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Whispers from the mean streets for 2005

Welcome to the New World Disorder
26 December 2005
In which Nick chats to an old retired colonel who explains what might lie behind the great Australian Army reorganisation.

The truth hurts
Why John Howard needs the sedition laws

28 November 2005
All these new laws – IR, terrorism, sedition – are driven by an intuitive dread. Howard feels in his bones that turbulent and disastrous times are upon us and he's arming himself with draconian laws to keep his capitalist friends rich and his party in power.

An office of profit after the Crown

1 November 2005
Nobody was happy, not the motorists, who were being slugged $3.56, each way, for a couple of kilometres, nor the public transport users who discovered that, under the contract, the consortium would have to be compensated if public transport development hit traffic flowing into the toll booths. It was a double whammy against the public interest.

Houston: "We have a problem"
What to do with Space Cadet Bush?

29 September 2005
It's the elite Bush should be worried about – the seedy crony-capitalists who own the US of A. The Iraq imbroglio is bad enough, but after the hurricane debacle the greedheads who once put faith in this idiot-child to gull the masses will now regard him as a failure, a dud, a loser, a space cadet; a man who hasn't measured up to the challenges; a president who isn't fooling anybody any more.

The last Big Mac
Did Hasib Hussain suddenly fear that Allah might be a vegan?

29 August 2005
On his way to bomb the No. 30 bus at London's Tavistock Square – and thereafter to meet Allah in Paradise – Hasib Hussain stopped off at the Scottish family restaurant to buy a Big Mac. This fascinating new revelation about the 7/7 bombings comes from yet another of those anonymous sources deep inside the police investigation, by way of The Independent (Thursday 25 August), a newspaper I once held in some regard. Somehow Hasib's mundane act of gustatory desperation doesn't seem to square with the picture of a fanatical Islamic terrorist on a mission to send as many infidels as possible to their doom.

A fast-moving investigation

1 August 2005
It's been fascinating to watch, from afar, the development of the London bombings investigation. There are really two investigations: the official police probe and, in a parallel universe, the media investigation – which is the important one. Check the actual news releases on the London Metropolitan Police website, and you'll find precious little: On 7 July three bombs exploded on London trains and one on a bus; something to do with four young Islamic chaps, apparently; many dead; the suspects seem to have died in the explosions; public asked to help ... That's Scotland Yard for you: all British reserve; guarded and imprecise; cards played close to the chest.

Peak Oil
The turd on the table

1 July 2005
Tarkis plonked three ciders down on the table. "Is that the best Sydney's 'newspaper of record' can do? Talk about studious avoidance of the facts! The price of crude suddenly hits $60 a barrel in the middle of the northern summer and they put it down to lingering concerns about refining capacity? What do they think will happen during the northern winter, when demand really shoots up?"

Whooping it up with the black ops boys ...
The Abu Musab al-Zarqawi Show

1 June 2005
The last week of May was a nail-biting time for fans of the greatest soap opera to come out of the War on Terror. By week's end the world's most wanted terrorist – scourge of the occupation and Shiite Muslims, representative of Osama bin Forgotten – gravely wounded in battle, had made his way to the safety of Shiite Iran. If you believe that, I have a second-hand Nissan Bluebird to sell you.

Carr stalled in policy gridlock
1 May 2005
The controversial M4 East motorway project has been put on hold while the Carr Government tries to figure out what to do next. Could this be the end of the road for the disastrous pro-motorway policy and the beginning of a public transport renaissance?

Don't loiter near the exit:
Military debacle and economic decline haunt the Bush regime

1 April 2005
The Bushies are gambling on being able to guarantee a supply of the cheap oil on which the US depends – and on being able to sell what's left to an oil-hungry world. It all looked so simple to the Neo-cons, but with the world looking on, it's all gone horribly wrong, and now the US is as badly overstretched militarily as Britain was in 1940.

Fear and despair at Owl Farm
Hunter S. Thompson cashes his chips

1 March 2005
The Greatest Prose Stylist Since Jane Austen blows his brains out. Why? Nick, Joadja and Old Possum mull the possible reasons.

Too good to be true
Paul Sheehan and the magic water debacle

1 February 2005
The inventor of the magic mineral water that's supposed to cure everything from arthritis to Alzheimers plus make you live forever and have many babies skips town causing celebrity right-wing journalist Paul Sheehan a great deal of embarrassment.


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