Instant Experts on Obama and the Nobel

Photograph of Barack Obama: click for Fox News analysis

I am now an expert on international politics and will pass judgement on and provide analysis of the Nobel Peace Prize going to Barack Obama, just like every other fuckhead.

It’s Swedish. And it’s glittery. Just like Abba. A “Black Abba”, if you wish. Afghanistan is Obama’s Waterloo. Discuss.

[This post is based on a couple of tweets from last night. 1, 2. Someone thought it was amusing. I wanted to link the word “Waterloo” to some explanatory material, but was stuck. Which link?]

Anzac Day 2009: Sacrifice

Photograph of a sprig of rosemary, for remembrance

The cat vomited this morning. Again. Artemis has this habit of gorging her food and then, five minutes later, throwing up wherever she’s standing.

Today it was a projectile effort from the heights of the TV stand, a reddish-brown spatter right across the living room floor.

Remember that last time you threw up? How the acrid stomach acids burnt your throat and mouth? How it felt like it was surging up into the back of your nose? It’s just like that. Freshly warm and mixed with the reek of cheap fish.

You can’t help but get it on your hands as you wipe it up.

I’ll bet just the thought of that smell is causing tightness in your sinuses, clenching in your throat.

Wiping up cat vomit first thing in the morning is rather unpleasant, no?

If wiping up cat vomit is the worst you have to think about today, then you’re one of the luckiest bastards on this planet. It’s not a particularly demanding sacrifice to make in return for some furry companionship.

Today is, of course, Anzac Day, our national memorial for those who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice for our country, and that other country.

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Links for 12 January 2009 through 18 January 2009

Stilgherrian’s links for 12 January 2009 through 18 January 2009, gahered with care and moistened with love:

Links for 21 July 2008 through 25 July 2008

Stilgherrian’s links for 21 July 2008 through 25 July 2008, gathered by a small, well-trained pig, washed by hand and exposed to cool, dry air:

Afghanistan: death for downloading and discussing

Over at TechCrunch, Australian journalist Duncan Riley tells the story of a 23-year-old Afghani who’s been sentenced to death in a secret trial for discussing a document he found on the Internet.

Sayad Parwez Kambaksh’s crime was printing a document… that allegedly “violated the tenets of Islam.” Kambaksh then allegedly took the printout to Balkh University, where he discussed the contents with his teacher and classmates, resulting in a complaint to the US-backed Government.

Duncan asks:

What exactly are Americans and coalition forces (including British and Australian troops) fighting for in Afghanistan again? Feel free to remind me in the comments.

And the comments have gone beserk, even for TechCrunch. I’ll share some of it with you ‘cos someone who read my own comment emailed me privately to call me a genius and say that following the link to my website, i.e. here, was the best decision he ever made! Poor chap.

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Stay alert, ye nameless, toiling animals

Hindsight is wonderful. When we look back at, say, World War II, TV documentaries cover the rise of Hitler in a few minutes. It’s easy to forget that Hitler was head of the National Socialist Party from 1921, fully 12 years before he became Chancellor in 1933. And it was another 6 years before WWII officially kicked off with the invasion of Poland.

I’ve often wondered what that all looked like for people living it in real-time. And oddly enough, three articles in the Sydney Morning Herald this weekend got me thinking about how that relates to the big global issues today.

Continue reading “Stay alert, ye nameless, toiling animals”