Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Letter to the editor: Lisbon Treaty and Microsoft

The shite from the "yes" campaign continues. Kinda funny putting forward the opinion of the MD of Microsoft just as we find out they're going to be fined 1.5 bn by the EU.


Dr Derek Flynn's letter of Feb 26th, urges us to vote "yes" to Lisbon.
Like almost all other "yes" letters, it uses scare-mongering instead
of debating the contents of the treaty (the only exception so far
being Gay Mitchell's recent).

In addition to the usual line that rejecting this treaty is rejecting
Europe, Dr Flynn tells us that Paul Rellis, the president of the
American Chamber of Commerce in Ireland and managing director of
Microsoft Ireland, is urging a "yes" vote.

Coincidentally, on the same day, news broke that the EU are on the
verge of fining Microsoft 1.5 billion euro for non-compliance with
their rulings regarding Microsoft's abuse of its monopoly.

I'm sure Mr Rellis and his employer have quite strong opinions on how
they would like the EU to change but their interests do not coincide
with mine or the average citizen. It's possible that the treaty is
good for all of us but, if anything, the fact that an abusive
monopolist wants this treaty to be ratified makes me even less
inclined to vote "yes"!

Why can't Dr Flynn and the others explain in simple language what
changes this treaty makes and what benefits come from these changes?

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Airbrushing Suharto

“The soldiers marched straight up to us [Western journalists]. They never broke their stride. We were enveloped by the troops, and when they got a few yards past us, within a dozen yards of the Timorese, they raised their rifles to their shoulders all at once, and they opened fire. The Timorese, in an instant, were down, just torn apart by the bullets. The street was covered with bodies covered with blood. And the soldiers just kept on coming. They poured in, one rank after another. They leaped over the bodies of those who were down. They were aiming and shooting people in the back. I could see their limbs being torn, their bodies exploding. There was blood spurting out into the air. The pop of the bullets, everywhere. And it was very organized, very systematic. The soldiers did not stop. They just kept on shooting until no one was left standing.“
Just one quote from Media Lens's David Edwards's article on the mainstream media's coverage of the death of general Suharto. As usual a murderous dictator, armed and supported by the west in his killing of more than 1 million people, is portrayed as flawed but not so bad really, the reward for giving away his country's natural resources to western companies. It seems there is almost no sin that cannot be forgiven by inviting the IMF, the World Bank and foreign investment into your country.

As usual, the media come out of this analysis looking piss poor - even the "liberal" media.

The most interesting thing for me are the articles that do criticise him. They talk about his crimes and the “international condemnation” and "revulsion" they generated at the time, but apparently, his crimes went pretty much unremarked. It seems there was no condemnation or revulsion, not in the mainstream media nor in politics. Assuming Edwards is correct (I have no reason to believe he's not) then the journalists writing the stories are just making shit up, or just assuming there was revulsion because the truth - that these crimes were supported and funded by the UK and US govts - is just not allowed a space in their head. They are not being censored, they are not even consciously self-censoring, these facts are not allowed in because they would undermine their entire worldview. The accepted worldview is that western govts are well meaning but sometimes do bad thing by accident. They only do evil when they have to choose the lesser of two evils. It would be impossible to continue to write articles based upon this worldview you accept an example which directly contradicts this. If you can't write articles like that well then you have no place in the mainstream media. Best to just make shit up, consciously or unconsciously, and keep your job and your satisfaction that you're an objective reporter, not some kind of lefty crusading journalist.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Links for the lisbon treaty

This treaty is getting me worked up but I don't have time to read around properly. I have a bunch of tabs open in my browser that I want to get through but they're just getting in my way right now.

This is the quote that pisses me off most of all, from Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, Le Monde, June 2007

"Public opinion will be led to adopt, without knowing it, the proposals that we dare not present to them directly" ... "All the earlier proposals will be in the new text, but will be hidden and disguised in some way."
I have heard not yet a single thing that would make me want to vote "yes" but even if I had, who the hell would trust a deliberately incomprehensible bunch of legalese written by someone who publicly admits he's trying to pull a fast one?

Letter to the editor: Lisbon Treaty

The standard of "debate" from the "yes" campaign is abysmal. Because they have no argument?


Cllr Seamus Murray (letters Feb 18th) claims that the "no" campaign
"sells the vision of Ireland versus the rest of the EU or that we can
operate outside the European Union.".

I've looked at Sinn Fein's and Libertas' websites and I can't find any
campaign for us to leave the EU. So I'm not sure who he's talking

To suggest that a "no" vote is a vote against Europe or somehow going
to result in Ireland being ostracised is scare-mongering and simply
dishonest. The French and the Dutch are still at the core of Europe
despite rejecting version one of this text.

I hear the same thing from all sides of the "yes" campaign. It makes
me quite angry to be subjected to this nonsense and makes me want to
vote "no" regardless of the contents of the treaty.

If you have good arguments, let's hear them and please don't be vague,
include quotes from the treaty to back them up - something the "no"
campaign seem quite willing to do,

This was published in full the next day.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

I disagree

  • "Sir your argument is fallacious" - the argument is based upon a falsehood.
  • "Sir your argument is phallacious" - the argument is a load of cock.
  • "Sir your argument is felatious" - the argument sucks cock (but might still be correct - like an overly complex proof of a theorem when a simple elegant proof is available).

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Puppy-bowl: a TV nadir.

A new low for TV (at least new for me). Puppy Bowl 2008. The creative process behind it must have been something like

exec1: I've got a great idea, we could do a puppy-bowl
exec2: I love it, we could have them in a stadium and we could have... emmm
exec1: ...
exec2: emmm
exec1: ... emmm ... I got nothing
exec2: fuck it, let's just put them in a stadium!