loudmouth, hothead

Providing ill-informed comment off the top of my head since November 2005

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Location: Logan City, Queensland, Australia

fat and old

Sunday, October 08, 2006

I pretty much now do all of my blogging over at...

the other place.

I've even slipped a few political comments in - nothing big, though. The work in keeping two blogs and keeping stuff separate is a bit much.

If I feel so incensed that I just have to write an essay, I'll post it here (can't upset the cat-lovers too much) but otherwise, this will be very low volume.


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Friday, July 28, 2006

Just a few things

I wonder if all the people complaining about dual Australia-Lebanese nationals will also complain about dual Australian-Israeli nationals. And that soldier's death, while a shame, is not the equivalent of anything, since he was a member of the armed forces.

Israel wants Hezbollah to give up their weapons. They're giving up their missiles at a rate of over 100 a day, what more does Israel want?

But seriously, I'm sick of hearing how many rockets were fired into Israel without being told how much ordinance was fired into Lebanon.


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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

It's not funny anymore

What a week to have a week off. The news is boring: the same thing for the first 15 minutes of every bulletin, be it local, U.K. or from the U.S.

And it's just making me angrier, if it's possible to say that something that makes you angry is boring. (Maybe tedious was the word I had in mind.) No one is saying the things that should be said.

But in print, or at least in text, it's different.

Lawless in Gaza, Editorial, The Nation, July 14.

It's currently member-only, but the points I wanted made — I believe this current escalation started with the shelling on the beach — are made in the paragraphs made available for free.
"In fact, the current cycle of violence was set off by weeks of Israeli shellings that culminated in the killing of eight Palestinian civilians on a Gaza beach. On a deeper level, the violence arises from the Israeli strategy of unilateralism, in which even the pretense of negotiations is abandoned and Israel alone decides its final borders, while maintaining control over the territories through closures, military assaults and assassination."

Friends Don't Let Friends Ruin Lebanon by John Nichols, The Nation, July 14.
"No serious participant in the contemporary discourse would deny that Israel has a right to protect itself. But no one in their right mind thinks Israel is going about the mission in a smart manner."

On the brink of chaos, Leader, The Guardian, July 17.
"Lebanon's government bears the signs of collapsing into a failed state. To expect it to successfully disarm Hizbullah's militants, while Israeli jets pound Tyre and Beirut as they did yesterday, inflicting collective punishment and undermining its fragile economy, is unrealistic."

The West Must Recognize That Israel's Agenda is in Conflict With its Own by David Clark, The Guardian, July 17
"It's high time western governments grasped the fundamental truth that Israel is pursuing an agenda that conflicts directly with their own. In the context of the fight against terrorism and the need to promote international cooperation, the west's interest must be to remove the Palestinian question as a source of grievance among mainstream Muslims in a way that guarantees justice for the Palestinians and security for Israel."

This article has a lot of information that I wasn't waiting for someone to say. That is, there's stuff in here that's new to the discussion. I did know that Israel encouraged (I've read "funded") Hamas, but the rest of the discussion is new in this context.


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Friday, June 30, 2006

Gaza power plant destroyed by Israel is insured by U.S.

Gaza Power Plant Hit by Israeli Airstrike is Insured by US Agency

Apart from the delicious irony of the U.S. angle; the way I read this, two-thirds of Gaza —over 800,000 people— are without power or water. Can that be right? Something has to happen soon.


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Monday, June 12, 2006

"I'm sorry whenever any human being dies. Zarqawi is a human being."

Michael Berg is the father of Nicholas Berg, one of al-Zarqawi's most famous beheadees.

He appeared on CNN and then the Minneapolis Star Tribune turned his words into an article, which was picked up by Common Dreams.

Sample paragraph:
[M]y reaction is I'm sorry whenever any human being dies. Zarqawi is a human being. He has a family who are reacting just as my family reacted when Nick was killed, and I feel bad for that. I feel doubly bad, though, because Zarqawi is also a political figure, and his death will reignite yet another wave of revenge, and revenge is something that I do not follow, that I do not ask for, that I do not wish for against anybody. And it can't end the cycle. As long as people use violence to combat violence, we will always have violence.

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al-Zarqawi was innocent

Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty?

There was a letter to the editor by John Erskine and an article by Irfan Yusuf in today's Courier Mail that just made me so angry.

John Erskine claims a previous letter writer who wrote that al-Zarqawi deserved a trial by jury has "missed the point". It is Mr Erskine who has missed the point: in my culture (and I assume his also) a person is innocent until proven guilty in a court of competent jurisdiction.

Irfan Yusuf ("Al-Qaeda terrorist chief deserved to die", 12 June, p31 - it doesn't seem to be online anywhere) also misses this point, despite apparently being a lawyer.

No civilised person should accept summary execution without trial, let alone congratulate the killers, as Mr Erskine did.

Although I think Mr Erskine is probably having a sly joke - after all, when he says "Radical Islamists are promoting and fomenting violence and terror to promote their version of reality and religion", he must surely be aware that the sentence is equally true if 'Radical Islamists' is replaced with 'The Bush Administration', if not more so, since the Bushites have publically acknowledged that they have their own version of reality.


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Thursday, June 08, 2006

WorkChoices Success Stories (updated)

It's a success when the legislation works as intended, right?

Sign here and give up $17,000

Grandmother's sacking tests IR laws

Civil Aviation Safety Authority staff forced onto AWAs

The reason to stop shopping at Spotlight

Worker sacked for smirking

Same work, $40 less. Take it or leave it.

Sacked Optus staff offered lower-pay jobs

Workers lose pay for helping widow

Woman sacked by SMS, union says

Iemma says south coast feeling WorkChoices impact

More sackings follow IR laws

Abattoir workers offered same job for less pay


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Friday, May 05, 2006

Interest Rates

I won't believe that interest rates are lower now than they would have been under Labor until John Howard shows me the parallel universe where Labor is running the country. After all, if there's no parallel universe then how can he say what might have been?


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Wednesday, April 12, 2006


I know I'm late with this one: Papuan family probably landed in PNG, Howard says.

Yeah, right. We probably SIEV-X'd them to make sure they wouldn't arrive and cause any more problems for the government.


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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

David Koch wins argument with straw man

Well it's not a straw man per se, more a disingenuous argument...

Koch said — and I don't have a transcript, so I'm just going from my notes — "under 100 people, that's a small business. Say you've got a corner store with four people..."

7 really shouldn't let a failed businessman comment on the new IR laws. He's probably still smarting because employees of Palamedia wouldn't work for free. He should know that a corner store with four people has less than 15 people, so it was covered by the old laws. Also how about a company with 99 employees, is that small?

The Sunrise folks also discussed a hypothetical where a person who was constantly off one day a week. Under the old laws all you had to do was give them a written warning a week for a few weeks and there was no barrier to getting rid of them. Fairly.

And don't get me started on the bits of the new legislation which intrude upon contractual relationships between employer and employee...


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Howard admits new IR laws are unnecessary?

I don't have a transcript or anything, but I just saw a grab of the lying rodent on Sky News and he seemed to be trumpeting the large amount of jobs created in the past 10 years. If there were so many jobs created before the new changes came in, isn't that evidence that the new laws are unnecessary?


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Monday, February 27, 2006

425 people from NSW prefer Howard as PM

As everyone knows there are many ways to present statistical data.

There's a poll out today and it's been getting ridiculous headlines, like "Most Australians want Howard to stay as PM". But if you read the articles, you'll discover that my headline is equally valid.


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