Thursday, June 29, 2006
An email from Pamela Bone, formerly one of the few sane journalists at Melbourne’s Age, to Arena magazine:
In the June-July edition of Arena, Guy Rundle writes, in an editorial regarding the Euston Manifesto, that one of the international signatories to the manifesto is ‘our own imperial feminist Pamela Bone’. I must first advise Mr Rundle that I am not ‘his’ anything. Secondly, although I suppose I should be flattered that he has not forgotten me, I must wonder why Mr Rundle feels it necessary to refer to me quite so frequently: given that in 22 years of writing in a much larger publication - The Age - I have not once referred to him; that the copies of Arena regularly sent to me have been unsolicited; and that I in fact I have written very little for six months, having retired from The Age last year after having been diagnosed with terminal cancer.
The Euston Manifesto is a document prepared by a group of British academics and writers who met regularly at a pub near London’s Euston Station. The architects are members of the Left who wish to distance themselves from what they see as the knee-jerk anti-Americanism and cultural and moral relativism that has plagued much of the Left in recent times - indeed, from the kind of views which may be said to be typified by the writings of Guy Rundle. I do notice Mr Rundle makes no mention of the fact that another international supporter of the manifesto is one of Australia’s most eminent philosophers, Professor Raimond Gaita; perhaps he felt this would lend the document too much credibility.
As for the term ‘imperial feminist’; I am certainly a feminist, and I am happy to be deemed “imperial’ if that is taken to mean that I wish to impose on other cultures the basic human rights that are taken for granted in this culture (for I doubt he means the word in its other sense, ‘majestic’). Indeed, if I could, I would forcefully replace those cultural traditions that allow the stoning and beheading of women, or the throwing of acid in their faces, with one that grants women individual rights under the law. Happily, I don’t need to, for brave Muslim women are themselves beginning to force those changes.
In another place Mr Rundle has ‘humorously’ criticised me for frequently writing about poverty and human rights abuses in Africa. Yet in his accompanying editorial in the same edition Mr Rundle writes eloquently about the suffering of people in Darfur. Unlike Mr Rundle, I have been to the refugee camps on the Chad-Sudan border, and have talked to the victims of the fighting in Darfur, just as earlier I had been to Rwanda and seen the aftermath of that genocide. A genocide is taking place in Darfur. Every decent instinct calls for international intervention; but one can be sure that if there were such intervention, especially one that had any US involvement, good-hearted people of the ‘Left’ would be marching in protest at American imperialism.
Guy Rundle cannot forgive me for pointing out three years ago what many others are now pointing out: that the idea of international humanitarian intervention rightly belongs to the Left. Yes, that stance took some courage. However, I may be old, weak and sick, but I have one thing Mr Rundle will never have: guts.
Wives of four of the central figures arrested last month were among the most active on the website, sharing, among other things, their passion for holy war, disgust at virtually every aspect of non-Muslim society and a hatred of Canada.
They were sharing. Our selfish Western culture could learn from these kind people.
BIRD HANGING AROUND RESTAURANT
Vital global warming developments at Martha’s Vineyard:
“About two weeks ago, this bird started hanging around the restaurant, perching on the rail,” Mr. Cipolla recalled. The bird was brought to his attention by Lucas Do Carmo, one of the restaurant’s kitchen staff.
Mystified by the bird’s arrival, Mr. Cipolla surmised, “Maybe global warming brought it over.”
Add “restaurant staff mystified by bird arrival” to the global warming list.
ENGLISH WIN AGAIN
* “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.”—Prime Minister Winston Churchill following the Battle of Britain, 1940
* “Never have I seen so many drink so much in such little time.”—Nuremberg barman Herrmann Murr following the invasion of his city by English soccer fans, 2006
HAWKING DISSES PLANET
Excellent call in comments: “I think more humor columns need to have Stephen Hawking calling the Earth a whore.”
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
CLAIM IN MAINE REMAINS THE SAME
It didn’t impress us before when he held up a plastic turkey, it doesn’t impress us now.
The Central Maine Morning Sentinel’s headline on Mary’s letter: “Voters not falling for Bush photo ops nowadays.” But Democrat voters evidently are. More from Mary:
Pulling 360’s in a dune buggy over the sands of Arizona is insulting to us all.
(Via Jason R.)
MELTDOWN FRIGHTENS CLIMATE GURUS
A meltdown is feared. A meltdown of EU climate leadership!
The Sydney Morning Herald‘s Michael Gawenda:
There are signs that an increasing number of people on the left in the US, Europe and Australia are uncomfortable with knee-jerk anti-Americanism, with the left’s virtual silence in response to the unspeakable violence of Islamic totalitarianism, with the way Western feminists have basically turned their back on their oppressed sisters in much of the Muslim world. Many people would say about time.
John Howard’s office phoned the Canberra press gallery two nights ago. Photographers and TV crews were told to be at The Lodge at 5.30 next morning if they wanted World Cup footage of the Prime Minister in front of his television set.
They arrived just in time to catch Howard whooping it up as the Socceroos scored the penalty that evened the half-time score against Croatia half a world away. They were gone, bundled back outside, by 5.45. Thank you, Prime Minister.
The leaping toad.
Howard’s office replies:
The photo opportunity with the Prime Minister which Alan Ramsey found so objectionable was organised at the request of television networks and at least one newspaper. The Herald was invited to attend, as a matter of courtesy, and chose to do so and to publish a photo. And, to correct the record, far from being “bundled back outside” as was claimed, the crew and photographers departed at half time, having got what they came for.
(Via Dan L.)
“ACT ON ALL FRONTS, INCLUDING THE FINANCIAL ONE”
Via Power Line—currently all over the NYT’s treasonous hide—this New York Times editorial from September 24, 2001:
Organizing the hijacking of the planes that crashed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon took significant sums of money. The cost of these plots suggests that putting Osama bin Laden and other international terrorists out of business will require more than diplomatic coalitions and military action. Washington and its allies must also disable the financial networks used by terrorists.
The Bush administration is preparing new laws to help track terrorists through their money-laundering activity and is readying an executive order freezing the assets of known terrorists. Much more is needed, including stricter regulations, the recruitment of specialized investigators and greater cooperation with foreign banking authorities ...
If America is going to wage a new kind of war against terrorism, it must act on all fronts, including the financial one.
The despised Bush regime did exactly as requested, and the NYT responded by exposing the program’s details:
Under a secret Bush administration program initiated weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks, counterterrorism officials have gained access to financial records from a vast international database and examined banking transactions involving thousands of Americans and others in the United States, according to government and industry officials ...
Data from the Brussels-based banking consortium, formally known as the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, has allowed officials from the C.I.A., the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other agencies to examine “tens of thousands” of financial transactions ...
Hey, they asked for it. Seems the NYT isn’t too keen on its own version of the what would you do game. Jim Treacher’s view:
More from Power Line, which notes this grateful NYT response to a fan’s email:
Thank you for your thoughtful - and very welcome - email.
We appreciate your taking the time and trouble to write!
A year after legalising gay marriage, Spain is now seeing its first gay divorce, complete with a custody fight over the couple’s dogs.
It’s always a tragedy for the pets.
Good news from Iraq—in the New York Times:
Enrollment in Iraqi schools has risen every year since the American invasion, according to Iraqi government figures, reversing more than a decade of declines and offering evidence of increased prosperity for some Iraqis.
That’s nice. But we hit a roadblock in the second paragraph:
Despite the violence that has plagued Iraq since the American occupation began three years ago, its schools have been quietly filling. The number of children enrolled in schools nationwide rose by 7.4 percent from 2002 to 2005, and in middle schools and high schools by 27 percent in that time, according to figures from the Ministry of Education.
Iraq prior to 2003 was so peaceful that CNN’s Baghdad bureau rarely reported any violence at all.
UPDATE. In other education news, take the Australian Educator’s geography quiz.
IF YOU INSIST
Australian Miss Universe contestant Erin McNaught has urged pageant officials to take a closer look at topless photographs before ruling her out of the beauty contest.
(Via Andrew B.)
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
UPDATE. Gore’s chilling effect reduces movie audiences, too:
Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore’s documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” has seen its ticket sales plummet after a promising start ...
The film dropped from its record $70,333 per play to $12,334 during its third week and its numbers have continued to fall as the film opens in smaller cities and suburbs across the country.
The June 27, 2006 Associated Press (AP) article titled “Scientists OK Gore’s Movie for Accuracy” by Seth Borenstein raises some serious questions about AP’s bias and methodology.
AP chose to ignore the scores of scientists who have harshly criticized the science presented in former Vice President Al Gore’s movie “An Inconvenient Truth.”
KOS ‘N’ COLE
A fellow named Markos Moulitsas Zúniga declares:
I wouldn’t want to be a senator or congressman. I’m able to influence politics much more effectively doing what I do. Now I can shape the national political debate. The only way I could exert more influence would be if I were president.
He’s already more powerful than Cheney! More powerful than Rove! Markos may even wield greater influence than Juan Cole, who—according to University of Oklahoma academic Joshua Landis—is known to all:
Juan Cole has done something that no other Middle East academic has done since Bernard Lewis, who is 90 years old: He has become a household word. He has educated a nation. For the last thirty years every academic search for a professor of Middle East history at an Ivy League university has elicited the same complaint: ‘There are no longer any Bernard Lewises. Where do you find someone really big with expertise on many subjects who is at home in both the ivory tower and inside the Beltway?’ Today, Juan Cole is that academic.
These people are out of their minds.
UPDATE. Hitchens turns Cole to slaw: “Professor Cole has completely missed or omitted the first reference in last October’s speech, skipped to the second one, and flatly misunderstood the third.”
NOW HE’S JUST SHOWING OFF
Climate master George W. Bush—the Kyoto-denying tsunami generator and crusher of New Orleans—presents his latest weather stunt: a daring volcano/mudflow/stormo combo:
The Philippines have put civil defense personnel on alert for possible deadly volcanic mudflows as a tropical storm began bearing down on a volcano that has been spitting ash for weeks.
Bush’s next trick: a simultaneous hurricane/earthquake/hail ’o toads. Location? Wouldn’t you like to know!