Thursday, January 31, 2008

While Al Qaeda Claim They Defeated Howard, Govt Assaults GG

Al Qaeda are claiming credit for defeating the Howard Government, and setting up the current administration under Rudd.

Rudd has promised to flee Iraq, but make extraordinary demands of the world in Afghanistan, believing Australia can still do less.

Meanwhile, the Governor General has been roundly criticized for making the correct and mild observation that Australian athletes need to be better ambassadors for their sport. Outrageous claims are being made about the GG, including the risible lie that he wouldn't visit with flood victims.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Failure of Leadership Drives Reform

shcool, originally uploaded by ddbsweasel.

The failure of the NSW Government to address Educational shortcomings in NSW is behind the push to raise the compulsory age.

Lifting the age from 15 to 16 will not, on its own, change much. It means that some 15 year olds who achieved poorly at school won't be supported through job search schemes. Instead, they will jig the institution, or show and cause trouble.

But it doesn't have to be that bad.

Run properly, low achieving, problematised students could have their needs met by the institutions they vacate. But it costs money. It is expensive to follow up the trail of destruction left by an early leaver, but it also costs money to maintain them in a secure, worthwhile environment too.

Education, from a state budget, has fallen from a high of nearly one third of the state budget under Askin in '75 to one sixth under Iemma in 2007. ALP are to blame for the short funding.

Non Decision Threatens Sport

Malcolm Speed, originally uploaded by ddbsweasel.

The ICC is incapable of getting national teams to adhere to its rules. The damage to the ICC from this problem may be minimal now, but will compound later, as it already has done.
To date, a bowler with a suspect action is continuing to play the international sport.
A team (Pakistan vs England) has walked away from a test match.
An umpire (Hair) has been suspended from matches for following the rules.
Another Umpire (Bucknor) has been the scapegoat for India's poor performance.
The ICC made racial vilification provisions public, before the series, and now won't enforce them.
It will be a long time before the ICC recovers from Speed's mismanagement, but the time for Speed to go is yesterday.

An Extraordinary Man Confesses

President Bush, originally uploaded by ddbsweasel.

When it comes to the battle between the religious and the spiritual, Religion gets the Weasel's vote.
Spiritualists are not responsible to anyone or anything, other than their own perception. But it isn't the case that things happen by accident. Things happen, and fortunate things happen to those who plan well.
Some are suspicious of President Bush because he prays to god.
Worry more about world leaders that talk to themselves.
Making Jesus the centre of one's life sounds a little schitzophrenic for the uninitiated. However, the self centered often watch the wrong things and make mistakes they shouldn't.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A Call To Arms

Baker Spring, originally uploaded by ddbsweasel.

In comments is a column by Baker Spring, of the Heritage Foundation. In it, he details thoughts on how the US needs to proceed after President Bush leaves office.
It is important that the mistake of the Clinton years is not revisited, where the military was hollowed out for short term gains, but long term loss.

President Bush State of The Union Address

President Bush State of Union, originally uploaded by ddbsweasel.

Australian newspapers in reporting President Bush’s State of the Union address have instead printed stories about drinking games and lampooned Mr Bush.
They have not reported what President Bush has said.
Fox notes
“Bush's presidency has been marked by job growth for 52 straight months, an increase in wages and exports. But a recent hike in food and gas prices as well as a decline in the housing market is causing strain for many Americans.”
Bitter Rivals, Clinton Obama

Of course, the economic downturn coincides with the Democrats achieving a majority in Congress. Even so, the remarkable President Bush has managed to bring about a troop surge and improvement in Iraq despite substantial opposition. Furthermore, his stimulus package seems like having overwhelming support of Congress.
But all the Australian press will report is the drinking games.

ALP Can't Manage Nuclear Waste

Uranium Dump, originally uploaded by ddbsweasel.

It isn't that they don't think it important for the environment. It is because they don't know how to manage it. That is the only conclusion that can be drawn by the NSW Governments handling of an old waste dump.

Residents had been lied to by the ALP. One local working family had been told the nuclear uranium processing plant was a watch factory.

Even so, such things can be made safe, handled properly.

But we have ALP in government, and so the site has been badly managed, and now the government wants to sell it for a lot of money, and move the material to ALP heartland, where they won't lose votes, although they may lose voters.

Love and Yearning

in love Pachyderms, originally uploaded by ddbsweasel.

The Weasel does not believe in soul mates.

Love is fickle. Love is blind. The tide ebbs and falls, but love remains.

Love is over cautious, and reckless too.

Love is friendship and love is hardship.
Love is having, and love is losing.

Love is keeping, and love is sharing.

Love is steadfast, and love is blind panic.

Love is not in some immaterial soul, drifting through the universe. Love is in the blood. Unyielding, uncompromising, demanding and despairing.

One can live a lifetime, and not share love. But only a moment passes.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Robin Hood

Lafayette gave me this invite to a gorgeous piece. I invited Bryn to do some magic.
Robin Hood.
Lafayette: Music
Bibanova: Audio Programming
DDBall: Lyrics and vox
at Icompositions at

A Dictator Dies

Suharto, dead, originally uploaded by ddbsweasel.

Mourned by some very wealthy people, and given credit for Indonesia's wealth, Suharto is dead.
Suharto was a general in the Indonesian army. He overthrew a communist dictator, Sukarno in '65. As dictator of the extensive archipelago, Suharto was responsible for the killing of at least half a million people.
At the time Suharto took power, communism and its terrorist cousins were a prevalent threat, and it is possible that Suharto felt that what he did was necessary to prevent Indonesia sliding into anarchy. We will never know.
Suharto had a close working relationship with the ALP, obtaining permission to invade Timor from Whitlam and receiving military aid from Keating.
There was prosperity during Suharto's reign, but then Indonesia might have been richer and better had Suharto not been corrupt as well as murderous.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Death of a Journalist

Paddy McGuiness, originally uploaded by ddbsweasel.

Paddy McGuiness died the other day. He had suffered from Melanoma. He was a former SMH journalist and the editor of Quadrant.

according to news limited,
During an interview with News Ltd late last year Mr McGuinness said he had been able "to 're-establish' Quadrant as a 'sceptical and non-ideological' journal in the conservative spirit of Samuel Johnson, the literary colossus of 18th century England."

He was also a self deluded git. Quadrant being an unreadable left wing rag.

Rudd Readies Sorry Campaign

Sorry Babushka, originally uploaded by ddbsweasel.

Rudd prepares to apologize, on behalf of all Australians to no one who is alive today.
Sorry for living.
The truth is the first settlers did not build Australia. Neither did the Aboriginal peoples alive here at the time of the first settlers.
Roughly half of Australia's infrastructure was built in the last fifty years. Probably more.
It is not for us to apologize for mistakes in the past, but to provide a better future. Rudd will fail on each count.

Power Shift As Liberals Repudiate Success

sorry, originally uploaded by ddbsweasel.

Mr Howard came within 12000 votes over nine electorates of pulling off a win in the last election. In the end, his defeat was nothing to do with his policy, or the discipline of his government.
A rampant media allowed Rudd a free pass on many substantial issues, and the cost to the electorate will be borne heavily.
Rudd has never faced charges over the Heiner affair. Has never answered for his conduct with Brian Burke. Has never said what his IR policy is. Has never said what Kyoto will actually do. Has not stated what his five point plan to reduce inflation is. Is not planning on keeping the few election promises he made.
Foolishly, the Liberals did not want Mr Howard as party President. But, whoever they choose, because they have so many talented individuals, will probably be a sound choice.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Why NYT Supports McCain

John McCain, originally uploaded by ddbsweasel.

The New York Times has endorsed Hilary Clinton and John McCain. The reason for each endorsement is pretty clear cut.
Hilary is a New York senator, and the paper is endorsing its own candidate to the party it supports.

Hilary Clinton
McCain has little chance of gaining support from Republicans, so supporting McCain is a facile attempt to weaken the Republican nomination. Which is why they snubbed Giuliani, who would pose a commanding figure as a Republican nominee.
That is why the NYT is not widely read or respected. They no longer report news, but try to be part of it.

Media Whisper Campaign Claims Australian Great

Gilchrist, originally uploaded by ddbsweasel.

It is possible that the Australian Cricket team will be asked to tour Pakistan soon. Such a tour will pose a risk to the players lives. Is that the reason why Gilchrist is resigning from all cricket?

There has been a media whisper campaign to remove Gilchrist. Coordinated whispers about age and competence have dogged the keeper. Is that why Gilchrist is resigning?

Adam Gilchrist is one of the greats of the game. His is a mastery as complete as Sir Garfield Sobers, who has been described as 'The Complete Cricketer' or 'The Best who has ever lived.'

Although Adam is the world record holder for test keeping dismissals, it will always be his batting for which he will be remembered (although, not recalled). He has scored 17 test centuries, which averages to one every five tests. His prodigious scoring is exceeded by the scoring rate. Victor Trumper did not hit as cleanly.

Adam is a gentleman and honorable. It is sad that he retires so young. Cricket is poorer for the loss.

Middle East War Overview

Some blame war in the Middle East on Israel.
Some on The US.
Some on Great Britain, here you see a lone survivor of an Afghan conflict.
Middle East war is old, as the site of Masada shows. Or Meggido, where a resurgent Pharoah created the legend of Armageddon.
It was said Clinton’s behaviour with an intern destroyed peace.
Others offer their opinions, but rarely are they informed.
In this series, I intend to show events, and allow people to learn for themselves. I don’t promise to not have bias. But I will try to be balanced.
Middle East War takes lifetimes and lives. Golda Meir grew to be great, but age overtook her.
A culture of war exists, which inducts children into fighting.
My involvement is related to my Maternal Great Grandfather, who fought for NSW in the Soudan.
My paternal grandfather who fought for Australia in the Sudan.
Israel with tanks.
Palestinians cowed by their own murder squads who act lawlessly, as their mothers taught them.
This is an ambitious project, and political. I won't pretend I'm not advocating a viewpoint. I hope to take segments of the conflict in the Middle East and state events, rather than propaganda.
Because there are scenes of death, this is labeled with a warning.

some links;

'Remnants of an Army' by Elizabeth Butler portraying William Brydon arriving at the gates of Jalalabad as the only survivor of a 16,500 strong evacuation from Kabul in January 1842.
Mad Islamists demand credit for satanic Zionist plot
Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, April 23, 08 (03:38 pm)

You know the despair a satirist feels when he’s hears something so crazed on so many levels that he can’t even begin to respond? From YNet

Friday, January 25, 2008

The Worth or The Value

Romano Prodi, originally uploaded by ddbsweasel.

Romano Prodi has resigned after losing a vote of no confidence by a small amount. His place in Italian history is secure, having brought Silvio Berlusconi from office in 2006. However, history will not smile on Prodi's achievements, having made Italians poorer and the world a little less secure from terrorism.

Prodi had a key role in establishing a multinational peace keeping force in Lebanon, but his inability to get his loose coalition to act together meant that there have never been sufficient numbers of troops to do their job. Similarly, there were problems in Afghanistan. However, he had no problem in announcing a withdrawal of troops from Iraq.

It is hard for the center left to achieve anything, when they believe in nothing.
Two girls have been convicted of the murder of a third. The two, one aged 20, the other 19, killed the sixteen year old as a proof of commitment. At their sentencing, when it was said that the victim took half an hour to die, while the two killers had kissed above the victim's body, the killers grinned at each other.

It is hard for people to do anything worthwhile, when they believe in nothing.

Good Reason Not To Listen To ABC

Jas Oakley, originally uploaded by ddbsweasel.

Her date had the ABC (Australian one) on a speed dial and dialed them, instead of his intended date.

The ABC got the message, realized it was a mistake, and broadcast it anyway.

Turns out she was an ABC listener, as were her colleagues.

Tomorrow is Australia Day. Let's support Australia, tomorrow, and not listen to, or watch, an ABC program.

Gore Confesses He Is Not Doing Enough

things to do, originally uploaded by ddbsweasel.

Former US President Wannabe, Al Gore, has admitted that his previous statement regarding supporting climate change at home "I am in the process of changing over to compact fluorescent lights" was inadequate.
Gore now wants the US to sign meaningless legislation to back inadequate responses, too.
For Gore, the US not signing Kyoto is sufficient for him to label the practical measures that President Bush has taken as being meaningless.
Apparently, spending appropriately is not enough. One can always spend more.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

ALP Give Up On Inflation

Working Family, originally uploaded by ddbsweasel.

Mr Swan has admitted Rudd's government can do nothing about inflation for a few years. International economic situation being what it is. Such issues weren't a big problem for the Howard Government, which notably shielded Australia from many of the problems associated with economic downturns in Asia, or from the technology correction, or from the war on terror. But then the Howard administration had anti inflationary policy. Rudd is hamstrung by the fact that he doesn't know what he is doing.
During the last election campaign, Rudd claimed that Mr Howard had been lucky during his government's term. Sadly, we are discovering that Rudd is unlucky.

Heath Ledger, Autopsy Suggests Accidental Death

Heath's Last photo, originally uploaded by ddbsweasel.

An inconclusive autopsy suggests that Heath did not overdose, as his closest friends and loved ones had already said. Heath was not one of those losers who took drugs because he wanted to feel alive.

It now appears that the world lost a fabulous actor because some over the counter medicine is too dangerous.

The unfair aspects regarding this tragedy are yet to be fully explored by the world press. Heath's death was not self inflicted, nor was it a result of ineptness on his part. He should not be compared with a drunk party girl on a boat, or a drug user who died from complications resulting from sexual dysfunction. He was a sick man, who purchased appropriate medication, and died.

Paola Antonelli: Treating design as art Paola Antonelli, design curator at New York's MOMA, wants to spread an appreciation of design, in all shapes and forms -- and to remove any stigma of it being considered mere decoration. She takes the TED2007 audience on a whistlestop tour of some design exhibitions she has organized, including "Mutant Materials," "Workspheres" and "Safe

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Magnetic Wave Confirmed on Sun

Sun Study, originally uploaded by ddbsweasel.

A magnetic wave has been confirmed as being an agent responsible for the reason why the sun's atmosphere can be a hundred times hotter than it's surface.
Also makes a beautiful picture.

The Dark Knight Heath Ledger's Final Piece

An extraordinary gifted actor died yesterday, apparently from an overdose of legal drugs.

Unlike the passing of Michael Hutchence, this seems less self inflicted. Tragic.

Heath played edgy roles. My favorite is "Monster's Ball."

It hasn't registered yet, that over the counter, legal, drugs are dangerous. People who play with addiction (which Heath was not accused of) run the increased risk of death through the legal drugs as well.

Maria Crushes World Number One

Maria, originally uploaded by ddbsweasel.

Some dismiss Maria as being beautiful. However, it was her talent, not her great looks, which allowed Maria rule the court yesterday.

She beat Justine Henin 6-4, 6-0

Rumble Pictures - Clean Up Australia 2007 AD

A group of youths participated in 2007's March the 4th's Clean Up Australia Day. Traveling from Carramar to Cabramatta, they produced a documentary/TV ad promoting environmental awareness.

Checkout the CUA article at:
Written by Roxie Vuong
Edited by Ryan Peters
Directed by Timothy Ly

Rumble Pictures 2007

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Ball is Rolling

jedi, originally uploaded by ddbsweasel.

From Anon.
"I am one of your 2002 year 12 students. I was in one of your math classes. I believe during your teaching years while having me as a student was very rememorable. You were a great teacher, and like any other teacher would only provide the best education to their students."

"If you had a petition i would be more then glad to support you. Furthermore will encourage other students who had you as a teacher to support you as well. "
You can help me by getting in touch with the Fairfield Champion or Fairfield Advance and letting them know you endorse me. You can choose to remain anonymous to the public, but the papers will ask for you to identify yourself to them.
Thank you.
For obvious reasons, the Weasel cannot state their identity, but I have allowed David some latitude in responding on this issue

Deborah Gordon: How do ants know what to do? Armed with a backhoe and a handful of markers, Deborah Gordon studies ant colonies in the Arizona desert. She asks: How do these chitinous creatures get down to business -- and even multitask when they need to -- with no language, memory or visible leadership? Her answers could lead to a better understanding of all complex systems, from the brain to the Web.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Power Goes To Rudd's Head

Power, originally uploaded by ddbsweasel.

An absurd decision by Rudd means that an opportunity for twenty percent of the world's population to move to power not producing Carbon Dioxide won't be realized.

It becomes more perverse when one observes that Rudd signed Kyoto for the very reason of reducing green house gasses.

Note, Kyoto doesn't limit greenhouse gasses, but nuclear power does.

So why the executive decision by Rudd? Politics. It turns out that Rudd isn't controlled by people caring about the environment.

J.J. Abrams: The mystery box J.J. Abrams traces his love of the unseen mystery -- the heart of Alias, Lost, and the upcoming Cloverfield -- back to its own magical beginnings, which may or may not include an early obsession with magic, the love of a supportive grandfather, or his own unopened Mystery Box.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Talented India Crush Australia in Cricket

3rd Test vs India, originally uploaded by ddbsweasel.

India won by a convincing 72 runs late in the fourth day.

Australia were never ahead from the time India opened on the first day and scored the highest individual score for the match with Dravid making 93.

Australia made a good show of it, scoring the highest innings in the fourth, thanks largely to some late hitting from Stuart Clark and Mitchell Johnson.

Why the Reserve Bank Feels Cautious

RESERVE Bank governor Glenn Stevens has played down the effects of massive falls on the Australian and international stock markets.

The local market has endured one of its worst performances in its history this week, notching up its biggest losing streak in more than 17 years.

Asked at a business lunch in London overnight what his message would be to Australian mum and dad investors who had been hit by the market falls, Mr Stevens said: "Share markets go up and down.

"Mums and dads shouldn't be trying to play them on a short-term basis."

Unlucky Rudd Helpless As Prices Soar

Train woes, originally uploaded by ddbsweasel.

Bread, Milk and Meat are some of the staple items whose prices are set to soar 15 percent or more in the next few months.

The price rise is not directly related to incompetence on Rudd's part. It is related to the practice of having low levels of livestock during drought, and restocking afterwards.

The rise will quickly flow through the market.

In other news, the ALP's popularity has increased since the November election. Inflation is up, interest rates are higher, markets are collapsing and the Rudd administration is standing by helpless.

The picture is of a Thai railway. There are many signs Australia can enjoy such prosperity under this administration too.

Bobby Fisher, Genius and Bigot, Dies at 64

Bobby Fisher, originally uploaded by ddbsweasel.

Famed for being a US born world chess champion, Bobby Fisher led a strange and austere life.

Achieving Grandmaster status in his mid teens, he made many demands of tournament organizers when he achieved World Champion status in 1972. Then he stopped playing chess.
Bobby Fischer March 2005
He was one to fantasize about Jewish conspiracy, and US domestic and foreign policy.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Trendy Spiritualism Promotes Unhappiness

This is hell, originally uploaded by ddbsweasel.

Tamara McLean writes "YOUNG people who embrace trendy, self-focused spiritualism are more anxious and depressed than those who believe in God or reject religion altogether, a survey shows."

Faith can be a natural extension of one's life, or it can be an ordeal. The idea of having to jump through hoops, to prove ones self again and again while life passes one by seems uninspiring to me. Yet many young churches with spiritualistic themes get a large number of young people, so that established churches tend to promote the same kind of insanity for their flocks.

The Anglican and Uniting Churches, in Australia, have done much harm in supporting new age fads, like social liberalism. Compare and contrast Rudd with the former Prime Minister, John Howard.

Another Canberra Diplomatic Error

FARC, originally uploaded by ddbsweasel.

The Australian Government has dithered over the activity of eco terrorists in arctic waters. Having made the mistake of endorsing a law that they wouldn't enforce, the Government has compounded their error when two gung ho activists decided they would test the law.
The US based vessel, Sea Shepherd, sent an Australian and a Briton, uninvited, to board the Japanese vessel in arctic waters.
Despite an Australian court ruling that Japan couldn't whale hunt in Arctic waters, the Japanese court, and over 95% of all nations, don't recognize the Australian court as having jurisdiction in those waters.
Boarding vessels at sea is bad anytime. Had the boarded vessel been Chinese, not Japanese, there is a high probability the boarders would be dead, because China has a very strong Piracy issue. The activists were banking on the fact that Japan is a modern nation, capable of following rules and laws these activists spurn.
It is an ugly view, of such an attractive face.

Emotion + 2

It is a real privilege to be invited to put some visuals to this awesome track.
It began with Vegetal making emotion Really awesome guitar.
Today I find myself alone again.
I'm waiting for something 2 come my way
If only you could see what's going on
then maybe I could find my way
And open hearts will beat again
So you don't have to be afraid Anymore...
And we will open up our eyes 2 the things that we can't see
Maybe you should close your eyes and open up your heart to the things that we can be. There many more
la la la open up your heart
open up you eyes
Today is one of those days that, we all just wanna to lay back
Do you remember when music was so different
Gone away...

I feeling like it's going to end some day
Freestyle music is the type of music I will make
I will make.
The emotion of the ocean, the emotion got me coasting
my emotion, your emotion
Vegetal: Music and song.
PlusUltra: Bass tracks.
BlendWellMusic: Lyrics and vocals.
DDBall: Image collection

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Why Che Legacy Part B

In Cuba, Guevara's death precipitated the abandonment of guerrilla warfare as an instrument of foreign policy, ushering in a rapprochement with the Soviet Union, and the reformation of the government along Soviet lines. When Cuban troops returned to Africa in the 1970s, it was as part of a large-scale military expedition, and support for insurrection movements in Latin America and the Caribbean became logistical and organizational rather than overt. Cuba also abandoned Guevara's plans for economic diversification and rapid industrialization which had ultimately proved to be impracticable in view of the country's incorporation into the COMECON system. As early as 1965, the Yugoslav communist journal Borba observed the many half-completed or empty factories in Cuba, a legacy of Guevara's tenure as Minister of Industries, "standing like sad memories of the conflict between pretension and reality".

Script from Wikipedia, or modified, images sourced Google Image and related.

David Gallo: Underwater astonishments David Gallo shows jaw-dropping footage of amazing sea creatures, including a shape-shifting cuttlefish, a pair of fighting squid, and a mesmerizing gallery of bioluminescent fish that light up the blackest depths of the ocean. He focuses on the work of two scientists: Edith Widder at the Ocean Research & Conservation Association, and Roger Hanlon at the Marine Biological Lab.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Carbon Nano Tubes: The New Black

The New Black, originally uploaded by ddbsweasel.

New standard ... the existing benchmark of darkness (left) and a sample of the new darkest material made from tiny tubes of carbon / Reuters

The new substance absorbs 99.9% of light. They haven't tested other radiation yet, but it is very impressive for applications like Solar Panels.

Teacher's Say Rudd Is Wrong

pay for performance, originally uploaded by ddbsweasel.

Teachers back the Coalition Education Policy and criticize the pitiful technology focused Rudd program.

Voters admit they were mislead by the election campaign into voting for Rudd.

Two Eco Terrorists Detained

Eco Terrorists, originally uploaded by ddbsweasel.

Sharing a passion not dissimilar to Che Guevara, two men have been detained aboard a Japanese whaling vessel. The Japanese claim they had tied themselves to a mast. The eco terrorist friendly media report it differently, and claim they are being held hostage. Will Rudd declare war on Japan?

Why Che? Legacy and Diary pt A

Ernesto Guevara de la Serna (June 14, 1928[1] -- October 9, 1967), commonly known as Che Guevara, El Che or just Che was an Argentine-born Marxist revolutionary, political figure, and leader of Cuban and internationalist guerrillas.

But that is not how I know of Che. The Che I know, I know only from pictures. A rather handsome South American man who was a monster. Today, few people discuss the monstrous activities of Che Guevvarra, and I would like to share with you what some of the things were that people ignore when they praise Che.

Script from Wikipedia, or modified, images sourced Google Image and related.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Rudd Abrogates Responsibility To Courts

responsibilities, originally uploaded by ddbsweasel.

Rudd cleared the way for the federal court to make a nonsense decision regarding Japanese whaling in Antarctic waters.

It is a useful decision for Rudd because it means he doesn't have to make it, and he probably won't enforce it either.

It will reinforce an earlier decision of Rudd to use Australian defense assets to photograph Japanese whalers going about legal activity.

A lot of greenhouse gas will be built up surrounding this decision. Maybe this was the activity that Rudd alluded to needing the defense force for during the election campaign? The sad thing is, just as many defense personnel will die, possibly more, because defense forces remove safety procedures of engagement for peace time activity. Which is why the US defense force experiences more casualties in peace time than in war time.

Messenger Nears Mercury

Messenger, originally uploaded by ddbsweasel.

Messenger made a flyby of Mercury this morning, or 14th January US Time.
Pictures will be uploaded soon.
From wikipedia, "The MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry and Ranging (or MESSENGER for short) is a NASA mission, launched August 3, 2004, designed to study the characteristics and environment of Mercury from orbit. Specifically, the objectives of the mission are to characterize the chemical composition of Mercury's surface, the geologic history, the nature of the magnetic field, the size and state of the core, the volatile inventory at the poles, and the nature of Mercury's exosphere and magnetosphere over a nominal orbital mission of one Earth year. The mission will be the first to visit Mercury in over 30 years — the only previous probe to visit Mercury was Mariner 10, which completed its mission in March, 1975. MESSENGER will offer several vast improvements in scanning ability, with cameras that can resolve surface features down to just 60 feet across (18 meters) compared to the one mile (1.61 kilometer) resolution offered by Mariner 10. MESSENGER will also be the first probe to image the entire planet; Mariner 10 was only able to observe one hemisphere that was lit during its flybys.
In addition to being an acronym, MESSENGER was chosen as the probe's name because Mercury was the messenger of the gods in Roman mythology."

Cold, Heartless ALP Fail Basic Administration mk 2

It appears that the Northern Territory intervention is being abandoned by the ALP.
Yesterday, the ALP were trumpeting a new age of cooperation between states over health care over $150 million. That's right, healthcare in Australia is cheap.

But now, the intervention, which was aimed to counter such unfortunate incidents as the 10 yo girl being pack raped 'with consent,' looks like being abandoned amid the jubilation. Zindy S D Nielsen's fairy is watching.


Indie Movie Making Out takes

I'm not involved with this production. This is what a crepe chef does when they want to have fun.
behind the scenes of making "my girl gotta girlfriend"

song: cheaters dilemma by Kay b

Monday, January 14, 2008

Holiday Over, Rudd Resumes Breaking Promises

Broken Promise, originally uploaded by ddbsweasel.

The cold and heartless ALP are back at it again. This time, the well vacationed Rudd has announced his plan to tackle inflation. Well, actually, it is more of a priority than a plan.

"He is placing priority on implementing policies that place downward pressure on inflation.

"The PM understands the pressure that rising inflation places on working families."

Downward pressure, like that of endorsing the global warming myth will not place downward pressure at all. Maybe if Rudd endorsed nuclear power generation and full water recycling. Maybe if Rudd endorsed farmers, instead of opposing them because they didn't give him a lot of votes.

It isn't the lies, but the cold and heartless result of the betrayal resulting from them.

Looking Forward, Age 41

harry and hedwig, originally uploaded by ddbsweasel.

I am expecting to get a full time job again. Soon. I also intend to work part time at tutoring places. It will take a while to get back what I had, in a monetary sense, but I'll never replace the time lost to being hounded by those harassers.
My big projects are on the back burner, but I am still proceeding with them. I have finally found an author I might bounce ideas off, which will let me finish the novel.
Expect some documentaries on the Middle East soon.

Why Che Was a Monster pt 10 Execution

Capture and execution
The hunt for Guevara in Bolivia was headed by Félix Rodríguez, a CIA agent, who previously had infiltrated Cuba to prepare contacts with the rebels in the Escambray Mountains and the anti-Castro underground in Havana prior to the Bay of Pigs invasion, and had been successfully extracted from Cuba afterwards. The Bolivian Special Forces were notified of the location of Guevara's guerrilla encampment by an informant. On 8 October, the encampment was encircled, and Guevara was captured while leading a detachment with Simeón Cuba Sarabia in the Quebrada del Yuro ravine. According to some soldiers present at the capture, during the skirmish as they approached Guevara, he allegedly shouted, "Do not shoot! I am Che Guevara and worth more to you alive than dead." Upon hearing of Guevara's capture, Rodríguez relayed the information to CIA headquarters at Langley, Virginia, via CIA stations in various South American nations.
Barrientos promptly ordered his execution upon being informed of his capture. Guevara was taken to a dilapidated schoolhouse in the nearby village of La Higuera where he was held overnight. Early the next afternoon he was executed. The executioner was Mario Terán, a Sergeant in the Bolivian army who had drawn a short straw after arguments over who got the honor of killing Guevara broke out among the soldiers. To make the bullet wounds appear consistent with the official story sold to the public, Felix Rodriguez, the CIA asset, ordered the soldier who pulled the trigger to aim carefully to make it appear that Che had been killed in action during a clash with the Bolivian army, and thus to help cover up the official secret assassination. Guevara received multiple shots to the legs, so as to avoid maiming his face for identification purposes and simulate combat wounds in an attempt to conceal his extrajudicial execution.
Che Guevara had some last words before his death; he allegedly said to his executioner, "I know you are here to kill me. Shoot, coward, you are only going to kill a man". Another alleged comment was "Do you know Who I am? Do you know what I'm worth?" His body was lashed to the landing skids of a helicopter and flown to neighboring Vallegrande where it was laid out on a laundry tub in the local hospital and displayed to the press.
After the execution, Rodríguez took several personal items of Guevara's including a Rolex watch, often proudly showing them to reporters during the ensuing years. Today, some of these belongings, including his flashlight, are on display at the CIA. After a military doctor surgically amputated his hands, Bolivian army officers transferred Guevara's cadaver to an undisclosed location and refused to reveal whether his remains had been buried or cremated.
On October 15, Castro acknowledged that Guevara was dead and proclaimed three days of public mourning throughout Cuba. The death of Guevara was regarded as a severe blow to the socialist revolutionary movements in Latin America and the rest of the third world.
Photographs taken at that time gave rise to legends such as those of San Ernesto de La Higuera and El Cristo de Vallegrande. Local people came to refer to Guevara as a saint, "San Ernesto de La Higuera", whom they ask for favors. Others claim his ghost walks the area.
In 1997, the skeletal remains of a handless body were exhumed from beneath an air strip near Vallegrande, identified as those of Guevara by a Cuban forensic team working at the scene, and returned to Cuba. On 17 October 1997, his remains, along with those of six of his fellow combatants killed during the guerrilla campaign in Bolivia, were laid to rest with full military honors in a specially built mausoleum in the city of Santa Clara, where he had won the decisive battle of the Cuban Revolution.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Che's Work Continues, Freed Hostage Was Tortured

Freed Columbian Hostage, originally uploaded by ddbsweasel.

Two hostages held by FARC, descended from Che's campaigns at guerilla warfare, have been freed.
The 'New Men' who captured these two woman had tortured them over the six years of captivity.
Not 'torture' like that experienced by terrorist detainees of Gitmo, these woman were tortured by "by throwing snakes, tarantulas and a dead tiger into their bunks." One woman had a child by her captors, so clearly the 'New Men' have done more ..
Hugo Chavez is calling the terrorists 'legitimate armies.'

Mona Lisa, identified?

Mona Lisa, originally uploaded by ddbsweasel.

Researchers believe they may have found out who the painting's subject was. Lisa Gherardini, wife of a Florentine cloth merchant named Francesco del Giocondo.

I have an old picture of Lisa. It looks just like her.

Don't Forget to Keep the Stem Cells

Jamie and Erica and .. Packer, originally uploaded by ddbsweasel.

A billionaire isn't born every day. In Australia. Possibly because of our socialist government. Anyways, the announcement has been made. A toast to the happy couple.

Why Che Was a Monster pt 9 Bolivia

Speculation on Guevara's whereabouts continued throughout 1966 and into 1967. Representatives of the Mozambican independence movement FRELIMO reported meeting with Guevara in late 1966 or early 1967 in Dar es Salaam, at which point they rejected his offer of aid in their revolutionary project. In a speech at the 1967 May Day rally in Havana, the Acting Minister of the armed forces, Major Juan Almeida, announced that Guevara was "serving the revolution somewhere in Latin America". The persistent reports that he was leading the guerrillas in Bolivia were eventually shown to be true.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Why Che Was A Monster pt 8 Congo

Congo Expedition
During their all-night meeting on March 14–March 15, 1965, Guevara and Castro had agreed that the former would personally lead Cuba's first military action in Sub-Saharan Africa. Some sources state that Guevara persuaded Castro to back him in this effort, while other sources maintain that Castro convinced Guevara to undertake the mission, arguing that conditions in the various Latin American countries that had been under consideration for the possible establishment of guerrilla focos were not yet optimal. Castro himself has said the latter is true. According to Ahmed Ben Bella, who was president of Algeria at the time and had recently held extended conversations with Guevara, "The situation prevailing in Africa, which seemed to have enormous revolutionary potential, led Che to the conclusion that Africa was imperialism’s weak link. It was to Africa that he now decided to devote his efforts." The Cuban operation was to be carried out in support of the pro-Patrice Lumumba Marxist Simba movement in the Congo-Kinshasa (formerly Belgian Congo, later Zaire and currently the Democratic Republic of the Congo). Guevara, his second-in-command Victor Dreke, and twelve of the Cuban expeditionaries arrived in the Congo on 24 April 1965; a contingent of approximately 100 Afro-Cubans joined them soon afterwards. They collaborated for a time with guerrilla leader Laurent-Désiré Kabila, who helped Lumumba supporters lead a revolt that was suppressed in November of that same year by the Congolese army. Guevara dismissed Kabila as insignificant. "Nothing leads me to believe he is the man of the hour," Guevara wrote.
Although Guevara was thirty-seven at the time and had no formal military training, he had the experiences of the Cuban revolution, including his successful march on Santa Clara, which was central to Batista finally being overthrown by Castro's forces. His asthma had prevented him from being drafted into military service in Argentina, a fact of which he was proud given his opposition to Perón's government.
South African mercenaries including Mike Hoare and Cuban exiles worked with the Congolese army to thwart Guevara. They were able to monitor his communications, arrange to ambush the rebels and the Cubans whenever they attempted to attack, and interdict his supply lines. Despite the fact that Guevara sought to conceal his presence in the Congo, the U.S. government was fully aware of his location and activities: The National Security Agency (NSA) was intercepting all of his incoming and outgoing transmissions via equipment aboard the USNS Valdez, a floating listening post which continuously cruised the Indian Ocean off Dar-es-Salaam for that purpose.
Guevara's aim was to export the Cuban Revolution by instructing local Simba fighters in communist ideology and foco strategies of guerrilla warfare. In his Congo Diary, he cites the incompetence, intransigence, and infighting of the local Congolese forces as the key reasons for the revolt's failure. Later that same year, ill with dysentery, suffering from his asthma, and disheartened after seven months of frustrations, Guevara left the Congo with the Cuban survivors (six members of his column had died). At one point Guevara had considered sending the wounded back to Cuba, then standing alone and fighting until the end in the Congo as a revolutionary example; however, after being urged by his comrades in arms and pressured by two emissaries sent by Castro, at the last moment he reluctantly agreed to leave the Congo. A few weeks later, when writing the preface to the diary he had kept during the Congo venture, he began it with the words: "This is the history of a failure."
Because Castro had made public Guevara's "farewell letter" to him — a letter Guevara had intended should only be revealed in case of his death — wherein he had written that he was severing all ties to Cuba in order to devote himself to revolutionary activities in other parts of the world, he felt that he could not return to Cuba with the other surviving combatants for moral reasons, and he spent the next six months living clandestinely in Dar-es-Salaam, and Prague. During this time he compiled his memoirs of the Congo experience, and wrote the drafts of two more books, one on philosophy and the other on economics. He also visited several countries in Western Europe in order to "test" a new false identity and the corresponding documentation (passport, etc.) created for him by Cuban Intelligence that he planned to use to travel to South America. Throughout this period Castro continued to importune him to return to Cuba, but Guevara only agreed to do so when it was understood that he would be there on a strictly temporary basis for the few months needed to prepare a new revolutionary effort somewhere in Latin America, and that his presence on the island would be cloaked in the tightest secrecy.

Bush Calls for Peace Enemy Wants War

Snow in Baghdad, originally uploaded by ddbsweasel.

Snow in Baghdad, possibly the first time recorded, although the history of Baghdad is a long one. The photo was taken by the US, possibly because the media might feel the news too positive for their domestic audience. Yet another reason Global Warming preachers have amended their hysteria to 'Global Climate Change.'

Mr Bush has announced the hope that there will be significant progress towards a Palestinian State before the end of the year. Syria, and a liberal Egyptian news paper hope fighting continue so as to prove Mr Bush wrong.

Cold, Heartless ALP Fail Basic Administration

QLD Aurukun kids, originally uploaded by ddbsweasel.

The picture shows some school kids changing venue at a school. An Idyllic scene.
Not shown is the now 12 year old girl, who was the center of a storm over the failure which led to her rape by many, over a sustained period of time.
Born with fetal alcohol syndrome, she was raped by her father, aged 5. She has been in over 40 foster care homes since. She was raped by many when she was 7, and placed in foster care in a different neighborhood, where the foster carer dad took a year off work to attend solely to her.
Sadly the stolen generation myth resulted in her being removed from healthy care, and returned to the toxic environment where she was raped again at age 10. The nine rapists were not given a jail term as the 10 year old had 'given her consent' and so the prosecutor did not ask for a custodial sentence.
Meanwhile, the state government (ALP) made the claim to the federal government (then conservative) that there were no problems with local community. A clear lie.
Now, this girl aged 12 is supervised 24/7 by six carers at the cost of two million dollars a year. She has no contact with strangers her own age. She is violent and her behavior criminal.
A pediatrician who has treated the girl since she was very young maintains he believes she could be rehabilitated, so long as the appropriate measures are taken now.

"My experience is the older the kids are the less likely you are to turn them around."

Really? They have experienced some successes?


Friday, January 11, 2008

Gever Tulley: 5 dangerous things you should let kids do Gever Tulley, founder of the Tinkering School, talks about our new wave of overprotected kids -- and spells out 5 (and really, he's got 6) dangerous things you should let your kids do. Allowing kids the freedom to explore, he says, will make them stronger and smarter and actually safer.
I really am looking forward to trying some kids out on these ..

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Why Che Was A Monster pt 7 Celebrity

Disappearance from Cuba
In December 1964 Guevara traveled to New York City as the head of the Cuban delegation to speak at the UN. He also appeared on the CBS Sunday news program Face the Nation, met with a gamut of individuals and groups including U.S. Senator Eugene McCarthy, several associates of Malcolm X, and Canadian radical Michelle Duclos, and dined at the home of the Rockefellers. On 17 December, he flew to Paris and from there embarked on a three-month international tour during which he visited the People's Republic of China, the United Arab Republic (Egypt), Algeria, Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Dahomey, Congo-Brazzaville, and Tanzania, with stops in Ireland, Paris, and Prague. He also visited Pyongyang and told the press that North Korea was a model to which revolutionary Cuba should aspire.
In Algiers on 24 February 1965, he made what turned out to be his last public appearance on the international stage when he delivered a speech to the "Second Economic Seminar on Afro-Asian Solidarity" in which he declared, "There are no frontiers in this struggle to the death. We cannot remain indifferent in the face of what occurs in any part of the world. A victory for any country against imperialism is our victory, just as any country's defeat is our defeat." He went on to say that "The socialist countries have the moral duty of liquidating their tacit complicity with the exploiting countries of the West." He proceeded to outline a number of measures which he said the communist-bloc countries should implement in order to accomplish this objective. He returned to Cuba on 14 March to a solemn reception by Fidel and Raúl Castro, Osvaldo Dorticós and Carlos Rafael Rodríguez at the Havana airport.
Two weeks later, Guevara dropped out of public life and then vanished altogether. His whereabouts were the great mystery of 1965 in Cuba, as he was generally regarded as second in power to Castro himself. His disappearance was variously attributed to the relative failure of the industrialization scheme he had advocated while minister of industry, to pressure exerted on Castro by Soviet officials disapproving of Guevara's pro-Chinese Communist bent as the Sino-Soviet split grew more pronounced, and to serious differences between Guevara and the Cuban leadership regarding Cuba's economic development and ideological line.
Following the Cuban Missile Crisis and what he perceived as a Soviet betrayal of Cuba when Khrushchev agreed to withdraw the missiles from Cuban territory without consulting Castro, Guevara had grown increasingly skeptical of the Soviet Union. As revealed in his last speech in Algiers, he had come to view the Northern Hemisphere, led by the U.S. in the West and the Soviet Union in the East, as the exploiter of the Southern Hemisphere. He strongly supported Communist North Vietnam and the Viet Cong in the Vietnam War, and urged the peoples of other developing countries to take up arms and create "100 Vietnams".
Pressed by international speculation regarding Guevara's fate, Castro stated on 16 June 1965, that the people would be informed about Guevara when Guevara himself wished to let them know. Numerous rumors about his disappearance spread both inside and outside Cuba. On 3 October of that year, Castro revealed a hand written undated letter purportedly written to him by Guevara some months earlier in which Guevara reaffirmed his enduring solidarity with the Cuban Revolution but declared his intention to leave Cuba to fight abroad for the cause of the revolution. He explained that "Other nations of the world summon my modest efforts," and that he had therefore decided to go and fight as a guerrilla "on new battlefields". In the letter Guevara announced his resignation from all his positions in the government, in the party, and in the Army, and renounced his Cuban citizenship, which had been granted to him in 1959 in recognition of his efforts on behalf of the revolution.
During an interview with four foreign correspondents on 1 November, Castro remarked that he knew where Guevara was but would not disclose his location, and added, denying reports that his former comrade-in-arms was dead, that "he is in the best of health." Despite Castro's assurances, Guevara's fate remained a mystery at the end of 1965 and his movements and whereabouts continued to be a closely held secret for the next two years.

Amory Lovins: We must win the oil end game Energy guru Amory Lovins lays out his plan for weaning the US off oil and revitalizing the economy in the process. It's the subject of his book Winning the Oil Endgame, and he makes it sound fairly simple: On one hand, the deadly risks of continued dependency, and on the other, some win-win solutions.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

It Is Good

futurama fry bender leela, originally uploaded by ddbsweasel.

A simple Futurama episode, sharp as the sharpest nail. Leela's parents were allowed to visit the surface, but Leela had trouble finding time to see them because she was a busy super hero. She kept trying, and her mother kept finding excuses why Leela wouldn't see her.

Finally the mother says "It is good she doesn't love us. She'll be less sad when we die."
Such wisdom in a cartoon.

Pot Calls Kettle Black: ALP to ditch gags of Howard

pot calls kettle black, originally uploaded by ddbsweasel.

Using the draconian 2004 Teacher's Code of Conduct I was ordered to delete 2.5 million words I had posted.

Two million of those words were to do with the former politics site, and parent of this site, 'Sydney's Conservative Weasel.' The other half million words were to do with postings of various writings I had done, some fiction, some autobiographical, for 'Winter's Harvest: Stories that heal.' or scientific republishing of new research at 'Astro Weasel's Space Club.'

My 'crime' as I was told, was to identify myself as the author of the sites. I wrote the Minister and asked for my workplace issues to be examined, after deleting the words and images. The Minister decided to sit on their hands, and so I resigned, my issues not dealt with. So the Education Department has covered up the details of the death through probable negligence of a school boy, the bungling of a pedophile investigation and the harassment of a teacher by Department officials.

Ms Gillard, who has ignored my plight, now claims moral high ground ..

Why Che Was a Monster pt 6 Cuban Government

On February 7, 1959, the government proclaimed Guevara "a Cuban citizen by birth" in recognition of his role in the triumph of the revolutionary forces. Shortly thereafter, he initiated divorce proceedings to put a formal end to his marriage with Gadea, from whom he had been separated since before leaving Mexico on the Granma. On June 2, 1959, he married Aleida March, a Cuban-born member of the 26th of July movement with whom he had been living since late 1958.
He was appointed commander of the La Cabaña Fortress prison, and during his five-month tenure in that post (January 2 through June 12, 1959), he oversaw the trial and execution of many people, among whom were former Batista regime officials and members of the "Bureau for the Repression of Communist Activities" (BRAC), a unit of the secret police known by its Spanish acronym. José Vilasuso, an attorney who worked under Guevara at La Cabaña preparing indictments, said that these were lawless proceedings where "the facts were judged without any consideration to general juridical principles" and the findings were pre-determined by Guevara. It is estimated that between 156 and 550 people were executed on Guevara's extra-judicial orders during this time.
Later, Guevara became an official at the National Institute of Agrarian Reform, and President of the National Bank of Cuba. He signed all Cuban banknotes issued during his fourteen-month presidency with his nickname, "Che". Throughout his time in the Cuban government, Guevara refused his due salaries of office, insisting on drawing only his meager wages as army commandante in order to set a "revolutionary example".
During this time his fondness for chess was rekindled, and he attended and participated in most national and international tournaments held in Cuba. He was particularly eager to encourage young Cubans to take up the game, and organized various activities designed to stimulate their interest in it.
Even as early as 1959, Guevara helped organize revolutionary expeditions overseas, all of which failed. The first attempt was made in Panama; another in the Dominican Republic (led by Henry Fuerte, also known as "El Argelino", and Enrique Jiménez Moya) took place on 14 June of that same year.
In 1960 Guevara provided first aid to victims when the freighter La Coubre, a French vessel carrying munitions from the port of Antwerp, exploded while it was being unloaded in Havana harbor. A rescue operation immediately ensued but went awry when a second explosion occurred, resulting in well over a hundred dead. It was at the memorial service for the victims of this explosion that Alberto Korda took the most famous photograph of him.
Guevara later served as Minister of Industries, in which post he helped formulate Cuban socialism, and became one of the country's most prominent figures. In his book Guerrilla Warfare, he advocated replicating the Cuban model of revolution initiated by a small group (foco) of guerrillas without the need for broad organizations to precede armed insurrection. His essay El socialismo y el hombre en Cuba (1965) (Man and Socialism in Cuba) advocates the need to shape a "new man" (hombre nuevo) in conjunction with a socialist state. Some saw Guevara as the simultaneously glamorous and austere model of that "new man."
During the 1961 Bay of Pigs Invasion, Guevara did not participate in the fighting, having been ordered by Castro to a command post in Cuba's westernmost Pinar del Río province where he was involved in fending off a decoy force. He did, however, suffer a bullet wound to the face during this deployment, which he said had been caused by the accidental discharge of his own gun.
Guevara played a key role in bringing to Cuba the Soviet nuclear-armed ballistic missiles that precipitated the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962. During an interview with the British newspaper Daily Worker some weeks later, he stated that, if the missiles had been under Cuban control, they would have fired them against major U.S. cities.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Will Smith Finished Thinking About Hitler, Now Obama

Will Smith, originally uploaded by ddbsweasel.

After coming up with some sage words about Adolph Hitler, recently, when he said that Hitler was just misunderstood, Will Smith has now turned his attention to left wing snake oil salesman Barack Obama.

It is hard to know what Obama has not yet promised. A better environment and world peace .. if only he becomes President of the US.

Will sees a message of hope from Obama. “He is the perfect choice for America's future."

“My wife and I have met him a few times and support Senator Obama completely,” Smith said.

Blame This On ICC's Poor Management

Burning Effigies of Umpires, originally uploaded by ddbsweasel.

Outraged Indian cricket fans are very upset in the wake of their extraordinary second test loss to Australia. A few recorded umpire mistakes were seized on by bored commentators in the first few days of the test. Those same commentators weren't to know of the amazing finish, with part time bowler taking three wickets off five deliveries to win the match in the second last over.
The insult delivered by spinner Harbhajan Singh to Aboriginal Andrew Symonds was one that had been dealt with during the last tour of India. Although the actual insult is minor, the nature of the insult is both racist and inflammatory. One can see the flames in the picture.

Why Che Was a Monster pt 5 Cuban Campaign

Guevara arrived in Mexico City in early September 1954, and shortly thereafter renewed his friendship with Ñico López and the other Cuban exiles whom he had known in Guatemala. In June 1955, López introduced him to Raúl Castro. Several weeks later, Fidel Castro arrived in Mexico City after having been amnestied from prison in Cuba, and on the evening of 8 July 1955, Raúl introduced Guevara to the older Castro brother. During a fervid overnight conversation, Guevara became convinced that Fidel was the inspirational revolutionary leader for whom he had been searching, and he immediately joined the "26th of July Movement" that intended to overthrow the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista. Although it was planned that he would be the group's medic, Guevara participated in the military training alongside the other members of the 26J Movement, and at the end of the course, was singled out by their instructor, Col. Alberto Bayo, as his most outstanding student. Meanwhile, Hilda Gadea had arrived from Guatemala and she and Guevara resumed their relationship. In the summer of 1955, she informed him that she was pregnant, and he immediately suggested that they marry. The wedding took place on August 18, 1955, and their daughter, whom they named Hilda Beatríz, was born on February 15, 1956. When the cabin cruiser Granma set out from Tuxpan, Veracruz for Cuba on November 25, 1956, Guevara was one of only four non-Cubans aboard.. Attacked by Batista's military soon after landing, about half of the expeditionaries were killed or executed upon capture. Guevara wrote that it was during this confrontation that he laid down his knapsack containing medical supplies in order to pick up a box of ammunition dropped by a fleeing comrade, a moment which he later recalled as marking his transition from physician to combatant. Only 15--20 rebels survived as a battered fighting force; they re-grouped and fled into the mountains of the Sierra Maestra to wage guerrilla warfare against the Batista regime.
Guevara became a leader among the rebels, a Comandante (English translation: Major), respected by his comrades in arms for his courage and military prowess, he gained a reputation for bravery and military prowess second only to Fidel Castro himself." During the guerrilla campaign, Guevara was also feared for his ruthlessness, and was responsible for the execution of a number of men accused of being informers, deserters or spies. In March 1958, Guevara was tasked with directing a training camp for new volunteers high in the Sierra Maestra at Minas del Frío, one of a number of military schools set up by the 26th of July Movement. Though wishing to push the battlefront forward and frustrated by his more stationary role, Guevara spent the period developing contacts with sympathetic locals. He also conducted a brief relationship with eighteen-year-old Zoila Rodríguez, the daughter of a local guajiro.
As the war extended throughout eastern Cuba, Guevara and a new column of fighters were dispatched west for the final push towards Havana. In the final days of December 1958, he directed his "suicide squad" (which undertook the most dangerous tasks in the rebel army) in the attack on Santa Clara that turned out to be one of the decisive events of the revolution, although the series of ambushes first during la ofensiva in the heights of the Sierra Maestra, then at Guisa—and the whole Cauto Plains campaign that followed—probably had more military significance. Batista, upon learning that his generals — especially General Cantillo, who had visited Castro at the inactive sugar mill, Central Oriente — were negotiating a separate peace with the rebel leader, fled to the Dominican Republic on January 1, 1959.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Cold, Heartless ALP Cut Vital Spending

Natural Disaster Floods, originally uploaded by ddbsweasel.

Keeping any spending on their mates to record levels, the ALP are seeking ways to save $15 billion from other spending initiatives.

Cuts to programs like the Workplace Authority ($285 million) which helps protect workers from employer excess.

Or Digital Australia, which was set up to smooth the transition from analog to digital tv. No profit there for the ALP.

Or the business oriented 'Innovation Ambassador' program which sought to encourage small business, always a threat to the big business beholden ALP.

Or sporting facilities in marginal electorates, research programs into new technology, from silicon chips to cloud seeding.

None of the individual programs of the former government were excessive, but the ALP are confident they can cut $15 billion. The cost to Australians will be substantially higher.