she sells sanctuary

April 30, 2003
Game over?
From the Australian Financial Review
today ("HIH puts corporate largesse in spotlight"; subscription required):
The royal commission into HIH's collapse recommended greater transparency for corporate charitable donations, after the failing insurer was found to have donated $21 million to causes favoured by its chief executive such as the Liberal Party and medical charities. But the commission's recommendation has revived a debate over the right of directors to give away shareholders' funds at all.

Interest groups maintain that requiring shareholder approval for charitable spending would be impractical and that you can't expect companies to consult with shareholders about every little detail, like the odd $21 million. Philanthropy Australia thinks it's a bad idea. But then, they would say that, wouldn't they?
"Companies make all sorts of decisions with shareholder funds. What about spending on publicity, to say nothing of CEO salaries that seem to go into telephone-book type figures?"

They do have a point. Still, I'm not a player (except on Blogshares of course!), so I'd be interested to hear what some of you serious investors think. Are you actually aware of the donations made by companies on your behalf (and using your funds) and does it play a role in your choice of stocks? And could there be a better way to encourage the corporate giving that John Howard likes to rave about while simultaneously allowing shareholders some control over the use of their funds? (And let's leave aside the whole question of how the Liberal Party can really be seen as a charitable cause...)
How much do shareholders really need to know? (Note to commenters - you can comment anonymously, especially if you're, like, Kerry Packer and you don't want everyone reading this blog to know you're in the big league.)

(Of course, if you're Kerry Packer, this should be your first stop, if you're gambling on the warm and fuzzies...)

posted by Gianna 1:45 PM

. . .

April 29, 2003
To free or not to free?
Frankly, I just don't get why Iran isn't being attacked. A couple of days ago, Donald Rumsfeld
"When President Bush decided to go to the United Nations and say that there needed to be a change [in Iraq], he said he saw an Iraq that was whole, one country, not in pieces, an Iraq that would be free, the people would be free, an Iraq that would not threaten its neighbors, an Iraq that would not have weapons of mass destruction, and an Iraq that would put itself on a path towards representative government, where the rights of the minorities, the rights of different religious groups in that country, would be respected."

OK, but contrast this with what he says next:
"In Iran what you have is a small group of clerics that are running that country in a way that is not democratic, that is repressive of the people, and I sense that there's stirrings in that country, that the young people, and the women, and the people who would prefer to be free and not have to follow such a rigid line, would like to see a change in that country. Now that's their problem. But the idea of having that kind of government imposed by a small clique of people in Iraq, would in fact be inconsistent with what we hope we'll see happen." (my emphasis)

It's the Iranian people's problem? Whatever happened to the liberation rationale for pre-emptive wars?

posted by Gianna 10:51 PM

. . .

Cops and rubbers
Queensland Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson personally advised a Sunshine Coast detective to drop out of Big Brother because it would have reflected poorly on the service. Brett Jensen was to have been among the 16 contestants introduced in the season opener of Channel Ten's reality TV series on Sunday night.

At least we’ve still got the lewd former cop, Benjamin Archbold.

posted by Gianna 1:39 PM

. . .

More like a roadblock
The Great Liberator declares:
"The Dixie Chicks are free to speak their mind. They can say what they want to say. And they shouldn't have their feelings hurt just because some people don't want to buy their records when they speak out. You know, freedom is a two-way street."

Well, speaking out against the US is something you will probably rue, since the Bush Administration obviously endorses boycotts or economic oppression of dissenters like the Dixie Chicks and France:
Secretary of State Colin Powell made that crystal clear in a television interview Tuesday night when he said that France would suffer the consequences of its opposition to the American-led war.
Another senior [French] official put it more starkly. "It's a very serious, long term crisis," he said. "The message from Washington is, 'You go to Canossa or you are banished to the darkness outside,'" a reference to the site of Italian castle where Emperor Henry IV did penance to persuade Pope Gregory VII to lift the excommunication against him. France, however, is not in the mood for penance.
Chirac must move to assuage the fears of French executives of potential grass-roots retaliation against France's economy, which even without the war was mired in a recession.
A cartoon in the latest issue of the satirical weekly Le Canard Enchaine showed Chirac facing a group of angry businessmen holding a placard that read, "Our markets!" Chirac tells them, "I promise you, the next war, we'll do it!"

And I'll bet Belgian chocolates have been banned from Whitehouse pillows after Belgium indicted General Tommy Franks on war crimes, citing “command responsibility” for various blunders made during Iraq war:
“The complaint, which…will be officially filed in about two weeks, will accuse coalition forces of numerous atrocities in Iraq. Among them: the failure to prevent the mass looting of hospitals in Baghdad after the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime; eyewitness testimony of U.S. troops firing upon an ambulance; the indiscriminate shooting and wounding its driver by U.S. armored vehicles of civilians in Baghdad; the bombing of a marketplace in Baghdad that killed scores of civilians; the attack on a civilian bus with an "energy weapon" in the town of al-Hillah, killing at least 10 passengers.”

posted by Gianna 1:01 PM

. . .

Guns but no roses
"You're out there (in the army) to kill people, not to look good. A tattoo on your neck? Are you going to offend someone when you've got a gun and are shooting at people – they're going to be offended anyway."
Major Sam Houston, father of an Army applicant who was rejected for having a tattoo.

posted by Gianna 12:28 PM

. . .

Double fantasy
Sometimes I think
this guy is actually this guy (who is actually Joe12, but that's another story). Something about the music...I do love a great political/musical blog. Is it just me? Perhaps...perhaps...perhaps.

posted by Gianna 7:31 AM

. . .

April 28, 2003
Still less about the war
One of my bosses took me to lunch at the posh Wildfire eatery at the Overseas Passenger Terminal the other day. As the waiter stood there reeling off the specials I heard the word eel and must have made a face. The waiter turned to me and smirked, "It tastes like fish." Well, why don't you just bloody eat fish then?
The only eel I've ever had any dealings with was the one that didn't get away. Instead of hauling in what I thought had to be a pretty impressive fish, I was confronted by a hideous, snake-like creature writhing around all over the boat. Needless to say I ended up in the drink, and I’ve never much liked sailing, or fishing, since.
Perhaps I could have had my revenge but being a conservative diner (too many tongues and livers served at Casa Bianca, I fear), I had the tuna steak. And it was delicious; the perfect example of Australian nouvelle cuisine: huge white plate, edible artwork, but a generous portion. (Thanks for lunch, Matt.)
Speaking of creepy-crawlies, did everyone notice that
Tim Blair (permalinks not working, ho hum) is terrified of spiders, and isn’t afraid to resort to chemical and biological weapons to defend himself against members of the the Axis of Eightleggedness...

posted by Gianna 9:29 PM

. . .

Mixed messages
I got paranoid the other day when I turned on my computer and for the first time in about three years, there was a message saying "please wait while Windows builds a driver information base". I figured it was just some kind of automatic Windows housekeeping program thing, or something. But then yesterday, when I left my computer on all day, I came back to find someone had left open on my desktop a little animated beating-heart GIF. It was a little file that I once nicked off someone's blog, thinking I might put it to use in an email to a lover (I can be corny too, huh).
Of course, the cats could just have walked across the keyboard. They do that. I get these hyroglyphic little cryptic messages. In fact, if I seem to post a bit strangely sometimes, that’s probably just the cats. Forgive them.
Anyway, I'm wondering if maybe someone's hacking my computer--I'm sure it's not all that hard. You can probably do it after Computers 101. So if anyone has any advice about installing firewalls or something, I'd appreciate an email.
PS Joe assures me it wasn’t him. He was over most of the weekend and though I was here when he was, he could’ve gone and looked at my computer while I was in the loo or something. I mean, I have to take his word for it, right? Whaddya reckon - should I believe him? My girlfriends reckon it was him...

posted by Gianna 9:12 PM

. . .

Truly, madly, deeply

Mad Girl's Love Song
Sylvia Plath
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;
I lift my lids and all is born again.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

The stars go waltzing out in blue and red,
And arbitrary blackness gallops in:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I dreamed that you bewitched me into bed
And sung me moon-struck, kissed me quite insane.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

God topples from the sky, hell's fires fade:
Exit seraphim and Satan's men:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I fancied you'd return the way you said,
But I grow old and I forget your name.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

I should have loved a thunderbird instead;
At least when spring comes they roar back again.
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

posted by Gianna 7:07 PM

. . .

Philanthropists central
For the benefit of potential sugardaddies/mommies, and for my Nigerian friends who are desperate to figure out how to pass on my percentage of 200 million bucks, I have now added a
donation button to my blogroll. Of course, this means I had better stop daydreaming and actually post something interesting. (The weekend was very busy and inexplicable but regular blogging will resume they say.)

posted by Gianna 2:03 PM

. . .

April 24, 2003
Fall on your sword, mate
Big, fat, fatal mistake for Simon Crean to have gotten so upset by Kim Beazley's coy remarks. Crean should've brushed it off, risen above it, not even deigned to reply, etc. Instead, we got
plaintive whimpering:
I'll just say what's going on, Kim? We had the discussion at the beginning of the year, you said you wouldn't be challenging, you said that you would be totally behind us, you passed up the opportunity to come on to the front bench and be part of a revitalised team that I wanted. What's all this about?

Graham Richardson on the 7:30 Report last night said that Labor won't have enough time to anoint a new Opposition leader if Howard calls an early election. Well, as if John Howard isn't going to do a victory lap. He's practically chafing at the bit, smug and eager to ride that wave of public relief to another glorious win (...and then swiftly hand over the reins to the otherwise unelectable Peter Costello). But Howard can't properly bask in his glory until Iraq is totally sorted, cause it's still a victory-in-progress and there's no telling what public opinion might do if that changes. Which it still could. So Howard has to wait til things settle down in the Middle East--which really should give Labor enough time to come up with something.
Then again, Margo Kingston reckons Beazley should lead Labor into its next defeat, and she's right: far better to sacrifice Beazley, if Labor hasn't got a hope against John Howard, than taint any talented new blood with an immediate loss.
Poor Crean. Last night he looked about to cry. But you just can't be thin-skinned in politics.

posted by Gianna 11:09 AM

. . .

April 23, 2003
Which Pulp Fiction Character Are You?

I reckon Jay Garner's gotta be Winston "The Wolf" Wolfe.

PS. Apparently I am Honey Bunny: "You've got a split personality, one side of you is sweet and romantic, and the other is a psycho gun-totin' restaurant robber. You gotta learn to chill out, Honey Bunny."

posted by Gianna 1:34 PM

. . .

April 22, 2003
A touch of class envy

Private school enrolments in NSW are up by 20% while public school figures are static, according to Gerard Noonan ("More please, sir: Our kind of school", Spectrum, SMH, 18/4, no link). From Noonan’s anecdotal evidence, the increase doesn't seem to be for religious or academic reasons, and the upshot seems to be that it's more likely just status/snobbery, image (slick buildings, slick marketing) and increased opportunities for extracurricular activities.

One of the big reasons parents gave for sending their kids to private schools was apparently to learn discipline and respect for authority, symbolised by the wearing of uniforms. There’s probably truth in the uniform/respect for authority link, though public schools have uniforms too, of course. The two schools I attended, North Sydney Demonstration School and Mosman High, were both public and both had uniforms (maybe not as fancypants as some, granted). However, my parents refused to let us wear uniforms. European migrants with not too distant memories of Nazism, they were very much against anything 'Groupthink' and saw uniforms as an insidious evil. Sure enough, to this day, I’m not known for my ability to stick to rules (even when this amounts to sheer self-sabotage...think of the Woody Allen character who, when pulled over by a cop, walks up to the officer and defiantly proceeds to rip up his own drivers licence.)

I remember asking my dad one day, a bit tearfully, if I mightn't be allowed to go to Queenwood School for Girls, which was across the road from our apartment, so that I could wear the little hat and gloves too. My dad looked at me and said, "Gianna, you can wear a hat and gloves at your school if you want." But I think what I wanted was the "belonging". Not just to any group, either; to the group that clearly believed itself to be far superior to us. I was very conflicted. On the one hand I wanted to be a rich girl called Chelsea or Savannah (as they all seemed to be), who the public school boys all lusted after (something about the hats and gloves, perhaps). But on the other hand, class envy became outright class warfare on the schoolbus - the private school girls would flick the rubberbands from their braces at us, and we would taunt the Shore or Aloysius boys in their boaters.

Noonan quotes a parent being amazed "by the 'incredible ownership' that the students at Scots have for the school...If you called it a dump, they'd absolutely jump on you, whereas at Cronulla High, if you said the same thing, they'd probably cheer." I know what that parent means. I remember watching a doco once about kids at The Kings School (I mean, even just the name), and being taken aback when the schoolboys spontaneously started singing their school song; thinking, you just wouldn't have caught anyone dead at my high school doing that.

Maybe it all just boils down to the difference between having a team culture versus having an independent culture. Private schools seem more focused on building relationships, networks, contacts. They emphasise "belonging" much more than state schools where, as at mine, it can be more important not to conform. To stand out from the pack in some way (and to thumb your nose at your school's authority, natch)--that was the goal.
Anyway, those of you with kids (or those without): Any comment on your rationale for public or private education?

posted by Gianna 1:48 PM

. . .

Coming unspun
Came across a note I made last year about a story by Herald journo Jane Cadzow ("Inside spin city", Good Weekend, 26/5/01): "It's a brave newspaper to report that 60 to 80% of news stories are sourced to PR people". Sixty to eighty percent...Wow, huh.

posted by Gianna 1:47 PM

. . .

Kelly gang says Howard won
Over at Murdoch's Australian newspaper (19/4), editor-at-large Paul Kelly sums it up like this:
"For the [Labor] true believers and their intellectual milieu (often the Fairfax-ABC axis) [there's that word again!] the Iraq war is immoral, the US is a threat, Howard is a racist populist, refugee policy is illegitimate and Australia's values are being corrupted. The true believers have embraced with passion a world view that is powerfully legitimised by their preferred organs of mass media but is a foreign language for most Australians. The domestic tragedy of Iraq for Labor is the issue where it hoped to break the mould has merely reinforced Howard's grip."
Then again, just because Australians are relieved the war seems to be over, it doesn't mean they necessarily think it was the right thing to do in the first place.

posted by Gianna 1:47 PM

. . .

Let them eat cake
And in case you missed this little item in the Sydney Morning Herald (18/4):
"Dope in the house: More than a quarter of 58 West Australian MPs surveyed admitted to cannabis use. Two currently smoked and one had eaten a cannabis-laced cake in the past year." (Note: They did not inhale. Especially not the icing sugar.)

posted by Gianna 1:46 PM

. . .

April 18, 2003
Playing on Triple J at this moment: Kiss's Do you love me? (I prefer
this one. Or maybe this one.)
I was interested to read Gary and Boynton writing about cyber-relationships this week. When I was studying psychology I was most attracted to social and personality psychology, and was particularly fascinated by the study of Love. Sometimes I wonder if in the process of theorising about it, I might have accidentally killed it for myself. (Nah..)
Now on the radio, Michael Franti...I really liked the interview with Michael that Andrew Denton did this week ("Enough Rope", Monday nights, ABC-TV). Michael said the West could do worse than drop a million bucks on a country, instead of a million bombs. Or it's like what my friend Cabbage said the other night. In circumstances where there's doubt about whether the Right or the Left are right, all you have to do is ask, 'Where's the love?'.
Suzy's asking the same thing. I hope she finds her soulmate and blogs about her progress, of course. (Her permalinks aren't working so look for "A little bit of wishful thinking".)

PS. ...and then there's self-love (and war). Please do not click here if you blush easily.

posted by Gianna 2:16 PM

. . .

April 17, 2003
So who is right and what is left?

There was standing room only for Margo Kingston and Imre Salusinszky at the Sydney Institute's seminar "The Left: Two views" tonight. Despite having something of a hangover and still getting over the flu, I let Jay drag me there, and I'm glad I went. After all, I am known to obsess about the meaning of Left and Right on occasion..

What I came away with is that many of us feel the labels are pretty much useless now. Nobody is really sure what they mean anymore, and we don’t even always mean the same thing when we use them. This discussion seemed more about the war than the labels, but it’s the war that has brought the whole issue of Left v Right to the table. Margo said*:
"The war on terrorism has sounded the death knell for the Right/Left dichotomy. Take Chirac, for example: He's Right-wing and anti-war."

Imre, too, pointed out how Blair, the Left's champion of the Third Way, is pro-war. He mentioned the protesters who attacked Bob Carr's car despite the fact that the Premier is known to be Left-wing (and therefore presumably anti-war). But I don't think we can assume everyone knows who Bob Carr is, whose 'side' he is on. Maybe all those protesters saw was a Government car, a symbol of authority.
Margo said, of the labels 'Left' and 'Right':
"Binaries are escapism, tools of fanatical political tribalism, avoidance mechanisms....The truth is in how the people act and react to what's happening."

Imre defined the Left as comprising two groups: The extreme Far Left, who are "anti-capitalism and intellectual", and the "mainstream political Left". For most of his talk he seemed to concentrate on the Far Left, though.

Imre talked up the anti-American sentiment in the Left. But the Left isn't anti-America generally, it is only anti-America specifically, in this context of world war. (OK, there are other things the Left doesn’t like about the extremes of America, cowboy capitalism, for example; the misuse of ‘third world’ countries for cheap labour, but it’s the military aggression that’s salient right now.)

On the question of why the West seems to grieve it's own "collateral damage" more than that of others, Imre contended that grief is familiar and local—we grieve more for the loss of our own child than for the loss of someone else’s. So we grieve more for Americans because they are familiar, compared to strangers in strange places. But then, why do we grieve for innocent Iraqis? Why do we want to liberate them?

During the general discussion, a woman beside me got up and said, "There just don't seem to be any Right-wing intellectuals in Australia..." (Margo responded theatrically at this.)
"Imre is the closest thing we have to a P.J. O'Rourke," the woman continued.
When the woman sat down I suggested to her, “Miranda Devine, Piers Akerman?"
"They're not intellectuals," she said. (Though P.J. O’Rourke was a writer for Rolling Stone, I believe.)
Intellectual. Another one of those useful labels. The dictionary says it's anything 'of interest to the mind'. I suspect there's more to it than that. Define intellectual, someone, please...

I thought the most interesting comment Imre made was that “Capitalism doesn’t need visionaries or planning”. Say what?
At the end, I went over and asked him why it isn't permissible to criticise America. He said something about how “if it weren't for the United States, Australia would be a Japanese colony right now". Oh yeah, and then we'd have 200 flavours of Coke in vending machines...

(*quotes from memory)

posted by Gianna 12:47 AM

. . .

April 16, 2003
To err is human...
Wonders will never cease. Now it's my turn to find myself in agreement with Donald Rumsfeld. He said something about free people being free to make mistakes. That's actually true, I reckon. Someone commented
over at Tim's that free people aren't free because they have to live within the law. Well, we must live within the law, but we can still break it. We are still free to make mistakes--we just have to live with the consequences. (It’s a very existentialist position for Rumsfeld, a God-fearing Republican, doncha think? After all, wasn’t it Nietzsche who said that man is free, but bears the burden of the responsibility for his own mistakes?)

posted by Gianna 10:44 PM

. . .

More please
So it takes a charity to organise proper medical
help for Iraqi children injured by the Coalition. Who else thinks the duty of care falls on the Coalition to treat everyone they accidentally bombed for free?

posted by Gianna 10:17 AM

. . .

April 15, 2003
It'll be just like starting over
seriously talking about Syria:
“U.S. officials said Rumsfeld has advocated military strikes along the Iraqi-Syrian border to stop the flow of Arab suicide volunteers in Iraq as well as prevent the flow of Iraqi regime leaders and scientists toward Damascus.”

OK, it's not funny any more, guys. But Dubya has that glint in his eye. I've seen that glint before. He won't stop with one scalp, he wants all three.
As the French say:
"It does not cross well the ocean." -- French diplomat on Bush's communications with Europe.(SBS, Blair's War, 15.4).

posted by Gianna 10:47 PM

. . .

April 13, 2003
100% pure love
If I showed you a photo of yesterday, you would see in the middle a small child with brown hair, blue eyes, red overalls, a big grin. That's Raph, my nephew. He's sitting in his highchair in the garden, with his teddybear-shaped cake with a single candle in front of him. (It's Sacher torte, a childhood favourite of ours, though my sister has modified the original recipe by using Belgian couverture and the icing is crunchy, not soft. Mmmm...) There's a lot of laughing people standing around Raphy and behind him on a blanket on the lawn you can see a jumble of parcels covered in wrapping paper with Piglet and Eeyore and spaceships on it; watched over by the impeccably attired Mr Jeremy Fisher who crosses his little green legs beside a velvety brown puppy dog--the dog is an instant hit that never fails to elicit a joyful VUF! from Raph. Though you can't hear it, his mum and his aunts are singing him happy birthday, in German, as though this was agreed beforehand, but it wasn't. The rituals from our childhood are deeply ingrained.
Happy first birthday, Raph.

posted by Gianna 5:43 PM

. . .

April 11, 2003
Keep playing those mind games
Now that Matthew Yglesias has invoked the idea of square circles, I can't stop thinking about them. It's like the 'white monkeys' thing, where if someone says to you "don't think about white monkeys", you immediately think of white monkeys. (Are you thinking of them now? Good.)
I can't imagine square circles, but my mind keeps visualising first a circle, then a square. It's like that op art where you can't see the vase and the face at the same time, but your mind keeps trying to.
He's got more on the theme of god.
(Note: his comments aren't working right now, so check back another time for the comments threads.)

posted by Gianna 7:52 AM

. . .

April 08, 2003
The gods of war
Interesting links over at
beliefnet today, such as the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers discussing the media's use of the cliche "no atheists in foxholes". Other sites for gloomy atheists include American atheists , Australian atheists and Skeptics.
And I like the philosophy behind Atheists for Jesus.

posted by Gianna 12:48 PM

. . .

Lust for life
Good Buddha from
Tony and Suzy.

PS Great story by Arundhati Roy (thanks Jay).

posted by Gianna 12:39 PM

. . .

April 07, 2003
Play dough
How to waste an entire lunch-hour.

My best trade so far has been purchasing 72 shares of John Quiggin, an absolute steal at $0.00, which has somehow given me $0.13 worth of Quiggin stock. Go figure.

posted by Gianna 2:39 PM

. . .

April 06, 2003
What gives?
Bloggers, can anyone please tell me how to stop my sitecounter listing itself in my new referrers list? Just visiting the Bravenet stats shouldn't cause it to list, surely? Particularly since I don't clickthrough to my site from Bravenet. Any help appreciated. Ta.

posted by Gianna 9:16 AM

. . .

Love is a battlefield
Given the sorry state of my love life at present, I thought I'd revisit
internet dating. Well, Joe has been back on the scene a bit lately, but he hasn't really forgiven me for the roses thing and besides, I'm cross with him because due to his trip to India, I am stuck with a huge phone bill which I can't pay ("call me back at the hotel, babe. Don't worry, we'll sort it out when I get back") and so my phone's about to be cut off any minute now...Can you hear the violins?
A few years ago I actually had a good virtual flirt with a guy, but after a few months of great emails, he proposed that we meet--and I chickened out! I couldn't face being disillusioned if reality didn't measure up to fantasy. This despite the fact that he was a drummer, and as you may recall, I've often been drawn to drummers. God knows why. Maybe it's because they got rhythm...I don't know. Anyway, here's my catch of the day: Roo. LOL.

posted by Gianna 8:31 AM

. . .

April 04, 2003
Wog's out of whack
Wogblog is disgruntled by my pacifism and writes (permalinks not working):
"600 non-combatant citizens dead by Iraqi Ministry of Information calculations and some 6000 wounded. That is not evidence of a citizenry under attack. That is evidence of dead citizens and wounded citizens, dead and wounded by coalition force military actions aimed at Ba'athists..."

Well, let me put it to you this way, wogblog. How would you like it if someone killed your family in order to depose your leader? Would you still argue that 'collateral damage' is acceptable? Perhaps then you'd have preferred the UN to have been given a chance to complete the job of peaceful disarmament?
"You like the mafia, Gianna? I did not think so. So start to think clearly for a change and drop your insane prejudice that all Iraqis are devoted lovers of their brutal leadership, simple little brown wogs that they are."

Actually, I do like the mafia. They've been good fodder for Hollywood over the years. And I LOVE those two-tone gangster shoes. But no, I do not believe "all Iraqis are devoted lovers of their brutal leadership". Where'd you get that?
"Yes, dear, I am calling you out on your suffocating superiority complex."

Don't worry, wogblog, it's only overcompensation for my inferiority complex.

posted by Gianna 4:59 PM

. . .

Bottle of blues
The past few days have been wintery and I'm getting a cold, so tonight I'm just going to stay in, put my feet up, listen to the
Beck interview and cuddle my pacifist cats, simple little black and white animals that they are.

posted by Gianna 4:39 PM

. . .

April 03, 2003
Devine secrets
Hallelujah! Someone please tell Bush & Co. that their much-needed "link between Iraq and terrorism has been proved over recent days", according to SMH columnist Miranda Devine" (
Right time for the showdown).
Devine writes that "amid the crowing of the I-told-you-so brigade (who were also warning hopefully of another Vietnam before Afghanistan, Kosovo and Gulf War I), there is another story". ("Hopefully", Ms Devine? Is that slander?).
The proof, as she tells it, is Iraq's use of the methodology of suicide bombers; ergo, Iraq obviously has connections to terrorist groups. Paradoxically, while she argues extremist Muslims are flocking to Iraq in droves to join Saddam's fight, she is dismissive of the view that this war is radicalising Muslim states. Her rosy view is that all the world's terrorists have now congregated in Baghdad, where it should be easy for us to get 'em all in one go:
"Better to bring it on now, at a time of our choosing, with all the cockroaches gathered for a showdown out in the open in Iraq, rather than cower at home, our economies shrinking, our civilians picked off, our enemies growing stronger, until we finally wake up to the fact that fighting is necessary, and find it's too late and we are too weak."

Uh, who else thinks Osama is hunkering down in Saddam's bunker right now? Anyone?
And I suppose it was only a matter of time before someone blamed the "shrinking economy" on terrorism, rather than factors like spiralling household debt, a growing rich-poor divide, the crisis in corporate governance, or any number of other socioeconomic factors. (Mind you, those fridge magnets did put a $20 million size dent in the Federal budget...)
Devine also mentions General Myers' comment that the ricin found in London a while ago was "probably" from Islamic terrorist group Ansar. Surfing Drudge today I came across the likely source of Devine's quote. Interestingly, that story also notes:
"The [FBI] is concerned not only about Ansar followers but also other radical Jihadists and "lone wolves" moved to violent action by the U.S. invasion of Iraq." [emphasis added]

Sadly, Devine is as confused as ever about the issues, admitting she remains "perplexed" as to why Iraqis who have lost loved ones to US aggression might be "so antagonistic to the US that they could not be persuaded by the argument that 'my enemy's enemy is my friend'". Think about it some more, Ms Devine. And if you still can't figure out why so many people are opposed to war, may I refer you to your colleague Peter Fitzsimon's excellent article today?

posted by Gianna 1:29 PM

. . .

April 02, 2003
Two for the road
Richard Neville has two new posts up: "Forty years ago today" and "Uncle Sam's underpants".

posted by Gianna 10:11 PM

. . .

But wait, there's more!
James Morrow has pointed out that I am hardly the only female blogger in town. But it does feel like there's less female than male bloggers around. The general statistics on computer users would probably support that (though women seem to be logging on more and more in Australia). Maybe someone will do some serious survey research into blogger demographics. Anyway, I'm not even the only Gianna in bloggertown. I had a laugh at lunchtime today looking at made of steel, kinkified and stella elf witch.
Yeah, I'm clearly grasping at straws in my efforts to distract myself from the theatre of war. Which reminds me, here's two blogs being written by American soldiers: LT Smash and Will.

posted by Gianna 7:57 PM

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April 01, 2003
Nice story, Mick O'Donnell, but who was that? It wasn't me, surely. Didn't look or sound anything like me. Or maybe it was job-interview me (argh..).
I should clarify that when I said I don't even read newspapers anymore, what I meant was, I don't buy a lot of newsprint anymore. But I do read the 'papers' on-line all week--from all over the world, for free, and link to them sometimes--and I still buy the Saturday newspapers and read them in the park (if I had a laptop, it might be a different story).
So, Mick--I don't reckon bloggers will ever replace the traditional media. Maybe they complement it. Or maybe it's just another form, like short film or reality TV. To tell you the truth, I'm happy to be a 'quirky parasite'.

posted by Gianna 8:28 PM

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Fooling around
Walkley Award-winning blogger,
virulent memes, is now on Aunty's pay-roll...

posted by Gianna 11:23 AM

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Stop the war, I wanna get off
Gee, who would've thought Iraq would defend itself? Now America cries foul that Saddam is not playing by the rules. Hello? The whole reason the US wanted to go to war is that it claimed Saddam was not playing by the rules. They're surprised that he won't play nice now, when they're trying to kill him? Of course Saddam will give us a "dirty" war. What does he have to lose? But America running off and squealing to the UN about conventions and rules of warfare, now, after they themselves rejected the UN process in the first place, is just ludicrous.
Anyway, great interview by Kerry O'Brien last night, in which he asked the PM if he's stopped beating his wife, and the PM said no, but he only beats her a little bit, and it's for her own good, y'see. OK, I'm joking but it was a killer question from Kerry (from memory): "Prime Minister, how many civilian deaths are acceptable to win this war?". Squirming somewhat, John Howard admitted we were entering a "difficult" phase of the war, that increased civilian casualties are likely if the US is forced to resort to its fabled "Shock and Awe" campaign to take Baghdad. I doubt I'm alone in fearing that Saddam has a few tricks up his sleeve. Prime Minister, now is the time to take a reality check yourself and bring our troops home. Show some ticker, mate.

posted by Gianna 7:19 AM

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