I thought I might provide you with some news items about stupid people in the news recently in Australia. Stupid people always makes angry, usually because of the impact they have on other people but also because, well, they're just so fucking stupid.
There is a cavalcade of stupidity coming from the government and public servants over Australia's first military fatality in Iraq. Last month Private Jake Kovco died in Baghdad - he wasn't a combat casualty; he was shot in the head with his own pistol while two other soldiers were present. The first stupidity was from the Defence Minister passing comment on the cause of death before he actually knew what happened. It went from "he was cleaning it and it went off" to "we don't know exactly what happened" include some strange statement about how it appeared the gun wasn't in his hand when it went off.
The media were their usual charming selves; they hounded the family of the soldier and engaged in considerable speculation about what happened including, obviously, the possibility of suicide. Like the family didn't already have enough to be upset at. Mind you, some statements made by the soldier's mother in the days immediately after his didn't help limit speculation. She made very strong statements to the effect that he definitely wouldn't have committed suicide and dropping the gun and getting accidentally shot in the head sounded like bullshit. My reading of what she was saying was that she thought one of the other soldiers was responsible.
The second bit of stupidity was when they shipped back the wrong body. Nice one, dickheads. And now, this week, the report on his death was "lost" and ended up in the hands of a particularly obnoxious radio shock jock. It seems the investigator, Brigadier Elizabeth Cosson (I'm not an expert on Australian military ranks but Brigadier is right up there - she's not a cadet), left a CD containing the draft report in a computer at the airport lounge. This guy was obviously cursed.
A different bit of government stupidity follows on from the story I blogged about earlier this week on violence in remote aboriginal communities. It has become, predictably enough, a political football with the responsible minister making strange claims like there was an organised paedophile ring involved that the police "knew" about but wouldn't act on. The police, also predictably enough, called bullshit on the minister and said he didn't know what he was talking about. Anyway, at least it looks like it can't be swept under the carpet any more. You never know though, stories move out of the spotlight and get forgotten quickly. And aborigines really are treated like shit in this country.
Another story with a bit of phrasing that I found stupid involved an explosion at a munitions factory. This was a rather big explosion that unfortunately killed three workers and reports so far tend to include this gem of wisdom: "the cause of the explosion is not known." Call me crazy but I think it might have something to do with all the fucking explosives.
And in a case of "if he was dead he'd win a Darwin award," last night a young motorcyclist was lucky to survive a crash. He wins a major stupid award for his effort: police saw him riding at night without a helmet so moved to pull him over. He sped off and police say they didn't pursue him for safety reasons. They did, however, find him soon as he had crashed through a barrier, injuring his leg and sustaining minor head injuries. It turns out he's a 19 year-old learner and he'd been riding a 600cc motorcycle when the law limits him to a 250cc.
So... we have a 19 year-old learner on an overpowered motorcycle. Not wearing a helmet. At night. Who speeds off when the cops spot him. He obviously is incapable of riding the bike because he crashes. And the lucky bastard comes out with relatively minor injuries. If you ask me, he had the fucking head injuries before he got on the bike.