Wednesday, March 12, 2003

What Goes Around ...

Wednesday, 12 March 2003

Andrew Wilkie's resignation from the Office of National Assessments has come in for a lot of comment in the blogosphere today, with Tim Dunlop, Gareth Parker and Gary Sauer-Thompsom all witing considered pieces on the subject.

The government has been playing down the significance of Mr Wilkie's resignation. One of the claims being made is that Mr Wilkie was not very well-placed to comment on Government policy on Iraq as he did not have access to all the intelligence that is regularly reported to the Prime Minister. This is pretty much the exact opposite of the Prime Minister's story on "A Certain Maritime Incident" - back then, it was the bureaucrats and political minders (and possibly a certain ex-member of Parliament) who knew more than the PM and didn't bother to tell him. It's good to see that the Government has learnt something in the interim.

Update (Thursday, 20 March 2003): it's taken a while but I've finally achieved a major milestone: the first ice-pick joke in a comments thread. Congratulations, "Cassandra", on a pithy piece of original wit. I'm sure that as soon as I identify the non sequitur you refer to, I'll feel cut to the quick.

Tuesday, March 11, 2003

Future Trends in Civil Law

Tuesday, 11 March 2003

Trial by combat made a return in New Zealand last week, when the CEOs of two telecommunications companies agreed to settle a legal dispute with a best out of three arm wrestling match. If this trend catches on, it's very likely that students seeking entry to law degree courses in future will need to have very good results in secondary school physical education - a return to the old standard of mens sano in corpore sano.

A Dark Secret of Leftism

Tuesday, 11 March 2003

Unless you're one of those weirdos who likes delving through second hand book-stores searching out crackpot books, it's unlikely that you will have heard of the Rev Montague Summers, author of this passage:

Immediately upon the receipt of the Bull, Summis desiderantes affectibus, in 1485, Fr Henry Kramer commenced his crusade against witches at Innsbruck, but he was opposed on certain technical grounds by the Bishop of Brixen, nor was Duke Sigismund so ready to help the inquisitors with the civil arm. In fact the prosecutions were, if not actually directed, at least largely controlled by the episcopal authority; nor did the ordinary courts, as is so often supposed, invariably carry out the full sentence of the Holy Office. Not so very many years later the civil power took full cognizance of any charges of witchcraft, and it was then that far more blood was spilled and far more fires blazed than ever in the days when Kramer and Sprenger were directing the trials. It should be borne in mind too that frequent disturbances conspiracies of anarchists and nascent Bolshevism showed that the district was rotten to the core, and the severities of Kramer and Sprenger were by no means so unwarranted as is generally supposed. [My emphasis]

It's from the Rev Summers 1928 introduction to the Malleus Maleficarum of Heinrich Kramer and James Sprenger and will no doubt be ridiculed by those who believe that the roots of leftism are in the 18th century Enlightment and the French Revolution. Still, I'm sure that there's someone out there who will seize on the Rev Summers' link between anarchism, Bolshevism and witchcraft as further evidence that leftists are basically evil, regardless of their protestations of good intent. If so, they can find it on-line here. This section, on 15th century feminism should prove especially fascinating.

Sunday, March 09, 2003

Dummy Spit of the Week

Sunday, 9 March 2003

I had intended to leave this till Tuesday (I'm taking tomorrow off, blogwise) to allow time for more nominations. Instead, after a brief tour of Ozblogistan, I've decided to bring it forward a day in the interests of timeliness.

As I don't have any candidates from the op-ed and political worlds, this week's Dummy spit award is going to a blogger. Aaron Oakley gets an honourable mention for this post bitching about the fact that Margo Kingston has been ignoring him for the past two months. James Russell also gets an honourable mention for this complaint that John Quiggin overlooked his on-line quiz where he asks readers just what price they are prepared to pay for peace.

But the clear winner, by several long-winded lengths, is the Wog for this attack on the snobbery of Phillip Adams and Tim Dunlop. In it, the wog also provides a list of the things he likes:

... Opera, art, architeture, industrial design, chess, European history, restraurants, horse racing, museums, reading, public radio, ABC - I can handle all of it, cos I like it. But then we add country music, comics, car design, Tony Roma's Deep Fried Mozzarella Sticks, porn, that F1 racing game at the TimeZone etc etc.

Allow me to paraphrase the Wog's post.

Phillip Adams is bad because he is a snob. Tim Dunlop is bad because he is a snob. I am not a snob. I like "culture" stuff but I like common people stuff too. That makes me better than a snob. Because I am better than a snob I am better than either Phillip Adams or Tim Dunlop.

Now that sounds like snobbery to me.

Nominations are now open for the next "Dummy Spit of the Week".