Archive for November 2003

Quick Fact Checks

November 29, 2003

There have been a couple of things widely reported around blogs in the last week or so and nowhere near as widely corrected. First up is the New York Times quote that appears on the back of a couple of Chomsky books, “Arguably the most important intellectual alive”. Oliver Kamm gave us the putative full quote, which added “…how can he write such nonsense about international affairs and foreign policy?”, and quoted as his source Chomsky himself. This was then repeated by Andrew Sullivan and Tim Blair among others. We can blame Chomsky for the misquote (or paraphrase, if you like) which he used strategically to try and make himself appear the heroic dissenter standing against the hostile media. What the New York Times actually said (thanks to Troppo Armadillo) was:

Judged in terms of the power, range, novelty and influence of his thought, Noam Chomsky is arguably the most important intellectual alive today. He is also a disturbingly divided intellectual. On the one hand there is a large body of revolutionary and highly technical linguistic scholarship, much of it too difficult for anyone but the professional linguist or philosopher; on the other, an equally substantial body of political writings, accessible to any literate person but often maddeningly simple-minded. The ‘Chomsky problem’ is to explain how these two fit together.

OK, still not exactly complimentary, but different enough that it’s worth correcting the record.

Onwards to Canada’s new “Sharia courts”, as reported in LGF. The article they linked to claimed:

Canadian judges soon will be enforcing Islamic law, or Sharia, in disputes between Muslims, possibly paving the way to one day administering criminal sentences, such as stoning women caught in adultery.

Muslims are required to submit to Sharia in Muslim societies but are excused in nations where they live as a minority under a non-Muslim government.

Canada, however, is preparing for its 1 million-strong Muslim minority to be under the authority of a Sharia system enforced by the Canadian court system, according to the Canadian Law Times.

Strange and disturbing, eh? The story was linked to by Mangled Thoughts and Steve Edwards and probably others. The truth is far more prosaic: This is simply an arbitration board being set up by a group of Muslims. If two people wish to arbitrate a dispute with a Sharia ruling they are free to do so and can use this board to obtain such a ruling. The courts then uphold this agreement as they would any other signed agreement – as an LGF commenter pointed out, people can arbitrate disputes by flipping coins if they want to. The board is for civil cases only and of course nothing contrary to Canadian law will be allowed. This is actually a positive story since both parties will feel that they are acting consistent with their beliefs, and a load will be taken off the court system.


November 28, 2003

If you were thinking that PETA were a bunch of absolutely raving mad freakozoid nutballs, this post won’t do anything to change your mind.

Israellycool (who has moved to like everyone else in the world) digs up this heartfelt letter to Yasser Arafat from PETA Founder Ingrid Newkirk.

Here is a quick paraphrasing for those who can’t be bothered reading:

PETA: Hi Yasser kill all the jews you want but pls don’t kill the poor donkeys anymore. The donkeys didn’t do anything (not like jews). Also the Vietnam war was bad cos puppies died. tks bye luv PETA.

PETA sucks.

The Ang Moh Diaries

November 27, 2003

Hello faithful readers. This blog is coming to you direct from Singapore – Land of…well, nothing much at all. For those of you who haven’t been to Singapore, just imagine any Australian city, then take out all the white people, triple the price of beer and halve the price of food.

Off to Kuala Lumpur tomorrow. I hear it’s kinda like Singapore except more expensive and more Islamic. Yay!

I’m going to try and sneak off to Thailand while my girlfriend isn’t looking. If this blog is never updated again, just assume she caught and killed me.

Oh just in case any native Singaporeans are reading, will you people stop fucking staring at me please?!?! Haven’t you ever seen an ang moh on the train before? Seriously.

Bai Bai

November 24, 2003

Apologies for the lack of posting around here lately, but it’s not likely to get better any time soon. I’m off to Singapore for 2 weeks of cultural exchange.

Wish me luck in evading the authorities while I attempt to break as many of their crazy laws as possible.

VVS = Very, Very Shit?

November 19, 2003

Australia’s 3rd string team still managed to beat India in the TVS final last night. Highlights included:

Michael Clarke’s 44 of 28 balls at the end of the Australian Innings.
Ian Harvey taking 4 wickets in 8 balls.
V.V.S. Laxman dropping 3 catches in the slips.

Scott Wickstein has a more substantial match review over at Ubersportingpundit.

Post your own best guess of what “V.V.S.” really stands for in the comments!

Drunks Find Lost PM

November 19, 2003

Gary Gravett’s offsider “Murph” had a recent run in with the Man Of Steel himself, complete with photographic proof and a brief explanation of why all his mates are now Liberal voters. They should have made him wear the wig.

Need Money For Guns And Bombs

November 18, 2003

Hey, at least we’re not bullshitting you!

A group of Italian anti-war militants is raising funds to support the armed Iraqi resistance, the BBC has learned.

The discovery comes as Italy mourns 19 men killed in a suicide attack in Iraq last week.

The “Antiimperialista” organisation’s internet campaign asks people to send “10 Euros to the Iraqi resistance”.

They say they have collected 12,000 euros ($14,165) in the past eight weeks and admit the money used could be used to buy weapons.

The Antiimperialistas are a group of European anti-war and anti-globalisation supporters.

They are currently organising an anti-war demonstration in Italy next month, and it remains to be seen whether news of the fund-raising activities will deter more moderate anti-war activists from attending.

The organisation’s Italian branch says the money will be given to an Iraqi resistance group known as the Iraqi Patriotic Opposition.

Independent Iraqi sources in London say the leaders of this group have a long history of association with the Baath party and are now back in Iraq supporting the armed resistance.

Anti-War Militants? The BBC is really scraping the bottom of the politically correct barrel with that one.

Please give your moral equivalency-based reasoning why these retards shouldn’t be tried for treason in the comments box below.

Vote Yobbo!

November 16, 2003

Paul Bickford of “Paul and Carl’s daily diatribe” recently honoured all of Australia by taking second place in the blogger poll for “Most offensive male blogger”. Let’s keep the Australian nominations flowing by nominating ME for “Sexiest Male Blogger“.

Chris Sheil is not allowed to vote.

Happy Taxpayers Day!

November 14, 2003

Today marks the first day in this financial year in which you get to start keeping the money you work for.

Earnings from every day since July 1 – 137 days in total – have gone to federal, state and local government coffers.

For the average worker this means that about 20 of the 52 weeks of the year are spent working for the Government – or 37 per cent of all earnings going toward tax.

Don’t worry, it’s all going to a good cause.

Sack ‘Em Both

November 13, 2003

Thousands of girls turned out to see Guy and Shannon from Australian Idol at Forrest Place this Monday – my celebrity obsessed Japanese flatmate being one of them.

Unfortunately for the salivating masses, they stood no real chance. Shannon is married with 2 kids, and Guy (or pubehead, as Caz likes to call him) is some sort of weirdo:

GUY Sebastian has revealed a secret weapon that helps him focus on winning Australian Idol ? his virginity.

The 22-year-old devoted Christian told the Herald Sun that despite girls throwing themselves at him he is sticking with a vow not to have sex before marriage because it makes him a stronger person.

What’s wrong with these guys? Why would you want to be a celebrity if you don’t plan on having a bit of fun? This is the best argument for voting for Millsy that I’ve seen yet. At least he wouldn’t have wasted his stardom trying to be some kind of male Britney.