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...

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

diogenes has fallen on his sword...

Well, I've blogged myself to a standstill. I can't do this shit anymore. I'll leave you with these words by Jim Morrison:

This is the end
Beautiful friend
This is the end
My only friend, the end
Of our elaborate plans, the end
Of everything that stands, the end
No safety or surprise, the end
I'll never look into your eyes...again
Can you picture what will be
So limitless and free
Desperately in need...of some...stranger's hand

In a...desperate land
Lost in a Roman...wilderness of pain
And all the children are insane
All the children are insane
This is the end
Beautiful friend
This is the end
My only friend, the end
It hurts to set you free
But you'll never follow me
The end of laughter and soft lies
The end of nights we tried to die
This is the end


Friday, April 22, 2005

anti-activism activism...

This information was sent onto me from another activist - on the one hand it shows that we are seen as a force to be reckoned with but on the other hand it shows how organised the right is getting:

The Public Relations Institute of Western Australia recently held a Seminar to big Corporations and their PR Staff on how to undermine the effectiveness of community based activists.

Canadian PR consultant Ross Irvine will conduct a half-day PRIA
(Public Relations Institute of Australia) seminar on Tuesday 19 April
on the best strategies to win against activists.

President of Vancouver-based firm, ePublic Relations Ltd, Ross
advises clients on how to use activists' own street-smart tactics in
response to their campaigns. He believes activists are winning more
and more mining, agriculture, social and consumer issues.

Activists believe they know what is best for us - they have assumed
moral leadership on many issues globally and they pressure
businesses, governments and society to embrace their ideology.

They often recruit high-profile supporters to their causes, such as
academics, media personalities and stars from the entertainment
world. For instance, well-known local author Tim Winton was enlisted
to support the `Save Ningaloo Reef' campaign last year in WA.

Activists are hugely successful communicators. Measures of PR
success - story placements, number of interviews, shifts in public
opinion, legislation supporting their agenda – show that activists
not only get their messages heard, but also acted upon.

The Internet is central to their activities because it enables them
to pass information around the world instantly to each other to use
against their targets.

In Australia, activists have beaten all the efforts of public
relations practitioners and consultants from well-funded
biotechnology companies to prevent the introduction of GMO
(genetically modified organisms) crops in most of the country. In the
past 12 months the governments of WA, Victoria, NSW and South
Australia have either banned GMO crops altogether or severely limited
trials of GMO grains such as canola.

Activist groups are also known as special interest groups, lobby
groups or NGOs (non-government organisations). It is estimated there
are 50,000 NGOs in the world.

Ross will show how to understand the new activist mindset, how
activists use their networks, and the tools they use to win their
battles. He will explain how to outflank the attackers and ensure
activist organisations meet community standards of accountability and

The seminar and a panel discussion will be held at the Hyatt Regency
Hotel from 9.00am to 12noon on Tuesday 19 April. Contact the PRIA WA
secretariat on for registrations and enquiries.

PRIAWA Website for contacts is at

Ross Irvine's ePublic Relations Inc Website is at
You can lobby with the various members of the PRIAWA Council directly
and let them know what you think of such a Seminar.

Thursday, April 21, 2005


Seems you're not a serious blogpundit unless you're ranting about the new pope.

Oh fucking YAWN, guys! Stop playing with it... It'll grow all by itself... Have you all gone over to the dork side of the farce?

There! I too have done a piece on the pope now. So now Nic has to include me in his
long link list
of papal pontificators as well. Go, Nic!

Of course, I'm still impresssed with the kind of solidarity that causes five million people to gather for a funeral. Perhaps the real lesson here is "How can we do that!" Imagine if you could get five million to go to Rome to demonstrate peacefully for gay rights, or women's rights, or to Washington to protest against the US's global meddlings - now THAT might make a difference! Imgine THAT, and stop boring people shitless with crap about God's Rottweiler. Speaking of dogs, that reminds me:

Question: What would you get if you crossed an agnostic insomniac with a dyslexic.

Answer: A guy who would stay up all night wondering whether or not there is a dog.

Monday, April 18, 2005


Values and rights. Right and wrong. Morals.

Are they absolute?

Are they subjective?

Who decides?

Are they neither, but arrived at through agreement?

If so, how should agreement be reached?

Are people allowed to practice their religion without interference from those outside of that religion?

Are those who choose to eschew religion allowed to live their lives without interference from religions?

Which values/rights should be enshrined in law?


Who decides?

It's all very well to belong to one moral tribe and sling shit about the evils of those in the other moral tribe. But in a so-called multicultural country, how should these tensions be resolved?

So, readers, instead of slagging off at those on the other side of the moral divide, how about you bust a gut to try to answer some of these questions...

Aw bugger it, it's all too hard, let's just sling shit at the other mob...

Sunday, April 17, 2005

A tribute to Casey Sheehan...

I never knew Casey Sheehan, but his mother, Cindy Sheehan, did:
I’ve been asked to speak to you for 5 minutes or so. Please forgive me, but I’m going to take a little more than 8 minutes. The additional time that I’m going to steal from you is dedicated to my son, Casey, whose entire future was stolen from him.

My son was killed in Iraq on this day one year ago, the same day of April on which Martin Luther King Jr. was killed. From a jail in Birmingham, on April 16 1963 Dr. King wrote these words: "We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence...of the good people." ...end of quote.

And the Apostle Paul said this:

"...those who desire to be rich fall into temptation...into a snare that plunges men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all evil."

Thirty years ago, 1975, Gerald Ford was President of the United Sates. His Chief of Staff was Dick Cheney. His Secretary of Defense was Donald Rumsfeld. Paul Wolfowitz was heading-up the international arms-control end of things. All of these positions related directly to national security. While these men were looking after the nation’s safety, they and President Ford concluded that Iran needed to supplement its energy system by adding nuclear power. The nuclear energy project that these men approved would have netted certain US corporations billions of dollars. Had the Shah of Iran...a blood-bought servant of US corporate interests...not soon been overthrown by his own countrymen, the big-wigs at Westinghouse or General Electric...or perhaps both...would have amassed personal fortunes from this one project, alone. Some of the stockholders would have also made bundles on the deal.

In 1975 my son had not yet been born. Today he is in his grave. Dick Cheney, on the other hand, is now Vice President of the United States, and he is materially wealthy beyond what any of us would ever pray to be. This is the same Dick Cheney who during the months leading-up to the invasion of Iraq said that Saddam Hussein not only has stockpiles of Weapons of Mass Destruction...more than a hundred metric tons of the deadly stuff...but he also said that Saddam Hussein was well-advanced in developing nuclear weapons and that therefore the US must invade Iraq and dethrone Saddam Hussein. Clean, quick, and simple according to Dick Cheney. Yet for some time now he has changed his tune. He now if he had said it all along...that the US occupation of Iraq will require years of difficult and sometimes bloody conflict before it will be stable enough to bring our loved ones home. And too, rather than speak of Weapons of Mass Destruction, he now uses the word "democracy" a lot.

Is there yet an American who can not clearly see that Dick Cheney...whether it be 1975 or 2005...will say whatever he thinks is required to ultimately cause wealth and power to move to himself and to his friends? ...need I defile this holy place with words like "Haliburton" and "Kellog, Brown & Root" and "torture" and "US weapons industry"? Indeed, the Apostle Paul is correct in saying that, ultimately, the love of money leads to ruin and destruction.

Donald Rumsfeld is again Secretary of Defense. Only yesterday, it seems, he told the whole world that Saddam Hussein has stockpiles of Weapons of Mass Destruction.

He even announced to the world that he and his generals know where Saddam’s feared weapons are hidden. He announced this only days before our loved ones risked their lives searching those very areas where he so confidently said the weapons were hidden.

Tell me, isn’t it entirely reasonable for us to assume that those very places were being surveiled every second of every day and night until the very moment when our loved ones reached those areas and began their search? Donald Rumsfeld told us that the search would net more than a hundred metric tons. Are we to believe that Saddam quickly assembled a caravan of 18 wheelers and loaded all this stuff up and hauled it away to some new hiding place...and that US surveillance...the best in the world....didn’t notice any of this happening? Are we to believe that this administration was, once again, asleep at the wheel...just as they would also have us to believe that they were innocently caught off-guard on the morning of September 11, 2001?

I implore you to read some of Scott Ritter...write the name down if you need to: Scott Ritter. R..I..T..T..E..R. I’m certain that many of you have already read his work. His work can be found in book stores, or go to Read him and you will finally begin to understand that the horrid price we and the people of Iraq have paid to discover that Saddam’s Weapons Of Mass Destruction had already been destroyed is not due to any failure at the U.S. intelligence agencies, it is in fact a validation of U.S. intelligence agencies. Ritter will explain to you exactly how is was that Rumsfeld was well-informed, by knowledgeable people within the Intelligence community, that Saddam had been stripped clean of such weapons, that Saddam’s ability to reconstitute such weapons’ programs had also been destroyed, and that any moves Saddam might have made in that direction would have been observed and stopped, forthwith.

Is there anyone in America who cannot yet see that Donald Rumsfeld is a liar...that he, as with Hitler and Stalin....will say anything so long as he thinks it will help shape the world to his own liking? Is there even one, sane adult among us who cannot see that Donald Rumsfeld is a threat to our nation’s security and to peace on our beloved earth?

Paul Wolfowitz, after months of not finding any Weapons of Mass Destruction....and after hundreds of US soldiers were son amongst them....and after tens of thousands of innocent Iraq citizens were killed....this same Paul Wolfowitz casually explained....with his kindly charade and his ever so soft voice...that a decision was made to put forth "Weapons of Mass Destruction" as the need for the invasion. Essentially, Paul Wolfowitz admitted that he and his fellow conspirators had decided amongst themselves "...let’s just go with the bit about Weapons of Mass Destruction. It’s the one thing that will scare the American people enough so as to cause them to get behind this invasion."

As soft-spoken and sincere-sounding as Paul Wolfowitz is, is there yet any sane adult in this country whose skin does not crawl when this murderous liar opens his mouth and speaks? Am I the only person in this room who clearly sees that Paul Wolfowitz is a threat to our nation’s security...and to peace on our beloved earth?"

30 years ago these 3 men gave the green light to Iran, allowing companies to go there and build a 6.4 billion dollar nuclear power facility. doubt the final bill would have been at least three times that much. Yet Dick Cheney recently said this of Iran’s current intentions to add nuclear power to their energy system: Quote...."They are already sitting on an awful lot of oil and gas. Nobody can figure why they need nuclear to generate energy"....end of quote. Did these men not notice, 30 years ago, while they and their cohorts were being wined and dined by the Shah, that his opulent surroundings were bought and paid for with oil and gas that was being taken from the ground beneath their feet? Yet these men agreed, clear back then, that Iran needed to add nuclear power to their energy system. It is now 30 years and God only knows how many tens of millions of barrels of oil, later. Why should we believe these men....who we know are liars....when they now say that Iran’s primary motive for wanting nuclear power is so that they can make nuclear weapons with which to destroy us and our allies? Even now, the International Atomic Energy Agency reports that there is no evidence that Iran has a nuclear weapons program. The Bush administrations response? They are trying to oust the agency’s lead inspector, Mohammed al-Baradei. But who can forget that it was Mr. al-Baradei and the International Atomic Energy Agency who, during the months prior to the invasion of Iraq, reported that Saddam no longer had a nuclear weapons programs.

Our country has been overtaken by murderous thugs....gangsters who lust after fortunes and power; never caring that their addictions are at the expense of our loved ones, and the blood of innocent people near and far. We’ve watched these thugs parade themselves before the whole world as if they are courageous advocates for Christian moral values....and for the spread of democracy. Yet we all know that they are now putting in place, all across this country, a system of voting that provides no way to validate the accuracy of the counting of the votes. Our loved ones have been buried in early graves even as these arrogant thugs parade themselves before the entire world, insisting that democracy is worth dying for, killing for, and destroying entire cities for, all the while they are busy here at home overseeing the emplacement of an electronic voting system that invites fraud at every turn, an electronic vote-counting system that provides no way to validate the votes cast, and that, by it’s very design, prohibits recounting the votes.

For these men to not see to it that our own system of voting and vote-counting is accurate, understandable and verifiable...all the while sending our loved ones to kill and to die so as to establish a democracy in some far away place......this is just one more staggering piece of evidence that the US government is now ruled by murderous hypocrites...criminals who should be arrested, charged appropriately, confined behind bars, and then tried in a court of law...not only here in our own country, but also in all the other countries which have suffered their incomprehensible greed.

In their secret hiding places, while celebrating newly won fortunes with their fellow brass, these men must surely congratulate themselves with orgies of carnal pleasure as they mock the multitudes who are yet so blind as to mistake them for God’s devoted servants.

Cindy Sheehan
Friday 15th April 2005
Vale, Casey Sheehan...

And my deepest sympathies to Cindy Sheehan and all mothers everywhere who have lost sons and daughters in the immoral, criminal war in Iraq. My heart breaks.

(Transcript of Cindy Sheehan's speech, compliments of DS.)

Postscript: I've just realised I had previously covered this story here.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

amateur hour in politics 101...

Ok, would the serious political pundits and historians now leave the room please. This is amateur rant hour, ok? Leftie fundamentalists? Put a sock in it. Right wing death beasts? You shouldn't even be here... Ok, here goes...

Communism: The USSR and China (where no democracy had yet existed) banned religions, private enterprise and private ownership of real estate. Politically, only communism was condoned. In other words, authoritarian and totalitarian communist regimes evolved. And they were expansionist, seeking to spread their doctrines across as much of the of world as they could.

Capitalism: By its very nature, expansionist. The Western reaction to communism was that the Christian and Jewish religions increased the intensity of their courtship of the business world (and the business world increased the intensity of its courtship of these religions) for the mutual benefit of putting up a united front against what they saw as a mortal threat to their very existence, including the democracies which had evolved. Similarly, the Christians and the Jews were driven closer together by this common threat. And anti-communism gained a huge power boost.

But in their fear and panic, the West, and America in particular, also became authoritarian and totalitarian, not just with regard to how they dealt with communism at home, but also the type of regimes and political movements they would allow in the countries over which they had power. And in this regard America stands out as having been the bloodiest and most globally ambitious. And as we can now see, this has predictably morphed into a religious fundamentalism that is wedded to Big Business and which has hijacked politics to the degree that America's behaviour in the world has become identical to that of an authoritarian and totalitarian regime. They have become that which they feared.

Communism's own behaviour has a lot to do with the kind of monster America has become. And perhaps the machinations of the early capitalists originally created the monster that communism became.

Enter socialism and secularism in the West: Capitalism sees socialism as no different from communism and fears it just as much. Socialism comes hand in hand with secularism and secularism scares the pants off some Christians, Jews, and Muslims. Yes, there are some Christians, Jews, and Muslims who are are politically secularist (and/or socialist), but I'm talking about the secularism driven by atheism and agnosticism, and those who see secularism as a means to becoming (or remaining) free from the intrusion of someone else's religious beliefs or values into their lives.

And so, a side-play to the communist/capitalist bunfight has been the increased threat religions have felt from the increased stridency, militancy and authoritarian tone of secularism in open societies. I think this has helped boost fundamentalism not just in the Judeo-Christian world, but also in the Islamic world (Bin Laden thinks he's waging war against secularism.) A fundamentalist mindset seems to have hijacked secularism just as effectively as it has the other major religions of the West.

Fundamentalism, absolutism , intolerance, monoculturalism. All of these now reside just as much in secularism as they do in the other religions. Secularism has been hijacked by extremism.

Speaking to the left (because there's no point in trying to speak to the right), get this: There are moderate, left-leaning Muslims, Christians, Jews, and Zionists, just as there are moderate, left-leaning secularists. If secularists keep alienating their moderate, religious brothers and sisters, the left is doomed to perpetual impotence.

Similarly, these religious, moderate, left-leaning people want nothing to do with violent and destructive politics, so if true pacifism doesn't become the left's dominant paradigm, left wing politics will just continue to be a bunfight between various ineffectual, small, extremist factions, great for causing death, destruction, retribution and disruption, but not big enough to get a democratic mandate. And quite frankly, I think the world has moved on from this style of "politics".

The common enemy we face today is fundamentalism, absolutism, intolerance and monoculturalism. In other words, extremism.

It's been said that I teach best that which I most need to learn...

Hope you found this interesting enough to want to leave a comment. Thanks for your time. For intellectual stuff, read other blogs.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

it's a worry...

It was a mistake. I know. I should never have gone to his blog. I should not have read this:
At skimming or fast reading speed, five minutes gives you 5000 words, which is more than enough to conclude that a writer is guilty of gross logical or factual errors, pretentious or illiterate prose, repetition of tired and long-refuted arguments, or simple inanity.
He's obviously been here, hasn't he? He's read this blog, hasn't he? I mean, who else could he be talking about, right?

That Quiggin... He's good isn't he?

apologies to bloglines subbies...

If you subscribe to this blog via Bloglines, you're probably starting to hate my guts by now. I've only just realised (d'oh) that if I edit a post (even a minor edit), bloglines picks it up as a new post and chucks it back up in your face. And I'm a chronic re-edit obsessive.

My humblest apologies.

So, Blogliners, is there a way I can stop Bloglines from seeing re-edits unless I want it to? (I've been to their "help" thing but that was no help at all.)

How annoying is it for you?

Do you think my nose is too crooked?

Anything you want to say to me will be fine (including "get a life". :-)

now let's see if I got this right...

The Iraq war. It was about oil, right?

Before the war, the US knew oil prices were going to blow right out through the roof. Buying oil owned by someone else, at stratospheric prices, can send you broke. Owning that oil can make you rich. The Saudis and Kuwaitis were not interested in allowing foreign investment (ownership) in their oil.

But wait!!! Iraq was a socialist state (no investment there was possible.) The US never could stomach socialism (because it can't get rich on it), and Saddam was eminently demonisable, the sanctions (to stop Iraq selling too much of that oil to China, France and Russia) were starting to smell a bit, so, Iraq it had to be. That's where they would install a puppet government which would allow unlimited American investment (ownership) in their oil. Easy...

So that was the plan. Now they started scratching their heads about how to implement it... Not so easy...

Then 9/11 happened. (Did they put bin Laden up to it?) Anyhow, it looked to Big Dubbya like a God-sent opportunity.

And so the mass-murder of Iraqis was begun. The oil thieves had arrived in a wave of Shock and Awe and the Ministry of Oil building in Bagdhad was saved and they began to implement the US Blood For Oil Program.

They were about to "liberate" the Iraqi people by removing from them the ownership of their one-and-only major natural (and finite) resource, their sole source of income. (aside: Why does "the liberation of East Timor" pop into my head here, Mr Howard?)

Well, that was the plan, anyhow...

But it's starting to unravel...

They can't seem to get a lot of "liberated" oil out of Iraq. Someone keeps blowing up the (now) foreign-owned installations and pipelines. And the US is going nuts because it's going to go broke having to pay for the oil like the rest of the world. Who said there's no God?

So there it is. All nicely explained here. Thanks must go to Evan Jones for covering this on his blog first.

So what do you reckon? Have I got it right? Have I? Waddya reackon, ASIO, have I got it right? Isn't it your job to tell the PM?!? Oh that's right, you arseholes have sold us out to the Yanks too... Fucking traitors !!!

Hey, Cosgrove, ya puddin'!! Do the right thing before ya cut and run in June (to your next cushy job, no doubt) - pull our troops out now !

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

loewenstein just made my day...

A while back I said somewhere (I can't remember where but it was a couple months back) that the insurgency is (also) a bunch of murdering bastards and that they are not the way to rid Iraq of the occupation. All they could possibly achieve is the justification for years of Yankee presence.

I argued that the Iraqi people could have the occupation forces out of there within a matter of weeks if they mounted an effective campaign of peaceful people power. And it looks like that's exactly what is now starting to happen.

Loewenstein? Well, his article was the heads-up for a really wonderful piece of news
in the Guardian today.

And it just got better. You could be forgiven for thinking that the organisers of the mainly Shia demonstration of 300,000 have been avidly reading this blog. They told the demonstrators not to fire any shots and not to return fire if fired upon. This is exactly the kind of discipline needed to pull off a peaceful people power coup. Absolutely no violence irrespective of the provocation. Yo dudes! Proud of you! And of course it goes without saying that they have taken up my great invocation: YANKEE GO HOME !!!

If the Iraqis can crank this up to a massive size, if they can keep it peaceful, if they can passively immobilise the Yank troops with peaceful people power, with the world's media there to report on the American response, the Yanks would be stuffed like a thanksgiving turkey.


Photos here.

P.S. Has this been covered by the mainstream media here in Australia? I haven't noticed it. And it happened four days ago. That's some media blackout...

proud to be white....

Prince Harry and Prince William were right! We white folk have every right to feel proud and superior. I mean, just read this small synopsis of white achievement by the Brits, French, and Belgians. But I have a wee problem (don't I always?) The author limits his scope. He fails to go the whole hog and applaud also the wonderfully benevolent influence the Americans, Germans, Spanish, Portugese and Dutch have had on the vastly inferior folk they colonised.

And here in Australia, today, we would do well to applaud, loudly and long, the Howard government's covert resurrection of the White Australia Policy and also the way they're trying really really hard to get us excluded from the East Asia summit. We don't need the Asians, we got us America! White Power! Yo! I'm just simply bursting with White Pride here...

(Thanks to DS for the heads-up about this article.)

There are many humorous things in the world, among them the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.... Mark Twain

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Michael Ledeen - a real lovable kinda guy...

He manages to horrify even many Republicans, but he's Bush's good old boy alright:
Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business.
This man aparently has a direct influence on Bush's foreign policy and he keeps interesting company. Urban Fox has a very informative article on Mr Ledeen... You might like to take a bit of time using the links provided by The Fox to get a good feel for this guy's cohorts.

Monday, April 11, 2005

shoving it up their arse...

Sometimes you make comments on other people's blogs which are just too damn good to leave buried deep in their comments stack:
Vietnam became a blur broken into eternally recurring snippets of memories. I remember coming home from Vietnam and feeling remote from everyone I knew, even my fiancé. There was no counselling, no debriefing, and I just repressed that shit for about 25 years. Then from '94 onwards it all began to ooze out of the subconscious and I "hit the wall" in '97.

"If you went to war for us..." Ha! I can no longer think of it in terms of "fighting for Australia". We were never fighting for Australia as far as I'm concerned. We were sold to the Yanks by a Liberal government and the Yanks were there fighting communism because it was in the interests of Big Business to smash communism because it denied them the opportunity to exploit that part of the world. We were fighting for Big Business.

This made us, in effect, mercenaries. Damn cheap mercenaries too. The economic ideology of capitalism had decided that three million Vietnamese can be killed in an abortive attempt to defeat the economic ideology of communism. In other words, we killed them because they belonged to the wrong religion of economics.

It was capitalism's holy war, its crusade, and we were its crusaders. "Onward Christian soldiers, marching off to war..." And I was a good little Christian soldier. I did a bit of the murdering for them. And I was damn proud of that! Damn right!
"Lo as I walked though the valley of the shadow of death, I feared no evil, for I was the meanest goddamn son of a bitch in that valley..."

Actually, I was a shit-scared little boy putting up a brave front. We all were... Bullshitting each other with manufactured bravado. And the corporals out-bravadoed the privates, the sergeants out-bravadoed the corporals, the lieutenants out-bravadoed the sergeants, et cetera, et cetera, all the way up the chain of command... A pyramid of bullshit. And it's kept alive and well by the RSL. And the band played Waltzing Matilda... And it's Anzac day again soon... I have to hide on Anzac day...
...lest I forget myself and rip the head off some war-glorifying, xenophobic, jingoistic racist and shove it up his arse!

Sometimes it's not easy being a pacifist...


If you're wondering on which blog I had left that comment and you want to read the whole thread, go to the April 2005 archives on Deirdre's blog, then scroll down to the April 3 post and the comments thereunder (I cannot give you a direct link to the comments because I can't.)

Friday, April 08, 2005

political leanings and bigotry...

I was disappointed recently by what I can only describe as militant bigotry being displayed by some leftish bloggers who I would have thought knew better. Yes, my little luvvlies, we're talking about the "why is the pope a Catholic" hilarity.

This is not the first time I have been disappointed with unpleasant traits discernable on the left when scrutinised from a distance of less than a long way away. Now before all of your left knees start jerking uncontrollably, take a pill, go for a walk, and let me finish typing before you get all apoplectic with me. Ok?

I'm picking on the left, because the right, in my book, are ridiculous bigots and I definitely don't share their "values". So I look to the left to find a political "home", but I haven't found one yet. I feel it in my bones that my political home is somewhere on the left. That much I know. Or I thought I did. But every time I try to make a nest somewhere on the left side of politics, some ugliness there makes me run back to the relative safety of the centre. Everything that drove me away from the right, I can see mirrored on the left:

Authoritarianism: They are absolutely right and they get quite prickly if you dare to challenge their viewpoints. In fact, they hate it. You must not do it! Which brings us to...

Bigotry: Their mind is made up and don't confuse them with any facts or rational debate. NOT INTERESTED! If forced to debate, they will use all manner of sophistry to try to blindly maintain their position at any cost. Which brings us to...

Intolerance: They are extremely intolerant of those with whom they disagree. Which brings us to...

Monoculturalism: The three traits listed above can lead only to a monoculture defined and dominated by them. Which brings us to...

Hatefulness: The intensity of their "passion" translates as hatefulness towards those with whom they differ. Which brings us to...

War mongering: Whilst you will find them in great numbers at anti-war rallies protesting against wars waged by the right, they will overlook, nay, justify, violence and even mass-murder if it is carried out by those with whose cause they identify. If their ideological allies start a war, they will forget to turn out in large numbers on the streets to protest against such a war - in such a case their silence is deafening.

It's all too much for me...

So I'll just sit here in the centre, wistfully looking to the left, waiting for them to grow a brain... So many noble ideas, so few brains big enough to understand what to do with them...

Thursday, April 07, 2005

you can quote me on it....

That good guy, DS, has been busy again. Here's a few quotes he offered up:
Another nation is made out to be utterly depraved and fiendish, while one's own nation stands for everything that is good and noble. Every action of the enemy is judged by one standard - every action of oneself by another. Even good deeds by the enemy are considered a sign of particular devilishness, meant to deceive us and the world, while our bad deeds are necessary and justified by our noble goals, which they serve.: Eric Fromm, The Art of Loving, pp. 100–101 (1956).

In the struggle of Good against Evil, it's always the people who get killed.: Eduardo Galeano, The Theatre of Good and Evil, (read more)

What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or in the holy name of liberty and democracy?: Mohandas Gandhi.

Strike against war, for without you no battles can be fought! Strike against manufacturing shrapnel and gas bombs and all other tools of murder! Strike against preparedness that means death and misery to millions of human beings! Be not dumb, obedient slaves in an army of destruction! Be heroes in an army of construction!: Helen Keller. - Source: Told to an audience at Carnegie Hall one year before the United States entered World War I. : Howard Zinn, Declarations of Independence, page 75
And here are a couple more from me:
The enemy aggressor is always pursuing a course of larceny, murder, rapine and barbarism. We are always moving forward with high mission, a destiny imposed by the Deity to regenerate our victims while incidentally capturing their markets, to civilise savage and senile and paranoid peoples while blundering accidentally into their oil wells.: John Flynn, 1944 (Ed: yeah, 1944 !!!)

(read this one with a thick German accent) Why of course the people don't want war ... But after all it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship ...Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.: Hermann Goering, Nazi leader, at the Nuremberg Trials after World WarII
If you like this sort of thing, there's a whole world of "quotable quotes" out there in Googleland. These last two came from this site, and there's some more to keep you
going here...

good news arrived at 3.25am...

I've been ranting for a long time now about how capitalism will destroy the earth. All doom and gloom. Things just had to change, didn't they?

The first warning tremor of hope was when Boynton put me onto a book by Paul Hawken titled The Ecology of Commerce - A Declaration of Sustainability. Whilst I still haven't gotten very far into this book, it's clear that it intends to offer an ecologically sustainable model of capitalism and this is encouraging.

For various reasons I haven't slept since yesterday, and so at 3.25am I found myself watching a repeat of yesterday's National Press Club Telstra Address on ABC TV. The speaker was L. Hunter Lovins. She is the President of Natural Capitalism Inc. She was saying all sorts of amazing things about new ways of doing capitalism - sustainably and ethically. So I thought I'd lend her my ear. Turns out that together with Paul Hawken and Amory Lovins, she co-wrote the book Natural Capitalism.

But her real purpose was to introduce (launch) an Australian ground breaking book in the area of environmental sustainability in business. The book, titled The Natural Advantage of Nations , is edited by Karlson ‘Charlie’ Hargroves and Michael H. Smith of The Natural Edge Project.

All I'm going to say for now is that all of this seems to shine a ray of hope onto what was up until now a very gloomy subject, and that I may have to curtail my negative rants on this subject for a while.

Damn... I hate that...

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

one year old today...

This blog is one year old today... Hmmm... I wonder if it was worth it... I wonder if it'll be around this time next year... I wonder who'll be reading it...

media matters...

I wasn't going to do this, but it seems I must...

I keep seeing this stuff being implied by the usual suspects that the Catholic church is somehow doing something wrong by trying every PR stunt possible to maximise the publicity value of the pope's passing. Is there anything wrong with that? If so, what?


it's twoo wuv, and it doesn't happen ewery day...

I found this pic of Julia Gillard Warrior Princess on a blog somewhere. Can't remember where. I've gone around the traps but haven't been able to find it again. Pity, because I'd like to attribute the source properly. at Troppo Armadillo, posted by Don Arthur.

Anyway, I'm in love!

I want her to take over the running of this country...

Go Girrrrrlllllll !!!!!

(Update: Sadly, the blog Troppo Armadillo is now defunct, so the above link no longer works.)

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Blogger problems - again !!! Grrrrrrrrrrrr...

Fucking Blogger! Until further notice, the facility whereby they email me when you post a comment is broken.

So, if you post a comment deep down in this blog I will probably never see it unless you email me with a clue.

Don't worry if your comments are on recent posts (say, posts written within the last week) as I will pick those up, but anything earlier is in grave danger of being missed.

Do you understand or must I come over to your place and chisel it into your forehead with a blunt instrument? :-)

UPDATE - 6th April, 3pm: The problem is still with us...

Monday, April 04, 2005

on the bashing of dead popes...

A while ago, I got in the shit on this blog for acknowledging the pope as a man of peace because he openly spoke out against war, in particular the Iraq war. Seems you can't be an atheist/agnostic and find something nice to say about a pope.

Now that he's dead, he's being reviled (unjustly, I feel) for all sorts of apparent crimes.

I'm seeing, again, what I call left-wing or secularist fundamentalism and it sickens me as much as any form of religious fundamentalism does.

So let's back-up a bit and sort a few things out, shall we?

Secularism is under increasing attack and religious fundamentalism is on the increase. But as secularists we're not acknowledging the degree to which this increase in religious fundamentalism and the resultant attacks on secularism may in fact be a defensive reflex against what is nothing less than the emergence of secular fundamentalism.

What do I mean by fundamentalism? A form of absolutism; a form of ideological/philosophical/religious totalitarianism; a claim that only your mob are in touch with The Absolute Truth and that to question or disagree with this Absolute Truth is tantamount to heresy.

Now, secularists (by which, for the purpose of this debate, I generally mean atheists, agnostics and sceptics) should by definition be immune to the disease of fundamentalism. But I find the opposite to be true. Everywhere I look I see secularists behaving exactly like the worst kind of fundamentalists they so love to condemn. This is what I see:

(1) Their truth is the only truth and it must not be questioned.
(2) Their morals/values are the only correct ones and must not be questioned.
(3) To question their truths/morals/values is tantamount to heresy.
(4) They are aggressive and fanatical in their prosyletising.
(5) They indulge in outrageous distortions and lies to wage their ideological warfare.
(6) They attack and denounce the beliefs/morals/values of non-believers and other fundamentalist religions. I say “other” fundamentalist religions because the preceding items clearly identify them as being indistinguishable from fundamentalist religions.

Quick recap: Secular fundamentalists, like their fundamentalist brothers in other faiths, are bigoted, fanatical, intolerant of others' beliefs/values, and they are prone to tell outrageous lies to validate their odiferous viewpoints.

Take multiculturalism. There can be no multiculturalism in the presence of fundamentalist secularism even though this is supposedly one of their “ideals”. For multiculturalism to exist, we must have tolerance of others' beliefs, morals, and values. No such thing is permissible under the black cloud of secular fundamentalism. Multiculturalism is merely a wedge device to gain ideological supremacy and once it is attained the ideological Putsch commences. Secular fundamentalism is totalitarian in nature and is as evil as any other religious fundamentalism.

Now, let's get back to what prompted this post. I am outraged by a lie currently doing the rounds in the “secular” blogosphere, namely that the pope has killed millions with his doctrine.” This fallacy is nicely selective in how it sees the pope's doctrine. It conveniently overlooks the fact that Catholicism, as indeed every organised religion, including the religion of secularism, is a set of rules/commandments/precepts by which one should live one's life.

There's a thing about a set of rules. For example, road rules... If you break a road rule and you then get killed as a result of breaking THAT rule (e.g, driving on the wrong side of the road), blaming your death on ANOTHER rule which you did NOT break (e.g. obeying the speed limit), or blaming the rule makers, is an act of gross disingenuousness (look that up, it's worth it). It's so dishonest it's breathtaking. Yet this is exactly the crap that's being put about by secular CrapMeisters.

Lets' get specific: You don't have to be a Catholic, but if you choose to be a Catholic and you contract AIDS because you BROKE one or more of the rules of Catholicism (e.g. having monogamous sex only with a spouse of the opposite sex), don't obfuscate the issue by saying you got AIDS because you OBEYED some other rule (e.g. you did not wear a condom). That's just pure crap. And all of that crap about the pope or the Catholic church being responsible for all those AIDS deaths is just that, crap. It's sophistry. It's blame shifting. Had you not broken ANY of the Catholic church's rules, you could not possibly have gotten aids by having sex. Ditto, abortion. Ditto anything and everything. You might not like their teachings, but they're not the root problem. I welcome you to challenge me on this by the way.)

Sure, you can argue until the cows come home that you, a fine upstanding Catholic, for whatever reason, cannot obey all of the rules of Catholicism. Fine, no worries. So stop calling yourself a Catholic and stop blaming the Catholic church for what happened, given that it would not have happened if you'd stuck to all of the rules. The rest is bullshit!

And that goes for all religions, including the religion of secularism, and even the religion of anarchism. It goes for every ism. You think they are not religions? Think again.

A religion has the right to set up whatever moral structures/rules/commandments/precepts it sees fit. A follower should only be a follower if s/he has no problems with the moral structure. Be willing to follow, or leave. End of story.

You don't have to belong to that religion if you don't like what it stands for. And it's not your job to change that religion into what YOU think it should be. Most religions are not democracies in which the followers or outsiders get to decide what the religion should teach or what its rules should be. If you don't like what your religion teaches, get out. Leave. Start your own religion, and see who wants to adhere to YOUR set of Absolute Truths. You could become the pope of The Next Big Thing. That's where democracy is vis-a-vis religion. But stop trying to impose your will on a pre-existing religion you don't even agree with.

Basically, get real, guys, and stop peddling your outrageous lies to prop up your hidden control-freak agenda.

I'm sick of reading utter crap...

know what I mean...?

Meaning. It's such an interesting thing isn't it?

Back in the '80s, when I did a lot of mind-altering reading and was a seminar and workshop junkie, I got hit by the meaning of meaning...

What do I mean? Well, the unwary, those perambulating the planet in a blissful haze of ignorance, continuously continue to mistake meaning for Absolute Truth. Meaning is a lot like the concept of truth in that the lazy and the ignorant blindly accept the version dished up by their society, culture and/or religion. And to a great degree we tamper with those meanings at our own peril because they underpin the agreements we mistakenly call "reality" or "truth".

Some of you may still be reading this, so, for you, I'll continue. The ignorami have already gone and now there's only us, the intelligent ones, left. Cosy isn't it?

Now, where was I? Oh yes, meaning. Well, at the end of the day, something means what it means only because that's what we're having it mean. Huh? Ok, I'll say that bit again. I can see some of your eyes are starting to glaze over. So here we go, pay attention now - something means what it means only because that's what we're having it mean!

Are we getting this yet? Meaning is subjective. There is no absolute meaning. We are born into the meanings embedded in our society/culture/ethnicity/religion like a fish is born into water. But there is one important difference. The fish didn't invent the water. Meaning is invented. Meaning can be challenged debated and created. There is no absolute, pre-existing meaning which was not at some point invented by a human. There is the scam underpinning most religions which tries to peddle the idea that the religion's meanings are of divine or inspired origin. I assert that this is crap. Dangerous crap. The type of crap that keeps you stupid and under the thumb. It stops you questioning or thinking for yourself. But I digress. That's not really where I want to go with this little rant about meaning...

I want to deal with the fact that meaning whether we blindly borrow it from our society/culture/religion, etc, or whether we create our own, is a projection and we are good little meaning-projectors. We project meaning onto or into things, situations, events, and LANGUAGE.

In language there are two types of meanings:

(1) Each word in a language conveys an agreed-upon, predetermined meaning. This is the world of dictionaries, thesauruses and encyclopedias. That's why, if you're like me and you don't know the meanings of a lot of fancy words, you won't have a clue what the smarty-pants people are talking about and your eyes glaze over when they speak.

But it gets even worse...

(2) Many words have more than one meaning and one needs to decipher nuance and context to discover the meaning. And in blogging, as in dealing with any written text communication, this is where the excreta often hits the fan unnecessarily.

Know what I mean?

Not exactly? Look up the word "meaning" at Wikipedia. This will get you link-hopping for ages, at the end of which, you'll start to get an inkling about what I mean, and if you have even more time to kill and you haven't had enough yet, Google the term "the meaning of meaning". After that you'll never ever sing the song "I can't get no... satisfaction..." ever again, and you will definitely know what I mean...

out-Fox your TV...

Sam Kimery has received death threats because he invented the Fox Blocker, a thing you screw into the back of your TV to filter out Fox News, The Seattle Times reports.

Full story >>>

Sunday, April 03, 2005

I've seen the light... but it's getting darker...

DS has emailed me this thought-provoking quote:
I have examined all the known superstitions of the world, and I do not find in our particular superstition of Christianity one redeeming feature. They are all alike founded on fables and mythology. Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned. What has been the effect of this coercion? To make one half the world fools and the other half hypocrites; to support roguery and terror all over the earth.
—By Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to William Short,

Now if only Mr Jefferson had the benefit of hindsight visible from the year 2005, he would have included Judaism and Islam in his astute observations. And of course, unsurprisingly, they all share the same insane ideas expressed in their shared source-document.

The source is Judaism. Christianity is a Judaistic splitter sect, as is Islam, twice removed. But all are rooted in the source-beliefs of Judaism and this is the core of their insanity.

But it's now virtually illegal to say this, because it is almost a crime to say things critical or derogatory about religions, particularly Judaism. (But religions may defame atheism with impunity.) "The Enlightenment" is dead. A new Dark Age is here. Welcome to Mordor Corp.

And during Dark Ages, belonging to a religion is mandatory. But choose your religion carefully. I strongly suggest you choose one of the two that have sold out to Big Business i.e. Judaism and Christianity. Islam is about to be trashed by these two working in cahoots if it doesn't roll over and allow itself to be systematically pack-raped by the boys and girls from Globalcorp Inc. Most of you are working for this mob already... [/rant]

Friday, April 01, 2005

the eve of destruction...

Steve Connor, writing for The Independent (UK), March 30, 2005:
Planet Earth stands on the cusp of disaster and people should no longer take it for granted that their children and grandchildren will survive in the environmentally degraded world of the 21st century. This is not the doom-laden talk of green activists but the considered opinion of 1,300 leading scientists from 95 countries who will today publish a detailed assessment of the state of the world at the start of the new millennium.
read the complete article >>>

(Link compliments of DS)