Category Archives: Politics

Shanahan’s slant on the news

Dennis Shanahan tends his weekly beat-up of the Liberal leadership fight that starts and ends with his columns but in another article stems the flood on anti-Indonesian feeling in Australia about Corby and the Bali Nine (and counting).

Dennis also has an article on the ALP’s response to the budget claiming Stephen Smith claims five reasons for happiness in justifying Labours strange reaction to the budget but after having written the article he sat back and thought..now where can I insert a mention of the liberal leadership fight.

He managed it;

Just a week after the most frazzled budget in the history of the Howard Government was finalised and bitter relations between John Howard and Costello were destined to overshadow the budget…

I’m just surprised that he didn’t slip in a ‘bitter relations’ line in the Bali piece.

If you only read Dennis you could be forgiven for thinking there was a leadership split happening next week.

He wishes.

Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics

The same report but different spin. The Times Online have an article by Richard Beeston in Baghdad headed Iraqis soldier on without power, water, jobs, sewers

“This survey…. for the UN Development Programme…released by the Ministry of Planning….shows a rather tragic situation of the quality of life in Iraq,” Planning Minister Barham Salih said. “These statistics reflect the contrast between the wealth of this country and the deteriorating level of all vital sectors.”

The report said that unemployment was now more than 18 per cent, compared with just over 3 per cent in the 1980s.

Meanwhile, in the Courier Mail, Omar Anwar, reporting from Baghdad quotes a survey, conducted by the Iraqi Ministry of Planning and the United Nations Development Program….

Unemployment is running at 50 per cent, the survey found, raising questions over whether a growing number of young Iraqi men will join the rebels.

His article is headed “Despite its wealth, Iraq falls apart”

Over at CNN, a report quoting the same joint survey from the Iraqi government and United Nations, take a more positive view;

While there has been progress since Saddam Hussein’s fall, “these data depict a very tragic picture of the quality of life,” Iraqi transitional Planning Minister Barham Salih said.

and have a different take on the stats,

Iraq’s unemployment rate was 10.5 percent of a population of 27 million people, the report found. When the figure of workers who had given up looking for a job — discouraged workers — was included, the unemployment number increased to 18.4 percent.

I think the only thing we can be sure of is Iraq has an unemployment problem, the magnitude of which varies with the journalist’s or Editor’s politics.

The Left will be devastated to read that the much quoted Lancet report that totaled 100,000 dead as a result of the war has been downsized to less than 30,000 by the UN report. This won’t stop them quoting the 100,000 figure though. Ten bucks says it’ll be used in some letter to the Editor next week.

30,000 dead is still a bad number but not if the vast majority were terrorists supporting Saddam during the early stages of the war or fighting against democracy in more recent times. The CNN take on the deaths says 12% were under 18 but perception between East and West is very stark when considering the ages of man. The mothers in downtown Sydney, London or New York will think …Oh my God..they’re just children. In Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Palestine and Syria mothers will still be weeping over their lost children but the photos they cry over will, more often than not, show their young son with an AK47 in his hands.

From the Eastern extremities of Afhanistan to a line drawn through Angola, Zambia and Zimbabwe there are literally millions of sub 18 year old armed men in uniform fighting and dying for what their Mullahs believe in.

That is the nature of the beast.

Political Compass.

Went on over to Deltoid and underwent a political compass assessment.

Surprised myself. I thought my compass needle would have swung more to the right than it did.

The result will surprise others as well.

Maybe I’m just feeling a little bit soft this morning….only two mugs of coffee too date. I need a fix to get me back on the attack mode.

Aussies most welcome

The US has created a special visa for Australians to work in the US. Until now Aussies have had to compete for a 65,000 visa issue worldwide – now we have our own bucket of 10,500 visas to dip into.

Some 10,500 E3 visas will be issued annually to Australians with tertiary qualifications who have job offers from American employers, including universities, government departments and businesses. There is no age limit.

The bill found no opposition in the Senate.

There was no debate on the provision, which was passed unanimously by the Senate, but it is believed that there was widespread support for the new visas, given Australia’s close relationship with the US.

Another flow-on from the Free Trade Agreement and rightly supporting the US in it’s fight against terrorism. It’s funny, but I notice the Left have stopped carping about how the agreement was going to be the ruin of Australia’s industry.

Trade Minister Mark Vaile hailed the new visa as “a significant breakthrough” that would allow Australian business to capitalise on the opportunities created by the free-trade agreement with the US.

Bloody Howard, just keeps on winning.

Wonder if the Kiwis got any extra visas?

Good one Kim

There is a risk inherant in opposing for opposings sake. Kim and his team of wonders has decided to block all tax cuts in the Senate. Howard and Costello can’t believe their good luck and can’t wait to get the budget to the Senate so Kim can knock it back.

The move should get extra votes for the ALP from…mmm….can’t think of any group actually.

Labor has blundered strategically and tactically and many of its members know it. The decision of Kim Beazley’s leadership team to oppose all the tax cuts and the abolition of the superannuation surcharge has suddenly made Labor the issue.

It’s raining in Brisbane but there is always some sunshine creeping through.

Media Watch watch

How sweet the sound of Liz Jackson of Media Watch getting confused about the blogging world. Rattling on last night in an attack against Janet Albrechtson and local Brisbane blogger, Arthur Chrenkoff, Liz makes a huge point of the fact that Arthur’s articles on the Wall Street Journal’s website Opinion Journal are not published by the Wall street Journal.

Maybe the ABC should tell the Wall Street Journal to remove their WSJ.com logo from the site as it’s confusing Liz. With Wall Street Journal links all over the Opinion Journal page and vise versa I don’t quite accept Liz’s arguement that;

Good News from Iraq is not published on the highly respected Wall Street Journal website — it’s a blog published by a sister site.

Chrenkoff has mentioned the Media Watch attack as has Tim Blair. Go there and be sure to read the comments. They are illuminating.

If Media Watch feel obliged to attack bloggers, then our pressure on the MSM is being felt. It is, in effect, a compliment to Arthur for all the hard yards he does in trying to balance the MSM bias and will give him a hits boost.

Liz’s bias is plain to see for all those that care and her prattling on about minor details only tends to reinforce this bias.

To prove she isn’t biased, Liz finds a suitable quote about the Iraq War.

Being a foreign correspondent in Baghdad these days is like being under virtual house arrest… I leave when I have a very good reason to and a scheduled interview. I avoid going to people’s homes and never walk in the streets … I … can’t strike up a conversation with strangers, can’t look for stories, can’t drive in anything but a full armoured car, can’t go to the scenes of breaking stories, … can’t take a road trip, can’t say I’m American, can’t linger at check points, can’t be curious about what people are saying, doing, feeling.

— Farnaz Fassihi, 29 Sept 2004

Ah, that’s better, it’s negative.

Good show, Arthur. Keep up your ‘Good News’ series and publish it where you will. People will seek you out for what you say that the MSM doesn’t and will not give a fig about you’re being paid or not. Nor will they care if they have to click once to follow the link.

Update: This is getting serious and for the record I think the word Chrenkhoffgate needs to be mentioned. At Tim Blairs place he has follow up pieces at Media Watch II and Media Watch III

Sorely missed

Jim Sorely, a local red ragger, was Lord Mayor of Brisbane for some years and now has a column in the local Sunday Mail. (scroll down) I’m told that senior people at the Mail would rather they didn’t have to carry his byline but have little choice.

Sorely prattles on about Philip Roth who has recently published a ‘what if this happened’ novel, making Jim wonder;

… if 50 years down the track some creative author will write a book of speculative fiction about a wise, peace-loving president who is elected to lead the US instead of George W. Bush in 2000.

Who knows, Jim, maybe someone will and if they do the story-line is already available

Let’s say John Kerry was elected as President. Surely he would fit your ‘wise, peace loving’ definition, wouldn’t he? I mean he was peace-loving enough to roll over to the communists during the Vietnam War so I guess he’d definitely fit the bill.

Well, on hearing Kerry had been elected, El Quaeda and the Taliban would have celebrated a victory and started planning more battles in the fight against the Infidels. The WTC and Bali obscenities would have been repeated in other cities as the US military withdrew under Kerry’s orders to defend Stateside only. (a left wing mantra). The UN, now emboldened, would continue their Iraq embargo with Koffi Annan, his son and a host of minions taking bribes while Saddam would have maintained his WMD programme with money that was supposed to be for health and education. He would have used some of that money to slaughter more of those annoying Kurds and anyone else who even mouthed the word Democracy.

In Afghanistan the Taliban, now aware that no-one cared about small people, woman and kids, would be applying Sharia law where woman would be, and had been previously, stoned to death for adultry; where girls are forbidden an education and all education resolves around the time-honoured formula that guarantees society stays in the 12th century.

Sounds better all the time, Jim.

Recruiting for the El Quaeda would’ve skyrocketed with psycopaths from all over the Middle East queing up to punch Uncle Sam and her allies in the nose. The front would have opened up to include all US bases in the Middle East as the terrorists forced the US back to the mainland.

There would be no dream of democracy in Iraq; Syria would not have withdrawn from Lebanon; the Mullahs in Iran would not be worried about the creep of democracy and their people would not be demanding it. The Saudi princes would still be looking forward to a lifetime in power and would not even be considering giving their people the vote. Even with Arafat dead, Palestine extremists would still be blowing up Israeli woman and kids and you, Jim, would be happy with the status quo.

Thank God Phillip Roth’s novel was only fiction and you have no power to force your foolish dreams on the populace.

It’s a trifecta!

Blair has a reduced majority but a majority of 58 seats is still a majority. Of the 646 seats in the British parliament, 552 have gone to parties who supported the Iraq war and 62 have gone to those who opposed it.

Not that the MSM will put it that way. Most are concentrating on his loss of seats.

Paul Reynolds at the BBC says;

The clipping of Tony Blair’s wings by a British electorate angry over Iraq probably means that the highly activist and interventionist foreign policy which marked his first two terms will be diminished.

Maybe, but the job in Iraq isn’t finished.

Everybody will take a different spin on the results from Blair had his nose bloodied to Historic third term win. Either way he is still in power.

The three countries of the Anglosphere that are fighting for a democracy in Iraq have all had their governments returned, much to the chagrin of the Left and the relief of those who know that democracy is worth fighting for.

British Elections

Blair looks like getting back in according to all the pundits but I note the Left are arguing he is going to looses seats due to his pro-Iraq war stance.

Like, ‘He is labour so we have to back him, but there has to be a loss in seats to prove we were right about Iraq and because he isn’t as far left as we would like’.

After Howard and Bush being returned with increased majorities the Left do need a bit of a morale booster. You watch, if just one seat changes hands then they will be beside themselves with the ‘evidence’ that the war was wrong. They will be salivating with pleasure if the seat fall to the Lib Dems.

If not they can always return to their “the votors are stupid” mantra.

The Liberal Democrats seem to be not unlike our Democrats at least with their soft, warm and fuzzy approach to everything, however they are polling at about 22% which, to me, reflects poorly on the future of Britain.

Tomorrow will be interesting

UPDATE: 10:30 AEST 6 May

Obviously to early to pick a trend but figures at BBC reveal;

After nine results out of 646, Labour is down 7.1%, the Conservatives are up 0.7% and the Liberal Democrats are up 4.73%.

Joh’s gone

He will be remembered by many. Don’t you worry about that.”

Noy much to be said about Joh that hasn’t already been said but my take on the whole affair is to remember, with pleasure, Joh sacking the ETU thugs that held the state to ransome over power supply. I also seem to recall his saying that if you don’t let the power back on I’ll release your names, addresses and telephone numbers to the press.

Young mothers and businesses going to the wall over union thuggery. Joh read the peoples feelings and reacted.

They folded, of course, as they knew Queenslanders were ready to slaughter them for their arrogance.

I’m glad they still feel the pain. Maintain the rage, fellows – nobody cares. Have a street march every May – it’ll always bring a smile to my face.

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