Wednesday, July 06, 2005
The SMH reports:
The Opposition Leader, Kim Beazley, has called on the Federal Government to “do something different in Afghanistan” ...
a) Open a chain of oxygen bars?
b) Establish Australian rule?
c) Enforce casual-dress Fridays?
d) Mandatory wind chimes?
e) Sell maps guiding tourists to celebrity Afghan homes?
f) Give cats the vote?
B-GRADER KNOWS OF WHAT HE SPEAKS
He should quickly learn the definition of ‘B-grade arsehole’, because he fits it.
The Age’s Andrew Jaspan will be shocked. Bob’s coarse and very ill-thought through remark demeans the man and is one of the reasons why people are slightly sceptical of his motives and everything else. And here’s Ellis on freed captive Douglas Wood:
What a greedy, graceless, bumptious capitalist pig he has proved to be.
Ellis has received far more in public funds for his worthless movies and other left-friendly crapwork than Wood earned for his Network Ten interview. I guess a person is only greedy if they accept money from a source other than the taxpayer.
(Via Ellis spy Raff)
The NYT’s Nicholas Kristof:
It’s worth acknowledging that Mr. Bush, and conservatives generally, have in many ways been great for the developing world. At their best, they bring a healthy dose of hands-on practicality to their efforts.
“Worth acknowledging”? “In many ways”? “At their best”? Edit the grudging qualifiers and waffle and a clearer view emerges: “Mr. Bush and conservatives have been great for the developing world. They bring hands-on practicality.” Kristof continues:
The liberal approach to helping the poor is sometimes to sponsor a U.N. conference and give ringing speeches calling for changed laws and more international assistance ...
Liberals may also put too much faith in aid itself. What Africa needs most desperately are things it can itself provide: good governance, a firmer neighborhood response to genocide in Sudan, and a collective nudging of Robert Mugabe into retirement.
Yes. A good nudging ought to do it. In other African news, Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo wants “upliftment”:
“For Africa (to fight poverty) it will require not only the debt forgiveness for which we have been vigorously campaigning but also a massive inflow of finance through repatriation of corruption-tainted funds in foreign banks, the fulfillment of commitments made by our development partners, new funds through investments ... and our collective political will to undertake our own part for our upliftment.”
The king and prime minister of Swaziland are way ahead on the whole upliftment deal:
Swaziland’s MPs demanded the resignation of their prime minister yesterday for plundering government development funds to buy a £29 million private jet for King Mswati, absolute monarch of the impoverished African mountain kingdom.
Sibusiso Barnabas Dlamini defended his decision, saying a personal jet was cheaper than “costly air charter” and essential for security “in these troubled times of international terrorism”.
(Via upliftment correspondent Alan R.M. Jones)
UPDATE. African aid works—if accompanied by privatisation, market reforms, and a multiparty electoral system.
EVIL FORCE HAS RARELY-NOTED GOOD SIDE
“The US contains 4% of the world’s population but produces about 25% of all carbon dioxide emissions.” Well, that’s one way of looking at things. Swedish PhD student Tino Sanandaji presents some alternative calculations:
America has only some 4.5% of world population but almost 40% of world spending on R & D, 50% of world industrial patents and over 60% of scientific Nobel prizes every year.
Hit the link for further interesting numbers. Still, even the lone global superpower sometimes needs some help from its friends.
(Via Alan R.M. Jones)
UPDATE. Dossier dude Andrew Gilligan was thrown out of a protest gathering by your typical free-speech advocates:
Instantly recognised due to his media profile role during the Iraq War, Gilligan, 36, was spotted taking notes and using a dictaphone and was given 20 seconds to leave by angry activists who particularly object to the coverage of anti-capitalist protests in the Evening Standard. When he refused, a large number of individuals simply escorted him from the building. Although his personal equipment was initially confiscated, it was later handed back. His diary is now being sent down to London.
(Via Rob at SemiSkimmed)
BRUTAL HOAX PERPETRATED
It’s a fake cake! Not intended to be eaten! Display purposes only! AIEEEEEE!
Gitmo isn’t the only prison in Cuba:
Cuba’s communist government has jailed 13 more political opponents this year, most on charges of “dangerousness,” a veteran rights activist reported Tuesday.
The report released Tuesday by the Havana-based Cuban Commission on Human Rights and Reconciliation said the total number of political prisoners as of June 30 was 306.
In lieu of any Western activists complaining about this, let’s burn some commie iconography instead.
RICHARD NEEDS HELP
Because he cares, Tex urges that a troubled citizen seek immediate treatment.
ABU GETS IT OFF HIS CHEST
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
Margo Kingston on May 16:
A prediction. Vanstone will resign or be moved before June 30. I’m poor now, so I’ll put $50 on the table.
PayPal is on the left, Margo.
UPDATE II. Acting editor Hamish Alcorn reports that, aside from stained whiteness, “The site continues to work as per normal.”
COLUMN CANCELS AFRICAN DEBT
Mentioned in this week’s Continuing Crisis column for The Bulletin are Bob Brown, John Howard, Bob Carr, Pete Hodgson, Helen Clark, Shane Warne, Arthur Gordon Chipperfield, Miss Cholmondeley-Smith, and Mark Steyn.
Also: the Holden Maloo R8 reviewed.
News Ltd outlets early Tuesday ran the following Andrew West item on a speech by NSW premier Bob Carr to a Pentecostal Christian conference:
New South Wales Premier Bob Carr last night reached out to a constituency the Labor Party had long thought of as a lost cause - Australia’s Pentecostal Christians.
Mr Carr became the first Labor politician to address the annual Hillsong conference, a 20,000-strong gathering of Pentecostals based around Australia’s biggest congregation in Sydney’s northwestern suburbs.
In a speech calibrated to appeal to the country’s fastest-growing Christian denomination, he hit on all the most powerful themes - personal responsibility, middle-class economic aspirations and an orthodox interpretation of the Bible.
The Premier, who claims no religious belief himself, laced his speech at Sydney’s Telstra Superdome with repeated quotes from the Bible and Protestant reformer Martin Luther.
“This week you are turning the Superdome into a cathedral,” Mr Carr said.
“And you are affirming the centrality of Christianity in the life of this nation.”
Mr Carr, who spoke before Peter Costello, used the speech to pointedly criticise Victoria’s controversial religious vilification laws, under which two Pentecostal preachers have been prosecuted for statements they made about Islam.
He drew massive applause when he declared his opposition to similar laws for NSW.
“Those pastors have said they would rather go to jail than apologise for what they saw as fair comment in comparing two religions,” he said.
“I don’t want to see such laws here in NSW. We won’t have politically correct laws curtailing the right of churches to preach fearlessly.”
Testify! But the original URL for that piece now only turns up this meek post-speech story, which carries no byline:
New South Wales Premier Bob Carr has played down the political significance of his attendance at the evangelical Hillsong Church’s annual conference.
Mr Carr last night joined federal Treasurer Peter Costello in addressing the conference at Sydney’s Superdome.
The Labor Party has been trying to establish closer links with evangelical churches, fearing their members were supporting conservative political candidates.
Mr Carr said today that part of his role as premier was to attend functions and celebrations hosted by all religious denominations and faiths.
“We maintain dialogue with people in all denominations and all faiths,” he told reporters.
“Last night was a fabulous performance, a great celebration, but I was there very largely because they had so many visitors from overseas and interstate.”
Mr Carr said he had enjoyed himself at the conference and would probably attend again next year.
“If the singing and dancing is of the quality I saw last night I’ll go back,” he said.
Lively up yourself, dancin’ Bobby! Run a Google news search or two on Carr phrases from the initial News Ltd report and you’ll find yourself redirected to the same mild post-speech item. Searches linking Carr and the reporter’s name deliver identical results. Meanwhile, AAP, SMH, and ABC reports turn up quotes similar to those first published by News Ltd—that are no longer evident in News Ltd online archives.
Something weird has happened here. Did Carr deliver his speech as originally reported or not? If he did, why have News Ltd accounts of it been purged? If he didn’t, how come other outlets have run similar pieces? And who wrote Carr’s speech, if in fact he delivered it as reported?
Answers later today, hopefully. Anyone who attended the conference or who is otherwise connected to these events: please email me. Confidentiality assured.
CURSE OF POVERTY BEATEN
Live 8 was a win-win:
The galaxy of rock stars who took part in Live 8 concerts on Saturday to help beat the curse of poverty have seen their records fly off the shelves in British music stores, proving that cash balances as well as consciences were the winner.
Starving Africans cheer! Mark Steyn has much more on the creepiness of rock’s big day of suck.
Maine’s Carl Karush rides his bicycle to work in bold defiance of unhealthy oil addiction:
On the rear of his bicycle, his mantra is displayed. A pole protruding from the rear wheel grasps two flags: the flag of the United States and a flag that proclaims “Freedom Ride” above a crossed out icon of a gas pump. Freedom from dependence on oil drives Karush to ride his bike.
“We’re in a situation of increased, unhealthy dependence on oil,” Karush said. “It’s like, on a personal level, having an unhealthy addiction to a substance.”
On most weekdays, this mild-mannered marketing director hops on his bike and rides along bumpy, winding roads to his job in Franklin, plugs in his bike to an electric outlet and begins work.
As recently as 2002, 68% of Maine’s electricity came from thermal plants burning petroleum.
(Via Everett P. Ingalls)
AGONY OF DE FEET