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 discussed Bush?.

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 ought to tell them.  On the internet, rule 1 is that you should write bytes, & they better be short & grabby.  Otherwise your audience moves on.

EffectMeasure is a prolific blogger who claims to be an American public health professional 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 blog 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 imply 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 SD croaks) to avoid the difficulties faced by Anna Nicole Smith.   Kea can write 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 capitals.

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.


In Australia two thirds of people have a parent that is foreign born.  Somewhere around 45% of homes have a language other than English.

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 religious as economic.

Of course the police were in like Flynn and reported having found four "White Power" ruffians who were loaded for bunyip, with Molotov 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 first 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 two arrested youths who did not have knives should have been the two that I found in my classes is one in two 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 to the 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 solution. ***

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 job of 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" the international 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 they could with certainty circumvent NSA eavesdropping by always communicating via an exchange in the USA, then that is how they would always communicate.  But that's the blues for you.  Most of them (at least the ones in media) haven't got the intellect of an earthworm.

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.
- IRAN -

Either the newly elected leader of Iran is being set up for a patsy (not wholly improbable), or the guy has lost his marbles.  Whichever, the outcome is the same.  I think we can anticipate strategic pinpoint bombing with minimal unavoidable civilian casualties* (about March 2006 is my guess).  I imagine that the delivery mode will be by some sort of 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 than thou" fundamentalist attitude, so it can be expected that they will be totally 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 understand that 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 the reactor between a school and a hospital.
Funny isn't it how they never build reactors beside parliamentary buildings?