Pardon me for being a little paranoid. I love conspiracy theories, and the prospect of Iran’s Ahmedinejad planning war through secret phone calls with Bush and Blair for some really nefarious reason (oil prices, control through instability, a new Cold War) is truly hair-raising.
The United States is adopting a relatively quiet attitude, perhaps by agreement with London that a strong US position against Iran might not help.
If Iran still shows defiance and won’t let the Brits go, it may be considered casus belli to launch an invasion / rescue mission. The world quakes in its boots, the Senate / Congress gives the Bush administration even more money to prosecute war, elections are delayed, anyone who’s had any contact with Iran is under suspicion (I’m lookin’ at you, Jeff). And so on.
Neil says no one reads them. Here they are. For the major parties, anyway. I can’t be arsed to link to every party standing for election.
Hehe. I wonder if any Singaporean students will dare to be amongst the protesting crowd (earlier), or if they’ll all be too paranoid that they will be photographed and when they go back to Singapore, die die cannot get job.
LKY will probably enjoy it, knowing that these protesters can essentially do fuck all beyond assuaging their conscience. He would HAVE to engage with them if they were in Singapore, challenging them to start their own party or whatever it is he likes to say to people posing uncomfortable questions, but in Australia? He can maintain a dignified silence, rise above the rabble, etc.
OMG. I can vote because I’m from a Commonwealth country and resident in the UK. Now I have to start reading the policies from the other parties (I’ve read and heard enough of the SNP to know they HAVEN’T got my vote because even if it’s bloody time it’s not THEIR bloody time).
Come on, 3 May!
(There a delicious irony about being able to vote in a parliamentary election in a foreign country while I have been eligible to vote in Singapore for a decade but have never had to. Which is why I am relishing the prospect so much.)
Discovered via a commenter on What’s New, Pussycat?
My favourite non-prescription remedy for getting over a cold (aside from the Chinese chrysanthemum and herbal tea granules you can buy in China) is hot honey and diluted lemon juice. Especially if I’ve got a sore throat, the honey makes things all better, and what’s not to love about vitamin C when a rhinovirus is making you feel like crap?
I’ve been drinking that simple concoction (sometimes as tea with honey and lemon) for over a week now, and I think it’s definitely helped me feel better while my body fights the cold, with the unintended (but very welcome) benefit of clearing my complexion.
I don’t get a lot of spots or anything, but the skin on my face ain’t smooth, dewy, or radiant like you see in skincare ads. Since moving to Scotland, where the air is much drier, I’m getting the added fun of dry AND oily skin at the same time. In the short time I’ve been drinking hot lemon and honey, my skin’s become a lot smoother. We’re talking almost baby’s bum standards (Mark and Kristen, please confirm that your baby’s bum is very smooth).
(I remember reading a bloog post somewhere a while back about a similar discovery, but it was more adding a bit of lemon juice to flavour water and discovering the benefits to one’s complexion. Too bad I can’t remember where.)
Ban ‘helping smokers to give up’:
Health Minister Andy Kerr said: “Initial findings suggest that the ban has encouraged people to give up smoking, with the number of people contacting cessation support services increasing in the run-up to the ban’s introduction.
“Although it is too early to know exactly what the health and economic impact of the ban has been, we are already beginning to reap the health benefits.
“The ban is working extremely well. More people have come forward to smoking cessation services. We are continuing to be creative in how we support smokers. We are not out to get them, we are out to help them.”
Trust Neil and I to live with the most unapologetic, defiant smokers in the country, who won’t stop even with diagnosis of serious, irreversible smoking-related health problems. Because The Laser is the panacea. Knowing our luck, we — as passive smokers — will be the ones to get the nasty cancers.
Thousands of prisoners have keys to their own cells.
Home Office minister Gerry Sutcliffe said: “It’s mainly used for people who are soon going to be released or in open prisons.
“It’s all part of providing incentives to encourage them to take more responsibility for themselves, to give them a little bit more respect and decency.”
I’m still not quite understanding the concept of an open prison. Seems paradoxical to me.
I can understand wanting to give prisoners something to feel responsible about, but KEYS TO THEIR OWN CELLS? WTF? Why not give them keys to the gates, it’ll be a real test of responsibility then.
I think a programme like Cell Dogs would be more appropriate in teaching inmates to prepare for a life as a law-abiding and civic-minded person.
I did take a hit off the Ventolin inhaler this morning, because I’ve been suffering a very mild case of bronchitis. We got there in plenty of time, and it all went okay, except I walked a few times because I was trying to monitor my breathing, and once was due to a stitch. It was a bloody cold day for a run, even colder than the Oxygen Deficit 10K in February.
Things were made worse by my having not run a step in almost two weeks, since I fell ill. But it went okay, I was only two minutes off my normal time. At the moment, I’m trying to figure out if I should enter the Tom Scott Road Race (I have less than a week to decide) because I’m still not feeling too healthy, although four miles is only 6.4 kilometres.
So… I did it. I raised almost £300 for two separate charities. If I do enter the Tom Scott race, I’ll wait till the May race to raise more funds, give the people I’m hitting up for cash a month or so to recover. Hehe.
Anger at ANU honour for Lee:
But the decision to honour Mr Lee has incensed university staff, students and human rights advocates who accuse him of running an authoritarian regime in Singapore over the past four decades in which he has quashed any political opposition.
The academics and anyone connected to ANU are well within their rights to oppose the honour. I don’t argue with their point of view, but they must understand as well that Singapore would not have got to where it is economically (as quickly) without that iron fist. It’s good and bad. Good for Singapore in the economic sense, bad because we are a bunch of children (no matter what chronological age we are) who expect the ‘gahmen’ to take care of the things we don’t want to be responsible for but complain about a lack of freedom.
Australia’s relationship with Singapore was severely strained throughout last year when the Singaporean Government now headed by Mr Lee’s son Lee Hsien Loong carried out the execution in December of 25-year-old Melbourne man Van Tuong Nguyen after finding him guilty of drug trafficking.
Mr Chee has also condemned the decision in a letter to Professor Chubb, saying “do you not think that the award of this honorary degree to Lee Kuan Yew mocks the memory of Nguyen and the others who were hanged by the Singapore Government?”
I disagree with the death penalty, too, but NGUYEN was caught TRAFFICKING DRUGS THROUGH SINGAPORE, and I imagine pretty much everyone knows that Singapore HANGS drug traffickers. That policy ain’t new. I hadn’t realised a misguided youth doing something incredibly stupid in a place where he would be executed if caught was MARTYR MATERIAL.
So, if the ANU academics feel so strongly about LKY being honoured at their university, are they going to resign in protest? I definitely support their right to protest and their reasons for doing so, but I hope they don’t, like Chee Soon Juan, bring up Nguyen. It just undermines the whole thing for everyone (well, me).