August 28, 2004

NEWS BRIEFLETS

Andrew Bolt notes the sheeplike qualities of Australian writers, and mentions in passing this historic literary gathering.

Stand back as Currency Lad greets a new publication from Australia's old left, featuring an odious crybaby column from "the half Don Lane, half Richard Neville freak" Julian Nimio.

This will make Naomi Klein happy. Charles Simmins scans the latest US census figures, and turns up some interesting stats: "The female to male earnings ratio is down for 2003, but the ratios for all three years of the Bush Administration are much higher than at any other time in history, with 2002 being the record year. The 2003 ratio of 75.5% is still much higher than the previous high, before Bush, in 1998 of 74.2%."

"It looks like the swift boat ad is working." intones the left-leaning Electoral-Vote.com. "Kerry is now dropping in the state polls as well as in the national polls."

And from Byron York: "A new Gallup poll provides what might be the best measure so far of the effect the Swift Boat controversy is having on Sen. John Kerry's presidential candidacy. The poll, conducted August 23-25, shows Kerry's unfavorable rating at its highest point since Gallup began measuring Kerry's performance in February 1999."

Robert Corr discovers that the Sydney Morning Herald is publishing a secret blog, authored by Kingstonite headcase Antony Loewenstein. It's been running for a few weeks now, but has no link from the main SMH page (or from the opinion page, or anywhere that I can see). Why does the SMH launch something like this and tell nobody about it?

Posted by Tim Blair at August 28, 2004 06:30 AM
Comments

Tim: Did you notice that on Electoral-vote.com California is reported as "Barely Kerry"?

There's a shocker.

Posted by: Brennan Stout at August 28, 2004 at 06:40 AM

"Why does the SMH launch something like this and tell nobody about it?"

They were hoping you wouldn't notice?

I did a Google "link:http://www.smh.com.au/blogs/counterspin.html" search, and it turned up nothing as well. Really, I think it would be decent of you to help get the word out about it by "flogging" it a bit here.

Posted by: Chuck Bearden at August 28, 2004 at 07:56 AM

Bolt's article was great. I think the same could be said about US writers.

Posted by: Chris Josephson at August 28, 2004 at 09:09 AM

Julian Nimio is a sad, pathetic wanker. Ladies, can you imagine being married to this spineless worm? America disappointed me,Australia disappointed me,Boo Hoo Hoo!

Posted by: debbie at August 28, 2004 at 09:12 AM

...oh and re: the Bolt article..."moo in unison" ...LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Great links TIm.

Posted by: debbie at August 28, 2004 at 09:14 AM

Mr Blair;

Given the example of Margo's web diary, doesn't that seem the safer course? It strokes the ego of the writer without risking the paper's reputation.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at August 28, 2004 at 11:12 AM

I think Nimio should move again to a place more to his liking. Say, North Korea or Zimbabwe.

Also, does anyone really believe that Tennessee, which Gore lost, is "barely Kerry?" That defies the imagination.

Posted by: JorgXMcKie at August 28, 2004 at 11:14 AM

On an unrelated news brieflet.The Architectural fraternity ran a competition for its students to design a better Sydney.The kids from Uni of Western Sydney imagined orbital cities connected with an internal light rail system and a major connecting train system that works(Sydney's trains are stuffed).They believed that Australians want water views so they envisaged a canal system modelled on Venice(Campbelltown the Venice of the west)
The kids from Uni of Sydney saw the need to consolidate urban sprawl.They reasoned that on one existing block of land you could build several housing commission dwellings.
So the choice was between, Campbelltown the Venice of the west or take the rich folks homes and build housing commission in the inner city.Guess who won?
Uni of Sydney of course.
I guess thats why they call the Western Suburbs of Sydney aspirational while the elites will be lining up to sacrifice their Paddington terraces for the greater good(yeah right).
Sorry I just had to get that off my chest.

Posted by: gubbaboy at August 28, 2004 at 12:54 PM

Who saw the letter to the Hun from Allen in Bairnsdale (VIC) re Bolt's article? I'll paraphrase it for you.

It is ironic that Bolt claims our writers are sheeplike, when he was one of the herd of hacks who repeatidly told us about Iraq stockpiles of WMDs. Baaaa.

Could not have put it better myself.

Posted by: jimbo at August 28, 2004 at 01:20 PM

Are you referring to the weapons already discovered that were sufficient to kill 500,000? What, exactly, is your threshold for WMD? 1,000,000? 10,000,000? Or "anything above whatever amounts are found"?

Posted by: Dave S. at August 28, 2004 at 01:43 PM

Dave S, shame on you! Don't you know the Leftoid Standards For Weapons Of Mass Destruction (TM)?

Said WMDs must be neatly stacked in a clean warehouse, with each individual item clearly marked "THIS IS DULY CERTIFIED BY THE UNITED NATIONS AS A WEAPON OF MASS DESTRUCTION, CERTIFICATE #xxxxxxxxxx".

There must be an inventory, signed by Saddam Hussein, and countersigned by Rumsfeld, with final certification by Hans Blix.

Finally, the exterior of the warehouse must have neon lights spelling out "IRAQI WMD STOCKPILE HERE. COALITION FORCES NOT WELCOME, STRUGGLING DICTATORS AND TERRORISTS BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. SPECIAL RATES FOR BULK PURCHASE."

And now you know.

Posted by: The Real JeffS at August 28, 2004 at 02:12 PM

And Saddam must be found in his secret underground lair, seated on a throne made of sarin canisters, picking his teeth with one pinky and stroking a hairless cat while demanding one billion dollars...

Posted by: richard mcenroe at August 28, 2004 at 03:03 PM

.....and frigging sharks with laser beams.

Posted by: The Real JeffS at August 28, 2004 at 04:19 PM

"At the end of every day I drive through the city of Sydney, and as I cross the bridge that will take me home I feel the words building inside me. I can't stop them or tell you why I say them, but as I reach the top of the bridge, these words come to me in a whisper. I say them as prayer, as regret, as praise... I say 'Loewenstein... Loewenstein... stop typing you oxygen thief, nobody's interested."

Prince of Turds

Posted by: fidens at August 28, 2004 at 06:22 PM

Throw me a frickin bone here.

SMH's attempt at a blog is even worse than the the Surrender Moaning Harp-on itself.

Posted by: Sheriff at August 28, 2004 at 06:26 PM

...the sheeplike qualities of Australian writers...

Frank Moorhouse ... Sophie Masson ... Hal Colebatch ... Les Murray ... yeah ...
Geoff Page ... John Whitworth ... yeah, we've got a couple of right-leaning writers. Go to Quadrant magazine for some good examples.

Speaking of right-leaning writers, there's also little ol' me. I'll be competing in some statewide performance poetry finals in Balmain next week. Am currently considering whether to dedicate my performance to John Howard or George Bush or someone else...

Posted by: TimT at August 28, 2004 at 06:48 PM

Here's an idea: exposing the lies and madness of the SMH is good in itself but won't stop them. People should buy - jointly perhaps - a minimal shareholding - one or two sharees if they can get an odd packet from a broker, which I gather is feasible today - and turn up at the Fairfax AGM and play merry hell! It might concentrate the minds of management about cleaning it up.

Posted by: Sue at August 28, 2004 at 07:42 PM

Hang on there Dave S.
Weapons "already discovered"? Which ones were those then?, and why haven't there been any reports of wmd finds in the papers?
Get real Dave.

Posted by: jimbo at August 28, 2004 at 08:01 PM

Yeah, Quadrant publishes righties, and some very good ones, especialy since Robert Manne ceased to be editor.

However, for some reason it also publises, as a regular columnist, Neil McDonald, a grade A-bore and a leftist anti-US conspiracy theorist (thinks US nmuders dissident journalists in Iraq & similar crap) and who ass-licks the revolting Phillip Knightley.

Posted by: Sue at August 28, 2004 at 09:31 PM

Jesus, jimbo, you're even lazier than I am.

Look it up on google, you feckless tard.

Posted by: ushie at August 29, 2004 at 02:12 AM

I recently covered an NYC speech Naomi Klein gave to very very hard left revolutionary dipshits in NYC for my paper.

She praised the Mahdi army as patriots and freedom fighters. SHe said she loved them.

I have never been so disgusted by anything that I had to cover in my life.

Really, every American body bag made her happy.

Posted by: rod at August 29, 2004 at 02:16 AM

I should have added this part:

Results 1 - 10 of about 2,340 for "wmd found in iraq". (0.27 seconds)

Posted by: Ken Summers at August 29, 2004 at 08:18 AM

Unfortunately, rod, there are many Americans like that. It's pathetic. If they don't like America, they can always move. Canada comes to mind.

Posted by: The Real JeffS at August 29, 2004 at 10:13 AM

Ken! You know that Fauxnews has been judged Unreliable by the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice of People With Degrees Or Who At Least Live in Towns With Universities and are Therefore Smarter Than You and Know What's Good For You Better Than You Do!

Posted by: Andrea Harris at August 29, 2004 at 10:22 AM

I used to be on that committee before being judged Unreliable.

Posted by: Ken Summers at August 29, 2004 at 11:01 AM

I always wondered how many times that committee in Saudi Arabia got the "vice" and the "virtue" part of its name switched.

Take me drunk, I'm home.

Posted by: David Crawford at August 29, 2004 at 11:15 AM

Tim T,
Does not John Whitworth rock?
Has any publisher collected/selected his stuff?

Posted by: fidens at August 29, 2004 at 12:53 PM

Yes, he's effing awesome.

I remember seeing a review of a Whitworth book in Quadrant late last year (I think?). So he has been published - probably by Duffy and Snellgrove.

Posted by: TimT at August 29, 2004 at 01:30 PM

the Real JeffS:
We don't want them! You keep them; we have an over-abundance of our own.

Cheers
JMH

Posted by: J.M. Heinrichs at August 29, 2004 at 01:42 PM

Well, looks like he's published eight books to date through Peterloo Poets.

Duffy and Snellgrove is well worth visiting also. The Duffy half of the title is Michael Duffy, of Counterpoint and Daily Telegraph fame.

Posted by: TimT at August 29, 2004 at 01:42 PM

Sorry, JMH, but I was thinking of relocating them to the northern parts of the Yukon, or possibly alonng Hudson Bay.

If that has environmental problems, perhaps we could compromise and send them to Antarctica?

Posted by: The Real JeffS at August 29, 2004 at 02:46 PM

Nice post Ken,
So two pissy little containers that could have been 20 years old was worth the current mess in Iraq.
With estimates of over 50,000 dead do you understand the concept of proportionality?

Posted by: jimbo at August 29, 2004 at 03:37 PM

jimbo, just where do you get your "...estimates of over 50,000 dead..."? Got a reliable and independent link?

Please note that sometimes these figures have been shown to be inflated. They've been discussed on this blog before. Several times.

Posted by: The Real JeffS at August 29, 2004 at 03:55 PM

It is my view that in ten years time - when Iraq is a peaceful and prosperous democracy - Chirac, Rall, Chomsky, and every other opponent of the war (yes, even you jimbo) should be forced to wander the streets of Baghdad and explain to the citizens how...

It was all.

A terrible.

Mistake.

Then they can do the same in Iran.

Posted by: fidens at August 29, 2004 at 10:13 PM

That 50k number is a little more than suspect. 20k would be more believable. I think the high estimate at the start of the year was 10-12k and I think several thousand more have been killed, some terrorists, some Sard malitia, a bunch killed in murder-suicide attacks, and maybe a couple dozen coalition collaterals.

Posted by: aaron at August 30, 2004 at 02:00 AM

That's what I thought as well, Aaron. But since jimbo is tossing it around, I'd still like jimbo to provide a reliable and independent source for it.

Posted by: The Real JeffS at August 30, 2004 at 02:04 AM

Those numbers are hard to come by because they have to be composite of several sources and it is difficult to verify claims and identify redundancies. I'll see what I can find, don't count on jimbo.

Here are the recent US numbers in the mean time:
http://www.dod.mil/news/Aug2004/d20040823cas.pdf

Posted by: aaron at August 30, 2004 at 02:10 AM

Jimbo, quit moving goalposts. Here is what you said: "Weapons "already discovered"? Which ones were those then?, and why haven't there been any reports of wmd finds in the papers?" I provided one of many links. What size stockpile would you accept as proof?

Besides, the justification for crushing Saddam never rested on finding stockpiles. He was required by the UN to account for all the WMD he was known to have and to have used. He never did this. Bush enforced the resolutions the UN didn't have the balls to enforce.

One additional comment: I think it's pretty sad for the left that a comic, David Slade, should be able to sum up the entire weapons inspection fiasco in one line: "Kids, it's like your Mom says 'I'm going to search your room for weed...in six months'."

Posted by: Ken Summers at August 30, 2004 at 02:29 AM

Ken, of course jimbo knows that the Iraq invasion never rested on WMDs. WMDs were a symptom of the real problem -- Saddam's open and enthusiastic support of terrorism. WMDs in his hands would have driven terrorism up several notches.

And, or course, there is the Official Leftoid Standards For Weapons Of Mass Destruction (TM). Maybe Bush never heard about them because of that not-so-minor problem of moving the goalposts.

Posted by: The Real JeffS at August 30, 2004 at 04:27 AM

Aaron, thank you for making part of my point. You certainly think better than jimbo does, and are willing to do what jimbo won't -- the second part of my point.

The last part of my point, jimbo, is that you seem to accept the numbers that meet your expectations, not what would be considered an objective analysis (see Aaron's post above). This is known as "spin" or "manipulation", and I am calling you on it.

If you want to make these wild statements, be prepared to support them. This is not the Democratic Underground where parrotting DNC talking points is considered the height of logic.

Posted by: The Real JeffS at August 30, 2004 at 04:34 AM

That's an interesting site, Aaron. Thank you for posting it.

The site is clearly anti-Iraq occupation (and thus biased), but the casualty count is a lot closer to what I've heard from other sources. So I guess they are being reasonable in their calculations.

And the figure is a lot less than what spin doctor jimbo dropped on us.

Posted by: The Real JeffS at August 30, 2004 at 07:36 AM

Real Jeffs, I know the Iraqi death count can't be 100% accurate so lets just settle on arron's figure of 20,000 human beings.
So finding 2 tiny and largely harmless shells (that were most likely to be over 15 years old) was worth 20,000 deaths, not to mention the casualties.
Then of course there is the obvious fact that the invasion has fuelled anti-US sentiment and has provided a valuable recruitment tool for al-queada.
You just haven't worked it out yet. You can't win a war on terror by dropping massive amounts on bombs on people, shooting up mosques, and occupying Muslim countries.
If the global village idiot, tony blair, and little jonnie, went to a UN-sanctioned war to oust Saddam with a distinct plan to minimise casualities I would have supported the war. But instead we had shock and awe, a total disregard for international law, and the charade of WMDs.
It takes a special kind of incompetence to fuck up the overthrow of a hated dictator.

Posted by: jimbo at August 30, 2004 at 09:08 AM

I wonder what ever happened to Jimbo. You'd think he'd have somethink valid to contribute.

Posted by: aaron at August 30, 2004 at 09:37 AM

jimbo,

Out of curiousity, why is the sanction of the UN so vital? I assume it's for purely legalistic reasons because, as you well know, consensus is not a reliable path to morality. Either an action is right, or it is not - the fact that everyone agrees changes nothing.

Hypothetical: Assume for a moment that every state in the UN (including the GA) backed military action in Iraq, except one - let's say... France? France vetoes the decision to go to war and, hence, it has no UN support. What, in your view, should happen in this case?

The UN is not the arbiter of morality, it is a forum in which nations can represent their interests. Such interests may include leaving a despot in power and, yes, even allowing him to have WMD.

Posted by: fidens at August 30, 2004 at 09:44 AM

jimbo, let's go back to my original question. You stated "over 50,000 dead". It's less than 20,000. That's not even 100% close -- you are off by 250%. Hyperbole and spin.

Also, the invasion of Iraq did not rest on WMDs -- people keep throwing that up because they don't like the real reason, pre-emptive strikes against nations that support terrorism in a war on terrorism. Saddam supported terrorism. He was a terrorist himself; look at the mass graves that have been dug up. Or the chemical attacks against the Kurds. That no formal link between Saddam and Al Quaeda has been found is immaterial; Iraq under Saddam engaged in "State support of terrorism".

As for "international law".....there is none. There are treaties for standards and agreements. But the UN is not a law making/enforcing government body. The United Nations does not rule anyone. It arbitrates, with the carrot of money or the stick of sanctions (peace keeping forces don't count; they are at best there as observers or buffers). And sometimes the UN does that damned badly (i.e., the "Food for Oil" scam or Rwanda).

As for "...dropping massive amounts on bombs on people, shooting up mosques, and occupying Muslim countries"...

1. We dropped massive amounts of bombs on military targets. Ever hear of precision guided munitions? This is nitpicking, but the "saturation bombing" techniques of WWII and Vietnam aren't used any more. We try to minimize civilian casualties. Did Saddam take such care during the invasion by not putting his troops amongst civilian populations and facilities? Nope.

2. If mosques get shot up, someone is probably shooting at Coalition forces from them. If these mosques are so holy, why the f**k are these "religious zealots" using them as bunkers? Bah! That's blame projection on your part, making the terrorists out as being the good guys.

3. Occupying Muslim countries... that's "country", in the singular. One country, Iraq. And that happens when you invade, y'know? To topple a tyrant. One goes with the other.

Let me also point out that you said "...If the global village idiot, tony blair, and little jonnie, went to a UN-sanctioned war to oust Saddam with a distinct plan to minimise casualities I would have supported the war.

We couldn't have invaded Iraq under UN sanctions without an occupation. So what's the difference between an occupation with or without UN "sanctioning"? Either way, the infidels will be in Iraq, "...dropping massive amounts on bombs on people, shooting up mosques, and occupying Muslim countries".

All of these points have been shot down time and again. They aren't solid because they are someone's vision of the world as they want it to be, not as it really is. Get real, jimbo.

Posted by: The Real JeffS at August 30, 2004 at 10:50 AM

France and the UN opposed action in Iraq because they made lots of money from Saddam. Google the phrase "oil for food".

France has not held any moral high ground since...since...

Ok. France has NEVER had moral high ground.

Posted by: Ken Summers at August 30, 2004 at 11:39 AM

Well, Ken, the general position of people like jimbo is that they have the moral high ground because they think the war is wrong. And because they think the war is wrong, everyone who disagrees with them is wrong. It's all about the center of the universe, i.e., people like jimbo.

France, on the other hand, simply want to whore themselves and their country to maintain their system a little while longer. That takes cash on the barrel; the masses will stand for nothing less.

Then George "Dubya" Bush told people like jimbo and the French (among others) that they don't have the moral high ground, and then had the audacity (gasp!) to support his words with action.

In the process, France looses its cash flow (hence their eagerness for arms deals with China), and people like jimbo have their make believe world of sweetness and light doused with vinegar.

Is it any wonder that they hate Bush? jimbo makes himself look like a fool arguing for Kerry to be President after calling Kerry a pussy in another thread. That's because Kerry doesn't threaten their world. Kerry will tell them what they want to hear, and that's not "we have to go war".

Every show needs a clown. This would be funny except that most of these clowns can vote.

Posted by: The Real JeffS at August 30, 2004 at 12:56 PM

To Real Jeffs.
Point one; Civilised bombing. If you believe in your spin about civilised bombing surely you will condemn the use of depleted uranium tipped bombs that go on killing indiscrimantly after they have exploded. same goes for cluster bombs.
The US are still using B1 and B2 bombers that don't using laser guided or GPS guided bombs. ie they are still using the vietnam method.
Why don't you condemn that?
Point 2. I don't support religious zealots but shooting them and destroying mosques at the same time just creates more religious zealots.
Point 3. Occupying Islamic countries. Sure it is just one for now, but what about the US support for all those nasty little dictators in the region and bases in Turkey. That pisses people off. If the US wanted to bring democracy to the arab world, surely they would have started by giving the Kuwaitis a vote rather than re-installing the current dictator.
Finally an occupation of UN or Arab league troops actually had, i said had, a chance of succeeding. With the US occupying Iraq there can only be further violence.
Do you know what just war theory is?
Study it and see if any of the seven conditions for a just war existed in March 2003.
Sorry it has taken so long to reply to your post. busy day at work keeping the economy going.

Posted by: jimbo at August 30, 2004 at 09:34 PM

"...surely you will condemn the use of depleted uranium tipped bombs that go on killing indiscrimantly after they have exploded."

Oh god Jimbo believes the "depleted uranium killz by itself aaagghhh!" bullshit. Okay, end of what little credibility you had here dumbo. I didn't even bother reading the rest of your blather, and I suggest none of you guys bother either.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at August 30, 2004 at 11:20 PM

Andrea's right. The rest of your post is at the same level of the "OMIGAWD!!! DEPLETED URANIUM!!" screed.

Posted by: The Real JeffS at August 31, 2004 at 12:47 AM

Jimbo brings up DU. How appropriate.

DU is not used in standard bombs. The only bombs it is used in are bunker busters, which need to penetrate several meters of ground. The primary use is in armor-piercing artillery shells. And the "health effect" screamed about by the left is utter bullshit.

As for "civilised bombing" - any use of "dumb bombs" is wrong? We are required to use precision bombs? That's just fucking stupid. And you're Vietnam analogy is flawed. Heavy bombing of enemy military areas (Vietnam) is not the same as terror bombing of civilian areas (WWII).

Finally, I reviewed the "Just War Theory". It merits a full separate post (I will let you know when it's finished), so I will only make two observations here:

1) Every single one of the conditions applies (obviously, you haven't familiarized yourself with them)

2) I'm always amused when a lefty resorts to using Catholic doctrine (always very selectively, of course)

Posted by: Ken Summers at August 31, 2004 at 01:12 AM

>If the US wanted to bring democracy to the arab world, surely they would have started by giving the Kuwaitis a vote rather than re-installing the current dictator.

But, but, Jimbo boy, wasn't that war run by the United Nations from which all moral goodness floweth?

Posted by: John Nowak at August 31, 2004 at 01:20 AM

jimbo!

Aaron dug up some numbers on the estimated deaths during the "political stabilization of the Communist regime" in Vietnam after the US withdrawal. It's right here.

Any comment?

Posted by: The Real JeffS at August 31, 2004 at 01:34 AM

Unfair JeffS! You are not allowed to inject facts! Two minute penalty!

Posted by: Ken Summers at August 31, 2004 at 01:59 AM

Gee, I'm sorry! I forgot about that! Next, I'll try to do better.....

Posted by: The Real JeffS at August 31, 2004 at 02:16 AM

YO! JIMBO!

(Not you, Yojimbo)

Just War. Just for you.

Posted by: Ken Summers at August 31, 2004 at 07:42 AM

Nice post.

Posted by: aaron at August 31, 2004 at 07:55 AM