Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Kicking the door down

Of course, there will be an appeal, but it's a start. If you are interested in this stuff, and not many people are, then KickAaas is the place to go.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Libertarian Bollocks Watch

You know what I mean, so you can leave any comments about Perry De Havilland's testes at the door. No, this little gem was on the Today Programme this morning. For those who can't be arsed to listen, it's about an "Urban Planner" who has decided that the best way to make the road outside a school safer is to get rid of such statist, authoritarian symbols of repression as white lines and road signs in order that drivers reconnect with their environment and drive responsibly. You see, drivers need to take a leaf out of pedestrians' book. Pedestrians, by being aware of their surroundings and not relying on artificial, authoritarian rules, use a range of skills that enable them negotiate the tricky task of walking down the street without getting themselves killed. If drivers didn't have to worry about white lines, signs and the highway code they would do the same. Simple, innit?
Jonathon Friedland on Blair, Bush and Doublespeak and the Kid talking a close approximation of sense for a change.

Sunday, April 18, 2004

Since the Cesspool is off limits - self imposed, I hasten to add - to me for my own blogging purposes for a while, I have been loitering with intent in a shifty, guilty way, over at the Kid's recently.

Ah, the vigour of the youthful mind is a wonderful thing. When the Kid drew attention to the bonkers end of the Grauniad's forum, I made a comment to the effect that he should be wary of smearing a place on the strength of it's barmy users, lest someone should do the same to him. And, seeing as the likes of WJ Philips and Guessedworker are among his regular contributors, this is very real danger. The Kid replied that it only happened to him once, courtesy of one J Durkin. I must say I am impressed at the boy's diligence and memory. He will go far.

Also in the exchange was this:

Middleagedcurmudgeon writes: "I keep going back to have another guilty peek when I could be posting or better still, working."

This is the key sentence-- a confession. The first stage in encountering unfamiliar ideas is guilty fascination; next comes spluttering, caricatural dismissal (see above); then recidivist entertaining of the heresies as fresh evidence seems to support them; and finally (usually suprisingly rapidly) outright acceptance, accompanied by a face-saving "but I believe a moderate, rational, polite version of it."

You can see this at work at a higher intellectual level in the astonishingly speedy collapse of the regnant ideology of race relations among self-styled progressive opinion formers such as Furedi, Selbourne, Goodhart and Melanie Phillips. "I'm not a racist, but..." The "but" gets bigger and bigger.

posted by someone anonymously. My money is on Guessedworker, partly because it bears his imprint of pomposity and cod intellectualism and partly because he is the only person I have ever come across who might use the word regnant.

I must say, though, I am keeping a weather eye on my attitudes from hereon in, just in case I find myself lurching into the murkier areas of racist thought. I mean, as he so rightly says, these are unfamiliar ideas he is talking about, you never know how they are going to affect you. I've only been properly aware of them of them for around thirty five years, which in the scheme of things is no time at all.

I think though, that for the moment I am safe, although a seismic shift in my thinking may be underway. I've always been a bit of a wimpy, pacific sort of guy, but I'm beginning to think there are certain Caucasians in bloggo bloggo land who might benefit from a good kicking.

Friday, April 09, 2004

Ok, the moratorium will continue, but not today. Brownie's post really is such a crock of shite that I can't contain myself.

So, ANY war to depose Saddam would have left a power vacuum that the fundamentalist clerics could exploit to devastating effect? ANY war with ANY aftermath would have disbanded the Iraqi army and sent them home with their guns, no jobs to go to and with a simmering resentment? ANY occupying force would have so comprehensively de-Baathified the place that the Sunnis would have felt they had no voice in the new Iraq? ANY war would have resulted in the country being sold off to foreigners, sorry, had the economy opened up, without any say from the Iraqi people, while war was still raging in anything but name and 70% of the workforce were without jobs? ANY war and ANY occupation would have squandered goodwill towards it with helicopter gunships piling into residential areas, peaceful protesters killed and something that looks suspiciously like collective punishment in Falluja? ANY war's proponents would have taken the word of a power hungry fraudster that the occupiers would be welcomed with dancing in the streets? ANY war would have been prosecuted with barely a thought for what might happen if the dancing Iraqis failed to materialise?

Yeah, right.
Since calling the Cesspool totally irrelevant, I've not shut up about the place and visit more often than ever. So I now impose a moratorium on references thereto, which I will no doubt break forthwith as I notice Brownie has joined the team.
Over at the Cesspool, the latest crime of the Stopper these days is schadenfreude. It's everywhere, apparently, this schadenfreude. All the comment from the anti war crowd about the latest tragic turn of events in Iraq, is schadenfreude of the worst kind. Every op-ed drawing attention to the fact that many who opposed the war did so on fears that this sort of outcome was a possibility, if not a probability, is morally distasteful and the writer is indulging in schadenfreude even if, maybe especially if, they specifically warn against it. It's the tone, you see. While pretending to offer an opinion as to what is going on and why, what they are really doing is rejoicing in the bloody slaughter of Iraqis and Coalition forces. Which only goes to prove, of course, what a morally bankrupt, evil crowd they are.

It's a ploy as old as politics itself, of course, to tar your opponents with the brush of outrage to cover up the deficiencies in your own arguments; and now the Hawks, both Liberal and Neocon, need ever bigger brushes. As the pretexts for war are shown up for what they really were, as the lies are unravelled and events conspire to do what they always do and confound expectations, you might think one or two of the hawks would reconsider their positions.

Not yet, though, not while there's accusations of schadenfreude to throw around.

Monday, April 05, 2004

Blogging's a funny old thing. Here was I in the process of winding things down a la Ryan from Manchester on the grounds that real life is more important than t'internet when the Cess pool goes and gives me a link, and Ryan's place staggers back into life. It's a sign, I tell you. Posting will, therefore, continue, albeit as fitfully as ever.

Sunday, April 04, 2004

Bush and Blair made secret pact for Iraq war.

Makes no difference, I suppose, to leftie hawks like Harry and Hitchens, but the rest of us might show a bit of interest, if only to say, "I told you so."
Great stuff from Nick Cohen. Still a fine journalist when he's not talking bollocks about Iraq.