Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Feeling Newsy! (yes, there's news other than the financial crisis - which I won't mention... promise.)

Just reading some news today.

It's variously...


The army chief is sticking to his decision to axe the Royal Australian bagpipe band. Hooray! Finally they're seeing some sense that the sound of (handsomely-skirted) men squeezing and torturing kittens in bags just to hear them squeal is not a good idea (except in a serious skirmish). Perhaps that is why they are taking these *ahem* musicians and turning them back into (much needed) soldiers.

News that's less good:
"Lt-Gen Gillespie said he had instructed the army director of music to maintain a pipe capability for ceremonial occasions when bagpipes were needed." NEEDED!!!? And that this "would be done through reserve pipers..." Ah, so close...

Good-ish (for some):
NSW politicians are continuing to provide the nation with amusements as their Nationals party leader said something about a Liberal MP: "If I had my way, I'd march him out at dawn, put a blindfold on him and shoot him."

Quite succinct and clear really. I don't quite see the problem.

Although he's apologised, the mamby-pamby MP refuses to accept the apology as he is still enjoying sulking. He said "the comments represented a threat to himself, promoted violence and were offensive to the victims of gun crimes." Ah, nothing like pollies for some neat hyperbole.
(Approaching it with humour would be much more charming... although pouts do suit some people.)

Seriously good:
"Australia has expanded financial sanctions against Burma, targeting more of the nation's top officials, ministers and military leaders."

Less good:
McCain and Palin
(who only took on the task of VP nominee because the Republican party was more than happy to spend $225,000 on her wardrobe) have some fodder to attack with by taking one of Joe Biden's remarks out of context. He said basically the new president will be tested by an international crisis (yup, I'd say one or two are happening already). So the Republican argument is that McCain has been tested already.

Yes. And found wanting.

Good news:
is 10 points ahead of McCain. And only 2 weeks to go! And this on top of (and likely due to) the wonderful news of Republican Colin Powell supporting him (boy, did that make my day)!

Also noice:
Mr. Obama’s favorability is the highest for a presidential candidate running for a first term in the last 28 years of Times/CBS polls. Mrs. Palin’s negative rating is the highest for a vice-presidential candidate as measured by The Times and CBS News. Even Dan Quayle, with whom Mrs. Palin is often compared because of her age and inexperience on the national scene, was not viewed as negatively in the 1988 campaign.

But sadly of course, his grandma ain't doin' so good, so he's going to go see her for a couple of days. Tragically he never got to his mother's death bed in time when she died, so he's obviously not wanting this to happen again.
If one can find anything good from this it will be that voters may have some empathy for him, think he's a nice grandson and also be reminded that half his heritage is white ('Lookit dat Billy-Bob!! He gots a white gran'ma like me!!! Hey. Maybe he ain't so black afta all!')

Strange news:
French Prez Sarkozy (I love saying 'Sarkozy'... don't know why; especially in the French manner, Sar-ko-ZEE!) is threatening to sue a company making voodoo dolls. I think the one offending him is the Sarkozy doll actually.

It has quotes of his over it and instructs the owner to insert pin 'here', eg: "Get lost you pathetic arsehole." (I hope that's actually in French: Obtenez-perdu vous abruti pathétique!)

He's not annoyed about the pins and sudden pains about his person so much as his exclusive rights to his image... and copyrighted insults.

And, again, Good: A new vet hospital in the US is helping wounded military vets.
In case that's confusing I'll be clear: a $15 million animal hospital has been opened at "Lackland Air Force Base, offering a long overdue facility that gives advanced medical treatment for combat-wounded dogs."
Maybe less than 'good' news really as the article points out that about 2500 dogs work with military units - finding explosive devices, drugs (for their handler's r&r) and land mines. Poor puppies! And do they get paid??

Dogs injured in Iraq or Afghanistan get emergency medical treatment on the battlefield and are flown to Germany for care. If necessary, they'll fly on to San Antonio for more advanced treatment -- much like wounded human personnel.

The hospital includes "CT scanning equipment, an intensive care unit and rehab rooms with an underwater treadmill and exercise balls" (the trainer's apparently). Plus, a "behavioral specialist has an office near the lobby." (I'm hoping there's some Schmackos in there.)

But also 'good' news because I get to use this photo again:

'Man, this better earn me some Schmackos...'