she sells sanctuary

July 31, 2003
Rant and counterrant of the week
I sometimes
kid around about men not doing enough housework and so on, really just to stir a bit. But I've lived with enough of them to know that most are reasonably well trained these days. I've trained up a few myself, in fact.
But go have a read of Tracy's fisking of Kate (she swears a blue streak, so it's not for the fainthearted). Some of the comments are hilarious. Doncha love the passions blogging arouses?

posted by Gianna 7:48 PM

. . .

Australia: a safe haven for terrorists?
In the news
"An original memo listed Australia as a possible "attack venue" for an Al Qaeda mission. The Australian Government took issue with that, but early this morning, the Department of Homeland Security said it was standing by the intelligence. Now, spokesman Brian Roehrkasse says the department will issue a revised statement, highlighting Australia as a possible "point of origin" for terrorists, but emphasising it is unlikely to be a target itself."

So either we're a target for terrorists, or we've got terrorists using our country as a safe haven--and thus probably qualify for a little pre-emption from our good friend Dubya. Should be easy enough to find the terrorists though; the Government is pretty sure they're hiding out in Woomera.
Seriously, despite the warning that terrorists might use our planes to launch an attack, our Government is insisting there's no need to increase aviation security. Sorry, but that's bull. In the past year, there have been several incidents involving attempted hijackings and people using low-tech objects as weapons. So those people were probably 'just' mentally unstable Australians and not Al Qaeda operatives. Doesn't matter. We've been lucky. The fact that these incidents still happen mean our aviation security is inadequate.

posted by Gianna 1:46 PM

. . .

July 30, 2003
So we are apathetic. Who cares.
Alert again. Time to be "extra vigilant" (aka, be paranoid, be very paranoid). I've been a bit confounded lately thinking that, if we don't care about our Government lying to or misleading us, what do we care about? Luckily, however, I dropped by blogorrhoea this evening to find that Glenn Condell (Rob's new buddy at the blogoshed) has pieced it together for me. Yeah, that's it, Glenn. Good one.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, everyone from our former Prime Minister, Paul Keating (writing in the International Herald Tribune) to Paul Kelly, editor-at-large of Rupert Murdoch's The Australian, has been criticising America’s leadership (or should that be misleadership).
Kelly argues that America's Reaganomics-style deficit economy, coupled with colossal spending on aggressive military interventions overseas, is a recipe for disaster, and he warns John Howard against jumping on the Bushwagon.
Speaking of Howard, last week, Kerry Packer's Sunday show featured a little birthday package about John Howard's brilliant career. Watching it, you almost got the feeling that Howard winning the next election is as certain as was Reggie's winning Big Brother. You also got the sense that here was a little nerd, who had somehow--through luck, persistence and the ability to tune into ordinary Australia--made it to the very top, just like Reggie. Someone a bit daggy, a bit dorky, not an 'elite', and not too smart. A triumph of the ordinary. But like Reggie, Howard is a cunning strategist who is only playing dumb. (A nation rallies behind its leader in wartime. What better strategy then, than to keep your nation permanently at or on the brink of war?)
Anyway, it's good to see a conservative journalist like Kelly also openly describing the 'children overboard' scandal as "lies". Because that lying thing--it's not about Left or Right, it's about right and wrong.
Though sometimes I don't know why it all surprises me. After all, politicians have traditionally been regarded as compulsive liars. Maybe what I thought was optimism was just naivete after all.

PS. Frustration is not a strategy. Too true.

posted by Gianna 8:02 PM

. . .

July 29, 2003
Guilty as charged
Check out these fascinating
transcripts of trials heard at the Old Bailey between 1760 and 1799, described in the Herald story, "Online transcripts illuminate world of First Fleeters", as "the largest single source of information about 'non-elite' lives ever published".
I'm currently having a stickybeak through the crime category 'Seducing from Allegiance' (something like treason, apparently).
"Then the officer call'd for wine in great plenty, and I drank two little tumblers full. I thought I was in a strange company, and a strange country, so I refused drinking any more, and turn'd very uneasy."

Great for insomnia!

posted by Gianna 12:42 AM

. . .

July 26, 2003
Open mike: People talkin'
There's a fair bit I want to blog about, but I'm pushed for time today, so it's over to you with any random comments you may have. What's on your mind? Tell me about your childhood...
Me, I'm still thinking about Lucinda Williams--she just keeps on growing on me. I like every single song on
World Without Tears, but especially Righteously, People Talkin' and Ventura...I love Ventura. Those Three Days ain't half bad either...and then there's Sweet Side and American Dream...Aahh, they're all entirely way too fine...

posted by Gianna 5:17 PM

. . .

July 25, 2003
Two by two
Well, I've reshuffled the blogroll to overtly address the perceived gender imbalance of blogging. I had to go in search of more females to try to even things out on my own blogroll, so it seems maybe I did have a male bias. What can I say--I like men! However, the girlbloggers I've added to my blogroll today are in most cases people who I've noticed commenting on other people's sites and who I've wanted to add anyway. (And then I came across some new Aussie blokes who I wanted to add, too...argh.)
I'd like to discover a few more female bloggers so if anyone can recommend any good ones, that'd be great.

posted by Gianna 6:47 PM

. . .

"Vastly superior" to what?

posted by Gianna 11:00 AM

. . .

July 24, 2003
Hombre, oh, hombre
This is from yesterday's news, but I thought it was pretty funny:
The Mayor of a southern Spanish town has declared every Thursday "ladies' night" and says he will fine any man found strolling about town in the evening...The curfew is an attempt to encourage the men to stay at home and do the chores.

Note that the Mayor of Torredonjimeno is named Javier, so would appear to be male. Makes you wonder, doesn't it? What has prompted this move? Are the men of this town particularly chauvenistic, or is Torredonjimeno a microcosm for Spanish society generally? Are the women of this town particularly persuasive? What makes the Mayor think the men are going to actually do housework, as opposed watching los television? And could this take off here?

posted by Gianna 2:01 PM

. . .

July 22, 2003
Mr Right
I don't often read Padraic P. McGuinness, because I find his columns predictable and his tone superior, but I happened to read him today while waiting in the doctor's surgery (yes, I was that bored). McGuiness
"As the head of the polling organisation Newspoll, Sol Lebovic, has pointed out, the debate being conducted in the media about the Iraq war is totally disconnected from the concerns of the electorate. The attention being given to the war and the surrounding issues--including the desperate attempt to pin non-existent lies, as distinct from factual mistakes, on the Howard Government--is doing Labor more harm than it is doing to the Coalition Government."

Indeed, I later turned on Channel Seven's 4:30 news to find Lebovic explaining that although two in three Australians believe the Howard Government misled the public, with one in three believing they were deliberately misled, this hasn't harmed the Government's position in the polls. Lebovic suggested this is because most people are more concerned with, in McGuiness' words, "the great issues of national and domestic security"; Australians just don't seem all that concerned with such minor issues as honesty and accountability. Well, that may be true, but is that actually a good thing? McGuiness evidently thinks so.
While it is good to see him acknowledging that the Howard Government has made "factual mistakes", it is also baffling that he wants to dismiss such mistakes as mere details in the bigger picture. Has Australia really been so dumbed down that it no longer matters whether the Government is telling the truth?
Incidentally, it also grates on me when McGuiness carps about how "...the majority of voters..are continually denounced as racists, rednecks, or whatever suits the determined sense of moral superiority which is the motivation of the ..left". And then can't help himself repeatedly calling the Left names: "loony and religious left", "lunatics", "lunatic", and so on. Well, how about this one, Paddy: hypocrite.

posted by Gianna 7:44 PM

. . .

July 21, 2003
Woe is me
Why is it that as soon as I give up nicotine, caffeine, alcohol, and assorted sundry toxins, I get knocked down with just about every bug that's going around? I've been sick as a dog all day and haven't much emerged from bed except to change CDs and get peppermint tea refills. I even had a bit of a cry this morning to one of my bosses when I called in sick. Now I feel a bit ridiculous, but you know how it is when you're sick; you feel incredibly sorry for yourself. And it's when the disadvantages of being single are most apparent.
Jen, who is a naturopath, said it has something to do with my body purging all those accumulated toxins. Oh great...only about a decade's worth to get rid of...This had better be worth it.

posted by Gianna 4:21 PM

. . .

Famous last words
Last night, just as the second last Big Brother eviction was to take place, Newtown had a blackout. So I had to wait til this morning to find out that Dan had been evicted, leaving Chrissie and Reggie to face off in an historical all-female final tonight.
Reggie is seen as being a shoo-in to win the quarter million, but I'm no longer so sure. Most of Reggie's charm hinges on being self-effacing, without artifice and apparently without any awareness of her huge popularity. However, the other day, BB screened part of an interview with her from before she entered the house, and I was taken aback by her breezy, confident comment: "Yeah, I can win. I'll go a long way. They'll love me in there."
So much for innocent little Reggie. She's well aware of her own charm, it seems. And now I wonder whether that comment will come back to haunt her, especially given that Chrissie is sure to get the sympathy vote due to being quite overweight. Chrissie, like everyone else, is convinced that Reggie will win. But as we know, in Australia the tall poppy syndrome is alive and well. So I'm tipping Chrissie may just take it out.

posted by Gianna 4:06 PM

. . .

July 20, 2003
Sunday in the country
The only prior experience I've had with country music was when my best friend used to drive us to uni and her car radio was stuck on a country music station. We used to get off on singing along to all the cheesy lyrics: Ah'm gonna make it just a part of mah plan, ah'm gonna live just as long as ah can. And that's it.
So I thought I'd keep an open mind and take
Tim and Chris's word for it and check out Lucinda Williams' new record, World Without Tears. (Trendy guy in trendy Newtown music store: "Oh, good choice, that's an awesome album." Ah yes, thank you, I do have impeccable music taste, don't I?)
So after moseying along King Street for a while with Jen, stopping for bruschetta and a Cold Buster juice of grapefruit, strawberry, orange and lemon (I have the bloody flu now, what's goin' on?), I headed home to find out what all the fuss is about. I'll leave the reviewing up to the experts, but suffice to say I like it a lot, though it's not at all what I would have expected from the classification of 'country'. Great for a stormy Sunday afternoon, and I'm sure I'll be warbling along with Lucinda once this cold lets up. So, good tip, guys. Now, I'm off to play it again...

posted by Gianna 5:00 PM

. . .

Character assassination
"The road to fiction is littered with the carcasses of relationships picked clean by writer-vultures." (via the always cool Boynton).

posted by Gianna 4:39 PM

. . .

July 17, 2003
Two of a kind
John Clarke and Brian Dawe had a filmic theme
tonight too. Brian interviewed the PM on set during the making of "Nuclear Distraction":
Brian: "So, same cast and crew this time?"
John Howard: "Yeah, well, except Tony, I think he's now doing "Laps of the Dunny", and then he's going on to star in "Chariots of Crap"."
LOL. You had to be there, of course.

posted by Gianna 9:28 PM

. . .

There is nothing but trouble and desire
Someone mentioned Parker Posey over at
surfdom, which got me thinking about Hal Hartley. I think I'll get some Hartley films out this weekend; maybe Trust and definitely Flirt.

posted by Gianna 9:06 PM

. . .

Love's the grated thing
This year's winner of the Bulwer-Lytton bad writing prize proves that love really does stink.

posted by Gianna 1:08 PM

. . .

July 15, 2003
Liberty print
In an email to supporters,
David Burgess and Will Saunders write:
"On March 18th 2003 , we climbed up the outside of the Sydney Opera House and painted NO WAR on its highest sail. While we were painting, the "coalition of the willing" declared war on Iraq and its people. Our actions received coverage all over the world. To this extent, we were successful in drawing attention to the overwhelming opposition of the Australian people (75% at the time) to any non-UN-sanctioned Australian involvement."

Saunders and Burgess are raising money to pay off at least $166,000 in compensation. Anticipating the scorn of a thousand of Tim Blair's Right Wing Death Beasts, they write:
"Why should a couple of people who painted on the Opera House get away with fundraising to cover the costs of the ‘crime’? It is a fair enough question. However, from the many letters of support we have received, we know that many many thousands of people supported what we did on March 18. We have put in $20,000 of our own savings, but the rest is simply beyond our personal means."

Donations can be made directly to: Bendigo Bank, Opera House No War Clean Up Fund, BSB – 633 000, Account # - 119414043, or cheques sent to Opera House NO WAR Clean-up Fund, PO Box 928, Glebe, NSW 2037, Australia.

posted by Gianna 5:25 PM

. . .

July 14, 2003
Blogger angst
This evening when I re-read the post below about blogger self-consciousness, I thought, "Geez, Gianna, just get a bloody diary!" Because I seem to be motivated in part by the confessional aspect of this medium. Though as it turns out, I'm too shy or gutless to really tell the truth. LOL, what a conundrum.
But it got me thinking generally about bloggers who, in amongst political and cultural observations, happen to write about the personal. Some people make the personal fascinating:
Tracy and Meredith and Alison (via Matt), for instance.
Actually, Tracy wrote about honesty in blogging just the other day. (Check out her mention in the Current Psychiatry Online story on blogging, too. Kudos!)
By the way, I gather from Niall's comment in the previous post that with Movable Type, you can password-protect certain posts so that certain people can't read them. Wish I'd known that before ditching MT. Sounds like a bit of an effort to screen your audience like that though, and I'm all for minimal effort in blogging.

posted by Gianna 9:24 PM

. . .

I'm not telling you everything
I wish I could. But I'm finding myself having to be secretive about more personal topics lately, all because of certain people in my real life who read this blog. How's that for conflicted? I don't mind complete strangers reading my blog or knowing salacious crumbs about me (oh come on, there's surely been at least one salacious crumb?), but when, for example, people at work start mentioning stuff you've written about yourself, it can get a little awkward. Leading me to regret, yet again, not having remained completely anonymous. Come to think of it, anonymity is like virginity--once you've lost it, you can never have it back. I figure even if I scratched this blog and started a new, anonymous one, people would probably recognise my 'style' anyway.
Speaking of getting feedback IRL, there's one person in particular who had a habit of commenting (verbally) on almost everything I wrote, to which I eventually burst out, "Listen, you're not supposed to comment on everything! Sometimes I just write stuff!". Forgetting of course that commenting on everything is something bloggers actually do encourage....oops. Perhaps it's the fact that a non-blogger who reads and comments on everything a blogger writes is getting a lot of dirt on the blogger while not revealing much about themselves, leading to a sense of unequal self-disclosure. (However, the person I'm referring to has decided to start his own blog--and not before time--so it's a bit moot).
The point is, all this self-censorship is kind of the opposite of what I intended. I wanted to be honest and genuine and reflect the ordinary reality of a 32 year old Sydney girl. (Yeah, I know I'm pushing it describing myself as a 'girl', but I'll be calling myself a girl at 80, you watch).
I guess the upshot is that all the brutal honesty just gets channelled into fiction writing. Which is a good thing, since blogging was only ever supposed to be a form of constructive pprocrastination.

posted by Gianna 2:41 PM

. . .

July 13, 2003
Keeping up with Uncle Sam
One of the great, still unresolved issues of blogworld seems to be: What are the root causes of terrorism and is the West in any way to blame? I reckon we in the West could do worse than take a good, hard look at ourselves and ask why it is that America’s positive messages of tolerance, freedom and peace don't seem to be getting through to other cultures. But if you say that, you're liable to get savaged by the Right. See for example
Gareth's views on Brian Deegan (not that Tim, Gummo or Baboon, among others, were having a bar of it).
I am often critical of the Bush Administration and the Howard Government, but actually I don't think this lets Islam off the hook, either. I reckon moderate Islam could have a much louder voice in condemning jihad and helping figure out root causes and offering alternatives to disenfranchised members of their own societies. So this morning's news story, Islamic scholars reject jihad, sounded promising. Unfortunately, when you read it, it’s less comforting. On the one hand, this is good to hear:
One of the most influential Islamic leaders, Sheikh Mohamad Syed Tantawi of Cairo's Al-Azhar University also condemned attacks by suicide bombers. He said groups who practised extremism and carried out suicide bombings were enemies of Islam.

But this is a worry:
However, the scholars agreed Muslim countries must build up their military might, without depending on foreign powers. They resolved at the end of their three day conference that Muslim countries should co-operate on military research and development, intelligence, military technology and training. Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad earlier called for Muslim countries to arm themselves to "put fear in the hearts of their enemies... not as aggressors but to defend ourselves".
Malaysia's Brigadier General Najmi Ahmad urged Muslim countries to become arms manufacturers to reduce their dependence on imports from developed countries.

Arms manufacturers! Wonderful. And then there’s this:
In a statement after the conference the scholars said an awareness must be created amongst the Muslim community about the dangers of globalisation, which had been "designed by the superpowers which are the new colonialists or neo-imperialists".

Image problem? What image problem?

posted by Gianna 11:50 AM

. . .

July 11, 2003
Standby for your new improved 'nuclear safe!' fridge magnet
John Howard tells us we shouldn't make a big deal about the dud intelligence he used to jusify his war. It wasn't really that important, he says. Would've gone to war anyway. Well, John, the problem is the conviction with which you made the claim. Making your case for war, you implored us to trust you and believe you. See, that's the problem with saying 'I'm absolutely convinced I'm right'. Sometimes you're not. Which is why rock-solid evidence is such a good thing. Jeez, isn't the guy a lawyer by training? Still, as he keeps reminding us, he's often not in possession of all the facts.
The whole Iraq war was one huge, costly distraction from the war on terror. Who really feels removing Saddam by force has made the West any safer from terrorism? Worse, I'm worried those WMDs-in-production have now been dispersed among terrorists. Not only that, but going after Saddam has prompted North Korea to up the ante. And now Australia's
getting ready to take 'em on. Meanwhile, back in the terrorists' sleeper cells...
Great idea, that Iraq war.

posted by Gianna 6:17 AM

. . .

Little red rooster
Insomnia doesn't matter when you're on holidays. Love it. It's been great not to have to go to work. I start complaining to people, 'Oh, if only I were a lady who lunched!'. Or I could be a hausfrau. All I seem to have done this week is cook and eat a lot (not helped by the fact that I've recently given up smoking). I suspect there's more to it than that, but it's a good start.
Well, I didn't get up north this week, but my folks did come down for a few days to hang out with their grandson. They locked all their feathered friends up for the duration but, alas, on their return they found that a fox had managed to get into the roosters' digs one night and make off with eight year old rooster Ruby. Walking in the woods looking for him, my mother came across the half-eaten corpse, his head and wings ripped off. Feeling a bit guilty, I console myself that I couldn't have done much to stop the attack, even if I had gone up there to mind the place in their absence. I would've probably just heard some screams in the night.
There's still the junior roosters, so all is not lost for the hens, but it was Ruby who ruled the roost. When I think of it, he was a bit of a rapist, though. My mother once had to create a 'battered hens refuge' for some of the more desirable hens he was constantly roughing up. Such is chicken life. Vale, Ruby.

posted by Gianna 3:58 AM

. . .

July 09, 2003
The real thing
local paper features a story on filmcritic Margaret Pomeranz and others who attempted to screen the banned film Ken Park in the Balmain Town Hall the other day. The report says police "took their names" but you can't imagine them charging anyone and causing even more of a stink.
I happen to think this film is so feared because it depicts unpalatable truths about our society. It's easier to deny that such events as are portrayed in the film could bear any resemblance to reality.
Speaking of denial, David Irving, the guy who is famous for denying the Holocaust, is now to have the privilige of having his film screened at the Melbourne Film Festival. I don't get it.

posted by Gianna 7:51 PM

. . .

Here comes the neighborhood
The other day
we were wondering where Kings Cross's sex industry was going to relocate to. Well, now we have the answer. It's coming to Newtown, where I live.
Come to think of it, lately I have been noticing the petitions at my local supermarket which have descended into great little graffiti arguments between the tolerant and the intolerant.
Then this morning, I open my local paper to find that "[Newtown] could be a frontrunner for a new red-light district". Shlock, horror.
The paper quotes Marrickville Mayor Barry Cotter:
"Newtown is a destination for restaurants, arts and culture and a sex destination is not compatible with this." Mind you, "that is not to say there is not a market for sex-based industries in Newtown".
Practically every suburb of Sydney that I've ever lived in--and there's been a few--has had a few houses of ill repute. But usually these have had to be pointed out to me, because they often look like any other office business and typically have a rear entrance, so you don't even notice the comings and goings. Is it really such a big deal?

posted by Gianna 7:17 PM

. . .

July 08, 2003
Tubular bull
It seems Tony Blair didn't lie, but did
"inadvertently misrepresent" things. Oops. Meanwhile John Howard's doing his usual 'I know nothing!' routine about the veracity of the uranium tubes intelligence he quoted when making his case for war.
I reckon this Iraq war could just turn around and bite the Coalition in the bum. Maybe people do care about truth and democracy after all and actually object to having been bullied into war.
On the brekky news I hear that Simon Crean's popularity has apparently increased in the latest poll, while Howard's has decreased. Crean's neat reshuffle (Mark Latham as Shadow Treasurer, cool!) would've helped, no doubt.
And do you think people are getting a little tired of Howard's bullying and ram-raiding tactics, on everything from war to refugees to Medicare to education to Telstra to social policy to political reform. Lately it's always his way or the DD highway, isn't it? All part of John Howard's quest to go down in history as the great reformer, I reckon. Mind you, the wild radical ideas of the Liberal Party lately (these guys are 'conservatives'?) have helped clarify, for me, what Labor actually stands for.

posted by Gianna 8:16 AM

. . .

July 07, 2003
Oh, I want it, I want it...
I'm not a materialist, but even non-materialists covet beautiful things now and then, especially beautiful functional things. So I had a bit of a drool at the weekend when I saw a picture of the Samsung T500 mobile phone in the paper. Imagine--a deep, metallic cherry red case with silver accents, and an incongruous, Dali-esque analog watchface set in cubic zirconias on the front (aaahh!). If Marilyn Monroe had a mobile phone, this would be it.
But what really got me was the promise that the phone "has a biorhythm feature that measures physical, emotional and intellectual cycles". Fancy that. If I could just find myself a lazy grand, I'd get one and start programming myself into the goddam thing, and try and figure myself out.
I was sufficiently intrigued to Google the phone. Sure enough, it turns out I've been
seduced by a clever marketing campaign. The 'Flaunt', as the phone is nicknamed, is apparently 'female-centric' because it can do things like calculate your likely next date of ovulation, and has 'female' features such as : "Clicking the clear button when the phone is in idle mode turns the screen into a mirror."
Unfortunately, the Samsung site is very vague about the emotional and intellectual side of things, but does say:
"The Biorhythm feature allows users to check their daily physical, emotional and intellectual cycles while the Fatness feature is useful to assess body fatness level. In addition, with the built-in Calorie feature, burned calories from daily work and exercise can be calculated and checked."
Gah! Who wants their mobile phone telling them how big their butt is?
What's funny is they're talking about also releasing a 'male-centric' version. Makes you wonder, doesn't it...

posted by Gianna 9:30 PM

. . .

July 04, 2003
Open mike: or, a shameless steal from Quiggin and Dunlop
If it's good enough for
John and Tim, it's good enough for me. Just as I was firing up again, I've been knocked out by some kind of bug. OK, I know that I'm running out of excuses for not blogging much! But seriously, I've just been too ill to turn on the computer in the evenings. It hasn't helped having to work twice as hard at work in preparation for my week off. But it's Friday, so things are looking up.
Anyway, this post is now open.
PS. Rob's been laid low too, but it hasn't stopped him being all brilliant and clever, has it? Sniff.( Top posts, Rob!)

posted by Gianna 4:43 AM

. . .

Blair confesses to dark past
"Since, as Winer says, we will all live to see a blogger U.S. President, I rise to nominate T. Blair (and propose a constitutional amendment to allow him to be sworn in). Who's with me?"
Posted by: Theodopoulos Pherecydes at July 4, 2003 01:26 AM
"The skeletons in my closet can form my cabinet! Hey, two cabinets!"
Posted by:
tim at July 4, 2003 02:12 AM.
Skeletons huh? Like, 'I was a teenage Lefty' or something?

posted by Gianna 4:12 AM

. . .

July 02, 2003
Howard on terror
The PM is widely regarded as having won the last election because of a successful scare campaign which suggested terrorists were infiltrating Australia by posing as refugees and coming here by leaky boat. This ugly campaign was also widely
criticised, including by, for example, the UN's High Commissioner for Refugees.
But the threat of terrorists living amongst us was considered so serious that the terrorism kit which was distributed contained instructions for Australians on how to identify possible terrorist behaviour in their neighbourhoods.
For example, after Bali, Howard said:
It is obvious that, in the environment within which we live, there might be such people [members of Jemaah Islamiyah] who come into this country.

So today, when he says :
"[Terrorists'] capacity for mobility allows them to find safe haven wherever governance is weak, wherever despotic regimes seek to co-opt their hatred or profit from their work",

is he suggesting Australia itself has 'weak governance'? I mean, it's misguided to suggest that terrorists are to be found only in nations with 'despotic regimes' when they have been found to be resident everywhere from Britain to Germany and, as Howard has argued, possibly even Australia. This line of argument seems to be just more spin in the ongoing rationale for illegally invading nations because of the suspicion they may be harbouring terrorists. And Howard, while agreeing Australia is more a target than ever before, denies that our foreign affairs policies are contributing to the problem. Look at what he said when he confirmed Australia's commitment to war:
I know that some people are saying that what we have done [joining the Coalition] makes it more likely that terrorists will attack Australia. Australia has been a terrorist target at least since the 11th of September 2001. Australia is a western country with western values....That is why we are a target. Remember that bin Laden specifically targeted Australia because of our intervention to save the people of East Timor...We believe that so far from our action in Iraq increasing the terrorist threat it will, by stopping the spread of chemical and biological weapons, make it less likely that a devastating terrorist attack will be carried out against Australia.

So, Australia is a target because we have Western values, not because of our involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan. OK. And yet, Australia was singled out by bin Laden because of our involvement in East Timor. Well, which is it, Howard? We are a target because of our military interventions, or not? Why East Timor and not Afghanistan and Iraq? Where's the logic?

posted by Gianna 12:43 PM

. . .

Crean on Rove
Did anyone else catch Rove last night? Pretty funny. Aside from playing 'Simon Says' with Rove's audience (mainly pre-teens, by the looks), Crean also reiterated the line, "It's not about personality, it's about policy", which seemed a bit cute given that his appearance on the show was obviously designed to improve his likeability and popularity. Did it work?

posted by Gianna 12:18 PM

. . .

July 01, 2003
Here comes the sun
I haven't been posting much lately because there's been a lot of things going on in my personal life which have been draining me somewhat, and I also think I'm experiencing a bit of information fatigue. For example, the only item in the news yesterday that even remotely interested me was about
the Indian bloke who lives off sunlight and who is the subject of NASA research:
The US space agency hopes to use the technique to solve food storage and preservation problems on its expeditions.

Forget about world hunger--let's figure out how to save a few spacefood sticks!
Anyway, I'm stoked because my boss has given me next week off. Hooray!! I soooooo need a break. It may end up being one of those 'travelling without moving' type holidays, which is fine by me since there's a million things on my 'to do' list. But I may also be able to arrange a swap with my folks for a few days: that is, they come and stay at my house and mind the kittens, while I go up to the land and mind the chickens and geese. Bliss.... !
More later as the work server is being shut-down now (how rude!).

posted by Gianna 12:49 PM

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