Saturday 10th of June 2023

george & tony reality check .....

Chastity as a sport...

From Al Jazeera
Iran opens stadiums to women

Monday 24 April 2006, 16:55 Makka Time, 13:55 GMT

Iran has reversed a decade-long ban on women's access to stadiums and will let them watch men playing sports in public venues.

Iran's conservative president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was quoted on Monday on state television as saying the presence of women and families in stadiums would "promote chastity".

"The best stands should be allocated to women and families in the stadiums in which national and important matches are being held," Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying

"The presence of women and families in public places promotes chastity."
read more at Al Jazeera


A very small step in the right direction... Then some people don't like watching sport anyway...

Pandora's Kirkuk box

From the Washington post

Shiite Militias Move Into Oil-Rich Kirkuk, Even as Kurds Dig In
Control of Iraqi City Has Long Been in Dispute
By Jonathan Finer
Washington Post Foreign Service
Tuesday, April 25, 2006; Page A16

KIRKUK, Iraq -- Hundreds of Shiite Muslim militiamen have deployed in recent weeks to this restive city -- widely considered the most likely flash point for an Iraqi civil war -- vowing to fight any attempt to shift control over Kirkuk to the Kurdish-governed north, according to U.S. commanders and diplomats, local police and politicians.

Until recently, the presence of the militias here was minimal. U.S. officials have called the Shiite armed groups the deadliest threat to security in much of the country. They have been blamed for hundreds of killings during mounting sectarian violence in central and southern Iraq since the bombing of a revered Shiite shrine in February.

read more at the Washington Post

Fukuyama diavlog

At Bloggingheads, streaming video of hour-long chat between Francis Fukuyama and another author. 

This is a beaut way of using the tools of the 'net. I wonder what resources are needed.

The downloads (wmv and mp3) are pretty slow, though, compared to local sites like the ABC.


Consumming passion... for war

From the Independent

Iraq war set to be more expensive than Vietnam
By Rupert Cornwell in Washington
Published: 28 April 2006
The Iraq war has already cost the United States $320bn (£180bn), according to an authoritative new report, and even if a troop withdrawal begins this year, the conflict is set to be more expensive in real terms than the Vietnam War, a generation ago.

The estimate, circulated this week by the non-partisan Congressional Research Service (CRS), can only increase unease over the US presence in Iraq, whose direct costs now run at some $6bn a month, or $200m a day, with no end in sight.

The Bush administration has refused to provide any specific overall figure for the war's cost. But the Senate is set to approve another emergency spending bill in May, meaning that Iraq will have consumed $101bn in fiscal 2006 alone, almost double the $51bn of 2003, the year of the invasion itself - and all at a time wh... etc
read more at the Independent

"full responsibility"

PM accepts 'full responsibility'
From: AAP/newscorp
April 28, 2006
PRIME Minister John Howard has accepted full responsibility for the circumstances which led to the death of Australian army private Jake Kovco in Iraq last week.

Speaking on ABC radio in Hobart today, Mr Howard said that because 25-year-old father of two Pte Kovco died on active service, the Government had to accept responsibility.
"I, in particular, accept full responsibility," Mr Howard said.
"It was our decision to commit military forces to Iraq and I am very conscious of that."
Mr Howard declined to comment on the circumstances that led to Pte Kovco's body being left in Kuwait when it was supposed to arrive in Melbourne yesterday.
Instead of Pte Kovco's body arriving on the commercial flight, a casket containing the remains of a foreign soldier landed instead. instead. The Prime Minister also rejected claims by Pte Kovco's mother that the army and the Government had covered up over the circumstances surrounding his death.
"I can give her an assurance that there will be no cover up," Mr Howard said...


Gus hopes so... "that there will be no cover up" but so far we've only got that with more denials, in the fog of that flimsy war... Porkies after porkies, non stop... Unless the top brass of the army have no clue which is worse and a worry since they are dealing with the lives of people...

Sad sadism normality...

From the Moscow Times

Global Eye
Hideous Kinky

By Chris Floyd
Published: April 28, 2006

Imagine growing up in a family where every day, father raped daughter, mother tortured son, brother abused brother, sister stole from sister and the whole family murdered neighbors, friends and passing strangers. Imagine the underlying assumptions about life that you would adopt without question in such an atmosphere, how normal the most hideous depravity would seem. If some outsider chanced to ask you about your family's latest activities, you would spew out perversions as calmly and unthinkingly as a man giving directions to the post office.

This state of unwitting confession to monstrous crime has been the default mode of the U.S. establishment for many years now. Government officials routinely detail policies that in a healthy atmosphere would shake the nation to its core, stand out like a gaping wound, a rank betrayal of every hope, ideal and sacrifice of generations past. Yet in the degraded sensibility of these times, such confessions go unnoticed, their evil unrecognized -- or even lauded as savvy ploys or noble endeavors. Inured to moral horror by half a century of outrages committed by the "National Security" complex, the establishment, along with the media and vast swathes of the population, can no longer discern the poison in the air they breathe. It just seems normal.

And so it was again this week when The Washington Post outlined the Pentagon's plan to put dirty war -- by death squad, snatch squad, secret armies, subversion, torture and terrorism -- at the very heart of America's military philosophy. Not defense against declared enemies, not deterrence of potential foes, but conducting "continuous" covert military operations in countries "where the United States is not at war" is now the Pentagon's "highest priority," according to the new "campaign plan for the global war on terror" issued by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld...

read more at the Moscow Times