cincinnati Enquirer
Dallas Morning News
Detroit Free Press
Hartford Courant
Indianapolis Star and News
Kansas City Star
Rocky Mountain News
St. Louis Post
Tampa-St. Petersburg Times
Virginian-Pilot
There were letters to the editor about local issues, the pennant races, and about dogs loose in neighborhoods. There were editorials along mostly the same lines. The articles that I did find expressing opinion on the outrage on Saturday mostly used it as a soap box one way or the other to expound on 'this is why we think thus and such about the war on terror'. But nothing, not one single item did I find that reached out to the people of Australia. And for that, I am ashamed for my countrymen, as I have rarely ever been ashamed before. I therefore write you this, with nothing to back it except my own words - do not judge my country harshly for this lack of overt expression. The feelings of sympathy, shared pain, which we know, and heartfelt empathy are here. It may not be adequately reflected in those venues that claim to chronicle our daily lives, but it is present, and extended to you in this hour of grief most assuredly. It is little wonder the world finds us to be a self absorbed, dense, and utterly clueless people. In some respects that may be an accurate assessment, I fear. Please, however, do not judge us harshly based on the idiots that write our newspapers. If they neglect to do so, then I will stand and announce to any that will hear:
Australia, We stand with you!
SF Overrun! Noisy, Scary Airplanes! Invading Horde in White outfits!
My best guess is that the staff of the Onion must have come across the admin password for the Indymedia site, again. Alternately, a practical joker at the Indymedia SF office switched someone's lithium prescription for chewable vitamins. This doesn't even need a send up, its hilarious as is. Fleet Week in SF, the stoned, paranoid perspective. (Link via The Spleenville Journal)
Latest Sniper Victim was FBI...
Associated Press is reporting that the latest DC area sniper victim was an FBI Agent. There is no indication she was targetted for this reason, but my guess is that by doing this, the shooter just significantly decreased his chances of being 'captured alive'. A messy capture, ending in the the lingering, painful, and very 'tragic' death of the guy doing this, denying us the catharsis of a long, drawn out media circus of a trial lasting for a couple of years, resulting in either his acquital on technicalities or something less than execution by pliers and blowtorch would certainly dissapoint a lot of people. I'm not one of them.
UNBELIEVEABLE INSANITY AT A NEW ZEALAND UNIVERSITY With the bodies already starting to rot in the tropical heat, with the ashes of the buildings still warm, and with families all over the world frantic with grief over the possible fate of their loved ones still missing, we find the edifying spectacle of a university academic telling us we're all fools, we deserved it, it can't be Al Qaeda, it's all a CIA plot. And his salary is paid for by the New Zealand taxpayer. For how much longer though, I wonder?

A Massey University terrorism expert is dismissive of claims Sunday's terrorist bomb blast on the Indonesian island Bali was the work of al Qaeda supporters. Jeff Sluka said the attack that killed an estimated 181 people was about "local issues" in Indonesia, a country he said had one of the most oppressive regimes in the world and worst human rights records. The Indonesian government was fighting a number of freedom groups throughout the country. "These movements know that the Indonesian regime is corrupt and illegitimate, and are fighting for independence," he said yesterday. "Some of these groups probably have links with al Qaeda, but they are essentially independent. (Sunday's) bombing is probably an essentially independent action, mostly unrelated to September 11." Dr Sluka dismissed a suggestion the bombings could be the start of terrorist campaigns getting closer to New Zealand shores. "I don't think there is any sort of a domino effect taking place, and the physical closeness of New Zealand to Indonesia is not very significant, as long as New Zealand doesn't become involved in the conflict. New Zealand should not listen to the United States, which was using the bombing to shore up support for its campaign against Iraq, ultimately to favour its own "interests". "The war on terrorism is a political myth propagated by the US and British governments, and we should not be manipulated by fear into believing or supporting them in this."

Yeah. I mean, it's not as if we're in any danger or anything. It's not as if we might be burned alive in the rubble of a nightclub on our holidays or anything. It says on his personal website that he's currently teaching about endangered cultures. Being a left-wing social anthropologist (one of those academic disciplines that doesnt actually exist), I suspect he can use himself as his next case study.

Jeff Sluka has a PhD in cultural anthropology from the University of California at Berkeley, [quelle surprise] and joined Social Anthropology at Massey in 1986. He is a former chairperson of the Association of Social Anthropologists of Aotearoa/New Zealand [Where? What country is that? I can't find it in my atlas] and currently chair on the Ethics Committee. Jeff is a specialist in political anthropology and ethnicity, and has conducted extensive fieldwork in Belfast, Northern Ireland. [People get kneecapped in Belfast every week, unfortunately there's never a Provo gunman around when you really need one] His primary topical interests are social - particularly ethnic - conflict, cultures of terror and resistance, and human rights issues, [yawn] and his theoretical interests include symbolic interactionism, narrative ethnography, post-modernism, reflexivity..... [say again, all after "theoretical interests include...", message obviously garbled in transmission...]

You know, ordinarily I'd Fisk the little bastard within an inch of his life, but I honestly can't be bothered anymore. He's not just wrong, he's evil. I guess that's all I have to say about that.

10/14/2002

Thanks, Mustard
Nothing helps get the blood pressure back below 200 over 150 than a good Arafat joke.
Here's one for the 'ignore it and it will go away' crowd
Den Beste has an extremely thorough analysis of the extended costs of the bloodbath in Bali. He points out that aside from the horrendous toll in lives immediately lost, that this blow will have far reaching effects on Indonesia as a whole, effectively turning the entire country into one of extended victims of Saturday's carnage.
Overall, it will cost them several billion dollars per year in foreign income that they can't afford to do without. As a result of that, and the expectation that western corporations will be pulling out and foreign investment will dry up, the news reports say that the Indonesian stock market collapsed today and the rupiah is dropping like a stone. This seems to have gotten the attention of the government, in a way that months of warnings did not. Sadly, it's too late for that
He also makes a very hard observation, that is advice well heeded by other nations where the Islamofascists are running loose
Indonesia is now an object lesson for anyone else who's been sitting on the fence and trying to pretend that they, too, could sit out this war. The next time we privately send a warning to some nation who doesn't take it seriously, the second warning will ask if they want to become the next Indonesia, with an economy in collapse due to a wholesale foreign disinvestment. And then they'll have to make a decision: who's opinion is more valuable to them, their own Muslim activists, or the foreign tourists and businessmen who bring in the money that keeps their economy going?
For the Indonesians, he can only offer one assesment of their sloth at recognizing the danger in their midst
I don't see anything that the Indonesian government can do now prevent economic catastrophe there. The horses are already out of the barn, and the barn is on fire and filled with Australian corpses.
This should serve as a dual lesson - to those that feel they can be safe by 'not getting involved', and those that empathize or sympathize with the lies that Al Queda uses to rationalize their madness. News flash - if you are anywhere on the planet, you are automatically involved, already counted in, no touchbacks or do overs. And to sympathize or empathize with these murderous psychopaths, or simply discount them and hope they won't bother you or create trouble in your little neighborhood should now be easily recognizable for the pollyannaish drivel that it actually is. There is but one way to stop this insanity. Hunt them down. All those that would strap on a bomb, or shoot up a crowd, or dreams of going out in a blaze of glory to meet their 72 virgins on the other side. Kill them. Everyone gets to play, nobody has the luxury of warming the bench any longer.
Look, Grandma, my own blog! Yes, I was an orphan, and yes, I am going solo. I love the guys here, but they are prolific enough without my help, and besides, it is not the same without Murray. So if anyone is interested at all, I'll be here, as well as in the various comments sections - including this esteemed blog. Don't be strangers!
SASHA SAYS NICE THINGS ABOUT US Top New York Opera blogger Sasha Castel, "La Blogatrice", mentions Silent Running prominently in her coverage of the Bali massacre.

As expected,our Aussie blogger friends have some pungent thoughts on this. Please check out this post in particular from "Tom" at Silent Running, as well as these from Ken Parish, Gareth Parker, and Bernard Slattery. And of course Mr. Blair is all over the story.

Ms Castel comes to mind for a completely unrelated reason. She is descended from one of the Sephardi families that lived in Hebron until the 1929 massacre, and SBS had an Israeli documentary on last night about it. "What I Saw in Hebron" had a pretty marked leftist agenda of course, with a lot of modern-day Arabs trying to convince us that everything was the fault of "outsiders" and "Zionists" and "Ashkenazim" who they accuse of looking down on them. They tried to pretend that they got on well with the Sephardim, but that hardly explains why Sephardim and Ashkenazim alike were bashed, stabbed and raped to death in 1929. Not that the delicate sensibilities of the British administration could be disturbed by anything so minor as a few Yids getting a good kicking.

We stood silently contemplating the scene of slaughter when the door was flung open by a British solder with fixed bayonet. In strolled Mr. Keith-Roach, governor of the Jaffa district, followed by a colonel of the Green Howards battalion of the King's African Rifles. They took a hasty glance around that awful room, and Mr. Roach remarked to his companion, "Shall we have lunch now or drive to Jerusalem first?" In Jerusalem the Government published a refutation of the rumors that the dead Jews of Hebron had been tortured before they had their throats slit. This made me rush back to that city accompanied by two medical men, Dr. Dantziger and Dr. Ticho. I intended to gather up the severed sexual organs and the cut-off women's breasts we had seen lying scattered over the floor and in the beds. But when we came to Hebron a telephone call from Jerusalem had ordered our access barred to the Slonim house. A heavy guard had been placed before the door. Only then did I recall that I had inadvertently told a fellow newspaperman in Jerusalem about our gruesome discoveries.

One could argue that the Europeans are still in deep denial about what Arabs do to Jews, or would like to do if those pesky Jews weren't armed to the teeth and ready for them. Dammned annoying of them, fighting back like that. Dratted nuisance really. No manners, these people. No breeding. Sasha's family was mentioned in the documentary as having been saved by an Arab. The Kastel and Mani families were apparently rescued by Id Zaitoun, who hid them in his cellar until the mob had finished off all the Jews they could find. 19 Arab families saved Jews that day. Mind you, this is out of a total population of thousands, so the proportion of the righteous in a city doesn't seen to have changed much since Abraham bargained with the Allmightly like a Damascus rug merchant over the fate of Sdom.

A few Arabs did try to help the Jews. Nineteen Arab families saved dozens, maybe even hundreds of Jews. Zmira Mani wrote about an Arab named Abu Id Zaitoun who brought his brother and son to rescue her and her family. The Arab family protected the Manis with their swords, hid them in a cellar along with other Jews who they had saved, and found a policeman to escort them safely to the police station at Beit Romano.

Still, if Id Zaitoun had not been a man in a place where there were no men, Sasha Castel would not be alive and blogging in New York today. And we would have been deprived of her words. So here's to Id Zaituon, a rightous man, and to doing the right thing. A good deeed echoes throughout eternity.
Try Again, pal
Abu Bakar Bashir, the leader of Jemaah Islamiyah, is issuing emphatic denials of involvement in the Bali bombing. Might be a little bit more believeable if instead of being totally defensive, he'd issued an unqualified condemnation of this horror, and made a call for any of his followers having any knowledge whatsoever to bring it to the attention of Indonesian authorities. This statement sounds like nothing more than someone that farted and is blaming it on the dog. (Link via NZPundit)

10/13/2002

Hercs
And thank heavens that Clark didn't sell the Hercs when she ditched the Fighters. Godspeed to those carried under its wings. (Link found via NZPundit)
A Family Affair?
DEBKAfile is reporting that Osama'a Brother in Law Mohammed Khalifa is the hand behind the bombing in Bali. DEBKA's stories have sometimes been hit and miss, and this one bears watching, closely. The 'coincidental' nature of the series of events over the past week or so is highlighted in the text of the article
Not only did the brutal massacre bear all the hallmarks of Osama bin Laden’s deadly network, it occurred on the second anniversary of the day that a suicide cell in a speedboat struck the USS Cole in Aden harbor, six days after a copycat strike against the French oil tanker Limburg off the Yemeni coast, four days after a US Marine was killed and another wounded in a shooting attack in Kuwait, and just about a week after the recorded voices of Osama bin Laden and Ayman Zawahri scattered dire threats over the Arab satellite TV station, Al Jazeera.
The article further summarizes thusly
The time spread is too tight to be random; the geographical spread too broad for any but a far-flung network. The ability to strike where least expected is a recurring feature in Osama bin Laden’s blood-spattered record. But the Islamist movement’s affinity with Iraq is the common thread running through the al Qaeda terror offensive erupting this month.
The events do tie together too well to easily be dismissed as coincidental, and though the wails will soon commence that it was provoked by the impending events in the middle east, it should be pointed out that all that was done in Afghanistan was to give the roach motel a bit of a shake. We still have a tremendous task remaining before Al Queda, as an organization, is sufficiently crippled so as not to stage these types of attacks. And the mask should now be completely off - this is not just a group with excessive anti-American sentiments - they are at war with the entire Western culture, on all fronts, and their objective is to set the spark(s) that will kindle an all out clash of cultures. This is their jihad, that they are so eager to draw the entire world into. The article also gives some details on the background of Al Queda associated activities in and around Indonesia, and the Indonesian government's, to date, resistance to acting on information of such activities without solid evidence. About time for a change in that particular government policy, one would think. Australia shouldn't even have to ask politely. (Link noted via LGF)
Another Berkeley Anomaly
I'm starting to think the odds of detecting tachyons in the wild aren't so slim after all. Today, not one, but TWO Anomalous Berkeley associated bloggers have come to our attention. Here's an example of his imminently readable work, a fisking of a piece by Ralph Peters. Not bad. Shhh. Nobody tell him that the bug soldier idea was already taken (some guy named Heinlein, go figure). Let him go...he's on a roll. Link found via M3
He's not alone
Tim Blair posted a letter from a USAF Captain, commenting on the outrage in Bali. He is definately not alone in his sentiments. Fights on.
Just who IS making all that racket?
Here's an interesting piece from FrontPage Magazine, providing background details on some of the more active organizers of the 'Not in Our Name' Campaign. Will there be a NION Little Red Book soon? (Link via Andrew Sullivan)
The Experts are in agreement, sort of
OPEC's Ministers meeting in Abu Dhabi agree, Iraq Strike Would Mean Turmoil in oil prices. At least that's the supposed point peddled by Reuters. Only one problem, their definition of 'turmoil', as foisted upon them by Reuters. The Iranian rep thinks the prices will tank due to oversupply. Others think the price could jump, outside the OPEC target price of $22-$28US per barrel. Some are inclined to boost production to stabilize the price, others (small percentage producers) expressed reluctance to such a plan. The biggest turmoil obvious in the article is that amongst the points of view of the OPEC members themselves. Despite the hoo-hah of overzealous headline writing, and the potential desire by some in OPEC to exploit the situation for greater profits, whatever happens in Iraq will probably only temporarily tumultuous for the energy supply chain, if at all. Not to say that there may not be price spiking, particularly from the more opportunistic in the trading and futures business. Can we call this one a Red Herring? Smells like it.
BALI - AUSTRALIA'S SEPTEMBER 11TH? NZ Pundit makes the point that proportianate to population, the death toll of Australians in the Bali massacre may be similar to the casualties on September 11th. Such an event is going to have a very serious impact on the national psyche. If we Anglospherians are indeed all related (and not neccessarily by blood these days, but by attitudes and values) then it may be you are about to witness Australia getting mighty pissed off. That hasn't happened very often, but my word it's a good idea to stand well clear of the back-blast danger area when it does occur. And I can tell you right here and now that New Zealand will be there on the day, match-fit and ready to go. We may have to sedate our Prime Minister and try to buy back our Air Force which she sold on the gounds that we didn't need any protection. But we will be there. If neccessary, send some recruiting officers across the Tasman and we'll join up directly, while the Labour government launches a three-year Commission of Inquiry into the socio-environmental impact of any attempt to interfere with the internal workings of the Indonesian criminal justice system. When they finally conclude that the risks are too great and that nothing can be done, they can send us the final written report. We'll be taking part in the victory parade.

For our ANZAC brothers, the demand will be immediate, and unconditional. We fight like demons on the sport fields, but we died together on battlefields across Europe and Asia-Minor. Ashamed as we are of what this small but once proud nation has become, these shaky isles, this nation of sheep, this largest of Pacific Islands, this Feminist theocracy, this hot house for every madcap ideological scheme that any 1960's educated, america-hating, second wave gender theorist can devise, we know that there still exists those who look to Australia as a small beacon of hope. We know that the gulf that separates us now is but a passing trend, an experiment conducted by our current elites on their 'unenlightened' citizenry. We know that buried in our national psyche there is still much of the stuff that for generations bound us together. Many ordinary Kiwi's are tonight shedding a tear, owning some sadness, or saying a prayer for those we love, and love to hate, across the water. Tomorrow, those who rule us, will catch up.

BEAUTIFUL LANGUAGE ALERT Now here's something almost as good as "Cheese-eating surrender-monkeys". Cinderella Bloggerfella berates academic obscurantism, and largely blames...

...France and its Sorbonnic plague of jargon-gibbering pseudocrats.

That's some nice speechifyin' there boy!
Here's another one
Looking through the referral logs, noticed This site by one Bernard Slattery hailing from Western Australia. Good stuff on his site, if you skip over the groaner of a wrench joke. Of note, he, like this American contributor to a blog hosted outside the Commonwealth of Australia, apparently has no love loss for the folks at the ABC. Take the walkabout and give him a look see. UPDATE: Well, color me the 'mer'kin rube'. As our lone reader Gareth points out "Slatts is from Western Victoria, from Geelong, not WA". I'm truly, deeply embarrassed to have committed an error as certainly insulting as referring to someone from Alabama as being from Mississippi. (yes, that will earn one an ass whoopin)
NO MORE CALLS, WE HAVE A WINNER A little earlier today, Tim Blair wondered aloud which moron would be the first to come out and say the Bali massacre was the result of Australia's support for the US-led war on terror. From my own media sampling, the winner of that dubious honour is Greens Senator Bob Brown, appearing on SBS World News tonight at 6:30. I think he must have set some sort of world land speed record in inserting his foot so swiftly and deftly into his mouth. Years of practice I guess.

The Greens leader, Senator Bob Brown, says if Australia gets involved in any war with Iraq, there may be more bombings, some in Australia. SENATOR BOB BROWN, AUSTRALIAN GREENS: There is a real concern that I have, and that many Australians have, that if we take part in the invasion of Iraq it will simply heighten the risk of repeated acts of this variety.

Hey, if we surrender, there won't be any fighting! Cool! Bob Brown is, of course, the same man who said the proposed new anti-terrorism legislation...

...would allow authorities to detain people for up to 48 hours without charge and without access to a lawyer. Those detained would not even need to be suspected of terrorism. They may simply be people that ASIO believes have information that would help them with their inquiries. This could include journalists, lawyers, and politicians. The legislation will also allow the Government sweeping new powers to ban political organisations. The laws are an affront to an open and democratic society and Senator Brown will be pushing for their defeat in the Senate.

Of course, being burned to death at a nightclub on your holidays might be construed as hampering one's rights a bit too, but according to Bob we have to put these things in their proper historical context. Having your body shredded on Bali in 2002 is apparently blowback from 1098 and the First Crusade. I predict the Australian Left are going to go completely nuts over this, and their mask is going to slip badly. If their past history is anything to go by, the Vichyist surrender-groupies are going to reveal their true colours in the coming few days, and the results will not be pretty. You just know someone is going to blame John Howard for these deaths. I mean, everything else is apparently his fault, so why not this? As Tim Blair says...

The worst single attack on Australians to date was the Japanese bombing of Darwin on February 19, 1942, which killed at least 243 people. The Bali blasts may claim more. In case anybody hasn't been paying attention for the past year or so, we are at war.

Meanwhile, back in the Auld Sod, NZ Pundit takes careful aim at Our Glorious Leader, who by the way insisted when getting rid of the last of the planes in our Air Force capable of carrying anything that actually goes "bang", that such things were part of an outmoded world view, and that New Zealand exists in "an incredibly benign strategic environment".

Helen Clark. Yes you, the lefty feminist peacenik. You, our Prime Minister, who scrapped the strike wing of the Air Force only a few months prior to September 11, as we lived in an "incredibly benign strategic environment", that "our region poses no security risks" How are you feeling tonight Helen, while fifteen of our countrymen lie wounded in a Balinese hospital, victims of Islamic fundamentalism? Could have been me Helen, I've holidayed in Bali, as have heaps of my friends. How's your benign strategic environment now Helen? Looking peachy? How's the $800 million you invested in Air New Zealand? I know it was only three times as much as was needed to keep the air strike wing going, but national security as the principle purpose of government is sooooo 1950s isn't it. You scorned those who disagreed that we lived in a 'strategically benign environment'. You called them old and tired. You sneered in that sanctimonious fashion you save for those unenlightened souls who haven't grasped your progressive views. Fifteen of our countrymen lie wounded tonight Helen. Many of our friends across the Tasman are dead. Time to take sides.

There's a lovely example of the vast, yawning abyss that divides western society in the two comments he's received on his post so far. First off the blocks is the Left.

Blame Howard. If he werent so keen on being deputy sheriff aussie and kiwi kids wouldn't be the targett.

Followed by someone with a few brian cells and some guts.

These terrorists will die for what they did to all those Westerners and Balinese today. Long live the Anzac sprit and Australia is at war. They will pay for their crimes and Howard's support for the US has always been entirely "correct".

Urinary Olympian declares Jihad!
Following Misha's emperial suggestion, surfed on over to observe Mean Mr. Mustard's new digs. Neat. Shock! Surprise! Someone who actually maybe lives within walking distance of a BART station, and Berkeley student, to boot, says things like this! and links to great sites like this one? Bummer, after this revelation of sentient life by the Bay, discovery of extra-terrestrial intelligence is going to be a yawner...