Sunday 26th of June 2022

something heroic .....

"There is something heroic in my mind for a country that is suffering all that Iraq is suffering, yet it still strove to conduct the trial, to have an embrace of the rule of law which is so fundamental to the establishment of a democracy."

John Howard

Yes Johnnee

The Iraqi Government can thank Allah for the Green Zone and the guiding hand of the yanks in the trial...

And when one talks of the rule of law, after having mangled Australian laws in a web of deceit while mincing form the hip, one is skating on thin ice or throwing stones in one's glass house. So Johnnee? Once Saddam is hanged, the Aussie troops can come home? Hey..."Mission accomplished"?!... And nothing heroic for the poor sods who get blown up every day... Hopefully, revenge will be delayed and fading... My opinion for the two bobs it's not worth? There's going to be lull in insurgency in the next few weeks, with a few hard hits from time to time on the security forces — the US will still loose their 3.5 soldiers a day — and then there will be a tide... a tide of blood. No heroics there... Just blood. I hope I'm wrong...

Even if only 100,000 innocent Iraqi had died because of the war, even if only 20 had died, the price would still be far too high when there WAS other options than an illegal war, Mister. Remember that.

Yes to stem cell research

From our crumbling Auntie

PM 'wrestling' with stem cell issue
The Prime Minister says he has not decided how he will vote on the private member's Bill to extend therapeutic cloning and embryonic stem cell research.

The Senate is due to debate the Bill all week. There will be a conscience vote on Friday.

John Howard says he does not yet know what he will do when there is a vote on the issue in the House of Representatives.

"I am wrestling with this issue," he said.

"On the one hand, I want to do everything possible to help relieve suffering and leave open the hope of cures for terrible debilitating illnesses.

"On the other hand, I do have concerns that this may, in some areas, be a step too far and I am still weighing the matter."

Gus: Dear Prime Minister

We might take a few pot naughty shot at you from time to time here (I do it all the time... it gives me an official reason to be a cranky but smiley old man) but on this occasion I would suggest if I may, that you vote in favour of Stem Cell Research and make it preferably "public", that is to say devoid of patents and ownership. If that is not possible let it be anyway. This will advance human knowledge in the vital processes and may provide cures to a few debilitating diseases that are forms of early onset of unfortunate human decay before average time of "normal" death. May you see the value in Australia being part of this worldwide search for answers. Make it an Australia value to extend knowledge and alleviate suffering. The religious concern about the value of embryonic life, especially that of frozen embryos, is misguided as more embryos are being created that will never ever (if I can use these words, misused by some, in real terms) become fully fledged people and eventually would be destroyed anyway. The process of In-vitro fertilisation itself should be the focus of those religious believers who oppose stem cell research., but that process is well established and proven to be a success for some couples. May stem cell research be the go.

Back to the fray

From Our ancient ABC

Saddam trial not independent or impartial: UN official

A United Nations judicial expert [|has criticised the trial] which sentenced former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein to death as neither impartial nor fair.
UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, Leandro Despouy, says he has "strong objections" regarding the conduct of the trial and is concerned about "the consequences this judgment may have over the situation in Iraq and in the region".
Mr Despouy says Saddam, who was sentenced to hang, should be tried on appeal by an independent and impartial court backed by the United Nations.
In a statement, he urged the Iraqi authorities not to carry out the death sentences handed down to Saddam and his half-brother and former intelligence chief, Barzan al-Tikriti, for their roles in the death of 148 Shiite villagers.
"Their application would represent a serious legal setback for the country and would be in open contradiction to the growing international tendency to abolish the death penalty," Mr Despouy said.
"[The trial shows] the lack of observance of a legal framework that conforms to international human rights principles and standards, in particular the right to be tried by an independent and impartial tribunal which upholds the right to a defence."
He also highlighted "its doubtful legitimacy and credibility".

Hanging, out of Tony tune

From our ABC

Blair [|against death penalty for 'Saddam] or anybody else'

British Prime Minister Tony Blair says he is against the death penalty "whether it's Saddam (Hussein) or anybody else."
But he has repeatedly declined to comment specifically on the death sentence handed down to the former Iraqi dictator, pointing reporters to comments made by British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett.
"We are against the death penalty whether it's Saddam or anybody else," he said in his monthly press conference.

not enough rope .....

‘So America's one-time ally has been sentenced to death for war crimes he committed when he was Washington's best friend in the Arab world. America knew all about his atrocities and even supplied the gas - along with the British, of course - yet there we were yesterday declaring it to be, in the White House's words, another "great day for Iraq". That's what Tony Blair announced when Saddam Hussein was pulled from his hole in the ground on 13 December 2003. And now we're going to string him up, and it's another great day.

Here are a few of the things that Saddam was not allowed to comment upon: sales of chemicals to his Nazi-style regime so blatant - so appalling - that he has been sentenced to hang on a localised massacre of Shias rather than the wholesale gassing of Kurds over which George W Bush and Lord Blair of Kut al-Amara were so exercised when they decided to depose Saddam in 2003 - or was it in 2002? Or 2001? Some of Saddam's pesticides came from Germany (of course). But on 25 May 1994, the US Senate's Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs produced a report entitled "United States Chemical and Biological Warfare-related Dual-use exports to Iraq and their possible impact on the Health Consequences (sic) of the Persian Gulf War".

This was the 1991 war which prompted our liberation of Kuwait, and the report informed Congress about US government-approved shipments of biological agents sent by American companies to Iraq from 1985 or earlier. These included Bacillus anthracis, which produces anthrax; Clostridium botulinum; Histoplasma capsulatum; Brucella melitensis; Clostridium perfringens and Escherichia coli. The same report stated that the US provided Saddam with "dual use" licensed materials which assisted in the development of chemical, biological and missile-system programmes, including chemical warfare agent production facility plant and technical drawings (provided as pesticide production facility plans).

Yes, well I can well see why Saddam wasn't permitted to talk about this. John Reid, the British Home Secretary, said that Saddam's hanging "was a sovereign decision by a sovereign nation". Thank heavens he didn't mention the £200,000 worth of thiodiglycol, one of two components of mustard gas we exported to Baghdad in 1988, and another £50,000 worth of the same vile substances the following year.

We also sent thionyl chloride to Iraq in 1988 at a price of only £26,000. Yes, I know these could be used to make ballpoint ink and fabric dyes. But this was the same country - Britain - that would, eight years later, prohibit the sale of diphtheria vaccine to Iraqi children on the grounds that it could be used for - you guessed it - "weapons of mass destruction".’

This Was A Guilty Verdict On America As Well

if you are a Democrat, please go and vote

I appeal to ALL democrats in the US to go and vote against George W Bush, the man who's chopped your freedoms and about to do more damage to the world should he get a free reign... The fact that Saddam has been sentenced should not affect your decision. remember all the people who have been killed in the process. Your War president need to be stopped. If you are a swinging voter swing against the Bush...

The right to vote ...

... and the right to have it counted.

The US system is rotten to core, so why would you go out to vote? This movie, Hacking Democracy, lays out the evidence.

Bev Harris: One of the most frustrating things is the secrecy part of it. Diebold made everything a proprietary secret. So every time you ask a question, they either ignore you altogether, or say, I'm sorry, that's proprietary. And then when you speculate if something is true, Diebold would say that's not how it works. Well, how does it work? Well, that's a secret. So that was very frustrating. The bottom line of this whole problem is that if we don't have the ability to authenticate our own elections as citizens, we don't live in a democracy.

It's available as streaming video.

Also, The Easy Ways To Hack A Diebold Voting Machine....

Rahm on Robocalls: “The Worst of Dirty Tricks” and Hear the Robocall.

This could be their Tamper election, with the keyboard kommandos at work.

Are we next, for e-voting and robocalls?

Playing both sides of the court

From Al Jazeera

US rejects criticism of Saddam penalty

Tuesday 07 November 2006, 3:07 Makka Time, 0:07 GMT

The [|US has rejected European criticism] of the death sentence given by an Iraqi court to Saddam Hussein, the former president.

Condoleezza Rice, the US secretary of state, insisted that it was up to Iraqis to decide the fate of the former Baath party leader.
She said during a television interview on Monday: "This is not something for Americans or, frankly, Europeans to comment on. I think this is something for Iraqis to decide."
The Iraqi High Tribunal, funded and advised by the US government, found Saddam guilty of crimes against humanity for the killing of 148 Shia civilians in revenge for a 1982 attempt on Saddam's life...
Gus: La Condoleeza is playing on both sides of the tennis court... on one hand the US HELPS the Iraqi create their laws and convict Saddam, on the other side she claims it's up the Iraqi to decide... Yep the deciderer had decided for them a long time ago and conveniently, the verdict was announced before the mid term election in the US while in reality the court case should have gone on for another three months before the truth of the matter was dug out... La condoleeza should go and hide for another well-timed deception.


From the ABC

Senate passes stem cell Bill
The private members Bill on embryonic stem cell research has passed the Senate.

Liberal Senator and former Health Minister, Kay Patterson's Bill would implement the recomendations of the Lockhart review into stem cell research, which said that a new process of embryonic cloning should be allowed.

Supporters of Senator Patterson's Bill argue that it should be permitted because it might lead to disease cures.

But opponents argue the process is immoral and would be taking science too far.

Earlier today the Senate voted to take the Bill to the next stage with supporters winning a tight procedural vote 34 to 31.

Progress on the Bill has been faster than expected.

And while you are winning

Dear Mr Howard
...And while the conscious — or was it a conscience vote — on stem cells research was a successful "yes" in the Senate, why don't you give the CSIRO an extra billion bucks to invest in superdooda research on CO2 emission reduction to minimise global warming, solutions that do not cost the earth except a bit of money, since you've (we've) got plenty of that — we've got a big surplus in your (our) budget — anyway... Solutions like geothermal electricity generation or more solar energy efficiency that would also be more individually captured — rather than big stuff that tends to centralise power that holds us to ransom with a bill every month... Actually you can give the CSIRO another billion bucks to do pure research on top of that... That would be swell... then you can leave with your head high... Well, high enough. We might consider forgiving a bit of your cock up in Iraq, manufacturing a lame excuse for your exit strategy that you got conned by George Bush.

Vote early, vote often...

As Voters Pass Judgment, Many Confront Technical Bugs

Published: November 7, 2006
With control of Congress hanging on a handful of races, voters streamed to the polls today in a midterm election many people have viewed as a [|popular referendum] on President Bush and the war in Iraq.
Polls opened in many places as early as 6 a.m., and with about one-third of the precincts across the country using new electronic voting technology, a range of technical problems soon began frustrating voters in states like Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Some of the worst problems were reported in Marion County, Ind., which includes Indianapolis. Roughly half of the 914 precincts reported difficulties getting machines started. Insufficient training for poll workers was part of the problem, County Clerk Doris Ann Sadler told The Associated Press. Officials in 175 precincts were forced to turn to paper ballots.
Gus: Yes T. G., Hopefully with manual counting of paper ballot, there will be less chance of fiddle on the horizon... And as far as the "popular referendum" on president Bush, it sounds more like an unpopularity contest... but then, ugliness is in the eye of the beholder...

A couple of things

Gus: It appears my US cousins have voted early and often... The Democrats are slowly sweeping in the House of reps and are neck and neck with the republicans in the senate...

But on another subject...
From Le Monde
Reporters without borders organizes “Twenty-four hours against the censure on Internet” LEMONDE.FR with AFP | 06.11.06 | 20h55 Updated • 06.11.06 | 21h04
From Tuesday 7 Wednesday November 8, Reporters association without borders (RSF) decided to mobilize the Net surfers against the censure on the Fabric. “More than sixty cyberdissidents is currently imprisoned in the world to have tried to be expressed on Internet. What seems simple with all one each one in the majority of the countries of the world is interdict in thirteen States. In China, in Tunisia, in Egypt, to deliver its opinion on a blog or a site can lead in prison”, recalls association on its site.

Exit polls

Gus - interesting to see the No.1 concern said to be corruption, with Iraq at No.4.

One chap said they should have left Saddam where he was, kept up the surveillance (ie, spying) instead of sending young Americans to die.  

Keith Olbermann suggested the Saddam verdict was a timed stunt. Other people are saying Saddam was tried in Iraq so the crooks could conceal their past dealings with him. 

A new age dawns. Here's hoping for early subpoenas. And an early invitation to BBQ at the ranch. 

stem cell decision

Parliament passes stem cell bill
The House of Representatives has voted to lift the ban on therapeutic cloning.

A private member's bill to lift the ban passed this evening after a conscience vote.

Supporters say the legislation could lead to real medical breakthroughs.

An amendment to prevent the use of eggs taken from foetuses was defeated.

Earlier, the Prime Minister and the Opposition Leader told Parliament they would be voting against the legislation.

John Howard said it was not an easy decision to reach.

A sign of things to come

It is good to see this bill passed, despite the positions of the respective parliamentary leaders. This is probably his most notable Christian Values based political decision. Where we had Beazley fighting with Howard in a race to the bottom to be the toughest on border security, etc, will we now see a stand off between Rudd and Tony Abbott (and the rest of the bible bashing Liberals) to impose the most Christian values they can.

Perhaps strategically, the ALP wants to try to win over some support from Family First, but at the same time, if both sides of the house start talking the same language, of Christian Values, then it is a slippery slope for a true separation of church and state. 

Truth worth dying for

Peter Garrett in The oxygen that breathes life into peacemaking referred to Rudd's choice of Bonhoeffer as "the man I admire most in the history of the 20th century".

Not Howard's suck to JPII. A Lutheran, and a bloke who, although a pacifist, took part in an assassination plot.

It will be very interesting to watch Rudd handle questions about aberrations like Hanson, in his frame of 'what would Bonhoeffer have done', set against Howard's mealy words.