Thursday 16 July 2009

What a beat up

First, may I express surprise that the SMH did not blame the earthquake in NZ, and subsequent suspected tsunami, on global warming. That would be a first.

Second, may I give the SMH an award for stating the fucking obvious - that Police being posted to Afghanistan will take pistols with them. Sheesh. A company I was doing work with two years ago was sending people to PNG for various bits of work. You had to be ex-police or ex-military to be selected, since the company expected their staff to be armed at all times when on the job, and to know how to use a pistol and shotgun (and to be prepared to use them too). If contractors in my line of work are being handed pump action shotguns and pistols in PNG, it goes without saying that our coppers going to Afghanistan will be tooled up. I'd be giving them Steyrs too.

Then we have the beat up of the day - linking the mining company that has been given the go ahead to start a uranium mine with arms dealing.

I love this headline - "Secretive arms tycoon behind new uranium mine". Let's pull it apart:

  • Secretive - sounds like Dr No, or Dr Evil. I think they are accusing him of being secretive because his company is private. Got that? Private equals secretive.
  • Arms - funnily enough, I view "arms" as something that goes "bang". A "long arm" being a rifle for instance, which goes "bang". Arms are shooty things. His company makes the Predator drone, but not the weapons that get hung on it. In other words, he makes a big remote controlled toy. Funnily enough, another division does rail system maintenance - why not call him a "secretive public transport supplier"? 'Arms' just sounds so much nastier, doesn't it?
  • Tycoon - ooooh, he's rich. Must be a Republican too. Since he is an arms dealer too, he must have gotten rich in a dodgy way. I look forward to the SMH describing Therese Rein as a "Secretive low cost labour exploiting tycoon".
To cap it off, the story says: "reportedly holds $US700 million ($877 million) in Pentagon contracts." The US defence budget was around $700 billion this year, meaning that this company got 0.1% of all expenditure. Woopey-doo.

By contrast, Boeing earned $32 billion last year from defence contracts. Not all of those were US based of course - 16% came from overseas - but Boeing gets 53% of its income from defence contracts. Nice, friendly Boeing - the company that makes the planes that enable SMH staffers to fly to global warming conferences in Bali and so on. I don't recall the SMH ever describing Boeing as "merchant of death" etc etc. And Boeing actually makes shooty things, like the Harpoon anti-shipping missile, airborne lasers, and the JDAM bomb - something that makes a very big BOOM; and ICBMs - things that make an even bigger boom.

Are all the staff at this newspaper twats?


kc said...

Are all the staff at this newspaper twats?

My guess would be - yup.

Paco said...

B on a B: Hey, everybody knows the weapon of choice in Afghanistan is a cricket bat.