Brain graze



British commentator Boris Johnson is one of the finest writers going around. So it was no surprise when the NY Times asked him to pen a piece about the build-up to the war. He chose to write critically of Rumsfeld's "we'll go it alone'' insult to Tony Blair.
After submitting the piece he discovered just how maniacally in the thrall of political correctness is the pompous old grey lady of US publishing. Johnson's explanation of having his copy doctored by fools would be hilarious if it weren't for the fact that such idiots are multiplying and popping up in newsrooms all over.

So I began the piece with the words, ‘Gee, thanks, guys,’ and Tobin wanted those words removed. For the life of me, I couldn’t see why.
All right, it was a bit colloquial, but the idea was to try to be snappy, and to draw the reader in: the New York Times might be grand; she might be a crinolined beldame of political correctness, but surely she could tolerate a little slang. At last, Tobin revealed the true concerns of his multitudinous line-editors and page-editors.
‘OK, Booris, I’ll tell you what the problem is. Our problem is that “Gee” is an abbreviation for Jesus. For a century this has been a Jewish-owned paper, and we have to be extremely sensitive about anything that might offend Christian sensibilities.



We hear that one of the gals down at Lorraine Starr's bordello in Malop Street, Geelong is throwing her support behind the Coalition of the Willies.
She ain't lovely, but she's patriotic. So, for the duration of war she's prepared to be known as the Shockin' Whore.


Thanks to MIKE TOTTEN for this gem.


Australians have a special affinity with the places where they park their cars. I know blokes who spend most of their waking hours in their garages. Dribbly the wharfy who used to live down the street had a magnificent set-up in his garage. He had a pot-bellied stove, a 15cu.ft. fridge, telly, stereo, a suite of ultra comfy club lounge furniture, bookshelves crammed with Zane Greys, Micky Spillanes and every Playboy dating back to the Marilyn Monroe edition, and more than 70 dozen stubbies of home brew. He had every tool you could ever want to borrow and a pair of boxing gloves he reckoned Lionel Rose wore in his bout against Fighting Harada. Oh, he also had an old Falcon in the shed that rarely went anywhere on account of all the home brew stacked between it and the double doors. Sadly, Dribbly had to move out of his garage when waterfront reforms meant a shift to Queensland. His was a memorable farewell. His missus said there was no way all that home brew was going anywhere, so for a week a few trusted comrades helped him drink it out. I was walking home from work one evening when Dribbly asked if I could help with the beer sacrifice. Got home around 2am.
Yes, the place where cars rest can assume sacred site status. Car parks lack the intimacy of backyard garages but are nevertheless places where matters private and personal can be sorted. They're where we settle debts, have fights, buy shoofty merchandise and, I've only been told of this mind you, when passion is overwhelming, engage in the odd knee-tremble.
It’s a place, above all, for straight talk. Where you can confidentially discuss the transmission mysteries of an EH Holden or what the trainer’s leaked to you about the smoky in the third at Flemington.
So where else would the top Aussie brass in Iraq choose to release some compelling information?
In the early hours of this morning, US command held a briefing at headquarters flash big press centre where, as has become customary, they told the press squat. As you’d expect; it is war, after all.
Anyway, the Australian brass wanted to use the centre to brief Australian journalists on a marvellous achievement by Oz Navy personnel. US command wouldn’t permit it.
So the Aussie in charge rounded up his compatriot scribblers and herded them out to the carpark to tell them how these brilliant, brave sailors had detected and seized a tugboat full of mines that the Iraqis intended releasing into the Gulf.
Then -- I sincerely hope -- they knocked the tops off a couple of longnecks and passed them round the circle. As you do in carparks.


Neither Uncle ABC nor the professor have blogged in over a week. Has anyone ever seen them together?

Huge day at the Moonee Valley track today with day and night meetings scheduled. Gallopologist Magic Mick Manley is sticking with the proven class in the day's feature event, The Australian Stakes, in which the nation's best sprinters scorch the track. He's gone, quite sensibly I say, with BEL ESPRIT (Race 6, No.8) in the big one. He also likes WHITE MIST (Race 7, No.10) each-way. Then LASHED (Race 8, No.1) who looks to be a good thing. Take RIBE (Race 8, No.6) in a quinella or an exacta with her.



Another powerful Australian mind has spoken out. Spear-carrier Heath Ledger joined an anti-war march in Melbourne yesterday, ensuring that a sizeable section of the population will make a point of avoiding his upcoming movie about another ego-driven bumpkin who thought he had a monopoly on righteousness.
THE AGE reports:
One of those at the front of the march, behind a "No war on Iraq" banner, was actor Heath Ledger, who is in Melbourne to launch the new Ned Kelly film.
Ledger called on Prime Minister John Howard to assert the nation's independence. "I think John 'Coward', should just grow up," he said earlier while watching the war on Iraq unfold on television. "He's so subservient to this guy (US President George Bush) and they're sending 250,000 troops over there. Why should we send our 2000? It makes no difference. We've got nothing to do with it."

John 'Coward' indeed! Oh, the withering wit that conjured such an acerbic jibe. And let's see how subservient Heathie boy is when his Hollywood backers learn how he's jeopardising their investments.



Reckon Australian support for the war on Iraq has this morning been boosted 10 per cent. Firstly, champions of the irresponsible, Slater and Gordon and other legal vultures, announced they would launch legal action against the Howard Government to stop its military involvement in the war against Iraq. Slater and Gordon were the mob who won a shipload of spondoola for a woman in her 50s who kept smoking even after she contracted lung cancer. Their claim was that the cigarette companies didn't tell her smoking was bad for her health. Australians don't like lawyers much. After all the political parties are full of them. And they particularly detest ambulance chasing opportunists like this bunch.
Then, as TONY THE TEACHER reports, the Australian Education Union has instructed its members to strike against the war. The union is also advising teachers on ways in which school practices and curriculum can be used to promote its position. Australians don't like teachers much (Tony excepted). After all the political parties are full of them. An acquaintance was so steamed about the propaganda blitz in the schoolroom, he sent this scorcher off to the chalkies union:

Dear Ms/Sir,
I get frustrated at the rising illiteracy in schools; antsy about the lack of geographical and historical knowledge imparted to students; and annoyed at the slavish devotion of kids to dumb culture that goes unchecked by teachers similarly addicted.
But, even though as a parent I despair at the denial of potential brought about by this state off affairs, I didn't get angry.
But that all changed today. I am so angry that if I encountered one of you Stalinist shitheads I would have trouble restraining myself from physical violence.
Who gave you slobs of the redundant, irrelevent Left the right to brainwash kids with your ill-informed, cliche-ridden, tired old anti-American propaganda?
I challenge you to publish on the Internet the names of parents who support your totalitarian mission.
Believe me, your actions will not be forgotten. You are no better than pedophiles. You corrupt children.
I will remain anonymous. Only because I know arseholes as evil as yourselves would take pleasure in victimising my offspring because of my attitude. You belong in Saddam's Iraq.



Every city has a Corio. Usually a western or northern suburb that grew post-WW2 around heavy industry. These places are marked by cheap government housing, bad town planning -- borrowed from soul-less English ''New Town'' models -- and steady physical and social deterioration. As the industrial jobs dried up and fortunate workers moved out to more salubrious areas, Corio, on the northern fringe of Geelong, became increasingly the home of the underclass. They used to be the working class until Gough Whitlam, Bob Hawke and Paul Keating decided the Labor Party would be better controlled by lawyers, teachers and publicly paid spivs. As Kim Beasley senior put it: "The Labor Party used to be run by the cream of the working class; it;s since been hijacked by the dregs of the middle class.'' Quite.
Anyway, parts of Corio now are pretty wild. Houses get burned down, drug dealers stab and shoot the competition, skanky hos belt each other up at the shopping plaza and the cops generally find something more deserving of their attention when the call comes out to attend a Corio fracas.
It is accepted that some pretty heavy err, mother furrers (as they used to print in Harold Robbins panty rippers) run day to day matters out that way. Heavily tattooed blokes with guns, habits and attitude. Bastards to avoid at all costs.
And that is why hysteria enveloped the Slatts' household during John Howard's speech to the Reps yesterday.
He was explaining Dubya's ultimatum to Saddam amid much clamor from the Opposition, particularly from the Member for Corio, Gavan O'Connor. "The Sav'' as he is known affectionately to constituents, was in turn copping it from the Speaker: "I'm warning the Member for Corio...'' and that sort of stuff.
Howard was batting on capably but with all the noise his acknowledged aural weakness came into play. Thus he managed to explain to the House that Saddam and cronies had been given 48 hours to ''get out of Corio''.
No wonder the cops won't go there.



Jeez, an army that chucks it in quicker than the French!
Picked this up from FREE REPUBLIC.

NBC News: Regular Army in No. Iraq Already Beginning to Surrender; Little Food, Equipment Broken
NBC News | March 16, 2003 | Fred Francis

Fred Francis reporting live:
Many members of the Iraqi regular army are already coming across to surrender. They report no food. Morale near zero. Everyone from the highest commanders to the lowest privates that remain are openly discussing plans to surrender en masse the moment war starts.
One commander says he has 27 tanks; only 6 work.
Francis reports that US forces expect near-ZERO military response from Iraqi forces, except from the Republican Guard around Baghdad itself. The reason: They actually think they WON in 1991 because we didn't go after them.


Ex sleazebag-in-chief Bill Clinton has been fingered again for the unwanted laying on of hands.
According to NEWSMAX Slick Willy "sexually molested" a female steward aboard Air Force One and was later forced to apologize to the woman, a bombshell new book by White House whistle-blower Lt. Col. Robert Patterson reveals.
The identity of the woman, an enlisted member of the Air Force, is being protected by Lt. Col. Patterson. But the searing new account of a commander in chief preying upon a military subordinate could spell trouble for New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, who, as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, would have jurisdiction to investigate the incident.



Usually when the Left is confronted with a murderous fascist oppressor you'd expect them to queue to knock him off. That they're making no effort to deliver that fate to Saddam suggests their infantile anti-Americanism overules all other considerations. Barham Salih is Prime Minister of the Kurdistan region in Sulaymaniyah, northern Iraq. He makes an impassioned appeal to the British Left to back a war to depose Saddam Hussein. Regrettably he'll find the Left there, like here, is populated with shallow thinkers whose unconcern for the plight of Hussein's victims borders on racism.

But some principled people, mainly left-wing, understood our plight. While others funded Saddam, our allies pointed out the inconsistency of calling for democracy in eastern Europe while supporting a murderous dictator in the Middle East.
Where are these friends now? Regrettably, many are denouncing a war that would liberate Iraq. Like those who shunned us in the Eighties, some of our former friends find the martyrdom of the Iraqi people to be an irritant. They avert their eyes from the grisly truth of our suffering, while claiming concern at the human cost of war.
The cost to Iraqis of sparing the Baathist dictatorship is rarely calculated. Iraqis are overlooked by an anti-Americanism that does not understand why we need military action to break our shackles. Some call for civil disobedience to impede the bid to free Iraq. In Iraq, civil disobedience is a death sentence.


Turf consultant Mick Manley's crystal ball must have been smeared yesterday. However, Bold Bard, my tip from the workplace, got amongst the money with a scorching second, returning $80 for my $25 each way. Keep him safe for the metro Cups!


DIXIE CHICKS lead singer Natalie Maines, who criticised President Bush's plans for war with Iraq earlier this week, has since apologized after music fans complained and radio stations took the Chicks' music out of rotation