Saturday, April 30, 2005
I’m at the airport in Bahrain. Nice airport. Every 20 minutes or so a message is broadcast alerting passengers that smoking is only allowed at a special area near the Gate 12 entrance; this doesn’t cut much ice with the crowd already smoking at their own rebel special area near the Gate 17 entrance. Which, by the way, kills that slum at Gate 12 by virtue of serving excellent coffee.
About 18 hours to get here, via Singapore. Then another seven hours waiting for the connecting flight to Kuwait, which is seven times as long as the flight itself. No earlier flights are scheduled, so I went looking for a car to hire (the drive is about three hours). Bad idea, said everybody I consulted. One security guard told me it was the stupidest idea he’d heard all week. I’ve only been here for a few hours, and already I’m making an impression!
So, no car, no drive, long delay. Guess there’s nothing else to do but find a bar and drink away the remaining time until boarding. Or at least to imagine that scenario, in a creative exercise involving a range of hypothetical fun situations in which I am not trapped at Bahrain airport.
Gulf Air is a fine airline. Friendly staff.
More soon from Gulf land.
UPDATE! Turns out there ish a bar here! It’s down opposite the Gate 14 boarding zone. Expect fewer updates post this discovery.
Friday, April 29, 2005
Breaking news, random events, chaotic reactions
OPEN THREAD II
Sports results, crime, inexplicable occurrences
OPEN THREAD III
Media bias, fear of Rove, shocking ordeals
Thursday, April 28, 2005
COMMENTS 0, TRACKBACKS 0
(Via reader Mont McNeil)
UNPROVOKED ATTACKS ON INNOCENT VICTIMS
Victorian justice, part one:
A driver who rammed a speed camera car when he realised he had been snapped speeding was today given a one-year jail term ... “Your offending behaviour in this case was outrageous. It involved you using the vehicle as a weapon for an unprovoked attack on an innocent victim,” Judge Lawson said.
Victorian justice, part two:
A teenage girl who admitted punching her newborn son to death was sentenced today to a three-year good behaviour bond ... Justice Bernard Bongiorno told her: “I am not going to send you to jail”.
(By contributor Alan R.M. Jones)
CROSBY - IT'S AUSTRALIAN FOR ROVE
Cheryl Kernot exposes the insidious evil of former Liberal Party operative Lynton Crosby, now destroying British democracy:
In 2001 I was seeking re-election to an outer Brisbane seat as a Labor candidate, having won this second most marginal constituency in [Australia] by 176 votes in 1998. In both campaigns I experienced first-hand the “under the radar” Crosby tactics.
Kernot prefers to keep her tactics under the covers.
While the Westminster village has been preoccupied with the big picture of national issues, Crosby will have been orchestrating campaigns of personal attacks and innuendo in marginal constituencies: that the Labour sitting member is not a local, that they are more interested in seeking a place on the frontbench, that they are soft on crime/immigration/abortion.
What if they are soft on crime/immigration/abortion?
And in the background of the national campaign Crosby will have been conducting a war of attrition against the public broadcaster, claiming bias and unbalanced coverage.
Think he’ll be able to prove anything?
An Australian newspaper freedom of information request revealed that, during the 2001 campaign, 75 per cent of all complaints from all political parties to the public broadcaster, the ABC, had come from Crosby. BBC take note. And constituents, even those with unlisted numbers, should prepare themselves for automated message calls from Michael Howard. Ask him where he got your number.
Good luck getting answers from an automated message.
Having improved my vote by 6 per cent prior to the focus on asylum-seekers, I still lost my seat in 2001, but thanks to my Scottish grandparents I’ve been fortunate to have lived and worked in the UK for two years now.
Is Kernot suggesting that she was expelled from Australia? If so ... yay us.
Crosby’s tactics represent a truly serious threat to the civility and robustness of British democracy and the way most politics is conducted in this country. It may be all downwards from here on. A “colonial” legacy of the worst kind.
Please never come back.
Will post from there, but also will track down The Real JeffS, currently stationed in Kuwait. Put that orange juice on ice, Jeff!
SHEIK NOW ONLY PARTLY PRIMITIVE
A Sydney Muslim leader has apologised for making controversial comments that rape victims had no-one to blame but themselves ...
The sheik backed away from his earlier comments, claiming he had been misunderstood and had made a mistake.
"I know I said something not thinking at that time. However, with all honesty from the depths of my heart I never meant it like this,” Sheik Mohamad told the Ten network.
"Maybe I should have said it another way meaning they are attracting to themselves and are partly to blame but not fully to blame."
At least he’s updated his views from mid-16th century to somewhere close to 1743 or so. The Nine Network has video.
UPDATE. Australian Muslims reject the Sheik:
Sydney’s Islamic community has condemned one of its own leaders who claimed rape victims had no one to blame but themselves.
Angry Muslims inundated Arabic-speaking radio stations to deplore the controversial comments of Sheik Faiz Mohamad.
Arabic radio station 2ME morning host Anis Ghanem said he was inundated with calls from people outraged by the comments.
He said the station had received more than 100 calls, with just three defending the Sheik’s right to free speech ...
An on-line poll on the IslamicSydney website registered 280 votes, with 87.5 per cent disagreeing with the Sheik’s comments.
TOOTHPICKS OF JUSTICE
Tremble in your loafers, New York Times! Collapse like Walter Mondale in a comeback Senate bid, Minneapolis Star Tribune! Cry into your gumbo, New Orleans Times Picayune! IndyMedia is coming after you:
"Freeze the Media Day” is when people all around the country drop superglue and toothpicks into the money slots of slimy corperate media newspaper dispensers. This is a statement to figures who like to put themselves in places of power that the power still remains with the people and that we can still tear down any institutions we feel the need to because the were built over the labor on our backs.
IndyMedia built corporate media institutions? That explains a lot. Meanwhile, someone is dropping superglue at the Sydney Morning Herald, as Leigh Cartright reports. Midway through this Paul McGeough piece from Iraq, the story abruptly begins covering the Bali trial of imprisoned Australian Schapelle Corby. Will Ayad Allawi shoot her? Only the SMH knows.
(Via J.F. Beck)
IRON BLOGGER LATEST
“We aren’t going anywhere,” Antony Loewenstein bragged in a recent post. Actually, Loewenstein is going backwards; he’s down to just 103 visits per day, having shed 54 visitors since the Iron Blogger death match between he and Shelly Horton was announced a few weeks ago. “I am grievously disappointed in Antony Loewenstein,” reports Lavatory Rodeo, a site named in honour of those who suffer explosive diarrhoea.
But wait! Horton herself has declined to an average visitor count of only 143, easily within reach of lumbering Loewy (her average page view count is safer; she currently leads 258 to 157). Both plan high-profile hit-building appearances this weekend. Horton is attending the Logies, and Loewenstein is a major draw at the Eighth Annual Freelance Convention for Journalists, Artists and Photographers:
I’ll be speaking on Sunday morning on the topic: “Web Tactics: Blogging and New Technologies."
Want to increase your hit count to 103 every day? Let Loewenstein the Blog Master tell you how!
UPDATE. Maybe Antony could offer advice to Rosie O’Donnell, currently subject to Late Show producer Rob Burnett’s ridicule: “The last thing I want to do is get into a fight with a powerful celebrity who has a blog read by tens of people.”
HAD A CHANCE, MISSED IT
LYING LIAR AND THE LIE HE TOLD
I really don’t see any comedic relevance to Blair and the Right as a whole in slagging off Margo on the grounds of physical appearance ... Aside from aesthetics, it is a rare occasion when Blair actually takes Margo on intellectually.
It’s a rare occasion when anyone takes Margo Kingston on intellectually, for obvious reasons. Mathew (he calls himself “Darp”) later repeated his claim that I constantly target Margo’s looks:
Tim can’t draw breath without commenting on what a ‘stunner’ Margo is.
And more recently:
He never actually challenged Margo on anything of substance, it was usually her hair, her looks ...
Usually? You’d think it’d be easy to dig up all the links where I do that, given how often I mention the woman. On April 12, I began an online experiment—How Long Will It Take For a Stupid Lefty to Acknowledge His Dishonesty and Publish a Retraction?—at this comments thread:
Try to find some links to support your claim that I’ve constantly criticised Kingston’s appearance, or mocked her as ugly. You’ve been saying this for months. Put up some evidence, or retract and stop lying.
Mathew immediately exited the thread, but Tim Lambert—“a dynamite fact-checker”, according to Ken Parish—took up his case. Lambert turned up some crushing evidence:
You quoted this: “Margo Kingston pulls out remaining hair, flies broom into the AMP building” on your blog, approving the criticism of her hair.
And you’ve called Michael Moore fat a gazillion times, which encourages your fans to make similar attacks on the appearance of other people you disagree with.
Dynamite! Lambert had yet more evidence:
You are certainly wrong to accuse Darp of lying on this matter. Since Margo’s appearance is attacked so frequently on your blog, I think most people would get the impression that you were one of the people doing it, so I believe that he made an honest mistake.
The boy can’t distinguish between comments and posts? Continuing my experiment, on April 26 I asked Mathew:
If I usually mock Margo’s appearance, why not post all the evidence? There must be tons of it.
Though I’ve got infinitely more important things to do, I’ll scour through your Spleenville archives to find the article (from roughly March-April last year) where you comment on the ‘new’ photo the SMH puts up for Margo.
The article? Just one? That equals “usually”? In any case, Mathew couldn’t find it. Challenged further, he claimed:
You commented on her hair once and on her looks in general another time ...lemme dig up the links.
Still waiting. For 17 days, in fact, since I first asked Mathew to support his claim. Mathew is one of those bloggers who really could use an editor.
DEAD EUROPEANS CONTROL NAVAJO MINDS
The Navajo Nation, the largest Indian reservation, has backed a bill to ban gay marriage, although the tribal president is still deciding whether to oppose the measure, his spokesman said on Monday.
George Hardeen, spokesman for Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley Jr., said the tribal council backed the measure 63-0 last week despite Shirley’s past opposition to such a ban.
Those bigoted Injuns! But it isn’t their fault, as Reuters explains:
Historians says Native Americans once tolerated gays in their community but turned against them after the European arrival to North America changed social attitudes.