24th March  2004


In central Hollywood, which (to this untutored Australian tourist) is where Highland Avenue intersects Hollywood Boulevarde, (Angelinos would say, "at Highland and Hollywood".  Angelinos uniformly drop the street descriptor) there was a demonstration on the afternoon of the 20th March.

Snapshot: dozens of police in cars, on pushbikes, standing around, choppers overhead, barricades sectioning off the street for about 100 meters .  About thirty people with placards "NO WAR" and other anti bush stuff were around while a couple of television crews prepared to film them.  Most of the Hollywood population in a hurry to get wherever they were going, glancing.  A few, maybe tourists, standing around gawking.  The evening news broadcast worldwide demonstrations on the anniversary of the invasion.  I guess the editor thought the Hollywood demo was too much a fizzle to mention for local consumption.  I wonder if it made the news on the East coast or Europe?

In a nearby Starbucks I struck up a conversation with a bloke who turned out to be an Israeli from Houston.  He thought the demo was a joke.  We commiserated that it was the (mostly lefty) journalists who blew these demonstrations up out of all proportion.  This of course gave muslim terrorists the moral conviction to promulgate further terrorist acts.  We agreed that it seemed to be a one sided application of anti-discrimination philosophy when only the palestinian version of history is published.  Everyone "knows" that the Israelis are enforcing migration from Israel on the Palestinians.   Few people are aware of the Turkish enforced migration of Israelis out of Palestine in the 19th century.  The fact that jews have throughout history been the victims and refugees is known but discounted in the face of their supposed inhumane treatment of Palestinians.  The fact that Muslims are members of a religion whose founder was a dictator who regularly used assassination, brigandage and enslavement as instruments of state is virtually unknown.  The fact that muslims continue the tactics utilized by their founder is a fact readily uncovered by any person who chooses to seek out the truth, but receives little publicity from our mostly ill-informed journalists.
A little more about LA.  Downtown LA (LA City) includes Hollywood, which is a reforming "red light district" like King's Cross in Sydney.  West Hollywood is a city in it's own right, and quite upmarket, about equivalent to Paddington.  To the north of Hollywood is the HOLLYWOOD sign.   The exclusive residential district known as Hollywood Hills is NW of Hollywood. Beverley Hills is to the west of West Hollywood.  It is about 20 Km further west to Santa Monica beach, LA's equivalent to Bondi Beach.

The smog is unbelievable.  It is so pervading that most of the time it is unnoticed.  Occasionally some of the surrounding mountains are visible, and then the true extent of the smog is apparent.  About 100 meters high, it blanks out features more than two kilometers away.  I went for a walk up Hollywood Hills on Thursday.  The tall buildings of the CBD (downtown) were visible about three miles away.  The snow capped (3,000 meter high) mountains that I saw two weeks earlier after it had rained were lost in the haze.

Getting back to Angelino's habit of dropping street descriptors.  I suspect that it happens in LA because they are such a car centered society.  Street names become more important than place names, because to a car driver, street names are more relevant.

To give an example.  Santa Monica is a beach, and there is a road called Santa Monica Boulevard that runs from the beach for about 30 miles to Hollywood and on to downtown LA.  I asked somebody how to get to Santa Monica, (meaning Santa Monica suburb, where the beach is) and he said, (pointing) "go that way for about half a mile, you cant miss it."  He thought I wanted Santa Monica Boulevard.  To Angelinos, streets are "places".

- HAMAS - 

In the news is the execution of HAMAS' spiritual leader Sheik Ahmed Yassin.  What makes me incredulous is the vituperous outpouring of threats of escalating violence pouring from Hamas leadership & supporters.  Here was a person who started an organization that should have been called "terrorism incorporated", an organization that openly advocates and brags of the murder of Israelis: e.g. Josef Federman wrote on March 23 in "MyWay":

Hamas, founded by Yassin in 1987, wants to destroy Israel and replace it with an Islamic state. Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz said Monday that Hamas killed 377 Israelis and wounded more than 2,000 in hundreds of attacks.

So how does the Hamas organization have the Chutzpah to object to the execution of their founder?  Do they believe that they have a right to murder civilians and go unpunished?

"Liberal" journalists and governments are calling the execution an "extra judicial" killing, or "assassination".  Did those journalists and governments call "extrajudicial" or "assassination" when Clinton ordered the bombings that caused the death of journalists and other civilians in Serbia? (It is becoming clear even to liberal journalists that Hillary's war was not about stopping Slobbo from persecuting ethnic Albanians, but about stopping Slobbo from protecting ethnic Serbs in Kosovo.)  Or when our leaders ordered the bombing of Hamburg (more than 100,000 killed) during WWII?  When somebody orders and achieves the murder of a states' citizens, that somebody has declared war on that state, and in my mind, it is the state's duty to bring that person and cohorts to justice.  It is totally understandable that the Israelis plan the execution of the Hamas executive, and the sooner the better.  I can only conclude that the fleur de liberty has fallen to economic expedience.

- WMD -

Talkback radio in LA has a journalist called Bill O'Reilly.  He is their version of John Laws.
The discussion on the airwaves is former security consultant Clarke and WMD.  OK, Clarke has impeccable credentials, served last 4 presidents, bit difficult, sounds as though Condoleeza Rice reduced him in rank (He used to attend meetings with Clinton, but Rice kept him as her personal adviser).  So now he has cashed in his pension in the form of a book, and what better way to sell it than as the centre of a controversy in an election year?  I dont think the average Angelino condemns Bush for not listening to Clarke's prophecies of doom.

As for WMD, some liberal journalists are saying "why can't they be found?  We have offered huge rewards, so there must not have been any!".   As if that were proof that they never existed.

Their asking of that question shows typical liberal lack of imagination.  Or maybe they are all girls and never read "Treasure Island" by R.L.Stevenson.  As any subteen boy could tell them, if you want to hide something, you kill all the people who help you bury it before they have a chance to tell anyone else where you buried the treasure.  Given Saddam's reported character, that would have been no problem for him or his sons (who, regrettably, are no longer with us.)