Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Clinton lashes out at Fox News...and more.

Have you caught up with Bill Clinton's interview on Fox News?

It was supposed to be about his Global Initiative but was, as you could have guessed, a political ambush. The old neo-con smear that Clinton did nothing about Bin Laden was rolled out yet again, that the disasters we have thanks to BushW are actually all Clinton's fault.

This time though Clinton hit back. Copies of the interview naturally found their way onto the 'net, but then they disappeared from YouTube - apparently a DCMA complaint was filed by Fox News Network, L.L.C. against the YouTube web site and the 'offending' videos removed. They are now back on the site.

It really is a video worth watching and you can find it here.

It's provoked a huge amount of comment, amongst which is one that I think is quite remarkable.

On his Countdown programme on MSNBC TV, Keith Olbermann really lets go at Fox and BushW.

"...a past President, bullied and sandbagged by a monkey posing as a newscaster, finally lashed back."

"The nation's freedoms are under assault by an administration whose policies can do as much damage as Al Qaeda."

"The nation's marketplace of ideas is being poisoned by a propaganda company so blatant that Tokyo Rose would have quit."

It really is a remarkable attack and you can watch it on the programme's Special Comment segment.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Live animal export should be stopped.

A report in today's Sydney Morning Herald is headlined "Death ships: anger grows as sheep export toll hits 40,000

It reports that 40,000 sheep died on sea voyages in 2005, up from 30,000 which died in 2004.

Agriculture Minister Peter McGauran, saying the report showed 99.17 per cent of sheep arrived at their destination alive, went on: "The percentage of stock losses is the best measure of the performance of the livestock export industry, as they put the numbers into perspective."

I have to agree with The RSPCA's president Hugh Wirth who responded that the mortality rate should not be the only measure of animal welfare.

It really isn't acceptable in the twenty-first century that this animal cruelty is allowed to continue. Humane slaughtering and export of chilled meat is very obviously what we should be doing.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Inland desalination plants!

This is madness. Utter stupidity.

From the Central Coast Express Advocate Where's the briny?...

ONE of four controversial desalination sites proposed in the Gosford area is more than 10km from the ocean...The site, along with two others, fronts estuarine water, not the ocean...The Gosford-Wyong Joint Water Authority will meet today to discuss the recommendations made by its technical advisory group.

Tecnical Advisory Group? They sound as competent as other advisory groups and consultants who've come up with unbelievably stupid reports in the past. The Haven project was another doozy. They had to keep us safe from falling rock - which was so solid they had to dynamite it.

I can't believe that even a council and its advisors can be this stupid or ill-informed. They must be taking the piss, surely.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Religion the cause of conflict?

The only comment I'll make is that I agree totally with this post from our fellow blogger Farrukh Naeem:

Not in God's name...

People have, in the course of history, committed heinous crimes in God's name and continue to do so - most of us are just too lazy or ignorant to challenge their distortions and lies.

Does any religion teach imperialism, greed and aggression? Or are the teachings of religions being twisted by the power hungry for material gains?

Jesus (peace be upon him) taught that you should turn the other cheek when someone hits you, and that you should love your enemies. Why don't the war-mongers ever quote this? Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) taught that killing one innocent human being is like killing all humanity. He prayed for those who stoned him till he bled from head to toe. Why don't the terrorists emulate this? I am sure Buddha, Sri Rama, Zarasthura must have taught tolerance and forgiveness too. Why aren't these teachings ever quoted by politicians and terrorists and war-mongers and the hate brigade?

Do religions support imperialism and political conquests? Should we take this answer from modern day conquerors, politicians and terrorists or should we go back to the teachers' lives?

Jesus (peace be upon him) did not have a roof over his head when he walked on this earth. Moses (peace be upon him) wandered homeless with his people for ages. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) left Makkah, his home city, fleeing the persecution of polytheists. His household used to starve for months on end, and they did not even have enough means to light a lamp the day he passed away. Sri Rama from India lived for 40 years in a forest, giving up his kingdom for his principles. Buddha was a prosperous prince who renounced his riches in search of the truth.

If we lived like these people, taking little, giving much, would we dropping bombs on each other, occupying foreign lands, killing, pillaging, destroying each other? I don't think so.To people who say that religion is a cause of conflict, I say it is not. The ignorance of religion is.

If all of us understood the true teachings of religions, there would be no one left to support those who attack humanity in God's name.

posted by Farrukh Naeem

Farrukh is worth reading. You can find his blog here Who wrote that

Double standards

The (London) Daily Telegraph reports that YouTube is showing videos of American soldiers being shot and blown up, in a piece headlined Website attacked over propaganda videos of soldiers' deaths in Iraq.

As you would expect, "Outraged relatives of soldiers killed in Iraq are now calling for the videos to be removed, or the website shut down."

The father of one of the victims said it was "deplorable" that YouTube was allowing such videos to be posted by its members.

"It's a propaganda tool, a recruiting tool and putting it on the internet like this is rubbing it in our faces," he said."It just infuriates me. Watching it was horrible. My son was hanging in there but he died eight hours after the explosion. He was only a kid."

I agree one hundred percent. Without question. Such images should not be shown.

Regardless of the nationality of the victims.

I well recall seeing on mainstream public television, film of Iraqis being killed. One that sticks in my mind is a man in a pick-up truck, jumping out and trying to hide from a helicopter gunship. We even had the voice-over of the aimer as the chopper hunted him down, then we saw the rocket fire hitting the road in front of him, he looked up startled, then was cut to pieces.

I read no outrage about that. I heard no-one demand that the tv station should be shut down. We didn't hear what his father thought about his son's death being broadcast on television around the world.

Double standards. Them and us. It's permissable for one side but not for the other.

No family should have to see film of their loved ones being killed. No family. American or Iraqi. Or anyone else.

By the way, the report includes the line: The videos, made as propaganda by Islamist extremists... Using the same logic, wasn't the film I'm referring to 'made as propaganda by the US military'?

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

What an outrage!

The government is guilty of huge water wastage. It's avoidable, it's common sense not to do it, in fact it will soon be a matter of life or death, but there's no doubt the wastage will continue. It's a disgraceful disregard for what should be done, what needs to be done, what we elect governments to do.

This is the driest inhabited continent on the planet. We're desperately short of water and the dams are drying out at an alarming rate.

It does rain, but unless it falls on the right place most of it simply runs into the ocean. No not runs, is deliberately piped into the ocean. Like this, a stormwater outfall at Balmoral yesterday:

Photo: Bob Pearce, SMH

Today's Sydney Morning Herald has an article Another great opportunity goes down the drain which says in part:

"...over the past five days 185 millimetres of rain has fallen at Observatory Hill, the kind of downpour more common in March or June.

But most of that water has gone down stormwater drains and out to sea because of an ad hoc approach to water conservation by the State Government...Sydney was slow in adopting stormwater harvesting compared with other Australian cities, (which) was more cost effective than subsidising rainwater tanks."

Now here's an example of innovative, sensible thinking from an even drier area, the Arabian Gulf. In Dubai what will be the world's tallest building is under construction. Outside is hot and humid, inside will be cool air-conditioning. The result will be condensation...and the building will include a condensate collection system.

"...condensed water will be collected and drained in a separate piping system down to a holding tank located in the basement car park. This water will then be pumped into the site irrigation system for use on the tower's landscape plantings. This system will provide about 15 million gallons of supplemental water per year, equivalent to nearly 20 Olympic-sized swimming pools."

You can read about it here

Meanwhile, our government can't even collect water that falls from the sky!

Most of us are doing what we can to conserve water, while our elected representatives are literally pouring it down the drain!

Monday, September 11, 2006

What an insult to our intelligence!

The Sydney Morning Herald reports a stunning new government initiative - that's years behind the times!

A prepay cashless bus service between Bondi Beach and the city will be introduced next month in what is being billed as the way to help speed up travel times.

The 333 bus will run every 10 minutes on the popular 380 route and is expected to lead to future trials of cashless buses in an attempt to get buses moving to the city more quickly.

In Singapore they've had smartcard buses and trains for years.

Hop onto the bus, tap your wallet on the reader and it logs you in. When you get off the bus you tap another reader. Bingo, quick, easy, no unnecessary delays for the bus.

I don't know how true it is but people there have told me it's an Aussie development.

At least some people here understand. The report goes on: The transport expert Ken Dobinson, a former head of the Roads and Traffic Authority, welcomed the initiative but said it was a "half-measure".

He said the Government had failed to introducing smartcard tickets for trains, buses and ferries, which would be much more beneficial for travel times.

Our transport is a sick joke, the management of it, investment in it, is a disgrace. Now the government's bragging about introducing decades-old systems!

Cashless buses to cut travel times

Thursday, September 07, 2006

An embarrassment to the country

Yet another federal minister demonstrating to the world what a lightweight he is.

How on earth Brendan Nelson is considered competent to be Defence Minister I can't imagine. Now we have him furiously U-turning over his earlier ill-advised and premature pronouncements on the death of Private Jake Kovco.

He joins a list of equally ill-equipped appointees to ministerial positions - Downer, Vanstone, Ruddock...what an embarrassment to the country they are.

Are they appointed because they're so lightweight they can't be a threat to Howard's leadership, or are they really the best we've got?

Nelson's backflip on Kovco

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Save us from fanatics!

I watched a documentary on Osama bin Laden yesterday.

He's doing what he's doing because God is telling him to.

I've heard George W. Bush say those exact words too.

Most people who do things because voices in their head tell them to are locked safely away...

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Spot on!

From today's Australian. Sums up JWH pretty well...