8th January 2005


Al-Jazeera is certainly a top source, my main complaint is that mostly the stories carried have to do with Muslim matters, and usually to the detriment of non-Muslims.  Still, even when the headline reads negatively on Israel, the facts reported do sometimes reflect positively on the Jewish state, such as the story on Israeli contributions to Sri-Lankar Tsunami relief.

One thing that I could not help concluding from one story was that Bin Laden is a liar.  Just after 9/11 he was reported as having stated that he had no involvement with it (9/11).  At the time I assume he was trying to protect his host, the Taliban in Afghanistan, from a US invasion.  However in Bin Laden's speech just before the US election (the speech which opponent Kerry credited as the crucial event that turned the election) he is reported by Al-Jazeera in the following terms: "In October, bin Laden released a videotape in which he took responsibility for the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States and criticized Bush’s foreign policy".

I have no doubt that true believers will have explanations to show that no lie was told.  We cynics in the "Democratic" West know all about those explanations - like the now famous "I did not have sex with that woman". 


Daughter Bloggachops has complained to me about China, saying "do not buy Chinese goods because of what they are doing to the Tibetans".  I asked her if she had seen the "South Park" episode about Wal-Mart?   People buy what is cheapest, and the Chinese government has no doubt calculated that most people are more concerned about cost than about morality.

Of course what the Chinese mandarins might not have calculated is the effect on their Taiwan policy.  The Taiwanese could use the Tibetan example to explain to the world (and the USA) why they do not want to rejoin China.  I would buy their argument.  What the Chinese are doing sounds like genocide to me.  I also expect that most Americans would buy their (properly presented) argument.

So unless the Chinese expect to so far surpass the US technologically that they will be able to render ineffective the sale of Hi-Tech weapons systems to Taiwan, I would expect that their policy is counter productive to their ambition to absorb their recalcitrant offshore province.


On 26th December Gaia gave the world a 9 Richter scale earthquake a few hundred Km west of the northern tip of the Indonesian island of Sumatra.  This produced a "tidal wave" that has been responsible, indirectly and directly, for 150,000 fatalities and still counting.

The people of the world have responded generously.  Private Australian (population 20 million) contributions amounted to some AU$140 Million.  The peoples of other countries were similarly generous.

Our stalwart leader, John Howard, never one to miss an opportunity to disburse our money for any cause that does not include giving Australians greater say in their own governance, promised AU$1 billion. (=US$760 Million.)  The Saturday headline in "The Australian" was sickening - "They will never forget us".  It is demeaning to give a gift with that thought in mind.

Even with that $1 billion, the radical journalists of Australia and the world still want their pound of flesh.  On the ABC on 7th January one Shirley Gordon (speaking on the BBC) stated that Australians contributed "less than $4 per head".  Well unless Australia has a population of 200 million people, her maths are slightly out.  I suppose one could say, "what else can you expect except sloppy research from a liberal journalist?" (thinking "Dan Rather etc.")  Even more incredibly, there was a retraction at the end of the rebroadcast.  I suppose the ABC is so hopelessly "liberal" that they thought it was an unimportant point that a speaker who was attempting to demonstrate that left wing governments were more generous had got their facts arse about.  (Don't look for her on Google, she is not in the first few pages of entries, although there is a Nurse and a hairdresser by that name.)


Latino Alberto Gonzales has been proposed by GWB as US Attorney General, and the Senate has cross examined his suitability in light of his advice to the CIA and other organizations that Al Quaida and other terrorist organization prisoners were not covered by the Geneva Convention.

The Geneva convention was established as a gentleman's agreement between warring parties concerning the conduct of war and the treatment of each other's occupied civilian populations and military prisoners.

For instance, to be treated as a prisoner of war as specified in the convention, a combatant when captured should have been in uniform, and had to carry at all times some form of ID (the "dog tag").  Otherwise he was considered to be a spy.  Prisoners of war only had to supply their Name, Rank and Serial number.  Spies
were not covered by the convention, & could be tortured or executed out of hand in an effort to force them to disgorge information.

The Red cross was an impartial body that confirmed to each side during WWII- that the other side was holding to the convention.  If the arbiter could not confirm that the convention was being obeyed, then the convention would have broken down, and each side would have mistreated prisoners of the other side.  The Convention was never envisioned except as a gentleman's agreement between warring parties on the mutual treatment of prisoners. 

Al Quaida and Hamas and other terrorist organizations do not abide by the Geneva Convention.  They have no POW camps available for demonstration of humane treatment of prisoners to international observers.  Their fighters do not wear uniforms or carry identification.  The various organizations of those terrorist organizations seem to make war on and torture and execute civilian and military personnel in an  opportunistic manner.  In short, terrorist organizations are not abiding by the Geneva Convention, so their combatants are not covered by the convention.


Apparently a convocation of the worlds top economists have determined that the most remunerative investments for the world are treating Aids, treating Malaria and reducing trade barriers.  Reducing carbon in the atmosphere was so low that it was counter productive.  In other words, it would cost more to curtail carbon gases than any potential gain.

Those who have seen Hollywood disaster films might not understand this rather simple point.  The cost of not burning fossil fuels is quiote staggering.  Mass starvation, thousands dead from freezing weather, the list goes on.

Perhaps those who argue for reduction of fossil fuel should consider one simple fact.  Population is growing so rapidly, that there are more people alive today than have died since humans evolved from simians.

My advice is, give up sex except for procreation, move away from geographic areas where the Anopholese mosquito is endemic, and vote for the political party that promises to liberalize trade.

Oh, and for those worrying about global warming.  Thirty years ago the then greenies were worried that a new ice age was starting.  They even suggested spreading soot over the north pole, to help melt the polar icecap.  In another thirty years I expect they will again be complaining that a new ice age is starting.  When you get down to it, Greenies are just another type of politician, they make a living out of sensationalizing fears and emotions.