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...

Friday, August 26, 2005

springtime for howard and australia...

What's happening to my country?

If I wasn't quaking with the fear of things to come, I'd be laughing.

It seems that in Australia today, under Howard's New Order, if a speaker at a university students' gathering is, after three years of illegal detention and torture, critical of the American regime, he is deemed guilty of the heinous crime of "peddling anti-Americanism".

But wait!

There's more!

The Vice Chancellor of the university concerned is then issued with a stern "Ministerial Please Explain!!!" by the Propaganda Education Minister.

Think about it.. What is that if not a blatant attempt by the government to intimidate, threaten and silence discussion and debate at universities?

Media coverage of this? Not a heck of a lot really.

I keep getting more and more frequent flashbacks to film clips of Hitler's Germany in 1936...

As I said... Springtime for Howard and Australia...

Be alert and alarmed...

Is that the sound of ASIO jackboots I hear coming up the steps?

two wrongs don't make a right...

This rant was inspired by a story about some animal rights activists digging up the remains of a relative of a family whose business is breeding guinea pigs for research institutions, and using the said remains to hold the family to ransom until they obeyed the activists' demands.

This made me think about ethics and integrity vis-à-vis activism and resistance.

As a wannabe activist and member of (in my own lunchtime) The Resistance, I've long had a problem with this issue. (That's why I'm a lunchtime wannabe, I guess..)

This whole idea that your cause, religion or ideology gives you special dispensation to counter war with war, terrorism with terrorism, violence with violence, one wrong with another wrong, et cetera, et cetera, beggars belief. It boggles my brain.

Here's my thesis: If your activism or resistance is ethically or morally bankrupt, you are engaging in a contra-effective methodology to achieve your aims and in fact you have therefore no longer got any moral or ethical position on which to stand.

Oh, it's easy to go "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth". It's also combative, escalatory, and it robs you of any integrity you might have started out with.

Furthermore, I think it robs you of the support of reasonable people and only attracts to your cause those with a bent for revenge, retribution, and war.

This cannot lead to a peacful outcome. It is warmongering behaviour, and if that's what you're on about, count me out.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

the war on truth...

The War On Truth: 9/11, Disinformation And The Anatomy Of Terrorism
- by Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed

Book review >>>

Baez joins Sheehan...

From CBS News:
Joan Baez was against the Vietnam War and she showed it — appearing at marches, once even blocking the entrance of a military induction center.

The folk singer is against the Iraq war, too, and she showed her support Sunday to protesters camping out near President Bush's ranch.
View complete CBS article >>>

Pervious coverage on this blog >>>

democracy in action....

They're doin' it in Houston, Texas. Go Houston!

Local movement-for-change groups are getting into gear. Is there a group in your area? Are you involved? If not, have you thought about getting involved? Now is a good time...

Groups need strategy, training, and communication resources. Here's a good one: SmartMeme builds movements and amplifies the impact of grassroots organizing with new strategy and training resources, values based communication tools and meme campaigning.

nonviolence is the answer...

"Nonviolence is the answer the the crucial political and moral questions of out time; the need for mankind to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to oppression and violence."

- Martin Luther King Jr

Friday, August 19, 2005

Go you great Brits !!!

From the Telegraph (UK):

The families of 17 soldiers killed during the Iraq war and its aftermath have launched a legal bid to secure an independent inquiry into the legality of the conflict.

View complete article >>>


bushfire !!!

Has Cindy Sheehan sparked a Bushfire?

Regular readers will be aware that this blog has been tracking Cindy's protest since it first came to my attention way back in February.


Image by Sydney artist Peter Kingston, found on Richard Neville's blog.

and on the sixth day, Monsanto created the pig...

From the Greenpeace website:
A Greenpeace researcher who monitors patent applications, Christoph Then, uncovered the fact that Monsanto is seeking patents not only on methods of breeding, but on actual breeding herds of pigs as well as the offspring that result.

"If these patents are granted, Monsanto can legally prevent breeders and farmers from breeding pigs whose characteristics are described in the patent claims, or force them to pay royalties," says Then. "It's a first step toward the same kind of corporate control of an animal line that Monsanto is aggressively pursuing with various grain and vegetable lines."
View the whole article >>>

(Thanks go to Urban Fox for the tip-off.)

pots calling kettles black...

Tony Jones (ABC Lateline) interviewed Sabah al-Mukhtar, President of the London-based Arab Lawyers' Association, about Iraq's constitutional difficulties.

I found this comment by Sabah al-Mukhtar to be rather spot-on: the Americans have the situation they have what's called the Sunni triangle, they have the foreign fighters, you know you imagine Americans in Iraq accusing Arabs who are fighting there as being foreign fighters, as if the Americans are nationals.
If you want to read the whole transcript, you can find it [ here ].

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Professor Gollan writes a letter...

From an article by Alan Ramsey, Sydney Morning Herald, August 17, 2005:

BOB Gollan was a schoolteacher. Then World War II engulfed Australia and in September 1942 Flight Lieutenant Robin Allenby Gollan became an RAAF navigator in Beaufort reconnaissance bombers. In early 1944, while based near Sydney, Gollan and Ivan Barber, his closest friend, were due a weekend's leave before again being sent north. And because Barber, a West Australian, had no family close by, Gollan, with a young wife and baby son, invited him home in Sydney.

But Gollan's leave was cancelled at the last minute and he was ordered on a weekend operation. Barber offered to take his place. The RAAF agreed. Gollan went home to his wife and baby. Barber went off on flying operations. Over the weekend two of the Beauforts collided, killing both four-man crews. Flying Officer Cedric Ivan Barber, 29, was among the dead.

Bob Gollan, then 26, never forget it should have been him. He said yesterday: "Ivan and I were a bit older than most of the kids in No. 1 squadron, so we'd become close friends. We'd already collected our week's grog at the time - two bottles of beer each - when the order came down for me to replace someone.

"I remember us looking at each other, and him saying, 'Look, you've got your family to see. I'll go in your place.' And he did. Obviously I remember him - vividly. We lost a lot of mates, but if he'd not taken my place I'd have been the one who died that weekend."

The date was February 2, 1944.

After the war Gollan lectured at Sydney Teachers College until, in 1953, he began a distinguished career of almost 30 years at the new Australian National University in Canberra. Among his appointments was as Manning Clark professor of history until 1982, the year he retired as emeritus professor. It was the year I met him. Bob Gollan loved the Australian bush - "the bush" was the only recreation ever listed in his Who's Who entry - and he and Anne bought an isolated, unspoiled lump of bush and beach near Bermagui, on the South Coast, where camping out was the closest thing I knew to paradise.

Last week Gollan, now 87, got a letter. It came with a commemorative medallion marking the 60th anniversary of the end of his war. The letter rekindled memories of his dead friend. It fired up a lot else, too. "I've been boiling for so long," Gollan said yesterday. So he sat down and wrote a letter of his own.

This is what he wrote.

A few days ago, like thousands of other old men and women, I received a shiny medallion and a letter signed by John Howard and De-Anne Kelly. They thanked me for my part in protecting 'the Australian way of life in times of conflict' and for helping to build 'our community in times of peace'. It made me think of Ivan Barber, a West Australian wheat farmer who substituted for me on an operation, so I could take a few days' leave, and who died in my place.

I wondered what he and the more than 40,000 men and boys who died defending our country in World War II would feel about John Howard's Australia. Certainly most people are materially better off. We have shared in the bounty of the one-fifth of the world which has become rich. But we have become a country governed by lies and fear.

John Howard has surrendered the self-reliance, for which we fought, to curry favour with the most dangerous military power in history. He has stoked the fear of terrorists who may target us because of his fawning subservience to US President George Bush. He boasts he stands for mateship and egalitarianism at the same time he attempts, by his industrial relations 'reforms', to destroy the institutions on which those qualities have been nurtured.

The chief law officer [Philip Ruddock] seems not to understand the principles of the rule of law and calls those who do 'armchair critics'. He and Howard undermine the very principles of democracy in the name of defending them. The Foreign Minister rails against those who don't accept his opinion as fools. He supports his stand by some weird interpretations of history.

Yes. We would not have survived without the American alliance. But the Americans I served with believed, correctly, we were defending a great democracy. Today the alliance, for which Howard and his coterie are prepared to sell our soul, is a militaristic plutocracy.

I'm sorry, Ivan.

Robin Gollan, Scullin, ACT.

He sent his letter to his local paper, The Canberra Times, which, to its immense credit, published it prominently at the weekend. It deserves to be read by the entire country. Bob Gollan will never write anything so powerful as his very personal defence of the Australia John Howard is killing.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

they's only ay-rabs...

I've said as much before and I think it's time to restate it: In 1990 the US was up to its eyeballs in the planning of the mass murder of more than 200,000 Iraqi soldiers as part of it's machinations on behalf of Big Oil. The US suckered Saddam. They knew he was going to invade Kuwait to reclaim some long-disputed territory (yes, a legacy of earlier British machinations). And they told Saddam they would not intervene. I think it's fair to say that this was tantamount to a blessing to go ahead in diplomatic-speak.

So, let's take some time out here to mull this over for a bit... There's Saddam in 1990, checking in with his masters to ask if they'd mind if he grabbed back a long-lost bit of Kuwait, and they virtually said "Go for it!" But it was a trap... It was an ambush! And Saddam fell for it. And over 200,000 hapless Iraqi soldiers were crisp-fried by napalm and other military goodies in a massive display of Western target practice using live Iraqis.

And it was absolutely preventable. It was a war that absolutely need never have happened. It was premeditated mass-murder. It was a war crime.

But hey, don't take my word for it. Read what a retired USAF Lieutenant Colonel (and now a Catholic Bishop) has to say on this topic... Keep in mind that he wrote it in 1999, four years before Bush-the-elder's idiot son tried to out-do his daddy !!!

Monday, August 15, 2005

are they Americans or are they sheep?

Evan Jones has this to say:
George Bush and his Republican Party machine stole the 2000 election. That much is known. But instead of taking to the streets, like Georgians or Ukranians or Uzbekis, most of the American public went home and switched on the teev or went to church. Even Democrat Congressmen and women sat there mum. Not what you’d call a healthy polity.
Read the whole story on his blog >>>

I reckon they're sheep. Ba-aa ba-aa ba-aa...

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Ooooohhh... yessss...

Image created by Helen of Newtown. No, not Helen of Troy, Helen of Newtown (Sydney).

Saturday, August 13, 2005

a little greek philosophy...

I'm sorry I don't know who wrote this but here it is for your salubrious edification:
A boat docked in a tiny Greek village. An American tourist complimented the Greek fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took him to catch them.

"Not very long," answered the Greek.

"But then, why didn't you stay out longer and catch more?" asked the American. The Greek explained that his small catch was sufficient to meet his needs and those of his family.

The American asked, "But what do you do with the rest of your time?"

"I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, and take a siesta with my wife. In the evenings I go into the village to see my friends, dance a little, play the bouzouki, and sing a few songs. I have a full life."

The American interrupted, "I have a MBA from Harvard and I can help you. You should start by fishing longer every day. You can then sell the extra fish you catch. With the revenue, you can buy a bigger boat. With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one and a third one and so on until you have an entire fleet of trawlers. Instead of selling your fish to a middleman, you can negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant. You can then leave this little village and move to Athens, Los Angeles or even New York City! From there you can direct your huge enterprise."

"How long would that take?" asked the Greek.

"Twenty, perhaps twenty-five years," replied the American.

"And after that?"

"Afterwards? That's when it gets really interesting," answered the American, laughing. "When your business gets really big, you can start selling stocks and make millions!"

"Millions? Really? And after that?"

"After that you'll be able to retire, live in a tiny village near the coast, sleep late, play with your grandchildren, catch a few fish, take a siesta with your wife, and spend your evenings singing, dancing and playing the bouzouki with your friends".
And what's my spin on this? YANKEE GO HOME !!!

the end of anonymity...

I've frequently requested those who wish to post anonymously to give themselves a pseudonym. I thought the reason for this was self-evident. But it seems there's an endless parade of selfish slugs out there who don't give a toss whether or not I or other readers can differentiate between the various anonymorons.

As of right now, I've changed the settings in this blog so that only registered Blogger users can post comments.

Blame the cretins... Grrrrrrrrr...

Friday, August 12, 2005

America hijacked by neo-con thugs in suits...

Howard Zinn, professor emeritus of political science at Boston University, writes:
... more ominous, perhaps, than the occupation of Iraq is the occupation of the US. I wake up in the morning, read the newspaper, and feel that we are an occupied country, that some alien group has taken over. I wake up thinking: the US is in the grip of a president surrounded by thugs in suits who care nothing about human life abroad or here, who care nothing about freedom abroad or here, who care nothing about what happens to the earth, the water or the air, or what kind of world will be inherited by our children and grandchildren.

More Americans are beginning to feel, like the soldiers in Iraq, that something is terribly wrong. More and more every day the lies are being exposed. And then there is the largest lie, that everything the US does is to be pardoned because we are engaged in a "war on terrorism", ignoring the fact that war is itself terrorism, that barging into homes and taking away people and subjecting them to torture is terrorism, that invading and bombing other countries does not give us more security but less.
Read the complete article in the Guardian.

(This article was first spotted on Antony Loewenstein's blog and I brought it over here for those of you who might not have read it there.)

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Indict John Howard !!!

This is the petition:
We, the undersigned, called for the indictment and prosecution of John Winston Howard (currently Australian Prime Minister) for acts of terrorism and war crimes.

We believe that under Australia's Criminal Code Act 1995, and under the articles of the International Criminal Court, there is a prima facie case for the prosecution of Howard for complicity in illegal attacks upon and mass murder of civilian populations of Afghanistan and Iraq, between 2001 and 2005.

These prosecutions should include the following crimes, committed by the accused in their official capacities:
Complicity in the massacre of hundreds of civilians in Baghdad, Basra, Khormal, Babel, Nassariya, Najaf, Karbala and Anbar, in March 2003, through aerial bombardment, including cluster bombs, assisted by Australian 'imagery specialists'
Complicity in the S.A.S. backed murder of ten Sabri tribespeople (mostly teenagers) in Afghanistan, 16 May 2002
Complicity in the massacre of between one thousand and three thousand prisoners, after US operation 'Anaconda' operation at Shah-i-Kot, Afghanistan, March 2002
Complicity in the maintenance of an international network of torture, from Pakistan to Iraq to Egypt to Guantanamo Bay (US-occupied Cuba)
Complicity in the criminal two attacks on the civilian population of Falluja, in April and November 2004 - where between one thousand and two thousand people were murdered in attacks which included the use of napalm, and the blockading of Falluja Hospital

We reject utterly the claim that any of these crimes could be carried out under any 'democratic mandate' from Australian citizens.

We urge responsible prosecution authorities such as the Australian DPP, and the International Criminal Court to take immediate action.

This is where you go to sign the petition.

Go Cindy !!

Cindy Sheehan is still doing it !!! Go Girl !!!

Here are some Cindy Sheehan update links:

"Mr President, there's someone waiting, and waiting, to see you"

"Today is the beginning of the end of the occupation of Iraq"

Cindy Sheehan addresses Veterans For Peace Convention, August 8, 2005

I previously featured Cindy Sheehan's campaign here:

And then there's this poem by Casey's sister:
A Nation Rocked to Sleep - Casey's Poem

By Carly Sheehan

Have you ever heard the sound of a mother screaming for her son?
The torrential rains of a mother's weeping will never be done
They call him a hero, you should be glad that he's one, but
Have you ever heard the sound of a mother screaming for her son?

Have you ever heard the sound of a father holding back his cries?
He must be brave because his boy died for another man's lies
The only grief he allows himself are long, deep sighs
Have you ever heard the sound of a father holding back his cries?

Have you ever heard the sound of taps played at your brother's grave?
They say that he died so that the flag will continue to wave
But I believe he died because they had oil to save
Have you ever heard the sound of taps played at your brother's grave?

Have you ever heard the sound of a nation being rocked to sleep?
The leaders want to keep you numb so the pain won't be so deep
But if we the people let them continue another mother will weep
Have you ever heard the sound of a nation being rocked to sleep?
(Poem sourced from here.)

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

a question looking for an answer...

Elsewhere in this blog, Kent posed this question: "There is an overwhelming amount of evidence that modern capitalist life ruins everything: the environment, the lives of others, etc, I admit. But it's more overwhelming to try and live any other way. How do you do it? How can you do it?"

That's a killer question, Kent. It's still got me stumped.

I'd really love some input from readers on this one...

In the meantime, Kent, I'm still grappling with it.

Friday, August 05, 2005

you alright mate?

"You alright mate?" she said with a thick Scot's (Glaswegian's?) accent, having no idea at all about how much I love listening to the vast variety of these. They are all music to my ears.

"You alright mate?" she said, triggering a memory of a John Cleese skit titled "Don't mention the war."

"You alright mate?" she said, reminding me of how I envy the comfort and certainty she derives from her religious experiences. I used to have faith in the idea of reincarnation and the comfort and certainty I derived from my religious experiences. Then I started to question these and it all went up in a puff of nihilistic smoke leaving me with nothing but a sceptic's endless repertoire of questions and doubts.

"You alright mate?" she said, and I wondered how I can ever be "alright" while we in the "developed" world live a "lifestyle" (deathstyle?) which is stripping the planet of non-renewable resources at a terrifying rate and which consumes, on average, about five times the per-capita share of renewable resources available on Lifeboat Earth. I wondered how I could be "alright", knowing that we shamelessly deceive, exploit, subjugate and even kill by the hundreds of thousands (or millions if needs be), those who threaten or stand in the way of this "lifestyle" which we have made virtually compulsory within our "superior" society.

So, to answer the dear wee lassie's question at last... Am I alright? Yes and no. Yes, sort of, if you mean "has another bout of depression passed?" Yes, if you mean "did I patch things up with my partner of ten years and whom I was in the throes of leaving (yet again)?" No, if you mean "have I been cured?" or "does this shit look like it's ever going to end?" I am very clear about why I have "suicidal ideation". It's to try to escape the unbearable pain I feel as a result of being alive in this chrome plated deathstyle called "Western society."