Political/news rant

13 November, 2003

Part 1 – According to ABC Radio, it would seem that freedom fighters are the least of the US troops’ worries in Iraq. Report says that “gorillas…are forming together in units of two and three and attacking sporadically”. Some of them are coming down from the mountains, too.

Part 2 – Our REAL unemployment figure is not that which is quoted by the Government – something I’ve known for a long time but nice to see it making the news for once.

Part 3 – It seems that George Bush Sr predicted the trouble that has befallen Iraq in his 1998 autobiography. (There’s quite a few issues with Jr’s autobiography – check this out for an interesting read!)

I quote from the West Australian, Monday 10 November 2002, p17:

“Trying to eliminate Saddam…would have incurred incalculable human and political costs. Apprehending him was probably impossible…. We would have been forced to occupy Baghdad and, in effect, rule Iraq…. there was no viable “exit strategy” we could see, violating another of our principles.” “We had been self-consciously trying to set a pattern for handling aggression in the post-Cold War world. Going in and occupying Iraq, thus unilaterally exceeding the United Nations’ mandate, would have destroyed the precedent of international response to aggression that we hoped to establish. Had we gone the invasion route, the United States could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land.”


On spiders and the weather in France

4 November, 2003

Nothing much happening, but just thought I'd paste this hilarious clipping from Scuttle Bytes in the 'West Australian':

“Guess it's too soon to throw out human input altogether just yet. News from France this week revealed the lack of a human supervisor for the country's national weather forecastings ystem had led to a bit of a stuff-up after a small spider built its web on a weather sensor.

The unassuming arachnid's spot of home-building – on one of Meteo France's automatic weather sensors, which transmits its data every morning to a central computer without any human evaluation – promptly resulted in a snow alert for the western French city of Dinard. Apparently the spider web was covered with dew which crystallised overnight, leading the computer to diagnose a winter wonderland and suggest residents should start building snowmen.

“These things happen,” shrugged a Meteo France spokesman. “Sometimes we have birds build their nests in the transmitters and distort the data.”

Wonder what kind of weather forecast that throws up?”

In other news, while I'm in Melbourne next month, Australia will be able to celebrate having a population of 20 million. We've still got a while to go before we overtake the Canadians, but this isn't necessarily a bad thing. And we've already left the Dutch behind in our post-natal smoke. 😛