The G-8 comes to my neck of the woods


Frederick County, Maryland, USA. It’s a relatively normal place…normal being relative anywhere, I suppose. It’s home to about 235,000 souls, and is roughly 670 square miles in area. You can drive from one end of the county to another in under 30 minutes, whether it’s north-south or east-west.

I’ve call FredCo home for 13 years now. As with most who moved here in the 90’s, it was the only place in the Baltimore/Washington corridor where we could afford a larger house with a yard.

But FredCo has within its borders something that sets it apart from other mostly rural counties in Maryland. Just outside of Thurmont, a mere 15 minute drive from the city of Frederick, is a little place called Camp David. And, suddenly, this weekend Frederick County is on the map.


 This morning a few G-8 protesters were gathering in Thurmont, painting signs and gathering on street corners to share their thoughts about world affairs.

Richard Ochs and Donna Plamondon, two members of Occupy Baltimore, expected to be joined by about a dozen others from their group. They prepared signs near the Weis grocery at the southern end of the city.

Outdoors, reporters and law enforcement outnumbered residents and protesters before 11 a.m. Protesters said they had no plans to be destructive, but wanted to let government officials know that they are dissatisfied with the status quo. Nine Occupy New Haven members arrived by car after camping nearby.

Barbara Barbe was out front of Brown’s Jewelry & Gift store watching the morning’s activity.

“Every other car’s a police car,” Barbe said.

She and police shared the opinion that all seemed to be calm and friendly under the sunny skies.


Notwithstanding the nonchalance of the local paper, the truth on the ground is that there is great deal of apprehension around FredCo. The local hospital is on high alert, with mandatory on-site staff presence and a makeshift triage – “just in case” – in the cafeteria. The local news-talk radio station is sending out special emails reminding listeners to tune to 930 AM for the latest information.

Anyone who has followed the news, even casually, over the past decade knows that a G-8 or G-20 summit usually means riots in the host city. I’m not sure where the protesters could riot in FredCo. Thurmont is a spec on the map, and Frederick city is not exactly Metropolis. Maybe they can meet at FSK Mall, or Baker Park. I dunno.

If anything of interest happens, I’ll make a follow-up post. Otherwise, you’ll know that it was just another ordinary, quiet weekend in the sticks.

Full fathom 5 my Slipper lies.


The drama in Canberra has inspired me to discover a long lost poem by one Mr William Shakespere.

Full fathom 5 my slipper lies:

Of his reputation cesspools are made:

Those little turds that were his eyes:

Nothing of him that doth fade:

But doth suffer a Party-change:

Into something stink and manged:

Press gallery hourly ring his knell:

Dong-Dong

Fark, now I hear them,– Dong-Dong, Taxi!!

Original below the fold.

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A long fisking of a stupid Parlimentarian


I caught Christine Milne (Greens Tasmania) on ABC news radio yesterday  on Thursday during the opening speeches about the minerals taxation bill.

The sheer “did she just say that” stupidity was breathtaking… That she hasnt been pilloried in the press for it speaks volumes about the poor state of political reporting in Australia today.

So Im going to fisk it a little, its a loooong speech, so it will take quite a while, her speech will be plain text, my observations will be bold.

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Crossin):

Order! The Senate is considering the minerals resource rent tax legislation as a package.

Senator MILNE

(Tasmania—Deputy Leader of the Australian Greens) (19:30):

I rise tonight to discuss what sort of future we aspire to have in this country, because, whilst the specific is the Minerals Resource Rent Tax Bill 2011 and associated legislation, the context in which we are debating this tax is what sort of vision do we have for Australia in the next 20, 30 or 50 years. How you raise the money and where you spend it will determine that kind of country, because the future is actually an extension of the present and it is shaped by the decisions and actions we make.

Here Christine is using her amazing intellect to tell us time is linear, and actions have consequences… probably the highest point of her speech

More, oh so much more.. under the fold

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Modern Australian education


Just received this bit of coursework from a mates son in year 8 school, Ive removed the names but its first hand, not one of the usual “internet memes” that you get 45th hand.

A year 8 English poem!!!   Bought home by ****** for an assignment. Opinions please!!

 

TIME IS RUNNING OUT
The miner rapes
The heart of earth
With his violent spade.
Stealing, bottling her black blood
For the sake of greedy trade.
On his metal throne of destruction,
He labours away with a will,
Piling the mountainous minerals high
With giant tool and iron drill.

 

The face of evil?

In his greedy lust for power,
He destroys old nature’s will.
For the sake of the filthy dollar,
He dirties the nest he builds.
Well he knows that violence
Of his destructive kind
Will be violently written
Upon the sands of time.

 

A pristine peoples nest, before the miners move in?

But time is running out
And time is close at hand,
For the Dreamtime folk are massing
To defend their timeless land.
Come gentle black man
Show your strength;
Time to take a stand.
Make the violent miner feel
Your violent
Love of land.
Oodgeroo Noonuccal.

My opinion?

What a heap of steaming greenie shit wrapped up in a “poor blackfellah me” story to try and give it respectability. The lady that wrote it was a Communist, and the name it was written under was her original one  Kath Walker, but plain old Kath Walker wouldnt sound mystical enough for the education department would it?

 

This type of bullshit propaganda completely ignores any of the massive plus sides of a modern manufactured life. Pencils, air con, computers, coal for electricity, steel, all used to improve the lives of millions of Australians.

Ignored for some mystical greenie gibberish which makes a fetish of a stone age way of life.

The Afghan Koran burning riots are purely political


Right, time to quote some of the beardie weirdies own rulings on the proper disposal of Korans back to them.

As most people are aware an entirely fabricated and stage managed “outrage” has erupted over the disposal of defaced korans in Afghanistan.

Even the Iranians are using it as a propaganda tool.

It has led to war graves of Sodiers who fought against nazi tyrrany being defaced in the now “free” country of Lybia being attacked and desecrated.

This makes me somewhat cross.

 

Years ago in Port hedland we had a large number of Korans damaged in a deliberately lit fire, the Imam was consulted about the proper methods of disposal for the damaged books.

The 2 suggested methods were a burial (which ened up being what was done) or burning them.

I would suggest the Korans which have caused this “outrage” were being disposed of in an entirely Islamicly agreeable manner.

But enough from me, let see what various “Ask the Imam” sites say about this.

 

Ummah forum: How do you destroy (if that’s the right word ) Quranic verses. So if you’ve got a Quran that is worn out with damaged pages etc, how should you dispose of it?

Daruliffta:How does one get rid of unwanted religious literature, such as religious books, leaflets with the name of Allah, etc? Also, please state the ruling on what should be done to the copies of Qur’an that are no longer in a useable state:

Islam Q&A: How much efforts should muslim put in to preserve the old copies of Quran? This certainly requires resources and expertise in preservation. There are many old copies of Quran in various libraries and homes but they are all dusted and in bad condition. How one should act in this situation where there is a desire to save such Mushaaf?.

 

Guess what is acceptable in all 3 as the disposal method?

My prefferred option.

 

Onlt one out of the 3 suggests burning as less than optimal, all 3 have it as a legitimate disposal method.

 

Indeed, if I was a military commander in Afghanistan I might suggest handing over the detainees who defaced the Korans in the first place for the customary punishments

“..Desecrating a copy of the Quran is punishable by imprisonment in some countries (life imprisonment in Pakistan, according to Article 295-B of the Penal Code) and has been punishable by death in Afghanistan, Somalia and Pakistan…”

 

This is purely confected outrage, call the shits out on it, ask if they are going against thier own religous rulings on this one.

Say “Yes,” Tim!


As a favor to an old Air Force friend, I’d like to ask any of y’all who have Facebook or Twitter accounts or your own blogs to give this a bit of oxygen.

Thank you and God bless!

♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦

Update: Gregory No. 6, James Board and El Campeador join the campaign. If you’ve re-blogged, Facebooked or Twittered it, let me know in comments below and we’ll give you a plug as well.

Why the desire to pull the troops out of Iraq in the first place?


*posted first on Friday Feb. 10, here*

In the Australian today:

NO sooner did President Barack Obama welcome home American troops from Iraq and laud that country’s stability and democracy than an unprecedented wave of violence across Baghdad and elsewhere revealed the severity of Iraq’s political crisis.

Unfortunate, yet hardly surprising, even to the most casual of observers.

And whilst I can understand (yet not agree with) the Left’s position not to send troops into Iraq in the first place – an argument, largely moot, for another day – what I don’t understand is their fervish desire to pull the troops out.

It always smacked of idealism, ideology, rather than hard-nosed practicality.

After all, what was so bad with having a US troop presence there to help maintain Iraq’s fragile democratic stability?

One could argue that I am biased because a) I am centre-right politically and b) because I live in South Korea, a nation that has had a US troop presence – some 37,000  28,000 or so currently – since the armistice between North and South Korea and have seen what a permanent US troop presence looks like.

I am happy to accept those labels and can gladly tell you that such a presence ain’t that bad.

By and large,  US bases in Korea – and Japan for that matter – haven’t been a problem.

Sure, issues pop up from time to time, but if one looks at the big picture, then a strong US presence here can only be seen as a good thing, a safe option, a pretty darn good insurance policy against North Korea trying anything major on.

Almost 60 years we’ve had US troops over here without any major problems. In fact, many major problems (a full-scale Nork attack comes to mind) have arguably been averted thanks to this presence.

So, why the rush to leave Iraq essentially free of any US military  before even a decade is up and before, as is clear now, the job is done?

OK, so perhaps it’s a bit like comparing apples and oranges. US troops in Korea, aside from those stationed at the DMZ, aren’t on active duty as they were in Iraq.

However, it’s not a completely dissimilar situation. Perhaps a good analogy would be to compare mandarins and oranges.

US troops not only provided safety and stability in the fledgling democracy that is Iraq – a country still steeped with sectarian and tribal rivalries – but surely they also provided a deterrence to anybody or any groups who want to destabilise the nation.

What takes years to build can take mere seconds to destroy, and I fear a lot of hard work is being undone on the whim of a flawed, feel-good, ideology.

So why?

The only practical reason that I can see for Obama pulling his troops out of Iraq is that with an Iranian confrontation looming which includes action needed in Syria, Iraq frankly isn’t important enough any more or at best, an impractical option for a potentially over-stretched military.

Of course, Obama – a man of the progressive Left – can’t actually come out and say that but it is reasonably well-known to those who don’t just get their news from the MSM that Obama is actually more of a war-time president than Bush was, having committed more troops to both Iraq and Afghanistan, and for a longer period of time.

So whilst the MSM might play along with the “bringing the troops home” narrative, the evidence indicates this simply isn’t the case.

Some 20,000 marines, seamen and air crews from half a dozen countries, a US nuclear aircraft carrier strike group and three US Marine gunship carriers are practicing an attack on a fictitious mechanized enemy division which has invaded its neighbor. It is the largest amphibian exercise seen in the West for a decade, staged to simulate a potential Iranian invasion of an allied Persian Gulf country and a marine landing on the Iranian coast. Based largely on US personnel and hardware, French, British, Italian, Dutch, Australian* and New Zealand military elements are integrated in the drill.
Bold Alligator went into its operational phase Monday, Feb. 6, the same day as a large-scale exercise began in southern Iran opposite the Strait of Hormuz. This simultaneity attests to the preparations for a US-Iranian showdown involving Israel behind the words on Feb. 5 of US President Barack Obama (“I don’t think Israel has decided whether to attack Iran”) and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Feb. 3 (“The war itself will be ten times as detrimental to the US.”).

(*BTW, I don’t recall Aussie PM Gillard highlighting that one.)

And this:

As the US and Israel carried on bickering over the right time to strike Iran’s nuclear sites, their war preparations continued apace. debkafile’s military sources report that flight after flight of US warplanes and transports were to be seen this week cutting eastward through the skies of Sinai on their way to Gulf destinations, presumably Saudi Arabia, at a frequency not seen in the Middle East for many years.

Add into this mix reports that China will reportedly help Saudi Arabia build a nuclear bomb, and that both China and India have started paying Iran for its oil in gold thus helping thwart current US/UN sanctions (more of which were recently thwarted by Russia and China), then we see a stage set for a showdown and we see the reality that rhetoric aside, Obama won’t be bringing many troops home at all.

To someone who doesn’t know any better, it’s as if Russia, India, and China – all wannabe first chickens to the trough – are ganging up on America.**

PS Who wouldn’t love to be a fly on the wall listening in to what the US is really saying about China? Their ever-expanding use of soft power is in many ways, stuffing it all up for America. China must surely be becoming an ever-increasing pain in the neck.

This leaves Australia in an interesting position. Our main export partner is China. Our main ally is the US. We send China our goodies to help them get rich and rival America. We practice shooting our guns with America to help keep America on top.

And yet China and America are also so deep in each other’s pockets. America buys China’s goods. China buys America’s debt.

Fun times.

** I highly recommend reading The Lucifer Principle by Howard Bloom. Part of the book talks about the pecking order of nations.

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