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August 30, 2006

Israeli War Criminals

This is ridiculous.

Read the whole thing.

In the media there have been many reports of an Israeli attack on a pair of Lebanese ambulances. The above article very successfully debunks the whole thing.

Could it be that the entire incident is a fabrication? All signs point to "Yes." If so, the implications are enormous, both for the outcome of the war and for the credibility of the media. Most analysts agree that Israel was pressured into a ceasefire due to international outcry over how it was conducting the battle. The media informed the public that Israel was intentionally targeting civilians; the public insisted that their governments demand that Israel stand down; international pressure was applied, and Israel caved in. And of all the incidents decried in the media -- taking out infrastructure, destroying Hezbollah-associated buildings that had not been fully evacuated, and so on -- only the ambulance incident could be held up as having no possible military purpose; all the other attacks were pointed out by Israel as being intended to degrade Hezbollah's ability to fight. Aside from a handful of stray missiles and accidents or misunderstandings for which Israel apologized, only this incident was "proof" that Israel was purposely aiming at noncombatants. So reports that an Israeli missile attack destroyed two ambulances played a role in shaping global opinion, which led to a ceasefire leaving Hezbollah intact.

An answer

I once said to a friend that I thought Sony was on the way out. When he challenged this statement, I found myself lacking any real arguments, just waving my hands and talking about Microsoft and Nintendo and some other random factors.

Luckily, there is this thing called the internet, and I no longer have to find my own arguments any more, because somebody else will do it for me.

Wired: Can the PS3 Save Sony?

Update: This page saying how the shortage of Blue LEDs is likely to seriously impact Sony's ability to ship Blu-Ray technology. (With thanks to Scoble).

Bush is not a chimp

Here's a controversial thought for a sunny afternoon.

George Bush is not a chimp. Not an idiot. Not an imbecile. But rather a reasonably intelligent, quite well-educated chap.

So let's start from the beginning:

President Bush was born on July 6, 1946, in New Haven, Connecticut, and grew up in Midland and Houston, Texas. He received a bachelor’s degree in history from Yale University in 1968, and then served as an F-102 fighter pilot in the Texas Air National Guard. President Bush received a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School in 1975.

OK, I'm happy to admit that perhaps his own biography might want to put a positive spin on things. But still, he has:

  • An American high school education
  • A degree from Yale
  • A diploma from Harvard
I can already hear the keyboards of you all clamouring that Yale and Harvard are rubbish institutions and that anyone can get in and that his Dad bribed them all. To which I say: "get a grip." Even if these factors are true, there is no chance that this man is as stupid as our newspapers make out.

Since his education, George has reached the dizzying heights of the US presidency.

Yes, OK, he has lots of financial support and assistance. But still, are you all really suggesting that somebody of below-average IQ could reach the top job in the entire United States of America?

Here in the UK, we've heard many comments known as "Bushisms," remarks supposed to have been uttered by George Bush during public speeches. These include such great lines as:

"If we don't succeed, we run the risk of failure."
"The vast majority of our imports come from outside the country."

But luckily, this Snopes article reveals the truth:

All but one of the 2004 crop of groaners supposedly uttered by President George W. Bush or Senator John Kerry are statements either made by former Vice-President Dan Quayle or ones which have for years been attributed to him.

And the one remaining?

Only a lone entry in the 2004 Bush and Kerry lists was anything other than a Dan Quayle utterance or a Quayleism: "The vast majority of our imports come from outside the country." Though it is not a word-for-word match, it is close enough to a statement made by President George W. Bush in 2000 to be recognizable: "More and more of our imports come from overseas." (Although not all imports necessarily come from "overseas," when President Bush made this statement he was specifically referring to foreign oil imports, even though the two largest foreign suppliers of oil to the U.S. are the fellow North American countries of Canada and Mexico.)

For a long time we've heard and read a constant torrent of abuse in the British media directed towards the US Premier. Perhaps some of it isn't true. Just a thought.