Saturday, May 28, 2005

'It's like Bingo, only in real life.'- Mr Free Market has a brilliant post, and I mean brilliant, on the infamous (in the UK anyway) Atkins/Williams family. It doesn't mean that I agree with everything (I'm basically anti-abortion) he says, but it's not a post to agree with, it's a post merely to nod your head to. The case of the Williams/Atkins family also er, spawned, this devastating post from Andrew McCann of A Tangled Web.

VDH gives a great analysis of some people who really annoy me.

Friday, May 27, 2005

More on the BBC's bogeyman Ilario Pantano from The Washington Times. The BBC has a response that I can only say cries out for a 'compare and contrast' approach. I was struck by the prominence of this quote (surely taken out of context badly):

'"The best interests of 2nd Lt Pantano and the government have been served by this process," the Marine Corps said in a statement.'

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Europe: yesterday's idea or a serious project? I leave you free to choose (heh).

Spoiling the atmospherics: Somehow I don't think this verdict was quite what Paul Wood had in mind when he wrote this article. One not for the BBC archive- catch it while you can. (thanks to Marc for the tip)

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

As the BBC offer their well-worn activist platform to the findings of Amnesty International, it's good to notice that the transnationals are coming under a least a little scrutiny, as in this Wall Street Journal article, 'As Bad as the Nazis?: What the Red Cross thinks of the US military.'

What's interesting about the article is that it identifies a pattern of behaviuor, especially concerning the IRC and the media, which demonstrates that it is far from being the 'truly neutral humanitarian body' which many ordinary people feel it must be, and which many in the media would like to pretend it is.

Which brings me to Amnesty, and the Beeb.

According to the Beeb, it is said that '"four years after 9/11, the promise to make the world a safer place remains hollow"'.

But since when was it Amnesty's role to focus its entire approach on the US's presumed 'promises', and to suggest that bringing peace is the responsibility (and therefore the lack of it the failure) of the US and not of the Islamofascists who clearly stoke and have stoked violence at every opportunity?

Or, as Ms Khan puts it, "When the most powerful country in the world thumbs its nose at the rule of law and human rights, it grants a licence to others to commit abuse with impunity."

This message is pathetic, suggesting that it is the US that grants a license for violence and not the fact of 9/11 which grants them a license for military action of whatever sort deemed necessary to prevent the future that 9/11 was intended by its perpetrators to presage.

The report goes onto suggest, according to the supine BBC presentation, that 'Many countries used anti-terror rhetoric to justify arbitrary detentions and unfair trials, it said, citing China's arrest of thousands of ethnic Uighurs and similar acts in India, Malaysia, Nepal and Pakistan'

But this is clearly a massive skewing of the data when one considers the patent human rights improvements in Afghanistan and Iraq, not to mention Syria, Lebanon, Egypt and Saudi Arabia- and the much greater pressure on those countries to reform- which have directly followed the prosecution of the WoT. The fact is that countries like China have never needed any excuse for human rights abuses, and the only difference now is that they actually need to give an answer to critics because of Bush's pro-human rights stance.

The whole approach of Amnesty is political, and pathetically shallow in its politicking. What I would like to see is direct and sustained criticism of these bodies, to the extent that their activity and their influence, and their presence on BBC soapboxes, is greatly reduced pending proof that they have a reasoning capacity and that they actually do any good.

Meanwhile, speaking of reasoning capacity ...- a nugget of the real thing (er, not) via USS Neverdock.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

No EU Constitution- no Problem (for the US) (brackets mine) (via RCP)

John O'Sullivan is good on the referenda- especially on putting a little orange in the picture:

' According to the law in the EU's founding treaties, the proposed constitution cannot go into effect if any nation rejects it. But the conventional wisdom is that there are national gradations of power in this regard:

First level: If France, a founding member of the EU and one of Europe's "Big Three," rejects the constitution by a clear margin, then the constitution is finished.

Second level: If Britain, one of Europe's "Big Three" but not a founding EU member, votes against it, then there would have to be renegotiations to make the treaty more palatable to the British electorate.

Third level: If Holland, a founding member but one of Europe's smaller nations, votes against it, then the Dutch will have to keep voting until they get it right -- as in the past the Irish and Danes were forced to eat their votes.'

Monday, May 23, 2005


France is poised to vote no, or something (Gerard Baker is not sure), and Britain is, with great slapping broad brush strokes, being painted into a corner as the bad guys for retaining their (well deserved) rebate. It's as if the French are being reassured that the rest of Europe has its eye firmly on the bad guys, l'Anglo Saxons, so the French electorate should take heart and vote 'oui'.

Eursoc covers lots of lovely Euroterritory.

Dear Lady Above- where can the BBC be? (perhaps their strike action has deprived them of their usual balance)

There was I, labouring under the conscientious apprehension that no-one cares about racismandsexism like the BBC, when I came across this nugget, which Natalie and Samizdata picked up, and which I should have read days ago but for my lazy eye/lazy clicker syndrome. It's from man on the conservative ball Theo Dalrymple, and I am truly shocked, shocked at his story of how a vicar, a man in fact, was able to project his Secret Self so effectually, penetrating the very heart of the carefully interwoven non-establishment diverse feminine and ethnic meritocracy.

Perhaps even more shocking, given that the Beeb looove these secret undercover institutional racexism stories, is that it takes a staid old Tory columnist to break the story. Where are you Beebies? Oh yes, I remember, bunking off. Keep up the good work!

Aside: actually, it's long been a mystery to me how such presses as Virago, the publisher bamboozled in this case, have been able to get away with such a blatant kind of unfairness- institutional sexism if ever there was such a thing.

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