catsidhe: (unhappy)
Boltwatch informs me of Andrew Bolt's addition to the discussion about the tragic killings in Finland yesterday.
We don’t know what is behind the killing. I’m interested in Auvinen’s contempt for humanity, which is not just a feature of the neo-Nazism he spouts, but of the more extreme global warming advocates who demand we reduce the number of dirty, earth-raping humans.


I’d better be clear for the jumpers-to-conclusions. No, I’m not accusing Auvinen of being a green, and greens of being murderers - or Nazis.

Pay no attention to what he says, instead listen to what he tells you he said.

Because he is NOT saying that Greens are Nazis. He is just saying that they are like Nazis. And murderers. No, wait, ‘like murderers’.

And that makes it alright.

And the comments, just the first few, proceed to blame the murders (and presumably the Nazis and Greens) on Avant-guarde artists and Scandinavian Socialism. Dog whistle, much? Actually, I take that back. It's not a dog whistle if everyone can hear it.
catsidhe: (Default)
A few thoughts come to mind while reading this.

Summary: The Federal Department of Employment and Workplace Relations found out that public servants were planning to take annual leave, and spend their resultant free time going to a union rally to protest against legislation which would make it illegal to, well, attend a union rally at all, really. The Dept of Emp & Work Rel. advised — officially advised — other departments that they should refuse any leave if there was a chance that it was to go to that rally. Basically, the Fed Dept of Emp & Work Rel gave an official decree that what people legally did on their time off was its business, and some legal activities should be forbidden for political reasons. The Federal Court has just determined that this was, in fact, illegal, and given close to the highest available fine in punishment: $30,000.

  • Um, isn't the court actually fining the Taxpayers, for a partisan political fuckup by individuals in a given bureaucracy? It does point out that “some senior departmental officers knew it was wrong to issue such advice”, which does rather raise the question as to who it was who issued such advice, and why, and why those aforesaid Senior Officers did not quash it. But why are those, identifiable people (and given that this is a public service bureaucracy, if they can't identify the miscreant(s), that's another outrage) not being fined, but the department is? Because that will just be soaked immediately in the budget and those responsible will avoid any personal liability for their actions (and lack of action). It's basically everything which [ profile] erudito most (and most rightly) derides about ‘socialist’ systems: the lack of personal accountability.
  • $30,000 looks like a lot when it is in your bank account, but a Government Department spends more than that on paperclips. It really will just get soaked in the general budget mass, and won't even be noticed. What ‘deterrent’, then? No-one at all will actually be deterred. Although the Union involved might make some poetic mileage out of it.
  • At least the Federal Court is showing some cojones. Although it could be argued that the Fed Dept of Emp & Work Rel itself showed big brass ones, giving a ruling that was illegal under the existing system, against protesting against a system under which the ruling would still be illegal.
  • So, Howard's has really shown itself up for exactly how much it is a friend of Free Speech and workers' rights. That would be: “none at all”.

Will this effect the election? I suspect that it will flare for a couple of days, if that, then die to be replaced by a photo of Turnbull picking his nose or something. Ultimately, this will effect the result precisely as much as the ‘Debate’ did(n't), where the story was all about Channel 9 running the Worm and being cut off. Apparently there were a couple of stuffed shirts talking about something, but no-one was paying any attention to that.

This bit of news will not change many people's minds. The ‘Howard Haters’ already knew that Howard and his gang of thugs had done their level best to corrupt the public service. The Howard sycophants are probably already screaming about how the ruling was a fix, and in between ... I suspect that sufficient distractions will be arranged, such that there will be other things on most people's minds on the 24th. Sure, a few people might remember, but I don't think it will make much of a difference.

Still, the polls are pointing at a thorough pasting for Howard and his gang, so hopefully it doesn't need to — it's icing.

Because, despite what I said about no-one taking much notice, it does stand as an indictment on Howard's attempts to suppress any speech he doesn't like the sound of.

(hat tip to the LJ-less mpp)
catsidhe: (Default)
You have a secret back door into the private communications of the most feared and hated terrorist organisation in the world. Do you:
  1. Keep this discovery top secret, not letting anyone at all know, in case you lose the chance to discover something really big on the way, possibly letting suicide bombings through so as to not poison the well,
  2. Keep this discovery secret, but pass selected intelligence on to other organisations, warning them of planned upcoming bombings and other such incidents and doing ongoing good with the information, or
  3. Immediately tell Fox News, thus utterly screwing the pooch and locking that door forever, in return for ten seconds of good PR?

Sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice.

(via Bob Harris.)
catsidhe: (Default)
ISPs try to tell the government to shut up and listen for once. It doesn't seem to work.

You see, the article head is absolutely correct: “ISP-level filters 'unworkable'”. They are precisely as unworkable as they were the last time some ignorant dropkick suggested this. And the time before that. (Wasn't it Beazley that time?) And the umpteen dozen times before that.

Maybe we should propose some sort of plebiscite which legally prohibits from proposing complicated and ultimately futile technical ‘solutions’ to undemonstrated and unprovable non-problem, when they can't even spell the name of the technology in question, let alone understand the simplest part of it.

If Senator Coonan wants to stand up and embarrass herself in public like this again, she should have to pass a test first, demonstrating a basic comprehension of, say, the ISO 7-layer networking model (details of where the model fails, and how, not required but give extra credit), and a quick description of how TCP/IP works (in terms of handshaking and conversations: packet diagrams give extra credit).

I really have had it up to here with people who don't know what I do — who would need several years of intensive training just to understand how very little they do understand — and yet feel the need to tell me how to do it. There's a lot of it about.

Pointy Haired Bosses are everywhere. Especially in Parliament.

finally, in closing, ... )
catsidhe: (Default)
Triple J's Hack did a thing about Climate Change Deniers. [mp3]

There was a little feedback, so they did a followup about those complainants. [mp3]

The gist of these people is

  1. There are thousands of Climate Scientists who disagree with the Consensus -- but no-one knows who they are.
  2. Ray Evans says that there's a CONSPIRACY!!!
  3. Climate Change is, like, real, but most Scientists, like, reckon that it's totally natural, and, like, stuff.
  4. Didn't you see that Documentary in England about the Climate Change Con? (Reply; yes but what about the person who came out and complained about how badly he had been misrepresented? Response; Yeah, but he said stuff out of context, which totally confirms my biases. I mean, yeah, they misrepresented him, but he still said stuff, which could be twisted by scientifically ignorant oil propagandists to sound like "Climate Change Suxx0rz")

OK, I'm exaggerating. Well, except for Ray Evans.

And then tonight they finally played the full interview with Andrew Bolt, which was interrupted by technical faults last night. It's not up yet, but probably will be soon.

Good gods, that man is an arrogant son-of-a-bitch. He spent the entire time attacking the reporter for not interviewing people like him more often, and for being rude about it when he does.

I would say more, and more cogent thing, but I have to wait for the white-hot fires in my head to cool down first.
catsidhe: (Default)
So Ian Campbell puts down his crackpipe for just long enough to talk to a Senate Estimates Committee, and demonstrates why freebasing is bad.
Story under cut )

So, what precisely do you think it is about "actively hiding her identity" and "unable to force use of the card" that confused him, d'yer think? The part about Rau being a paranoid schizophrenic? The part about his own department's propaganda about the use of the card not being compulsory?

Or has he accidentally given us a glimpse into what Cabinet really wants out of this? If the Australia Card Not Compulsory At All Card was actually compulsory, and failure to produce was a crime, then -- hang on, that wouldn't work either, because she still wouldn't have carried her ear tag Card. But, ah! Then the department of Immigration and Expulsion could just do a search for her fingerprints. Like they should have anyway in the first place but didn't. *cough*.

The only way his statements make sense is if the Card was meant to be compulsory, universal, and freely searchable by any government department or authorised subcontractor. And even then, it doesn't make any sense. Or, the third alternative, if, as I said at the beginning, Senator Campbell has spent the last month or so on a crack binge.

The thing that has really shit me about the Australia Card is that the government expects us to not think about the consequences. The elephant in the room is that any subsequent government can trivially change the legislation: the hard part is collecting the data. Once that's done, we're fucked at a penstroke.

That's what the normally completely bugnuts Senator Bishop was talking about when she said that this thing failed the Nazi test. Had it existed, they would gleefully have used it to do what they did. As it was, they had to invent the technology, and that slowed them down enough for people to escape. Not enough people, alas, not nearly enough by many orders of magnitude, but it was a start.

The argument that this is needed to curtail fraud is a furphy. The amount of fraud won't be affected by this, the fraudsters will just find another way to continue as before: they always do. And anyway, is the amount of fraud comparable to the amount that will have to be spent on this monster? The only explanation that makes sense to me is that the whole thing is being designed from the start to be a universal identity card, to become compulsory as soon as they've got our details. (Labor, Liberal, irrelevant. It's a wet dream of Power, and whoever is in power.)

If RatBastard gets his way on this, start expecting "Ihre Papieren, bitte." Sooner or later, you'll be hearing it.
catsidhe: (Default)
The US Military has investigated itself, and found itself entirely innocent. They continued to say that their independent investigations indicated that they also deserve a pay rise, and a pony, each.

Others have claimed that there is, in fact, a rich tradition of abusive behaviour at Guantánamo, ranging from verbal abuse through to psychological torment and outright physical assault and torture, but these concerns were dismissed as the paranoid carpings of a quasi-treasonous fifth column, who have axes to grind and want the terrorists to win. On the contrary, say the entirely disinterested Pentagon investigation team, being shown posters of Saddam Hussein about to be hanged with messages implying "do what we say or you're next' are merely provision of intellectual exercise (needed since the only other reading material available is the Qur'an), and the digital-anal rape is just a normal medical procedure. What, your doctor doesn't put a bag over your head so you don't know when, or if, he's going to stick his fingers up your arse?

RatBastard Howard, on the other hand, has claimed that he could repatriate Hicks, he just won't, on the principle that if the Yanks arrested him ('arrested', 'were handed by mercenaries in return for money', it's a fine distinction), he must be guilty of something, and the fact that he hadn't broken a single Australian law must not be allowed to get in the way of that. He did qualify this by saying that Hick's case could have been handled better by the aforementioned Yanks, and that this was his strongly held opinion all the way back to the most recent dismal poll results.
catsidhe: (fire)
Is reality disturbing, and not conforming to your deeply held faith?

The answer is simple: simply rewrite history!

In next week's episode, we'll be discussing how to make the shambolic but not inneffective attempted genocide of the Australian Aboriginals go away by redefining Australian History to refer only to Squatters, law-abiding Gold miners, and the hard-working Aussie small-businessman.
catsidhe: (Default)
Re: my post on Little Johnny's twisted excuse for 'logic'.

I wasn't making it up. For the first time I have found a transcription and report of what he has said on the media, apart from what I heard on the radio. And what I heard on the radio there is no transcription for, nor was there a download of that broadcast available.

But now, there it is, Howard's contempt for all thinking Australians, in black and white.

catsidhe: (fire)
Go here.

Right now.

And think on this: every one of those coffins represents one human being. Every one of those coffins has a name, has a family, has people who grieve for their passing. Every fucking one of them.
catsidhe: (fire)
What do I think about Israel vs Lebanon? It's complicated, but not always in the ways we are being told that it is.

Hizbullah are evil bastards, of course. Well, the part of it with rocket launchers are, rather than the part that builds schools and hospitals. You see? It's already complicated, and I've barely even started.

That does not in any way, though, prevent the IDF from ALSO being evil bastards. I mean, come on. They bombed every major and most minor roads out of south Lebanon, then told people the get the fuck out. Then they started bombing everything that moved, including those people who were 1) terrified, and 2) doing in good faith exactly what they had been told to.

Hizbullah have egregiously targetted civilians by letting off rockets into Israel, aiming especially at Haifa.

Israeli pilots have deliberately targetted trucks carrying refugees and incinerated children with phosphorus bombs. For the love of Goddess, the pilot who shot up the Red Cross ambulance the other day should get a merit badge in marksmanship or something: if he wasn't aiming for the Big Red Cross on the top, he should have been. And the kicker? Not only is it not working, they want to do more of it!
Military sources claimed Wednesday that the IDF's current tactics are having an insufficient impact on the Katyusha rocket launchers and expose the soldiers to excessive danger. The criticism was mostly aimed at the decision not to employ large ground forces in Lebanon, which would give the IDF a significant advantages over a guerrilla force.

The sources also criticized what they described as insufficient utilization of aircraft in ground support operations, because of concerns that they might kill Lebanese civilians that did not evacuate target areas.
And in today's Age letters column is an outraged letter demanding to know why this obvious piece of Hizbullah propaganda is being published. Israelis would never target ambulances or children ... would they?

And here's an intersting bit of logic:
Lebanese deaths: 433, mostly civilians, almost half children.
Israeli deaths: 51, including the 9 IDF troops who were killed recently.
Conclusion: Hizbullah is evil, and must be punished through the expedient of killing (with the greatest possible regret) more innocent civilians. Israel is blameless, merely trying against overwhelming odds to ensure its survival. You see, If we don't mean to kill civilians, it doesn't count.

The moral arguments Israel are making don't add up. Neither do their practical rationalisations: they are recruiting for Hizbullah, and if they are so concerned about defeating Hizbullah, then why are they attacking Christian areas in Beirut and other parts of Lebanon? Why did they bomb the UN compound, which has only been there for twenty years, and who desperately tried to warn the IDF that the shelling was getting a bit close, could they adjust their sights or something please? They are outraging the Lebanese who actually disliked Hizbullah as well, and giving generations to come tactile, concrete reasons to hate Israel. Nor are they actually doing much against the Hizbullah militants themselves. And as for a 'supine Lebanese government, who allowed this to happen', Lebanon has been in civil war, or under occupation for as long as most can remember. As far as its Democratic Government goes, it's not much older, or more mature, than East Timor's. Hizbullah as an organisation has a couple of decades head start on the current (and in all likelyhood recently passed) iteration of Lebanese Democracy. The Lebanese Government wasn't strong enough to enforce its will on Hisbullah, and now any hope of its maturing to the point where it would be able to has been bombed into oblivion.

But if you say that the Israeli bombardment of Lebanon is a War Crime, then you have to say that the bombing of Dresden was a War Crime, too! Hah, I have the Moral High Ground Back!
Well, no, because the Dresden bombing was a war crime, and should have been prosecuted as such. What a coincidence that the people responsible for doing the prosecutions were the same people to have done the bombings. It must have slipped their minds or something.

Of course, the Right blogs and Usual Suspects have come out with torrents of commentary on how Israel is right and justified, and how horrible it is that only the effects on Lebanon are being shown, it's an obvious symptom of a Left-biased West-Hating Anti Semitic media. This is because they had to apply no actual thought to the problem. Israel is always justified and right. Muslims and arabs are always wrong (except, usually, for Saudi Arabia and Kuwait). The media is always west-hating and left-biased, and never less than when it actually reports 'facts'. Like, you know, pointing out that while a 14-year old girl was killed by a Hizbullah rocket in the street in Haifa, dozens of children have been killed, and more orphaned, by 'precision strikes' on the vehicles they were attempting to flee in. Why has the response from the Left been relatively muted? Because we make the effort to try and figure out what is going on, to understand, to think. Because it is complicated -- a delicate tracery of greys, and we don't fall back on "Israel is wrong" by reflex. It's just more often than not that that is the answer, even when the blame is shared, and the answer is actually "Israel is also wrong". But we, at least, took the time to think, and wonder if we might be wrong. Something Right-bloggers/commentariat tend not to do.

If a murderer, or even a whole gang of murderers, flees into a crowd, what is the appropriate response? The IDF response is to open free fire into the crowd, and try and make their best effort to aim for the killers. Of course, many innocent people will (regrettably) die, but we just have to keep firing until we are sure that all the murderers are dead. And they might, you know, try to escape or something, so wall in the crowd and kill anyone who tries to get out. We can't take any chances.

None of this abrogates the burden on the murderers who fled into the crowd. But those who are doing the shooting in have made themselves into murderers themselves, and worse. And for anyone in that crowd, blameless and terrified? Sorry, mate, you're fucked.
What 'moral high ground' then?

And my solution? To stand in the street and scream "stopitstopitstopitstopitStopItstopitStopItSTOPIT until the nice men come and take me away.

I think it was someone on LateLine who said that what the Middle East needs most is Adult Supervision. I couldn't have said it better myself.