Brigadier shocks and awes: there is no war on terrorism - National -

In a frank speech, Brigadier Justin Kelly dismissed several of the central tenets of the Iraq war and the war on terrorism, saying the "war" part is all about politics and terrorism is merely a tactic. ...

Speaking at a conference on future warfighting, Brigadier Kelly, the director-general of future land warfare, also suggested that the "proposition you can bomb someone into thinking as we do has been found to be untrue". ...

Brigadier Kelly said modern war could be defined as "conflict, using violent and non-violent means, between multiple actors and influences, competing for control over the perceptions, behaviour and allegiances of human population groups".

He said he found it interesting that "if you take out violence out of the first line, it's a description of politics".

Imagine that... someone who readily acknowledges that bombing people will not make them your friend. No doubt he is seen as a raving lefty hippie by the rest of the armed forces, but at least SOMEONE has their head screwed in a bit better than world leaders.

squirrelly wrath

Last week - Me: "Are you sure you'll only need the car for one day?"

Service Centre Guy: "Yes, one day will be fine."

Me: "Are you really sure? Just one day to replace the CV shaft? ...and you're only replacing one of the two?"

Service Centre Guy: "Absolutely."

Me: "OK then, book it in."


4:02pm today - Service Centre Guy: "Uhh. We uhh... need to replace the other CV shaft as well....*mumble*part not in until tomorrow*mumble*... can we keep the car overnight?"



photo taken from inside a bus


Ahh well. At least the repairs are covered by the warranty. Plus, being in the City was nice even if it was for crap reasons.


lest johnny forgets

Howard not attending NZ national service. 24/04/2005. ABC News Online: The Prime Minister John Howard will attend a barbeque with Australian soldiers, rather than go to New Zealand's national service at Chunuk Bair in Gallipoli tomorrow. New Zealand's Prime Minister Helen Clark is planning to attend the Australian service on Anzac Day at Lone Pine..

Apparently Howard will be the first PM to ever miss the New Zealand ANZAC service. Personally I was under the impression that there was some kind of connection between Australia and New Zealand, perhaps that's why we call it ANZAC Day and not AAC day. Something about an Australian and New Zealand Army Corp. Something about two nations honouring the fallen in a terrible battle at Gallipoli.

Perhaps I'm making too much of it (and don't think I didn't see the potential jokes about Aussies and their barbeques...). I just think our PM should be there when New Zealand holds its service, just as the New Zealand PM will be there when Australia holds its ANZAC service. Although Gallipoli was a defining moment in Australian history, we cannot forget that it was a combined force which landed on those beaches.

Although given that a certain American fast food chain sees ANZAC Day as a chance to associate its product with decorated veterans, perhaps we have bigger problems.

fuck going to bali

I'll preface this by saying I think Schapelle Corby is either innocent or the best actress in history. I know it's only an opinion based on what I've seen and heard in various media, but my gut tells me she's innocent.

Corby takes comfort from judge's comment. 22/04/2005. ABC News Online / Schapelle Corby's world falls apart - World - Quotes from the SHM article throw some light onto the bizarre workings of the Indonesian court:

Testimony from her key witness, Victorian prisoner John Patrick Ford, that a convicted drug dealer was the owner of the marijuana, was rejected.

'Looking at his background as a prisoner, the reason for him to testify before an Indonesian court is to taste freedom,' the prosecutors said.

It really does seem that opinion is the primary factor in the prosecution's attack. They don't think a prisoner would testify on Corby's behalf for no personal gain, so they discount the testimony. The court doesn't seem to have any objection to this attitude either. It demonstrates a lack of understanding of the Australian psyche; the ingrained sense of justice that is fundamental to Australia's culture. I'm not saying they should be expected to understand Australians per se, but if it's all going to come down to opinion perhaps they need to actually meet some Aussies.

Unfortunately for Corby, the only real evidence that the court has accepted is the presence of the drugs in her bag. Obviously that's the most damning evidence, particularly when the bag weights at the airports weren't kept; so she can't prove that she didn't pack the drugs (nor can it be proved that the bag weights were the same).

In deciding on his sentence request, Mr Wiswantanu said he took into account that 'the defendant is polite and has never been convicted'. But the court should realise 'the defendant has ruined the image of Bali as a tourist destination and created the image that Bali is a haven for narcotics distribution, ruined the mentality of youngsters'.

'The 4.2 kilograms of marijuana is a great danger for the nation and this is categorised as a transnational crime and the defendant has not confessed to her actions.'

I would imagine she has not confessed because she wanted to go surfing in Bali and packed a boogie board, not the marijuana that was found later. I find it staggering the way the prosecution brings up things like whether the defendant is polite, then tells the court that she has singlehandedly ruined the image of Bali as a tourist destination. Neither point is evidence of anything.

I can't help thinking the nightclub bombing may have had some small impact on Bali's attractiveness as a holiday destination. Then there's the fact that it quite simply IS a drug trafficking gateway, no matter what they're implying to the contrary. Then there's the way you can find yourself a legal system that makes no sense to anyone used to Australia's system. Then to cap it off, there's the fact that the Australian Government really doesn't give two shits about its citizens getting into trouble (in fact, if they have evidence you're guilty they'll actively get you arrested in a country with the death sentence for drug trafficking, then help get you convicted).

The Australian and Indonesian Prime Ministers recently met (to a huge amount of fanfare in the Australian media). They discussed things like trade... but not Corby's case. In fact, nobody even asked John Howard if it came up. The media are a joke and the PM obviously doesn't want to get involved - too much like hard work I suppose.

So all Corby gets is Alexander Downer, our Foreign Embarrassment. What's he got on the issue? The Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer, welcomed the prosecution decision not to seek the death penalty. Get the feeling that's his entire attention on the issue?

So. Why would any Australian want to go to Bali any more? I've had such glowing reports of how nice it is that I half imagined going one day. Now? Fuck it. There is absolutely nothing preventing a repeat of Corby's situation. Australian Airport security and baggage handling is a joke; the Australian Government won't help you if you get into trouble; and the legal system over there is even more insane than our own.

So... fuck going to Bali.

around the traps

around the traps

news bits

  • Ratzinger becomes Pope Benedict XVI. 20/04/2005. ABC News Online: The Roman Catholic Church has elected Germany's Joseph Ratzinger as Pope, asking him to guide its 1.1 billion followers around the world into a new era. Interesting double-think here... they've elected a hard line conservative who had a major role in all of the current church policies anyway... then said he'll lead the church into a new era. He might lead it, but there'll be nothing new happening. I also can't quite get over the 'Crowd reaction' segment of this article:Sister Lydia, a nun, jumped up and down on a chair clapping in uncontrolled excitement. 'I prayed for a new pope today at the tomb of the Holy Father (the late John Paul II) and now we have one,' she beamed. ....errr.... she prayed for a new pope during conclave. What are the chances of her prayers being answered...!
  • Gloria Jean's opens in prison | NSW/ACT | Breaking News 24/7 - (20-04-2005) Cruel and unusual punishment: prisoners forced to drink Gloria Jean's "coffee". Could be worse I guess. It could have been Starbucks.
  • Heroin arrests will not influence Corby verdict: judge - World - He also told the Seven network tonight he did not expect prosecutors to seek the death penalty for the 27-year-old Gold Coast former beauty student when her trial resumes tomorrow. ... Prosecutors are expected to seek a life sentence and a $A133,000 fine tomorrow, rather than the maximum death penalty for Corby when the trial resumes. exactly do you pay a fine while serving life in prison?

around the traps

something hilarious for a monday

BBC - h2g2 - Australia. So. Damn. True. And funny.

[Australian animals] can be divided into three categories: poisonous, odd, and sheep. It is true that of the ten most poisonous arachnids on the planet, Australia has nine of them. Actually, it would be more accurate to say that of the nine most poisonous arachnids, Australia has all of them. However, there are curiously few snakes, possibly because the spiders have killed them all.


Tips to Surviving Australia

  • Don't ever put your hand down a hole for any reason whatsoever.
  • We mean it.
  • The beer is stronger than you think, regardless of how strong you think it is.

Then you might be interested in the author discussing the article.


  • - woke up earlier than i wanted to. really wanted to sleep about half the day.
  • + lunch with family. steak and st arnou pale ale.
  • + secured a new desk for L so she can set up her sewing gear properly.
  • + looking at desk turned into long chat with sleebo and looking at photos of pandas and hong kong. going to miss sleebo and bananafish2k, even if i don't see them all that often.
  • - nasty caffeine headache due to skipping usual breakfast and coffee.
  • - tried a new cafe for coffee. coffee was crappy. beat it into submission with sugar when we got home. i'd look for a url for the cafe but they're changing management anyway.
  • + chatted to angus about photography.
  • + old friend called from canberra. got to surprise him with some news. heard about his adventures at festival. agreed we should try again next year to finally attend and see what it's like.
  • + chatted briefly to relapse. pirates and ninja featured heavily.
  • + didn't plan to, but watched get up, stand up and found it quite interesting.
  • + discovering new music lately. well actually, mostly following up on various 'should check them out' leads. going to have to buy albums by the bravery, dj krush and red snapper. not to mention the new vnv nation album and some
  • - having to actually plan cleaning tomorrow, due to having a house inspection during the week (and the place is a mess). blah.


philosophy quiz

Waiting for a caffeine headache to go away. Did a quiz.

You scored as Hedonism. Your life is guided by the principles of Hedonism: You believe that pleasure is a great, or the greatest, good; and you try to enjoy life's pleasures as much as you can. "Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die!"

Philosophy Score Score %
Justice (Fairness)
Strong Egoism
Divine Command

What philosophy do you follow? (v1.03) created with More info at Arocoun's Wikipedia User Page.

Hmm, not entirely surprising; although I did really expect Existentialism to be at the top given the sorts of questions. But then, existentialism does open to door to a life including hedonism without necessarily excluding a clear moral framework and meaning for your own life. Existentialism places a great deal of responsibility on the individual, with a potential result of a very happy life - IF you can cope with the hard work of identifying and living the 'project' which will create an 'authentic' life.

Many people think existentialism is all about avoiding responsibility and/or trying to smartarse your way around prevailing societal standards. Those people have a misguided idea of existentialism, particularly if they are morally or religiously opposed to the lifestyle of Sartre and de Beauvoir (this often also means they don't know there are existentialist works which do not assume atheism, eg. Kierkegaard's work).

Anyway, that's enough of the vague intellectual wanking ;)


Clearly the photo post was a little bit too subtle, so I'll try "subtle like BRICK!".

L and I are engaged :)

...I was going to wait for people to notice the ring, but I got bored. Apparently I work with the least observant people in the world :P

shiny and new

Announcing: the 200ok weblog; covering web development issues, news, trends, tips, tricks and hacks.

Web standards and accessibility are likely to feature heavily; although browsers, CSS, Photoshop™ and code tricks will probably turn up as well.

While I may still post web-related stuff here on the linkblog, the serious web geekery will be moved to the 200ok weblog.

around the traps

to be fair...

Gmail have now updated their system so users can switch between the basic HTML version and the full-featured version. That at least allows the user to make the call. Still means the HTML version is not an accessible alternative, just a bare-bones version.

around the traps

the latest cool google beta

Google Maps [Note the 'satellite' link at the top right which switches from maps to sat photos]. Very cool search of USA satellite maps, although I note that searching for 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway Mountain View CA 94043 turns up an intersection and not - as you might expect - a building. Trim it to 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway CA and it points to a large empty field a fair way up the road. Either Google doesn't want you to see their headquarters, or this system has some bugs to work out.

A search for 1060 West Addison, IL does however turn up an excellent shot of Wrigley Field :)

around the traps

blogger: we can't help being shortsighted

Blogger Help : What is the difference between archive pages and the archive index?: The Archive Index page is no longer necessary as you can easily include your list of archives on the main page of your blog. For this reason, we do not plan to continue supporting this feature in the future. Currently, it is only enabled for blogs which had an Archive Index template as of May 9, 2004.

OK, so your average blog lasts about three months before the writer gives up. But for some of us, we have rather a large archive. My archive page currently has 44 month-based archives. Sure, I want to put 44 links on the main page - that's going to look just fucking great!

Sure it's not necessary to have a separate archive page, but it's sure as hell better than spamming the crap out of your own index.

news bits

once again low-tech beats high-tech

Just as a Smith & Wesson beats a full house, a car thief has proved that a machete can beat a fingerprint-reader anti-theft device: Carjackers swipe biometric Merc, plus owner's finger | The Register: [I]n most cases there will come a point where you actually want the owner to be able to disable the security quickly and easily. At minimum, biometrically-locked motor vehicles should surely kick up a ('Disable fingerprint security? Y/N') dialogue whenever you stick your finger into them..

It's a horrific example of why many 'security' systems haven't been thought through in terms of 'worst case scenario'. I suspect people are a bit squeamish and would rather ignore the potential for this sort of situation to arise.

Ultimately the Merc's system was a perfect deterrent against having the unattended car stolen; but it created the worst possible problem in a carjack scenario. If the owner had been able to turn the system off, they might have kept that fingertip.

Oddly enough, some people in Hollywood have actually thought this sort of thing through - I've seen several movies where variations on this theme have featured. Other movies are short-sighted though... I think it's one of the Back To The Future movies where the lead is asked to 'thumb some money' - using a device where you simply whack your thumb onto a reader and BAM the money is sent. Even as a kid I remember thinking 'what if you knocked someone out - or even just forced their thumb onto the reader?'.

because i'm just a sheep, really

...and it's Monday and already work is pissing me off. Refer: I hate repeating mistakes but need to keep my mouth shut anyway.

Very Goth
You scored 67!
You're a Goth. Whether you admit it freely or not there is no denying it. You love the stuff and can't get enough. You decorate your living space in a way that is part morbid part chaotic.I'm sure your music is mostly Goth/Industrial/Darkwave. Wherever you go you're probably dressed mostly in black.Not only do you know who Switchblade Symphony is, you own every CD and EP they ever put out. Your dream profession is definitely something that benefits goths - Tattoo artist, goth DJ, freelance Gothic artist, Gothy comic creator ect.ect.ect...

The test tracked 1 variable How you compared to other people your age and gender:

You scored higher than 57% on gothies

The GOTH Test.

Meh. They're wrong you know. I don't have any Switchblade Symphony. Plus I outright guessed on the comic questions. Does 'obsessive web geek' count as an artistic endeavour? :)

more is... a shitload more

Gmail: Help Center: Storage is an important part of email, but that doesn't mean you should have to worry about it. To celebrate our one-year birthday, we're giving everyone one more gigabyte. But why stop the party there? Our plan is to continue growing your storage beyond 2GBs by giving you more space as we are able.

Worst thing is I'm such a geek I immediately thought how everyone using Gmail storage hacks just had their 'hard drives' upgraded. Well actually at first I thought that page was an April 1st they hadn't taken down yet. Then I thought about the hacks.

around the traps

meaningless(?) anniversaries

Today is the tenth anniversary of the first issue of Event Horizon, a DOS-based eZine I was involved with back in high school. It lasted for three whole issues. Woo ;)

Gads, ten years. I only noticed because I was screwing around with some old web files and discovered the zines still load under Win2k. Then I remembered the folly of releasing anything on April 1st and the jokes we made about it. Then the timing clicked.

I wonder if anyone other than us ever read EH. Doubt it. Actually I think there was one guy in Finland or something who emailed us. *shrug*

I think what surprises me the most is how well I can remember working on it.