22nd & 24th December 2005.
updated 16 March 2006
In the last few weeks I have been looking at other people's
political/health blogs (web
pages). Unsurprisingly, although most blogs are blue, the better
blogs are at least shades of pink. Unsurprisingly because blue
bloggers read too much
rag journalism, illogic seeps out of every sentence, and who
can bother to keep reading? As an instance, the following two
articles about Bush & Clinton were in Murdoch's "Australian" of
17th December 2005. First article headlined "Worldly Wisdom",
second article headlined "Vision Divorced From Reality". With no
clue other than that Australian journalists come in varying shades
of Blue, can you guess which headline discussed Clinton, which
In Oz when reading the rags, blogger Stephen Mayne has a name, but
seems to me to be a
journalist's (ultrablue) blogger rather than as someone who actually
contributes to the intellectual capital of the nation. Spleenie's rant
occasionally mentions things political, while Bloggachops, and Ra'sRa, and bowen rarely pass navel
gazing. Avoozl plays
bridge (among other games) and provides interesting comment on internet
gambling, and Daniel (boudist)
seems to be an internet arbiter of oz gen Y culture. The "man of lettuce"
is an Australian taxi driver, and, among other sterling qualities,
seems to share my own opinion
of most paid journalists.
Getting to the more serious things in life, Baghdad Burning is
written by a woman in Baghdad. She
reported on 1st December 2005 that her blog has been turned into a
book. From her writing it can be deduced that her family are
likely Sunni, wealthy & highly educated. Hence it is
unsurprising that she is anti-American & anti-occupation, however
after the self interest is subtracted, the insight gained is of value.
As an aside, there are a lot of prolific bloggers
out there, somebody
to tell them. On the internet, rule 1 is that you should
bytes, & they
better be short & grabby. Otherwise your audience moves on.
EffectMeasure is a
prolific blogger who claims to be an American public health
concerned with the
lack of preparedness for the potential pandemic H5N1 bird flu (and a
lot of other stuff).
From my reading on H5N1 it appears that on H5N1 medical science this
is informed, accurate and timely. However the writer is dyed in
the wool blue, as instanced by his blog
on color. It is misleading at the very least for him(?) to
that a "take home lesson here" is that "a genetic difference associated
with a major racial feature, skin
color, is so small as to be trivial (in this case a single amino acid
change)". A balanced approach might have mentioned that
other evolutionary changes may have occurred in the two
populations subsequent to that "single amino acid
change" and for which that "single amino acid change" might, in
perception, serve as a marker.
There is an incestuous clique of Kiwi (New Zealand) bloggers making
mostly incomprehensible (to an Australian) comments about
the political scene in NZ. David
Farrer is a
prolific writer of trivia bytes. He earns
brownie points for his cynical approach
to politicians, and for having Cactus Kate and Anne Coulter as
sources. Cactus Kate is an expatriate Kiwi whose trivia runs the
gamut from bright red (politics) to soft blue (sex). Kate says
she is a lawyer who deals in trusts. From the tone of her blog
she would be happier advising successful golddiggers (at $100,000
a pop & cheap at the price) on appropriate strategies (for when the
croaks) to avoid the difficulties faced by Anna
Nicole Smith. Kea can
short bytes, but quotes extensively. I liked his interview with
Cactus Kate & found his blog on Muslims to be
well informed. Another is Pink Panda, who, like Archie, can't type
Ann Coulter is the darling of the US reds. I find Americans to be
a bit extreme (either all black [= blue?] or all white [= red?]).
There is an
American (US) blue turned red called neo-neocon. (v.
tricksy, I think it means new-new conservative.) Like an
ex-smoker about cigarettes. Her heart is in the right place, but
somebody should tell her about rule 1.
Seven Inches of Sense is a southern Belle's advice to men, women
and the world in general on how to score. The blog seems to be on
two sites, my own preference is the earlier
blogs, the later stuff seems a bit self aware.
I will add to this list over time.
4th April 06. A
few additions of interest. Sydneysider Stephanie
occasionally raises a few issues, although mostly trivial. BitchPhd writes fascinating
script. Cactus Kate seems to have gone off the air, I hope that
she loses writers block finds inspiration again soon. Her
commentary on NZ politics, while obscure, made up for my ignorance with
intensity. The Spin
Starts Here is a Melbourne group, some of whom show talent.
It would be better if they spun off to separate blogs. At least
the bylines help keep them distinct.
LOOMING UNREST -
In Australia two thirds of people have a parent that is
foreign born. Somewhere around 45% of homes have a language other
Recent media reports of demonstrations have suggested that Australians
are racist. We do have a lot of discontent, and yes, it is
looking for an outlet, but no, the issues are not so much racist or
Of course the police were in like Flynn and reported having
found four "White Power" ruffians who were loaded for bunyip, with
cocktails and Kevlar armor.
As a comment on police information dissemination:
A few years ago, the NSW state premier brought in the
"knife act", whereby the police had the power to search anybody thought
to have a knife. The police proudly stated at the end of the
week that they had carried out searches on 50 suspects, only two of
whom were not armed & did not have a knife confiscated. At
the time I was teaching
Engineering, and two of my (ethnic looking) students reported having
been searched, but were not carrying a knife. The odds that the
youths who did not
have knives should have been the two that I found in my classes is one
thousand four hundred and fifty (1:2450).
Once again our liberties were infringed as political power was extended.
A few months ago during the Paris riots, I sensed that revolution was
in the air. The activism reminds me of the middle '60s. There
are theories* that world economic activity follows a 40 year
cycle. Perhaps world social unrest marches
same drum. There was social upheaval in
the 20's, then the 60's, and now it's happening in the 00's (norties).
*** image of a supersaturated
The big fuss for Democrat congressmen in the USA is concern
about presidential authorization for the NSA to eavesdrop on electronic communications between the USA
and the rest of the world. I
can't get terribly excited about that. The NSA has been given the
eavesdropping on terrorists. The NSA (or it's precursor) played a
big part in winning
WWII for the USA.
It has intelligent software that
looks at every email and phone call that goes through any national
border router, looking for "suspicious" words, voiceprints, phrases, or
codes. I suspect that what NSA software does would probably be
classed as science fiction. I also suspect that the NSA "owns"
communications media, in the sense that >99% of international
electronic transmissions are eavesdropped.
Surely it is obvious, even to a Democrat, that if terrorists knew that
with certainty circumvent NSA eavesdropping by always communicating via
an exchange in the USA, then that is how they would always
But that's the blues for you. Most of them (at least the ones
in media) haven't got the intellect of an
Another issue for Democrats seems to be that US agents have used
radiation detection devices while invited guests on public property
(Mosques). I find nothing reprehensible in anybody using a
radiation detection device as an invited guest. Surely the use of
such a device should be the right of any invited guest as a guarantee
that the premises do not present a personal health hazard. I read
that the legal position is unclear (then again, what legal position
isn't - until it's tested.).
* e.g. Kondratrieff &
Elliott Wave Theories.
Either the newly elected leader of Iran is being set up for a patsy
improbable), or the guy has lost his marbles. Whichever, the
outcome is the
same. I think we can anticipate strategic pinpoint bombing with
unavoidable civilian casualties* (about March 2006
is my guess). I imagine that the delivery mode will be by some
stealthed cruise missile, and when the resulting radioactive plume
makes a few
thousand Iranians sick, the response will be "Tut tut, gee whizz, we didn't realize
that they were so far into processing.." Most of the
rest of the cosy dictatorships in Islam do not approve of the "holier
fundamentalist attitude, so it can be expected that they will be
outraged, but (with hands out, palms up:) what can I do against the powers ranged
against us etc...
Deja vu the scenario played out in late 2002- different
actors, different storyline, a military action, people killed, bad guys
brought to justice, all for the safety of you and me. also the
old line... Oh and you do
we will have to restrict your liberty just the teensiest bit more, 'cos
there's still bad guys running 'round near here.
It is all so bloody predictable.
Perhaps somebody foresaw the looming unrest, and decided to circumvent
a revolution by starting a war as an excuse for restricting liberties.
*Well they shouldn't have built
reactor between a school and a hospital.
Funny isn't it how they never build reactors beside