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Wednesday, December 27, 2006


Our pals at The Australian aren’t letting go of their fake ambulance attack story without a fight:

The Israeli army has admitted its soldiers may have fired on a Red Cross ambulance during the war in Lebanon - an incident Foreign Minister Alexander Downer claimed was a hoax that had duped a gullible Australian and international media.

The claims centred on a controversial July 23 attack in southern Lebanon in which two Red Cross ambulances were destroyed, either by artillery or missiles - injuring at least six Lebanese, including one man whose leg was later amputated.

Later amputated? At the time, The Australian claimed the Magical Jew Missile had performed the operation itself, before thoughtfully cauterising the wound and evaporating without trace.

Initial media reports claimed the Israeli Defence Force targeted the vehicles, firing a missile directly through the roof of one ambulance using the international Red Cross symbol as a target marker.

Others blamed Israeli artillery or armed unmanned drones.

“Media reports”? “Others”? These claims appeared in The Australian, which now appears to be backing away from its previous reporting.

An Israeli army spokesman has now gone closer than ever before to admitting responsibility.

Oh, really? Let’s see:

“We (IDF) certainly do not target ambulances but in a combat zone, we cannot always co-ordinate their safety,” Captain Benjamin Rutland said. “It (the ambulance) could have been struck by our mortar or artillery.

“There was (Israeli army) shelling in the vicinity of the ambulance, but we do not have UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) footage and we don’t have access to the ambulance so we cannot tell for sure.”

To use News Ltd argot: they got nothin’.

While admitting the possibility of a tragic mistake, Captain Rutland cited several incidents during the recent Lebanon conflict in which Hezbollah fighters had stage-managed or misrepresented evidence of civilian casualties.

In August, Mr Downer slammed Australian and international media for not checking facts and branded reports of the alleged attack on the ambulance a hoax.

His comments were based on unverified evidence carried on an unattributed right-wing website,

Unverified? Unattributed? Unbelievable. Clickclick, click, click, click for earlier items on this. Also click here for Nick Charles’ take.

Posted by Tim B. on 12/27/2006 at 09:11 AM
(40) CommentsPermalink


Oceanographer and climatologist Kevin Vranes reveals his concern over global warming alarmism:

We tried for years - decades - to get them to listen to us about climate change. To do that we had to ramp up our rhetoric. We had to figure out ways to tone down our natural skepticism (we are scientists, after all) in order to put on a united face. We knew it would mean pushing the science harder than it should be. We knew it would mean allowing the boundary-pushers on the “it’s happening” side free reign while stifling the boundary-pushers on the other side.

But knowing the science, we knew the stakes to humanity were high and that the opposition to the truth would be fierce, so we knew we had to dig in. But now they are listening. Now they do believe us. Now they say they’re ready to take action. And now we’re wondering if we didn’t create a monster.

We’re wondering if they realize how uncertain our projections of future climate are. We wonder if we’ve oversold the science. We’re wondering what happened to our community, that individuals caveat even the most minor questionings of barely-proven climate change evidence, lest they be tagged as “skeptics.” We’re wondering if we’ve let our alarm at the problem trickle to the public sphere, missing all the caveats in translation that we have internalized. And we’re wondering if we’ve let some of our scientists take the science too far, promise too much knowledge, and promote more certainty in ourselves than is warranted.

Brave fellow. He’ll likely be lynched for this.

Posted by Tim B. on 12/27/2006 at 08:58 AM
(49) CommentsPermalink


The first part of Mark Steyn’s fantastic 2006 review. Earlier 2006 quote slabs here and here.

Posted by Tim B. on 12/27/2006 at 08:52 AM
(10) CommentsPermalink


Age reader Pam Ahern:

I celebrated Christmas with my piglet. As I write he sleeps beside me now on his pillow. His little honks a reminder of how charming, charismatic and endearing he is. He is my friend and no one’s food. We dined on a sumptuous feast of vegetables, grains, legumes and fruits, no animal corpses decorated the table. It was truly a time to celebrate.

Pam Ahern, Willowmavin

Great demographic you’ve got there, Age.
(Via Dan Lewis)

Posted by Tim B. on 12/27/2006 at 08:45 AM
(63) CommentsPermalink


Pakistan’s Daily Times reports:

Somalia’s Islamists are in full retreat after Ethiopian airstrikes and a ground offensive that have killed up to 1,000 of the religious movement’s fighters, Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said on Tuesday.

“A joint Somali government and Ethiopian force has broken the back of the international terrorist forces ... These forces are in full retreat,” Meles told reporters in Addis Ababa, adding that up to 1,000 Islamist fighters had been killed.

“A few are Somali but the majority are foreigners,” he said of the dead.

Somewhere, even as you read this, an Indymedia kid is working on a thesis that will link this directly to Chimposter W. KKKarlmuppet.

Posted by Tim B. on 12/27/2006 at 08:23 AM
(31) CommentsPermalink


Howard Mortman’s top ten funniest political quotes of 2006.

Posted by Tim B. on 12/27/2006 at 07:00 AM
(12) CommentsPermalink


A multicultural moment in London:

The victim, a 46-year-old white man, was walking through Regent’s Park with his wife, son and daughter when they passed another family, a Muslim man and his wife who was pushing a baby in a pushchair.

“The victim’s wife made a comment directed to her husband that she thought it must be difficult for the woman wearing the veil to see out of it as it covered her face,” a police spokesman said.

“The suspect began shouting and returned approximately 10 minutes later on his own and repeatedly punched and headbutted the victim.”

Well, at least nobody can complain that this chap was behaving contrary to modern British custom.

Posted by Tim B. on 12/27/2006 at 06:44 AM
(28) CommentsPermalink


Gerald Ford, 38th President of the United States, has died at 93.

Posted by Tim B. on 12/27/2006 at 01:11 AM
(42) CommentsPermalink

Tuesday, December 26, 2006


A Chuck Berry tune in honour of Saddam Hussein. Too bad Saddam isn’t much of a rock fan.

He’s more into swing.

Posted by Tim B. on 12/26/2006 at 11:30 PM
(72) CommentsPermalink


Social researcher Hugh Mackay has been banging on for years about how Australians are turning inward and becoming ever more selfish and materialistic. Factor this into your social research, Hugh:

The Salvation Army in Victoria had more offers of help than it knew what to do with this year as the state took the Christmas spirit to heart.

Hundreds of people called the charity organisation offering to help at the dozens of Christmas lunches held around the state.

“We were oversubscribed,” Salvation Army communications director Brad Halse said.

“Towards the end we have to turn volunteers away ...

Reverend Bill Crews reports similar generosity in New South Wales:

For well over 30 years now I have been involved in Christmas Day lunches for Sydney’s poor, needy and lonely ... but this year was different ...

We were literally bowled over by a tsunami of giving ...

Maybe it’s my post-Christmas tiredness, but I feel we could have looked after a million people with the number of potential volunteers who stepped forward.

Look for these views never to appear in a Hugh Mackay column. Ever. 

Posted by Tim B. on 12/26/2006 at 10:37 AM
(77) CommentsPermalink


A letter to the Independent:

Sir: Your environment editor, Geoffrey Lean, recently informed us that the Indian island of Lohachara had been washed off the face of the earth by global warming. According to Mr. Lean, Lohachara’s vanishing “marks the moment when one of the most apocalyptic predictions of environmentalists and climate scientists has started coming true.”

When did this event occur, exactly? And why wasn’t that date included in Mr. Lean’s article?


Tim Blair

Any response will be published in full.

Posted by Tim B. on 12/26/2006 at 10:33 AM
(82) CommentsPermalink


Something to file away for the next time warmeningists shriek that it’s the “hottest August 14th afternoon in a particular Shreveport suburb since records began!”, or whatever else is claimed by followers of the Warming Religion:

Melbourne’s maximum temperature of 14.5 yesterday made it the city’s coldest Christmas Day on record — eclipsing the 15.9 recorded on December 25, 1935, and falling more than 10 short of average for this time of year.

Posted by Tim B. on 12/26/2006 at 10:02 AM
(37) CommentsPermalink


Those party guys at the Age are obviously still in Prime Ministerial guzzle mode, judging by the copy they’re running:

• Khadijah - who converted to Islam a decaded ago ...

• The Queen makes her annual broadcast while, on another channell, a fully covered Muslim woman also sent a Christmas message.

(Via Dan Lewis)

Posted by Tim B. on 12/26/2006 at 09:56 AM
(18) CommentsPermalink


The Prime Minister gets into the Christmas spirit. Audio here.

Posted by Tim B. on 12/26/2006 at 12:52 AM
(80) CommentsPermalink


Phillip Adams pines for his Cuba-based heroes:

At one end of the island, Fidel Castro is dying. At the other, David Hicks is being driven insane.

It’d be a short drive. Does Adams seriously imagine that sane people travel overseas to join the freakin’ Taliban? Is a sane person given to Jewish global-domination conspiracies? Do sane people want to demolish democracy and install sharia law? Adams continues:

Hicks has had five years in and out of wire cages and solitary confinement, John. That’s 60 months, Philip. Or more than 1800 days, Alexander.

Keep the numbers coming, mate. That’s 260 weeks, Shlomo. More than 43,800 hours, Morgan. In excess of 2,629,000 minutes, Zebulon!

Though treated as cruelly as any criminal on earth …


In the long run it isn’t Hicks’s rights we should be defending; it’s my rights and your rights and the rights of other Australian kids who may be swept up in some mutated form of idealism or religious enthusiasm.

Not too many have been swept up by “idealism” since Dave moved to his current address. Interesting, that.

We’ve got standards to maintain: Australian standards of justice. Instead, we’re in bed with a government that rips up its constitution in regards to the civil rights of its citizens …

Examples, please.

… that allowed the horrors of Abu Ghraib …

Abu Ghraib’s bodystacking leash-enthusiasts have all been prosecuted. The only government that allowed horrors at Abu Ghraib was run by Saddam Hussein—who’d still be in charge if it were up to Phil.

Posted by Tim B. on 12/26/2006 at 12:46 AM
(71) CommentsPermalink
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