Boss Hog

"To refuse to accept praise is to want to be praised twice over" La Rochefoucauld

Friday, April 22, 2005

MAY I SERVE YOU KOFFI?

The ground under Koffi Annan's feet continues to get shakier and the body-blows continue to come faster with more resignations and (potential) scandals.
I find it amusing that Annan is often tagged, in news reports, as, "a Nobel Peace Prize winner". Having regard for some of the more recent recipients of that award, I reckon that, these days, this attribute has become more of warning, a la, 'Achtung Minen' or 'Unclean', than an accolade.
When Annan eventually falls, as fall he will, it will be interesting to see the source of his successor - appointing a career UN bureaucrat has clearly been a disaster.
|| Boss Hog, 7:13 am || link |

Thursday, April 21, 2005

THE BALI FOLLIES

I notice that the bleeding hearts have gone into full 'weep' mode over the potential fate of the nine, incredibly stupid and selfish, young Australians arrested in Bali for drug running.
Apparently, at least five will face the death penalty and this has got the hand-wringers pretty worked up. Phrases like 'judicial murder' are being freely thrown around and the committed opponents of capital punishment are digging out all their old arguments and essays, dusting them off and bringing assertions up to date.
All quite futile, the alleged crimes happened in Indonesia and the putative criminals are subject to the laws (and subsequent penalties) of a sovereign state - not Australian law. On this aspect the 'weepers' have a particularly brilliant retro suggestion - the Bali Nine should have been allowed to return to Australia so that they could have committed their alleged crimes on Australian soil. Oh, give me a break!

Off course, the old furphy about the 'sanctity of human life' is cropping up here and there too. It's funny that this assertion (in the context of capital punishment) is so seldom questioned. What's really so special about human life? People die all the time. We are all going to die - from the moment of birth we are dying, that's a given. All that capital punishment does is move the schedule up a bit.

The real tragedy about this case is not that some offenders may be executed and others be incarcerated for many long years but that nine (presumably) innocent families - mothers, fathers and siblings - are going to go through months and years of absolute hell, visited upon them, not by the Indonesian government, but by their own thoughtless and selfish offspring.
|| Boss Hog, 7:31 am || link |

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

THE GANGS OF OLD SYDNEY TOWN

Apparently the gangs of Sydney town are indulging in a bit of periodic bloodletting, cleaning out the gene pool so to speak - drive-by shootings and so forth. Not only are the criminal element shooting at each other but they're doing so with - wait for it - dreaded handguns! The NSW Greens, Coalition for Gun Control and the media are, predictably, horrified and calling for further gun controls. Pass a few more useless and unenforceable laws and the problem will go away? Yeah, right!
What is needed here is a bit of lateral thinking. Back at the time of the Mafia wars in the US, one New York District Attorney is alleged to have said:
"They want to kill each other? Great! I'll hire Yankee Stadium for them. I'll buy the bullets!"

Now that's smart thinking!
cc. Bob Carr.
|| Boss Hog, 5:45 pm || link |

MEN IN FUNNY HATS

Well, riveting news. One hundred and twenty, odd, impotent old men in skirts and funny hats have got together and elected another old man in a skirt and funny hat as the new Chairman of the Board of Vatican Inc. The shareholders didn't get a say - the Vatican doesn't do shareholders meetings - which is a shame, since, I believe, that the Chairman doesn't have to come from within the Board of Directors, any parish priest can (theoretically) be elected - when there's a vacancy, that is.
All that aside, the deed is done and there's a new guy in the chair. If the media and the pundits can be believed, not much is going to change, which is probably just a well for the new incumbent because the real movers and shakers of the Vatican don't take kindly to new brooms, as the previous incumbent, but one, found out. John Paul I lasted just thirty-three days - after being unwise enough to indicate all sorts of reforms as well as asking embarrassing questions about the seamier side of the family business. Kinda handy that papal rules prevent the autopsy of deceased pontiffs
|| Boss Hog, 8:24 am || link |

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

CALL ME LAZARUS

Ebola, Marburg, mad-cow, calici or fowlpest ? Damned if I know, neither did the high-priced quacks who treated it, but whatever the malignant bug was that laid me low for the last two weeks, I wouldn't wish the evil little bastard on anyone, not even Philip Adams - well maybe there are exceptions.
Doctors? Forget it!
'You have contracted a virus,' .
'Okay, cure me'.
'We can't cure viruses'.
End of story - I'm on my own. But I'm recovering, not because of medical science, but in spite of it. Damn all quacks.
|| Boss Hog, 4:58 pm || link |

Sunday, April 03, 2005

The Pope in Winter

Karol Wojtyla, Pope John Paul II, is finally dead and for the next few days, perhaps even weeks, the media and other scavengers will feast on his corpse in an orgy of gluttony. Praise, plaudits and eulogies will be heaped on his memory and world leaders, from the Kremlin to the White House, will gravely express their sorrow at his passing.
Thousands and thousands of words will be written about Wojtyla's courage, compassion, understanding, faith and humility - journalists, of all faiths and persuasions, will elevate him to media sainthood. Yet most of it will be un-informed and a great deal of it nonsense. Karol Wojtyla may have been courageous and his faith was undeniable, but many of the other qualities attributed to him simply didn't exist.
In truth, John Paul II was not the paragon of virtues that the Vatican machine would have the world believe. He was domineering, intolerant, and capable of the most absurd dogma - condoms don't protect against AIDS - and, far from being humble, he was a proud, almost arrogant man, who brooked no opinions other than his own.
The shoes of the Fisherman do not, automatically, confer infallibility on their wearer. Despite the pomp, ritual, costuming and adoration a man still remains a man with all of a man's faults prejudices and, often, ignorances - certainly this was true of Karol Wojtyla.
For anyone who is interested in learning more of the dark side of John Paul II read the recently published, "The Pope in Winter", John Cornwell, Viking Press.

UPDATE April 3, 8.45am.

Just turned on TV and flicked through the channels - the media circus has started, little behind schedule.
|| Boss Hog, 6:48 am || link |

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

SCHAPELLE CORBY-A REALITY CHECK

Yesterday I opined that much that was being published, about the Schapelle Corby trial, the Australian media was misleading nonsense. Today, in the Australian, Steven Freeland, a senior lecturer in international law, makes similar points, although perhaps more politely:

"As worrying as these concerns may be, there is little Australia can do to interfere in the domestic legal processes of Indonesia or Sierra Leone, even though each of these cases obviously affects Australian interests.
A fundamental precept of international law is the "sovereign equality" of countries, meaning that one country cannot impose its legal standards or procedures upon the legal system operating in another country. It could not be otherwise or there would be no certainty as to the prevailing laws in any place."


read the whole article here.

The much ballyhooed defence witness John Ford, currently on remand in Australia for alleged rape and other offences, is scheduled to appear at the Corby trial today. Although his evidence is only hearsay it will be interesting to see what the Indonesian court makes of it.
|| Boss Hog, 7:32 am || link |

Monday, March 28, 2005


Easter Pics - Crow's Parliament
|| Boss Hog, 6:04 pm || link |

Easter Pics - Zeppelins

Early afternoon - the sky had a peculiar brassy tint which we only see a few times a year out our way. It seldom lasts more than a couple of minutes and, usually, I don't have my camera in the truck. This time I did but my little Fuji was struggling to capture the right sky tone.
|| Boss Hog, 5:49 pm || link |

ISN"T AWFUL ABOUT SCHAPELLE?

There's an awful lot of nonsense being published, at the moment, about the plight of Schapelle Corby, the young Australian women who is being tried by an Indonesian court for, allegedly, attempting to smuggle 4 kgs of cannabis into Bali - the drug was, apparently, found in Corby's luggage by Balinese Customs. Corby denies any knowledge of the contraband and claims that the drugs must have been placed in her luggage without her knowledge.
There is nothing nonsensical about Corby's plight, the use of innocent travellers as unwitting couriers of contraband, in these days of fast and frequent air travel, is by no means a rare event and is a method used by smugglers world wide - more often than not, travellers are unaware that they have been used as dupes, since the insertion and retrieval (in and from their luggage) of smuggled items is carried out well beyond their attention and control. If this is what happened to Schapelle Corby, then Australians have every right to feel for the woman in her ordeal. But her guilt or innocence is exactly what is being decided, at the moment in a court of law.
The nonsense, in Corby's case, comes from the fact that certain elements, in Australia, have decided that someone is to blame and that what better scapegoat is there than the Australian Government. This has been quickly picked up by the scavengers of the media - ever alert for potential carrion - and, consequently, Australians are being bombarded with all sorts of emotional (and sometimes irrelevant) accusations about the Corby case.
The Australian government should have done more! Pray tell, what? Corby has competent counsel. She is being tried in a duly constituted court of a sovereign state which adheres to the rule of law, she is able to call witnesses on her behalf and the proceedings are transparent and open. How could she be better treated in an Australian court?
It seems, to me, that there is an, implied, element of racism is much of the media reporting about the Corby case, insofar as the public is invited to infer that Corby is receiving second rate justice in an Indonesian Court - that is rascism. The Indonesian judicial system may be different to that employed in Australia but it is their country - Australians do not carry their own country's laws with them when they visit other nations. Moreover, the constant claim in media reports that Corby may face the death penalty if convicted is blatant skeleton rattling - the notion that Indonesia would execute a young Australian female with, apparently, no previous criminal record for attempting to smuggle, what is regarded by many as, a soft drug is so improbable as to be absurd. Just consider the international implications of such an act; think about the effect that that would have on Australian/Indonesian relations, not to mention the effect it would have on the tourist industry of Bali and other Indonesian resorts - come on, get real.
The Sydney Morning Herald turns up the hype today with a report of a claim by Ron Bakir, the Australian businessman who is financing part of Corby's defence, that John Patrick Ford, the Australian remand prisoner who claims to have (hearsay) evidence that Corby is innocent, may be killed or may die because he has come forward. This sort of hoopla is starting to sound like a pulp fiction plot.
|| Boss Hog, 11:30 am || link |

Friday, March 25, 2005

THE KOFI FACTOR

Small news clips, about the Oil for Food scandal, continue to dribble into the Australian media with the speed and energy of cold molasses in mid-winter. But there's something terribly lack-lustre about the reporting, most of the print media seems to treat this outrageous scandal with the same degree of diffidence they apply to writing about the local flower show. Where's the outrage? Today's Australian has an AP story about the amount that Kojo Annan, Kofi Annan's son, received from Cotecna, one of the companies that benefited under the oil-for-food scheme:

"NEW YORK: Kojo Annan, the son of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, received at least $US300,000 ($385,000) from a Swiss company that was awarded a contract from the UN oil-for-food program in Iraq, almost double the amount previously disclosed."

The article goes on to mention meetings that Kofi Annan himself had with Cotecna. All very interesting stuff but hardly mentioned by those elements of the Australian media which might be considered left-wing. If the individual concerned had happened to be related to George W.; John Howard or Tony Blair the blood would be running down the print media's presses and the TV tabloids would be in feeding frenzy that would put a pack of reef sharks to shame. But anything concerning Kofi Annan, that's even remotely unfavourable, gets spiked.
The Australian media is fair and unbiased? Yeah, right!
|| Boss Hog, 7:18 am || link |

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

TONY ABBOTT, ET AL

Hitherto, I haven't had the heart to blog on the Tony Abbott paternity story, it's such a heart-rending experience for all those concerned, particularly the young man whose natural curiousity to learn more about his birth parents, ironically, triggered the whole thing. The Currency Lad, however, is made of sterner stuff and has posted a thoughtful and perceptive commentary which, inter alia, points to the hypocrisy of those who lambasted Abbott when he was the presumptive father and now ridicule him for wearing the cuckold's horns. Predictably, this has drawn flak from those who, apparently, are enjoying Abbott's misfortune but, as usual, the Lad retains the high ground.
|| Boss Hog, 9:02 am || link |

THE BBC REPORTS COMPREHENSIVELY

Members of the Australian Army 21st Construction Squadron, Brisbane, work in a tropical rainstorm to flush out mud-filled drains at the Anzac Field Hospital in Banda Aceh.

Remember photos like this in the aftermath of the tsunami disaster? There were hundreds of them, not just of the Australian military effort but of the massive US effort as well. Plus there were literally thousands of news reports about the speedy relief and disease prevention work being carried out by US and Australian service personnel. It seems, however, that the BBC never got to hear about it - couldn't have, because in a current BBC article, heroes like the ones above don't rate a mention:

“Experts charged with preventing the spread of disease in the aftermath of the tsunami say they "got it right" and prevented a major health crisis.
After the Boxing Day disaster, there were fears that diseases such as diarrhoea, typhoid and malaria could claim the lives of many of those who had survived.
But speedy and co-ordinated action from relief agencies and the governments of the countries affected meant the numbers affected were much lower than they could have been”
(emphasis added)

The BBC has long had a sordid reputation for re-writing history but usually it waits a decent interval before doing so - not this time, it seems.
|| Boss Hog, 7:23 am || link |

VERY EXTREME MAKEOVER

Tired of how your sphincter's looking these days? Unhappy with the round brown look? Well, worry no more because, as the Australian's Emma Tom reveals, help is here. Apparently Sydney beauticians can now offer a full sphincter lightening service - that's right, you can now bleach away those anal blues.
It seems that only the gals are taking advantage of this vital procedure at the moment but, hey, fellas have needs too. So all of you guys who, hitherto, have been a bit reluctant to bend over in the locker room showers hustle along to your nearest uni-sex salon and get a rinse job. Just think off all the compliments, "Good one Wayne, it's taken years off your arse", or the admiring whispers, " I've always thought that Dave's butt was a bit grotty, but now - wow!".
And, of course, this also offers a great new solution for blokes who have problems about what to buy for birthdays and anniversaries. Now just give Momma a gift voucher for an anus tint - think how pleased she'll be.
Jesus wept! It's a new world alright.
|| Boss Hog, 6:25 am || link |

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

SUNSET - MY BACKYARD
|| Boss Hog, 8:25 am || link |

GLOBAL DIMMING MEETS GLOBAL WARMING

Regretfully I missed the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's 'Four Corners' last night which was all about the doomster's new (well, newish) kid on the block, global dimming. If you missed it too, the 'Four Corners' website doesn't have a transcript up, but no worries, the program was actually a BBC re-tread and you can read all about it (if you really have to) here at the BBC's Horizon site.
From reading the Horizon transcript it seems that global dimming is alleviating the effects of global warming at the moment but it's going to screw humanity in it's own horrible way anyway.
But that's not why I was keen to see the program, I was hoping that the presenter (and spin meister) would be Ticky Fullerton - one of the ABC's resident environmental doomsters. You might remember Ticky, she got caught with her pants around her ankles recently when she presented shonky and misleading data in the Four Corners program, Forest Giants.
Ticky's a real favourite at our place, my daughter's nick-named her Sally Skull. We always enjoy seeing Ticky plant her dainty foot in her, not so dainty, mouth. This dates back to when she was the anchor on the ABC's token offering to the bush, Landline, and ponced around in the obligatory Akubra and Baxter boots. Oh well, no doubt the ABC will repeat Dimming - it usually does.
|| Boss Hog, 6:50 am || link |