11/09/2002

GOOGLISMS GALORE! Try it yourself - it's fun, and it means you don't have to think of anything original to write!

bruce hill is relatively unremarkable bruce hill is producer of ra's pacific beat program bruce hill is a new zealander in australia

Unediably true.

bruce hill is a short hunky brunette in white tank

Er...

bruce hill is an unreasonably brave man bruce hill is a big fan of my story about the palestinian youth and the bullet bruce hill is not recovering as fast as i have hoped bruce hill is shocked by the recent turn of events in the middle east bruce hill is shaken by the possibility he might agree with sharon

Not so shocked, and not shaken in the slightest anymore. And I'm fully recovered from...whatever it was,

bruce hill is pondering being a warblogger correspondent in israel bruce hill is involved in a blog war with an ignoramous

Story of my life these days.

bruce hill is in good form today

The worst thing you can ever hear is the phrase "Oh there you two are at last! Do come in, Sir Goeffry's in splendid form tonight!"

bruce hill is on our left end

Now there's something you don't hear as much as you used to.

bruce hill is one of the few chefs who have mastered the art of mixing east and west

Modesty forbids...
ANI NISHBAR... Well you would be after a fierce encounter with a dangerous enemy like this. Looks like his armoured thrusts were exceptionally powerful, but she was able to get on top of the situation. Link via Israeli Guy. Not for the easily offended! You have been warned. The guardians of Israel neither slumber nor sleep, but a quickie can distract them momentarily. Now this is why the IDF has girl soldiers! Kinda reminds a chap what he's fighting for. Uh, let's try not to do this on duty though, especially if you're manning the new anti-missile-missile radar, okay? "We just lost Tel Aviv and Haifa! What the hell happened Tali? Hey Tali, why is your shirt hanging out?" Hopes of promotion would be slim at best...
NEW YORK STATE OF MIND Well, it looks as if I'll be touching down in New York, the place where Al Qaeda is trying to play Pin the Suitcase Nuke on the Jews, at the exact hour when Saddam Hussein's time runs out. My timing is impeccable, it runs in the family. Hills, Campbells and McMurrays have shucked off their uniforms, thrown away their weapons and fled in terror from some of the world's most significant battles. I come from a long line of cowards and deserters - that's largely why it's a long line. My most illustrious ancestor would probably be Lord George Murray, the only man with a workable plan at the Battle of Cullodden. It consisted of a variant of the ancient family plan for surviving armed conflict - Run Like Buggery, Hide In The Heather, and Hope For The Best. That Italian-Polish poison-dwarf ponce Bonnie Prince Shit-For-Brains didn't listen, and so everyone spent the afternoon getting shot to shit at long range by the Duke of Cumberland's artillery, before launching a suicidal Highland Charge straight at disciplined infantry in massed ranks. Well...everyone except my ancestors, who claim to have been on the right flank, but who were later discovered hiding under a bed in a brothel in Aberdeen. You could ask the descendants of those who actually fought what they think of this behaviour, but there really aren't terribly many of them. Most of the survivors were methodically bayoneted after the battle. Likewise, one side of my family are the Campbells who committed the Massacre at Glencoe, and another includes the General Hill at Fort William who actually gave the order. He insisted he was just doing what he was told, but I seem to recall we hanged people at Nuremburg who offered that excuse. Still, an entire clan trapped in a glacial valley, only two exits, one of them blocked by troops, unsuspecting, dead of night, pre-planned operation....you'd think they'd get a lot more than 37 people. Unless they realised this was a mission that wouldn't see any of them get promoted, and they weren't trying very hard.I think a lot of MacDonalds are alive today because some of my ancestors deliberately let their ancestors piss off over Rannoch Moor into the snow. If New York goes up in an atomic fireball while I'm there, I will be pissed off, but not entirely surprised. For some reason, my family tends to be present at these historical disasters. My Great-Great-something Grandfather was in the Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders when the Sepoy Rebellion broke out, and his regiment was told they'd be marking from Calcutta to relive Lucknow or Cawnpore or something. Deciding, correctly, that he hadnae joined the Army tae get shot at thank ye, he swam out into the Hooghly River late at night and stowed away aboard a ship he thought was boond for hame. Unfortunately another of our familiy traits, along with an enhanced sense of self-preservation, is an almost total inability to navigate at night. He'd climbed aboard a wool clipper headed for Melbourne by mistake, and washed up in Ballarat, digging (entirely unsuccessfully) for gold. And we've been stuck for the price of a return fare ever since. By converting to Judaism just when a significant percentage of the Arab-Muslim world has apparently decided this genocide thing sounds just peachy, I'm simply maintaining family tradition. We only escape from historical blunders because we have the unfortunate knack of being there when they occur. Hello New York!
OK, WHO'S THE WISENHEIMER... ...who signed me up for SingleMuslim? Very funny, whoever you are. Apart from anything else (like this whole war thing, you may have noticed, it was in most of the big papers, and the Canadian Jewish News), the slight risk that my date might explode (literally) if I suggest we go dutch, and the possibility that when our kids fought later in life, it might result in Security Council resolutions rather than being grounded for a week, don't you know the Islamic rules on this sort of thing? Muslim men are permitted to marry non-Muslim women, but Muslim women are not permitted to marry non-Muslim men. The (somewhat sexist) assumption behind this is that the man rules the household, and his religion is what the children will be raised in, but a woman has no say in such matters. Ergo - non-Muslim women can date Muslim men, but not the other way round. SingleMuslim provides an interesting insight into the world of Muslim dating. It's your standard dating site in most respects, but with some fascinating side issues, such as Why Observe Hijab? And of course Polygamy -- Is it allowed? Answer - of course, but not without caveats and restrictions.

Allah (SWT) forbids us from stealing from orphans and widows. This includes marrying a widow simply for her money.

Fair enough. Although that also comes under the heading of simple morality as well as not stealing. I'm Jewish, so I completely understand the necessity of having a legal framework for morality. Preaching moral virtue is all very well, but it's handy to have a body of enforceable case law to draw on so people aren't just being exhorted to "do the right thing". but to also "obey the law".

A man should not marry more than four wives.

Q: What is the maximum penalty for bigamy? A: Two mothers-in-law. [Rim-shot] Ye Gods! Imagine it - four mothers-in-law! Four Muslim mothers-in-law! And you just know they'd all come to stay with their daughters at the same time, criticise the cleanliness of the house, demand that you get a better job, fight over who gets the bathroom first....what a nightmare.

There was a knock at the door, I new it was the mother in law because all the mice were throwing themselves on the traps. I saw six men kicking and punching the mother inlaw, My neighbour said 'Are you going to help' I said no six Should be enough!!!!! I saw the mother inlaw Walking down the path so i jumped from behind the garage and shouted BOO! She said you nearly frightened me to death, so i shouted BOO! BOO! BOO! My mother inlaw said 'one day i will dance on your grave' i said i hope you do, i will be buried at sea.

That was a brief interlude brought to you by Les Dawson. What passes for normal transmission will now be resumed.

It is Allah’s will that a man marry widows who have children if he can support them – even if he is already married.

Well this sounds like the loophole to use in order to ban polygamy completely. Raising a child until the age of 18 has been calculated here in Australia to costs a total of $450,000! Wives cost a lot by themselves, but adding children to the mix - my god, you'd have to be Adnan Kashoggi to be able to afford more than one or two wives!

All of a man's wives must be treated equally. If a man cannot treat all of his wives the same, he may only marry one.

That's it! Polygamy is effectively banned by this clause. Treat wives equally? More than one woman? The same? Without jealously, backbiting or internal politics? That is simply not possible! I don't know about the rest of you guys, but I find one woman to be complex enough, let alone two to four of them. I just don't believe equal treatment is possible. Maybe Dr Phil could give it a try, but I suspect his first wife would get a shotgun and rearrange the wallpaper in an interesting shade of Hint Of Brain. She looks the type. Texas gal, gives the impression of have several insanely protective State Trooper brothers.

We also have to remember that the Prophet (SAWS) lived at a time when the male population was very low and there were many widows and orphaned children. Polygamy provided a way to create family units to protect these women and children and kept the Muslim society going.

Yes, that would have something to do with the constant bloodshed caused by the expansion of Islam, in which entire tribes were wiped out, including the entire Jewish population of Arabia, due to their refusal to treat Muhammad as a Prophet. Thanks for reminding us.

Does this mean that marrying more than one wife is Haram in today’s society? Of course not. Although there are not a tremendous number of widows with orphaned children, there are some. Inspection of census reports from various countries reveals that many countries’ populations include more women than men. For example, there are: Australia: 0.99 male(s)/female Canada: 0.98 male(s)/female United Kingdom: 0.97 male(s)/female United States 0.98 male(s)/female

Uh oh. Did you just see what I just saw? Is this an encouragement to Muslim men to go to Anglosphere countries and increase the Dar El Islam via marriage? I think it is. Interesting.

Polygamy is illegal in most Western societies, including the United States and Canada. Anti-polygamy laws are of utmost importance to a married Muslim man contemplating a second marriage. According to the civil law, only the first marriage is considered valid. The result is that the addition wife (or wives) is denied all legal rights as a wife while the first wife retains all rights of a wife. This means that civil law in the United States will deny additional wives the automatic right to inherit and the possibility of alimony in cases of divorce.

Or you could, I suppose, and this is just a suggestion and not in any way meant to diss your wonderful religion of peace, and I hope you take it in the spirit of cooperation and mutual respect in which it is offered; you might perhaps consider NOT BREAKING THE FUCKING LAW IN THE FIRST PLACE! Just my $0.02.

The other problem with polygamy in the United States involves immigration. The US Immigration and Naturalization service will not grant a Permanent Residence Card (Green Card) or Citizenship to anyone who lacks "good moral character." According to the INS, a person lacks "good moral character" if he or she: [ ... ] ...is practicing or has practiced polygamy [ .. ] Thus, Brothers and Sisters involved in polygamous relationships are barred from obtaining US residency or citizenship.

The bestial Ashcroft and his elite Dissent Crushing Brigades strike again at religious pluralism. With these vicious, racist laws, it appears as if certain powerful forces at the heart of the American political establishment actually don't want polygamy practiced in the United States. It's as if it was AGAINST THE LAW or something! When will the persecution stop? When?

11/08/2002

Phasers manned and ready
This is cool. And work continues to make it portable, on something along the lines of a Humvee platform. Lets see. Communicator, check (voice activated cell phones). Impulse engine, working on it (A prof at ?Cal Tech Pasedena? has developed a 'working demo' - not much more thrust than a light bulb, but scalable). Transporter, working on it (or at least a bunch of Aussies say they are). Anti-matter, still a work in progress. Tricorder, merge the phones, handhelds, and tablets with some sensor gizmos, and.......Hmm. All this cool stuff, something missing. Got it! Hey, Murray, can you whip me up a Batlef?

11/07/2002

Anybody listening to what they want?
Seems like the citizens of Gibralter want to remain a British Colony. Period. But despite an overwhelming rejection of giving the Spaniards any say whatsoever in what goes on with them and theirs, London appears to be pressing ahead with some sort of arrangement with Spain. Whats the deal here? Aside from 'Spanish Pride' arguments, is there any pressing reason to even be talking about letting the Spanish have anything to say about Gibralter at this point? What's next? France wants a say so in Monaco? The Italians demand to start running the Vatican? Spain needs to get over it, and the Brits need to think of something more constructive to focus their attentions on. That the Spaniards would disregard the wishes of the inhabitants isn't really shocking, considering this is an 'orgulloso' thing. Well, screw that. But, the Brits ignoring an overwhelming 'no' vote by the people involved...disturbing. Will London never learn? The 'nobody asked for your bloody opinion' position is never a good start. Maybe Gibraltarians need to give them both the finger. Tossing a bunch of boxes of tea into the Med while wearing outrageous costumes would probably be a great symbolic first step. Worked somewhere else, or so I've read, someplace or another. UPDATE: Its official. 99% of Gibraltarians agree - Piss off, Spanish twits!
MURRAY FINALLY LOSES IT And frankly I can't blame him. This afternoon I received the following e-mail from my brother in New Zealand:

A roading project to imporove SH1 at Mere Mere south of Auckland has come to halt because local Maori say there is a taniwha in the way. Bruce, explain what a taniwha is, I have no words.

We already have one tentative enquiry about a taniwha from Wind Rider, who thinks it might be some sort of fish.

btw, what's a taniwha? Is that anything like a 'snail darter'? (a small fish less than an inch long that aborted a dam project in Alabama once, because ones in the river to be dammed appeared to be slightly different and unique as compared to all the other snail darters in every other body of water in the region)

[Sigh] If only it were something that sensible Brad. No, I'm afraid a taniwha is a mythical creature that eats people. It's a sort of Polynesian troll or goblin. There is no such thing, and never has been, but that isn't stopping a few radicals from flexing their brown skin and subduing whitey with a flick of their opressed victim wrists. God save me, now I've seen it all...

A meeting between iwi and Transit to discuss concerns over the claimed presence of a taniwha near major roadworks is likely this week. North Waikato hapu Ngati Naho on Thursday warned Transit that work on the Waikato Expressway was nearing the lair of a local taniwha.

A meeting between the Bechtel Corporation and local Norwegian folk-dancing groups to discuss concerns over the claimed presence of a mountain troll in the vicinity of major roadworks near Trondheim is likely this week. Lars Gottmansson, local folklorist, has warned that the US multinational corporation's road-building has angered the troll, which will now almost certainly lie in wait under bridges in the region and gobble up naughty children unless they answer its riddles correctly. Meanwhile, British Rail has been unable to complete the proposed rail link between Belfast and Coleraine due to a claimed "infestation of Leprechauns". Martin McGuinniss, of Sinn Feinn, says unless the British government withdraws it's troops from Northern Ireland, Finn MacCumhaill has indicated that he and the rest of the Fianna are likely to return from Tir Nan Og to disrupt the next World Bank conference in Cork.

Ngati Naho chairman and kaumatua Sonny Wara told the Waikato Times a majority of the hapu had concerns about the road being built near the taniwha, but especially its elders: "It's a feared thing in Maoridom." Mr Wara named the taniwha as Karutahi. Karutahi (One Eye) is one of three taniwha associated with the area.

It is not recorded whether Mr Wara was able to keep a straight face while saying this to the reporter. A betting pool at the local Marae on just how much bullcrap whitey will swallow about Maoridom is now up to a thousand dollars, and contributions are slowing as the local iwi members now appear reluctant to bet on Pakeha ever calling their series of increasingly ridiculous bluffs. Local identity and frequent radio talkback show caller Hone Carter says he can't believe hiw far the joke has gone without anyone twigging. "When we demanded rights to the entire broadcasting spectrum under the Treaty of Waitangi, I really thought they'd finally start laughing. But they just caved in. And the demand for our traditional fishing rights to the Orange Roughy fishing resource on the Chatham Rise, hundres of miles in the open ocean - shit, they didn't even blink! I swear, these guys have no breaking point!"

Transit regional projects manager Chris Allen said a meeting was planned with Ngati Naho representatives to discuss the taniwha, hopefully this week.

How about saying something like "Nice try boys, but the freak show is over. Try it on the gullible American tourists if you like, but don't sell crazy here. We're all stocked up".

Mr Allen said work stoppages because of the discovery of koiwi (human bones) or other reasons of spiritual significance to Maori were not uncommon. Work further south on the new road near Rangiriri was stopped about six months ago after bones were uncovered. Those turned out to be animal remains.

Really? WHAT a surprise....

11/06/2002

MICHAEL STEAD FROM NEW ZEALAND WRITES... ...and he sounds none to happy about this blog. But he raises the real issues of peace, war, co-existence and What Is To Be Done, which is entirely fair enough.

Hi Tom, I’ve read (what I assume is) your page – complete with self-professed ultra-right views...

Hold it right there Michael, I have to give you a foul there. I don't believe I've ever described my views as ultra-right wing. My personal political position for most of my adult life was Moderate-to-Left. I certainly despise extremists of any sort, preferring to apply the only real test to any ideology - does it work? If it doesn't, then it's useless. In 1935, at the height of the Depression, I would have voted for Mickey Joseph Savage and the Labour Party without batting an eyelid. Socialism was what was required under those circumstances. It was neccessary. So it was worthwhile supporting it. But times change, the world changes, and there are always fresh challenges, which we need to respond to. In fact, lets take the example of the first Labour government as a case in point. Many in the Labour cabinet when WWII was declared had been conscientious objectors during WWI, but it was those very same men who had refused to fight that war, who instituted conscription for the new one, and set up labour camps for anyone who followed their earlier example and refused to fight. On one level you could accuse them of hypocrisy. But they argued that that was then and this is now, and things are different. This isn't an imperialist war which the working class has no interest in, this is a war of survival. Should they have sacrificed the national interest simply to appear consistent? Of course not. I hope the same is true of me. My new-found "conservatism" is based entirely on the situation we now find ourselves in - subjected to massive terrorist attacks by a savage and inhuman enemy which is driven by a genocidal religious ideology and utterly immune to negotiations. In political terms I find myself sympathetic to those forces which will actively work to enhance the West's ability to survive. Right now that's US President George Bush, the Republican Party, Tony Blair, and Israel. I find myself repelled by forces which see the West as responsible for terrorism, forces which will not seriously address the root causes of the problem, which see the world through their own cultural perspective and willfully project their own preconceptions onto the enemy. Broadly speaking, that would be the Left, although there are exceptions. Tony Blair of course, Christopher Hitchens, and Salman Rushdie are examples. The Right also has some despicable people, Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson of course, Pat Buchanan, the mad West Bank settlers, American conservative isolationists and the anti-semitic forces even further to the right. In no way am I connected with them. And what sort of "ultra-right-wing" person believes in gun control, abortion as a womans right to choose, and more public spending on education? I think you've got the wrong end of the stick Michael.

...and I’d like to ask some questions, seeing as how I’m still in the dark about how 1,000lb bombs will stop some nutter blowing up a minivan of C4 at my next holiday spot...

It won't Mike, that's the whole point. In order to constitute a threat, terrorists need to posess two things - the desire to do us harm, and the means. In the modern world, it is becoming relatively easy for the means of mass destruction to be acquired. Explosives, secure communications, even nuclear, chemical and biological weapons are now within the reach of what Tom Friedman calls "super-empowered individuals". The resources once only weilded by states are now at the disposal of individuals and groups who often have severe grudges, no electorate to keep them in check, and no territory they need to protect. So the means to attack us will always be there. Which brings us to the desire.

how will dropping a 1,000lb bomb on someone’s family or countrymen stop them wanting to blow up a minivan of C4 at my next holiday spot? I.e. Has the “War on Terror” in Afghanistan done a damn thing, apart from replace one oppressive misogynistic regime with a bunch of even more crazy religious drug lords?

Okay, you're right to pinpoint the problem as being someone wanting to blow you up. Take that away, and there's no problem, regardless of how many nukes someone has. If they aren't going to use them, they're not that much of a threat are they? On that much. both the Right and the Left are actually united. This war isn't about killing people in mass quantities, it's about getting them to change their ideas. Only then will we be safe. Of course, it does become harder for a terrorist to kill you if we've already dropped a 1,000lb bomb on his head, scattering him over a wide area and making him kinda dead. If we can do that, don't you think we should? But this is the point at which the disagreement sets in. Your side, lets call it the Left for want of a better term, feels that the best way to get the enemy to like us is to do....well I'm not exactly sure what really. Sign the Kyoto Protocol on greenhouse gas emissions? Increase the proportion of GDP devoted to overseas aid to 5%? Pass a few more anti-Israel resolutions at the UN? What? Certainly what I AM hearing from the Left is what we ought NOT to do, and that consists largely of doing anything at all to defend ourselves. Which, oddly enough, is pretty much what the enemy wants us to do as well. As George Orwell would say, that makes the Left objectively pro-terrorist. I think this is a clash of world views. The Left sees the world largely through it's own rather narrow western cultural perspective, while the Right seems more likely to see the world for what it is - a Hobbesian struggle. I keep hearing anti-war speeches which talk about the war as somehow being waged entirely against innocent civillians. I hear constant references (you make them yourself Michael) to houses being bombed, as if war consisted entirely of slaughtering innocents families in residential suburbs. In fact this war so far has been fought with greater concern for civillian casualties than any other in history. The US military has displayed exemplary restraint, although of course there will be errors and confusion. It's a war, these things happen. Do you know how many French civillians died during D-Day? Quite a few. Did that mean the liberation of Europe should have been aborted? Of course not. And as a citizen of an Allied country Michael, you realise your country was part of a coalition that had no compunction whatsoever in firebombing Hamburg, Leipzig, Dresden, Tokyo and Yokahama, and dropping atomic weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Is that what happened in Afghanistan? Of course not, and I think you know that perfectly well. And as for replacing one bad regime with another, wasn't it the Left that was pissing and moaning for weeks beforehand about "the brutal Afghan winter" and how the "mighty Pushtun warrior, slayer of empires" would ambush our troops in the snow-filled mountain passes, and how the "Arab street" would rise up from Morocco to Indonesia, and why if a single bomb fell during Ramadan, it would instantly unite the entire Islamic world in a global Jihad? What did happen to all those "facts"? Here's one fact. The United States and its allies (including our country I would point out Michael) successfully fought a campaign which brough regime change to a country that had been ruled by fear and repression, at pretty minimal cost, enabling women to walk freely in the streets again, girls to attend school, children to fly kites, and music to be heard in the streets. It also robbed our main enemy organisation of a secure base from which to attack us. Your problem with this is what, exactly?

Unless we ban the sale of diesel, fertilizer, minivans and clocks, there will always be the ingredients for carbombs. I fail to see how anything the US or its ‘coalition (of terror?)‘ has done in the last year makes it any less likely that some nutter will decide to spend the $2000 needed to make said carbomb up & use it. (Timothy McVeigh was a non-Arabic US citizen. How will bombing anything stop the likes of him?)

Arabic is the language Michael, the ethnicity is Arab. As I've just said, the means to commit terror will always be there - they key is to remove the desire. What has happened so far in the war on terror (note, I don't use sneer quotes for the term) is that Al Qaeda and the Taliban have been routed from power in a country which had been a safe haven. They are now scattered, and probably leaderless, although it's very likely they are regrouping as we speak. This is a useful first step, and makes it more difficult, although not impossible, for Al Qaeda to operate. Insisting on 100% prevention or nothing is a good way to ensure that the enemy will be able to mount attacks against us with no fear of reprisal. Not a good policy Michael. Try to understand the enemy's point of view. The Wahhabis, Islamists, Islamic Fundamentalists, Islamofascists, call them what you will, are not motivated by anything you can relate to. They don't care about fossil-fuel depletion, the ozone layer, Third World debt or World Bank lending policies. They're not interested in you boosting foriegn aid, voting Green, or visualising world peace. They want you do do one of two things. 1) Convert to Islam, or 2) Die. Here's what they want Michael, and they're not interested in compromise solutions, meeting anyone halfway, or discussing our differences in a calm, rational manner. Thisn is a package deal, take it or....well, just take it. They are waging Jihad, the expansion by force of the Dar el-Islam, the House of Islam; and the diminution of the Dar el-Harb, the House of war, controlled by the kuffar. This is the divinely expressed will of Allah, as revealed in the Holy Quran, first to the Prophet Muhummad by the Archangel Gabriel, and then to the Muslim ummah, and through them to the whole world. All humanity must make submission to Allah, and bow to Mecca and the holy Ka'aba. Unbelief must disappear. Any who cling to unbelief after having heard the message of Islam are worthy of death, for they defy the will of Allah. That's it. I'm not making this up or exaggerating it in any way. So how can the West combat this attitude? How can we remove the desire of people like this to destroy us? It won't be easy, and it won't be quick. But I can tell you right now that attempting to "negotiate" will simply encourage them. Asking ourselves if we are to blame will make them believe we are weakening. And they'd be right. Part of the fight lies in the West looking inside itself and realising that we are in fact a great civilisation with a perfect right to exist and proclaim our values. Our origins lie in the religious vision of Israel, the political thought of Greece, the administrative genius of Rome, the flame of learning that the monks of Ireland kept flickering through the Dark Ages, the human values rediscovered by the Italian Renaissance, the thousand year struggle for freedom waged between the English Commons and the monarchy, the spirit of sceptical inquiry of the Enlightenment, the triumph of the cause of freedom in the great 20th century struggles with Fascism and Communism...all of this is part of who and what we are. Our values are incresingly seen as universal values, aspired to by everyone. Free speech, democracy, neutral rule of law, free markets. All are the result of many strands of history, from many cultures, combining to create a culture which has swept the globe. Not because the West seeks to conquer the world militarily - we already did that, and withdrew when we became convinced it was no longer tenable to pretend that it was for the natives own good. Western culture is so universal because it is attractive. And that is our undoing, because the enemy knows they cannot compete or coexist with us. Their religious world view is already doomed, and I think deep down they know that. From their point of view, the growth of a modernist Islam, at peace with its past and its future, with equal rights for women and coexisting with a secular state in which non-Muslims have equal rights, is the worst thing that could happen. It is literally unthinkable. Allah has guaranteed victory to the Muslims, so how can it be that Muslims are deserting Allah by twisting the true faith, allowing girls to go to school and get jobs, obeying their own consciences rather than a rightly-guided Caliph (and that's another thing that ticks them off, no Caliph). Michael, try to think like them. These are desperate men, who see their entire world starting to collapse, and all they can do to prevent it is lash out as hard as they can at the percieved enemy. They cannot just sit there and allow evil (as they see it) to triumph over God. They MUST attack with all their strength, and Allah MUST grant them victory over the kuffar. In a sense, all we have to do is wait them out. Our cultural victory is, I believe, already assured. The Arab world is, it has to be faced squarely, moribund. It reached its apogee around the 12th century, but it's been sinking into apathy, obscurantism and sour rejection of the non-Muslim world ever since. It contains within itself the seeds of potential greatness, and it may be that they can germinate once again, as they did once before. But I'm convinced that this will only happen once they have made their final peace with Western ideas. The question is, how long will it take for this acceptance to take place, and how bad will terrorism get in the meantime? I personally think it could take as little as 200 years, but I was always a optimist. And the terrorism will get worse. I fear entire cities will go up in mushroom clouds before this is over. Our military options are essentially part of a holding pattern. The invasion of Iraq and the toppling of Saddam Hussein will be a signal that nowhere is safe for our enemies, and not even the strongest leader can protect them. It will get rid of a particularly vicious tyrant, and replace him with something infinitely better, It certaibly couldn't possibily be any worse. And an Iraq that's even semi-democratic will be an example of what's possible to the youth of the Muslim world. Iran's reigime of mullahs is already tottering and could collapse under pressure from it's pro-Western youth at any time. Other dictatorships in the region such as Syria, Egypt and Saudi Arabia would be hard-presed to keep their own people ignorant of the benefits of the western system if it can be seen to be successful in Iraq. Freedom can spread. The Revolution will be televised. This war, like all wars of the modern era, is essentially one of ideas. Weapons systems are all very well, and can help us keep the enemy at bay to a certain extent (and why should we make it easy for them?), but in the end, it's the side that can inspire the most people that will win. Michael, we beat the Nazis by shooting them. We beat the Communists by containing them and waiting for them to drop dead of natural causes. Do you seriously think that a bunch of medieval religious lunatics are going to destroy us, no matter how many weapons they have?

I have a Pakistani workmate. The British are remembered by him, his family and countrymen, not for the brutal oppression, not for slavery, colonialism or for anything else bad they did, but for the fact that they built schools & hospitals. The cost of feeding, housing, clothing, medicating and educating every person in the 3rd world has been estimated at about 1/100 of the annual US defence budget (or some fraction similarly tiny). Why not give that a try, and see if people will be grateful for their child/wife/mother not dying in a ditch for lack of clean water while $100 Million warplanes drop $25,000 LGB’s on them? I know if my kid had just been blown apart as a result of a military ‘accident’ causing ‘collateral damage’ I’d be on the first plane over, looking for an easy target...

We're already doing that Michael! Western aid to the Third World is massive, and has been for decades now. It hasn't done a lot of good because governmental systems are inefficient, corrupt and useless by and large. Only when countries have followed a more western model are they more successful. Latin America has by and large pulled itself up by its bootstraps and done just that. What was once wall-to-wall Generals-with-Sunglasses teritory is now largely democratic. Heck, the other day I saw a socialist elected President of Brasil and the army didn't drop by his house and shoot him! It's not our money they need, it's our political and economic systems and the beliefs and values that underly them. And we're not going to be dropping laser-guided glide bombs on starving peasants for the love of Pete! We'll be dropping them on terrorists, when we can find them. Imperial Probe Droids like the one that took out the Al Qaeda boss in Yemen the other day are going to help make life very difficult for the Jihadis. When people in Muslim countries see that the West is in fact good for them, when they see that Afghanistan and Iraq are infinitely better off after having been liberated, when they see that the West has no designs on their territory, when they see that Muslims in the West live perfectly free and happy lives and are not being rounded up and herded into camps, in short, when they see that our way of life will make them richer, happier and above all freer, then they will choose it rather than the path of Jihad. And if we're sending Jihadis to Paradise with Hellfire missiles launched from remotely-piloted drones, doesn't that make it a slightly less attractive career option?

Peace just might be worth a try. Won’t make for good TV, but god knows the current plan isn’t working.

Yes Michael, I do believe in peace. Peace through a combination of a superior culture AND superior firepower. I certainly don't believe it discourages terrorists if we just bend over and say "I deserved that, please sir, may I have another?" And who says it's not working?

I’m actually interested in responses to these questions, as every time I hear people talking about ‘bombing everyone back to the stoneage’ I’ve asked them the same 3 things, but never heard a reasoned, rational answer.

Enough of them are already living in the intellectual stone age. The trick is to get their attention and help them change their minds. The occasional loud bang is in fact quite a help in this regard. The carrot is fine Michael, but it works a lot better with a stick as well. I think it was the eminent philosopher Al Capone who once said "You get a lot further with a kind word and a gun, than with just a kind word".

11/05/2002

The term is - Schwak
Find 'em, sort 'em, shoot 'em...and then take a trip to BK. Sweet.

11/04/2002

The shopping mall in Kfar-Saba, Israel: 2 dead, 19 injured, 1 seriously. Among the other injured are 2 babies.
IT'S TIME FOR A SONG FROM 1942 The shore patrol keep a watchful eye at the door as the couples stream in and out of the Brisbane USO. The smoky atmosphere is barely moved by the slow-moving roof fans, as the girls in their dresses made from rationed material slow-dance with the US soldiers, sailors and airmen. A woman in the latest Andrews Sisters hairstyle steps up to the microphone, as the bandsmen in their dress uniforms adjust their instruments for the next number. The Japs are streaming over the Owen Stanley Range, Moresby is threatened, and there's talk at Mac's HQ about a possible retreat to the "Brisbane line" if Tojo keeps coming. The local boys are away in the baking Western Desert and the steaming Kokoda jungle, the world is aflame, and the youngsters who don't know if they'll live or die want to hear a song and have a dance. A spotlight falls on the singer, and the band strikes up the tune.

The Aussies and the Yanks are here Many hearts are now in clover, days of worry now are over, You can worry 'bout your taxes, but don't worry 'bout the Axis. All the world is gonna see, the greatest remedy. We're all together now, as we never were before. The Aussies and the Yanks, sure, we're gonna win the war. And now throughout the ranks, everyone can give their thanks. 'Cause the Aussies and the Yanks are here. We're all together now, and we'll soon be on the go. And marching side by side from Berlin to Tokyo. We'll never give an inch, and it's gonna be a cinch, 'Cause the Aussies and the Yanks are here. We'll stand friend to friend, and we'll fight to the end, No matter where we'll be. We'll always give and take and we will never break, Until the world is free. And we will show the world something they have never seen. We're gonna fight again, like they did in '17. They'll soon the blowing taps over the Nazis and the Japs, 'Cause the Aussies and the Yanks are here!

The couples drift off into the tropic night, the future unknown, but the here-and-now a certainty of youth, purpose and urgency. Let the future come, it could be faced squarely. Together.
KEITH LOCKE - MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT AND FREELANCE DELUSIONALIST Even in the United States I don't think there's a politician that comes close to New Zealand Green Party foriegn affairs spokesman Keith Locke for sheer political fantasy. He appears to live in a dream world of his own devising, consisting of peaceful, innocent, misunderstood Muslims and evil, blood-crazed Americans whipped into a kill-frenzy by the satanic Bush acting on orders from sinister oil industry figures. Okay, you know how there's this whole war thing that's going on? WRONG! What are you talking about? Terrorism? Against westerners in a public place? Are you Islamophobic or something? Bali? Where's that? Twin Towers? The Yanks were asking for it, and anyway there's no proof. Did you hear me? No proof of ANYTHING! La la la, I'm sticking my fingers in my ears now, I can't hear you...la la la la. You thought Cynthia McKinney was bad, but trust me, she looks like a rock-ribbed Yankee Republican next to Our Keith. Murray has sent us his latest contribution to the sum total of human wisdom. First, here comes the wind-up and the pitch....

Terrorism jitters have hit the Wellington street carnival planned for the release of the second Lord of the Rings movie - The Two Towers. The December 18 event has been radically re-jigged due to fears emanating from the United States. Organiser Mark Blumsky says there is a nervousness about the fact some big stars would be attending large public parties after dark. So instead the public celebrations will now take place during the day, before the screening of the movie.

The batter swings at it hard.....

But Green MP Keith Locke said cancelling the night-time festival in is an hysterical over-reaction to the threat of terrorism. "This terrorist scenario is as fanciful as anything Professor Tolkien came up with," said Mr Locke. "There's more chance of Peter Jackson being kidnapped by orcs than of a Wellington street party being attacked by a terrorist hit-squad. "Since September 11 the incidences of terrorism have been essentially domestic - as we saw in Moscow recently, or in Bali, where all the suspects appear to be local Indonesians. It is inane to think there is anything like a similar domestic terrorist threat here. The possibility is so remote that we would be silly to restrict our traditional way of life. "If the aim of terrorism is to intimidate people, then to cancel a major social event in New Zealand would be to give in to intimidation. The more we surrender to fears of terrorism, the more we acknowledge the power of terrorism and - in a sense - hand a victory to the perpetrators of such awful deeds that they could never otherwise achieve."

Good god, the batter's managed to miss the ball entirely and smack himself upside the head! He's fallen to the ground, writhing in pain. Ow, that's gotta hurt.... Now stepping up to the plate, heeeeeere's MURRAY! So Keith what you're saying is we should close our eyes and say I don't believe in terrorism and we'll be fine. Fuckwit, asshole dickhead, shitforbrains, moron, dipshit, criminally stupid... nope the English language is inadequate for describing you, we'll have to come up with a new name for skid marks like you. Preferably posthumously. Latte slurping denial monkey is a posibility. [crack!] It's outa here! The crowd are going wild! Reading Keith Locke's thoughts (if that's not an overstatement), I just had a "Princess Bride" flashback.... Buttercup: Westley, what about the R.O.U.S.'s? Westley: Rodents Of Unusual Size? I don't think they exist. [Immediately, an R.O.U.S. attacks him] For the record, Australia is so blase about the ridiculous idea that terrorists might attack us that the government has stationed a frigate at the docks just a few blocks from where I am, to provide anti-air cover for the Melbourne Cup, the huge race meeting that's on tomorrow. Obviously SOME people don't share Keith Locke's view of the world. I guess we must all be Fascists...

11/03/2002

DATELESS IN NEW YORK - A DESPERATE PLEA! Kissing Jessica Stein is definitely my pick for best romantic comedy of the year. It's a delightful little romp set in Jewish New York, featuring winsome performances by absolutely everyone involved, especially the two women who star in it, Jennifer Westfeldt and Heather Juergensen; who also wrote it and self-financed it by selling shares. Go see it, you'll love it. I'll actually be in New York for a couple of weeks, starting on Friday the 15th, taking in Thanksgiving and Chanukah, so if any of our readers of the feminine persuasion want to have a Crocodile Dundee dating experience then....I don't know what I'm going to tell you, you're out of luck. I look nothing like Paul Hogan, I have a slight Kiwi accent, not a broad Ocker one, and I have a first class honours degree in politics and religion. I also have a degree from the university of life, a diploma from the school of hard knocks, and an attendance certificate from the kindergarten of getting the shit kicked out of me. So why not talk the plunge! Date a genuine Jewish Kiwi! Take me out and show me the town! Make it a real New York experience, music by Cole Porter, singing by Frank Sinatra, choregraphy by Gene Kelly! Uh, maybe we'll let someone other than Woody Allen direct though - I don't know about you, but these days he sorta creeps me out. Take pity on a poor little yiddele, fresh off the boat from the Old Country, a greenhorn in a city of sharp operators. I don't bite....unless you want me to. Write to me at tuatara@ihug.com.au, or pacificreporter@hotmail.com once I'm actually in New York. Impress your friends! You'll be the envy of all when you talk about having dated a Jew from New Zealand. Who even knew there were such creatures? Break the ice at parties. Finally get those huge muscles you want! Develop x-ray vision! Comes with a free set of Ginsu steak knives and free tickets to the Jerry Springer Show! Er...I think I'll stop now. Winners of this valuable prize can expect to have the experience blogged about, unless they take out a restraining order and/or the Grand Jury orders the police report sealed under the 70-year rule. I can't be held responsible for any unfortunate publicity in the Times though. No one can these days, it's a terrible paper. We'll have Manhattan, the Bronx and Staten Island too. It's lovely going through the zoo. It's very fancy on old Delancey Street, you know. The subway charms us so when balmy breezes blow to and fro. And tell me what street compares with Mott Street in July? Sweet pushcarts gently gliding by. The great big city's a wondrous toy just made for a girl and boy. We'll turn Manhattan Into an isle of joy. Okay, so the music can alternate between Cole Porter and Rodgers and Hart, I'm relaxed about that... UPDATE - PERSONAL INFO Silly me, should have included the vital statistics. Age - 41. Religion - Jewish (Reform). Body type - ermmm...."cuddly"? But in my defence, I am on a fitness and weight loss program and have shed 10kg so far. Height - 6' 1" or 185cm. For lots more information, go to JDate and look up my profile, it's number 464316.