Posts Tagged ‘Blogging’


More from Gaza

December 29, 2008

More IAF precision strikes.

Impressive. This kind of footage gives the lie to The Guardian’s Comment Is Free line about the IAF indiscriminately slaughtering innocent civilians. All the indications I’ve seen – and admitted by Hamas itself – are that the overwhelming majority of the casualties are Hamas operatives. Furthermore, Israel did its now customary trick of sending SMS messages out on the cell network warning civilians to keep clear of the targets of impending air strikes. In The Guardian’s case, it’s clear that ‘Is Free’ means ‘Worth Nothing.’

Meanwhile, here are some blogs-on-the-ground to watch (as opposed, and in preference, to the MSM):

Israel Matzav, Aliyah!, IsraellyCool, Life Must Go On in Gaza and Sderot, SabbahBlog, Good Neighbours.

The Gaza sites opposed to Hamas that I used to visit have closed down or gone dormant in the past year. There could be a reason for that.

Further afield: Augean Stables, Contentions, Power Line, Mere Rhetoric, Gateway Pundit.

The Ozblogos doesn’t seem to be paying much attention.

UPDATE: Actually, I was wrong on that last point.  There’s a lively debate going on at Larvatus Prodeo.


The Currency Lad takes a breather

December 16, 2008

C.L. is going off the air for a couple of months, and I hope his Christmas and New Year will be as good as they ought to be. He’s been nice enough to acknowledge my return to blogging.

I envy C.L. his superb writing and research skills, but also his freedom of movement. This blog of mine is an odd kind of beast, which is why I periodically think of killing it. I can’t post on the government’s policies or its international relationships, for reasons that would be obvious to anyone after a couple of seconds’ reflection (they pay me).

So I have to stick with cats and music and films (or hi-fi – hey, does anyone want to hear about the new Naim Audio SNAIC cables in sombre black instead of sober grey? No? Thought not) and only far-distant issues of real contention, like Israel/Palestine and the Armenian genocide.

May C.L. enjoy his blogging hiatus, and hurry back to us as soon as he can.


The point of no return

December 8, 2008

Well, that was an extended break and a half, lasting for one day less than exactly one year.

There have been some changes and other continuities in the Ozblogos. Thankfully, The Currency Lad is publishing again, with the best pre-(US) election commentary I’ve seen anywhere. And saint at DogfightAtBankstown has kept the flag flying through thick and thin. Favourites like Larvatus Prodeo (congrats to Mark B on finishing his thesis), Club Troppo – with some great recent opera posts from James Farrell – and Catallaxy are still going strong. Scepticlawyer is blogging from Oxford, with Legal Eagle, and a very good thing too.

I got tired of blogging because I didn’t think I had anything more to say, or I’d said all I wanted to say. But I think the non-lefty side of the ‘sphere ought to be able to better than Andrew Bolt and Tim Blair, who, for all their many and varied virtues (yes, virtues) are just journalists, after all, not bloggers. I’m crotchety enough to object to the former pretending to be the latter. Button it, you blokes: this is our space.

Anyway, I’m thinking it’s time to follow C.L.’s lead and return to the fray. I’ve always wanted to write a review of my favourite Marxist film, The Molly Maguires, and I never even got around to doing an appreciation of Angela Carter’s work.

There could be a body of work there – interspersed with the usual denunciations of the crimes of Stalin, of course.

I’m not happy with the WordPress theme I’m using – Neat – because for some reason it won’t display the name of the post author (which is me, or alternatively my cat Francesca, who’s getting on a bit now – 16 if she’s a day – or even more alternatively, our new cat Papageno, a ragdoll blue-mitted, of whom I have no cute pix but whose appearance you can check out on a packet of Kleenex – as he was about three months ago anyway – at your local Coles New World supermarket the next time you’re shopping for tissues – if you shop for them of course, which you may not, if you’re worried about the planet, which I am too, of course, though not as much as some, in fact not at all really, except for a little bit, I even forget to separate the recycling stuff from the tissues when putting out the garbage….. now where was I?)

Curse this stream of consciousness stuff. Dunno where I was when I started it. Oh yes, I remember – WordPress not posting my name for me in the Neat theme. Bastards. Gives me immediate deniability, though.

Anyway, watch this space (if you’re so inclined).

Meanwhile, here’s a joke about socialism:

“About your [Bolshevik] Society–” began Mr. Brown after dinner.

“No,” said Robert, “it’s all off. We’ve given it up after all. We don’t think there’s much in it, after all. None of us do, now. We feel quite different.”

“But you were so enthusiastic about it this afternoon. Sharing fairly, and all that sort of thing.”

“Yes,” said Robert. “That’s all very well. It’s all right when you can get your share of other people’s things, but when other people try to get their share of your things, then it’s different.”

“Ah,” said Mr. Brown, “that’s the weak spot. I’m glad you found it out.”

Richmal Crompton
William the Fourth, 1924.

There was a similar joke doing the rounds in the old Soviet Union about the peasant who didn’t have three tractors (which he would be happy to share), but did have three horses (which he wouldn’t).


A walk in Ramadi

October 13, 2007

Join Michael J Totten as he walks the streets of Ramadi, Iraq.


In the doghouse

July 7, 2007

Post deleted.


The suicide of a nation

June 17, 2007

I’ve spent a lot of the weekend hunting around the blogosphere looking for posts on the current situation in the Gaza Strip. I’ve seen death porn videos, rampaging looters, murders, shootings. The little Palestinian statelet has imploded, and no-one seems to know what to do or what will happen next.

It’s easy to reach judgements from afar, and even easier to make a fool of yourself prognosticating about a region you’ve never visited. But it seems to me that the nation-that-would-be-Palestine has effectively committed suicide.

Economically, Palestine is already non-viable. In March, the newly-appointed Finance Minister of the Hamas/Fatah government, Salam Fayyad (recently appointed PM by President Mahmoud Abbas, following the catastrophe in Gaza), told Newsweek:

How long can you survive if the sanctions continue?
On our own, we bring in $15 to 20 million per month—compared to a need of $160 million per month. Survival depends on how successful we are in bridging the gap. Clearly, you can’t go long with 10 percent of what you need. That’s all we have control over—just 10 percent of our need. I’m a realist, and one cannot look at that as a sustainable situation.

The territories can generate just 10% of of the revenue they need to sustain themselves. All the rest is provided by donors: the US, the EU and the Arab states.

This exposes the long-masked reality of the Oslo Accords: they were just a huge bribe, intended to get Arafat to say, at least in English, that the PA recognised the existence of Israel. (In Arabic, Arafat said things very different.) But it also established the territories as eternal dependants, reliant on outside aid for salaries, infrastructure, education and health. There is very little of a self-sustaining indigenous economy to provide jobs, livelihoods and sustenance for the millions in the territories. On these figures, they will be perpetual beggars at the tables of the world. Such will be the true legacy of Oslo.

But bad as the situation of the Palestinians is in economic terms, in moral terms it is far, far worse.

For a generation, and certainly since the first intifada, Palestinians have been weaned on a diet of hatred, violence, suicide-aspiration and genocide. A poignant witness to this is Daryl Jones, an Australian aid worker who went to Jenin in the hope and expectation of assisting the Palestinians in their struggle, only to find, when she opened her eyes, that they systematically brainwashed their children into becoming agents of indiscriminate death.

Her tears in this video speak volumes, as she recounts how dreadfully she allowed herself to be deceived.

It is impossible to build a state on this basis. If you indoctrinate a generation, starting at kindergarten, to aspire to murder, to feed them from the fountains of race hatred, and then, when they’re old enough to be of some use, you put guns in their hands and bombs in their pockets, you get — well, you get what happened in Gaza these past few days.

The brutality has been beyond belief. As liberal Israeli blogger Yaeli said, reluctantly posting one of the vilest of the death porn videos:

….if I hear one more word about Israeli brutality. Our soldiers have never, ever, ever done anything even remotely in the ballpark of something like this. Not in Gaza, not in the West Bank, not in Lebanon, nowhere. We do not kidnap people from their homes and then throw them alive off rooftops. We do not intentionally try to kill little children. We do not kick people to death in the streets and we do not kick them to death in private. We play in a whole different playground folks. And we sure as hell don’t treat our fellow citizens in this way. For those who want to claim that Israel is the most horrible, violent and oppressive regime in the history of the planet, this video invites you to get some perspective.

I know the Israelis are no angels, and have been guilty of acts of aggression and stupidity. But they never did anything like this.

These bloody hands had just dismembered two
IDF reservists (Ramallah, 2000).

Nor do they teach their children like this.

To valorise and emulate that deed.

If you grow children to be murderers, then that’s what they will be.

It may be wrong, or fanciful, to say this: but I think the Palestinians have just dealt themselves the greatest moral defeat they ever could have suffered — one more far-reaching, I suspect, than the military humiliation of the Six Day War. They have proved to the world and to themselves that they cannot do what the Israelis have done: they can’t create their own nation. Even with the Arab states behind them (sort of), most of the rest of the world on their side, the UN as their echo chamber, and an endless purse of money to spend which they never even had to earn, they still can’t do it.

The Palestinians cannot build a civil society while their collective moral compass pulls them inexorably toward hatred and violence. Whether there’s much prospect of that changing is hard to say, but all the portents look bad. Palestine as so far constructed is a criminal swamp and a rage for destruction — a rage whose weapon is their own children, whose minds have been warped into homicidal and genocidal delusion, and whose deaths in the service of death serve as a general template for the Palestinians’ own national suicide.


Update: It may be my weakness for metaphysics, but this analysis by Fouad Ajami struck me as absolutely true right down to the bone.

(Hat tip: Meryl Yourish.)

Oh, and some heart-breaking irony.


Ms. Vakaivosavosa returns

June 16, 2007

Excellent Fijian blogger

Ms. Vakaivosavosa,

who went off the air a few weeks ago due to the kind of pressures bloggers find themselves under in various parts of the world, is back – and on WordPress.

Go visit.

A great voice from the South Pacific.