The Pencil Guy: Hourann's illogical blog

Some choice quotes

Sunday 30 July 2006 at 3:37 pm

A few cool quotes I’ve noticed in the news over the last week:

We want peace!

– the protestors who proceeded to throw themselves at the PM’s car yesterday. I’m plenty amused to see Johnny delayed and his little flag broken off, but what on earth were those kids thinking, claiming on the TV news to have been ‘provoked’? Sheesh.

… and she said, “The Israelis need a government that will stop being so aggressive, and we need a government who stops spending money on guns and starts building schools and hospitals so Palestine can be like a proper country.” She stared at me hard and said, “By the way, who did your hair?” and I said, “The Israelis,” and she said, “See what they do?”

– The inimitable Danny Katz, in the Age last week.

Doesn’t matter if the water is safe, it’s coming from [the] toilet, and people don’t want that.

– An early voter rejecting the only sensible long-term option for water use in a referendum in Toowoomba yesterday.

Overseas is one thing, but Melbourne, for God’s sake?

– Greg Craven, one of Curtin’s politics dudes, pointing out in yesterday’s West how horribly bad Perth is at holding on to its smart young people.

Firefox is wonderful. It’s up there with chocolate and sex on the grand scale of great things about being alive.

– Kate Bevan in the Guardian. Amen!


Will it degenerate into war?

Tuesday 18 July 2006 at 11:39 pm

Truth be told, I actually don’t know what to say about the current conflict(s) in the Middle East. Israel’s sudden military campaign against Hezbollah strikes me as slightly insane, the perfect way to stoke a war in a region that isn’t exactly the most stable in the world.

But I also recognise Israel’s right to protect itself from terrorists; the initial Hezbollah attack was pretty brazen (albeit poorly reported here). The response seems popular within Israel, probably because it makes the government appear strong — and given that, I can understand why Aussies in Lebanon are crying to our government for help as if it’s a superpower that can deploy navy ships to the region within two days. (Speaking of the Aussie government, little John’s visit to Timor-Leste today seems to have been little more than a meet-and-greet; I wonder if they talked about Timor Sea gas deals?)

The Israeli attacks also came as a shock to me because I’ve been busy writing (rather theoretically) about how the risk of traditional war between equally-matched states is lessened in the contemporary world because states are more interdependent than they used to be … and while that’s still true for Southeast Asia, I guess the Mid-East is always a bit exceptional.

At least I can say this with certainty: the Israeli campaign is doing a great job of drawing attention away from the Gaza Strip. And Iraq, for that matter …

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