Nothing in this blog can be believed. If you think that anything in this blog is true or factual, you'll need to verify it from another source. Do you understand? No? Then read it again, and repeat this process, until you understand that you cannot sue me for anything you read here. Also, having been sucked into taking part in the mass-murder of more than 3 million Vietnamese people on behalf of U.S. Big Business "interests", I'm as mad as a cut snake (and broke) so it might be a bit silly to try to sue me anyway...

Monday, February 28, 2005

jawohl, herr bush!

Check out this site.

Found at Mountain Murmurs.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

what now?

So, I think I'm a pacifist. I think I'm a Left Wing Death Beast. I think I'm against the Iraq war. But...

I've had a problem since the end of the major offensive in Iraq. My problem? Well, by then we had invaded. We had taken over. We had murdered hundreds of thousands in the name of 'freedom' and 'democracy'. Now what?

Well, I started having a problem with those who still continued to call for 'troops out now'. Why? Well, if all of the occupation forces pulled out (and we all know that was never going to happen), what would happen if they did?

Democracy? Hardly.

Chaos? Possibly.

Civil war? Probably.

Theocracy? Possibly.

Saddam loyalists re-establishing a tyranny? Possibly.

The prognosis would not be good.

And then the elections were held. A majority of Iraqis had cast their vote. This, in my book, changed everything.

It meant that the Iraqi people were given a voice. There was now a democracy of sorts. Yes, you might say that it was a stacked poll. And I would agree. But once you have a democratic system, even if the intial poll is stacked, it opens up the opportunity to change things in the future.

But in the meantime, the way I see it, there needs to be some military presence there to nurture the fledgeling democracy and protect it from those who might want establish a less democratic regime.

I think the insurgency has lost it's legitimacy to continue its killing spree. It does not represent the majority of Iraqis I suspect, and as soon as the elections were held they should have swapped their weapons for ballot papers. It's a bit stupid to cry "freedom" and then boycott the elections. It's petulant and stupid. And to continue to blow people up is downright evil.

'But what about Vietnam' some say. No. The Vietnamese communists were denied elections and this gave armed struggle some legitimacy. But the Iraqi insurgents were given elections, they had the opportunity to vote. And now they have the opportunity to lobby, to politic, to protest, to agitate, agitate, agitate. And therefore, from the moment they had these opportunities, nay, freedoms, and they chose perversely to continue the killing, much of it indiscriminant and against their own people, they literally became terrorists and I can no longer support them.

The occupation forces would have nothing to shoot at if the insurgency had switched to voting and peaceful political action. No one would be dying. And therefore there would now be an irrisistable argument for the troops to be withdrawn.

I would say that the majority of Iraqis want the occupation to end. So, why not use their new democracy to achieve this? They should make sure they get a good constitution. They should then get their government to chuck the Yanks, Poms, and any other force they don't want there out.

Now, about the "Troops Out Now" crowd. I suspect they don't really have any workable answers, they're just stuck in a groove and can't see that things have changed and that it's time to move on. And they're afraid to say what I'm saying because their ideologically ossified collegues would call them traitors.

And so you get this mob mentality where no one thinks for themselves and everybody just mindlessly walks the walk, talks the talk, and chants the chant. Sheep do it too. Baaa baaa baaa.

But in case I'm wrong, come on all you clever people slagging off at me by accusing me of being pro-war and an ASIO agent to boot, tell me what you think. Show me where I'm wrong. Demolish my postion with lucid argument and brilliant reasoning...

Come on... I don't bite... I might hurl the odd angry word at you, but I don't bite...

Thursday, February 24, 2005

speaking of sophistry...

Sophistry = fallacious reasoning = logical fallacies = crap = bullshit.


Then you need to go here.

So, now, my little darlings, let's have no more bullshit on this blog, ok? :-)

it's a matelock moon and the marri is flowering heavy...

Do yourself a favour. Go read the blog item with the above header at Kyan gadac's blog.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

aussie troops in Iraq...

About sending more troops to Iraq, and similarities with Vietnam... The following is a comment I left on Kyte's blog and I liked it so much I've also posted it here (with minor changes):

I was against the war. Still am.

But I see our role now as much more like a peace-keeping operation. Our troops are going to be providing protection to Japanese military engineers rebuilding infrastructure. I don’t see too much wrong with that. We flattened the place, so fixing some of it before we leave seems fair. I think if you look at what the Australian military tasks actually are, they are quite benign.

Pull the troops out? I think the Yanks (and the Poms) should pull out and an international UN presence to provide interim security is ok and we could play a part in that.

Without US/UK interefence, how would Iraq remake itself? It was a socialist state before, so should the Baathists (socialists) now resume power? Should Iraq be run by a few corrupt oligarchs, or a pro-capitalist democracy dictated-to by the WTO, the IMF, and the Wold Bank? A theocracy perhaps? Fragment into three parts (Kurdiraq, Sunniraq, and Shiairaq)?

We shouldn’t have gone there. But that was then and this is now. There is now a fledgeling democracy there. Will it degenrate into a corrupt US puppet regime like South Vietnam was? Dunno. Putting more troops in does smell a lot like Vietnam.

But there are differences too: The Iraq insurgency is mostly Sunni/Baathist, a minority, whereas the Vietcong represented a clear majority - that’s why the (democracy loving?) Yanks disallowed elections in Vietnam.

The Iraq insurgency is alienating (and killing) a lot of Iraqis and not a lot of occupiers. They are murderous lunatics. They murder hostages who are sympathetic or neutral to their cause - I can think of no quicker way to lose the support of their own people and the world at large.

They have no idea about strategy. They are chaotic. The Vietcong had brilliant strategies and were highly organised. The Iraqi insurgency (as an effective force) is almost certainly doomed, the Vietcong could never have been defeated.

No, I don’t think there are worthwhile similarities and that’s why I think the outcome will be vastly different too.

Now that elections were held and a constitution is being drafted, it’s all over for the validity of armed resistance. The stupid bastards don’t know how to use democracy to shape their own future. All they know is how to kill indiscriminantly to vent their rage. I will not condone that. I cannot condemn one lot of killing and condone another. I will not condone violence as a means of resolving conflict. I do condone the use of military power in a peace-keeping role. And this is the role I see possible for us there now and I think Howard (to give him his due) has quietly been moving us into just such a role.

I think leaving now would hand Iraq to a bunch of bloodthirsty murderous lunatics who don’t even know how to mount a sane, effective resistance, let alone govern a country.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

vale hunter s. thompson...

Coming into this very late and very underinformed, I've gone around the traps. As a wannabe blogger, I can relate to the following comment attributed to Thompson: "I suspect writing is a bit like fucking," he wrote, "which is only fun for amateurs. Old whores don't do much giggling." And I found it here.

in the year 2014...

2014 - this is the year in which 'epic' (evolving personalised information construct) is released.

What am I on about? Watch this flash animation (if you haven't got broadband it comes at you in segments which replay seamlessly the second time around). I think you'll find it fascinating. Then please come back here and tell us what you thought of it (without giving away the plot to those who haven't watched it yet).

Found at Australian UnSpinner.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

what does it mean...

Watching the X-Factor on TV... This dude sang "come on baby, let me shake you down".

Well... What does that mean? I know, I'm a 58 year old Old Fart, but I ask you,

Saturday, February 19, 2005

the right man for the job...

John Negroponte, the US ambassador in Baghdad, was yesterday nominated by President George Bush as America's first director of national intelligence (DNI), making him potentially the most powerful spy chief in US history.

Mr Bush described intelligence as "our first line of defence" in the struggle with terrorists and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

"If we're going to stop the terrorists before they strike, we must ensure that our intelligence agencies work as a single, unified enterprise," Mr Bush said. The president made it clear he meant the DNI to be a figure of real authority, giving Mr Negroponte control over the budgets of America's 15 competing intelligence agencies and primarily responsible for daily Oval Office briefings.

Source: Julian Borger - The Guardian Full story >>>

You haven't forgotten who Negroponte is, have you? Speaking of US sponsored death squads, you might like to reacquaint yourself with an earlier post which in turn will direct you at an even earlier post. To enjoy the full flavour of Bush's New World Order you should read all of that stuff.

they've nobbled the high court...

Michael Pelly writes in the Sydney Morning Herald:
The High Court has been remade in John Howard's image. It is now so legally conservative that Michael Kirby has become the biggest outsider in the court's history.

Professor George Williams, of the University of NSW, also says the pattern of decisions from last year shows a "gang of four" is emerging: the Chief Justice, Murray Gleeson, and justices William Gummow, Kenneth Hayne and Dyson Heydon.

Full story >>>

But don't worry, guys, HoWARd's just making sure we'll get proper justice. He's doing it for us. He loves us. He cares for us.

Doesn't he?

they've nobbled the defence forces...

Tom Allard writes in the Sydney Morning Herald:
A senior air force officer (who was) summarily removed from his post has been denied a full investigation into the decision because it "could embarrass" the former chief of defence and the air force, internal defence documents reveal.

The documents suggest that the Australian Defence Force has a policy of not taking action that would damage the reputation of former top brass.
Say what?

Am I getting this? If it looks like embarrassing top brass there must not be an investigation?

Earth calling Mars... What the fuck is happening in this country?!?!?!

Full story >>>

Friday, February 18, 2005


"It's the lifestyle, stupid."
To feed our consumer habits, our mortgages, the 'education of our children', to get "ahead", to "aspire", to feed the ego. By working in mad enterprises, travelling ridiculous distances to go to work and talk shit.
"It's the economy, stupid."
Production, production, production.
Expansion, expansion, expansion.
Profit, profit, profit.
Consume, consume, consume.
Build, build, build.
Make, make, make.
Oil, oil, oil.
Ore, ore, ore.
timber, timber, timber.
Shareholders, shareholders, shareholders
Dependence, dependence dependence.
Slavery, slavery, slavery.
Production --> oil/petrol/coal/gas
Transport --> oil/petrol/coal/gas
Electricity --> oil/petrol/coal/gas
Home heating --> oil/petrol/coal/gas
Working --> oil/petrol/coal/gas
Lifestyle --> oil/petrol/coal/gas
Military --> oil/petrol/coal/gas
Carbon dioxide
Carbon monoxide
Global warming
Mining, cash crop farming, logging, fishing, growing meat, building infrastructure,
manufacturing, making more babies for the shareholders' people-mill.
Hungrier and hungrier for raw materials, food, and cheaper labour.
Destroying other cultures, ways of life, subsistance economies, independent economies, forrests, rivers, grasslands, oceans, the air we breathe.
Tomorrow we will die, but today we will kill them, because "it's in our interests".
To die for...

Thursday, February 17, 2005

a cartoon is worth a thousand words...

It started with the above political cartoon which I found on Suki's blog (yes, I'm currently plundering her blog). The cartoonist's name is Clay Bennett. He's to be found on the Christian Science Monitor's website (which surprised me.) I looked at many of his cartoons on the following sites and I was impressed. And so might you be... Check it out some more...

Here ... and here.

And if you want a whole bunch of politcal cartoonists accessible from one site, go here.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

I've been deemed offensive...

A company that sells cuddly Teddy bears through the mail has angered mental health advocates with a special item for Valentine's Day.

The Vermont Teddy Bear Co. is featuring a 15-inch bear in a straitjacket. The $69.95 stuffed animal is called the "Crazy for You Bear" and comes with its own commitment papers.

"This bear was created in the spirit of Valentine's Day and as with all of our bears it was designed to be a lighthearted depiction of the sentiment of love," the company said in a statement.

Mental health advocates believe the bear is "a tasteless use of marketing that stigmatizes persons with mental illness," said Jerry Goessel, executive director of the Vermont chapter of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill.

The company said it would discontinue the bear, but not before Feb. 14.

"We recognize that this is a sensitive, human issue and sincerely apologize if we have offended anyone," the firm said. "This bear was developed just for Valentine's Day and is not a permanent addition to our product line."


And now that the do-gooders have stopped production of this item I bet you'll see them fetching a fortune on eBay soon.

Dunno what all the fuss is about. As a mentally ill person myself I love the little bear so much I've made him my icon (I first found him on Mal's blog). I don't know what's so offensive about him. Then again, because I'm mentally ill, my opinion is, ipso facto, invalid. So I guess I'll have to defer to those arseholes who belittle us by daring to speak on our behalf and call themselves "advocates". PC wankers! Glad I'm nuts really... So sue me!

bush bloopers..

For a giggle, check out Bush bloopers at this site >>>

don't mess with 'em...

Never underestimate a woman with attitude! (Stolen from Suki's blog)

educate, educate, educate...

So now that we can see what's become of this thing called "democracy", what's to be done about it?

What we've got now is fear driven and opinion poll driven policy making winning elections for the right wing parties. Opinion polls mirror what the public thinks and in that sense who could argue that this is not the highest purity of the democratic process.

But where do the people's opinions come from? Well, many of their opinions come from a corporatised media which is in the thrall an economic model that must implode sooner or later, and the later it is , the bigger the devastation which will be visited upon the people. But the people get their opinions from other sources too. Opinions about lifestyle issues come to them from advertising, marketing stunts, TV shows, movies, and lifestyle magazines. Religions too play a huge part in opinion-shaping. And it starts with an education system that is totally pro-capitalism. So it's no wonder that in the US and here in Australia the right is on a roll.

How is the left going to counter these powerful forces shaping the people's opinions? My thinking is there should be a free, voluntary, supplementary education system run independent of government control or funding (funded 100% by the left). This education system should only address those subjects/ideas which mainstream education has distorted or suppressed e.g. in history, economics, media studies, political theory, philosophy, ethics, etc. This education could take the form of free online courses aimed not just at adults but also children and teenagers.

Free (or very inexpensive) online supplementary schools and universities is what I'm on about here. Supplementary schools and universities that are 100% online, independent and accredited. The schools could issue certificates for subjects studied which the pupil could add to his/her mainstream education CV. The online alternative (and accredited) universities could similarly issue degrees and doctorates for areas of study or theory not being provided by the mainstream.

We can't wait for the corporatised mainstream education system to "fix" itself. We have to set up supplemental education in areas which are missing or suppressed in the mainstream. And we must deliver them free or at low cost. With the internet and an altruistic approach by teaching and admin staff giving their services free of charge (or at low cost), this could be done.

There is already a good alternative media emerging online and in print. Perhaps we also need to look at nurturing more non-corporate Radio, TV and Film.

Funding? Donations, ultra-low fees, union subsidies (you could help by joining a union and talking to them about this), philanthopists, sponsorship, etc, etc.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

you vill now giff me zee ansers!!! verstehen sie?

So I'm going on and on about the world's problems as I see them. And it's getting pretty boring and depressing. Then again, what do you expect from a card-carrying cynic and depressive? Huh?

But I would like this blog to also focus on solutions.

It's OK to rant about the problems, but what's the point if one doesn't then try to figure out solutions. Sounds pretty defeatist to me...

Monday, February 14, 2005

more on the "salvador option"...

In an earlier post, I referred to the Salvador Option with regard to US inspired and sanctioned death squads in Iraq:
The Newsweek report says the Iraqi squads would most likely be made up of Kurdish Peshmerga fighters... Full story >>>
Let's now join that dot with this dot:
Israel has operatives training commando units in Kurdish areas of US-occupied Iraq... Full story >>>
Makes you wonder, don't it?

Sunday, February 13, 2005

just a little sip of Mountain Dew...

Compliments of DS:
In pharmacology, all drugs have two names - a trade name and a generic name. For example, the trade name of Tylenol is acetaminophen. Aleve is known as naproxen, Amoxil is amoxicillin, and Advil is ibuprofen.

The FDA has been looking for a generic name for Viagra. After consideration by a team of government experts, it recently announced it has settled on the generic name of mycoxafloppin. Also considered were mycoxafailin, mydixadrupin, mydixarizin, mydixadud, dixafix, and of course ibepokin.

Pfizer Corp. is making an announcement today that Viagra will soon be available in liquid form and will be marketed by Pepsi Cola as a power beverage suitable for use as a mixer. Pepsi's proposed ad campaign claims it will now be possible for a man to literally pour himself a stiff one. Obviously we can no longer call this a soft drink. This additive gives new meaning to the names of cocktails, highballs and just a good old fashioned stiff drink. Pepsi will market the new concoction by the name of
Mount & Do.
And DS, that crazy Yank, doesn't think he'd be able to do a good blog? Shit, he OWNS this one... :-)

Saturday, February 12, 2005

is there no end to their evil and corruption?

If you want a deeper look into the Bush administration's utterly evil and corrupt ways of dealing with the rest of the world, read this ... ... and this

And not far removed from the above topics is this ... ... and this

(Compliments of DS)

US blood for oil program...

"These are the spoils for which George W. Bush has killed more than 100,000 human beings." By Chris Floyd 02/11/05 "Moscow Times". Here's an excerpt:
The Administration's true objective in Iraq is brutally simple: U.S. domination of Middle East oil. This is no secret. Dick Cheney and Paul Wolfowitz began writing about this "strategic necessity" in 1992, as Alternet reminds us; and in September 2000, a group led by Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld openly called for a U.S. military takeover of Iraq -- even if the regime of Saddam Hussein was no longer in power. At every point in their savaging of Iraq, the Bushists have pressed relentlessly toward this oily goal.

The objective was revealed -- yet again -- in a recent Washington appearance by Iraqi Finance Minister Adil Abdel-Mahdi. Standing alongside a top State Department official, Abdel-Mahdi announced that Iraq's government wants to open the nation's oil fields to foreign investment -- not only the pumped product flowing through the pipes, but the very oil in the ground, the common patrimony of the Iraqi people.
Full story >>>

(Compliments of DS)

Friday, February 11, 2005

freedom and the yanks...

In January 2004, Kyte had this to say:
Freedom? What’s that? Is it being able to make choices about how you want to live, where you want to live, what you want to say, who you want to see and associate with, where you want to visit.. ?


Is it living in fear of American bombs and guns. Is it having the American Way forced upon you whether you want it or not? Or is it living in America under the Patriot Act?

I wonder why it is that there is this conviction that the American Way is the best way? That smacks of Richard and the Crusades, when he should have left the middle east the hell alone. It smacks of imperialism of the worst kind. It smacks of “bringing Christianity to the heathen hordes”.

Again, Bush and his cronies and suppporters make value judgements about other peoples and beliefs… and they are WRONG…
I thought it was worth repeating here on this crazy blog.

Thanks, Kyte.

wanna be a stand-up comedian?

Found over at Mindless Blather:

Two blondes walk into a building… you’d think at least one of them would have seen it.

Phone answering machine message - “…If you want to buy marijuana, press the hash key…”.

A guy walks into the psychiatrist wearing only Clingfilm for shorts. The shrink says, “Well, I can clearly see you’re nuts.”

I went to buy some camouflage trousers the other day but I couldn’t find any.

I went to the butchers the other day and I bet him 50 quid that he couldn’t reach the meat off the top shelf. He said, “No, the steaks are too high.”

My friend drowned in a bowl of muesli. A strong currant pulled him in.

A man came round in hospital after a serious accident. He shouted, “Doctor, doctor, I can’t feel my legs!” The doctor replied “I know you can’t, I’ve cut your arms off”.

I went to a seafood disco last week…and pulled a muscle.

Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly. They lit a fire in the craft, it sank, proving once and for all that you can’t have your kayak and heat it, too.

Our ice cream man was found lying on the floor of his van covered with hundreds and thousands. Police say that he topped himself.

Man goes to the doctor, with a strawberry growing out of his head. Doc says “I’ll give you some cream to put on it.”

‘Doc I can’t stop singing The Green, Green Grass of Home’ ”That sounds like Tom Jones syndrome. ‘ Is it common? ‘ “It’s not unusual.”

A man takes his Rottweiler to the vet. “My dog is cross-eyed, is there anything you can do for him?” ”Well,” said the vet, ”let’s have a look at him” So he picks the dog up and examines his eyes, then he checks his teeth. Finally, he says, “I’m going to have to put him down.” “What? Because he’s cross-eyed?” ”No, because he’s really heavy”

Two fat blokes in a pub, one says to the other “Your round.” The other one says “So are you, you fat bastard!”

Police arrested two kids yesterday, one was drinking battery acid, and the other was eating fireworks. They charged one and let the other one off.

“You know, somebody actually complimented me on my driving today. They left a little note on the windscreen. It said, ‘Parking Fine.’ “

A man walked into the doctors, he said, “I’ve hurt my arm in several places” The doctor said, “Well don’t go there anymore”

Ireland’s worst air disaster occurred early this morning when a small two-seater Cessna plane crashed into a cemetery. Irish search and rescue workers have recovered 1826 bodies so far and expect that number to climb as digging continues into the night...

money, money, money...

"Banking was conceived in iniquity and was born in sin. The Bankers own the earth. Take it away from them, but leave them the power to create deposits, and with the flick of the pen they will create enough deposits to buy it back again. However, take it away from them, and all the great fortunes like mine will disappear and they ought to disappear, for this would be a happier and better world to live in. But, if you wish to remain the slaves of Bankers and pay the cost of your own slavery, let them continue to create deposits." : Sir Josiah Stamp (1880-1941) President of the Bank of England in the 1920's, the second richest man in Britain.

"Endless money forms the sinews of war." : Marcus Tullius Cicero - (106-43 B.C.) Roman Statesman, Philosopher and Orator.

(Compliments of DS.)

the shoe is on the other foot now...

You know how the US has been ranting about corruption at the UN with regard to the Iraq food-for-oil program? Well the US has gone very very quiet about it now.


Read this >>>

(Compliments of DS.)

Thursday, February 10, 2005

peaceful people power can't work?

DS, commenting on a previous post said:
And yes, the Vietnamese were justified in using violence just as the Russians were against the Germans, the native Americans were against the first white settlers. I wish nonviolence worked, but it doesn't. You can't reason with bullies; you can't wait for them to change because they won't. The only thing they respect is greater force! Gandhi was murdered and India still has a caste system; MLK was murdered and American blacks still can't vote. Aborigines are still second class citizens living in poverty as are most native Americans. Three quarters of the world still lives and dies in poverty and we act as though it was their fault.

Could peaceful people power work, or not?

When is war justified?

Are we pacifists wrong/deluded?

you tell 'em, jose...

This article in MercoPress, Falklands:
Caracas' Vice President Jose Vicente Rangel suggested that the Bush administration address problems closer to home such as the burgeoning deficit and abuse of detainees at Guantanamo and in Iraq.

"Spokesmen for the State Department continue making impertinent statements with the deliberate aim of provoking Venezuela. They will not succeed in doing so" said Mr. Rangel in a press release.
Full Story >>>

(Compliments of DS.)

abortion is wrong but war is right... huh?

Elsewhere in this blog Paul said:
How can some religious folk hold such authoritarian views in one area (e.g. abortion) yet be so liberal in another area (e.g. killing people). And these wankers think they're holier than thou... grrr
An excellent question. Comments? Anyone?

Sunday, February 06, 2005


The Tampa Crisis (an Australian disaster).

September 11, 2001.

The invasion of Iraq.

The Asian Tsunami disaster.


And as I type this, I'm watching a documentary on Edvard Munch's "The Scream".


pope paul II - the peacemaker...

Those of you who have read this blog in any depth will know that I alternate between being an agnostic and an atheist. It's a difficult issue for me.

So it may puzzle you that I dedicate this post to Pope Paul II. Why do I do this? Well, tonight I watched what was probably a good piece of Catholic propaganda on the ABC's Compass program. I am however willing to acknowledge Pope Paul II for the following:

He is against war. He preaches that war is no way to solve problems. He inspires the pursuit of peaceful ways of solving problems. He won the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize for teaching that "all war is wrong". As a pacifist, I feel I must acknowledge this man for his contribution to pacifism. I believe that Jesus was a pacifist. So there is no conflict here...

Friday, February 04, 2005

get your sad little brain around this...

From the keyboard of Eliot Weinberger:
I heard a soldier say that he had talked to his priest about killing Iraqis, and that his priest had told him it was all right to kill for his government as long as he did not enjoy it. After he had killed at least four men, I heard the soldier say that he had begun to have doubts: ‘Where the fuck did Jesus say it’s OK to kill people for your government?’
Eliot has heaps more for you if you're in the mood for his "I heard" stuff.

Snaffled from Australian Opinion who got it from piss 'n' vinegar.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

a trip into town...

It's funny how things unfold. Like order within chaos. I thought I'd brave going to the opening of the photo exhibition mentioned in an earlier post. It was a lefty affair and leaflets and the Green Left Weekly were being proffered.

Someone handed me a flyer for an event in March at which Stan Goff, a "US veteran, with a son in Iraq, and now a campaigner for the Bring Them Home Now! movement against the US occupation of Iraq" will be a keynote speaker. You can see why this got my attention...

Soon the venue was wall-to-wall with people milling around. It was still ten minutes before the official opening time when I got totally claustrophobic and I just had to get out of there. I spied a rear exit and left. In retrospect, I should have known this type of event was not for me but in a fit of bravado I had promised the organiser at a previous event that I would be there, and so I tried to keep that promise.

Now I was on the run in the back streets of Chippendale heading back towards Central Station feeling like an idiot (not an unusual feeling). Sanity gradually returned, my heart rate steadied and I got to Central relatively relaxed, but I noticed that I had made a few voluble utterances to no one in particular along the way. Oh well.

And so I never got to hear John Pilger speak.

Back home two hours later, I got on line and googled Stan Goff. In the process I came across a really groovy article the guy has written about how energy is driving things these days. It's a bit lengthy but well worth the read.

Ignore the fact that it was written last August in the run-up to the US elections and that it's aimed at giving John Kerry a bit of a tutorial. Just read it (unless of course you already fully understand the significance of energy as it relates to the irrepressible urge to go and kill thousands upon thousands of innocent people, using the world's very "best" weapons of mass "liberation".)

So here I am, much wiser for having googled...

I've finished the Cab Sav and found some Spätlese to finish the job. And now mellowness is.

Goodnight my little lovelies. I believe I can sleep now without bumping into the pistol-firing woman from last night's nighmare.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

seymour hersch does it again...

Thanks to Barista I came across this little gem:
...the amazing thing is we are been taken over basically by a cult, eight or nine neo-conservatives have somehow grabbed the government. Just how and why and how they did it so efficiently, will have to wait for much later historians and better documentation than we have now, but they managed to overcome the bureaucracy and the Congress, and the press, with the greatest of ease. It does say something about how fragile our Democracy is.
Full story >>>

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

from little things, big things grow...

Warning: This story may break your heart.

Mother of Soldier Slain in Iraq Speaks Out By Kay Liss, Lincoln County News:
She held up family photos of her son Casey as a toddler, at his confirmation, as a 21-year-old in boot camp and then, the photo that appeared in The New York Times last April, of his coffin, his brother kissing it to say goodbye.

Many in the audience at Skidompha Library in Damariscotta on Tuesday night were unable to hold back tears along with Cindy Sheehan, mother of a slain American soldier in the Iraq War. Sheehan has been traveling around the country speaking out against the war and was invited to speak here by the newly formed Peace and Justice Coalition of Lincoln County and Citizens Offering New Alternatives (CONA), with participation from Veterans for Peace and the Maine Green Independent Party.

Opening her heart-wrenching talk, she said, “I am not a political expert or a pundit. I’m just a broken-hearted mother.” Sheehan said she hoped she wouldn’t offend anyone in the audience, but her purpose in speaking out was to raise awareness of “the travesty of this war” and to help bring the troops home.
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iraqi democracy...

Well, Iraq is now officially a democracy. Good luck to them I say. It's now up to them to shape their own political and therefore their economic future. Eight million voted. Eight suicide bombers blew themselves up killing thirty people. I would say democracy has a strong presence there now.

In the light of this, I think the insurgents should put down their arms now and get involved in the democratic process to pursue their political aims in a peaceful way. Peaceful People Power should now be the new force in the Iraqi politics of dissent.

The Iraqis must now make sure that they get a constitution that gives them true freedom. The freedom to nationalise foreign interests operating on their soil, the freedom to create a working model of democratic secular socialism should they wish it, the freedom to sell their oil to whomever they choose and at whatever price they wish, the freedom to ask the Yanks to fuck off home and bloody well stay there!

Of course they'll be given no such freedoms at all... Their constitution and political system will be puppeteered by America to make sure US "interests" are permanently and solidly entrenched in Iraq and that its oil is utterly controlled by US and British interests.

And because this new Iraqi "democracy" will turn out to be just another sham controlled by the US, I suspect the insurgency will continue for quite some time yet.

Pity the Iraqis don't yet understand the awsome effectiveness of Peaceful People Power. With the right kind of peaceful mass protests using thousands of camcorders to record any US and UK attrocities, they could literally drive the Yanks and the Brits off their land, but they would first need to learn to be united and to act peacefully. Where is Iraq's Gandhi?

anonymous asks a favour...

CS (Cynic Surfer), who regularly comments on this blog has asked me to put this request for information up here:
I need some help doing some research and I'm not clever enough. For several years I've been wanting to do a cost/benefit analysis to prove/disprove this generally accepted myth that we're the greatest nation on earth (I hate braggarts). What I'm looking for are things like health care, literacy, home ownership, life expectancy, etc. that most humans would reasonably expect to rank high among the world's "No. 1" nation. Those are the positives. I also want the negatives: murder rates, homelessness, divorce rates, infant mortality, etc. What I'm looking for are respectable studies, statistics, etc. showing comparisons among the richest countries. Some of this info is available through UN web sites, but not all and besides for scientific purposes it's better to have 2-3 sources. I was hoping maybe some of your clever bloggers could help. What do we do with it afterwards? Somehow use to dispel the myth of America being the greatest nation.
Any readers out there who can point him in the right direction for any of this stuff?