Parental Advisory: Frequent use of the word ‘bl*g’ in this post.
Dan Tobin complained last week about the quality of blogs Blogger has been choosing for “Blogs of Note”. I thought the most recent “Blog of Note” was kind of funny, until I reached the bottom of the page and saw:
TM & Copyright © 2004 by PARAMOUNT PICTURES CORPORATION and DREAMWORKS LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Should what is essentially a professional blog and probably part of a corporation’s advertising department be considered for Blogs of Note? I don’t think so.
The gist of the story: if someone steals your passport and enters the country before you do, their fingerprints are matched to your passport as first time entry into the database. Effectively they’ve stolen your identity and, who knows, maybe you’ll find yourself one of a million people no longer welcome in the US.
But they said there were procedures to rectify such a situation. Right, beauraucratic procedures. I’m sure the speed with which it’s resolved will make you feel like you’re white-water rafting.
I’ll be using my US passport next time.
The new school year, postponed by a month already, starts Saturday in Iraq. There are obvious fears about what may or may not happen in terms of violence. The Beslan school siege in Russia started on the first day of the school year, but I can’t imagine insurgents being so stupid as to attack Iraqi children… who knows.
Brief tangent – I wonder how THEY think of themselves? Insurgents, jihadis, terrorists, freedom fighters, revolutionaries? [Update: ‘resistance fighters’ has been mentioned]
And back to the post at hand. Some parents are understandably going to continue to keep their kids out of school so as not to risk their lives. Hopefully that doesn’t last more than a few months or a year. A generation of uneducated Iraqi youth would, I suspect, suit the fundamentalists quite nicely. Ali Hussain Mohamed is concerned, but will be sending his two young kids. Hopefully Mohamed’s assessment is accurate, because better education for the children of Iraq is a great success story.
“Their education already improved last year because teachers received higher salaries,” he says. “There were fewer bribes and teachers were able to focus more on teaching.”
The story says ‘A primary school teacher who made 3,000 dinars a month before the war now makes 240,000 – about $165.’ I doubt every teacher has seen that money, but hopefully it is making a positive difference.
The following is the closest reason I see for fundamentalists to target schools:
“The new atmosphere in our schools can be seen in the reform of religion classes,” says Majeed al-Alaq, director general of education for the Education Ministry. “Before there was only mention of Islam, but now these classes include learning respect for other religions.”
It seems an odd statement. I could have sworn Saddam was, if not anti-Muslim, firmly secular in his outlook. The cynic in me could at least conceive the fundamentalists seeing this as US (Christian) conquest of the classrooms. Saddam’s Vice Minister Tariq Aziz was a Christian, so you’d think there was some sort of plurality of religion. Apparently not, a quick search reveals Christians under Saddam suffered persecution along with everyone else. Anyway…
Whether you’re mowing the lawn, washing your car, watching football, lying on the beach or clipping your toenails this Saturday, say a prayer – or if you’re not the praying type, just spare a thought – for the kids on their way to school in Iraq.
In some US states Democrat voter registration has risen 250% compared to the same time in the 2000 election. So what does the Republican senator of Ohio do? Gets scared and suppresses thousands of new voter registrations because they are printed in the wrong card stock! Daily Kos also shows the relevant section of the 1971 Federal Voting Rights Act. As the Republicans have kindly taught us in the past, it’s not breaking the law if an election is on the line!
Look at the web address of this site, a scary mirror of my blog? What is going on? Dan, sitting next to me in the library as I blog this, utilised his crap typing skills to come up with that one. Thanks mate.
MI6 spies exposed by Balkan rivals, Croatia and Serbia.
Not even so much rivals, but disgruntled members of the intelligence agencies they were supposed to be working with, outed them to local media.
In the case of Mr Monckton, his photograph was published on the cover of Serbian magazine Nedelnji Telegraf, with a copy of his business card.
The week after that, Nacional magazine in Zagreb published a story…including a cover that featured a mock-up of Mr Sanader…in a tuxedo posing as James Bond.
In Sarajevo, the exposure of British intelligence officers was carried out using the pages of Slobodna Bosna magazine
That’s pretty low.
Salam Pax returns.
Sinead O’Connor has taken out a full page, 2,000-word advertisement in the Irish Examiner newspaper, complaining about how she’s ridiculed by the media. I’d really like to know if she actually wrote “ye”, as the Vancouver Sun says – “If ye all think I am such a crazy person why do ye use me to sell your papers?” Ye?
Irish Examiner here I come.
Update: She must have used that language, although yet to find the actual ad. The Guardian says she was sick of being called a “crazy bitch”, but then quotes her saying, “Untie me please and wash me down I ask ye.” Again with the ye. This was perhaps not the best way to convince people you’re not losing it.
Update 2: Alright, found the full text of her ad, and yes, she really said ‘ye’. Ye.
There’s just too much stuff going on. Here’s a few tidbits I found interesting. I interviewed a friend who’s standing for the Family First Party (FF), a relatively new political group looking to get some senate seats and influence in the October 9 election. The media says FF are backed by the AOG (pentecostal) church, FF are trying to distance themselves from that, the Greens are calling them extreme right wing… and now they’ve gone and given their preferences to the Liberals. A not very level-headed assessment of the party’s motives can be read at the Daily Flute, but there’s an anonymous comment to one post that seems incredibly well-informed, and if true does make me start to question how much influence the AOG does have over the party.
Family First is standing 23 candidates for lower house seats in NSW. Eleven of those candidates come from one Church alone.
Of these eleven lower house candidates, only one lives in the electorate he is standing for.
So the fair question is, what are their motivations to stand for an electorate they have no connection to? I’m not so keen on voting for the AOG…sorry AOG’ers.
On to other news.
Greg Sheridan writes in The Weekend Australian today about Iran being next on the hit-list.
Iran is at the centre of a vortex of evil and dangerous linkages that spell strategic crisis for Washington.
I suspect they’d like some sort of effective deterrant against would be invaders. I’m not defending their possible pursuit of nuclear weaponry, but to call them the ‘centre of a vortex of evil’ is a bit much. He also says strikes against suspected nuclear development sites are being considered, both by Israel and the US.
The better option [Ed. as opposed to strikes] is for the UN to act decisively, with comprehensive sanctions if necessary.
Alright, well I think we can all agree sanctions – while being more destructive to Iraqi civlians than Saddam – and UN weapons inspectors did, indeed, help in some way end Iraq’s capacity to produce WMDs, it didn’t stop the US invading them did it? And the likelihood of the UN acting decisively and comprehensively, let alone swiftly, is duly recognised as nil.
Iran also calls Israel the “single greatest threat to regional and global peace and security”. Not surprising after Israel just bought 5,000 smart bombs from the US. Iran says they will react “most severely” if Israel attacks Iran in any way. Not unforeseeable, given Israel’s bombing of a nuclear facility in Iraq in 1981.
Related, Syria began pulling troops out of Lebanon on Thursday. They have 17,000 there, and have said 3,000 will leave by the time the move is completed, but “Lebanon’s defense minister has said that Syria will pull out all its troops only when the Arab-Israeli conflict ends”. Ohhhhh, you mean after Armageddon? Grand.
Speaking of Grand. It’s Grand Final day today in the AFL (Australian Rules Football). The mighty Brisbane Lions are going for their fourth straight premiership and are about to kick off. C’arn the Lions!! See you all.
[Update: The not-so-mighty Brisbane Lions played a terrible game. Mal Michael probably had the best game of them all, and said it well: “A lot of our players showed a lack of respect for their players and those players cut us to ribbons.” Coach Leigh Matthews said, “it may be the last time you see the team in a grand final in your lifetime.” Definitely, if that’s how they continue to play. Amateurish.]
Both assignments not handed in on time. Trying to pump out three news stories to avoid failing Advanced Print Journalism.
I have two assignments due this week. So I’m procrastinating at the moment – blogging and blog-reading.
Since you want to, you could probably write one of these assignments for me. It’s for Journalism Ethics, as put up by the Australian Press Council for their yearly essay prize.
Ah yes, yesterday I bought the CD I’ve been wanting for 7 months now. I pay for music rarely, so this is a mentionable moment. It’s Skeewiff’s Cruise Control. Very funk. I wish I knew how to get it to somehow autoplay on here… Oh yeah, listening to it again now. Follow this link to listen to eight samples from the album. I may have to get their first album now.
Update: You can now listen by pressing play on the left. No autoplay, I won’t impose. This is directly from the tunes.co.uk site linked above…. It’s free there, so hopefully there’s no problems linking it here…? Any further assistance on how to make a midi so I can realistically store and play it from my own provider would be gratefully accepted.
Serb Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica at a convention about corruption in the Serbian judicial system said it was seen, internationally, as corrupt, ineffective and slow-moving. So what did he do? Said criteria to appoint judges would be made more stringent in order to fight corruption within the judicial system..
Criteria stepped-up for judges
Yet only the day before he argued the four former police and army generals wanted by the UN war crimes tribunal should be tried in Serbian courts, not sent to the Hague. Last line?
Kostunica claims that pro-democracy reforms, launched in Serbia after Milosevic’s ouster in 2000, have brought competence and integrity to Serbian courts.
Corruption, competence and integrity….they’re pretty much the same thing right? Idiot.
I had comment. I decided to just present.
Probably about as entertaining as the movie too, but it’s worth a no-effort post. Thanks to Tricia for the link. I haven’t seen Battlestar Galactica, I just like to spout ignorance as truth.
What Is Your Battle Cry?
This is mine (I believe poor grammar is a hindrance when entering battle):
Who is that, skulking over the tarmac! It is Dave, hands clutching buzzsaw hand extensions! And with a cruel scream, his voice cometh:
“I’m going to pummel you into a fine spicy powder!!!”
I’m off, with my buzzsaw hand extensions, to get coolant and a printer cartridge. Any less-than-helpful store assistants shall be pummelled into a fine, spicy powder. Life just got interesting.