Thursday, December 10, 2009

Listen to Greenpeace!

No, I haven't turned. I was, however, challenged to an email debate/ exchange with a young AGW believer (and a Christian) who was pleasant, rational, friendly and accommodating, a welcome relief from the shrill green-left preachers. He probably feels the same way about conservatives.

As a result I decided that, on my personal journey, it was time to face the boogey man of "Big Oil payouts drive Climate Change scepticism". All in the interests of fair play, since I finally met an AGW supporter who can talk without cussing and isn't wearing a hemp shirt.

So, I stopped by Greenpeace's website to see what they say, just in case I'm accused of listening to my own conservative echo-chamber. Good ol' Greenpeace. Fair play to them, they've done a lot of work. It's a site to "document Exxon-Mobil's funding of climate change sceptics".

You assume, therefore, that the long list of over 130 institutions, ranging from commerce groups, policy analysts, media watchdogs, thinktanks and science departments, are all recipients of EM's billions. And, naturally, that they are all enviro-trashing, Gore-hating, Poley-Bear murdering Climate denialists.

Indeed, there's a lot of money. I provisionally calculated over $12-15 million in contributions over a minimum 10 year period. That's around 0.00025% of EM's global yearly profit. One could rightly suggest that this figure doesn't exactly betray a sense of urgency on their part, to spread this allegedly corrupt gospel. You'd also have to ignore the fact that Climate Alarmism actually gives them an alibi to raise oil prices. Those poor oil execs, how torn they must be.

But sure, that's a scandallous amount of money. If you also ignore the fact that private enterprise has been funding research or political institutions since time began.

However, there's a couple of real problems. Firstly, half of the listed groups receive no money at all, which makes me wonder why they're on a site dedicated to documenting Exxon-Mobil's funding of climate change sceptics.

Also, thanks to the site's detail, you can find several of these groups with nary a smatter of the wicked climate denialism which Greenpeace are so gallantly proclaiming (I suspected this when, amongst the institutions listed, I often spotted the word university).

It seems Greenpeace are flagging some of these naughty institutions for any associated conservative crime which could be linked to the dire transgression of climate scepticism. Among them are media watchdog groups, legal foundation groups dedicated to protection of property rights, a Racial Equality Congress which has, in the past, been "critical of environmental groups", and some medical gang concerned with malaria vaccinations in Africa.

Malaria vaccinations.

In fact, amongst the donations was $100,000 given to an Environmental program "dedicated to researching new options...which have the capability to substantially reduce greenhouse emissions". For some reason I included that in my above approximate. I wonder how many others I perhaps should have excluded but didn't.

But let's just assume the worst, like you do with capitalism, and that it really is around $15 million bucks. Possibly more, if the Greenpeace researchers occasionally had to return to their day jobs and missed something.

So we get it. Climate sceptics are not driven by a genuine desire for truth and transparency, nosiree. They are all greedy money grabbers. The Green Warriors, on the other hand, are as pure as the driven snow which keeps popping up every time Al Gore is in town to tell us how hot we're all going to get.

Which makes this following episode of follow-the-money, as summarised by the Wall Street Journal, a very inconvenient truth:

Firstly, our friend at the centre of the CRU email scandal, alarmist Phil Jones received, between 2000 and 2006, around $19 million in public grants.

The EU Commission's most recent pass-the-hat-around-for-climate change netted almost $3 billion, and that doesn't include the funds donated by EU member states. They were private donations. Yes, private enterprise has funded AGW.

The US Gov is donating almost $2 billion to AGW-friendly NASA (when don't they need funding??) and two other Climate institutes.

The louder you cry doom, whilst flashing your PhD, the more money flows in. Yours and mine, not the profits of some evil oil cabal.

Meanwhile, the HSBC Bank calculates that over $90 billion (that's billion, with a B) has been raised for (for, not by) "green energy" interests. These are the stimulus funds which will make the green energy divestment/ investment brokerage firm Kleiner Perkins, among others, ridiculously rich.

And the CEO of Kleiner Perkins is..? Al Gore. Just sayin', is all.

Then there's the whole spin-off franchise boom; universities, advocacy groups, and lobbyists. Greenpeace, Climate Action Now, Clean Air Cool Planet, Alternative Energy goups, the entire Australian Department of Climate Change...all hanging out for a piece of that multi-billion dollar pool. Some of it was possibly spent on a website telling us how Exxon-Mobil has funded sceptics.

That's what's been spent. Of course, it will all be a drop in the ocean compared to what can be extorted by Cap And Tax / ETS / Copenhagen deals and the rest.

$15 million vs $93 Billion. Mathematics is certainly a more exacting science than Climatology.

Thanks for the info, Greenpeace.

UPDATE: Another take on who's-in-the-pay-of-big-oil by James Delingpole.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

How dare they

I heard an interesting theory recently that one of the effects of the Climate Change craze was that children were being turned against their parents. Subliminally, at least, they would be made to look at their parents and say "YOUR industry, your pollution, your cars, did this to MY future".

I genuinely believed that no reasonable person who supports man-made GW would ever consciously do that. I really, really wish I was right. As if we needed any more proof of the delusional, deranged, divisive, humanity-hating intent of the Green Left:

Recently defeated Greens candidate Clive Hamilton, on an ABC website, writes a mock letter to a child who's father works for, well, just about any industry. This disgusting exploitation of childhood naivete and parental disrespect is downright chilling.

Hi there,

There's something you need to know about your father.

Your dad's job is to try to stop the government making laws to reduce Australia's carbon pollution. He is paid a lot of money to do that by big companies who do not want to own up to the fact that their pollution is changing the world's climate in very harmful ways.

...Deep down your dad knows all this, although he probably pretends he doesn't. ...He has to tell himself these things because otherwise he would feel too guilty and could not sleep very well at night.

...So your dad is not really a bad person. He is not deliberately making the world a worse place for you and all the other kids. But he is telling lies to himself so he does not have to face up to the truth about what he does at work.

I am sure it's hard for you to hear these words, but there is something you can do to help. Why not sit your dad down and have a good talk to him.

...Tell him that you know he will feel much happier inside if he is doing something to make Australia and the world a better place, instead of going to work every day to make it a worse one.

Absolutely reprehensible. Inexcusable.

Read it all here.


Monday, December 7, 2009

Tony, meet Sarah...

The parallels between the US and Australia are remarkable.

In the "elected" corner: We have two leaders who are smooth talking, have more spin than substance, got elected by appearing centrist but are ultimately left, and who think that apologising for what other people have allegedly done somehow constitutes courage on their part.

In the "opposing" corner: We have two figures who are maligned and even sexually vilified by a mass media who throw away their own rulebook on tolerance in the process. They apologise for their own shortcomings rather than others', don't apologise for speaking the truth, and take a stand on issues rather than skirt around them in constant campaign mode.

The rather savvy Lloyd Marcus sums it up at American Thinker:

We the people are so sick of namby pamby "middle of the road speak" focus group-tested candidates. "Don't say this because you will offend this crowd and don't say that because you will offend the other." For crying out loud, just say what you mean and mean what you say. Show us voters who you are. These are the kind of candidates we voters are longing and tea partying for. And this is why Sarah "what you see is what you get" Palin is a rock star.

We The People. I love those words.

When previously dormant voters see someone of true character, in begins to show up in those not-conclusive-but-compelling approval ratings. It's started happening to Obama. Up to now, Rudd has been shielded by the clear absence of a formidable opponent, or more accurately, by an opposition leader who was actually his clone.

I expect to see that change now. Watch those annoying-but-interesting polls.


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Is that an ETS in your pocket or are you just pleased to see us?

The papers are making a big thing about a couple who scammed their way into the White House and caused concerns about national security.

But enough about the 2008 US election. Closer to home it's all climate Change, climate change, climate...guh... I'm so sick of those two words I am, for the rest of this article, going to replace them with something similar but different.

Time to 'fess up, people. Cubic Centimeters is starting to smell a little dubious. I have been suspicious ever since Al Gore, in his Oscar-winning An Inconvenient Truth, uttered those famous quotes:

This is NOT a political issue,
The debate is OVER!

My first thought was; since when did the Academy Awards have a category for "best Microsoft Powerpoint Presentation"?

My second thought was that, when a failed politician says those words, you can be sure of at least two things. Firstly, it's a political issue, and secondly, there should be more debate.

There is actually one thing more alarming than the recent expose of agenda-driven scientists fudging core figures central to the debate on Cletus's Chevvy: The state-run and mainstream media's denial of it.

The ABC and SBS have gone out of their way to avoid mentioning it, other than in passing and amongst the words "popular with deniers", just in case we need reminding that only the fringe of society would dare question the science of Clunker Cashing. They've even made these criminally negligent and corrupt scientists-with-massive-grants out to be the victims.

Well, that fringe is getting bigger. And bigger. And bigger. And it isn't all cashed up by "Big Oil Money". In fact, if you must play follow-the-money, it doesn't bode well for the Crazy Critter Alarmists...

Oh, there is another thing as alarming as those previous two: Our Prime Minister's readiness to put his personal ambitions ahead of the nations' interest. Sure, pollies have done this kind of thing since time immemorial. But the narcissistic fervour which has accompanied our PM's environmental-saviour complex is downright disturbing.

Firstly, there was his messianic rant to the Lowy Institute where he isolated and marginalised anyone who questions Chinese Checkers. So much for ..."those of you who didn't vote for me, I'm your Prime Minister too..." He even named a handful of "deniers", including the (two or so) conservative journalists in our nation's media.

So, if you're like me and don't accept the so-called "consensus", and think that TV and movie stars should just stick to the acting and stay away from the preaching, your Prime Minister just insulted you. He called you a "radical" and accused you of being a danger to your children. And your children's children, and your children's children's...

...etc. I wonder if we'll ever receive an apology for being the "insulted generation".

Secondly, as I have long believed, this PM's real ambition is to be SecGen of the UN. What better way to throw his resume into the ring than to "lead the world" in tackling Charlie Chaplin.
To stroll into the Hopenchangen summit as the Pioneer of Pointlessly Taxing the Crap Out of People For the Greater Good.

If the problem was really man-made, our ETS will do N*O*T*H*I*N*G, repeat, N*O*T*H*I*N*G to affect it. Since Captain Crunch is most probably not man-made, then the ETS will simply do a different kind of nothing: Rather than just destroy us economically for no tangible improvement to the problem, it will simply destroy us economically for no tangible reason at all.

Now to expand the conspiracy theories: There are plenty of people who will tell you that Complex Carbohydrates is just a brilliantly co-ordinated alibi to repackage that century-old chestnut of worldwide socialism. They will tell you that socialism has been weighed and found wanting, citing annoyingly accurate reasons such as socialism's 100 years of miserable, abject failure to produce a coherent, functioning society. And the small matter of over 100 million people murdered by it's adherents.

Instead of decrying "Global Governance" theories as being of the crackpot religious right, how about looking to the claims of the global governance cabal themselves? It seems they don't have any inhibitions in laying out these fringe ideas. For the Greater Good, of course. More true confessions here.

They say you must keep your friends close, and enemies closer. Apply the same rule to your government.

UPDATE: The ETS is dead. Kevin will have nothing to take to Copenhagen but his charm.


Monday, November 9, 2009

Wall bad. West good.

I almost let the 20th anniversary of the removal of the Berlin Wall pass without noticing.

One of the reasons it slips the notice of many is because we've been numbed to the significance of it. With articles like this in the UK's Guardian it's no wonder.

And, with creeping socialism throughout our mainstream politics and media, it's no wonder.

I'm almost bemused to see some influential people reflecting on the euphoria of the Berlin Wall's destruction. These same intelligentsia who constantly champion the very things which put it up in the first place.

Let's break it down into two often-quoted expressions of socialist romanticism (I have actually heard these very things first hand, from "East German" friends):

There was no poverty in the GDR.

There was no crime in the GDR (former East Germany).

Indeed. Poverty is relative. There was no poverty in the GDR because everyone was poor.
And correct- there was no crime amongst the citizens of the GDR. All the crime was being committed by the government.

I was also once told this: Secret State Police? Everyone has them! Australia has ASIO, no?

Difference? Here, our "secret" police protect us from terrorism. In the GDR, they protected the regime from criticism. Using whatever brutal means necessary.

Happy little socialists. A wall mural in Berlin.

If you're like me and you never paid attention when the wall actually fell, and the true significance was lost...perhaps now might be a good time to start paying attention. Better late than never.


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Who can bear terrorism?

If only western society had the such moral clarity: A Kashmiri bear dealt decisively with some terrorists hiding in his cave (and possibly eating his porridge).

I'm expecting the Greens to condemn this act of oppression towards a freedom fighting religious minority group.

Perhaps not.


Bold Boris

It's official. If a left-wing activist is ever mugged, they'd much rather be rescued by a conservative.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Who needs God with an ego like this

Off the political rants for now.

Normally my daily drive up Melbourne's western ring road only causes me traffic-related stress. However on this particular morning, I had a whole new reason to laugh, cry and cringe all at the same time.

But first, a preamble: Doctor Francis Macnab, a qualified psychologist, is a revolutionary in post-modernism. When it comes to Christianity, he is full of opinions. The narrative runs to an age-old theme: Only raving fundamentalists would believe in a virgin giving birth, God becoming a human being for a spell, and a guy walking out of his grave after being dead for three days. We all know those things don't happen because, well, I didn't see them.

In fact, Dr. Macnab was behind a $120,000 newsprint and billboard campaign back in late 2008 stating that the Ten Commandments was "the most negative document ever written". It was to promote his views that, among other things, Abraham is a concoction, and Moses was a mass murderer. Free invites to the Jewish community, then.

Plus, Jesus obviously wasn't deity, didn't die for our sins and certainly didn't walk out of the grave. In fact, I think Macnab is ambivalent as to whether he even existed or not, because it's nice to be flexible. God, by the way, is not a distinguishable personal entity but a concept we can find within ourselves through personal reflection on...

This is all fine. It's a free country. The thing is, Dr McNab is a Uniting Church minister. He's the UCA version of John Shelby Spong.

As one commentor on a Macnab article wrote "Just WHAT does it take to get someone de-frocked these days?"

That's a good question, and I don't know. Believing in absolute truth, perhaps? That certainly isn't a great career move for men-in-frocks these days. But, being a "Christian" leader who re-defines what being a "Christian" really is, by tearing up the original instruction manual...well, that makes you a revolutionary. A hero. An agent of change. It means book sales, book signings, the public speaking circuit at smug, academic humanist universities and, if you're really controversial, a spot on the telly.

On that logic, I should be able to advertise as a brothel, and when clients arrive, put them through a course of Valiant Man. Viva la revolucion.

There's a more detailed look at Dr. Macnab here in the Melbourne Anglican.

Back to my fateful trip on the western ring road on this particular day- Doctor Macnab has a new advertising campaign. While the UCA are trying to offload property and send the proceeds to the needy, Macnab has spent (presumably around another $120,000) on these:

Three people listed in order; NIGHTINGALE, KING, MACNAB.

Good to see Macnab has found his inner god.


Thursday, October 8, 2009

Life Panels

The outrage against Citizen Sarah Palin's use of the term "death panels" to describe a provision in Obamacare, continues in the US.

Call the words what you like- a monumental benefit of her using them was that it actually sparked national debate. Not bad for a private citizen posting on Facebook.

Otherwise, the 1000+ page Obamaplan, which hardly any Democrat Congressperson even read, was to be thrust through Congress without consultation with the American people.

What Palin said, paraphrased: " 'Death Panels' we be deciding on eligibility for end-of-life care for your loved ones, and those not considered to be conventionally useful to society". (Note Palin used quotes in her original statement, indicating she was clearly being tongue-in-cheek with the term, using it metaphorically to make a clear political point).

What Obama said, paraphrased: "There won't be 'death panels'. This is scaremongering. There will simply be an independent, arbitrary group, appointed by the government, who will provide consultancy and guidance on critical health care issues..."

Right. In other words, death panels. But spoken with more Ivy League smoothness.

After Obama accused the naysayers of "scaremongering", he then suggested that if we don't adopt Obamacare, "more people will die".

Here's a quote from a supporter of Obamacare:

"Sarah Palin said "death panels". Well I got news for you honey. If we were gonna get rid of useless people, you'd be the first to know" - CNN political commentator Bill Maher.

Charming. The concern for human life oozes from every word. Here's a quote from an opponent of Obamacare.

"(Down Sydnrome child Trig Palin) has proven to me that every innocent life does have purpose, and there is no accident. And I’m gonna choose the creator’s idea of perfection over society’s definition of perfection any day." - Sarah Palin.

OBAMACARE UPDATE: A very salient quote from Dr. Russell Blaylock, a "respected medical professional" (I haven't vetted this source and don't count on the veracity of that description, but it is a widely agreed point):

"One of the things that concerns the legal minds of this country is that any bill that contains arbitrary language can be interpreted after it's passed any way they want to. And in this bill (Obamacare/ HR 3200), virtually every page gives arbitrary powers to the Secretary of Health and Human Services."

As if they needed more czars.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Goldstone Echo Chamber

The "Goldstone Report" is out, accusing Israel of war crimes in Gaza, riddled with anecdotal claims, systematically debunked by the evidence, but being gobbled up by the West in a predictable flurry of anti-Israel hysteria.

Sure, one day it will be exposed as the biased, stacked, pro-Palestinian echo chamber that it is. In fact, this has already been done. But nobody will care by then. In honour of this auspicious occasion, I will simply post this cartoon.

It's official, You may now accuse Jews of harvesting organs, drinking the blood of Christian children, or planning to take over the world, and you may do so with impunity, regardless of how many Islamic fascists and their friends in the left use your words to excuse themselves as they murder Jews. Welcome back to the 1930's!


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Wishful vs Lateral Thinking

My disdain for the mainstream info-tainment media is based on a very rational set of concerns.

One of them is that normal everyday people will never truly have the opportunity to consider or debate a relevant public issue, because they will never truly have all the information.

The healthcare debate in the US is a case in point. Following current pop culture trends, it seems that to oppose the Obama Administration's 1,000+ page healthcare reform package, means that you obviously oppose health care reform, want poor people to die, and are a scaremonger.

Oh, I almost forgot: And you're probably racist. Since November 2008, there seems to be a bit more of that going around.

In the real world, as opposed to that whacky alternate dimension to which the media are an effective portal, it doesn't mean any of that. For starters, and unlike the hordes of Democrats trying to sell it, it means you've actually read the healthcare package.

Is this plan to provide more care for more people, or to save money, or both? It can't be both. That's not possible. You can't simply say you're going to provide more people with more health care, and it's going to be cheaper.

While there is much back and forth between the parties on the details, none of which are particularly clear anyway, someone has thought outside the circle.

Someone has suggested that you cannot have health care reform without tort reform.
Medical Liability leads to more insurance. More insurance leads to more cost.

”The medical liability crisis has had many unintended consequences, most notably a decrease in access to care in a growing number of states and an increase in healthcare costs. .." says Dr. Stuart Weinstein, of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

Quite simply, it is too easy to sue a doctor, particularly with pro-bono allowances which make for more ambulance-chasing lawyers. Then, practitioners will move to states where liability laws are less severe, but even then, will shy away from high-risk practices.

Apart from more costs and less services, less people then want to become doctors and surgeons. Logically, now they want to become attorneys. And as I've always said, attorneys are like Idol winners. We love them, really we do. We just don't need any more.

Care standards drop, and therefore the potential for malpractice increases. These costs are spun to the consumer as "high health care costs" when really, they are legal and insurance costs.

To cut a long and litigious story short, the current tort system is estimated to cost the US health system around $200 billion per year.

Talk about thinking outside the circle. Before you can genuinely reform health care, you must reform the tort system. Less pro-bono, more loser-pays. Less frivolous lawsuits. More caps on lawsuit payouts. More rule-of-law deciding genuine malpractice cases, less ankle-biters trying to profit off someone else, for their own lack of responsibility.

I don't doubt that many people have expressed this idea. But when Sarah Palin expresses it, it actually gets heard.

How does a housewife from Wasilla, Alaska, get the White House to remove a major section of the bill pertaining to end-of-life-care and rationing, merely by posting on Facebook? .

But of course, Palin is just parroting. She's just a pretty neo-con reading hate speech from someone else's script, right? Well, sure, if that rocks your prejudice boat. Except she was governor of a state which had caps on lawsuit awards against health care providers, pioneered the “loser pays” system to deter frivolous law suits, and inhibited "quack" court testimonies against real doctors. That's walking the walk.

Using facebook is a stroke of pure genius. It won't stop the delusional hatred of her by the Obamabots, but it will make sure her words arrive at the ears of her millions of listeners complete, pure, unfiltered and unaltered by a delusionally biased media.


Thursday, August 20, 2009

And again: It's a S-E-C-U-R-I-T-Y F-E-N-C-E

You know it's a slow news week when SBS and ABC have to dig up some fringe, anecdotal claims of Israeli not-very-nice-ness and run it as though a press-stopping world event has just occurred.

Hamas are in the business of anti-Israel propaganda. Sometimes I wonder whether western news agencies actually give them ideas, instead of the other way around.

I recently watched an SBS "report" from the BBC (surprise) about Palestinian children being detained for throwing rocks at Israeli soldiers. Naturally, no mention was made of a string of injuries to which the IDF were responding. But even after wading through the usual excuses given (by the BBC, not the Palis), about occupation and oppression, I was still left aghast at how, exactly, this is supposed to be news.

I would love to test that theory by telling my son to go and throw bricks at council officers, call it a "legitimate expression of frustration against council rate rises", then see what happens.

Likewise, when it's a slow news week anywhere, attention invariably turns to Israel's security barrier in the West Bank, to placate the media's appetite for all things anti-Israel. The ecumenical social gospel choir of the World Council Of Churches once called it an "obscene concrete barrier" which "surrounds the West Bank".

This is despite the fact that the boundary is 90% wire fence, the concrete section of which barely covers the northern third of Bethlehem. This is the "wall" which activists, from substance-abusing recording artists, to known terrorists, to Bishops and green politicians, to Israel's own left-leaning university academics, refer to as the "apartheid wall". Yessir, you know a country is truly free when career-seeking individuals within it's public system use that very freedom to launch baseless attacks on that country's integrity.

The West Bank security fence facilitates border checkpoints and crossings to screen Palestinians crossing over into Israel for work, shopping, medical attention or other reasons (since they have so much trouble doing those kinds of things in their own territories). It's much the same practice as that in airports, when they assume the worst so they can achieve the best. Ever been through a checkpoint at an aiport? Did you cry "apartheid"? Why not? Those who aren't catching a plane don't have to go through such humiliation!

This crazy, draconian mentality on Israel's part might be something to do with the 1,000 plus Israelis killed since the "peace process" was put forward at Camp David in 2000, where Yasser Arafat bellowed his righteous refusal and stormed out like a petulant child. Yes, the ensuing "intifada" was a masterstatement of the Palestinian preparedness for peace. 1,000 Israelis dead, from violence emanating from the West Bank. Even when the intifada slowed down, sniping of Israeli children and passing motorists from valleys in the West Bank valleys continued.

Although I'm no military expert, I'm going to hypothesise on the possible options Israel had to deal with this:

1- Send in the IDF and shoot the place up until it stops, no doubt causing civilian deaths (despite their world-beating standards on preventing civilian casualties in the face of an enemy who enjoys death)
2- Bomb the armaments and weapons caches (same as above)
3- Carpet bomb the entire place (worse than both of the above)
4- Ask the PA to stop the violence. (Just kidding. I know it's ridiculous too. I just wanted to add an extra number)
5. Build a wall

Here's part of the barrier

Can you say "passive defence"? There are, indeed, more pragmatic reasons why the barrier is neccessary and in fact several reasons why the Arab bloc should welcome it if they truly seek stability in the region and a two state solution.

And here's why it's needed

The concrete portion of the fence is, indeed, obscene. It's obscene that it is needed to stop bullets entering Israeli towns. A cursory look at Google Earth will demonstrate how the proximity of the concrete sections achieve this, while the rest of the barrier is wire fence and trenches. It's like an enima. It ain't pretty. But it works.

Airport checkpoints aren't very nice either. Sure, this analogy hardly addresses all the salient issues surrounding the Israeli SECURITY FENCE, but I'm not trying to address those. I'm trying to understand why the World Council of Churches, SBS, ABC, and The Washington Post among so, so many others, make such shrill, focussed efforts to portray Israel's defence of it's people as anything but what it really is. And why, for all the hand wringing, emotional terms and lamentating the inconvenience of Palestinians, the brutality which lead to it's construction is totally omitted.

Oh, and I can't help but wonder why not the same impassioned, heavily spun stories on the following (courtesy of American Thinker):

-A 112-mile-long barrier, with concrete, barbed wire, watchtowers, minefields and ditches -- that has sliced through Cyprus since 1974 to separate Turkish Cypriots from Greek Cypriots.

-A security barrier built by India through disputed Kashmir that runs hundreds of miles to blunt intrusion by Pakistan-based terrorists.

-Saudi Arabia's barrier to prevent infiltration of terrorists from neighboring Yemen, itself built in areas under dispute.

-The barrier that separates Protestants and Catholics in Belfast, which somehow has escaped any pejorative description like "apartheid wall." It's commonly known as the "Peace Line" -- a label that equally fits Israel's security barrier along the West Bank.

-The "Wall of Shame" -- a sand and stone barrier, mined in some places -- that protects Moroccans from Polisario terrorists in the Western Sahara.

- The U.S. barrier along the border with Mexico to keep out illegal immigrants

I guess I'll never know.


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

When Baptists attack...

Not days after a terrorist plot was blown open in Australia , the apologising begins.

The article I linked to above goes out of its way to avoid using any reference to the religious affiliations of the alleged perpetrators. It's an ABC article (feign shock and surprise here).

You haven't guessed yet? They're Islamic. I guessed that all by myself, from picking out the words "fatwa", "Al-Shabaab", "links to Al-Qaeda", and "Broadmeadows".

An article in goes on to tell us that it’s clear terrorists don’t look like anything in particular and could be living in your street. It then ridicules what it calls "racial profiling", telling us that terrorists now hail from Indonesia, East Africa, Lebanon and other Eastern Mediterranean areas, Pakistan and Adelaide, and of varying ages.

Good, so you won't mind then if we put at the top of the profiling criteria "Men of Islamic Extraction". No race required.

Naturally, the ABC goes on to afford the suspects some kind of victim status by association:

Doctor Berhard Ahmed from the African Think Tank in Melbourne fears there will be a backlash against Somalis living in Australia following the raids.

Thanks Doctor, but the immediate threat seems to be from jihadis toward Aussies who actually love and serve their country. Let's stick to that for now, as it seems to be more important than your hand-wringing paranoia. Here's a little tonic for your fears: There was no "backlash" against Muslims after 9-11, no "backlash" against Indonesians after the Bali bombings, and no "backlash" against Pakistanis after the Mumbai massacres. We are, it seems, mostly decent people here in not-Muslim land.

"...some people are even commenting that these people have to go back," he said.

How awful of them. They used words, you say? Awful.

The report mentions that one of the suspects travelled to Somalia to seek the fatwa, and many Somalis are frequently travelling back to Somalia to "fight". Whatever unspeakable horror forced them to flee to good ol' Down Under, couldn't have been that bad, since they go back voluntarily.

But, since you don't want us to "send them back", then here's what we'll do. We will try them under our criminal law. Then, if they're found guilty, we won't behead them, rape their daughters, murder their family and massacre their tribe. Instead, we'll send them to jail where they will get three round meals a day, TV, exercise, and a chance to chat with other jihadis and compare notes.

Then, we'll ask them if they can provide us with information which might help us prevent any other jihadis from attacking more innocent Aussies. We promise to ask nicely.

But however nicely we ask, an army of university students and human rights lawyers will rise up to express outrage at our treatment of these poor victims of western oppression and eventually pressure a government who will, in desperation to be popular, release them.

We then repeat the whole process from the top of this post.


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I stand by my (a)morals

A common problem among journos who fancy themselves as political commentators is that they confuse satire with personal mockery.

If you're smart (unlike me) you'll try and remain voluntarily ignorant about politics full stop. But try to avoid, at least, thinking that all political bents are the same. Take the 1970's socialist revolutionary Saul Alinsky for example. His book Rules For Radicals, a step-by-step handbook on how to rise to power, has been used frequently by various US Democrats.

This useful instructional tome reads like it's a workshop manual for VW Beetles, but with bigger words. It has some marvelous pointers on stuff like; how to discredit and personally destroy your opponents, how to deflect criticism, how to create job vacancies (i.e. "push" people out of your way) and such like. It even contained an "over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical: Lucifer". Quite the magnanimous hat-tip coming from a militant atheist.

It has been long since proven that Obama was a student of Alinsky's method to the letter. It shone in his election campaign, and continues to be so in his governance.

Here's one of Alinsky's famous methods, paraphrased somewhat: Force your opponents to live up to their own standards. When they don't, attack them.

Matthew Littman was a Democrat strategist and a speech writer for now-VP Joe Biden (which may explain why Biden so often strays from his script. Tragically, he's even worse at ad-libbing). In an article in the factually-challenged news portal Huffington Post, Littman wrote of Hillary Clinton during the 2008 US presidential race...

I am offended by the attacks on Senator Clinton because there is no question that the slams against her are hypocritical and come because she’s a woman...

Such a nice thing to say albeit where his grammar is slightly awkward because also the lack of punctuation makes the sentence look a little strange and because he can't write quite right.

Yes, as speechwriter for one of Clinton's opponents, it's really quite sweet of him to be worried about Hillary mainly due to her scary woman-parts (that's a feminist term so don't get snarky). I totally agree with him.

But wait. The same Littman, in a recent interview, made comments about resigned Alaskan governor Sarah Palin which were, by his own logic, misogynistic and sexist. And, of all the media-driven twisted, sick and depraved mockery of Palin, Littman excused it, and joined in. The bi-partisan feminist website New Agenda has the story. He even talks down to a female co-interviewee in the most hideously patronising manner, clapping at her like a dog.

Okay, so the guy is a low-brow, bigoted hypocrite who enjoys being nasty. Check. But isn't he running contrary to the much-heralded, Democrat-practised Alinsky method?

Not at all. He's adhering to it fastidiously, actually. Because, like many of his political allies, he has no moral standards at all. So there's nothing to hold him to. In the US, Republicans lose when they have standards, but can't hang on to 'em.

In that light, I would almost have to disagree with the Sarah Palin response to "comedian" David Letterman's jibe about her daughter, were it not for the fact that the media generally incited Palin into responding. You see, Letterman had nothing to apologise for. He has no standards to adhere to. So, building a "joke" around statutory rape of a 14 year-old girl is just another day at the office for Dirty Old Dave.

Likewise, when the leftist gossip site made fun of republican nominee John McCain's daughter recently. Megan McCain was desperately trying to help an unknown person who sent her a twitter message saying that he wanted to kill himself. She contacted Twitter, and even the Seattle Police, such was her concern. mocked her for it, calling her "hyper-emotional" and saying she was going "progressively nuts" for attempting to help some guy who was just "writing some sadsack stuff about wanting to die".

Nope., a gossip site who desperately want you to think that their brand of personal mockery is actually savvy politcal satire, have not done anything wrong. To call anything "wrong" is so yesterday.

That last example resonates somewhat more than usual. You see, down here in Victoria, a 14-year-old girl and former classmate of my daughter's best friend, committed suicide after repeatedly receiving demeaning comments on the internet.

Any suicide is a tragedy. That it was someone so young is exceedingly heartbreaking.

But then, my broken heart is my own fault. If only I didn't have standards....

Chanelle Rae.


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Warning: this message brought to you by beauracrats...

I've always struggled with the ever-increasing epidemic of government-sponsored advertising telling us what to be afraid of. The latest climate change alarmist message telling us to "think of the children" is a case in point, along with, don't get me started, most road safety commercials.

It's not enough when then government introduce some new legislation to charge us more money, scare us into doing something/ not doing something or generally burden our lives with more cumbersome nannying. Not only do we have to put up with it, we have to agree with it.

The Centre for Independent Studies have produced some very relevant and pragmatic research on a whole range of topics. A recent CIS article has caught my attention. It deals mainly with the stimulus package and how the government have spruiked it's glorious effect on public infrastructure. However, it also contains some good points on government advertising in general, a subject which alone would warrant pages of (boring) research to make a very salient point. A point which is most probably lost on the majority of TV punters, and that's just how the government likes it.

These (infrastructure) ads do not convey information of direct and immediate relevance to ordinary people’s everyday lives. It is ‘feel good’ advertising and a subtle way of making voters feel more favourably disposed to the party in power.

In which case, why are we paying for these ads?

And so it goes with any fear-mongering advertisement to convince us that they are right to force us into something we don't want, whether it be staring at our speedometers, or turning off our airconditioners when it's 40 degrees.

The only thing we should fear is an even bigger government to do more of this. Article here. It's short and sweet.


Monday, July 20, 2009

Ground control to The New York Times

Mel Gibson once described it as a "beacon of journalistic integrity". No-one does sarcasm like Mel.

The New York Times, otherwise known as the Treason Times for reasons beyond the scope of this post, ran yet another in a long line of baseless drive-by assults on Sarah Palin. This latest piece of hilarity claims the Alaskan Governor is a stressed, underweight basket case with thinning hair. We know this folks, because her hairdresser told us.

They link this, and this alone, to her decision to resign as Alaskan Governor. Hear us, dear readers...clearly she is unhinged by all the criticism...obviously couldn't handle public life...the poor dear... she's sinking slowly...I mean, imagine if this woman was POTUS...geddit? You've uncritically accepted this as fact? Good little sycophants...

It even managed to fire up MSNBC, a network whose integrity I doubt even Mel Gibson could adequately describe. They echoed the piece on TV. Their anchor, the delightful Keith Olbermann who thinks making misogynistic boob jokes for five minutes counts as journalism, was so concerned about poor Sarah's health and wellbeing it was almost touching.

It was yet another in a long line of fashionable hit-and-runs, from those elitists scrambling to gorge themselves on this sadomasochistic anti-Palin orgy before she quits as a public official and is, basically, untouchable.

Never mind that the NYT has, yet again, told an outright lie. You might even ignore the fact that this latest piece of sanctimonious whining is not even worthy to be news even if it was remotely true. If it was, Joe Biden's hair plugs would be on every prime time slot. And have you seen the headline "Concerns for President Obama's mental well-being after disparaging remarks about the Special Olympics..." ?

No, what is gloriously ironic is that they've done it around the 40th anniversary of the first Lunar Landing.

You see, in 1920, the NYT scoffed at the idea that a rocket launched from earth could reach the moon, and lampooned respected physicist Richard Goddard who believed it could, by claiming he lacked "the knowledge ladled out daily in high schools" and that no rocket could work in the vacuum of space.

Aussie columnist Alan Howe looks back with nostalgia at this rather telling indicator as to the credibility of the NYT.

When it comes to Palin and her conservatism they, and their fellow ideologues, are getting more desperate, shrill, infantile and irrational by the minute. One can only wonder why this is so. After all, she's a moron, a lightweight, a joke. She wouldn't even be a blip on the political radar, right? What possible reason could there be?

While you ponder that, I'll close with this totally unrelated and up-to-date Rasmussen Poll on preferred candidacy:

Obama 45% Romney 45%

Obama 48% Palin 42%...

...and climbing...

Hat tip: Red Planet Cartoons


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Killing for the common good

Most civilised people, those who consider humanity, for all it's flaws, to be basically a good thing, would and should find horrifying the notion of any public figure calling for

- Women to be forced to abort their pregnancies
- The world population at large to be involuntarily sterilized by infertility drugs
- Mothers to have their babies seized from them and given away to other couples to raise;
- "Undesirables" to be required by law to exercise "reproductive responsibility", i.e. be compelled to have abortions or be sterilized.
- A unilateral "Planetary Regime" to arbitrarily control the global population through the above means using an armed international police force to enforce it.

The doomsday industry is alive and well at present, in many forms. The particularly insidious doomsday cult of population control has been festering below the surface for some time. All of these ideals, and many more, are a feature of the 1977 book Ecoscience. These particular words and ideas are the personal work of co-author Dr. John Holdren. Here's some snippets:

compulsory population-control laws, even including laws requiring compulsory abortion, could be sustained …

It would even be possible to require pregnant single women to marry or have abortions, perhaps as an alternative to placement for adoption, depending on the society.

Adding a sterilant to drinking water or staple foods is a suggestion that seems to horrify people more than most proposals for involuntary fertility control.

A program of sterilizing women after their second or third child...might be easier to implement than trying to sterilize men.

The law regulates other highly personal matters.... Why should the law not be able to prevent a person from having more than two children?

The Planetary Regime might be given responsibility for determining the optimum population for the world and for each region...

All for the environment, of course. After all, it seems every generation is caught up in some man-made environmental catastrophe which will surely cause Armageddon if left unchecked.

Seen enough? Perhaps I'm quoting out of context. Well, perhaps not. The context is worse (available here). Or, perhaps I'm spinning my own yarn by quoting some crackpot fringe fanatic from the 1970's.

How I wish. This chap, who to date has not renounced nor even attempted to deny this ideology, has just been appointed Director of White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, and Co-Chair of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, by the Obama administration.

He is in the news for his support on alarmist climate change policies. As if you expected otherwise.

On it's own, this appointment would be alarming enough. But it's not alone. Those of us who truly value human life in all it's forms recognise BHO's Senate voting record on the Born Alive Infant Protection Act in 2001 and 2002. For the uninitiated, go here for more information. If you want to see BHO's reaction to the legislation, read the Senate transcripts for 2001 (go to page 84) and 2002 (go to page 28).

Ideologically speaking, I've always given BHO the benefit of the doubt, and will continue to try. Problem is, the doubt seems to be getting smaller every day...


Monday, July 6, 2009

Desperate Journos

Sometimes art imitates life, sometimes life imitates art, and sometimes people get the two confused.

It would be impossible to document the full depth, scope and scale of the mass-media savagery of former US Republican VP and Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin. It would be even more impossible to document the all the evidence which debunks every piece of dirt that has been raked up to bury her. The National Review does a magnificent job of trying, with this standout line on the snobbery of the elite:

"While we rightly argue that the Sarahs of the world, if they are to be taken seriously as leaders, must read and study more, why do we not also suggest that the Baracks of the world could do a little more chain-sawing, run a coffee shop for a summer, or drive a Winnebago cross-country? (Who knows, he might meet a fellow woodcutter who knew there were 50 states or that it was dumb to make fun of the Special Olympics.)

Vanity Fair magazine, whose name alone reminds you that they are better than you, recently ran a drive-by assault on Palin by one Todd Purdum. The piece was called It came from Wasilla. The title of the article, equally, reminding you that they are the self-confessed authorities on pop culture narrative and you must accept their view uncritically, lest you want to feel tragically left out.

Here's the standard pop culture narrative on Palin, or as it is known by those who think somewhat more critically, Palin Derangement Syndrome;

She's a political joke. She said "I can see Russia from my house" (a line parroted by a previously unheard-of comedienne, which many to this day still attribute to Palin...seriously). She didn't know that Africa wasn't a country (an unchecked, unattributed claim "leaked" to a popular blog, totally false, yet adopted by mainstream press)...

She has no experience for the office position, a lightweight (despite having more administration experience than Obama). Everything she says is stupid (yet Democrat VP Joe Biden is seemingly unable to open his mouth without having to change feet)...

(Take a breath) she's a crackpot creationist (even though her Pa was a science teacher, a subject she majored in). And Matt Damon scoffed at this being a concern for someone who "could have the nuclear codes". Yes, that wonderfully cool guy in those Bourne movies. The actor. The one who is paid to be something he's not.

(Another breath) she shoots moose, poisons wolves, and murders salmon. Which means her idea of "Right to Life" extends only to humans. How backwards is that?

And so on. All uncritically accepted, rehearsed and repeated throughout pop culture.

And none of it actually real. Although, like all good lies, based on a (heavily spun) grain of truth.

So, this Vanity Fair piece has Palin with "clouds of tabloid conflict and controversy that swirl around her and her extended clan" and then lists some, in a (vain?) attempt to appear coherent. I do so love it when the media tell us there is scandal, and then promptly fabricate some, often from thin air, in order for their claim to ring true, just in case you actually read past the headline and into the hyperbole.

Here's a taste of Purdum's list, a little light on supporting evidence:-

-a slew of formal ethics complaints against her in her home state.
These included a complaint that she wore a jacket with a small logo relating to her husband's fishing business during an impromptu TV interview. At current count, 15 out of 15 dismissed as frivolous. You'd think this would count as relevant in Purdum's narrative, but relevance has never been a strong point amongst those who are trying to make a strong point.

By the way, this ethics complaint system, born from the right ideas, has turned into a ridiculous hate-fest much like the Victorian Vilification Laws which tried to stop pastors speaking truth here. The complainants pay nothing for the fun of ruining others' lives with baseless lies.

- surprise pregnancies.
This is controversial? Well, I suppose it would be to those who would much rather abort their 5th pregnancy upon learning it's a Down Syndrome child. That's so much more enlightened. And let's face it Vanity Fair readers, having any children is inconvenient.

- the two-bit blood feuds.
Since Purdum is not big on providing references and evidence, it's not entirely clear what is being referred to here. Perhaps he means the "Troopergate" incident, where Palin dismissed a state trooper for Tasering a 14 year old boy. Actually, she offered the trooper a re-assignment and he quit. Purdum doesn't clarify whether or not painfully Tasering a 14 year old boy is considered "controversial". Had Palin dispensed of said trooper using a Moose rifle, Purdum might have had the makings of a valid point.

That one belongs in the standard Palin Derangement Syndrome list. Along with
- "she had over $150,000 worth of clothes supplied during the GOP campaign". Clothes which were returned- washed and dry cleaned I believe.
- The scandalous "Family Travel expenses on the Republican campaign trail". The only thing scandalous there is that she offered to personally reimburse a proportion of them, when the hundreds of other statesmen and women who rack up the same manner of expenses do not.

It's ironic that, like most people, I knew and cared little for the subject of Sarah Palin's VP selection in '08. In fact, I'd heard of Bristol Palin before Sarah. The time elapsed between the announcement of the Republican VP pick and the hordes of media rummaging through her garbage (literally), was about equal to the flight time of a Piper from the Lower 48 to Alaska. At least they had lots of daylight once there to rummage around for dirt.

Nope, I really didn't know much about Palin then. But I'm simply so fond of using pop culture narrative as a barometer of how little truth prevails in the info-tainment media, that I just had to find out. So, thanks to Palin Derangement Syndrome, she has another fan Down Under.

AND Bree Van Der Kamp is a conservative! Purdum's ability to connect the dots is astounding...

Which brings me to my favourite soundbyte from the Vanity Fair piece. Purdum states that "Palin's life has sometimes played out like an unholy amalgam of Desperate Housewives and Northern Exposure".

My, how quick are the info-tainment media to use a TV Show analogy. Why? Because that's the world they live in.

You see, serial liar Michael Moore and several other self-righteous activists insisted that Sarah's youngest, Trig, was not actually hers, but was an out-of-wedlock birth to then-16-year-old daughter Bristol, covered up to avoid a scandal. They even demanded to see the birth certificate (this, from people who insist that seeing the birth certificate of the president is not necessary). This fable was echoed on news blogs everywhere, even down here, and by people who didn't care if it wasn't true.

Yes, a plot which comes straight from the script of Desperate Housewives. Perhaps I shouldn't scorn the media so much for creating fantasy. Perhaps I should pity them, as their minds are ruled by their own creations. In layman's terms, they believe their own lies.

I rather like Desperate Housewives. It's fun. The difference is, I know it's not real. On the other hand, Mr. Purdum, Palin's life is quite real. It's your writing which reads like an unholy amalgam of TV soaps, sitcoms and women's gossip magazines.

UPDATE: Alaskan Governor's office announces a 19th "Ethics Complaint" against Palin, one of them illegally published in the media by the complainant, a breach of the very same ethics laws! How apt...

Campaign Spot story here

Real Clear Politics

Weekly Standard

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Well done America. Next....

I'm re-iterating here my view that the biggest congratulations for the US elections goes to the American people, less to to Obama. Perhaps now worldwide perceptions of US attitude toward race may be less influenced by Hollywood and more by their democratic choices.

I continue to be confused as to Obama's direction, though. While the world swooned at his inauguration speech, kleenex at the ready, he parroted much of what GWB said. Much of his election campaign was based on divide-and-conquer. I don't knock this, I quite respect it. But some of the campaign capitalised on the popular delusion that Islamic terrorism would stop if only the US hadn't done so many naughty things under GWB.

Now this quote from BHO, addressing the Town Hall, Strasbourg, France, April 3 2009:

"AL Qaeda is still bent of carrying out terrorist activity...Don't fool yourselves, because some people say 'Well, if we changed our policy...with respect to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, or if we were more respectful toward the Muslim world, these organisations will stop threatening us. That's just not the case"

Well said, BHO, and I don't simply mean because he said it without a teleprompter. Those words have substance. Now, to see if it fits with greater party policy.

Meanwhile, if the US want to consider another "president of colour" in 2012, and a woman..! Consider Condaleezza. I don't agree with many of her actions in the Middle East, in particular her designs on negotiations with Fatah. But I simply love the knowledge, clarity and civility when dealing with ideologically-enhanced but factually-challenged university students (or, to put it a little more simply, "university students"):


Thursday, January 8, 2009

Hamas' Family Day

More snapshots of the black soul of Hamas.

From Jeffrey Goldberg, Author of PRISONERS- a story of Friendship and Terror, writing an article entitled The World's Pornographic interest in Jewish Moral Failure, answering the question as to why we get to see so many gruesome photographs of dead or injured Palestinians, especially children;

I'll tell you why, again from firsthand, and repeated, experience: Hamas (and the Aksa Brigades, and Islamic Jihad, the whole bunch) prevents the burial, or even preparation of the bodies for burial, until the bodies are used as props in the Palestinian Passion Play. Once, in Khan Younis, I actually saw gunmen unwrap a shrouded body, carry it a hundred yards and position it atop a pile of rubble -- and then wait a half-hour until photographers showed... And it's typical of Hamas. If reporters would probe deeper, they'd learn the awful truth of Hamas.

But Palestinian moral failings are not of great interest to many people.

And this, on their courage as warriors, from a terrorism thinktank report:

In other cases, civilians are simply used as cannon fodder or human shields. Reports out of Gaza say residents who attempted to flee their homes in the northern area of the Strip were forced to go back at gunpoint, by Hamas men.

Arab media reported that in an IDF strike on a UN school 30 civilians were killed, but there is no legitimate way to prove gunmen were among those killed as Hamas tends to bury these bodies quickly, thus eliminating evidence in Israel's favor.

Other civilian complaints state that Hamas gunmen pull children along with them "by the ears" from place to place, fearing that if they don't have a child with them they will be fair game to the IDF. Others hide in civilian homes and stairwells, UNRWA ambulances, and mosques.


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Another letter from Sderot

Laura Bialis is a US Documentary filmmaker originally from LA who moved to Sderot, Israel, two years ago to find a subject through which to film life in that town. The subject she chose as a platform for her doco was the local musicians and bands.

Her blog is one of the most candid I have seen on this issue. Rather than swoop in with her cameras to film the locals' hardships like a voyeur, she settled down and became a local, sharing the grief, trauma and comradeship of living in "the most bombed city in the world". Nobody is more directly in the shadow of the mass Islamic hatred for the Jewish State than the residents of Sderot.

She even married one of her documentaries' subjects!

Following her blog timeline of rocket attacks and their devastating, sometimes fatal effects for two years, is fascinating. Back in March 2008;

Saturday, sometime between 5 and 7AM:
One or two Tzeva Adoms (Red alerts for incoming rockets- 15 seconds to get to a bomb shelter, part of the Sderor way of life). I don’t remember. I don’t get up, I don’t wake up. I just stay in bed. Screw it all. If they want to bomb me, go ahead.

Saturday, Noon:
Helicopters. I get online. I can’t help it. What does it say in the news. Thirty-three qassams from yesterday until now. Twenty-six people killed in Gaza, including some civilians. Several IDF soldiers injured. (This was a minor IDF response to terrorists digging tunnels and smuggling weapons)

I look at the press from the West and get very angry. Its mostly about their injuries. Another article about Palestinian protests about our attacks. This is ridiculous. If there were no rockets raining on us the IDF wouldn’t have anything to do there. I don’t like the way we are portrayed. We don’t want this war. They are dragging us in. What can we do? There are rockets raining on us daily. But in the media we look like the aggressors. It feels so unfair to be sitting here and reading that. My entire perspective has changed. I used to think that Israel needed to take care of how it looked to the Western World — that we can’t look like monsters. Now I know it doesn’t matter. They will paint us however they want. I just can’t read the news anymore, it makes me too angry. We need to move forward with our lives, protect ourselves. The government has a responsibility to protect its people. The question is, what is the best way to do that?

Angry with the press coverage back in March? Laura, you ain't seen nothin' yet. Jump forward to the commencement of Operation Cast Lead at the end of 2008:

December 27 1:30 pm
Now its all over the news. The bombing is not stopping. There have been counter attacks. We are advised to stay inside near bomb shelters. Netivot and Ashkelon have started to get hit- one person has already died in Netivot.

As usual, I am worried about how this is being covered by the international press. I turned to the CNN web site, and was aghast. It described the situation as “dozens of rockets have been fired into Israel” since the cease-fire broke down. This is preposterous. It has been hundreds. Just this Wednesday there were 70 rockets, yesterday 20… the proportion looks totally different from the outside looking in.

Please take some time to read it, and think about the lives of these people who care about life.


Monday, January 5, 2009

Fauxtography awards

I expect there are already many doctored or staged photos from the press coverage of Israel's Gaza defence. There were numerous provably falsified images and other staged horror for vulturous western news agencies during the failed Lebanon war in 2006. From adding missiles to photos of warplanes in flight, to physically placing soft toys atop piles of rubble, there seemed no limit to what the western media allow in order to make Israel look evil. There's a very interesting analysis on the mere Rhetoric blog .

once more with hatred..

Even the seemingly innocent "human interest" stories can be, and are, overdone to stir up not compassion for the proclaimed victims, but rage against the alleged perpetrator. Personally I think if you need a journalist's ashen, morbid tones describing a sorry scene to lead you to compassion then I would question your capacity for compassion in the first place. Give me moral clarity any day.

Hamas know exactly how the West works. They know they cannot defeat Israel militarily, but they know how to defeat them politically. They know how to harness the power of every extreme left, human-rights campaigning, fake compassion-spouting, narcissistic elitist who wants to atone for their own sins by standing up for a fashionable, high-profile cause.

Hamas even boast about their willingness to exploit the death of their own people to turn the world against Israel. I have not seen one of these boasts covered by the mainstream media.

Oh, by the way, when I say "their own people" I mean civilian men, women and children. As I write this, Hamas commanders are currently hiding in purpose-built bunkers.

No, this "human interest" approach to such a conflict does not manufacture compassion. It creates rage. Rage against Jews.

Here's an incident recounted by leading US Attorney Alan Dershowitz, in a very clear article on the subject. A salient point from the article:

In one recent incident, Israeli intelligence learned that a particular house was being used to manufacture and store rockets. It was a clear military target...But the house was also being lived in by a family. So the Israeli military phoned the house, informed the owner that it was a military target, and gave him thirty minutes to leave with his family before the house was attacked. Hamas...immediately sent dozens of mothers carrying babies to stand on the roof of the house.

...In this case, Israel did learn of the civilians and withheld its fire. The rockets that were spared destruction by the human shields were then used against Israeli civilians. (Emphasis mine).

UPDATE: Media outlets, including serial Israel-basher The Melbourne Age, ran stories on Israel bombing a UN-run school and killing all those inside, civilians seeking refuge from the fighting.

What really happened? The school was run by UNWRA, the United Nations' relief agency. They are known to be the largest employer of Hamas operatives in Gaza. It was booby trapped with a massive amount of explosives. Of this there is no doubt. Anecdotal reports from soldiers are suggesting that approaching IDF troops received fire from the school.

So, Hamas hole up civilians in a booby-trapped building, assault IDF troops and then stand back and milk the results for world sympathy.

And we still blame Israel.


Sunday, January 4, 2009

Don't shoot the messenger

Hamas' statements on how much they value their own people's lives are very telling, see my previous post.

Here is a post in an Israeli military forum from a rank-and-file Palestinian. It's almost as telling.

A message to Israel :specially people of the south

To all of you who think that the attacks on Gaza are going to stop the Resistance from firing rockets , I assure you that is not going to happen .
The attacks are only making the Palestinian resistance stronger , Hamas is getting stronger and stronger everyday , it's popularity ratings are higher than ever .
The rockets will not stop , so you either leave or die !
Our fighters are waiting for your land invasion , if that happens , you'll know what it's like to fight someone who's goal is to die.
The IDF soldiers just want to finish this and go home , but Hamas fighters leave their homes knowing they're going to die , and they're happy about it .
Killing so many people in Gaza is pointless , because we don't fear death !
Death is something we wish for.
We will continue to fire rockets , and we will keep you hiding underground .

I would like all those who protested against Israel across the western world of hypocrites, naive do-gooders and the cultural elitists (although I doubt I will hear from Annie Lennox) to explain to me how Israel are supposed to negotiate with that?

I've said it before, and here again: we love Jews when they are being massacred. We hate them when they fight back.


Saturday, January 3, 2009

Let the vilification begin...

It took a couple of days, but finally the mainstream news networks in Australia are feeding us with all the information we need to uncritically accept the lie that Israel are, yet again, the bully of the Middle East.

SBS tonight screened around 15 seconds explaining why Israel are still hitting Hamas in Gaza and the next 15 minutes showing all the fine, peace-loving people protesting Israel's "atrocities"...just in case we all started thinking for ourselves and stepping outside the popular consensus.

We even heard from my sparring friend in The Melbourne Anglican letters section, Michael Shaik (scroll down, and note that he wrote his letter without disclosing his position as spokes-liar for Australians for Palestine). Shaik appeared on SBS spouting his usual facts-from-upside-down-land to clutch at his Israel-hating straws.

The irony is that for the first time only, Australians are hearing about (some of) the 4,000 plus rocket attacks from Hamas in Gaza which have peppered Southern Israeli towns since Israel pulled all Jews out of Gaza in an attempt to bring peace. There have been some creative efforts in playing down these attacks. Creative efforts from people who don't live under the threat of these deadly rockets. These apologetics for terrorism are typified by this article in The Australian, courtesy of Amin Saikal, who says

...the primitive Qassim rockets fired by Hamas militants last week, in response to the Israeli killing of three Hamas figures at a time when there was supposed to be a ceasefire in place, has taken only three Israeli lives...

Let me get this straight Mr. Saikal: No mentioning the other 4,000-ish rockets fired since 2005. Indiscriminate attacks on civilians are okay in response to well-targeted attacks on terrorists. And these rockets are "primitive". They're nothing, They're just Palestinian kids firing bottle rockets on Guy Fawkes night. "Primitive" is interchangeable with "home-made", also a popular term with media commentators wishing to create the same pathetic impression.

Yep, "primitive". They're harmless, those Kassams. Made in Iran, smuggled through the Sinai in tunnels, up to 90kg total weight and up to a 40km range depending on how much of the 20kg allowable payload weight you pack with explosives and ball bearings. Fired indiscriminately into civilian areas.

Some kids playing with fireworks. Photo courtesy of boy-on-a-bike

But the most hideous of intentional understatements is; has taken only three Israeli lives...

three? (last week's rockets, that is). Why would that be? Because Hamas mean Israel no harm? Or because Israel do a better job of caring for their own?

Example: All Israeli residents must have adequate bunker or bomb shelter protection in all homes built. Their emergency response crews are second to nobody in speed and their early warning systems are constantly developed.

Mind you, their EWS gives Southern Israeli schoolchildren 15 seconds to get to a shelter. That's less time than Israeli Defence warnings give to Palestinian Gaza residents to evacuate before their air strikes.

And the other reason for such a large discrepancy in death toll? Hamas, as with Islamic terrorists in general, love death. Whether their children die from being brainwashed into suicide bombing duty, or an Israeli missile, it's all the same to them. These are not my words, these are their own words.

Or try this article, in an Iranian newspaper...(which was promptly closed down).

The rising tide of anti-Israel bias is way beyond the scope of this post. If you're concerned about facts on the ground, go to Israellycool for live blogging updates and all the links you need for real information. And do what all smart, pragmatic people do; prepare for war, pray for peace.