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Friday, May 26, 2006


Antony Loewenstein is no imperial writer serving imperial masters fighting imperial wars to extend their imperial powers! No, he’ll never take imperial payments from imperial America to encourage these imperial follies.

Instead, Antony will lead the anti-imperial struggle against the imperial arrogance that is driving this imperial war—correction; imperial wars. Classic imperial thinking, recorded in shorthand by imperial stenography, reveals the imperial ambition and imperial arrogance of the imperial power.

As Antony knows, western imperial interests and imperial ambitions need to take a break. I suggest an imperial holiday destination.

Posted by Tim B. on 05/26/2006 at 05:13 AM
(100) CommentsPermalink

Thursday, May 25, 2006


More startling Australian music images here.

UPDATE. Non-milkshake AC/DC memories!

Posted by Tim B. on 05/25/2006 at 06:27 PM
(69) CommentsPermalink


Most of us can name war heroes from past conflicts, but—despite living in an era of constant information—identifying heroes in the current war seems difficult, for some reason. Cindy Sheehan may be the world’s best-known protester against the Iraq war, but where are the well-known soldiers?

In advance of Memorial Day weekend, Chuck Simmins puts forward Leigh Ann Hester, Brian Chontosh and Paul Smith. Names we should know.

UPDATE. Cindy Sheehan spent the day campaigning for the release of David Hicks:

Protest organiser Mark Pendleton, from Civil Rights Defence, said Ms Sheehan empathised with Hicks’ family.

“Cindy Sheehan lost her own son in Iraq,” he said.

“She knows what David Hicks’ family must be going through.”

Well, they’ve got so much in common. Sheehan’s son volunteered to serve in a force liberating Iraq from dictatorship; Jew-hating Adelaide bogan Hicks joined al Qaeda.

Posted by Tim B. on 05/25/2006 at 06:17 PM
(37) CommentsPermalink


Dear letters editor of the Toronto Star,

I understand that Canadian law requires you to think in French half the time, and that this eats into your ability to check every item you receive, but Schon Golgerth’s recent letter could really have used some revision prior to publication. She wrote:

So Australian Prime Minister John Howard is counselling Stephen Harper on how to run a country? Howard is the soul of American outreach and its spokesman. He has abandoned Australia to American influence and to American interests. With the Australian voting system of proportional representation, he will stay in power and Australia will irretrievably become a U.S. satellite doing the big brother’s bidding.

Australia’s House of Representatives, voting for which determines who holds government, is not decided by proportional representation.

Australians can’t seem to figure out how to get rid of him so they have learned to live with him and apologize to the world for him.

Australians don’t want to get rid of him. Howard has been elected four times.

Howard sees himself as a great leader and Australians see him as an embarrassing U.S. parasite.

In 2004, Howard was re-elected with an increased majority.

Whatever you do, Canada, avoid this at all costs. Losing one’s identity for the economic crumbs thrown by the big brother impoverishes the spirit and impoverishes the will of the people to seek viable alternatives. We are on the same road Australia took some eight years ago ...

Ten years. Howard was first elected in 1996.

Losing our sovereignty makes us subject to others’ desires and whims — like having to put our people in harm’s way because their troubles are forcibly made ours. Their propaganda becomes our thoughts; their rhetoric becomes our policy.

Golgerth’s idiocy becomes Star page-filler.



UPDATE. Schon Golgerth is Australian! Lived in Canada for 35 years—long enough to forget how Australia’s electoral system works, evidently. Via Irving and Burrah.

Posted by Tim B. on 05/25/2006 at 01:11 PM
(84) CommentsPermalink


Scream with joy, James Wolcott! Your favourite team is scheduled for a road game in your very own city:

New York will one day be hit by a ferocious hurricane that will flood the streets and knock out the transport system, the director of the US National Hurricane Centre says.

“It is not a question of if a major hurricane will strike the New York area, but when,” Max Mayfield, director of the hurricane centre in Miami, Florida, told a US Senate committee.

As Wolcott says: It only seems fair.

Posted by Tim B. on 05/25/2006 at 12:39 PM
(26) CommentsPermalink


Cindy Sheehan isn’t much impressed by what she claims are attempts to exploit war dead for political gain:

”[When] 14 Marines were killed one day, George Bush went on the TV and said they died for a noble cause ... and he had to complete the mission to honour their sacrifices,” Mrs Sheehan said.

“I wanted to know what noble cause and I wanted him to stop using Casey’s name to continue and to justify more killing.”

Interesting. See, the Peace Mommy is an exploiter herself:

[Gary] Qualls, an Army veteran, is the father of Lance Cpl. Louis Qualls, a U.S. Marine who was killed in Fallujah, Iraq.

Last year, Gary Qualls met with Cindy Sheehan in Crawford to ask that the mother of another fallen soldier not use their sons to protest the war in Iraq.

I guess this is just more scare mongering, Cindy Sheehan libeling, smirking, bastardly, voting machine tampering, sociopathic, cowardly, treasonous, Constitution shredding, oppressive, vulgar, antagonistic, trust funding, nontipping, tyrannizing, peace hating wrongness from us on the Side of Evil.

Posted by Tim B. on 05/25/2006 at 12:25 PM
(21) CommentsPermalink


You’ll recall that Australia’s international reputation was completely ruined by our policies on immigration and asylum seekers. Ha! Much of Europe has recently adopted our policies, or approximations thereof:

New laws are raising the hurdles for newcomers, especially Muslims, and winning cheers from many Europeans. Polls indicate that strong majorities in almost every European country favor not just tightening restrictions on ordinary immigrants but also casting a colder eye on the hard-luck tales of refugees seeking asylum.

Australia leads. The Old World follows. Speaking of the Old World, let us now celebrate thirty years since the The Judgment of Paris: “It was iconic, the first chink in France’s armour, and a huge, huge shock.”

Posted by Tim B. on 05/25/2006 at 11:52 AM
(38) CommentsPermalink


Up to twenty people are dead in East Timor following gun battles with police. Australian troops—invited by the East Timorese—are now on the ground. Evacuees began arriving in Darwin last night. Here’s an earlier, subsequently updated report from the Bulletin’s Paul Toohey, currently on his way back to Dili for more coverage.

UPDATE. Australia has more journalists in East Timor than New Zealand has troops:

New Zealand officials are seeking more information before the government sends troops to East Timor, Prime Minister Helen Clark says ...

“So that’s where we are at the present time. It’s very important not to walk into what is a factional dispute, in some respects, and be seen to be taking sides,” Clark said on National Radio.

“We have to also be mindful the (United Nations) Security Council is having consultations as we speak.”

Don’t take sides, and rely on the UN; it’s the Helen Clark way! The troops themselves are ready to go:

Defence spokesman Mike Shatford said troops were ready and on stand-by.

“It has to come through the prime minister and until we hear from her, we are not in a position to do anything,” he said.

Could be a long wait.

(Via Bill D.)

Posted by Tim B. on 05/25/2006 at 11:28 AM
(33) CommentsPermalink


“Now that I am well into my seventh decade of life,” writes psychologist and peacenik Doug Soderstrom, “I have come to the conclusion that the world basically sucks.” Now that I have read Doug’s poetry, I’ve come to the same conclusion. Must seek mood elevation at Webdiary, where a revolution is underway; after years of railing against globalisation during the Margo Kingston era, the site she founded and inspired is now sourcing content from a cheap foreign supplier!

Recently Webdiary has run blindingly dull columns by Jifií Dienstbier, Arne Jernelöv, Peter Singer, Ralf Dahrendorf, and Joseph E. Stiglitz—all picked up from something called Project Syndicate. How much is Webdiary paying for these words-by-the-yard? By the sounds of things, not much:

In each country, Project Syndicate seeks the most appropriate venues for its commentaries and tailors the way it works with member publications to meet their needs. In general, Project Syndicate expects a monthly financial contribution from its member papers, but this contribution is based upon the paper’s ability to pay.

Arne? Ralf? Jifií? Here’s your cheque for $2. Share it. Once published by Webdiary, these individuals are claimed by the site, leading to the assertion that Peter Singer’s appearance at the Sydney Writers’ Festival is in fact the appearance of Webdiarist Peter Singer.

Another Webdiarist: Iranian president and Webdiary “guest contributor” Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

UPDATE. Geoff comments on Doug “tow the line” Soderstrom:

In 1945, George Orwell railed against worn-out and useless metaphors that litter the language and the lazy mindless writers, especially on the “Left” who use them.

He gave a few examples:

“In some cases these overworked expressions have actually been severed from their original meaning by means of a mis-spelling ... the expression ‘toe the line’ is now coming to be spelled quite frequently as ‘tow the line’. People who are capable of this kind of thing evidently don’t attach any definite meaning to the words they use.”

Over sixty years later and the fraudulent hand-wringers are still doing it.

It’s “toe the line” you lightweight lazy ignorant illiterate piece of moth-eaten fairyfloss.

Posted by Tim B. on 05/25/2006 at 10:11 AM
(51) CommentsPermalink


Here’s an interesting piece to translate. Looks like torched Saabs will be the next course in Europe’s continental car-b-q.

Posted by Tim B. on 05/25/2006 at 01:13 AM
(54) CommentsPermalink

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


Antony Loewenstein reports from Cindy Central:

Last night in Sydney was windy, rainy and cold, but an anti-war event featuring Cindy Sheehan and Dr Salam Ismael made one forget the wintry conditions outside.

Most people usually forget conditions outside once they’re, you know, inside. Ant requires a calming visit from Peace Mommy.

Around 500 people gathered to hear two impassionate speakers discuss the monumentally disastrous Iraq invasion and occupation and offer a way forward.


The Iraq war has never been more unpopular and delusions have never been greater. Working towards, and advocating, “Coalition” defeat has been achieved.

And what a grand achievement! I wonder if Sheehan knows that Antony advocated the killing of her son.

The next step is finding a prosperous Iraqi future without Western interference.

Which wouldn’t be possible were it not for the Western interference that removed Saddam.

Dr Salam Ismael was equally impressive.

Equal to who, or what?

He reminded the audience that Westerners are not being told the real picture of life under US occupation, the daily torture, bombings and kidnappings.

Yep. We’re only getting the good news. Nothing but progress reported every day.

Both Sheehan and Ismael demanded the complete withdrawal of “Coalition” troops from Iraq. They were both asked whether the security situation would worsen and Ismael responded: “how could it be any worse than now? Iraqis should sort out our own country.”

One way it might be worse: Iraq could still be a dictatorship funding suicide bombers in Israel, among other crimes. More Cindy Capers to follow.

Posted by Tim B. on 05/24/2006 at 07:18 PM
(91) CommentsPermalink


Mark Steyn reviews The Da Vinci Code:

In the beginning was the word, and Mr. Brown’s very first one seems to have gone missing:

“Renowned curator Jacques Saunière staggered through the vaulted archway of the museum’s Grand Gallery.”

And after that I found it hard to stagger on myself. Shouldn’t it be “The renowned curator”? What happened to the definite article? Did Mr. Brown choose to leave it off in order to affect an urgent investigative journalistic style? No, it’s just the way he writes. Here’s the first sentence of Angels &Demons:

“Physicist Leonardo Vetra smelled burning flesh, and he knew it was his own.”

The linguist Geoffrey Pullum—or linguist Geoffrey Pullum, as novelist Dan Brown would say—identifies this as the anarthrous occupational nominal premodifier, to which renowned novelist Dan Brown is unusually partial. In Deception Point, in what must count as a wild experiment in form for him, he holds off on the AONP until the second sentence:

“Death, in this forsaken place, could come in countless forms. Geologist Charles Brophy had endured the savage splendor of this terrain for years ...”

You’ll notice the credit to Geoffrey Pullum, a contributor to the blog Language Log. That acknowledgement wasn’t good enough for Pullum, however, who—as Language Log leader Mark Liberman writes—contacted Steyn requesting additional credit for his early awareness of Brown’s AONP issues (the Telegraph’s Sam Leith noticed Brown’s curious style as well: “Seldom do books manage to grate from before the first word of the opening sentence ... The first word - ‘the’ - isn’t there.” Obviously another Language Log reader). Liberman and Pullum are also worked up over this in-passing joke:

Novelist Dan Brown staggered through the formulaic splendour of his opening sentence.

Which, it’s true, is very similar to the title of a Pullum post:

Renowned author Dan Brown staggered through his formulaic opening sentence

Liberman, rather overdoing things, devotes 248 words and a four-column, multi-coloured table to analysis of this alleged joke theft. Or, more accurately, alleged parody theft; we’re at least a few steps down from, say, Molly Ivins’ lifting of a wholly original Clive James line. Truth be told, Pullum’s gag isn’t so brilliant that it’s unlikely another writer might independently compose something resembling it ... such as in this unbylined piece from The Scotsman:

Given that he’s the most formulaic novelist since Enid Blyton, you really don’t have to be Dan Brown to write your very own Dan Brown novel ... It’s also vital that the character’s name be preceded by his profession, much in the manner of a clunkily written obituary. For example: “Renowned curator Jacques Saunière staggered through the vaulted archway of the museum’s Grand Gallery”; or “Novelist Dan Brown stumbled through his clumsy prose, the walls of St Peter’s Basilica echoing his screams”.

Yet another Language Log reader! Popular site. Either that, or people (commenter Nabakov, for example: “I picked up TdVC at a friend’s holiday house and read the first sentence ... I immediately put it right down again”) are capable of noticing weak blockbuster openings without Language Log’s prompting.

Anyway. Here’s Steyn’s piece, and here are Pullum’s two posts. Read them all, then Stand In Judgment. Steynophobic local academics John Quiggin and Tim Lambert have already rushed to condemnation, as is their style (Quiggin previously accused Steyn of plagiarising Oscar Wilde; he now admits the plagiarism call was incorrect). The pair of them teamed up last year to play Columnist Cops in an investigation of Miranda Devine, rapidly convicting the Fairfax writer of quote fabrication:

Lambert: “It looks like Devine is the one that fabricated the quote.”

Quiggin: “Devine has actually taken the critical step in the fabrication herself. ... This obviously bogus quote is worse than anything I can recall seeing.

Emphasis mine. But Devine didn’t fabricate anything; the disputed quote had emerged from Devine’s search of the internal, online Fairfax library. Cue another backdown from Quiggin: “It was a mistake on my part to draw the conclusion that Miranda Devine was responsible for adding the quote marks ... I apologise for this.” You’d think Quiggin might have learned to consider possibilities for a beat or two before reaching a conclusion. Not so. He’s still issuing tabloid-like smears, and still getting things wrong:

The point is that Steyn is someone who has a reputation as a witty writer that is built, to a significant extent on lifting other people’s lines, while giving little or no attribution.

This is simply untrue, as every blogger ever cited by Steyn (me among them) would be aware. Cranky old Quiggy again takes one step too far (at least), and again sets himself up for a humiliating retraction. At the same link, Quiggin notes that, in regard to the Great Pullum Burglary:

Plagiarism is not really the right category here ...

Hmm. Lambert—an unlikely arbiter, considering he’s a thief and all—disagrees with Quiggles, bluntly headlining his post:

Mark Steyn, plagiarist

The Quiggin/Lambert schism may even widen once the Lambot notices striking yet uncredited similarities between Quiggin’s Steyn post and a Patterico headline written only a couple of months previously. Quiggin:

Mark Steyn has a way with words. Particularly other people’s.


Domenech Has a Way with Other People’s Words

Man. Language Log will go nuts.

UPDATE. Scandal! Lambert (“Gore Derangement Sydrome”) plagiarises Krauthammer (“Bush Derangement Syndrome”)!

Posted by Tim B. on 05/24/2006 at 11:54 AM
(79) CommentsPermalink


Kim Beazley: “There will be no nuclear power under a Beazley Labor government.”

Posted by Tim B. on 05/24/2006 at 02:37 AM
(78) CommentsPermalink

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


Progress is noted in the case of a certain missing gravestone:

The good news is that Casey Sheehan’s father, Patrick, has had enough of this and has quietly arranged with a local monument company to erect a memorial.

Perhaps one of the Australian reporters currently promoting Mother Cindy might pass this on. On the Sheehan beat, here’s Mark Coultan in the SMH:

On September 11, 2001, she shared the views of most Americans, but with much more ominous feelings. “I was stunned, I was shocked, I was broken-hearted,” she says.

“On September 11, when that happened, I had a premonition that it would cause Casey’s death. I just got so depressed. I was in a state of depression thinking Casey would have to go to war.”

Were it up to Sheehan, a repeat of September 11 would draw no military response:

“This has been an evolution for me since Casey was killed. I didn’t like war, but I kind of thought World War II was a good war.

“But now I have gone to the total opposite, there is no good war. And violence is never a solution to any problem.”

Even Coultan eventually tires of Sheehan’s moonbatting:

For a woman who has become the most prominent anti-war protester in America, she sometimes sounds surprisingly naive. She says that Afghanistan might have given up Osama bin Laden if the US had gone through the proper extradition channels. “The Taliban said to George Bush: ‘You send us proper extradition [papers] and we will look at it’.”

Yeah. Right.

UPDATE. Sheehan accuses the US of carpet-bombing innocent civilians.

Posted by Tim B. on 05/23/2006 at 09:19 PM
(99) CommentsPermalink


In this week’s Bulletin: Tony Wright meets Todd Russell and Brant Webb, and a Continuing Crisis column about some book.

Posted by Tim B. on 05/23/2006 at 08:48 PM
(10) CommentsPermalink
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