Sunday, September 12, 2004


Au revoir

Right, it's just possible that posting, which has in any event been generally slow, will become very infrequent, or indeed cease altogether.

Come now, contain your emotions, if I can you can too.

Monday, September 06, 2004


What now?

Over at Fisherblog, DC joined in with Marc Mulholland and Michael Fisher in a "What is to be done?" Iraq discussion, initiated by Michael's asking a rather pertinent question: what outcome are left supporters of the Iraq war hoping for in the US elections?

On the latter, I'd vote for Kerry - with no great enthusiasm, obviously. More than anything, of course, one must pity the nation that is presented with such poverty of choice. Oh well.

On Iraq, it's very hard to know what will produce the best outcome - the withdrawal of US troops, or their staying on? Above all the legitimacy of a government produced by free elections would seem to offer the best hope.

I touched on this issue before in this post.

Friday, September 03, 2004


Humour: great or what?

Some time ago there emerged in the Explananda comments section a fascinating discussion of the words "wanker" and "tosspot". I was reminded of this today when I recalled one of the more amusing listener's comments read out on Eamon Dunphy's old radio show. It was during the 2000 US elections, thus about four years ago. After one listener's question ("What does the 'W' in George W Bush actually stand for?") was answered by another ("Walker"), yet one more (quick witted) listener reponded with the following question:

"Is that with an 'l' or an 'n'?"

Head scrathching, and then...well, as they say: heh.


John Kerry's ever expanding tentacles of falsehood: the great ketchup conspiracy

An Indian soldier allegedly faked his claim for a medal by splashing ketchup on civilians and pretending they were rebels he had killed.

Colonel HS Kohli is said to have posed civilian staff as dead militants for photographs he used to back up a claim for gallantry medals.

The colonel, who commanded an artillery regiment, is likely to be dismissed from service following an investigation into the incident.

The Statesman of Calcutta said a court of inquiry had found the officer guilty and he would be asked to leave the army.

The colonel and another officer allegedly splashed ketchup on three civilians employed by the army to forge a photograph which showed the insurgents they had supposedly 'killed'.

They then filed a false report recommending medals for the regiment's soldiers following the incident at Bada Nagadun, near Silchar, in 2003.

The claim was being processed when military intelligence received a letter of complaint which led to an investigation which finally led to his court martial.

So what sinister implement did this fakir, sorry faker,* use to carry out this dastardly plot? Ketchup. And who's wife exactly happens to be a ketchup billionairess? Not George Bush's that's for sure. Only connect!

All of which begs the question as to what exactly is the meaning of the fact that this year's All-Ireland Gaelic Football final is between Kerry and Mayo?

*Just can't resist the puns...

(Via Dick O' Brien)

Thursday, September 02, 2004


The silent (and invisible) genocide

This is one I'd like to see explained by any Chomskyites among you. More broadly, does anyone really think that Chomsky ever actually gave any serious thought to the idea that the war in Afghanistan might have been a just one? That his opposition followed reflection rather than reflection following his opposition?

If no is the answer, wasn't this a pretty serious failure?

Wednesday, September 01, 2004


Oliver Kamm endorses opinion of Oliver Kamm - stoically, world carries on as before

"My description of the war as a clash of competing totalitarian ideologies I unreservedly endorse. "

I've never understood Kamm's reputation for being self-satisified.*

The remark relates to the Spanish Civil War, which I seem to be returning to more and more of late.

This is so, apparently, partly because "...the 42,000 volunteers of the International Brigade were under the command not of a Canadian, as most of them assumed, but of a Red Army Commander...".

Just like the French Resistance (dominated, on the ground, as it was, by Communist - i.e. Stalinist - militants) was just one side in a battle between totalitarianisms, correct?

Further, Kamm informs us:

"...I am not only militantly anti-fascist but also militantly anti-Communist..."

Wow, not just anti-Communist, but militantly anti-Communist? Vietnam, Laos, China, Cuba, North Korea, fear his wrath. As for the USSR, well if you were still around you would definitely be well advised to fear it, too. Oh, yes, well advised indeed!

Maybe I'm just one side in a battle between equally anal pomposities, but personally I find Kamm's blog's tone intolerable.** The august pages of The Times are one thing. A blog can ill-afford taking itself quite so seriously.

*Clarification: this sentance is intended sarcasticly; its meaning is the opposite of that which appears on the surface.

**Had written "Kamm's tone" but didn't want to sound too "personal", even if the extra word is cumbersome. (Subtext: I don't put no thought at all into writing this stuff).



There's a great graph over at Bertram Online showing the respective turnout figures according to income for the 2000 US elections. Not massively surprising results, but good to have them in bare form.

And this is only one way the political dices are loaded, even just within the electoral process. (Of course the underclass isn't quite coerced into not voting. But there are other ways of achieving this sort of thing.).

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