Sneaking over the Great Firewall

Amazingly, the vigilant Chinese authorities have not blocked Beyond The Fringe, according to the three location test at Website Pulse. Not so at the Great Firewall of China test, where every site I tried on several servers besides this one was blocked. [NB Now clear on this test]. You can also use this test.

Beyond The Fringe is also listed on Google China – four pages of references isn’t too bad considering the site hasn’t been up for too long in its present form and location.

It must be time to write something pointedly critical about human rights abuses and censorship in China, besides one’s usual diatribes about Chinese purchases at bargain basement prices of Whorestralian resources.

Dining on Mufti

Hilaly and CatFrom the august Australian Constitution

116. The Commonwealth shall not make any law for establishing any religion, or for imposing any religious observance, or for prohibiting the free exercise of any religion, and no religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office or public trust under the Commonwealth.

Yet a wave of disapprobation from our servants in Parliament on both sides of the bench is rising against Hilaly, who besides being an Australian citizen since 1990, is still ordained as Mufti of Australia at least for the next three months. The lines between religion and politics are blurring.

Sheik Taj has been reported in the Iranian papers – another propaganda coup for that wily regime.

The mufti of Australia has called on the Islamic world to stand in the trenches with the Islamic Republic of Iran which possesses the might and the power.

Continue reading “Dining on Mufti”

Deaf, Dumb and Blind to 650,000 Iraqi deaths

Three Monkeys of the ApocalypseAs reported at Now Public, the United Stupids have denied a visa to one of the recent Lancet Iraqi death study researchers, Dr. Riyadh Lafta, who will instead present his talk in Canada.

An Iraqi medical school professor will talk about the death count in Iraq after the 2003 invasion: causes, types of victims, categories of violence, and other health indicators.

Dr. Riyadh Lafta will be in North America to collaborate with University of Washington colleagues on a research project to document elevated levels of pediatric cancers in Basra, Iraq. The project was conceived as part of a sister university relationship between Basra Univ and the UW. The research project is supported by a grant from the Puget Sound Partners, a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation initiative.

Dr. Riyadh Lafta, who teaches medicine at Baghdad’s Al-Mustansiriya University College of Medicine, co-authored the October 2006 Lancet article that estimated more than 650,000 Iraqis have died as a result of the the American-led invasion in 2003.

Lafta will speak at a public gathering at Simon Fraser University’s Wosk Centre (580 W Hastings in downtown Vancouver BC) on Friday, April 20, at 7 pm.

His talk will be video cast to the UW’s Kane Hall at the same time with the opportunity for interactive audience participation.

Dr. Lafta will be a guest of Simon Fraser University, in part because the U.S. State Department would not issue him a visa to come to the United States.

The public is welcome at either location.

For more information:
Tim Takaro, MD, MPH, Simon Fraser Faculty of Health Sciences
ttakaro at sfu dot ca
604-268-7186

Amy Hagopian, PhD, UW School of Public Health
hagopian at u dot washington dot edu
206-616-4989, 685-3676 or Ian Maki 206-543-6020

The ABC records the members of the Coalition of the Gobbling’s infantile reactions to the Lancet study:

GEORGE W. BUSH: I don’t consider it to be a credible report.

JOHN HOWARD: I don’t believe that Johns Hopkins research, I don’t.

Continue reading “Deaf, Dumb and Blind to 650,000 Iraqi deaths”

Uncle Frank on Censorship

Here’s a classic vid of Frank Zappa saying it like it needs to be said. And there’s an excellent interview with Frank Zappa by Gerald Seligman here, where Frank argues cogently against the proponents of censorship.

Statistically, I think, that since the beginning of musical time there have been more hymns than there are heavy metal songs. And if the number of words written about Jesus or doing good had any effect, then we’d all be really terrific people, wouldn’t we? Or when they start talking about factors pertaining to suicide, the largest single instance of suicide in the last decade is Jonestown, and there was no Ozzie Ozborne or AC/DC albums down there: there was only religious fanaticism.

Some more of our favourite Uncle Frank pearlers:

“My best advice to anyone who wants to raise a happy, mentally healthy child is: Keep him or her as far away from a church as you can.”

The crux of the biscuit is: If it entertains you, fine. Enjoy it. If it doesn’t, then blow it out your ass. I do it to amuse myself. If I like it, I release it. If somebody else likes it, that’s a bonus.

There is no such thing as a dirty word. Nor is there a word so powerful, that it’s going to send the listener to the lake of fire upon hearing it.

Frank may have been inspired by Francis Bacon, who in the 15th century opined

Liberty of speech invites and provokes liberty to be used again, and so bringeth much to a man’s knowledge.

Wowsers at Work

“All your children are poor unfortunate victims of lies you believe. A plague upon your ignorance that keeps the young from the truth they deserve.” – Frank Zappa 1968

Censorship is badMewling net nanny Helen Coonan has been pushing the ill-considered, atrociously framed draft Communications Legislation Amendment (Content Services) Bill 2006, recently leaked gleefully by staunch defenders of free speech and Oz democracy, Crikey.

All commercial content was proposed to be classified by the blackshirt bookburners at the OLFC– and contravenors punished retrospectively. Howard and his dunderbrained prigs are apparently willing to threaten and sacrifice the profitability of a vast number of thriving net industries perhaps in case Kevvie’s mob goes the whole hog and usurps the intellectually challenged fundo vote as well as the middle of the road religious folks.

Peter Black cogently points out several major problems with the proposed legislation.

MudslingersStill, one might regard this libtrog piece of wowserism as a flailing last ditch attempt to jerk public interest back to good old safe rightard family values and away from the embarrassing “Who’s Helped the Most Crooks and Who Has the Most Crooks” sacrificial chess game which little Johnny looks to be losing by a resignation or two at present.

The silly bill has been withdrawn and we will have to wait in shuddering anticipation of a possible reemergent succubus. Meanwhile, we’ll ponder once more horror writer Stephen King’s immortal advice:

“What I tell kids is don’t get mad, get even. Run, don’t walk, to the first library you can find and read what they’re trying to keep out of your eyes. Read what they’re trying to keep out of your brains. Because that’s exactly what you need to know.”