Monday, July 14, 2008
Well, the first thing isn't so fun; a report into the fatal 2006 Black Hawk helicopter crash has been released. And boy, haven't the media jumped on it as a cover-up-conspiracy-safety-standards-deliberately-reduced-
nothing-about-it story. ABC Newsradio's Jennifer Byrne seemed to be on a mission to harangue the ADF's Neil James into admitting that defence funding cuts were directly responsible for the deaths of these young soldiers. He wouldn't, but did mention that lack of resources prevailed during the 80's and 90's. Labor years. Oops.
Some salient points from the report included factors like "personnel... took higher risks during operations...had a 'can-do' attitude.... were not adequately supervised..."
Higher risks? Can-do attitude? Working unsupervised? Egads! We cannot have that in our defence forces! And let me get this straight; military personnel tried different, often risky, maneuvers to land helicopters, as part of their training??
Yes, this IS shocking. After all, when they are called to extract wounded soldiers from the Afghani-Pakistan border under heavy Taliban rocket fire, they should take it slow and easy. Relax- the Taliban are fully respectful of Australian Occ Health and Safety procedures. Don't fire on the chopper, Aziz- he's obviously a learner. The last thing we want is the worksafe inspector spoiling our jihad with his high-viz jacket and clipboard an' all that. That would be really bad.
In more news, those madcap and zany mullahs in Iran have been test-firing rockets as a show of strength. They even sent one happy snap for western photo albums. Naturally, Reuters and AP jumped on it:
The Revolutionary Guards released this photo to the world to demonstrate it's unflinching readiness to defensively respond to the Israeli threat of responding to the Iranian threat to wipe out Israel. Problem is, some farsi-speaking genius in the Iranian agitprop department discovered how to use photoshop and one of those missiles isn't actually real. Here is the real, un-altered photo:
Well, okay, not entirely un-altered. The camera was way to far off to hear the clicking noise. But you get the point. Personally, if I was an Iranian Revolutionary guard, I'd be quite happy with three out of four Sahabs getting off the ground. After all, they were purchased at a Russian garage sale. So why the need to digitally alter a photo- to enhance the appearance of military might or computer geekness?
Of course, environmental groups were delighted. If you must insist on exterminating 6-7 million Jews, photoshopping the appearance of firing a fourth missile instead of actually firing it, reduces your carbon emissions by 25%!
Which got me thinking- why stop there? Surely Ahmadinejad can simply photoshop a picture of him standing atop the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, surveying miles of decimated Israeli population. Then the Iranians will have the impression of a conclusive victory over the "Zionist cancer". Reuters wouldn't even find out unless someone tells them. It would keep everyone happy and nobody has to die.
Anyhow, the major news agencies were advised about the deception. Not only were the photos pulled but in some cases the "farsi-cal" event made it's own story. Which is unusual, since normally the media stops caring once they've sold their quota.
The Iranian Revolutionary Guard, however, were not swayed by the whistle blowing. They then released what they claimed was the REAL photo.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
But face it, you love it, really. I'm only funny when I'm angry about something. And it's not entirely unrelated to our family life. I manage to indoctrinate Naomi constantly with all this stuff.
Before my current rant I want to make a couple of contributions to a book my paternal father (yes that was intended as a joke so please don't write in) was apparently writing some years ago; his own lexicon of words from the Strine Language;
Gum-mint. The country's administrative and legislative body
Sponsor Billy: ways in which one is accountable to one's community
Okay, rant time: According to the profit of doom Al Gore, and a bunch of gum-mint funded scientists whose numbers are greatly exaggerated, we are polluting the planet to hell. So much so, that young people are so scared they're almost suicidally delusional.
So I'm one of these unclean lepers who thinks the whole Anthropogenic Climate Global Warming Change religion is, demonstrably, a load of old bollocks (scientific term). Or, as we are apparently known now, Climate Change Denialists.
But that doesn't stop it from being bollocks with a lot of teeth. It could force us to pay $8.00 a litre for fuel. We could be arrested for not turning off air conditioners in summer. We will have to pay someone every time we flatulate. We will be forced to buy an expensive, stupid, small, queer-looking overpriced Toyota which doesn't actually emit less GHG than what most of us drive now, and whose construction involves processes more environmentally catastrophic than a Ford F100.
Never mind the common knowledge that burping cows emit more GHG than just about anything. Oh, and you can't simply kill them all and force everyone to become vegans. The cows' rotting carcass will emit more GHG. Talk about a rock and a hard place.
But get this; according to a former CSIRO scientist, not only is the fanatical AGW church hell-bent on sending us back to the stone age for an erroneous cause, they are actually putting us in great danger and preventing us from making advances in finding cheaper, more readily available fuel and food.
It reminds me of when our gum-mint gave $40m to the world's richest car company to build a large hybrid car they were going to build anyway. A Labor gum-mint lady was heard to say "The only downside is that the hybrid Camry will be too big, not like my little Prius".
Ah yes, Green Lady. But you see we need bigger cars sometimes, to help transport people. Remember people?
Anyhoo, I've posted the bulk of this banished CSIRO-reject's claims on my other blog here.
I strongly urge you to read it. I feel it is my highest sponsor-billy to do so.
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
No family news to report. But, in light of the G8 summit, I came across this "generic article". With some small tweaks and insertion of additional detail it can be cut-and-pasted by anyone, journalists even, to report on just about any international crisis meeting. It's a bit like recycling Jesus conspiracy theories, although not quite as profitable. Credit to Gideon Rachman of the Financial Times, link here.
By reporters everywhere
An ineffectual international organisation yesterday issued a stark
warning about a situation it has absolutely no power to change, the
latest in a series of self-serving interventions by toothless
“We are seriously concerned about this most serious outbreak of
seriousness,” said the head of the institution, either a former minister from a developing country or a mid-level European or American bureaucrat. “This is a wake-up call to the world. They must take on board the vital message that my organisation exists.”
The director of the body, based in one of New York, Washington or an agreeable Western European city, was speaking at its annual conference, at which ministers from around the world gather to wring their hands impotently about the most fashionable issue of the day. The organisation has sought to justify its almost completely fruitless existence by joining its many fellow talking-shops in highlighting whatever crisis has recently gained most coverage in the global media.
“Governments around the world must come together to combat whatever this year’s worrying situation has turned out to be,” the director said. “It is not yet time to panic, but if it goes on much further without my institution gaining some credit, preferably some sort of grant, for sounding off on the issue, we will be justified in labelling it a crisis.”
The organisation... has long been fighting a war of attrition against its own irrelevance. By making a big deal out of the fact that the world’s most salient topical issue will be placed on its agenda and then issuing a largely derivative annual report on the subject, it hopes to convey the entirely erroneous impression that it has any influence whatsoever on the situation.
The intervention follows a resounding call to action in the communiqué of the Group of [number goes here] countries at their recent summit in a remote place no-one had previously heard of. The G[number goes here] meeting was preceded by the familiar interminable and inconclusive
discussions about whether the G[number goes here] was sufficiently representative of the international community, or whether it should be expanded into a G[number plus 1, 2 or higher goes here] including China, India or any other scary emerging market country that attendees
cared to name.
The story was given further padding by a study from an ambulance-chasing thinktank, which warned that it would continue to convene media conferences and sue government departments
until its suicidal plan to counter whatever non-existent crisis was gathering had been given substantially undeserved attention.
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
*warning: sexist comment approaching
Apparently when women get depressed they go shopping and get a new hair colour. Men are not much different. Not only did I change the blog to a soothing blue colour, so as to help minimise reader rage at my blatant conservatism-ness, I also did this;
Trainspotters amongst you will notice that it's got a sexy new colour. It made me feel better about a bendy weekend at Phillip Island recently, where yet another top three result went begging.
The only thing missing was a big expensive launch in a London function centre with lots of laser lights and smoke and dancing girls and live performances by Kraftwerk (the budget kind of ran out way before the final coat was applied). But we managed to run it in at Wakefield Park (Goulburn) without smashing it up.
Sammy made the trip with me so it was a great boys' weekend. Meanwhile, the girls stayed at home and no doubt did lots of girly things.
Yep, like I said. Not much thinking lately. BYE.....