FROLYKZ!

Wil Anderson. Just not very funny really.

Wil Anderson. Just not very funny really.

Hello and Welcome to Friday Frolykz, our end of the week wind down thread.

Recently I wrote about a show called Masterchef which is currently screening on Channel Ten.

Despite feeling initially quite seduced by the sheer spectator sport of watching the contestants relentlessy humiliate themselves, and in some cases, simply burst into tears, the show was a one hit wonder for me.

It’s the smarmy sanctimonious hosts that did it. So I haven’t been back since. I’m sure Channel Ten will be bitterly disappointed.

Another show that I’ve stumbled on recently is The Gruen Transfer. This is a show about advertising, which by all accounts could border on being mildly entertaining if it wasn’t for the show’s host Wil Anderson.

For the uninitiated, Wil Anderson is a comedian, or at least, he keeps telling us he is.

The reality is that he’s just a complete and utter w@nker.

In fact words cannot express, the words I cannot express to describe how completely unfunny Wil Anderson is.

Wil Anderson started off his career as a “political journalist” which I suppose gives him a bit of street cred, and then ditched that to become a stand-up comedian, or at least that’s what he would have us believe.

By way of first hand experience, he was once “the entertainment” at a luncheon I attended in Sydney about ten years ago, and it was without a doubt the worst performance of any so called “comedian” I have ever witnessed.

Even the complimentary grog didn’t defuse from the fact that he is complete crap. He didn’t raise a murmur from the audience of 100 or so, but persevered as if he was the funniest thing he had ever encountered.

Wil, evidently, thinks that he’s really funny, as evidenced by the fact that he constantly laughs at his own jokes, sometimes hysterically so. And I guess if he thinks he’s funny, that’s all that really matters.

He also has a penchant for wearing black nail varnish and bare feet with thongs with a suit as if to say “Wow, look at me, I’m a real out there, kind of hip dude”.

Way to go Wil. 🙄

He’s also appeared in one of the most embarrassing TV shows to grace the Australian airwaves – “The Glass House” also known as “That Complete Pile of Humourless Shite”.

This had Wil once again practically apoplectic with his own unique style of “zany” humour, coupled with the moronic drone of another complete f**wit Dave Huges.

And when he’s not pissing himself, he’s telling us about what it’s like to do drugs “You know like, when you’re really stoned and you go to McDonalds….”

Yeah, that’s really funny Wil..I guess no one’s really lived such a wild “out there” life like you.. 🙄

A while back, he dragged his sorry ass ‘round the nation to non-sold out audiences for a show called Kill Wil. Another completely self-indulgent tour of mediocre muck.

Kill Wil. If only we did when we had the chance.

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344 Responses

  1. Wow – someone got out of bed on the wrong side this morning eh? 😉

  2. Maybe that person never made it to bed and slept on the floor?

  3. FWIW and IMHO, I’ve seen Wil do some very funny stuff, but he’s quite variable. And “The Glass House” – also highly variable – had some hilarious segments.

    The Gruen Transfer is very interesting analysis and insight, and well worth watching for that if you can get past the host.

  4. Wil Anderson used to be incredibly funny, using his political leanings as material to fill out his act. However, over the past few (five? I think I’m getting old!) he has traded comedy for political commentary. Instead of coming across as an amusing comedian with some political views, he is now a political view with an attached (bitter) ex-comedian. I saw him last year at the Melbourne Comedy Festival and, honestly, he’d gone from somewhat funny to “ranting lefty with delusions of importance”. Sad really.

    Gruen Transfer is not terribly greate as a comedic show, mostly because to really make it funny, they would have to really rip into the advertising industry… which they rely on to fill out their show’s guests & commentators. As an insight into how the advertising industry works though – it is a decent watch. Just not something I’ll stay up deliberately for.

  5. Totally agree about this particular “comic”. Not to mention the load of upper tripe he “writes” in one of the glossy weekend-newspaper-magazine-supplements.

    Then again, I could count on one hand the Australian comedians who are genuinely funny.

    To be fair to them, though, they’ve got far less material to work with now John Howard’s gone. I mean, there’s nothing amusing about Kevin Rudd, is there?

    Still, there’s always jokes about climate change to fall back on, especially in the university cafeterias. Those students just laugh and laugh at the way those silly sceptics are always, like, ignoring ‘teh science’.

  6. Just not something I’ll stay up deliberately for.

    That’s what a PVR is for 😉

  7. Not something I’d record either 🙂

    If I’m up when it’s on and I’ve got nothing better to occupy my time, I’ll tune into it. There is nothing on TV anymore that I find a “must see”. I think I’m starting to show my age, given I’d much rather lose myself in a good book.

  8. BT

    That’s why some here have mistresses (like Von Hump) to pass time. Saves reading. hehe

  9. “Then again, I could count on one hand the Australian comedians who are genuinely funny.

    To be fair to them, though, they’ve got far less material to work with now John Howard’s gone. I mean, there’s nothing amusing about Kevin Rudd, is there?”TOSY

    Amen to that.

    I still think that there’s plenty of good ammunition to mock Howard though.

  10. Hello Ladies and Gents just ducking in to let you know I’m alive. Thanks to those who have sought my return. It has fed the ego nicely:) I want you to know I am no longer sulking, although I certainly was for a couple of weeks there and was a bit pissed that despite a full essay explaining why I was pissed off, it was still interpreted by many as something other than what I had written. Anyway, I am lurking about.

    I’m not posting because I have exams coming up and Rudd/Swan’s bastardisation of the Federal Budget has created quite a bit of work for this Financial Adviser so I’m burning it at both ends and can do without the distraction/addiction that is blogging.

    The temptation to return is huge especially now I see that Adrian is back with his quite selective historical anecdotes. I did laugh heartily when he awarded naming rights to the “bottom of the harbour” tax scandal to that bastard John Howard, never mind that it was first detected in 1973 yet Howard was first elected to Parliament in 1974. Oh, sorry, what he meant was that Howard allowed it to continue unfettered throughout the 1970s, never mind that it was Howard who tried to push through legislation to retrospectively punish those involved only to be blocked in the Senate by the Chipp led Democrats. Amazing, though, given that Howard as Treasurer had done such a demonstrably bad job, you know, recessions, interest rates, never mind his racism, and then Hawke/Keating had saved the day with their economic brilliance, including APRA, yet with all of that knowledge it was only AFTER 1996 that Adrian experienced his epiphany and switched to Labor. What must he have been thinking all those years?

    On footballers’ scandals……..behaviour of RL players disgusting in the extreme. RL would do well to start with getting rid of cheerleaders if they are going to be taken seriously in their attitudes towards women. That said, the culture is not isolated to Rugby League players alone but is far more widespread and as much as men need to do more to improve their attitudes towards women, I’d like to see a few of the sisters take a bit of responsibility to educate themselves about not placing themselves in these situations. Twice on football trips I have had to physically escort young ladies out of hotel rooms where they were about to be willing participants in group sexual activities, of the kind that occurred in Christchurch. Who was I at the time to impose my morals on this group of consenting adults? The chicks hold the cards, and the blokes will try to get what they can. So a bit of common sense and moral decency on the part of everyone wouldn’t go astray. As to the major football leagues, try not drafting footballers until they are 21yo. Give them a chance to learn what life is like in the real world before making superstars out of them.

    As to the budget, well either this is the worst GFC in living memory or it’s not. If it is, we won’t be getting 4.5% GDP growth any time soon. If it’s not, why the F#$K are we stimulating to the tune of $300 billion? And if we do get 4.5% GDP growth, what will that do to interest rates for all the poor dumb f$%kers buying up houses at the moment with their government grants? Drunken sailors indeed.

    Costello will return, remember I have said it all along.

    I will make a return in August, and Joni, I expect to be restored to my rightful place as an author.

    Cheers all.

  11. Here’s something interesting to keep the fire stoked on the defacto gender war that has been going on here for a week.

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25521586-12377,00.html

    If woman object to men only clubs they should establish their own woman only clubs…simple!

    They do that at gyms.

  12. Oh, and yes, Wil Anderson is a tosspot.

  13. James

    Of course you will be back as an author – you are missed around these parts!

    Good luck with the exams.

  14. James, I think you need to just post a footy preview each week.

    I only know lots about insulting, and not as much about footy.

  15. James

    Welcome back mate, so good to see you return, you have been missed.

    Best of luck with the exams

  16. Here’s something interesting to keep the fire stoked on the defacto gender war that has been going on here for a week.

    The only people rushing to make it a de-facto gender war have been yourself, walrus and possibly legion (not sure about legion and apologies if I have wronged, but neither have time or inclination to decipher what he writes).

  17. Hello James. Been somewhere have you? I didn’t notice. 😉

    / What is this – old home week?

  18. Hi James,

    Great to see you back, and of course when you’re ready we’ll happily put you back up as an author and look forward to your contributions.

  19. Yay, James is back!

    Dominating the picking too.

  20. I’m referring to you, Kitty!

    You have an obvious feminine chip on your shoulder that sticks out like dogs balls in your comments on the ARL threads.

    You think that all women are innocent and James did a good take on what really happens in these situations!

    If you want this line of argument to continue I will oblige.

  21. Oh c’mon people, the man who came up with the idea to register the business name “9 out of 10 Experts Agree” and got it, brilliant, and also the ad agency people spontaneously said brilliant.

    Saw him do an impromptu gig to an audience in an outside dining area, and he had them lapping it up within a minute.

    Yes hit and miss but he is quick of wit, witty and better at what he does than all of us here plus many others in the game.

  22. You have an obvious feminine chip

    WTF? I couldn’t disagree more…

    But then again, I guess scaper’s idea of “a good woman” is one who goes out and gets a boob job to please her botoxed partner…

  23. “/ What is this – old home week?”Tom

    Where’s Shaun, Seano, orang, jobby & others?

    Aqua, Nasking…?
    etc.

    … and yes, Wil Anderson is a tosspot!

  24. Or is that a botox to please her boob jobbed partner?

  25. “If you want this line of argument to continue I will oblige”scaper

    This outta be good.

    Kitty VS Scaper

    ding, ding.

  26. he is quick of wit, witty and better at what he does than all of us here plus many others in the game.

    Speak for yourself.

    I guess if your idea of a great comedian is one who jumps up and down on the spot, rants and raves while laughing at his own lacklustre witticisms and basks in his own briliance is funny, then yeah maybe Wil Anderson might do it for you.

    Frankly, I think he’s a complete Tosser.

  27. Reb, what is your definition of a good woman????????

    Insulting my wife is such a low act!

  28. “oughta’ “

  29. I’m referring to you, Kitty!

    Oh goodness, I couldn’t work that out!

    But actually it is you that felt the need to turn it into a gender wars and I might add that your misogyny sticks out like ‘dickheads balls’ all over this blog. Starting with outing your own wife for drink driving and completely disregarding her right to privacy etc. Then there’s the ongoing smartarse comments every chance you get, like some kind of class clown who has to disrupt because he can’t keep up with the others.

    If you want this line of argument to continue I will oblige.

    Or, you could always threaten something physical, just like you have previously!

    I’m really never interested in obliging you, but i just got sick and tired of ignoring your bigotry and chauvinism.

  30. The only people rushing to make it a de-facto gender war have been yourself, walrus and possibly legion

    kittylitter, on May 22nd, 2009 at 1:27 pm Said:

    Typical !…………….

    Question: Who spoke of gender wars first ?

    Answer: The ratbag with her preconceived feminist/Nazi view of the World !

  31. Just clocking on. Welcome back James, have missed you a lot. As my late dad would have said, One of nature’s gentlemen.

  32. You are full of shit, Kitty!

    You are a feminist sow if I ever could pick one.

  33. reb – you and I should distract Kamahl for a while – looks like it might get a bit messy in here this afternoon.

    BTW – I am enjoying Singapore – thanks for asking.

  34. Scaper..please just go. Please don’t once again say things that you will regret.

    To my knowledge not once has Kitty ever made a personal accusation against you. Many of the other blokes have, yet you choose to attack Kitty personally.

    I know scaper that you are passionate about what you believe in, this is an out for you..just take a breather.

  35. One of the most thoroughly unhinged pieces of rubbish ratbaggery I’ve ever read in a newspaper –

    http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/natural-men-scolded-into-timidity-20090520-bfn3.html

  36. “gender wars”

    Definition : Kittylitter’s tag to anything involving a female that might be held up to questioning by males due to conflicting accounts provided by other individuals of either gender.

  37. There is nothing at all wrong with botox for men. It is the synthetic fountain of youth. I now find that despite the facial expression of an Easter Island statue. And doesn’t Burt Reynolds look good?

    As for breast augmentation for women. LouLou Von Hump has breasts with the suppleness of Venus, the statue that is. BUT they are HUGE, and that is good in any woman, isn’t that right girls?

    I’m off unfortunately, as this is my favourite subject and I’ll miss it.

  38. your misogyny sticks out like ‘dickheads balls’ all over this blog

    Here here!!

  39. Toiletb..I think that Nasking has gone after a certain person said that he was long and boring and that it was taking toooo long to download onto his thingy piece of electrical equipment. I miss Nas’ and his music.

  40. reb – you and I should distract Kamahl for a while – looks like it might get a bit messy in here this afternoon.

    No need, I’m off to an appointment now. Will check in later.

    You are a feminist sow if I ever could pick one.

    Would that be your affectionate term for any woman who dares to pick you up on the tripe you speak?

    Question: Who spoke of gender wars first ?

    Answer: The ratbag with her preconceived feminist/Nazi view of the World !

    Now it’s john laws to the rescue, any other pearls from the right wing shock jocks?

  41. Min, I’m going nowhere and will stand my ground.

    This person has called me a bigot and a chauvinist which in turn is yet another slur on my wife.

    Now tell us, Kitty…are you in a relationship and how long?

    This should be interesting!

  42. scaper – why does a relationship matter?

  43. Scaper – isn’t getting personal such a “low act?”

  44. Because I suspect that the person’s vitriol is a result of an experience with a male.

  45. When in Rome….

  46. Scaper. Don’t even try it. The other males on the blog have called you far worse and yet you do not attack them with the same venom…but rather just a teehee, that’s funny.

  47. Thanks min, I’d been wondering about nas’
    Hope he returns.

    Aqua? Maybe I just haven’t been around at the same time to see him here?

    And just when the lost had begun to return…
    Save us kamahl.

  48. Glad to hear your enjoying Singapore Joni..

    Meanwhile it’s all peace n’ harmony here at the blog…

  49. This person has called me a bigot and a chauvinist which in turn is yet another slur on my wife.

    I’d say that you are the only slur that is on your wife.

    Now tell us, Kitty…are you in a relationship and how long?

    Unlike you, I have too much respect for my family’s privacy to offer them up for the voyeuristic pleasure of others and besides, my private life is way too boring for others to even be interested in it!

  50. kittylitter, on May 22nd, 2009 at 2:17 pm Said:

    too much respect for my family’s privacy to offer them up for the voyeuristic pleasure of others

    Well said!

  51. Yes I have , Min!

    I have a tenet that I live by…don’t f**k with me and I won’t f**k with you…simple!

    That person has been needling me all week and I won’t take it any longer.

    Plus, I have a long memory and my family does not want her PITY!

  52. reb, on May 22nd, 2009 at 1:42 pm Said:

    Speak for yourself.

    Well who else would I be speaking for?

    I gather you’re speaking for yourself on this?

    Pick any entertainer and especially comedians and you will get this argument. One lot will call them a tosspot, others will be nonplussed and others will like them. There are very very very few who are universally lauded across the diaspora.

    Will is in the middle for me. I find some of his stuff good and sometimes he comes up with something brilliant and at other times I just go nuh.

  53. Because I suspect that the person’s vitriol is a result of an experience with a male.

    Yeah, my experience with you!

    Every time the chauvinists are taken to task, they scream man-hater.

  54. Hi Kitty..just one feminist sow to another..how are you choofin’? I have been called a feminist maybe 3 times in my life…Min waves to Walrus.

    As a disability advocate most of my work has been helping the male of the species…probably an 80:20 ratio. But then most of my work has been via children with the autism spectrum which has a high percentile of little blokes anyway.

    Hmm..yep voyeuristic would be my conclusion also. Where is your cousin Min..when did he die, where can I send flowers..why were you on the net when he died..why where you there…you are a liar because you were on the net when your cousin died in the Victorian bushfires.

  55. “I’d say that you are the only slur that is on your wife.”

    That’s tough talk, Kitty!

    Just as I thought, a woman scorned.

    I see the sniper has entered the room.

  56. Wasn’t it two kids??????

    Change of story was it?

  57. Just as I thought, a woman scorned.

    The leaps of illogicality are breath taking.

    As for:

    Plus, I have a long memory

    So do blogs and the history is there for all to see. Lol.

  58. Toiletb..would you like me to write to Aqua? I can let him know that you would like to keep in contact.

  59. *making popcorn*

  60. Just say hi from me if you’re in contact with him min, please.

    He’s a nice bloke & usually jocular & friendly.

  61. “making popcorn”TOSY

    A fine idea, glad it’s my day off.

  62. Min, on February 9th, 2009 at 4:20 pm Said:
    Sorry, have to choof, a rellies 3 children confirmed burned to death in a car. Be back when I can.

  63. scaper…, on February 9th, 2009 at 5:38 pm Said:
    Min, what sad news.

    You should write to me and tell me their names so I can have some flowers put on their graves.

  64. scaper…, on February 9th, 2009 at 5:49 pm Said:
    No…just the three children.

  65. Min, on February 9th, 2009 at 5:52 pm Said:
    Scaper, you want the names of my cousin’s children who have been burnt to death? No, you are not going to obtain these names. What on earth could possibly be your motiviation.

    I was tempted to give you the surname, but then I thought not.

  66. Maybe better duck out with Phelpsy & rustle up some pizza to go with that popcorn, could be a saga.

  67. Min, on February 9th, 2009 at 5:56 pm Said:
    Oh ok, scaper scaper…, on February 9th, 2009 at 5:49 pm Said:
    No…just the three children.
    you just want the names of the 3 children just as you wanted my daughter’s address.

  68. scaper…, on February 9th, 2009 at 5:58 pm Said:
    Daughter’s address???

    You mean the one that was handing out at Saint Lucia on election day?????????

  69. Min, on February 9th, 2009 at 6:17 pm Said:
    scaper…, on February 9th, 2009 at 5:58 pm Said:
    Daughter’s address???

    You mean the one that was handing out at Saint Lucia on election day?????????

    You are a nasty twisted person. You suggest that my youngest daughter’s address was handed out at Saint Lucia on election day.

  70. scaper…, on February 9th, 2009 at 6:21 pm Said:
    Min, Min, Min…you said your daughter was handing out how to vote cards at Saint Lucia and said I should go and say hello.

    Well I did and the organiser said she had never heard of E…your foil at the time is she was on her lunch break meeting the now PM!

    Stretching the truth???

  71. Min, on February 9th, 2009 at 6:29 pm Said:
    Scaper, guess what Erin was indeed on her lunch break and didn’t get to meet up with you. One of the luckiest breaks in her life however I do not think that this young girl would have been conned by you.

  72. scaper…, on February 9th, 2009 at 6:32 pm Said:
    Conned into what???

    She was not handing out for Labor…you can slander me as much as you like as I believe that you are a liar!!!

  73. Min, on February 9th, 2009 at 6:46 pm Said:
    I will go with hubby’s opinion..that you are an idiot and to ignore you.

    Of course daughter handed out. You were very very p’d off that you couldn’t meet up with her.

  74. Hello James, lol.

    One of my fav bloggers, wb Mobius.

    TBoss I have been working on the boat trying to have it finished within two months. That was three or so weeks ago now.

    would of dropped in last night but i was fixing the damage from the flood instead.
    (smiles,waves at Min)

  75. Hi Aqua, I haven’t been in much here & thought maybe you’d slipped into the ether. Just busy eh? good for you.

  76. That person has been needling me all week and I won’t take it any longer.

    We all know it doesn’t take much for scaper to blow!

    Well, why don’t you actually stop and think before you put up your rubbish that usually does not even contribute to the debate, it is designed purely to provoke. Most times I just ignore it and think what a dickhead, but I’m not feeling so tolerant today.

    Change of story was it?

    I never gave my story.

    I have a tenet that I live by…don’t f**k with me and I won’t f**k with you…simple!

    Ooh what a he-man, I think the botox has gone to your brain. if you didn’t want people to f**k with you, why would you keep offering up such ridiculous, designed to provoke, bigoted commentary all the time? You think it’s funny, but it’s just immature baiting. it would be different if you, when challenged, actually had something intelligent in which to back up your rants, but you just resort to personal attack and abuse.

    You think you should be able to make wild unsubstantiated comments, but nobody should ever pick you up on it, they just want to needle you? It’s what you say that I take exception to. If only you had some insight into yourself, had a clue!

  77. Scaper. There are times in one’s life where you come across a person where the definition extends far and way beyond the definition of Arse Hole.

    I have given TB, Joni, Miglo my cousin’s name. Go check with them. I gave these people the name of my cousin but refused to give you my cousin’s name. I wonder why.

    I told you at the time that my Auntie Gwen did not want her son’s name put into the public forum due to personal reasons. You did not accept this. You chose to in your warped and twisted mind interpret this that my Auntie Gwen was lying about her son having died in the Victorian bush fires.

    The reason scaper that my Auntie Gwen did not want my cousin’s name put onto the public forum is that her husband had died suddenly from a heart attack only 2 weeks prior. My Auntie Gwen was not coping.

  78. I gave myself a two month period to finish this floating money vaccum. I pulled the motor out and wiring then sunk it to clean it. I have a wierd way of doing things as all my best tools are air driven straight from a scuba tank. sanding is less dusty but the paint never drys.

  79. sanding is less dusty but the paint never drys.

    See, that’s where you’re going wrong: You should be using waterproof paint.

  80. Greenwald on Obama’s speech – watch what he does more than what he says.

    So now, we’re going to have huge numbers of people who spent the last eight years vehemently opposing such ideas running around arguing that we’re waging a War against Terrorism, a “War President” must have the power to indefinitely lock people away who allegedly pose a “threat to Americans” but haven’t violated any laws, our normal court system can’t be trusted to decide who is guilty, Terrorists don’t deserve the same rights as Americans, the primary obligation of the President is to “keep us safe,” and — most of all — anyone who objects to or disagrees with any of that is a leftist purist ideologue who doesn’t really care about national security. In other words, arguments and rhetoric that were once confined to Fox News/Bush-following precincts will now become mainstream Democratic argumentation in service of defending what Obama is doing.

  81. get me some Tony, ill do the boot (ice box) first. 😉

  82. Given that camels, even underwater ones, don’t have opposing thumbs I’m having a hard time imagining you sanding.

  83. Lotharsson,

    Arthur Herman on the same [scroll-on-by] topic:

    Then several strange things happened. Obama’s order “closing” Gitmo actually left it open for a year, ostensibly until new arrangements could be made for the 240 or so inmates still detained there—though Obama admitted privately it might have to stay open longer than that. Later, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that, far from being “the Bermuda Triangle of human rights” that Human Rights Watch’s Wendy Patten had dubbed it, Gitmo was in full compliance with the humane-treatment provisions of the Geneva Convention. Meanwhile, the military commissions, which Human Rights Watch and others groups had denounced as a travesty of justice, were only being suspended for 120 days, pending a review—and, indeed, following that review, will be reinstated almost exactly as they were before.

    If one adds to this mix:
    • the twelve separate inquiries into the abuses alleged by critics and former detainees at Gitmo that found no evidence of those abuses taking place;
    • the revelation during the release earlier this year of the so-called “torture memos” that waterboarding and other harsh interrogation techniques had been applied to exactly three suspects in the course of eight years and had never been standard operating practice at Gitmo;
    • the evaluation by the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point that 73 percent of Gitmo detainees were “a demonstrated threat” to Americans;
    • and, finally, the fact that the detention facility was created in the wake of a declaration by Congress in September 2001 that “all necessary and appropriate force” should be used “against those nations, organizations, or persons” [emphasis added] responsible for the attacks of September 11;
    one may be permitted to wonder why, exactly, the pressure to close the prison facility has been so intense and long-lasting.

  84. Ive had extentions like Tom. I can do many things you cant imagine. 🙂

  85. Scaper..Re: She was not handing out for Labor…you can slander me as much as you like as I believe that you are a liar!!!

    Scaper..You know that daughter was handing out at the St Lucia booth for Rudd..at the school booth.

    Ezra is now half way through her PhD in molecular bioscience at UQ and received a special mention re her work in alternative fuels. Or do you scaper think that is a lie too. Or maybe another lie is that my son did 2 tours of the Gulf on the HMAS Tobruk and 2 tours of East Timor.

  86. That’s why some here have mistresses…

    Now I am really showing my age… I’d still rather the book!

    But then again, I have a wife to keep me… er, occupied 😛

  87. Thank heavens Aqua..was fretting not seeing your little camely head. I now have a new avatar, instead of being a scenic view of Byron Bay, I am now a rainbow lorikeet sitting on the 100 year plant..backyard photo.

  88. thats your backyard, i thought it was a rainforrest.
    think i found my next camping spot.

  89. Ahhhhh……………Kitty…..!

    I hurry back from lunch only to be confronted with a John Laws slur…………………..is that the best you can do ?

    Obviously you have been simmering for a few days all because scaper and I refused to agree to your way of thinking and instead we chose to question the “evidence” in the Sharks Gang Bang thread.

    So when the next opportunity arose you could quickly bandy out the label “gender wars”.

    Having such a label at the ready pretty much proves what a non questioning compartmentalized view you have of the World.

    I bet you have hundreds of other labels to neatly tag anything of conflict not quite fitting into your preconceived view of the World.

    Kitty…………..you can keep your tags so you can use them for your bullying on someone else because I don’t necessarily accept everything at face value unlike you and you certainly will not convince me otherwise.

    But one other thing Kitty……………….get over it…………………!

    Because I am for the quite simple reason that you and your sniping are just not even worth a fart in a bottle as a response.

  90. same with any comedy it depends on your mood, very good comedy can lift you out. Billy connelly use to do it for me easily but lately dose little more then provide i good watch.

    5 best comedians
    would make me remember a lot more that i enjoy.

  91. Aqua..you and the missus are more than welcome. And likewise Migs and missus. This looks as if the 2nd and 3rd bedrooms are taken. Migs was a bit worried about not having an en suite, but I assured him that he would only have to share with a camel.

  92. come on guys, both parties should of stopped when everything was discussed, this is over who couldnt have the last say.

    i think walrus and kitty should get a room and see what takes place, im betting murder suicide.

  93. Migs can have an ensiute, hole outside the window.

    camels love to share and spit.

  94. or is that spit on and then share.

  95. i think walrus and kitty should get a room and see what takes place, im betting murder suicide.
    aquanut, on May 22nd, 2009 at 3:36 pm Said:

    Only if she gives me the address of her next of kin.

    So I can send them the invoice ………….as she’s not worth the cost of the bullet

  96. Delusions of grandeur…. or admission of guilt?
    http://www.australianit.news.com.au/story/0,27574,25520972-15306,00.html

  97. maybe a cage fight instead

  98. Insults at ten metres!

  99. Bloody hell, leave for two hours for lunch and pick up my kids and the blog goes into melt-down….

    And to think I could have been involved! Though the personal mud-raking is a little much.

    For the record, I never got a whiff of “nazi feminist” from kitty or Min. I think Min can be a little precious when it comes to indigenous issues (and sayying that’ll probably come back to haunt me), but as far as “womens lib” and so on – I thought them pretty damn mainstream.

  100. Tony, don’t make me laugh. There’s a lot of demonstrable bulldust in that article.

    They put everyone through a “rigorous screening process”? When they got down to the last “800” they were “hard-core trained terrorists”? Pleeeeease. The Bush administration themselves released 2/3 of them over the years for lack of evidence supporting their detention – or even worse, for clear evidence they were not terrorists. One of them was 90+ years old and another one about 15. Another one was a cook, and another a driver. The group of Uighurs clearly have no connections to anti-US or terrorist movements but were held for years and years.
    Of those detainees who remain there now, they so buggered up the record keeping (which would be part of any “rigorous screening process”) that they’re finding it difficult to build cases, even for the ones they’re pretty sure are “hard-core terrorists”.

    I’m not sure what those “twelve separate inquiries” are, or who they were conducted by. One would hope they were conducted better than recent Pentagon inquiries into US military activities which had to be withdrawn because it was obvious even to Blind Freddie that their whitewash job wasn’t up to the usual standards.

    And it’s really surprising that no evidence is produced at those inquiries (where they’re typically investigating themselves), unless you realise that (say) the recordings of various interrogations and “IRF” procedures that are mandatory never seem to be available. Not even in the case where a US soldier alleges he was brain-damaged during an IRF training exercise and went looking for the tape immediately afterwards. Some were acknowledged destroyed. in others, apparently the cameras don’t get turned on quite frequently enough to generate said evidence. In others, mysteriously they seem to have gone missing. In other cases (like Binyam Mohammad), the US blackmails the UK courts to prevent the evidence being presented.

    The whole Gitmo model was CLEARLY designed to put the detainees out of the reach of US courts. And the argument that unlawful combatants:
    (a) are stateless is bullsh*t – there are very few stateless people in the world, and I’ve seen no demonstration that these people are. (He may have been trying to say that they were not fighting in a state’s military. Well, duh! That’s the very definition of “unlawful combatant”).
    (b) have to be locked up in Gitmo or released is bullsh*t – unlawful combatants under the Geneva Conventions are to be prosecuted under the laws of the land in which they fought. (The very fact that they thought there was no “clear battlefield” and they could “strike anywhere in the world” should have been a clue that they weren’t actually fighting a war. Against the Taliban, yes. Against terrorists? No.)

    Then there’s the whole presumption that the President can hold someone indefinitely without detention because they _might_ attack America in the future. That’s a dictatorial concept. The hard-core Soviets would be bloody proud of what America has become. Maybe they’ll consider some of their ideas to have won in the end.

  101. 5 best comedians?

    Flacco would have to be up there for some of his performances, whilst others are quite ordinary. Saw him live at the Opera House theatre once – very very funny, and far more cerebral and lateral than most, and poignant at the same time.

  102. Min, a point of clarification – Nasking continued to participate here well after my observations about his 60 successive posts.

  103. I thought them pretty damn mainstream.

    B.Tolputt, on May 22nd, 2009 at 3:52 pm Said:

    So let me get this straight……………..!

    You call being accused of carrying out a “gender war” as pretty damn mainstream do you ?

  104. Walrus, I suppose a bigot and chauvinist description because one does not agree with an opinion on a ALLEGED gang rape is also mainstream too?

    Imagine the money saved on the court system?

    I have to admit the sow thing was a bit under the belt, but what has been said is history now.

  105. You call being accused of carrying out a “gender war” as pretty damn mainstream do you ?

    Given you didn’t question the evidence (as you claim), but rather called the ABC outright liars (without proof to back up that claim); I’d have to say “Yes”.

    Also, given that the generalisation of the NRL issue as “gender wars” was started by scaper – I’d have thought her use of the term was simply in reply to the same subject. She later clarifies by stating that the person trying to turn it into an “actual gender war” was scaper – further supporting the idea that her first reference to the term was replying in kind to scaper’s starting comment.

  106. 5 top gangbangs.

  107. this is all over both people making sence.
    one says i want to know more.
    the other states how easy it is to get away with it.

    now its a gender war. wish i could make it worse.

  108. Tolputt, you were not at the receiving end of the aspersion cast on the last thread, go back and read my comment and the link on this thread.

    Instead of commenting on the link or discussion, Kitty went straight into attack mode and she got as good as she gave in return!

  109. ‘Flacco would have to be up there for some of his performances, whilst others are quite ordinary”

    I like you think Flacco can be a bit variable. Another I like is Steve Abbott (Sandman) but think he can also be ‘unfunny’ at times.

    Reb, Was it Anderson’s monologues on Glasshouse you didn’t like or the spontaneous stuff?

    Dave Hughes I’m not a big fan of but apparently he is very popular with the older ladies, like my mum.

  110. B.Tolputt, on May 22nd, 2009 at 4:04 pm Said:

    Time to get your facts right…………..!

    I did call them liars because they are and I also questioned the evidence.

    I presented more “evidence” then Clare has in her statement…!

    Oh so sorry………………I totally forgot yet again…………………………….how absolutely stupid of me………………………………..other conflicting witness accounts dont count as evidence in your rather perculiar Court System………..?

    Could you remind me as to what the NZ Police did in 2002……………………………Oh that’s right…………………….they dropped the matter due to lack of evidence. And still refuse to re open the case………………………..the bastards.

    But that’s not good enough

    Why the hell did those Chauvuinist bastard cops stop there. They could have fabricted something surely ?

    I’m growing tired of this…………….it was Kitty that stoked the embers again………….not me.

  111. By the way the ABC did lie. They DID NOT give the Newcastle Knights “updates”…………!

    All they gave them was a broadcast date.

    If that’s not lying I dont know what is.

  112. Aqua..you have enough problems re a gender war with your missus rather than trying to take on me and KittyL as well.

    Tom..so where has Nas’ gone then? He was a contributor for a very long time. He did the midnight to 5am shift. All that I remember is that somebody whinged about it being all-toooo-tooo-hard to download which was ridiculous because Nas’ posted mostly links.

    Reb clicked on and asked, Can’t sleep Nas?

    And someone whinged about it being toooo hard for them because they would have to scan down mega..sigh..

    And likewise TomR. He was looking for a job, so hopefully his absence is because he found one.

  113. Could be a case of both bacchus?

  114. My wife and i are in great shape Min, havnt had a arguement in some time. I am conserned about you however, people may take you as soft but at times thats what is needed as to many think they are hard(underbelly tryhards). only stomp when you need too.

  115. .”………. I suppose a bigot and chauvinist description because one does not agree with an opinion on a ALLEGED gang rape is also mainstream too?

    scaper…, on May 22nd, 2009 at 4:03 pm Said:

    Scaper,

    Just a few more “labels” that she likes to keep by her side.

    But she’s not at all Feminist………………………………..Oh no………………………….of course not……!

  116. Min, Naskin ‘comes and goes’ on various sites. For example his ‘links’ featured on Saturday Salon (Larvatus Prodeo) at various times. He wanders around.

  117. @scaper:
    I know it wasn’t directed at me. I’m simply (a)stating I don’t find Min or kitty to be “nazi feminists” and (b)answering questions / claims by Walrus.

    I added my opinion RE: kitty/Min because I didn’t want them to think that all the hetero guys thought they were “Germaine Greer”. I answered Walrus because he asked me a direct question.

    @Walrus:
    Speaking of answering you 🙂

    Firstly, neither I nor the ABC have called the situation a rape. The ABC probably have avoided it because it would land them in alot of legal trouble (given a lack of evidence). I have avoided it because there isn’t enough evidence either way to make the call.

    That said, what “facts” ABC have claimed in the report to be true have either been proven out (Matty Johns was involved, there were alot of other players involved, there was a statement to police, etc) or have yet to be denied by any of the parties concerned (e.g. neither the police or Sharks players have denied that one of them made a statement to police about one of them coming in through the window).

    Sure, I agree it is sensationalised beyond what it should have been. But neither you or I have enough proof to claim with certainty that they lied in the Four Corners program.

    And before you make your “lack of denial is affirmation” attack on me again – you are using that exact argument in regards to the NZ police. Just because they did not have enough evidence to make a case, does not mean there is not a case to answer – just that they couldn’t prove it beyond reasonable doubt. This is not a double-standard, because I’m not the one making claims it was or wasn’t rape or that the ABC are liars.

  118. They DID NOT give the Newcastle Knights “updates”…!

    And you are the sole contact between the Knights & the ABC? You are intimate with all communications between them?

    Seriously, you’re making claims now based on hearsay at best.

  119. Thank you Nature. Was hoping that Nas’ was choofin ok. He was there for me during some difficult times..I used to clock on a bit after the 5am shift which is when hubby starts work.

  120. Toiletboss Said:
    Could be a case of both bacchus?

    probably true Toiletboss, but he does seem a little bitter for someone who’s just snaffled $31million…
    http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/money/story/0,26860,25510168-5015795,00.html

    THE corporate brawling of his reign was played out in public, but former Telstra boss Sol Trujillo has slipped away from the company and the country very quietly.

    He leaves behind thousands of bruised shareholders and takes with him an expected $31 million.

    Not a bad earn for three years and 10 months work, but then that’s the Sol Trujillo way.

  121. I’m growing tired of this…………….it was Kitty that stoked the embers again………….not me.

    Sorry, I was replying to scaper, I had not even directed a comment to you, other than to point out that it was not me that was trying to turn the debate into a ‘gender wars’ (scaper’s been making anti-women comments for days and continued again today). You couldn’t help yourself though, had to gleefully rush in with a ‘feminist nazi’ comment.

    I’ve been out keeping an appointment, but have come back to find that you’ve now made offensive, abusive personal comments (true to form). But, I guess you’ve had an agenda all along eh walrus, since you left the blog in a huff last time – wasn’t that another gender issue, or became one? Oh I remember now, the Mrs. Slocum and her pussy ‘joke’ you made!

  122. @kitty:
    Mind filling me in on that one? My recollection is that Mrs Slocum’s “pussy” jokes were pretty rife in the Are You Being Served? series. It was, apparently, part of the show’s appeal. Perhaps there was a misunderstanding?

  123. You are full of bullshit, Kitty!

    This started on another thread with your aspersions directed at me and others when it was suggested that woman was not of credible character.

    You seem to think it is always the males fault…very naive!

    I don’t condone rape or baseless accusations.

  124. Dear Kamahl, please excuse the length of this piece but it is a subscriber-only feature from Le Monde Diplomatique that adds confronting depth to the ongoing Blogocrats debate about the management of America’s enemies.

    The Behaviour Of Enemies

    by Didier Bigo

    Since 2001, the old police powers and efforts against terrorism in most of the world have given way to a militarised intelligence exchange and arbitrary designation of dangerous outsiders
    by Didier Bigo

    What effects did the 9/11 attacks have on the West? Two opposing interpretations dominate the public debate. In the first, the magnitude of the threat the West faces justifies recourse to exceptional measures to protect its democratic values. The second says counter-terrorist measures are a long-term strategy of governments to set themselves above the law and create a surveillance society, eroding democracy.

    This second analysis, favoured by human rights defenders, is just as much a caricature as the first, because not all citizens suffer the pain of counter-terror policies, which create a rift in society between those who fit in, and suspects or deviants who are treated differently. One group continues to benefit from the protection of the law and democratic freedoms; the other is subjected to extra-legal processes.

    Immediately after the 11 September attacks, President George Bush and his advisers decided to retaliate against the Taliban in Afghanistan, and deny the non-Afghans they captured the internationally recognised status of prisoners of war. They invented a hybrid category of enemy combatants, who could be detained indefinitely at Guantanamo Bay.

    These unprecedented decisions moved counter-terrorism away from traditional policing. Investigators or prosecutors were appointed who requested help from foreign courts; FBI and police liaison officers put pressure on foreign governments, with threats of targeted assassinations (as President Bill Clinton’s administration did after the first attack on the Twin Towers in February 1993) (1).

    The legality of going to war was debatable, given the fallacious arguments used to justify it (the presence of weapons of mass destruction and al-Qaida cells in Iraq). But was it effective? In Iraq and Afghanistan, the answer is far from positive. The military strategy used in both has incorporated counter-insurgency tactics from the colonial and postcolonial periods (the French in Algeria and the Americans in Vietnam). The anti-subversive doctrines of the past have been revived, with the same counterproductive effects: increasing resistance among some sections of society. There were terrorist acts in Spain (March 2004) and Britain (July 2005), yet both tried to deny the obvious relationship between their involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the attacks on their soil.

    Less talked about than the consequences of these wars, though, is the significant development in international anti-terrorist cooperation, which is no longer as constrained as it was by the need for secrecy in the national interest. Mechanisms for direct collaboration have been established or reinforced, and structures set up for national and international coordination. These link customs and border controls, immigration services, criminal investigation departments, judges, police intelligence, and military intelligence and the military. The US even set up a super ministry in June 2002 – the Department of Homeland Security.

    It is primarily democratic countries that are involved in this exchange of data. European Union countries believe that their specialised agencies (Europol and Eurojust for police cooperation against serious crime, and Frontex for border security) and their centres of analysis, such as the EU Joint Situation Centre (SitCen), where civilian and military analysts assess security risks, can improve the collection, exchange and analysis of intelligence.

    The transatlantic exchange of personal data has been more controversial, since American data protection is less advanced than in Europe. The US has thought that its agencies can do what they like in the name of national security: ignore rules established with European counterparts, such as agreements on the transfer of data about passengers with European airlines (passenger name records, PNR); intervene abroad without authorisation (abducting suspects); and even obtain bank details (through the financial communication agency Swift) (2).

    This increase in cooperation has meant that dictatorial or less than democratic regimes are solicited to provide information about suspected terrorists, allowing them to increase their repression of political opponents and ethnic and religious minorities. This is the case in Libya, Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, Nepal, and also in Russia. A regime’s struggle against its opponents becomes part of the global war on terror.

    This has created a marketplace for information on insecurity and terror. Lists of suspect individuals and clandestine organisations are traded: every security service has to recognise those drawn up by another in order for its own to be recognised. The G8 has one list, the US another; the EU has several, depending on whether it wants to intercept financial transactions or individuals. Many European countries have their own lists, which are often not published. There are longer, more secret, lists, considered superior because they cover a broader range of suspects.

    The US “no-fly lists” (people not authorised to board flights within or bound for the US), which were drawn up after 2001 by pulling together all the available data, illustrate the flimsiness of the information, often rumours and disinformation, collected about people, or those who share their name or pseudonym. These lists are a ragbag: a baby can be considered a dangerous international terrorist and be detained with his mother at the airport because he shares a name, besides two other characteristics which are kept secret (3), with a suspect. An airline pilot can be “authorised… to fly a plane, but forbidden from travelling as a passenger,” as Robert Campbell told American television in 2007 (4).

    Shifting emphasis

    At the heart of global counter-terrorism is the role of the intelligence services in trying to predict the future behaviour of potential terrorists. Invoking the right to act before a crime is committed, they have shifted the emphasis from criminal investigation or military action towards collecting, storing and analysing information, which they hope will allow them to work out possible future scenarios.

    This desire to anticipate the behaviour of potential criminals, who must be detained before they act, is the rationale behind counter-terrorist policies. However, an analysis of errors of judgment by governments and intelligence services since 2002 reveals that what is supposedly known about the behaviour of enemies and the capacity to locate them in time is questionable. The discrepancy in the number of individuals taken in for questioning, and those charged and sentenced, has always existed, but has now increased hugely. Prediction is more of a mystic art, looking for signs in human behaviour, than a scientific technique based on probability and the rational analysis of risk.

    This strategy of prevention is used to justify torture, arbitrary detention, lack of due process, and all other practices that run counter to basic human rights. The aim is still to extract information, if necessary by force. The places used almost always involve degrading or inhuman treatment: Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, secret detention centres in Afghanistan, Syria, Morocco, Egypt, Poland, Romania, all linked to US and Nato military bases, such as Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean, Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo and others gradually being uncovered by parliamentary investigations. Seven years on, these centres have proved ineffective: there has been no valuable information leading to valid charges.

    At Guantanamo, ordinary people, victims of circumstance, have been indefinitely detained. Among those released, most were not al-Qaida militants, but foreigners who were in Afghanistan on holidays, to get married, for religious reasons, and only sometimes for political activities, who were arrested and sold to the Americans for a reward. Murat Kurnaz, a young German of Turkish origin, was arrested by Pakistani police at a roadblock in Peshawar and handed over to US forces for $3,000 (5); Abdullah al-Ajmi, a Kuwaiti, was sent back to his country in November 2005. Out of eight Kuwaitis freed from Guantanamo and repatriated, five were acquitted of all charges (6).

    In January 2002 the US lawyer Alan Morton Dershowitz tried to justify “legal” forms of torture by invoking, as the French did in Algeria, the idea of a terrorist who refuses to reveal the location of a bomb that is about to explode. However unrealistic, it has served to legitimise such practices, even when the information sought is unknown. Sometimes these procedures are just carried out as routine, and they are hugely counter-productive. They have been more effective than al-Qaida propaganda in radicalising sections of the Muslim world which used not to be so hostile to the US, such as Indonesia and India. It is not only the reputation of the Bush administration which is at stake. The western diplomatic community, and NGOs, risk being tainted for decades to come. That includes Europeans: even if they refused to take part in the worst of these actions, they have been complicit.

    Greater moderation in Europe

    The argument used by Washington, that exceptional measures are needed to fight terrorism, has worked less well in Europe. That sanctions can be imposed on governments violating basic rights has proved crucial. The European Court of Human Rights and the European Court of Justice have played a moderating role, which neither the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (which does not have the power to impose penalties) nor the US Supreme Court have been able to do.

    In Britain, the House of Lords blocked some of the initiatives of Tony Blair’s government. It overturned measures that contravened habeas corpus, such as indefinite detention in Belmarsh high-security prison for foreigners who cannot be deported (which was authorised by the 2001 anti-terror law).

    It is the same with the exchange of personal data: Europe’s intelligence services were willing to work with their US counterparts, and have often done so in the past unofficially. But the European control authorities and the European parliament put so much pressure on governments, the Council of Ministers and the European Commission, that the EC had to raise the level of requirements and turn down US demands.

    The debate over the transfer of PNR data, and the transatlantic exchange of information, alerted the public to something those in power had wanted to keep secret. While this did not stop these practices, it slowed the flow, and prevented the worst excesses.

    The European security system remains based on policing, and even though it may use special magistrates and infiltration by the intelligence services, it has not (yet) gone down the US road of using military intelligence and the “technological solution”.

    The EU’s governments and intelligence services have refused to carry out torture at home, but they have been complicit in kidnappings by US secret services on European territory (or taking delivery of them in Europe), and by authorising the transit of planes transporting suspects to secret prisons outside the EU. The EU cannot claim to be innocent of these illiberal practices, since some of its member states have taken part in the Iraq war and in war crimes, the fighting in Afghanistan and the wide-scale exchange of information from phone-tapping. Although France had little to do with the Iraq war, its intelligence agents and anti-terrorist judges collaborated in the interrogations at Guantanamo. It also provided lists of suspects connected with the Armed Islamic Group (GIA) in Algeria, Chechen networks and al-Qaida.

    Europe and the US may use different counter-terrorist measures, but both are involved in a more insidious practice, which is gradually taking root due to the climate of fear. The political game of criminalising immigrants, and connecting terrorism with foreigners, Muslims and young second-generation immigrants, often with deprived, religious backgrounds, provides hate figures and creates a climate of suspicion. But the profile that has emerged from police investigations into Islamist terror attacks in Europe reveals different characteristics: most entered Europe legally or were born here, are not very religious but have a deep sense of injustice, have professional qualifications and are often university educated.

    In the name of the war on terror, the majority of politicians from all parties accept without argument restrictions imposed on immigration, family reunification and the right to asylum. This is an incentive for ministers of the interior and the police to increase their own powers and encourages the limiting of judicial controls.

    As long as these repressive measures appear to affect only those targeted by the war on terror, there is limited public opposition, and it is expressed only when privileged groups, who share characteristics with these “abnormal” people, are subjected to the same controls. When the state and the police behave arbitrarily, people realise the fundamental importance of legal guarantees, such as knowing the reason for imprisonment, having access to a lawyer and the right to a fair trial. That is why there is growing opposition to the US no-fly lists.

    The public rebels against police identity checks and private surveillance mechanisms only when it realises that information can be used years later in a different context and be falsely interpreted. Societies with a recent history of dictatorial governments, such as Hungary, are the most wary of abandoning their right to keep their intimate activities private from the police (the precise definition of “privacy”) – where they go, what they read and with whom they correspond. Casual indifference towards these new forms of surveillance, or even the explicit approval of them, is key: it explains the ease with which we can regard young working-class people and ethnic groups as undesirables. Society uses security measures to protect itself from them, and the role of prison is to keep them out of sight, if not indefinitely, then for as long as possible.

    It is this behaviour, as much as arguments in favour of special counter-terror legislation, that determines what is or is not admissible. When it comes to the politics of fear, we must question our own responsibility, not just that of our leaders. For we actively participate in these security measures, and more willingly than we would like to admit.

    January 2009
    Islamic India
    Who’s who in Muslim India
    `Laboratory of hate´
    The Pakistan link to Mumbai *
    How Obama lost control of Iraq policy *
    Mass uprising of Greece’s youth
    Valia Kaimaki on Greece’s student protests
    The West’s selective reading of history
    Rational and progressive
    The view from Belgrade
    The far right lives on in Serbia *
    Sonja’s List *
    The fight for justice *
    Women defamed *
    Africa’s imported wealth *
    The globalisation of counter-terror *
    End of the good times *
    Farewell to property porn *
    Dubai’s broken dreams *
    Greenspan’s view
    Ayn Rand’s Promethean myth *
    Sinister folly
    The scapegoat
    Translated by Stephanie Irvine
    More by Didier Bigo
    Didier Bigo is a senior lecturer at the Institut d’études politiques in Paris

    (1) Six people were killed and 1,043 injured in this attack, which was blamed on radical Islamists.

    (2) Swift: Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, used by 7,800 financial institutions around the world. Without prior information from European or national authorities and bank clients, the CIA and the US Treasury undertook to spy on the transfer of financial data to monitor suspected terrorists.

    (3) The Boston Globe, 16 August 2005.

    (4) “Un million de noms figure sur la liste antiterroriste des USA”, geostratégie.com.

    (5) Murat Kurnaz described his 1,600 days in detention in Five Years of My Life: An Innocent Man in Guantanamo, Palgrave Macmillan, New York, 2008.

    (6) According to Amnesty International, more than 85% of Guantanamo detainees were arrested in Afghanistan by the Northern Alliance, or in Pakistan, at a time when rewards of up to $5,000 were paid for every suspected terrorist handed over to the US. See “Counter-terror with justice”.

  125. Gosh, hasn’t the weather been awful!….. including its manifestations.

  126. This started on another thread with your aspersions directed at me…

    And you brought it into an unrelated thread. If you want to carry on a personal vendetta, get your own blog. It’s easy, takes five minutes, and you can slam kitty all you like on it (within legal boundaries of course).

    Unless you subjecting the rest of us to it for the next five threads is your intention – in which case, I’d ask Kamahl to get involved.

    @Ray Hunt:
    Holy Mother of Zombie Jesus! Would a link have sufficed! Damn, that’s six pages long in my browser!

  127. Instead of commenting on the link or discussion, Kitty went straight into attack mode and she got as good as she gave in return!

    I suppose you’d like to think so.

    Walrus, I suppose a bigot and chauvinist description because one does not agree with an opinion on a ALLEGED gang rape is also mainstream too?

    You don’t have to agree with it, for me it’s the smartarse anti-female commentary you’ve been making on this (and other) threads.

    Here’s something interesting to keep the fire stoked on the defacto gender war that has been going on here for a week.

    Not by me, I would have argued the same consent/power issue if it was one 19 yr old male vs 12 older, wealthier, more powerful, athletic, women!

    I’m referring to you, Kitty!

    just in case i didn’t realise he was having a go at me.

    I have to admit the sow thing was a bit under the belt, but what has been said is history now.

    History just keeps repeating with you doesn’t it?

  128. Don’t lecture me about personal vandettas, she started it and don’t dictate to me what to do either!

    Who the fuck are you?

  129. come on Kamahl. its female against male now.

    dont hide when the kamahl is needed.
    or is kamahl just a comedian like will.

  130. oh dear, all the authors have disappeared from the side.
    A mystery?

  131. Need more popcorn.

  132. Kamahl is keeping the whistle in his pocket – he wants to let the game flow.

  133. …she started it…

    I think that sums up the maturity of the entire post.

    Who the @#$% are you?

    Someone who likes to read and participate in political discussions with the odd personal debate. I also believe I’d be in the majority here when I state that most people reading / participating in this blog don’t want threads to stoop to the level of “she started it”.

  134. Adrian welcome back – a couple of times I would have loved to have deferred to you debunking Tony’s WUWT links but struggled on anyway. Seriously it’s good to have you back; I seriously missed your contributions.
    James Likewise, great to have you back and posting. T’was good to see you kept on tipping, so a post on who might actually win as opposed to who might win based on who Tom hates most would be appreciated. Your other posts actually make me look for resources to back up my arguments which in turn makes me question my POV -I like that so please, keep posting and making me think.
    Wil Anderson is one of those comedians who at times is brilliant and at times is lame. I know of very few comedians who always make me laugh (Arj Barker for one alwways leaves me feeling short changed) but Wil Anderson actually works for me. The Gruen Transfer doesn’t so much rely on Wil to make it work but rather the banter between the other people. When Wil was on Triple J with Adam, most of the time I would be laughing at Will pushing a joke too far and failing – nonetheless, I’d be laughing which means he has done his job – is he the best, F@#k no; is he good, yep.
    Walrus Let it go.
    scaper Let it go. Let your past comments be, don’t defend them – move on and post from a more objective stand point. Most of us have let a bit too much personal comment enter our posts from time to time – I’ve pulled back but I can’t change what I’ve said, indeed our posts are shaped by our personal experiences. Your views are valued here despite what Tom or others might have to say might have to say.
    joni if you are stuck in Singapore and bored, stiff shit. Come back to Aus where the real fun is; no sympathy from me (just kidding, hope things aren’t as boring as you make out – BTW, I enjoyed you r DJ session – I hadn’t heard most of them).

  135. I’ve got cashews.

  136. choc top for viewing pleasure

  137. Aqua, why have a mystery when we can have …a conspiracy?, woooo-oooohooooo.

  138. Dave, I’m sick of getting attacked here and will stand my ground until they desist.

    I’m willing to move on, are they?

  139. What, no Jaffas?

  140. [Scroll on by…1 in 7 return to terrorism? Maybe not quite that straightforward…]

    The journalist who wrote the “1 in 7 return to terrorist activities” story…doesn’t seem quite so confident about it now, and allows that their detention may have converted some to terrorist activities.

    And in another post, someone raises the possibility that some of those “engaged in terrorist activities” are double agents working for the US, based on the number whose names could not be verified due to intelligence gathering concerns, and earlier reports that Binyam Mohammad was urged by such an agent to become one and avoid being tortured. I’ve lost the link – will see if I can find it later.

  141. lol Tboss, i will youtube this(oz conspiracies).

    Scaper is there a female you havnt gone head to toe with?

    spell check took awhile so i dont get put down for mimicking english.

  142. Just to explain the last post – it followed a long lunch: Two people, the following wines:
    Chandon NV Rosé for entrée, Mains: French Burgundy 2001 (OK) and 1997 Lindeman’s Hunter Valley – Ben Ean Shiraz (nothing like the crappy Ben Ean Moselle) -F@#k’n brilliant, and a 2001 Piper Brook Clarke Cuvee Sticky (Luscious) to finish it off.

    I’m in a good mood, so please play nice people -it makes commenting more fun.

  143. I’m not sure BT, but the Slocum/pussy thread which degenerated may have been the one that got censored and removed. We can’t refer back to it.

    reb or joni might be able to verify it (and save me the trouble of looking for it).

    Walrus made the slocum/pussy comment on a thread in reply to ?something min said (can’t remember). I think min got offended and walrus was asked to apologise after some heated debate, which he refused to do and then huffed off, which is why the ‘At the Watercooler with Walrus’ (previously weekly) thread is no longer.

    My memory is pretty sketchy on it, so please excuse if it’s not entirely accurate, others may have better recall.

  144. its raining heavy again, i need to jump in the phone booth and get into my super scuba gear.

  145. Dave, I’m sick of getting attacked here and will stand my ground until they desist.

    More like quicksand!

    Sorry, but you started it scaper, so don’t try and re-write the history to justify yourself.

  146. Hexx, please I’m a very happily married man and I’m not into toes.

  147. I’m willing to move on, are they?

    I assume you include me in the ambiguous “they” above.

    If not, ignore the following. If so, I made no attack on you. I did mention that you could move the fight to a separate forum. Your response left something to be desired in the level of maturity one expects from a political blog.

    If you are going to move on – please do. I could personally care less about the whole issue. I simply don’t want it cluttering up an otherwise interesting thread.

  148. No, not more rain…the workshop where my old truck is getting a new motor fitted flooded.

    Don’t want it floating down Ipswich Road again.

  149. Political?

    FROLYKX?

  150. Sorry, but you started it scaper, so don’t try and re-write the history to justify yourself.

    kittylitter, on May 22nd, 2009 at 5:29 pm Said:

    Kitty………….you are so full of shit ……….!

    You started this this afternoon by including me in a comment you made about scaper.

    It is you that have brought this fight over from another thread………………You Idiot !

    You are just so bloody full of yourself you ignorant fool.

  151. “I’m not sure BT, but the Slocum/pussy thread which degenerated may have been the one that got censored and removed. We can’t refer back to it”Kitty

    Twas’ the one indeed; that thread had everything.

  152. B.Tolputt, on May 22nd, 2009 at 5:31 pm Said:

    We should call a truce as I think we do have at least some common ground.

    Are you OK with that though ?

  153. I’m looking forward to some input from Thomas of Melbourne.

  154. Political? FROLYKX?

    Note my words were “political blog”, which is what blogocrats is regardless of the subject matter of this particular thread.

    Just as you don’t call an individual day’s entry a “diary”, this thread alone is not a “blog”. *shrug*

  155. So, this baby seal walks into a club?

    (joni valiantly attempts to lighten the mood)

  156. “Don’t want it floating down Ipswich Road again.”

    BOM radar shows it’s all north of Boondall – TB on the edge of it, aqua right in the middle…

  157. “I’m willing to move on, are they?”

    LOL Really? So why are you regurgitating comments made months ago into this thread?

  158. #So, this baby seal walks into a club?

    and says, stop harping on.

  159. “So, this baby seal walks into a club?”

    I thought it was a penguin with an ice-cream 😆

  160. @Walrus:
    Works for me. I thought we had left it in the other thread a day or two ago *shrug*

  161. There was this feminist nazi that walked into the Crunulla dressing room…nah, that won’t lighten things up.

  162. B.Tolputt, on May 22nd, 2009 at 5:43 pm Said:

    So had I……………………….So had I………………!

  163. “So, this baby seal walks into a club?”
    You know, I tried that excuse and Green Peace still tried to lynch me 😛

  164. Twas’ the one indeed; that thread had everything.

    The nights not over yet.

  165. HUH, to prove a point…there is a difference to what someone posted that needed exposing…HUH!

  166. Joni

    i just rang the airport about a tip of swine flu from…

    where are you again?

    they will be looking after you when you land.

  167. *Knights* *night’s*

  168. Well I just found a link to a song by Lily Allen (who?) on my favourite “conservative” commentator’s blog.

    It’s called “GWB: F@ck You Very Much”.

    A mood lightener perhaps?

    Can’t work out how to post the youtube clip so apologies for dropping in a link to the blog in question.

    http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/the_hateful_hate_of_modern_moralist/

  169. The nights not over yet.

    Tony, on May 22nd, 2009 at 5:45 pm Said:

    It almost is for me as I have 2 games of R**** L***** to watch (censored so as not to interupt the relative peace that has prevailed for the last 90 seconds)

  170. im going to the top
    i need a ducks opinion on all of this.

  171. “The nights not over yet.”TOSY

    True dat!

  172. Is Clare on the cheerleader squad?

  173. How’s this joni?

  174. *laugh* And the funny thing is – I would never have known about it had Bolt not decided to, not only link to the YouTube video of the song, but also print out all the lyrics nicely for us.

    He gave the song even more publicity. Given what I have seen of Lily Allen (cute, brattish, not terribly fussed about old guys’ opinions of her) – she’d probably laugh about his push publicity of her new single!

  175. ………………You Idiot !

    You are just so bloody full of yourself you ignorant fool.

    Yep, more from the walrus school of charm and intellect!

  176. “I’m in a good mood, so please play nice people………….”

    Dave55, on May 22nd, 2009 at 5:26 pm Said:

    Go screw yourself

  177. I’m going shortly, the wife will be home after drinks with the girls so I’ll have to shower and cook dinner.

    Wait a minute, being a chauvinist that is not good enough, a beating with a pick handle then send her up to get take aways is the Manly thing to do.

  178. Walrus,

    Now I’d expect that from a Cronulla or Roosters’s supporter but from a Dragon’s supporter …

  179. Hi B Tolputt, as I referenced at the top of my post, The Behaviour of Enemies is a subscriber-only story which is why I could not provide a link as I usually do. Sorry it’s crammed your browser but please look at the thousands of column centimetres that a number of Blogocrats have posted on the subject matter in recent months. I hope you can accept that many here are seriously passionate about the future of democracy …

    Le Monde Diplomatique is one of the finest newspapers in the world in my ever-so humble opinion. You can sign up for the free online newsletter edition – which offers around half the content for free – at http://www.mondediplo.com.

    The Le Monde Diplomatique site has recently introduced blogs for those interested in detailed political analysis and serious discussions about geo-politics. Check it out.

  180. #manly thing to do.

    not another football team.

  181. Walrus, funny that, someone emailed me this afternoon to suggest some mechanical stimulation to someone but I’m too much of a gentlemen…just kidding…LOL!

  182. Yep, more from the walrus school of charm and intellect!

    kittylitter, on May 22nd, 2009 at 5:54 pm Said:

    Hello Pot……………………………Meet Kettle……………………..!

    What a dickhead!

    kittylitter, on May 22nd, 2009 at 1:17 pm Said:

  183. ” And the funny thing is – I would never have known about it had Bolt not decided to, not only link to the YouTube video of the song, but also print out all the lyrics nicely for us”BT

    Exactly what I thought when I happened upon it.

    If you read any of the comments from the assembled throng however you’d note that it played precisely as he intended for the fanclub.

    Curious song.

  184. Oh no, she’s home and all I can find is a feather…I’ll save that for when we kiss and makeup…I want the cherry lipstick this time.

  185. I thought it was a good read Ray. I think any objections are due to length & you explained why that was necessary.

  186. Thank you Dave55..one of my favourites. That has to be joni, always the optimist. John McP will sitting at the foot of the cross saying, shizzer, things aren’t looking too good for the economy. Kitty and Jedda would be Mary Magdalene..don’t you dare touch him, you idiot.

  187. Hope she’s not driving.

  188. Walrus, funny that, someone emailed me this afternoon to suggest some mechanical stimulation to someone

    scaper…, on May 22nd, 2009 at 5:59 pm Said:

    Scaper,

    Please please dont tell me……………………………….let me guess……………….Was the emailer a Cronulla player with a spare sex toy perhaps……………..!

  189. No actually, it was a politician, they get them at discount from the parliamentry canteen to keep them stimulated during the sittings.

    The woman just sit there in amazement at the sight.

    “Hey Malcolm, pass the KY please.”

  190. I read the first five post and then closed the page down before my brains started to leak out my ears. The extreme Left/Right wingers attract a sanctimonious bunch of w@nkers don’t they?

    On a related subject, have you noticed that the newspapers tend to cater more for the right-wingers than the left? There might be some influence from their owners (Murdoch & Packer are/were politically active players, for example), but I have a theory it is because newspapers are primarily read by older folks now (which Possum has recently shown are statistically conservative for the most part).

    Blogs tend to be muscling in on traditional territory and the balance in blogs between Left & Right seems roughly balanced; at least here in Australia.

    Any thoughts?

  191. She is not driving, she has learnt a lesson, I directed her to a blog a while back to convey a concern that I had that a heart to heart would not achieve.

  192. I was a bit reluctant to post this but I dont think there are any Gay people around at the moment so here goes…………………………………!

    MAN TEST

    1. If you are over forty, and you have a washboard stomach, you are a queer. It means you haven’t sucked back enough beer with the boys and have spent the rest of your free time doing sit-ups, aerobics, and doing the Oprah diet…Faggot.

    2. If you have a cat, you are a homo. A cat is like a dog, but queer– it grooms itself constantly but never scratches itself, has a delicate touch except when it uses its claws, and whines to be fed. And just think about how you call a dog… ‘Killer, come here! I said get your arse over here, Killer!’ Now think about how you call a cat…’Bun-bun, come to daddy, snookums!’ Jeeezus, you’re pitched, you’re so queer.

    3. If you suck on lollipops, Ring-Pops, baby pacifiers, or any such nonsense, rest assured, you are a Gaylord. A straight man only sucks on BBQ ribs, crab claws, raw oysters, lobster backs, pickled pigs feet, or tits. Anything else and you are a Homo in training and undeniably a fag.

    4. If you refuse to take a dump in a public bathroom or piss in a parking lot, you crave a deep homosexual relationship. A man’s world is his toilet; he defecates and urinates where he pleases.

    5. If you drink anything other than regular coffee, you’re as camp as a row of tents. A straight man will never be heard ordering a ‘Decaf Soy Latte’. If you’ve put a Decaf Soy Latte to your lips, you’ve had a man there too.

    6. If you know more than six names of non-standard colours or four different types of dessert other than ice cream and custard, you might as well be handing out free arse passes. A real man doesn’t have memory space in his brain to remember all of that crap. If you can pick out chartreuse or you know what a ‘fressier’ is & nbsp; you’re gay. And if you can name ANY type of textile other than cotton or denim, you are poofter.

    7. If you drive with both hands on the wheel, forget it, you’re dying to tune a meat whistle. A man only puts both hands on the wheel to beep at a slow-arsed driver or to cut the prick off. The rest of the time he needs that hand to change the radio station, eat a hamburger, or hold his beer.

    8. If you do not send this off to all the males on your email list because you are afraid of hurting their feelings then you are definitely on the verge on being an arse puncher.

  193. wow kamahl, nice inconsistency.
    love to see you jump in next time.

    some things get blown off as “let them sort themselves out.

    where have i seen that before.

  194. Here you go Toiletboss. I take my role as resident pornographer very seriously, you know.

  195. I skip a bit between blogs these days when I get the chance BT, so yes from what I read I’d say you’re correct.
    On most, of either slant, you’ll find a whole lot of incidental abuse & narrow thinking with some very sound, intelligent opinions (from each side of the divide) amongst it.

    Reading both sides is a good way of developing an objective opinion.

    Re age, I kinda get the impression that a vast majority of blog contributors that I come across are generally a fair bit older than me…10years+.

    Notwithstanding that most people probably don’t even know what a blog is & could care less about politics on anything other than a very superficial level. ie, people who do comment on political blogs have at least a passing interest…& the time necessary to be involved.

  196. Thanks Tony. You are a fine purveyor.

  197. Just an indulgence: From The World’s Fastest Indian..

    Burt Munro: If you don’t follow your dreams, you might as well be a vegetable. Tom: What sort of vegetable? Burt Munro: A cabbage, yes a cabbage.

    Burt: When you’re dead, you’re dead..at least that’s the way I think it.

    You’re too old: Burt: Bollocks.

  198. Wow, an awful lot of fairly raw bigotry and assorted nastiness – whether actual or feigned – on display today. Not a good look, IMHO, and certainly…er, refines my mental model of some of the posters here in ways that really aren’t flattering.

  199. What if’n you have a PAIR of cats?!

    I’m very confused now, I’d never eat an Oprah diet.

  200. well said lotharsson.

  201. …but I dont think there are any Gay people around at the moment …

    You know what they say – those who purvey gay put-down jokes are likely to have the strongest latent gay tendencies themselves…

  202. So I take it we are going to be accused of torture???

  203. #going to be accused of torture???

    no…. the list will be longer.

  204. So I take it we are going to be accused of torture???

    Silly diversionary comments is all you have?

    Each to their own.

  205. .
    Why are you all so unkind today?

    I give up. Let’s try moving on shall we….

  206. I was really annoyed to see The Age yesterday gushing excitedly about what some limp American blog has achieved in the past six months …

    Perhaps no-one has sent the Editor a media release about how strong Blogocrats has become in just six months? Maybe we need to start hassling our hacks? So who’s going to take senior Age editorial staff out for a slap-up liquid lunch? Miglo? Reb? Joni? Min? Maybe we send all four of you and you can do a tag-team hand-holding routine?

    B Tolputt, I think Australia has some of the laziest, disinterested and blinkered media organisations in the world. Owners like Rupert are part of the problem but the generally mindless nature of local hacks is often greatly underestimated … In this sense, Blogocrats is big news for Australia – and seems break more stories these days than the mainstream media organisations.

    The poor luvvies who pretend to be fearless reporters won’t cover a story if no-one sends them a media release. How pathetic.

  207. KAMAHLODERATOR,
    lol
    poor thing, im too harsh
    what was i thinking.

  208. Lotharsson,

    my mental model of some of the posters here

    That’s really all it is, isn’t it?

    We start with someone’s screen name, and their avatar, if they’ve bothered, and begin sketching an outline informed by the other person’s comments, and as any personal snippets, real or imagined, they have been willing to divulge.

    As their body of ‘work’ develops, our mental portrait of them is filled-in, and a ‘face’ becomes our point of reference for that particular commenter.

    What a shock when they behave in a manner at-odds with the ‘personality’ we have assigned them.

  209. *and as any*

  210. im borg, i will adapt

    you will comply(maybe)…(if your in the mood)… (another day maybe)

  211. I can’t believe I’m sitting here drinking a chilled white wine. I can declare that a half corona definitely goes better with a red.

  212. Talk about diversionary!

    You’ve been carrying on for weeks about the USA and torture and have been bringing it to thread after thread, give it a break, pal…you’ve made your point.

    You are not a pretty sight on that high horse you are sitting on!

    Hexx, I repeat…”I was not convicted of that thing with the goat!”

    Where’s the evidence?

  213. this would be a good time for french.

  214. Shut up, Migs!

    You are enough to make me open that thirty two year old Port and lite up.

  215. Gab,

    That’s a very timely observation. Despite today’s outbursts, Blogocrats is indeed being noticed out there in real world.

    By way of example, this morning I received an email from a Senior Exec at The Business Spectator.

    Also, has anyone else noticed that Channel Seven now have a segment on the Sunrise show called “Monday by the Watercooler”.

    I wonder where they got that idea from. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

    We’ve had many new people join us in recent weeks, and we now average around 2000 – 3000 visitors a day.

    To date, we’ve posted over 700 topics for discussion.

    I think that’s a pretty good effort that we can ALL be proud of.

    So howabout we get back to discussing the issues rather than all this infighting. And that also includes me.

  216. Just posted – haven’t bothered with 180 comments – (well done sreb!), Glasshouse was one of the “nearly” spontaneous satirical shows this country had going for it – satire is not comedy (the Poms do it best of all – the Yanks just don’t get it) – you don’t have to laugh – you just have to get it – and politely applaud – dear o dear, you’ve got it bad – sweetie – what’s the real problem?

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Min, on May 22nd, 2009 at 6:23 pm

    The Minister and I watched Darling Buds of May on ABC at 12:30 today and then The Bucket List (for me, to “indulge” her) I don’t often cry (and I’m not a fan of Jack Nicholson, he is in real life as he acts)…but I did get married as a motor mech, with a baby on the way and deep in debt and without being a smartarse, eventually graduated from university – but – I found I had some things in common with both stars…eg Nicholson’s, approach to “religion”…

    …and I still haven’t seen Brokeback –

  217. Ooopsie, meant to say in my previous post that Blogocrats has broken more big news stories in six months than the entire mainstream Australian media.

    And lazy professional hacks better watch out, because big bad Rupert has picked up on this trend if his recent public comments are anything to go by!

  218. Scaper, i can not prove you were convicted, but my cousin did you in gaol.

    Mig’s your delusional,drop the beer and drink straight wine at (w)once

  219. I’m looking forward to some input from Thomas of Melbourne.

    Tboss, it confirms what a sick bastard you are.

    We start with someone’s screen name, and their avatar, if they’ve bothered, and begin sketching an outline informed by the other person’s comments, and as any personal snippets, real or imagined, they have been willing to divulge.

    As their body of ‘work’ develops, our mental portrait of them is filled-in, and a ‘face’ becomes our point of reference for that particular commenter.

    Tony, it may come as a surprise to you and many others that I’m not really a duck. I’m a Canberra public servant.

    Spot the difference.

    Aqua, so pleased to see you out and about again. You too James. Pity that your team will roll mine on Sunday.

  220. it may come as a surprise to you and many others that I’m not really a duck.

    WTF???

    You’ve been leading me on all this time, and now you drop this explosive revelation!!

  221. Speaking of news… I’ve been following the developments of something that is going to blow soon.

    There was an attempt of a cover up last week but I believe it will get out there…and yes, there will be evidence!

    I’ll just say it does not involve the government.

  222. That female prison officer was your cousin?

  223. No doubt Blogocrats live up to their name – ’tis the creme de la creme!

    That’s why we constantly float to the top – Adrian, James, Wolf, where is Elise!

  224. Elise is hanging at Jack the Insiders, becoming a regular there.

  225. TB, are the rest of us bottom dwellers.?
    😉

  226. Oh noes, I’m being forced to watch Masterchef again!!!

    AAAAAAAAAGGHHHHHH….!!!!!!!

  227. So how do we get Elise back where she belongs Scaper? I really miss her insightful Blogocracy posts.

  228. Jesus the shows just started and one of them’s in tears already!

  229. just remeber this time Reb, George is greek not a car thief.

  230. i stole a mad car last week, youd all be proud.

  231. reb

    I agree about stopping the in fighting and let’s get back to the meaningful discussion.

    I am just chilling with a Tiger before heading out to watch the Super14 game down at Chimes.

  232. aquanut, on May 22nd, 2009 at 7:03 pm

    Aqua – you’re a “faithful” blogocrat your floating, man, indulge!

    I was referring to the returnees – I too have been absent/busy but I am still a Blogocrat and proud of it!

  233. Thanks for the Tip Aqua.

    He stills looks like a car thief ..!!

  234. Again speaking of news, this will be of interest to many and it dampens the age old claims by Howard and his dwindling fan club that unemployment levels were lower under his Liberal govt.

    I was going over some figures at work today, and they will raise a few eyebrows when I show what they revealed.

    In June 2001, the number of job seekers on unemployment benefits, as a percentage of the working age population was 5.1%. In December 2001 this climbed to 5.3%.

    Look at these:

    June 2002 – 4.8%
    June 2003 – 4.5%
    June 2004 – 4.2%
    June 2005 – 3.9%
    June 2006 – 3.7%
    June 2007 – 3.5%
    December 2007 (after the election) – 3.4%
    June 2008 – 3.3%
    September 2008 – 3.2%

    After the GFC it climbed to 3.9% in March 2009, which is the same as it was in June 2005.

    These figures tell me that the Rudd govt has been able to stimulate employment to levels not witnessed in the boom years that Howard rode on.

  235. I know TB, i like the way you bite. i have the upmost respct behind that.. 🙂

  236. I’ll see what I can do, gab.

    You know, after thinking about it I might just email to seek her unbiased opinion of this gin joint!

    It can get offputting at times…I need to take a good hard look at my behavior too, I’m offloading a lot of my frustrations here.

  237. lol, Reb what can i say, i bet he has a list.

    By the way do you and me still have a problem or are we just chatting.?

  238. sreb,

    ABC 8:30 tonight “Silent Witness” (Pommie show far more sophisticated than CSI – the Yanks copy and stuff up every good “theme”) – new series “movie length” – if you’ve never seen it a great intro – must warn you but I’m a fan of Midsommer Murders, New Tricks (another Yanks steal, Cold Case) Spooks (MI5), Vincent and Taggart among others.

  239. Miglo the Duck CPS,

    These figures tell me that the Rudd govt has been able to stimulate employment to levels not witnessed in the boom years that Howard rode on.

    Interesting figures, but how can you draw that conclusion? The figures appear to have been on a steady downward trend from 2002 until the GFC arrived, at which point the trend reversed. That’s all I can tell from your stats, anyway.

  240. @Miglo:
    Not doubting the numbers (I don’t have any to counter with!), but they would be much more effective with a link we can throw up when the unemployment claims by Liberals are brought up again…

    So, these figures don’t happen to have a public outlet we could use would they?

  241. Migs, 32 year old port at The Mansion just for you and ME!

  242. aqua..

    I wasn’t aware we had a problem…??

  243. No BT, they are not for publication, however they can be replicated (with difficulty) if anyone wants to spend a bit of time on the ABS website.

  244. Gotta go! The whiting fillets followed by apple fritters call! Eat ya hearts out!

  245. TB, the odds of my trip up the coast later in the year have certainly firmed.

  246. TB,

    Yep I’ll be watching Silent Witness. I always enjoyed Taggart – especially when the original Taggart was in it..

    I do watch Midsomers occasionally.. A lot of murders for such a quaint little village..

  247. TB, pond scum also always floats to the top, 😉

  248. oh, Reb i was the night i let loose on you. i am in awe of you if you didnt take that personal. but i say thank you for not dragging what i thought was a problem. i cant say i did the same. sorry

    glad we can move on, hope fully i will get some comments from you to show there is no hard feelings.

  249. i did not do the same … that was ment to read…

  250. oops i had it right to begin with……
    wonder how the dolphins are doing in this flood.(diverts the convo)

  251. When the dolphins thank us for the fish then disappear, then it is time to worry.

  252. stuff the dolphins, if you want crabs……. ring me!

  253. Aqua, baby, there are no hard feelings between us at al..

    Sorry if I don’t always reply to your comments…

    I know that you and The Boss have a good raporte (as well as with others), so I usually just let you guys carry on with your banter.

    It’s not that I’m not interested, it’s just that I don’t always get to respond to everyone’s comments. Hope you understand that…

    Cheers!

  254. Did the paint kill them all?

  255. it means a lot you saying that Reb…seriouly
    .
    .
    ….
    now eatme 😉

  256. i think i ment seriously….. but im not
    sure

  257. “Tboss, it confirms what a sick bastard you are”moogli

    I’ve never made it a secret sir.

  258. im so drunk i might retire to the toilet, boss i just want too spew…

  259. Ray Hunt, merci beaucoup for the Le Monde Diplomatique link.

  260. “TB, pond scum also always floats to the top”Mobius

    lol. Yep, squeakiest wheel etc.

    Is reb having a lend about the “interest” here?

    ………..tick tock…tick tock…tick tock………ummmm, *contemplates past record of stupid comments here*……gulp……

  261. Mobius Ecko, on May 22nd, 2009 at 7:22 pm

    Whoo! Hope that’s not aimed at me, ME?

    Why is everyone (me included, I guess, suddenly negative?)

  262. Hey Aqua I think I’m joining you in the wee bit tipsy stakes.

  263. Actually, I kinda enjoy the Gruen Transfer.

    It’s not Will, of course, but the advertising efforts of the various Puff-Merchants they air on a weekly basis that I find entertaining.

    As for Will, well Stand-Up (or, in this case, Sit-Down) is pertty hard to pull-off week after week.

    At least he has a go at it.

    On second thoughts, maybe he shoulda stuck at political journalism.

  264. I Am A Latent Gay Walrus Apparently, on May 22nd, 2009 at 9:21 pm Said: Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    As for you Kamahl……………………………

    Go hump an elephant…………!

  265. Talk about diversionary!

    You’ve been carrying on for weeks about the USA and torture…

    Sigh. Missing the point once more.

    My “diversionary” referred to what appeared to be efforts on your behalf to deflect what might have been seen as criticism – my comments about the bigotry and nastiness on display and the associated impact on my mental model of various posters.

    And if you think talk about actual politics in open threads on a political blog, talk which you can freely scroll past – and which I generally encourage at the head of every comment for those who aren’t interested – is “diversionary”, then my mental model of you will include some additional attributes…

  266. That’s really all it is, isn’t it?

    Yep, you nailed it. That’s all we’ve got to go on.

  267. Thanks for that article, Ray.

  268. Amnesty International press release applauding Australia’s signing of the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture, which “provides a mechanism for review of detention facilities to ensure that torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment is not being practised.”

    And if you think that Australia, like other liberal democracies, should have a Human Rights Act or something similar, the government is seeking consultation right now and you can make a submission here.

  269. And if you think that Australia, like other liberal democracies, should have a Human Rights Act or something similar, the government is seeking consultation right now and you can make a submission here.

    like other Liberal democracies“? You surely have better reasons to offer than that, and I, for one, would love to hear them.

  270. No kidding. Just had my dinner in a local Chinese down on Boat Key. I am sitting their eating my yummy dinner when the great Neil Diamond comes on, and I think “ooo – the blogocrats theme tune” and then I realise that I am eating Peking Miglo…. sorry migs, you were yummy!

  271. Well how disappointing to have missed all the excitement.

    Min, another passing comment form you that I will respond to.

    Nasking made some derogatory comments about my support for Kennett. I pointed out that he obviously had absolutely no idea about my activates and efforts during that period.

    He continued to needle in the same manner, so I continued to provide him with my pointed commentary.

    I’m sure you recall saying to me at that time – “go suck an egg” Ditto.

  272. Did anyone watch Lateline on Monday night?

    Apparently the PM turned out a pathetic performance and it is not on the Lateline web site, every other segment on the night was there.

    I rang the ABC to request a transcript and after an inquisition and a return phone call from them, they said that they are not in a position to grant my request.

    This is the second occasion that I’ve been rebutted by the media concerning insensitive information!

    I just don’t know how people can defend this government which seems to be a newer version of the last lot!

  273. Oh my dear, it looks like the government says sorry but wants to control Aboriginal land, forget a consultative process, just ride roughshod over their wishes as they don’t have any qualification in land management so the governments will control determination.

    A bit of background…the Bligh government has got into bed with the Wilderness Society for political gain as they need the Green movement’s assistance to retain power.

    I’m not against preservation but am against not going through the process with the owners to achieve the best outcome.

    Another indication of this government parroting the last lot!

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25524991-601,00.html

  274. Scaper,

    Come on mate, the Government did offer an “Apology”……

  275. Sparta, it is our version of torture!

    Say sorry, give them a glimmer of hope then kick em in the guts.

  276. Min, another passing comment form you that I will respond to.

    Nasking made some derogatory comments about my support for Kennett. I pointed out that he obviously had absolutely no idea about my activates and efforts during that period.

    He continued to needle in the same manner, so I continued to provide him with my pointed commentary.

    Tom, I will change this slightly to read:

    Tom, another passing comment form you that I will respond to.

    You made some derogatory comments about my support for [any number of things]. I pointed out that you obviously had absolutely no idea about my activates and efforts during that period.

    You continued to needle in the same manner, so I continued to provide him with my pointed commentary.

  277. I’m stickin’ with the duck 🙂

  278. Joni, eating duck while listening to Neil Diamond goes hand in hand. Neil Diamond is played as a punishment for eating the duck.

    Stop eating duck and you will never hear Neil Diamond again.

    Good morning Min. IMHO I agree it was Tom who drove Nasking away from this fine site. Nasking thought he was making everyone happy, and with the exception of one person, he was.

    Sometimes one lone dissenting voice can be very powerful.

  279. That’s sad Migs..I always enjoyed Nas’ and he even dedicated a song to me, which I thought was very splendiferous. Sad when the music is gone.

    When I was a wee slip of a lass, here is one that the boys used to sing to me. [ready with ear-plugs everyone].

  280. Thanyou Min. I will play it with the sound turned off.

  281. Didn’t Neil “Bowie” Diamond sing a song called “Diamond Ducks”? Maybe I misheard.

  282. Of course I disagree with plenty of people. I put my views as directly and rigorously as many people put them to me.

    Min, for example said “go suck an egg” and I’m happy to take that on board, as long as there is no whinging when a similar sentiment is returned.

  283. Diamond Dogs, Joni. Diamond Dogs.

  284. [Scroll on by…a radio host volunteers to demonstrate waterboarding isn’t torture…]

    …live on air. Click through to the NBC article – there are two videos on the left hand side of the page.

  285. Good grief Tom. Surely go suck an egg isn’t the worst thing that anyone has ever said. However, I did apologise and I would like to repeat this. And I did mean this apology then and I do mean it now. I think that we’ve had some excellent debates and you certainly have made me go and do my homework.

  286. Lotharson – sent you an email the other day to the email that you use here – maybe you missed it?

  287. And similarly Min, Nasking & I had reached a point where we agreed to a cease fire, we agreed to stop the constant exchanges, and deal with each other on the merit, or otherwise, of our points/opinions.

    He continued to contribute following this, then he stopped.

    I have no idea why, he many have tired of the intense exchanges that seem occur here quite regularly.

  288. And Min, of course I’ve had worse than “go suck and egg”, I was only illustrating that even you are not beyond the type of pointed commentary that can escalate.

  289. Tom..I’m certainly not holier than thou..in fact I’m just a housewife trying to have a say. And I do very much appreciate the expertise of so many on this blog. I hope that James appreciates the support that I provided him..but hey maybe not.

    I think that the rule of thumb is, when things become too nasty, take a break.

  290. joni, hadn’t seen it, just found it – had been marked as spam for some reason.

  291. # lovely spam, wonderful spam #
    # spam spam spam spam #

  292. Min as a point of clarification, I have no problem with intense exchanges. Emotion is often a good thing in a discussion, passion is vital in engagement with people. I enjoy our discussions, even on insulation.

    My issue with Nasking was that he repeatedly characterised me as a Kennett supporter. He did this despite my explanation about some of my personal activities and efforts in opposition to that government. I could not stand him, or his government.

    Being labelled a supporter of that lot is a complete lie; it is entirely at odds with the facts. I won’t accept a lie like that, particularly when it is repeated.

  293. kittylitter, on May 22nd, 2009 at 1:27 pm

    I don’t do gender wars, kittylitter; I do, however, do ‘agenda’ examinations and explorations, especially where someone is drawing on concepts from a body of knowledge and deploying them in ostensibly ideological ways. I leave to you and BT to work out how Clare’s mental state between the night in question and the nearly a week later, after follow-up of her complaint and subsequent review by police, left her without a case and access to one form of justice. The significance, arguably, of that continued misdirection by the ABC in their statement about which ‘boast’ of the week they were choosing to address and their glossing over those few days and that week in their rehearsal of mental state, I leave for you and BT to work out within your respective narrativites about sufficiency of evidences and doubts; and how making those things vanish from accounts place future Clares at risk and disempower those future generations of naive, young ingenues, who are kept naive thereby, without providing alternative scenarios, pre-known and pre-rehearsed, upon which they might draw, in advance of any such experiences.

  294. Tom of Melbourne, on May 23rd, 2009 at 1:15 pm Said:
    Min as a point of clarification, I have no problem with intense exchanges.

    Tom..believe me, we’ve noticed. And in spite of the fact that you are extremely infuriating at times, you always fight fair.

  295. [Scroll on by…documentary coming up on TV]

    Tue at 8:30pm on SBS – The Cutting Edge is showing a report on “The Torture Hunter”.

    Follows Manfred Nowak, a special UN appointee given the mission of fighting torture, on his travels to countries around the globe finding clear evidence that torture is commonplace in today’s world. Nowak’s job is fraught with obstacles. He must confront representatives of some of the world’s most powerful governments and struggles with a UN system with several member states that are very critical of his work. In this program, survivors from China, Zimbabwe and Moldova tell their stories about torture used to create fear and obtain confessions – true or false. And a former US interrogation officer talks about how he tortured a detainee in Fallujah in Iraq, thereby destroying the values from his own upbringing.

  296. Kamahl, i am sorry for my childish comments on this thread.

    Kitty i dont think your feminist, you have good strong views that i admire.

    back later i have to eat, i have spam on the mind for some reason.

  297. Broadband around the world – by penetration & affordability. Australia doesn’t exactly shine, by these measures.

  298. Yesterday American shock jock WLS radio Erich “Mancow” Muller decided to subject himself to the controversial practice of waterboarding live on his show.

    Mancow decided to tackle the divisive issue head on — actually it was head down, while restrained and reclining.

    “I want to find out if it’s torture,” Mancow told his listeners Friday morning, adding that he hoped his on-air test would help prove that waterboarding did not, in fact, constitute torture.

    NBC reported that the debate over whether waterboarding constitutes torture reached a fever pitch this week as re-ignited claims that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) knew as early as 2002 about waterboarding techniques being used, and former Vice President Dick Cheney and President Barack Obama gave “dueling speeches” Thursday.

    Listeners had the chance to decide whether Mancow himself or his co-host, Chicago radio personality Pat Cassidy, would undergo the interrogation method during the broadcast. The voters ultimately decided Mancow would be the one donning the soaked towel and shackles, and at about 8:40 a.m., he entered a small storage room next to his studio that was compared to a “dungeon” by Cassidy.

    “The average person can take this for 14 seconds,” Marine Sergeant Clay South answered, adding, “He’s going to wiggle, he’s going to scream, he’s going to wish he never did this.”

    With a Chicago Fire Department paramedic on hand, Mancow was placed on a 7-foot long table, his legs were elevated, and his feet were tied up.

    Turns out the stunt wasn’t so funny. Witnesses said Muller thrashed on the table, and even instantly threw the toy cow he was holding as his emergency tool to signify when he wanted the experiment to stop. He only lasted 6 or 7 seconds.

    “It is way worse than I thought it would be, and that’s no joke,”Mancow said, likening it to a time when he nearly drowned as a child. “It is such an odd feeling to have water poured down your nose with your head back…It was instantaneous…and I don’t want to say this: absolutely torture.”

    “I wanted to prove it wasn’t torture,” Mancow said. “They cut off our heads, we put water on their face…I got voted to do this but I really thought ‘I’m going to laugh this off.’ ”

    Last year, Vanity Fair writer Christopher Hitchens endured the same experiment — and came to a similar conclusion. The conservative writer said he found the treatment terrifying, and was haunted by it for months afterward.

  299. Maybe Sparta would like to put his head on the block and prove Mancow is just another wimp?

  300. Tony, a real blight on Howard and one of his greatest failures, and though Rudd is making moves (very slowly) to fix it I doubt that when we have full decent broadband that is world’s best practice that we will be paying world’s average price for it, more like world’s highest price.

    Think of how much Howard not putting in a decent broadband has cost this country (he actually thought it was unnecessary and a waste of money), especially since Howard had more than enough money to do it.

    By the way I really don’t have faith in the Rudd government doing it properly either but at least they recognised the problem and are doing something, which is a giant leap over the previous government.

    I would hate to guess how much money our company would have saved and made if we had 20 mb/s broadband over the last 5 years let alone the promised 100 mb/s of the national broadband network.

  301. Mark

    Mancow only did it once for a few seconds. Detainees that we know of were waterboarded over 100 times for who knows how long a session. And that’s only the ones that are known.

    Yet for all that waterboarding very little intelligence was gained.

  302. I like the comment from the ex-wrestler ex-governor ex-Navy seal Jesse Ventura who said:

    You give me a waterboard, Dick Cheney, and one hour, and I’ll have him confessing to the Sharon Tate murders

  303. Adrian,

    Sadly, we’re not much better than a third-world country when it comes to broadband, and I believe the Howard government should shoulder most of the blame.

    However. That completely imaginary 42 b…42 bi…42 bill…very large denominations of dollars… “plan” announced on the spur of the moment to fill some empty air time, is an insult to the intelligence of the Australian voter.

    It will never happen in its ‘proposed’ form, and, depending on their fortunes at the next election or two, nothing even remotely resembling a viable broadband network will happen under a Rudd or Gillard Labor government. And, if my predictions are correct, it will be to Labor’s eternal shame.

  304. Tony

    ROFL at the hesitation to say billions…. that is a great way or reminding everyone of Rudd’s stupid reluctance to say it.

  305. I agree Tony, but at least we will have something much better than we have now, which is more than the previous government was ever going to do.

    As to your predictions, that is just your ideological view coming to the fore. When its all said and done and then there is no viable broadband you can go on all you like, until then you are just shooting in the breeze to put crap on this government.

    One thing Rudd is doing right, and this was put to Howard when Howard started to sell of parts of Telstra but he knocked back, is that communications infrastructure will be publicly owned and leased out to all players at the same price. This is a far better proposition than the current monopoly of Telstra owning just about all the infrastructure (originally built by tax payers money) and the government having to regulate what maximum they charge.

  306. I really hope Miglo’s watching this: Dreamtime at the ‘G’. Wonderful traditional and non-traditional singing and dancing as a prelude to the Richmond-Essendon game. Very moving stuff.

  307. On Ten (or One digital) if anyone’s interested.

  308. joni

    That was yet another mountain made out of a molehill on something Rudd has done. It seems every gesture, flinch, body tic or word he says or doesn’t say is the end of the universe as we know it.

    Rudd didn’t say billion because he wasn’t going to play Tony Jone’s stupid game in answering a stupid question. It was plainly obvious to even the most idiotic viewers that when Rudd said 300 it was referring to billions not hundreds.

    What did Tony Jones gain by getting Rudd to say billion? Ha gotcha, made you say a billion nya nya nya.

  309. Adrian,

    You can add Paul Kelly to Tony Jones’s name on the ever growing list of journalists who are callingout Rudd and his government on their addiction to spin.

  310. Oh this spin thing again. Say it often enough and it may stick. And of course Howard never spun, but I will contend Howard was the absolute master of spin, the consummate pollie.

    The Australian has been going on about Rudd spin from the day he got elected and the opposition just about put it into ever sound bite, with all their mouth pieces going on about it ad nauseam. Stupid thing is that it isn’t working and won’t work, actually backfiring on the opposition.

    And Tony Jones did not go on about Rudd spin, he just attempted stupidly to get Rudd to add the word billion to a number that was blatantly obvious in the billions. It was a stupid attempt by a reporter in one-upmanship over a politician that caused a massive huff by the right wing media way above its importance.

    There are many things the Rudd government should be made to account, but as long as the opposition and their mouth pieces (and it seems you) continue to wallow in this petty crap over spin, words, salutes, pets, his wife and a myriad of other things they have attempted to use as mud to sling at Rudd, then the longer this government will not be held to account for the things that really count and the longer the opposition will remain an opposition.

  311. And Tony Jones did not go on about Rudd spin, he just attempted stupidly to get Rudd to add the word billion to a number that was blatantly obvious in the billions.

    Adrian,

    Spin is as much about what you won’t say, as it is about what you say. You need only ask yourself one question: Why did Mr Rudd refuse to say the word ‘billion’?

  312. “Spin” is something Tony uses when building up his football team.

    Missed the beginning Tony, which is a pity given your decsription of the significant pre-game entertainment. I’m glad you enjoyed and appreciated it.

  313. Spin, young Tigers, spin like the wind.

    Miglo, it was didgeridoo meets hip-hop at the G. Fantastic stuff.

  314. Because it was a stupid question that was obviously being asked to “get one over”. Why do you have to add a suffix to something that is self explanatory to everyone as to what it is without the suffix. Then why give the satisfaction of giving that postfix in a series of stupid questions trying to illicit that self obvious postfix.

    Answer this please. What did Rudd gain by not adding the word billion to something that was so obviously in the billions and nobody could mistake it for being anything else but billion? Just how is that spin?

    How about Hockey refusing to put a figure on what their deficit would be after their budget reply, and on constant forcing by the interviewer he answered half, about half, and the interviewer still asked for an actual figure. Was Hockey spinning by not giving the answer the reporter was fishing for?

  315. Was Hockey spinning by not giving the answer the reporter was fishing for?

    Sure he was. Now will you admit that’s what Rudd and co are doing?

  316. Adrian, much as I hate to say it, Tony is right about the whole “can’t say the word billion” thing. Rudd is obviously doing it to prevent the inevitable sound-bite the Liberals will play at the next election. Although, iIn doing so, he has created a bigger issue (one I think will play better to an older electorate already cynical about politicians). The line would be something like “A government that cannot even acknowledge the debt they burdened your children with.”

    However, regardless of how justified his reasons, refusing to say the words “three hundred billion” in a single sentence is spin. Denying it or (worse) trying to change the subject to Howard’s years of spin makes you just as disingenuous as the right-wingers claiming the GFC was on “Labour’s watch” and hence their fault.

    I simply acknowledge it is spin, regardless of the political reasons for it, and get on with more important subjects 🙂

  317. Sparta, there is no ducking this one pal. It’s time to put up or shut up.

    Do you have the courage of your noisy convictions?

    Or are you just another septic blowhard?

    The Republicans are facing political death because Cheney, Bush and their neo con extremist pals alienated women, people of colour and hispanics with fascist political behaviour, lack of accountability and the abusive blustering you seem to specialise in.

    How do you plead?

  318. Yesterday American shock jock WLS radio Erich “Mancow” Muller decided to subject himself to the controversial practice of waterboarding live on his show.

    Yes, indeed. I posted a link to a blog post about this earlier. The blogger makes a point that never seems to get through to a lot of apologists (my emphasis):

    …it’s common to hear torture apologists insist that waterboarding is “no big deal.” This is not only absurd, it defies common sense: if this wasn’t torture, we wouldn’t have done it. The whole point is to do something so horrific that the detainee would feel compelled to give up information. If it were merely a “splash in the face,”…why would Bush administration officials think it might be effective?

    The NBC story has video clips of the waterboarding and his reaction afterwards. You’ll note in the first clip that unlike what is reported about hostile interrogations, his upper body is not tied down and he’s free to sit up when he wants to.

    I note that Sean Hannity has thus far not fulfilled his on-air promise to be waterboarded. Anyone want to bet on him going through with it? I’ll take the other side…

    Maybe, since his courage has been conspicuously lacking thus far, he can try something “lighter” instead – a nice little program of “sleep deprivation”, “environmental manipulation”, a bit of “walling” from people who don’t appear particularly fond of him, and the like. I figure if that sort of treatment is so unobjectionable he should be able to stand it for a week or two, no?

  319. Interesting videos, Lotharsson.

    Pretty much the same result as the Hitchens Vanity Fair article. In fact, all those from the media who have been waterboarded – Mancow and Hitchens – call it torture.

    Obama calls it torture.

    The law hasn’t specifically called it torture.

    Pelosi calls it torture, although there is some evidence that she didn’t object to its use after 9/11.

    Cheney doesn’t call it torture, and he claims valuable intelligence was obtained through its use. Further, he claims there are memos that will show its effectiveness in doing so.

    Is that about the current state of play?

  320. Lotharsson, on May 23rd, 2009 at 10:02 pm Said:

    Indeed! Perhaps Sparta will also ‘volunteer’?

  321. Tony perhaps?

  322. No N5, not tonight. I’ve just had my fill of torture watching Richmond throw away another winnable game.

  323. Tony, on May 23rd, 2009 at 10:47 pm Said:

    not tonight. I’ve just had my fill of torture watching Richmond throw away

    Tony, you clearly get the ‘torture’ bit.

  324. Tony, on May 23rd, 2009 at 10:33 pm

    Why Cheney is an idiot. Take the video player, waterboard it, subject it to freezing and heating, starve it of electricity, throw it into walls, run someone else’s videos through it a few hundred times while doing so, then see what ‘valuable information’ it spits out at the end. 😉

  325. Very droll Legion. (I think.)

  326. Tony,

    I reckon there are two uses of the word “torture” here, and the waterboarding apologists are taking full advantage to muddy the waters.

    There’s the colloquial usage of the term “torture” – i.e. as in “horrific treatment” and the like. I’d say Mancow and Hitchens are referring to this term when they talk about their waterboarding experience. It’s likely that John McCain, and that FBI agent on TV a few weeks ago, and others who have been waterboarded at hostile hands were all using the same sense of the term too.

    There is 100+ years of US legal precedent calling waterboarding and variations of the same “torture”. Then there is the specific language of the Convention Against Torture (“CAT”) which provides a definition (“severe pain or suffering, whether mental or physical…” with further qualifications e.g. performed by an official, for various purposes. These purposes are what exclude SERE training from being torture under the CAT.)

    The US law and the CAT hasn’t specifically called this technique torture, presumably because no-one thought at the time that anyone would seriously argue that waterboarding did not fall under those definitions, as it was almost universally condemned at the time as torture. Also a generic definition of what is torture provides better coverage, because people are deviously creative and would work around any specific listing of techniques. Reagan’s administration was involved in creating the CAT, and presumably knew the legal history of waterboarding and the term “torture” full well.

    I note that death threats are clearly prohibited under various laws (including the CAT according to legal precedent, IIRC). To my mind it would be a bold attorney who tried to argue that inducing drowning in a victim was not experienced as a death threat by the body and most of the brain (see, e.g., exhibit A – Mancow video 2).

    More to come…

  327. The Pelosi kerfuffle is a trivia sideshow the Republicans are using to try and head off investigations. The key insight is that if Pelosi is culpable in any way here, then those who designed and implemented the program are way more culpable and hence investigations should begin immediately with prosecutions to follow.

    I haven’t seen anything saying Pelosi objected to being told it might be used, but it seems clear she wasn’t told it had been used until after she no longer had responsibility in that area. FWIW, a number of others (both in Congress, the administration, “other government agencies” and the military) certainly did object – some most strenuously – but were brushed aside. And it’s pretty certain that the CIA did not fulfill its briefing requirements to Congress, and that its records on the matter are rather untrustworthy.

    More on the way…

  328. Cheney claims it’s not torture, and some people assume he means this in a legal sense, but I haven’t seen any evidence proffered to support this assertion.

    Cheney asserts valuable intelligence was obtained. This is probably a gross exaggeration at best. Wilkerson (and IIRC perhaps others) says he’s seen most if not all of the relevant intelligence – including the _specific_ memos Cheney claims support him – and the claim is not supported. Without more investigation this is hard to adjudicate.

    But Cheney is deliberately framing the debate the wrong way. As other military personnel have pointed out, the right question is not “did we get valuable intelligence”, but (depending on your point of view) “who are we – i.e. what values do we live by”, or more narrowly “did we get valuable intelligence that we couldn’t have got any other way, AND what did it cost us this way AND was the cost worth it?” The professionals who have weighed in on the latter questions – including some who Cheney and others are selectively quoting to imply support their position – say clearly no.

    Cheney has also been arguing that it was used for thwarting imminent attacks on the US. This has been shown to be a rather questionable claim on several grounds.
    (a) They apparently started talking to KSM by asking about Al-Qaeda and Iraq. BTW, they didn’t start waterboarding KSM until some time later. He had been providing information, but stopped cooperating at that point.
    (b) Any technique that takes 183 applications over a month of more is bloody useless at thwarting imminent attack
    (c) It is reported that waterboarding was specifically used to try and get victims to say that Al-Qaeda had cooperated with Iraq (after the invasion).

  329. [Forgot to remind everyone to keep on scrolling if they’re not interested…sorry.]

    A final big issue is that apologists are using the debate over “whether it’s torture” (in a legal sense) to deflect from whether its _legal_ at all. They REALLY don’t want to talk about whether it’s “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” which is clearly prohibited by several different laws and signed treaties (including the CAT), as well as the US Constitution, and is a lower bar than the CAT’s torture definition.

    There are assertions that _certain_ of these legal instruments do not prevent such treatment being meted out to “insurgents” or “enemy combatants”, but
    (a) damned if I can find where those exceptions are spelled out – those terms don’t seem to make an appearance in most of the legal instruments. There are similar terms (e.g “unlawful combatant” in the Geneva Conventions), but no-one has yet shown me how these provide the exceptions that are claimed by the apologists. One of the infamous Bybee memos was castigated by many lawyers because it did such a bad job of arguing how certain laws relating to these terms don’t apply…
    (b) it seems rather unlikely that ALL of the relevant legal instruments which prohibit abusive treatment of detainees have exceptions for the same set of people.

    Normal service will now be resumed.

  330. very nice comments, Lotharsson.

    As the lover of nuts I am, would you object if I again tried to put this all in a nutshell?

    Many – most – objective observers call waterboarding torture. (I, myself, am leaning that way.)

    The one unanswered question, as I see it, is: Is torture ever justified?

    As a purely philosophical discussion: Can you conceive of any event where torture might be the least-worst alternative?

  331. [Scroll on by…]

    A Dutchman calls out as pussies those pushing the “don’t bring Guantanamo detainees to the mainland – they’re too dangerous” line by comparing to the Dutch experience. He’s got a point.

  332. Tony, that’s not a bad nutshell. You may have noticed that I find it hard to be that succinct 😉

    I wrote a bunch of stuff, but in the end this post says it better than I did. I’m in essential agreement with pretty much all of it.

    No sentence should end with the words, “therefore, torture is wrong.” Rather, it should read, “Torture is wrong; therefore…” The purpose of this post is to explain why.

  333. Just watching Insiders on Singapore TV and it seems that Tony Abbott key phrase this week was “fair dinkum”. Lucky we were not playing the drinking game…. we’d all be drunk before midday.

  334. Joni,

    That would be because it’s the new “word” they’ve been told to parrot by the Liberal party spin doctors.

    During the week, Talculm’s been telling everyone and anyone that’s prepared to listen that the Government’s not being “dinkum” about the budget.

    FFS.

    Oh, and interesting stat I read in yesterday’s Age was that the Budget Deficit blew out to some $400 billion dollars under Peter Costello…

  335. Tony, on May 23rd, 2009 at 11:32 pm Said:

    As a purely philosophical discussion: Can you conceive of any event where torture might be the least-worst alternative?

    No Tony.

    99% of all torture carried out is for political reasons as a means of prepression, and utilised mostly by authoritarian regimes. The US has been implicit here as well (Sister Ortiz, The Blindfolds Eyes as just one example).

    Of the torture that is claimed to be used for the gathering of vital intelligence or information, the most common reasoning given is the “the ticking time bomb” scenario, or the variation on that of “save the kidnapped and buried child whose time is running out.”

    They are false hypotheticals as the torturers themselves have testified. In a significant majority of cases the person being tortured will say anything and mostly what they think the torturers want to hear, which will be anything but what the real information required is. It is normal for those being tortured to fixate on one or two plausible sounding responses and just repeat them over and over. If there were a ticking time bomb or a kidnap victim running out of air then in most cases the person being tortured would send the authorities off on a wild goose chase, which would waste the time needed to save the situation. This also has the effect (and has happened) of taking valuable resources away from real intelligence and investigation as the story given under duress is checked out.

    This is why the US waterboarded those in Gitmo hundreds of times, getting a story, checking it out, finding it lacking or false and then waterboarding again in an attempt to get more accurate information (if those being tortured had anything that is). This is resource intensive and very time consuming putting paid to the ticking time bomb scenario.

    So I guess the answer is no, there are no circumstances in which torture is warranted, unless I suppose if you are a dictator attempting to crush all opposition, then torture is very effective as a political tool to subjugate and cower your people and opposition.

  336. Drat. Have been on deadline for the past two days and missed a lot of important Blogocrats moments, going by the many interesting posts on this week’s Frolykz.

    Sparta’s disappointing failure to respond is an implicit admission that he is guilty as charged, Lotharsson and Mark.

  337. Tony, on May 23rd, 2009 at 11:32 pm Said:

    As a purely philosophical discussion: Can you conceive of any event where torture might be the least-worst alternative?

    Agree. I can think of any number of particular situations where I would would use ‘extreme methods’ (torture?) to ‘correct’, ‘right’ or ‘prevent’ an impending ‘catastrophe’ Loved one under immediate threat and the like is perhaps the best emotional example.

    BUT to legitimise torture as a policy (generalised in definitional terms) and put the implementation in the hands of a relatively disinterested third party is somewhat problematic.

    While a particular and peculiar ‘situation’ might demand it, a ‘policy’ of torture is simply wrong and bad.

  338. And for those who want the ‘latest’, try this link.

    http://www.slate.com/id/2218762/

  339. Nature 5, I imagine many people would consider torture when they felt a loved one was under immediate threat. The professional interrogators generally would not. I’ve posted the link before to Matthew Alexander, who extracted much useful information out of some of the Al Qaeda members, talking about the hypothetical of a ticking bomb on a bus – with his mother on board. He says he would use traditional methods in this case – because they’re more effective, ESPECIALLY when time is of the essence.

    I suspect the disconnect that drives some public opinion towards torture here is that
    (a) most of us aren’t professional interrogators
    (b) therefore we would probably not consider traditional interrogation more effective when presented with ticking time bombs by torture proponents
    (c) we tend to assume what we would choose in a personal example is the best course of action in a “national security” example.

    The trouble is “national security” concerns CAN be responded to by professional interrogators. Also, unlike the personal example – which has one and only one time-limited incident to worry about, with few concerns about “blowback” from the course of action we choose – the national security actions are part of an ongoing series of issues and the choices we make in any one of them can affect the nature, frequency and intensity of future issues…

  340. Lotharsson, on May 24th, 2009 at 11:01 pm Said:

    To make my position crystal clear, I am not advocating ‘torture’ (regardless of definition) as a ‘policy’ which I believe to be abhorrent but simply as a response to Tony’s hypothesis.

    ‘Torture’ as a policy position is not only unethical but ineffective in my opinion.

  341. My recent rant about the growing concerns of housing and its affordability is starting to gain traction

    Six-fold jump in homeless families shows global crisis
    http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/story/0,22049,25532763-5001030,00.html
    The Rudd Government says it’s spending billions to repair and build new public housing but it’s not happening fast enough to help the growing number of victims of the global downturn.

    More than 1800 people are waiting for public housing in Blacktown alone.

    Local politicians are talking about the need to open army bases to house these homeless families.

    With private rents still unaffordable even for those with a job, some stop-gap measures are needed to give these homeless families some dignity until the economy turns around.

  342. The Church of Scientology is to be tried in a French Court on Fraud charges:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8066743.stm

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