July 29, 2003


Mark Steyn’s latest:

At the BBC and Le Monde and the Sydney Morning Herald, anti-Americanism is the New Universal Theory: It explains everything; it's the prism through which every event is viewed. But it's an unlikely strategy for American electioneering. One anti-Bush Democrat at a protest the other day carried a sign reading ''FRANCE WAS RIGHT!'' That's not a winning slogan, even in Vermont.

It’d be a winning slogan in a contest for the slogan most guaranteed to get you laughed out of slogan college. Here’s a much better rallying cry: RAISINS, NOT VIRGINS! Well, if you want to win yourself a big fat fatwa, that is:

Arguing that today’s version of the Qur’an has been mistranscribed from the original text, scholar Christoph Luxenberg says that what are described as “houris” with “swelling breasts” refer to nothing more than “white raisins” and “juicy fruits.”

That’s from Newsweek, now banned in Pakistan, and comes to you via Opinion Journal. Coming to you via billabongs unknown is Professor Bunyip, who writes of David Marr:

What is there to be said of the man? The holes in his first attack on Bolt have been pointed out at some length by the victim, yet when Marr turned again to the subject last night, the only response was a dismissive "apology" followed by this snide advice to Bolt: "If you want to convince your readers you're a fair and truthful commentator, put your energies into your column." At Media Watch, truth is whatever Marr and the boys choose to make it.

Media Watch is looking kinda train-wreckish. Maybe I’ll talk a little about Dave and his Marrtians at 1.45 today when I’m on James Valentine’s show. Or maybe I’ll skip the show, buy myself a Uday Hussein Go-Pack, and hit the road:

What does a psychopathic dictator’s son pack when he’s on the run? According to CNN, found in Uday Hussein’s briefcase (in addition to US $400,000): Viagra, a condom, packaged underwear (first thing he reached for when the 101st rang the doorbell), cologne and a "tacky tie".

Visit Alan R. M. Jones for quality condom, cologne, and tacky tie links in the above piece. And for quality cartooning, check it out: Day By Day is back.

Posted by Tim Blair at July 29, 2003 01:55 PM

Thanks, Tim!

How's it down under? I hear you have an 'anti-site' dedicated against you!

Is that praise, or what?



Posted by: Chris Muir at July 29, 2003 at 02:54 PM

Hey Tim - I just heard someone claiming to be you on the wireless. Sounded quite reasonable, actually . . . you might want to chase this fellow down a stop him from giving you a bad rep.

Posted by: Mork at July 29, 2003 at 03:03 PM

"and" stop. Damn n and d keys.

Posted by: Mork at July 29, 2003 at 03:04 PM

From the contents of his suitcase, it's obvious that OOOOday must have been going to work as a traveling insurance salesman in his new life.

Posted by: wallace at July 29, 2003 at 03:37 PM

How is it possible lingusitically to confuse "virgins with swelling breasts with "white raisins"? I can understand the white reference, but was the Prophet suggesting that the houris in Paradise might be smaller than expected? When it comes to juicy fruits, surely the believers expected to be munching on melons?

Posted by: Rob (No 1) at July 29, 2003 at 03:49 PM

Our right's incestuous behaviour is only helping the left

Joe Cambria
Friday 25 July 2003

After my last commentary on the dismal state of Australia's so-called rightwing I promised myself that I would not return to the subject. However, Miranda Devine's article Thumbs down put Howard even more up (Sydney Morning Herald, 24/7) provoked me in to breaking my promise.

Now it just so happens that I agree with the main body of Devine's article, the theme of which is that the Australian leftwing elites' bigoted attacks on Prime Minister Howard are boomeranging.

What caught my eye, however, was the final paragraph in which Devine plugged a Quadrant magazine dinner to be held next week and addressed by Tim Blair, blogger and +Bulletin columnist, who will use the occasion to attack the ABC.

I have no objections to Blair attacking the ABC, an organisation that certainly deserves the strongest criticism. My complaint is the hypocrisy of the right. In some ways it behaves like the leftist elites it condemns, and Blair is an example of what I mean.

Blair's articles and blog are, to be charitable, rather long on smart aleck commentary and extremely short on analysis. Furthermore, they suggest, rightly or wrongly, that he is not what one might call bookish. Now how can anyone successfully tackle the left without a reasonable knowledge of economic theory, the history of economic thought, economic history and of leftist thought? Yet Blair gives no indication of being even slightly acquainted with these subjects.

Nevertheless, despite his obvious shortcomings and shallow commentary Melbourne's Adam Smith Club, the H. R. Nicholls Society, the Devines and now the publicly funded magazine Quadrant appear to be presenting Mr Blair as something he self-evidently is not — and that is a rightwing intellectual.

Since my return to Australia numerous business associates as well as people I have met at various cocktail parties have commented on the inward-looking nature of what the left derisively calls the "WMC Club". I believe the relationship between Mr Blair and the 'Club' confirms what so many, including the left, have had to say about the navel-gazing condition of Australia's so-called rightwing.

My views about the nature of the 'Club' were reinforced by Devine's failure to inform readers that she and her family are good friends with Blair. Of course, there is nothing improper in anyway here, except that for Devine to promote Blair without revealing their relations might be considered a conflict of interest. Another apparent conflict of interest is the fact that she sits on Quadrant's advisory editorial board. Incidentally, Frank Devine, her father, has also engaged in a little sly promotion of the 'Blair phenomenon'. (Come to think of it, the Devines' activities might be considered the journalistic equivalent of insider trading).

My main point is that the left and others are perfectly correct in drawing attention to the self-obsessed nature of our self-appointed rightwing elite. My secondary point is that the right's incestuous behaviour has only succeeded in damaging the cause of free markets and classical liberalism, unless you are naïve enough to believe that the likes of Blair are intellectually equipped to tackle the left. The right evidently needs to learn what happens when the intellectual gene pool degenerates.

During my long stay in the US I came to admire the enthusiasm, diligence and generosity of spirit that characterised the country's free market activists, at least the ones I knew. But it was their generosity and inclusiveness that truly impressed me. And that is the principal reason why gave them financial support.

What a difference a continent makes. Here I find pettiness, snobbishness, selfishness, backstabbing — and even blacklisting. Perhaps worst of all, absolutely no sense of shame.

A while ago I was attacked for criticising our rightwing. The following was part of my reply:

"I shall have no respect for it [the right] till it does the right thing by those who are not in the club but nevertheless have done much at their own expense to promote the cause of freedom. Until that happy day arrives, if ever, I presume our right will continue snubbing those it considers to be outsiders while trying to curry favour with well-known columnists like Tim Blair and Andrew Bolt."

Miranda Devine and her father have, unfortunately, only helped strengthen my belief that I shall not have to change my assessment of our self-appointed rightwing elitists.

from http://www.brookesnews.com/032507cambria.html

Posted by: jb at July 29, 2003 at 03:56 PM

A propos jb's observations, can anyone name a single writer in Australia, right or left, who writes about politics and is: (1) a good writer; (2) honest and scrupulously fair; and (3) above personal politics and associated pettiness.

Having just heard him on the radio, I think maybe Gerard Henderson comes closest, but he's not a terrific writer, and he seems to have some personal issues with John Howard (though he tries to overcome them).

Andrew Bolt has the potential, I think, but he does have a nasty habit of generalizing about his enemies and tarring everyone he doesn't support with the same brush (yesterday's column, for example, cast Socialist Alternative as representative of the "left-wing elite". If they're "elite", the term really has been drained of any meaning!).

Anyone else?

Posted by: Mork at July 29, 2003 at 04:21 PM

Uday needed Viagra at age 39? What a wuss!

Posted by: Michael Lonie at July 29, 2003 at 04:21 PM

Greg Sheridan.

Posted by: ilibcc at July 29, 2003 at 04:39 PM

Greg Sheridan

Yeah, I think I agree. But he covers a fairly small field.

Posted by: Mork at July 29, 2003 at 04:41 PM

andrew bolt? sorry. no.

he generalises far too often. and, while mr blair once had a poll up about the likely topic of phillip adams' next piece, try to sort bolt's columns into categories. his favourite topics (targets):
- cultural/artistic/academic 'elites' (including the mueseum and of course the ABC, everyone's target for 2003)
- anti-americanism (= anyone who didn't support the war)
- greenies
- anyone who doesn't love each & every policy of the current federal government

and that's about it. usually all at once because, you know, they all are the same.

Posted by: jb at July 29, 2003 at 04:42 PM

Glenn Milne

Posted by: ilibcc at July 29, 2003 at 05:03 PM


Even if you disagree with the host show a little etiquette and post the link and not the hole thing.

Posted by: Gary at July 29, 2003 at 05:10 PM

Glenn Milne

That pompous little shit?

He's my personal poster boy for what's wrong with the Canberra press gallery: self-important, no understanding of policy, reports politics as a zero sum game of "winners" and "losers" devoid of any wider context, mistakes gossip for news and tries wherever possible to make himself the story.

He spent the second half of 1994 and all of 1995 on a personal mission to destroy Keating because of some obscure personal slight he thought he'd suffered.

Posted by: Mork at July 29, 2003 at 05:13 PM

Tony Parkinson, Ross Gittins, Tim Colebatch?

Posted by: ilibcc at July 29, 2003 at 05:23 PM

IMO the best conservative columnists in the world are:

Mark Steyn
Paul Gigot
Roger Scruton
Melanie Philips
Theodore Dalrymple

There are no Australians in their class.

That said, Tim Blair writes a blog for God's sake - I don't expect in-depth analysis from him.

Posted by: Alex Hidell at July 29, 2003 at 05:25 PM

The most pressing matter for The Marrmosett last night (except for his snitty "apology" to Bolt, in which he again failed to disclose his personal relationship with Ayotollah Allison) was a possible fix in a sheep judging contest (without Kiwi gags) with a failure to disclose a relationship between the judge and the winner of the sheep show, and a fart gag.
"Media Watch" is about as relevant as the "Breakfast Zoo/Cage/Walrus" whatever it's called on morning drivetime commercial radio.
What a pompous puffed-up paltroon.

Posted by: Habib Bickford at July 29, 2003 at 05:38 PM

Since we're going international, George Will.

Posted by: ilibcc at July 29, 2003 at 05:41 PM

Cal Thomas, John Leo, Thomas Sowell, Wes Pruden.

PS Habib, it's poltroon. Or paltry. Either will do.

Posted by: pooh at July 29, 2003 at 05:47 PM


Posted by: Habib Bickford at July 29, 2003 at 05:49 PM

Pedant's fine as it is.

Posted by: pooh at July 29, 2003 at 05:53 PM

Cal Thomas, John Leo, Thomas Sowell, Wes Pruden.

Now I know you're joking!

On the non-conserative side: I really enjoy Joe Klein, Josh Marshall and Mickey Kaus (who's really a centrist these days). On economics and business, James Surowiecki (sp???) in the New Yorker is fantastic.

But I don't know that there's a better columnist writing in English today than Mark Steyn.

Posted by: Mork at July 29, 2003 at 05:53 PM

That was a long pompous turgid blog from jb.

Whoever said Tim Blair was an intellectual? When I hear that word, I reach for my gun. People like Allison Broinowski and Robert Manne have made that a dirty word in this country. We want more of the smart-alecky comments and less of jb's pseudo-philosophy.

Posted by: Rob (No 1) at July 29, 2003 at 06:13 PM

I enjoy Peggy Noonan. Reflexive America-haters despise her because she is a sentimental, folksy, old-fashioned Irish American and proud of it.

Posted by: ilibcc at July 29, 2003 at 06:19 PM

Yeah, I like Peggy Noonan, too. When she writes about policy, she doesn't sound too smart, but she's an absolute genius when it comes to effective political rhetoric. (That sounds like it's backhanded, but it's not meant to be).

Posted by: Mork at July 29, 2003 at 06:22 PM

Rob - you live in a country that doesn't really have public intellectuals. Perhaps if you had, you'd miss them.

Posted by: Mork at July 29, 2003 at 06:31 PM

Go Jb, good point. The problem is my friend that there is a lack of input into the debate by what you could call genuine liberals- of politics, economics and social progress. The right of labor are caught between a rock and hard place, the wets of the libs suffer from an appalling faction name and are presently 100% impotent.

Rob (No1) can we rename you Pol Pot? You want to reach for your gun at the word 'intellectual'- obviously threatened by thought generally. Well how about turning it on yourself and doing your best impression of an empty plastic bag being popped.

As for the rest of you have a read of this, it sure as hell won't be reported in your daily murdoch junk. US winning the hearts and minds with intelligent occupation as always, just as they did in Somalia, Vietnam etc...
PS don't look now but your fave rag the Spectator is looking decidedly anti war and dubious of America this week.....

"Tuesday July 29, 2003

The first hint that something might be up came at 1.30pm on Sunday afternoon. A car full of westerners in civilian clothes with cropped military-style haircuts pulled up outside the Al Sa'ah restaurant, two blocks from Prince Rabiah Muhamed al-Habib's house in the wealthy Mansur district of Baghdad.
The people going about their business in the sweltering afternoon sun did not know it at the time, but the men sitting in the car watching the street were the best the coalition forces had to offer: members of Task Force 20, the unit responsible for hunting down Saddam Hussein and other key members of the regime.

Within two hours soldiers attached to this so-called elite unit had shot and killed at least five people. Their actions have provoked anger towards the coalition in this previously peaceful and prosperous neighbourhood that is likely to simmer for some time to come.

According to Ra'fet Saad, 38, a local businessman, the car loitered in the area for two hours. Moments after it pulled away there was a loud explosion from the direction of Mr al-Habib's house. Mr Saad ran to the corner, where he saw special forces descending on the building from every direction. Wearing gas masks, body armour and black T-shirts with brightly coloured identification lettering on the sleeves, they blasted their way into the house.

Fifty yards up the street six Humvees had created a partial roadblack at a crossroads. Other troops, some dressed in civilian clothes, fanned out to block the main roads around the house, but crucially not the quieter side streets.

The first vehicle to get unlucky was a Chevrolet Malibu. For some reason, the driver did not stop as he approached the roadblock and the soldiers opened fire. Mr Saad had taken cover behind a wall. When he dared to look up, the soldiers were dragging two men away from the car. "I think they were dead," he said.

Fifteen minutes later, a Toyota Corona being driven by a man called Mazin, who was disabled and walked with the aid of a frame, arrived in the area. His wife was in the passenger seat and his teenage son in the back. If he had turned left out of the small lane that led to their house, they might all still be alive.

Instead, Mazin made the mistake of turning right towards the roadblock. A bullet from the volley of shots fired at the car passed through the windscreen and blew off the right half his head, according to Ahmed Ibrahim, who runs an optician's shop opposite the Al Sa'ah restaurant.

Nobody on the street yesterday seemed to know what had happened to his wife or teenage son, only that they had been injured and taken away by the Americans.

According to Mr Ibrahim, the soldiers were by now firing indiscriminately. A bullet struck the doorframe of his shop, while two others hit a generator belonging to the restaurant on the other side of the street. Another round hit the fuel tank of his Mercedes. It exploded in flames, setting alight the car parked next to it.

The next victim, who was in a red Mitsubishi Pajero landcrusier, was not even driving towards the roadblock. Instead, he had been travelling on a main road more than 150 yards away when he slowed down to see what the commotion was. Two bullets hit him in the chest.

Mr Ibrahim said that minutes later more troops had arrived in the area and the shooting had stopped.

"We consider the Americans now as war criminals," said Mahmoud al-Baghdadi, a 32-year-old baker. "They claim to be fighting terrorism, but they cannot defend freedom by killing disabled people."

Yaqdan Kadhem, a waiter, said that before he had felt sympathy for the Americans, but now he supported the attacks on US troops. "Until now I was against Saddam Hussein, but now I hate the Americans for what they did yesterday."

The coalition refused to comment on events in Mansur, except to say the raid had been carried out by Task Force 20."

Yep, not made up, they admit it, but not that most of you spineless pissants care less if a few "islamofascists" (which these civiies clearly were!!) get their faces blown off.

Posted by: GoughsSecretLovechild at July 29, 2003 at 07:05 PM

Well, that's a good way to fuck up an interesting thread.

Posted by: Mork at July 29, 2003 at 07:10 PM

Comments on Selected Australian Journalists:

Greg Sheridan is the Australian's chief Foreign Affairs correspondent. He knows his stuff,
but he often goes into "why aren't the politicians as smart as I am" mode, a not-uncommon failing amongst journalists.

Barry Cassidy is a long-term ABC TV journalist. He used to be the Canberra reporter for "The 7:30 Report". Many years ago he hosted "The Last Shout" on channel 10. He tries hard to deliver unbiased reporting (and succeeds!) while making no secret of his own stance. Moreover, he is (was? I'm rarely awake when Insiders is on) good: informative, insightful and thoughtful. I wish there were more like him.

Glen Milne is the Federal Politics reporter for the 7 network. His TV work is fairly undistinguished, but he also writes a weekly column in The Australian (on Mondays) which is by far the best political column in the Aus media. He gets lots of inside info, especially from the Coalition. He usually writes about issues with long-term significance, which is all too rare these days in which news coverage is dominated by one or two "hot" issues at any one time. (The ad hominen attack on Mr Milne by an earlier poster tells you something about the poster but nothing about his target.) Incidentally, John Howards sort of saved Mr Milne's life: a routine checkup before one of Howard's overseas trips found cancer in an early, treatable stage.

Posted by: Chris Chittleborough at July 29, 2003 at 08:10 PM

Mark Steyn is head and shoulders above the rest. An anthology of Mark Steyn, Peter Ruehl (spelling - the guy from the AFR) and this site (if a blog could be published in paper somehow) would be magnificent.

Posted by: Razor at July 29, 2003 at 08:34 PM

Ruehl is a bit of a PJ O'Rouke plagiarist; I don't mind some of his stuff in the FIN, but the style is not very original.
How come no-one's mentioned Phillip Adams?

Posted by: Habib Bickford at July 29, 2003 at 08:57 PM

How come no-one's mentioned Me?

Posted by: Yobbo at July 29, 2003 at 10:09 PM


I don’t know what a ‘public’ intellectual is. I think Rob is perfectly correct. There's a time and a place for intellectualism and a blog isn't it. Neither, for that matter, is a newspaper column.

Posted by: Alex Hidell at July 29, 2003 at 11:02 PM

Nonesense, Alex, there are plenty of high quality newspaper columns written by brilliant individuals who I'd consider public intellectuals: just not in this country.

As for the idea that the internet is not a suitable forum for intellectual discourse and debate . . . well, I think someone's sent you to the wrong internet.

Posted by: Mork at July 29, 2003 at 11:08 PM

Greg Sheridan's op-ed has been a beacon of sorts.

His passionate pleas for dignity on behalf of asylum seekers during the dark hours of 2001/2002 were clear and politically unaffiliated. Just as passionate was his opinion regarding military action in Iraq. Intelligent, articulate, and almost swayed me. He has a humanism about his writing that is refreshing.

He is also excellent on Asia, so even though poster above regards "I'm superior to politicians" as a journalistic slight, I'd take Sheridan's opinion of anywhere in Asia long before Downer's "me too" opinion saw the light of day.

Barrie Cassidy also tries as hard as possible to present balance, he actually listens, and responds. His skewering of Alston a few weeks back was so subtle I doubt that Alston knew it was happening - wonder if the flunkies played him the tape? I do agree the ABC could use a grease & lube that being said. Just not to the music that is the tiresome shrill cries of the present admin.

Posted by: chico o'farrill at July 29, 2003 at 11:11 PM

"Will Iranian-backed Islamists seize Iran?"

I wouldn't expect so. Maybe siezing Iraq.

Posted by: Andjam at July 29, 2003 at 11:23 PM

How could any Australian journalist be up there with America's finest when Australian's are but apprentice Americans?

Small chunks of Steyn are great even though he is from the retarded giant on America's doorstep.

Ralph Peters is not really a political journalist but much of his Parameters stuff is very insightful.

Even though he is not a political journalist, when he is on form - such as in Modern Times and in the Relentless and Thoroughly article - nobody writes like Paul "keep your dictionary handy" Johnson.

O'Rourke's Parliament of Whores is a modern classic but CEO of the Sofa was a real let down, no?

What language do they speak in Australia anyway?

Posted by: ZsaZsa at July 30, 2003 at 01:06 AM

Yawn... Given that Marr spent the best part of a decade working on his biography of Patrick White and an edition of his letters, you'd think he would have absorbed a little more of White's apocalytic genuis for feuding.

And Mork wrote:
A propos jb's observations, can anyone name a single writer in Australia, right or left, who writes about politics and is: (1) a good writer; (2) honest and scrupulously fair; and (3) above personal politics and associated pettiness.

Well, I don't expect columnists or bloggers to be the second half of (2) or (3). (I often suspect that 'honest and scrupulously fair' is too often code for 'someone I agree with'.)

Posted by: Craig Ranapia (Other Pundit) at July 30, 2003 at 01:21 AM

I agree with poster who listed John Leo and Thomas Sowell. I would add Charles Krauthammer and Michelle Malkin, who is young but very promising. Christopher Hitchens is not really a conservative but his writing on 9/11 and in favor of the war in Iraq was of the best I'd read. Takes no prisoners where islamic fascism is concerned.

Posted by: S.A. Smith at July 30, 2003 at 05:35 AM

Well Mork I just thought you'd like some real journalism from the Guardian. I saw it, I thought "those right wing tossers would love to read about a few iraqi civilians getting murdered" and, I admit it, dumped it into the nearest thread. As to your ongoing query: Greg Sheridan is not neutral, he is quite right wing, however unusually for an australian columnist he does seem to know something about his topic.

SA Smith Christopher hitchens is indeed very good, despite his self interested aberration on Iraq. Read "The trial of Henry Kissinger" for a strong indictment of US govt policy over decades.

Surely though, even though he is conservative, you lot agree that Clive Hamilton is boring and should be put back in his box. Australia institute- what is that?!

Philip Adams is the man. Without him and Margo Kingston op-ed in oz would be a wailing wall of ranting right wing year 10 dropouts; bolt, blair and that heinously unattractive and stupid woman who gets into the bulletin next to blair sometimes. Surely you idiots would get sick of the flattery and bore of such unmitigated crap after a while?

Then you could go back to school...

Posted by: Goughssecretlovechild at July 30, 2003 at 10:32 AM

> “Nonesense (sic), Alex, there are plenty of high quality newspaper columns written by brilliant individuals who I'd consider public intellectuals”

I didn’t say that the columnists shouldn’t be intellectuals, only that newspaper columns are no place for intellectual ostentation. I don’t know if Mark Steyn is an intellectual – all I know is that he writes lucid, cogent (and entertaining) articles – that’s all I need to know.

Posted by: Alex Hidell at July 30, 2003 at 10:39 AM

Michelle Malkin is a serial liar: even when you agree with her conclusions, you can't trust the honesty of her reasoning, or even her truthfulness on facts. Here's one example, but there are many others:


The really depressing thing about most of the opinion writers in Australia today on both sides (Tim most definitely included) is that they only ever preach to the choir: how many columns do you see in Australian newspapers that do nothing more than repeat the same old shibboleths and then poke fun (or worse) at anyone who disagrees.

To persuade someone who doesn't already share your thinking, you first have to convince them that you understand their point of view and can see why they might think that way. Once you've done that, it's far easier to explain to them why they're wrong.

Posted by: Mork at July 30, 2003 at 10:50 AM

They're often nameless, but nobody can write an opinion piece as convincingly as an Economist correspondent.

Posted by: PK at July 30, 2003 at 10:56 AM

Greg Sheridan is a fine writer, but it's getting hard to distinguish his articles from US pentagon press releases lately. I had a good laugh when he castigated anyone using the term "neo-conservative", and then Paul Kelly (fellow Oz columnist) used the term in his column the very next day :-)

Posted by: Geoff at July 30, 2003 at 11:34 AM

Thanks for the condom links - now I know where to find a vibrating rubber duck.


Posted by: Craig Mc at July 30, 2003 at 11:56 AM

"...preach to the choir"

So true.

This is what makes Greg Sheriden different. An independent thinker. Not many like him in Australia. Because I know his views on Iraq, it doesn't mean I automatically know his views on censorship, refugees, abortion, taxation, environment, law and order etc etc. That's refreshing.

PS. I wouldn't mind smacking down these simple-minded twits doing huge pastes to sabotage the comment section.

Posted by: The at July 30, 2003 at 12:25 PM

Hey THE, is that you calling me a simple twit? And you think Greg Sheridan is an independent thinker? What for dripping with anticipation each time the west considers unleashing aggression on someone? For being pro the war in iraq etc? Really- I thought that was the line every editor in the murdoch world (over 200) took. But im a simple thinker, while you are obviously well on your way to a nobel prize.

Go ahead and try smacking me down you little twit.

I didn't drop it in there to end discussion, but to add to it- but you guys are just like the quoir Mork refers to above, you don't have the balls to read anything that challenges your understanding of the world. Like a piece of news, virtually unreported over here, regarding how your moronic buddies are doing their best to lose the peace.

PK Economist is good quality, but they sing the same tune with monotony. Friday Fin Review has a good mix of features from both left and right, though most tend to come from overseas publications.

Surprised you guys haven't mentioned Paul Kelly, he is a little right of centre but I think he has quite a good grasp of cross scene politics.

And then there is crikey...

Posted by: goughsecretlovechild at July 30, 2003 at 04:12 PM


I don't find that a terribly compelling case of lying.

What do you think Lee meant by implying that by supporting the resolution one was somehow in danger of becoming the evil he deplores? She was talking about the desire of Americans to get those responsible--call it revenge or call it justice. I'm not a religious person so I could care less what Lee's god tells her to do.

The US had every right to attack Afghanistan--and in doing so, there was no way that innocent people wouldn't be killed. Innocent women and children were killed in Germany, too. By firebombing Dresden and Tokya, did the Allies become the evil they deplored? At any rate, when attributing motive and intent (i.e., the evil we deplore: "evil" in the sense that Al-Qaeda is evil) Lee, and people like her, can't seem (or seem not to want) to distinguish between the intentional killing of innocents from a war waged against the intentional killers of innocents. I supported the war against the Taleban, knowing full well that children would be killed. Have I become the evil I deplore?

She offended me with her speech, which would have had a lot more force were Lee not a longtime supporter and admirer of maximum ruler castro and that dungeon he rules called cuba.

Malkin is a columnist expressing an opinion. She interprets what is said, what is not said, and what has been said and done in the past to give context to her opinions.

Her characterization of Lee was fair.

Posted by: S.A. Smith at July 30, 2003 at 04:17 PM

S.A.: Lee merely asked the question, she did not supply the answer. To state otherwise was an outright lie.

If you want more examples of her duplicity, try entering her name into the archive search on the Daily Howler web site . . . it will take you a while to go through all the hits. You could try the same thing at Spinsanity.

As for the firebombing of Dresden and Tokyo, well, if it doesn't at least give you pause to ask the question, in my opinion, you're not really firing on all cylinders in the morality department.

Posted by: Mork at July 30, 2003 at 06:23 PM

Go Mork, couldn't have said it better myself. THe allies DID compromise their moral position in what was otherwise an entirely justified war. And Hiroshima- hey lets road test some technology when documents show we knew at the time that we had effectively won.

Slaughterhouse 03

Posted by: sphincter at July 30, 2003 at 06:26 PM

Well, thanks, sphincter - but I wouldn't want to be associated with the view that using the atom bomb was an easy moral question either way. I suspect that if I'd been Truman's shoes, I might have used it too. You've got to remember that the decision to use it was made at the end of the most vicious, desensitizing war in human history, which clearly changes the subjective morality of the decision, if not the objective morality.

Posted by: Mork at July 30, 2003 at 07:08 PM

Dear Goughssecretlovechild/Sphincter:

Serious commentators of the Left consider our percieved position of having the higher moral ground, vision and compassion to have been hard-won gains.

Childish, vitreolic outbursts from those purporting to represent the Left do little to further debate and ultimately erode our prestige. Please leave debate to the intelligensia, and keep your imbecilic tantrums to within the confines of your (doubtlessly putrid) home.

We don't need your kind "supporting" our cause.

Perhaps when you have matured a little and learned something of the art of robust debate, we will welcome you with open arms. Until then, shut up and listen, turd-breath.

Posted by: Bob Small at July 31, 2003 at 06:51 AM

Mork, Who said it didn't give me pause? If I was short, it was only because I was trying to be clear and unhypocritical.

Don't really have time to read a critical evaluation of Malkin's catalogue. But in the present case I don't think Lee was pondering a possibility so much as making a political statement about something already obvious to any schoolchild. Did we drop a nuke on Kabul? Did we bomb indescriminately? No. Again, if Lee didn't have a history of supporting murderous communist dictators, her anguish might be poignant. I was also underwhelmed by the author's criticism of Malkin's quote from the Berkeley High student. Malkin was trying to make a point about the political atmosphere in Berkeley--that it breeds a kind of leftist foolishness, reflected in the products of its academic institutions and the kind of politicians these products elect. Incidentally I grew up 20 miles east of Berkeley so I know wherefrom I speak. But listen, I'm no right winger. Like Hitchens I think that the greater danger is under-responding to islamic terrorism. I just don't trust most of the Left to fight this war effectively.

Sphincter, I'm sure Billy Pilgrim would be proud. Look at you: You're reading!

Posted by: S.A. Smith at July 31, 2003 at 08:56 AM

Bob Small, you carry the syndrome of men with your nomenclature.

Look at your entire slaner on me, you said nothing, nothing at all. Mature, well I'm a bit young but well into my 4th degree. Grants, no I paid my own way on the last two, make plenty as a lawyer.

As for you, what are you a f*cking accountant? And you tell me you understand "mature" debate? What, liek this site, full of small minded undereducated ranting right wing pissants? Over the past few days I have consistently single handedly taken on whole groups of you snivelling inbreeds, and although I've thoroughly enjoyed the sport, and I take all the return isults in the spirit of fair play, I have noted that very few points I have made have been rebutted.

F*ck off you girl, if you can't take the heat go back to mummy's bed and let the big kids play.

Posted by: goughsphincter at July 31, 2003 at 10:16 AM

Eur, I will admit there are some turgid typos there, sorry 'bout that but I'm in a hurry to put some ingrate like yourself in their place and I haven't had a coffee yet.

But seriously, if you can't take a bit of alternative argument, and at least some of your chums like habib and mork can, then crawl back under your rock.

What a pathetic anorak...

Posted by: goughsphincter at July 31, 2003 at 10:19 AM

Your apology is accepted.

Now, all you need to do is be a good boy and stay quiet.

Posted by: Bob Small at July 31, 2003 at 10:33 AM

S.A. Smith: I don't disagree with Malkin's overall point, as explained by you. but I still think she made it dishonestly, but whatever.

As for the last couple of sentences of your paragraph, well, I could have written them myself.

Posted by: Mork at July 31, 2003 at 10:45 AM

Need four degrees to prove how clever you are, eh?
An paid for TWO of them- that's big of you.
When I wanted to find out how intellegent I was ,I took $25K of Kerry Stokes' dough on "The Weakest Link". (And I took it in front of a studio full of mouthy Victorian dickheads just like you).
We also see why you are such a fan of asylum seekers as well- wouldn't do the odd Federal Court appearance on my dollar perchance?
Hypocritical poonce.

Posted by: Habib Bickford at July 31, 2003 at 11:29 AM


Care to back up your claim that Hitchens' position on Iraq is self-serving? I'm sure its easier to dismiss his views in this fashion (a lot easier than analysing and rebutting ARGUMENTS, I admit), but this is a man who was hectored off the staff of The Nation (where he'd been for damn near forever), dropped from numerous progressive publications, shunned by most of his former friends. Absent a HUGE paycheck for his troubles (7 zeros at a minimum), I doubt anyone would be willing to go through such a thing except if he believed it was right.

Oh, and Hitchen's critique of Kissinger IS truely scathing. So what? Hitchens hasn't let up in his criticism of Kissinger at all (he continues to claim he should be brought up on war crimes charges), but he has figured out that pointing to past US misdeeds is nothing more than a single debating point (if that); it certainly does NOT constitute an entire argument.

Posted by: Sean at July 31, 2003 at 11:29 AM

Court adjourned for lunch.

Sandwiches brought in on platter. Chicken, avocado, mayo on sourdough; roast beef and dijon mustard on wholegrain; felafel, tahini and lettuce wraps for the vegos.



Posted by: pooh at July 31, 2003 at 11:42 AM

Habib Habib, I find my self in ecruciating circular arguments with you throwbacks. As you know, because you are stupid but can clearly read, I was responding to small man with those academic references. That I've paid for half was to avoid the inevitable 15 entries screaming about 'bludgers on my tax money'.

Which you came to anyway. Ignoring your expected ignorance on the nature of legal aid, and obvious assumption that people aren't allowed recourse to the law, and by that your effective position that the law doesn't need to even be applied when asylum applications are being processed.... no, I've never done that work.

You 'proved' your intelligence on the weakest link?? What a spanner!

Posted by: HabibsMum at July 31, 2003 at 01:59 PM

Spanner eh? I was out of the workforce at the time, waiting for a qualification to be recognised. The recording was boring, the questions infantile and it meant going to bloody Melbourne in winter, but it worked out at about $3,000 an hour. In the unlikely circumstance that you ever make it to senior counsel (although you have the right politics as long as Bracksie stays in) you might pull that for a day. I didn't even watch the episode, and was slagged of on another lefty yabber show, "The Panel", for the fact that I didn't carry on like a pork chop when I won.
I also don't take welfare (even though I pay for it) so $25K came in handy at the time.
I don't need to question your intellegence- you have illustrated it with your inability to have a reasoned arguement without resorting to personal abuse.
You obviously don't do much court work, or if you do you must spend a fair bit of time in the cooler for contempt.

Posted by: paul bickford at July 31, 2003 at 05:00 PM