Friday, March 30, 2007

Battery Link Farm 30-03-07

Strapped for time, so it's just the basics:

# I Am Not My Cock - a scathing condemnation of all those "girls should be more careful/guys can't help themselves" apologists for rape.
# Tanya at Just Something I Do on Why Isobel Redmond Is An Idiot - she obviously has problems with the idea of determining consent like an adult.
# Shakespeare's Sister with a moving piece on the Equal Rights Act in the US, and why it's important that support is building for it once again.
# Anna Winter @ LarvyProd on AWAs and other WorkChoices stuff - apparently pattern agreements are only okay if the employer is the one writing them.
# David Hicks pieces from Larvyprod, AnonymousLefty, The Reality-Based Community, H. Candace Gorman, Saint in a Straitjacket, Shakes Sis, OzPolitics and Road To Surfdom.

And finally, the money quote to counter any "Nobody saw the Iraq chaos coming!" talking point from Bush supporters:
"Going in and occupying Iraq, thus unilaterally exceeding the U.N.'s mandate, would have destroyed the precedent of international response to aggression we hoped to establish. Had we gone the invasion route, the U.S. could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land. It would have been a dramatically different--and perhaps barren--outcome." -- George Herbert Walker Bush.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Bloggers I Admire, Pt 2

aka Tabula Rasa 2

Okay, I got a little off-track, and started discussing blogs rather than bloggers in the last post. This time I'll keep it to people.

Tim Lambert at Deltoid continues to slog away at the anti-scientific vested interests, not to mention global warming denialists. Given how rabid and determined the Climate Change Resistance can be it's truly heartwarming to see this kind of stubborn refutation.

I'm very grateful to Umm Yasmin, who writes Dervish. In these times of stupidly inflamed racial tensions and the demonisation of Islam, the blogosphere needs more intelligent Muslim women blogging about what it actually means to be Muslim, and dispelling myths about Islam.

Speaking of brave Muslim women, the most well-known worldwide in the blogosphere is no doubt Riverbend, of Baghdad Burning fame. It's pretty frightening when she goes missing from blogging for a couple of months though...

Minotaur truly provides a public service by trawling through the dirt of Australia's media to recover any nuggets of actual useful news and analysis.

Just as admirably, Whatever It Is, I'm Against It gives us a good giggle, which is absolutely essential when there's so much to be outraged and depressed about. As the saying goes, sometimes you gotta laugh or you'll cry.

Melissa McEwan (aka Shakespeare's Sister) aims to strike a balance when it comes to this, with a prolific group of bloggers who post both frivolous stuff and serious political commentary. Great minds here and some of the best group blogging I've ever read.

Of course, sometimes the best antidote to despair is staying angry - and active. When it comes to angry, determined and motivated, nobody beats the FireDogLake crew. These intrepid bloggers have helped with fundraising across the 50-state strategy, have interviewed luminaries like Keith Olbermann and Glenn Greenwald - but they're best known for their tenacious, thorough and complete coverage of every aspect of the Scooter Libby perjury case, and the Valerie Plame incidents that preceded it. Seriously, you want to know anything about this case, check the archives. Joe Wilson himself has made appearances on the site in order to thank the crew for their tireless work. That's pretty high praise.

As a strong, fearless woman, a blogger and a political influence, Arianna Huffington just leaves me awestruck. Her site, the Huffington Post, has Nancy freakin' Pelosi blogging there for goodness' sake. And even the busiest day at Shakes or FDL is left for dead by a slow day on the HuffPo blog.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Free-range Link Farm 15-03-07

Fly-by post to some interesting links.

A great response in an LP comments thread about the Kyoto Protocol and what will come after it.
Quote: In my opinion if Australia was characterised as one person in the form of John Howard, on the issue of global CO2 emissions he would be seen as the bank robber who stole to support his life style and when caught protested to the court that it would be unfair for him to have to give up the proceeds of his crime as it would mean a drop in his living standard.

Bryan over at OzPolitics tells us why the one or two point changes in opinion polls from week to week are meaningless, and gives us some rules of thumb for interpreting the results.
Quote: The media has a vested interest in sensationalising the noise in polling sequences — a dramatic swing to a party one fortnight is headline news, and in the followed fortnight the dramatic swing back to the other party is also headline news.

AnonymousLefty draws some unflattering parallels between Japanese and Australian policy in regards to history.
Quote: No, I'm sure the country of Japan learned its lesson - which is why modern Japanese textbooks feel it's unnecessary to teach modern Japanese children about what their country really did sixty-odd years ago. Just like we in Australia don't need to teach our kids any parts of our history which we don't really want to look at too closely.

Tim Dunlop gives us a run-down of the Santoro Saga, an amusing situation for a Government who's recently been trying to attack the Opposition Leader on his supposed ethical breaches.
Quote: Eventually “remembering” that he had the shares, he tells the PM, sells his holding, in the process realising a one hundred percent profit on the deal that he forgot about, and so walks away with $6000. The PM exonerates him for his breach of the code of conduct and praises him for giving his profit on the shares to charity.
Trouble is, the charity he gives the money to isn’t a charity. It’s
a rightwing lobby group called the Family Council of Queensland, Inc. Whoops again.
And now for the interesting bit. It turns out that the person who offered Senator Santoro the shares in the first place is the associate director guessed it...the Family Council of Queensland, Inc., Alan Baker.

From Dave at Orcinus, a lovely collection of all the nice things major right-wing US political commentators have had to say about libuhrals. While the left can be fairly vitriolic, as Shakes points out most of the people listed here are national media figures, not just bloggers with a bug up their butt.
Quote: They are arranged by categories of eliminationism, namely: Expressing a desire or a demand for extermination, removal, or infliction of harm; identification of opponents with national enemies; identification of opponents as a target for retaliation or incarceration; expressing a desire for or approval of genocide or murder; identification with vermin or disease. Some of these overlap, and in some instances they reflected all of the above.
It seems these people are dedicated to "democracy" when it involves invading a foreign country, but not when it consists of respecting the opinions of others with differing views to express those views and, y'know, not suffer or die for them.

Speaking of Shakes, the wonderful Shakespeare's Sister (not the dodgy early 90s dog-note-singing pop duo) gives moral meddlers a little reminder about where their right to dictate other people's behavior ends, inspired by General Pace's comments about "immoral" homosexuality and the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy in the US Army.
Quote: And same-sex relationships pass the MREWYB test with flying colors. Spudsy's right to kiss and hug and love and fuck and marry and get a flat and a car and an adorable dog with his husband has absolutely no capacity to infringe on any of my rights. Or anyone else's. And the cool part about it is that it doesn't stop anyone else from complying with God's wishes as they interpret them. If your God says homosexuality is immoral, then you don't have to be gay—but the people who are gay can be as gay as the day is long, and better yet, equal to the rest of us.

Thanks to Glenn Greenwald, a downright chilling account of a luncheon (you have to click through an ad to get to the article) attended by George The Decider to honour one of his heroes, historian/historical revisionist Andrew Roberts. If you want an insight into why the hawks in the US admin continue to pursue destructive policies in the face of overwhelming domestic and worldwide condemnation, read it.

Quote: Roberts urged the president not to concern himself with these anti-American feelings, since in a unipolar world the lone superpower cannot be loved. His advice: "Get your policies right and history will prove a kind muse."

Scared yet?

Monday, March 12, 2007

Tabula Rasa

Ahhh crap. I went and changed over to the new formatting scheme without saving my blogroll, didn't I? So now it's all gone... all gone! **sniff**

Since I have to rebuild the list from scratch, it seems as good a time as any to spend a post reflecting on the bloggers who I admire and who inspire me.

Right near the top of the list would have to be Mark Bahnisch and co. over at Lavartus Prodeo (affectionately known as larvyprod). It's a great group project, and a fantastic selection of bloggers who all contribute insightful commentary there, in many cases also maintaining their own blogs. There's also a lively and (mostly) intelligent audience of commenters who will often spawn later posts when addressing a particular subject.

Also up there is Tim Dunlop, best known for the brilliant Road To Surfdom blog which he pretty much single-handedly blogged until he got snapped up by Uncle Rupert - so now he's getting paid to blog (good work if you can get it!) full-time at Blogocracy. Tim never fails to make me laugh, make me think, and just generally come up with great material. He still pops in to RTS from time to time, but the blogging duties there are mostly covered these days by a crew of bloggers Tim recruited upon becoming a sellout (just kidding, Tim!) who include Eric Martin, Ken Lovell, Helen from Cast Iron Balcony and the inimitable Aussie Bob.

Liberal mothers whisper to their children in dark places the fates of little lefties who venture into Catallaxy Files without rock-bottomed, copper-sheathed unassailable arguments. Fantastic intellects, libertarian views, great economic analysis, very little patience for the idealistic or hard-left. Skepticlawyer in particular is great to read.

Ever read an Andrew Bolt column? Did it make you want to claw your eyes out? Then you'll love BoltWatch. In the words of its creator MrLefty, it's "Where Andrew Bolt's Deranged Polemic ... Gets What's Coming To It". And it certainly does. MrLefty also maintains AnonymousLefty, one of my favourite blogs that relentlessly pokes fun at raving right-wing loonies.

I also love weez over at Machine Gun Keyboard. Between the comics, the military analysis and the just plain snark, she's great value! Also in the same domain lies Suki Has An Opinion - Suki makes some fantastic posts, particularly in relation to feminism.

Wow, I'm only scratching the surface. Part 2 coming soon.