Monday, June 30, 2003

I have moved house to the Gold Coast. I have completed end-of-semester exams. I am on holidays. I have access to the internet so very limited for the next two weeks, that blogging will unfortunately not be a part of my agenda. I should have mentioned this before, but I didn't. Oops?

Sunday, June 22, 2003

So, the accused Bali bombers are going to appeal the court case.

As the official lawyer for Mukhlas, Mr Michdan also said the Bali bombings' field commander had been tortured, as his younger brother Amrozi bin Nurahsyim had claimed in court on Thursday.

So it's like, "HEY! I don't deserve to be heavily punished! Sure, I may have killed 202 innocent people because I hate their culture, but the police tortured me!" It's an argument that may redeem them of life imprisonment. I mean, if I was the judge and I heard that, I'd save the guards and prison system the hassle, and just whip out my revolver and shoot them right there. It's probably the best they can hope for.

Saturday, June 21, 2003

It's fisking time!

Adbusters sure does make me angry. They have this article on their website entitled "Early Signs of Fascism".

It's like a Q&A between one dumpus and another. The interviewer being some moron called James MacKinnon. The interviewee is Richard Falk. He somehow managed to become a visiting professor of global studies at the University of California, and a professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University.

Anyway, on with the show...

Q. Why did you decide to bring the word "fascism" into the debate about American empire?
I felt there was a new global political development that needed to be named, and I began thinking in the context of what I call "global fascism," which is something different from the traditional forms of fascism that have existed. The effect of that was to suggest that resistance to this new global development in the United States poses a second kind of danger that is more in keeping with traditional understandings of fascism.

So you're saying that it was an objective decision? I'll keep that in mind.

Q. Can you tell us your definition of traditional fascism?
Yes: the convergence of military and economic power on behalf of an ultranationalist ideology that views its enemies - internally and externally - as evil and subject to extermination or extreme punishment.

Well, yes. Even I knew that and I'm apparently a fascist. I love these wild accusations I get!

Q. Is the US the only player?
No, it's not the only player, though it's certainly the dominant player. It's setting the rules for the other players. You've noticed in recent days that there's been a kind of reward given to those that lined up behind the war against Iraq - visits to the White House honoring and giving prestige to these countries in Eastern Europe, and to Spain and Australia, and the marked avoidance of the countries that didn't cooperate. It's a kind of geopolitical disciplining, an attempt to impose costs and benefits for following this path of global regulation and order.

Well Christ, what the hell do you do to the people who don't support you? Do you give them milk and cookies and forgive them for stabbing you in the back? Do you not want to reward those who assist you in your quests? Freak.

Q. What should we be looking for as an early warning of a slide toward fascism?
A disillusionment with representative democracy as a path to change. For example, if the Democratic Party in the United States doesn't elect a candidate who will challenge these policies, I think it would lead an increasing number of people to become disenchanted with normal politics and be more inclined to feel that the only way change can come about is by more extreme political tactics, which in turn would lead the government to feel justified in expanding its powers of control over the citizenry.

You might as well have said the election of a right-wing government, no matter how benevolent, is an "early warning of a slide toward fascism". It's a very common assumption amongst you people. Elect-A-Crat™ is running well in the U.S. Obviously it hasn't smacked this guy that Bush is popular amongst the American people. Hell, I don't even live in the country and I know that.

Q. What relationship do you see between the economic globalization of the past decade and this emerging possibility of global fascism?
Well, I think there is some linkage between the two. Economic globalization did create this sense of an integrated global order, and that this degree of integration could be achieved by economic means. What has changed - partly through the change in leadership in the United States, and accelerated by the response to September 11 - is that the trend towards integration and control has been decisively militarized and ideologized.

Okay, so America isn't allowed to retaliate in any way after being attacked in an act of cowardly aggression by a bunch of religious fenatics who are glued to the middle ages? If you look past your relentless (and often illogical) anti-corporate social libertarianism, you may realise that America's military actions don't have much at all to with money. America has had this "jihad" crap thrown at it for years now, and it's finally doing something about it. It suffered one devestating attack, and if we don't incapacitate these bleating fools who would celebrate in the street if it happened again, America will again be under attack. Not "possibly", but "will". It's one or the other. I'd bet quite a large amount of money that the people you're trying to appease (i.e. everyone against America), would be more fascist than America itself. Idiot.

Q. In some respects, the new militarization seems to be a reaction against globalization.
That was always part of the debate - how multilateral globalization was. Part of the debate was also whether the nation-states - including the most powerful countries - were themselves losing their freedom to maneuver to these market forces, and that the source of power was more in the world economic forum and in the financial markets than in the capital cities of the nation-states. Now there's a new ascendency of the security agenda, which means that the state has revived its control over politics.

Oh God, here we go. So apparently the governments of any developed country were in the hands of Greedy Corporate Sickos™ until an emphasis on national security came up. Also, I thought you were opposed to too much governmental control? Isn't that fascism?

Q. Is the language being used by the current American leadership consistent with historical fascism? In many ways, the language is very careful. No one today has the bluntness of a Hitler or a Mussolini.
I think the discourse of terrorism is very much the kind of language that seeks to validate extreme forms of violence and a war mentality, and it is reinforced by this ultranational sentiment. The language has shifted in Orwellian directions, where the search for peace becomes perpetual war. At the same time, it is important to acknowledge that if this fascist threat exists, it exists in a distinctive form both in the United States and in the world, and that it is conditioned by the American political culture - which is resistant to the language of fascism. Certainly the people who are the architects of these policies would reject my analysis, and probably sincerely so. They think they're doing something else: it will all be done in the name of democratization. It's a very deceptive and confusing style of political domination, because it pretends to be the opposite of what it is.

Um, so, in other words, you're just trying to cover your ass so people who disagree with you are automatically fascist supporters of evil Bush? Right.

There is an ambiguity, because this is a concealed fascism that is occurring within the framework of a constitutional democracy. There is still at least the formal possibility that change can come about through the normal forms of political opposition. It doesn't seem likely at the moment, but it can't be ruled out. My whole argument is in a sense a preventive one, because I'm not suggesting that this kind of fascism currently exists, only that the trends and the policies suggest the importance of preventing it from existing.

So preventive arguments are okay to prevent you from the fascism that you're opposed to, but preventive decisions to disarm and incapacitate terrorist groups or terrorist-supporting nations is wrong? Fool. Furthermore, didn't you say that this kind of fascism does exist? Or was it just heavily implied? You know, like "it's there, but I'm not suggesting that it actually is!"

Q. Do you consider what you're seeing to be a less frightening form of fascism than we've seen in the past 100 years?
Well, it's hard to compare. For instance, Spanish-Franco and Portuguese-Salazar forms of fascism were less terrifying in their effects than Nazism. Today, the special concern is associated partly with the stakes being raised much higher by the weapons of mass destruction. The technology of violence has become much worse, so that if this form of fascism was to result in a major confrontation, it could lead to worse forms of warfare than were experienced in the 20th century. The other concern is that it is global in scope, which has never existed before, and which one needs to understand was a part of the structure prior to the Bush administration and prior to September 11. The whole effort of the US to militarize space and to establish a system of military bases around the world, with no strategic enemy, and its unwillingness to even consider nuclear disarmament - all of those factors do indicate the presence of a kind of global-dominance project.

What, so just because it's there means that the US is going to use it against "no strategic enemy"? Just because the US has nukes, does it mean they're going to use them against "no strategic enemy"? Has the US ever nuked a non-strategic enemy? Furthermore, your argument is implying that you'd prefer these weapons of mass destruction in the hands of anybody other than the US (read: people who are against the US). Here's a free tip: The US won't need any kind of weapons if they know that everybody opposing them doesn't have them either. I guess that wouldn't have occurred to you.

Q. If we are confronting fascism, what do we know from history about resisting it?
It's difficult. (Laughter.) It's very difficult, because the methods and the mentality of those who are controlling and developing this kind of politics of domination are such that they have no willingness to accommodate their adversaries. So there's no room for politics, in a way. And that makes it . . . it almost certainly drives the conflict toward a collision of extremes.

Ending fascism with fascism? Or ending fascism with anarchy? Would you accomodate for your adversaries? If you were in power, and there was what you'd consider a fascist movement on the rise, would you accomodate for them? Really? Didn't think so.

Anyway, my point is that Adbusters sucks and I hate them.

Since I'm busy, I'll post some links. Links are cool.

The hilariously ... er... hilarious Frank J. has a theme song which I didn't know about. Until recently, anyway. I was almost going to steal it and call it my own, but then I realised that simply linking to him and telling you to replace every instance of "Frank J." with "Marty K." works better by suiting my laziness.

John Hawkins' whole site is generally awesome, mainly because I say so. Go! Any editorial he does is most certainly worth a read.

I think more TV channels could quite possibly make me more lazy. And I'd also hold more contempt for those with Pay TV, because I can't afford it on a lousy student income.

Thursday, June 19, 2003

Blogger has been a bitch for most of the night by not letting me post. That's probably a good thing though, because I have a lot of study to do in preperation for my Financial Accounting exam on Monday; my Microeconomics exam on Tuesday; and finally, my Marketing exam on Wednesday. Busy busy busy. To top things off, I'm moving house later on in the week. I will cease to be a resident of Brisbane. Instead, I'll be a resident of the Gold Coast. Who commutes to Brisbane every day. Fun.

But enough about me. I'm going to call Bob Brown a moron just to add some political flavour to this otherwise pointless post.

Oh, and I think I'll tell my girl-crazy 13 year old brother to move to New Zealand.

I'm living in inner-city Brisbane and I still have bats fighting each other in the trees outside my window. I need a shotgun. Shoot first, ask questions later!

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

I have to point out this quote to anybody who'd prefer Simon Crean (or any other lefty) for leadership for this country:

"We contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle" -- Winston Churchill

The other quotes there are also good. Even if there are only four other ones. Whatever.

A few things of note:

(1) Lack of blogging (or very, very irregular blogging) is occurring because it is nearing the end of semester for university. That means exams. So I'm devoting my time to study, because my old man isn't putting me through university for me to fail.

(2) Simon Crean won the leadership battle of the ALP. It's a good thing from my standpoint because with his public approval rating as PM threatening to plunge into single percentage figures, what's not to like about him from my comfy right-wing seat? The Labor Party is in enough turmoil at the moment (perhaps moreso if Peter Costello's prophecy [last paragraph] comes true), so they shouldn't be a hassle for a little while. The Democrats imploded last year, and so they lack any kind of public credibility. The only idiot party left to destroy is the Greens. I really don't know how Bob Brown manages to retain so much respect amongst the community. He is so far off the planet and lacking of any kind of common sense that if he (or somebody like him) had any kind of influential power, I'd be very scared. Next objective: Destroy the Australian Greens.

(3) I'm considering buying a .com website, and moving from Blogger to Movable Type. Watch this space.

Friday, June 13, 2003

Hire-a-Killer - For all your murdering needs!

University assignments are out of the road! That makes me happy!

I'm feeling a bit pissed off for no real reason. That makes me not as happy as I otherwise would be. Maybe I should find something or someone to hurl irrational abuse at, because that usually makes me feel better.

Maybe I should just watch Israel blow the crap out of Hamas.

The latest attack targeting Yasser Taha, a leader of Hamas's military wing, the Ezzedin al-Qassam Brigades, came just hours after Israeli public radio announced the army's intention to "completely wipe out" the hardline group.

Finally, at least one of these moronic terror groups is going to be wiped out completely. I even like the terminology used! "Wiping something out", or "completely annhilating it" is always more satisfying than merely "doing away with it". I hope Israel manages to live up to their intentions. These stupid extremists really do make me feel kind of genocidal. For some reason.

It's late and I'm tired. Over and OUT!

I feel compelled to put a link to Popdex Citations on my front page. Or maybe just Popdex in general.

Wednesday, June 11, 2003

I'd been away for the long weekend, as you may or may not have noticed. I like to surprise my readers! Anyway, I'm back now.

And watch out because I'm now running 5th in the Google standings for my own name. Yeah, that's right. 5th. How lame.

Tuesday, June 03, 2003

Here we go:

FRENCH President Jacques Chirac has cancelled an official visit to Australia planned for July.

That means I don't have to pretend to be nice to the French? Cool!

Monday, June 02, 2003

If you ever have any doubts about your own driving, bear in mind that there are drivers who are worse than you***:

A WOMAN was allegedly involved in six accidents during a 20-minute joyride through Melbourne's inner suburbs.

Police have charged a 23-year-old South Melbourne woman with about 20 counts, including theft of a motor car and several traffic offences, Senior Constable David Gamble said today.

At first I thought she couldn't have had a licence, but the article makes no mention of her driving without one, so I'm guessing she actually did have a licence.

*** Providing that you haven't bumped into as many cars as this woman did in the same time period.

Idiot-watch: Apparently economists can't perform basic mathematical functions. Well, the radical left-wing publication Adbusters doesn't think they can anyway:

The next time you're on campus, pay a visit to your resident economists and take along a few reminders. Download and print out a couple posters, tack them to their doors and post them on their bulletin boards.

I'm confused. They're telling their readers to question everything around them, and yet the publication provides very tiny articles like that. I have one question for them, regarding this article:


It's about time they remembered that smog, disease, obesity, toxic waste (the list goes on) are not measures of our progress.

Evidently a much higher standard of living, higher levels of overall health, groundbreaking technological advancements and ultimately, freedom of the press to sprout this kind of garbage aren't measures of our economic progress either.

So, George W. Bush and some whinging, whining, reheated souflé of a poor man's excuse for an empty-headed, skunk of a dirty little prat (who else but French president Jacques Chirac), managed to reach a "shaky truce".

They will today hold their first one-on-one talks since relations soured over the US-led invasion of Iraq when France spearheaded the anti-war camp.

I wonder if the meeting will be anything like the meeting Frank J. envisaged. For example:

Use object(s) in the room around you. This doesn't just mean to pick up those objects and break them over Chirac, put to also use Chriac's head to break objects that are too big to pick up.

Seriously, if you look at the picture on the article from news.com.au, you can plainly see that Bush and Chirac are always going to be at each others throats. If I was a betting man, I'd be putting money on Dubya to come out victorious. Dennis Leary sums up why, in his song "Asshole":

... there ain't a goddamn thing anybody can do about it, you know why? Because we got the bombs, that's why. Two words - nuclear f*ckin' weapons, okay? Russia, Germany, [France,] Romania, they can have all the democracy they want; they can have a big democracy cakewalk right through Tienamen Square and it won't make a lick of difference, because we got the bombs...

So... I'm taking on bets! Odds are favouring George Dubya Bush! The Texan who can flex 'em! Come on, baby!