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, September 26, 2005

support our troops... bring them home...

As reported by The Age (Melbourne) there were major anti-war protests in the US, Britain and in Europe on the weekend.

Disabled Vietnam war veteran and anti-war activist Ron Kovic, subject of the film Born on the Fourth of July, leads a protest in Los Angeles.
Photo: AP

Here in Australia we were too busy watching football Grand Finals to bother with stuff like that...

memes are all the go...

Feeling meme-deprived, my fellow blogdroids?

Here's one I've cooked up just now.

Background: There are all those poor little government-sponsored psychopathic desk-jockeys working for the various security agencies of the Axis of Altruism, trying desperately to keep on top of all that "threat to security" crap their Echelon bots chuck up for human evaluation, right? The workload must be humungous. And thankless. So let's do our bit to "support the troops"...

The Meme: Write a nice, personalised thank-you letter on your blog, addressed to your favourite agency, telling the poor, overworked, saviour of all-that-is-decent whose hapless task it is to read your missive, how much you appreaciate this person's efforts and how wonderful you think they are.

Note: To get Echelon's attention, you need to include certain groupings of keywords.
e.g. "Osama bin Laden George Bush Tony Blair bomb missile mobile phone kill kill kill dalek exterminate exterminate exterminate jihad" or some such sweeteners...

See you in Gitmo...

Sunday, September 25, 2005

so few insurgents... so many bullets...

It takes 250,000 bullets to kill one insurgent...

Full story >>>

Still troubled...

This Scott Parkin thing just won't leave me alone. It troubles me severely. Today I watched Insight (ABC) and Kim Beazely (who was briefed by ASIO) virtually validated the media reports about why Parkin was deported. i.e. that he was advocating violence at protests e.g. throwing marbles under police horses in order to get them to fall.

This bothers me in two ways:

[1] If that was the reason, why could ASIO not have made that claim openly and allowed Parkin to defend that charge?

[2] If Parkin did advocate violence, then my trust in the nonviolence movement would be severely shaken.

From my own experience at the National Nonviolence Gathering which I attended in April, I have to say that there were individuals there who (in principle) condoned violence as a valid form of political action. This bothered me then, and it still bothers me now.

I think there are people in the nonviolence movement who condone provocation, sabotage, vandalism, and violent retaliation as acceptable methods, either because for them the end justifies the means, or that if they receive violence that they are are entitled to return it. This bothers me hugely. And I don't think the nonviolence movement, as a movement, does enough to clearly distance and disassociate itself from protestors and activists who do advocate and employ these methods. I think there are double standards and it makes me want to withdraw from the movement. Since I have only ever been on the very periphery of it, I doubt the movement will be bothered by this.

I'm sick of seeing protests with which I sympathise strongly, hijacked and marred by various forms of violent or destructive behaviour. I think it's extremely counter-productive and I cannot in any way be associated with it.


Wednesday, September 21, 2005

aussie patriots full of bullshit...

I was sent this leaflet via email. It purports to be from the parent of an Australian serviceman. But for reasons which will soon become obvious, it works best if, after the Long Tan bit, you switch to a broad American drawl when reading it...
Our Soldiers.

On this Vietnam Vets 39th anniversary of the battle of Long Tan and this still happens.

One of my sons serves in the military. He called me yesterday to let me know how warm and welcoming people were to him, and his troops, everywhere he goes, telling me how people shake their hands, and thank them for being willing to serve, and fight, for not only our own freedoms but so that others may have them also.

But he also told me about an incident in the grocery store he stopped at yesterday, on his way home from the Base. He said that ahead of several people in front of him stood a woman dressed in a burka. He said when she got to the cashier she loudly remarked about the Australian flag lapel pin the cashier wore on her smock. The cashier reached up and touched the pin, and said proudly, quote; "Yes, I always wear it and I probably always will".

The woman in the burka then asked the cashier when she was going to stop bombing her countrymen, explaining that she was Iraqi.

A gentleman standing behind my son stepped forward, putting his arm around my son's shoulders, and nodding towards my son, said in a calm and gentle voice to the Iraqi woman: "Lady, hundreds of thousands of men and women like this young man have fought and died so that YOU could stand here, in MY country and accuse a check-out cashier of bombing YOUR countrymen. It is my belief that had you been this outspoken in YOUR own country, we wouldn't need to be there today. But, hey, if you have now learned how to speak out so loudly and clearly, I'll gladly buy you a ticket and pay your way back to Iraq so you can straighten out the mess in YOUR country that you are obviously here in MY country to avoid". Everyone within hearing distance cheered!

Pass it on.... Patriotism is not a Fad message. It's what we stand for.
These fabricating bastards have forgotten to mention that this is a re-hash of a U.S. patriot propaganda spam currently doing the rounds in America.

The U.S. version mentions that the soldier is "stateside, here in California", it refers to the lapel pin as being of a U.S. flag, and it doesn't mention the battle of Long Tan (a purely Australian military action during the Vietnam war.)

So, dear readers, you now know that Australian patriots, apart from being copycats, can't Google...

Monday, September 19, 2005

in a nutshell...

So let's have a bit of a look at what's happening, eh?

We're seeing the corporatisation of:
Schools and Universities (those not controlled by religions): This is leading to the corporatisation of thought, philosopy, history and knowledge. i.e. the corporatisation of "truth".

Politics: The Corporation now owns "the economy" and the politicians are mere slaves to "the economy". Ergo, The Corporation owns the politicians. This was flagged a while ago when Clinton made that now-famous statement "it's the economy, stupid"
Forget Democracy, it's already a Corpocracy, by which I mean - [corpo(rate) +cracy (rule of)]

Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World" is no longer just a quaint novel. It's what's actually happening right friggin' now.

A viable political opposition? There is none for which a sufficiently large number of people will vote.

In Australia, Labor, the Fabian Society, The Evatt Foundation, i.e. the intellectuals and academics "informing" these august bodies, are all hyocrites because they have sold out to GobalCorp's agenda via their subservience to "the economy".

Ditto the Democrats in America.

In Britain, New Labour already owns the people and their only alternative is the Tories. Imagine that...

GlobalCorp IS the government now, and it won't tolerate socialistic or communistic ideals. Welfare structures are being demolished. Governments who are not willing to be compliant instruments of GobalCorp, will not be tolerated.

"Threat to the security of the nation" is newspeak for "threat to the economy" which itself is newspeak for "threat to the security of GobalCorp."

"In the interests of the nation" is newspeak for "in the interests of the economy" which of course translates as "in the interests of GobalCorp."

It will therefore soon be deemed be against the "nation's interest", and in fact it will be deemed to be "a threat to the security of the nation" to expound upon ideas which threaten or expose GlobalCorp's ever-tightening grip on global power.

And Globalcorp already has its own armies i.e. Sandline, Blackwater, et al. But it also owns the government military, security and intelligence services by default. These agencies are ruled by governments which are firmly in the grip of Globalcorp's power via the WTO, the World Bank, the IMF, etc. i.e. ruled by GlobalCorp.

Anti-monopoly laws are dead. Eventually it will all morph into one megacorporation - and for want of a better name I've called it GlobalCorp, although how long that name will be allowed to exist un-trademarked is a moot point.

Be nice to your managers... very nice...

Sunday, September 18, 2005

I'd like to have an argument please...

here beginneth the lesson...

It's Sunday. All good Christians are in church today. But what's an Atheist to do on a Sunday?

Why, go here of course...

Cindy Sheehan marches on Washington...

Philadelphia Indymedia reports:
And then came Cindy Sheehan.

The woman whose story has ignited the anti-war movement spoke about her struggle to turn her personal grief into a call for action. Her words, peppered into the late evening Philly air by loud-speaker, brought a powerful intimacy to the suffering wrought by the Iraq war.

"This is about flesh and blood, about right and wrong," she said, threatening that elected officials, "do the right thing or you are fired."

Sheehan, along with...
Military Families Speak Out
Iraq Veterans Against the War
Veterans For Peace
...has joined the 'Bring them Home Now Tour', which takes "Camp Casey's all over America," (at a dizzying pace of 28 states in 25 days) and will descend on Washington DC on September 24th.
Tens of thousands of anti-war protesters (and hopefully many, many more) are expected to converge on Washington on September 24th.

Previous Cindy Sheehan coverage on this blog >>>

Scott Parkin, counter recruitment, and ASIO...

Ok, by now, the readers of this blog (and no one else matters) will have figured out that the Australian Security and Intelligence (sic) Organisation (and what a sic organisation it is too) has declared that Scott Parkin was "a threat to the security of this nation." Like all of Scott's and nonviolence's supporters, I have been scratching my head over this, because I've always believed that ASIO, for all its faults and sins, generally does not make such assessments as disingenuously as our Prime Monster would like them to do...

And so I kept on going over what Scott's reported activities were whilst he was in this country, to see which of these activities might be justifiably interpreted as "a threat to national security." And I think maybe I've found one.

I believe that Scott ran foul of ASIO's charter due to his lectures mentioning a subject called "counter recruitment".

There has been a real drop-off in recruitment figures for the defence forces. This has got the Defence Department getting a bit paranoid. It can be interpreted as an area of national security. And anyone directly talking about something as directly aimed at recruitment as counter recruitment is, could justifiably be seen by ASIO as being a threat to national security.

I'll leave the debate about the rights and wrongs of this to other philosophers, I just wanted to understand why ASIO said what it (apparently) said. This line of thinking seems to offer me this understanding.

(It's been pointed out to me that Scott's counter recruitment strategies are generally aimed at Haliburton and other war profiteers, but I believe the actual term "counter recruitment" may have been enough to spook our spooks. They are, after all, in the business of being paranoid...)

Friday, September 16, 2005

shut up, mark...

Mark Latham keeps saying that he thinks Julia Gillard should lead the Labor party.

Shut up, Mark. the more you say that, the more you destroy her chances.

Shut up, Mark. Just shut the f*ck up...

is howard sowing the seeds of terrorism?

Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable. . . John F. Kennedy

welcome to little johnnie howard's banana republic...

"Australia claims to be a free society with freedom of speech. In a free society, in a democratic society they should be able to basically take on that criticism or that message that I'm putting out and be able to deal with it in a civil discourse, not in basically, you know, gagging and arresting and removing people who disagree with them."

Scott Parkin, U.S. peace activist and nonviolence trainer, jailed and evicted from Australia for espousing peaceful and non-violent solutions to political problems.


I don't know for how much longer this will happen, but at the moment, if you go to and type the word 'failure' into the search box, click on the "Search the Web" button, then click on the I'm Feeling Lucky button, and you'll get a White House biography of George W. Bush.


This post will of course disappear when I find that this is no longer the case.

Thursday, September 15, 2005


I've just finished watching the Mark Latham interview on Andrew Denton's "Enough Rope". Very interesting. Here are some impressions I formed:
Latham is (and has been for quite a while) suffering from depression but he is in absolute denial about this.

There is a huge amount of pain in Latham's life which he has yet to come to terms with.

He feels betrayed by nearly everyone.

He should never have chosen a career in politics.

He is putting up a brave, macho front.

His life is ruled by what his sons think/will think about him.

He's headed either for a nervous breakdown or suicide.
As I said above, these are just impressions I formed as a result of watching the program. They may all be wrong. For his sake, I hope they are.

don't leave it too late...

Time for a bit of a reminder...

He was a German. He was a WWI veteran. He spoke out against Hitler. He was incarcerated in Sachsenhausen and Dachau concentration camps for his trouble.
Martin Niemöller then spent much of the remainder of his life warning people against leaving it too late to tackle those who would tamper with our civil liberties:

In Germany they first came for the Communists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant.

Then they came for me —
and by that time no one was left to speak up.

His words are chillingly relevant to what is happening in Australia at this very point in time.

When will you speak out against what's going on in this country?

And if not yet, then when?

When it affects you personally?

By then it will be too late. Way too late...

So, when will you speak out?

Scott Parkin update:

Scott Parkin, a US peace activist about to be deported by the Hitler HoWARd government has, according to News Ltd, issued this statement:
I am strongly opposed to any violence and do not believe that violence delivers any political gain, and in fact detracts from positive political engagement.

I find this entire experience incomprehensible and am still baffled as to why my visa has been cancelled and I have been detained under these circumstances.

To this date the only information that I have received is that I have been assessed as 'a direct or indirect risk to Australian national security'.
According to News Ltd the only reasons given by the government were that he was involved in "politically motivated violence". Nothing I have seen, heard, or read, has linked Scott to any involvement with any "politically motivated violence" - and I have kept a really close eye on this episode from its beginning because of Scott's association with, an organisation I am very familiar with and whose integrity I do not doubt for one minute.

He has not been charged with anything and he is not afforded any legal process by which he can contest these clearly trumped-up allegations.

He has been locked up for over five days now. He is about to be deported. He faces a bill of close to $20,000 for his detention and deportation.

The government's real agenda in this affair seems to be to use its new powers to shut down dissent with lies and trumped-up allegations - any dissent, no matter how peaceful, is now apparently fair game under these new powers. This is what's so scary about this. It's also so very, very wrong.

How did we all suddenly, and without our consent, come to be living in GlobalCorp's Fatherland? What happened?

I am disgusted with the way the various agencies and individuals involved in this whole evil saga have allowed themselves to become the compliant instruments of corporatised fascism in this country. May they and their storm troopers rot in hell!

Final update: Scott Parkin, peace activist and nonviolence trainer, was deported from Melbourne this morning because he was "a threat to national security".

(Is that the sound of ASIO (Australian Security and Intelligence Organisation) jackboots I hear clomping up the stairs?)

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

I'm a threat to national security...

Today, Julian Burnside QC, lawyer for Scott Parkin [1] [2] [3], in an article written for Margo Kingston's blog, had this to say:

"It now appears that the Australian government considers peace activists to be a threat to national security."

If Burnside is correct, that makes me, and this blog, a threat to national security.


Read the whole thing >>>

And while I've got your undivided, security threatening attention, you can do your bit for Scott Parkin by sending an e-mail of support to backingscott[at]yahoo[dot]com [you know what to do with the stuff in the brackets]. They will then print and hand-deliver as many as they can to Scott, or send them on to him when he arrives back in the The Fatherland... Jawohl !!! Go to it, dudes and dudettes !!!

it's war on bullshit...

The "war on terror" is a load of bullshit.

It is the biggest load of bullshit that's been served up since the Romans realised the huge amount of power they could wield by peddling the One God bullshit.

Now, here's what's really happening:

Capitalism is in a huge amount of trouble. And it's in the sort of trouble from which it cannot escape. Consumerism, in particular the kind which is driving the "western" middle and upper class lifestyles, is totally unsustainable. It is stripping the planet of non-renewable resources whilst at the same time making it uninhabitable. This "civilisation" is using up resources at a per capita rate which is at least five times the sustainable per capita rate. Not only is it unsustainable, it is unjustifiable and unconscionable.

But alarmingly, the mega-corporations created by and servicing this "civilisation" are dependent on "economic growth" for their survival. Indeed the "civilisation" itself has become dependent on "economic growth" for its survival. If "economic growth" stops for more than an economic nanosecond, the capitalistic house of cards collapses into the mother of all depressions.

To maintain "economic growth", this "civilisation" has to spread its tentacles of resource-stripping and "trade" (a euphemism for economic rape and pillage) ever further into parts of the world where it is not at all welcomed. As this "civilisation" is recognised for what it really is (a greed-driven death beast), there is growing resistance to it in many parts of the globe, especially from those most damaged or exploited by it, and this resistance is turning violent.

To demonise and vilify this violent resistance, it has been given the name "terrorism". And so we must wage a "war on terror" in order to crush this resistance.

But the forward planners of this greed-driven death beast have come to realise that armed resistance is morphing into a resistance employing the most devastatingly democratic weapon of all, peaceful people power. And so, whilst maintaining the fascade of a "war on terror" they must dismantle the last vestages of democracy in order to protect the greed-driven death beast from democracy itself.

That's what's really going on now. Not only are people (justifiably) vilified for resorting to violence, but they must not be allowed to resist peacefully either.

Freedom of speech must be curbed. Protests must be quashed. Civil disobedience must be outlawed. Dissents must be silenced. People's rights must be curtailed, elections must be rigged, and democracy must be suspended.

All this in the name of "responding to threats to security". But whose security is being threatened? Only the security of the greed-driven death beast is being threatened.

And for how long must this war on truth and sustainable humanity go on? Until the greed-driven death beast, like a plague of rats, has utterly laid waste to its habitat (and it views the whole planet as its God-given habitat.)

Perhaps it's better to live on our knees than to die on our feet. Indeed it must be so, for I don't see enough people getting to their feet. And if enough of us do not rise to our feet in the next year or two to stage the mother of all peaceful people power protests and install governments who will rein-in the greed-driven death beast, you might as well get used to life on your knees for a long, long time. In fact, future generations will curse you for consigning them to lives of pure shit just so that you could enjoy your little moment of extravagant consumption which you saw as your birth right (at the expense of theirs)...

Please consider...

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

is it just me ???

Amazing what seeps into your consciousness as you have the TV on in the background while you ponder deep and meaningful things on the internet...

[dub-in TV audio] "The (Sydney) Swans have identified goal-kicking as one of the areas requiring improvement before next Saturday's match"

D'oh... Excuse me !!! They have finally identified goal-kicking skills as being important to winning matches??? We're talking AFL here, guys !!!! Is there any other way to win a match??? Geeeeeeeeez... I might apply for an AFL coaching job... Seems like I'd be a natural...

There is no hope for this planet...

hey, ruddock, stop being a yankee stooge...

australia's blogger lorikeet...

In my typically pathetic and egomanic way, I'm commemorating the recently dear departed Denis Kevans with this blog by attempting, in my miserable and humble way, to bring to blogging what Denis brought to poetry, and so I have bestowed upon myself the title Australia's Blogger Lorikeet.

Any objections? Hmmm?

threatening national security...

Scott Parkin threatening national security in his home town of Houston. Pic from Houston indymedia

(This item was unashamedly stolen, in toto, from kiangardarup. Why alter perfection?)

Note: If you're wondering who Scott Parkin is, you haven't read the blog item preceding this one, here, on this blog. Shame on you !!!

Sunday, September 11, 2005

the bastards have started !!!

This from Indymedia Sydney:
US Peace Activist to be Deported
by ada 2:05am Sun Sep 11 '05 (Modified on 6:12am Sun Sep 11 '05) article#58992

Media release:
US Peace activist detained as "threat to national security"

Scott Parkin, a Texas based peace activist was detained by Federal police at approximately midday Saturday. He was en route to give a workshop about the progress and success of the peace movement in the US and companies profiting from the Iraq war.

Scott is a community college instructor who teaches history in Houston.

He has been detained by Federal Police at the request of DIMA and was held by Federal Police at Carlton West police station before being moved to Melbourne Custody Centre on Londsdale st. The reason given for his detention is that he poses "a threat to national security." It is understood that he has had his visa revoked at the Minister's discretion.

Scott was contacted by ASIO by phone on Wednesday and asked to attend a voluntary interview to which he declined. Scott participated in a non-violent street theatre action outside US corporation Halliburton's headquarters in Sydney during protests against the Forbes meeting on August 31st.

Liz Thompson from the National Anti-Deportation Alliance (NADA) said "This is a major attack on dissent, free speech and the anti-war movement. Scott's detention prevented him from sharing his experiences of working for peace in the US with other local activists. This appears to be an attempt not just to intimidate Scott, but all those working for social justice and progressive social change more broadly. "

Ms Thompson said "These actions seem to contradict Philip Ruddock's denial that Australia is turning into a police state. The Federal Government already has extraordinary powers to silence dissent. This should be a warning to everyone about the greater powers that ASIO may soon be granted."

On Thursday John Howard announced control orders and preventative detention measures giving the AFP and ASIO powers to control people who have not been convicted of any crime.

Scott Parkin has not been charged with any offense.

It is understood Scott will be forcibly deported on Monday.
Scott is a PEACE activist, you control-freak idiots !!!

He's teaches NONVIOLENCE, you fascist bastards !!!

Bloody hell !!! What is going on in Australia !?!?!

Is this the beginning of the end for dissent in Australia ?

It appears he was arrested only an hour before he was to be a keynote speaker at this NONVIOLENCE event:
Bringing Down The Pillars

people power strategies against war and capitalism

Saturday 10 September
1.00 - 5.00 pm
Irene warehouse
5 Pitt Street
Brunswick VIC

This cross-movement workshop and forum will be a chance for Melbourne activists to hear about and discuss emerging trends in organising for grassroots direct action campaigns.

Scott Parkin, an experienced community organiser, activist and trainer from Houston, Texas works with Houston Global Awareness, campaigning to get the corporate war profiteer Halliburton out of Iraq.

Houston Global Awareness are using a "People Power" strategy of direct action and popular education to exact social, political and economic costs on Halliburton for their operations in Iraq. In the spirit of the Serbian Otpor! movement, privatisation resisters in Bolivia and the Filipino "People Power" movements, Houston activists are using community dialogue, teach-ins, film screenings, counter-recruitment and nonviolent direct action to stop the war profiteers. The strategy targets key pillars of support in the occupation of Iraq.

Scott and local activists will discuss tools for strategic organising, including SmartMeme's "Battle of the Story", an activist framing strategy for media and messaging.

Presented by Forest Action Trust, Pt'chang Nonviolence Training Project, and Friends of the Earth Melbourne.

I'm very concerned about what's happening in this country right now.

Sydney indymedia update and CALL TO ACTION here >>>

(Some emphasis in the quotes is mine)

Bush in trouble over Katrina?

Not according to this article:

No Direction Home
By Chris Floyd (quoted here in part)
Just as the media have always overhyped Bush's popularity, they are now overhyping the "political crisis" he is supposedly facing. There is no political crisis whatsoever, if by that phrase you mean something that will cause Bush to alter his policies. The war in Iraq will go on. The war against the poor will go on. The slow destruction of middle-class security and stability will go on. The long and ferocious right-wing campaign against the very idea of a "common good" will go on, unabated -- perhaps even strengthened -- as it faces a backlash from the half of the American public that does accept the reality of what they saw in New Orleans and all along the Gulf Coast.

This is what you must understand: Bush and his faction do not care if they have "the consent of the governed" or not. They are not interested in governing at all, in responding to the needs and desires and will of the people. They are only interested in ruling, in using the power of the state to force their radical agenda of elitist aggrandizement and ideological crankery on the nation, and on the world.

They have a large, hard core of true believers who will countenance -- even applaud -- any crime, any corruption, any incompetence of the Leader and his minions. With this base, and with all three branches of government in their hands, the Faction need only procure the support of a small percentage of the rest of the population -- through fearmongering, through smears and lies, and, as we saw in 2000 and 2004, through the manipulation of election results via politically connected voting-machine corporations and politically partisan election officials.

None of this will change because of what happened in New Orleans. If the Bush Factionists could be touched by suffering and injustice, by death and destruction, by corruption and incompetence, then they would not be where they are today. If there was a viable opposition in the American Establishment to Bush's policies, it would have stood up long ago. Like the people left behind in New Orleans, we're all on our own -- "with no direction home."
There are quite a few excellent links offered as annotations at the bottom of that article.

(All emphasis mine)

Saturday, September 10, 2005

help the katrina victims...

You can help the victims of Hurricane Katrina by donating through the following aid agencies:

Salvation Army

Red Cross


There are also urgent appeals for volunteers.

Also, you might like to put a Red Cross Appeal banner on your blog

Monday, September 05, 2005

Katrina round up...

The Perfect Storm and the Feral City By Tom Engelhardt
(Link supplied compliments of DS)

How the Free Market Killed New Orleans By Michael Parenti
(compliments of Vieux Cordelier)

The New Improved New Orleans By Evan Jones

And of course there are many sites elsewhere in the Australian blogoshere dealing with Katrina. Two stand-outs are Barista and Road to Surfdom.

Friday, September 02, 2005

the high priests...

After many thousands of years of social conditioning, we're hardwired to never dare question the wisdom and obvious rightness of the utterings of our high priests.

Well, now that the dollar has replaced God, Economics has become the all-powerful global religion and economists are the new high priests.

Whatever ever you do, DO NOT question the wisdom of these guys... (Clue: Move the cursor around and get ready to recieve your very own moment of enlightenment...)

Thursday, September 01, 2005

the bastards are in town...

From the Stop The War Coalition (Sydney) website:
US neo-con spruikers to descend on Sydney

James Goodman

The neo-conservative lobby machine - Forbes Global - is in town. We will be treated to the edifying spectacle of an iconic public building given over to corporate conferencing. Steve Forbes, the quintessential boy-born-with-a-silver-spoon, signatory of the infamous 'Project for a New American Century', will regale us with his far-right Republican neo-conservativism.

A great opportunity, our industry minister says, 'to tell the world about Australia's business advantage'. And for those can afford the small fee of US$5000, what an opportunity to press the flesh with 'an exclusive group of senior executives'. The NSW development department has come to the party as a 'host sponsor', no doubt assisting with venue access. Bob Carr was an honoured guest at last year's Forbes Global conference in Hong Kong, which also hosted the likes of David Davies from Philip Morris International, speaking on the 'responsible corporation', and Richard Perle of the American Enterprise Institute, Assistant Secretary of Defence under Reagan and Chair of the US Defence Policy Board until he had to resign in 2003 due to links with a US military contractor.

Last year's Forbes CEO conference, held in New York, also broke new ground. In the midst of the US presidential campaign it focused on the 'politics of business'. Forbes publisher and chair, Caspar Weinberger, led discussions on how to deal with 'harsh awareness from the media, NGOs, "stakeholders" and nasty web-loggers'. Delegates wrestled with urgent dilemmas, such as 'how can CEO's justify outsourcing?', and 'what is the best way to deal with activist shareholder organisations?' Weinberger, of course, as former Secretary of Defence (and Perle's boss) under Reagan, would have some knowledge of how to address such challenges. Weinberger joined Forbes in 1987 when his political career came to an end after being directly linked to providing covert assistance for right-wing guerrillas in Nicaragua, funded from arms sales to Iran.

Ironically enough, Forbes now leads the charge in the US business world against the 'Axis of Evil' (which of course includes Iran). Backing the US 'War on Terror' to the hilt, Forbes is one of Bush's key business sponsors. In January 2004 it proudly announced 'Bush is Best'. Since Steve Forbes took over in 1990 the company has grown into a neo-con propaganda house, claiming a five million-strong readership for its international edition Forbes Global, and close to a million for its US-based Forbes Magazine. It is very much a family affair, with Steve, Robert, Christopher and Timothy all in executive roles. In all its permutations - from its listings of 'top' companies, 'richest people' and 'celebrities', to its thirty-five monthly 'investment newsletters', its several magazines and conferences, its online video and weekly slot on Fox News, the Forbes machine preaches the neo-con script.

A glance at the Forbes archive reveals the business of neo-conservatism, warts and all. In October 2002 Forbes rattled the sabres for business, claiming that 'Hitting OPEC By Way of Baghdad' would cut oil prices and offer 'juicy deals' in a postwar Iraq. In March 2003, immediately before invasion, the magazine was charting the 'War Dividend', an oil 'gush' that would 'recoup the cost of an Iraqi war'. The 'cost' of invasion and reconstruction was estimated at '$50 billion or so', rather less than the $182 billion and rising as of 20 July 2005 (see As if Iraq was not enough, in early 2003 the magazine mapped its own 'atlas of evil and discord', throwing Pakistan, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela into the ring, as well as the familiar candidates.

For Forbes, war spells profit: its Security Industry Analyst, a newsletter for 'stocks in homeland and security industries', picks booming defence contractors.

In March 2003, on the eve of the war on Iraq dollar-signs were flashing at the Analyst - 'over the last month', it gloated, 'we have seen a handsome war premium'. Today the newsletter compares the current security stocks boom with the 'early days' of the era. A report from 2003 on missile manufacturer Raytheon is typical: 'U.S. military might in Afghanistan and Iraq has heightened interest worldwide in our weaponry... good news for defense contractor Raytheon'. With the sale of each missile system 'worth another 35 cents a share', the Analyst states 'higher Pentagon spending has returned the company to profitability', suggesting 'this stock likely won't be shot down again soon'.

The Security Industry Analyst position is simple: 'we like to invest in security companies that have dual streams of revenue' - that is, companies with government contracts. It actively lobbies for increased government expenditure on security services, and greater support for the 'security industry'. In 2002 for instance it argued the government should protect the entire industry from exposure to 'uncontrolled liability', extending coverage already provided for the defence giants such as Lockheed Martin. Elsewhere it calls for increased use of biometric testing and racial profiling by government authorities, while recommending companies which would benefit from greater take-up of the required technologies.

Forbes Magazine, meanwhile, reassures investors they should never feel guilty about profiting from war. In early July this year, under the headline 'Screw Osama I'm buying Stocks', readers were offered valuable advice: 'The war on Terror is far from over and security stocks should have a place on your portfolio'. The day after the London bombings the headline story spoke loud and proud: 'Markets move higher as the world mourns'. Analysts picked-out the latest defence stocks for their readers, albeit with the caveat 'it would be irresponsible for us or anyone to encourage profiting from another's misfortune... '.

Forbes - this quintessential front organization for neo-cons - has gained a foothold in the Australian political establishment. The Opera House conference clearly signals their confidence that now is the time to bring their message to Australia.

They may have miscalculated. Controversy about the conference is mounting, and in the most surprising of fields. Reports that Nicole Kidman would be speaking at the conference, for $1000 a minute, have appeared on celebrity pages, from the Sun to the Kerala Times, to the Sydney Morning Herald.

She may now be reconsidering her involvement - not least as the Forbes top-100 'celebrity list' places her at number 74 (two slots behind the Eagles!).

The Opera House conference itself runs over three days, 30 August - 1 September, and is preceded by the Sydney Social Forum, 27-29 August, with a major public meeting planned at Circular Quay for the 29th. A number of campaign groups are organising to protest against the conference itself, with a demonstration on 30 August at 5 pm at the Opera House. The Forbes-Australia push will not go unquestioned.

James Goodman co-convenes the Research Initiative in International Activism, and teaches at UTS.


have a rest, denis kevans, you've earned it...

Denis Kevans, Australia's Poet Lorikeet, died last week.

Here are three of his poems:

Ah, White Man, have you any sacred sites

Ah, brother, I am searching for the sites sacred to you, Where you walk in silent worship, and you whisper poems, too, Where you tread, like me, in wonder, and your eyes are filled with tears, When you see the tracks you've travelled down your fifty thousand years.

I am searching round Australia, I am searching, night and day, For a site, to you so sacred, that you won't give it away For a bit of coloured paper, say a Church you're knocking down, Or the Rocks, your nation's birhtplace, by the Bridge, in Sydney Town.

Your cathedrals I have entered, I have seen the empty aisles, Where a few knelt down in sorrow, where were all the children's smiles? Big cathedrals, full of beauty, opal glass and gleaming gold, And an old man, in an overcoat, who had crept in from the cold.

Your schools, I drifted through them, heard the sound of swishing canes, Heard the shouts of angry people crushing flowers in our brains, Heard the bark up on the rostrum, where the powers had their say, Wouldn't children's hearts be sacred, though they're made, like mine, of clay?

Where's your wonder? Where's your worship? Where's your sense of holy awe? When I see those little children, torn apart, by fear of war? What is sacred to you, brother, what is sacred to your clan? Are your totems rainbow-feathered? Is there dreaming in you, man?

Sacred … sacred … sacred … gee, you chuck that word about, And when echoes answer sacred … sacred, louder still, you shout, And the echoes come, in patterns, and then, louder, every one, Till they meet, like waves together, and go bang! just like a gun.

Sacred … hesitating … now, a film is reeling through My brain, and through my memory, of our sacred rendez-vous, Of our meeting, of our parting, of my tears, as sweet as ice, Of my numb incomprehension of a shattered paradise.

Sacred, O so sacred, was our sacred rendez-vous, And your ferocious anger, when you found, we weren't like you, But if I should make an act of faith, in a voice, both firm and clear, That there's something sacred to me, you start drowning in your beer.

What is sacred to you, brother, what is sacred to your heart? Is Australia just a quarry, for the bauxite belts to start? Where the forests are forgotten, and the tinkling of the bell Of the bell-bird in the mountains is just something more to sell?

Ah, brother, I am searching for the sites sacred to you, But the rivers, clear as crystal, smell like sewer-fulls of spew, From the pipe and pump polluters, and the nukes that fleck the foam, Would you let a man, with dirty boots, go walking through your home?

Sacred means that, sacred, that's a place where spirits rise, With the rainbow wings of sunset, on the edge of paradise, Sacred, that's my father, that's my daughter, that's my son, Sacred … where the dreaming whispers hope for everyone.

In the silence of the grottoes of Australia's sunny land, Stand together with the Kooris, stand together, hand in hand, Open eyes to endless beauty, and to spirits, far and near, For Australia is my country, hey, it's sacred to me here.

Ah, brother, I am searching for the sites sacred to you, Where you walk, in silent worship, and you whisper poems, too, Where you tread, like me, in wonder, and your eyes are filled with tears, When you see the tracks you've travelled down your fifty thousand years.

The Slouch Of Vietnam

Why should I wear that new slouch hat, the slouch of Vietnam,
Why should I share the napalm-guilt of blundering Uncle Sam,
Why should I hunt down peasant kids, who fight for rights and rice,
Why should I spill this hard-earned blood in a sucker’s sacrifice?

I think of my old Uncles, and their mates, who lie bone-white
On the far-off fields of Flanders, now who promoted that fight?
They’ll teach you that life is precious, then they’ll brush it aside like dust,
But I won’t give my life away ‘cause a brass-hat says I must.

A chilly dusk is falling here, the boxtrees’ shadows stretch,
And through the ring-barked clumps I see the vanished soldiers fetched,
The tall plume on the horseman, the slant brim down below,
As through the mists of memory, the slaughtered slouches go.

There’s young Mick, the cricketer, from frosty Eucumbene,
And “Pally” Tom, the skinner, from the southern Riverine,
And, troop on troop, the squadrons pass, the sun across their cheeks,
Clay-cold, and pale as cellar grass, and not one soldier speaks.

The slouch of brave Gallipoli, that blinded the diggers’ eyes,
The slouch of bloody Passchendaele, where the shell-shock case still cries,
The martyrs hanged in Changi, the heroes killed at Lae,
But the slouch of jungle paddies is a slouch I cannot pay.

Why should I wear that new slouch hat, the slouch of Vietnam,
Why should I share the napalm-guilt of blundering Uncle Sam,
Why should I hunt down peasant kids who fight for rights and rice,
Why should I spill this hard-earned blood in a sucker’s sacrifice?

Concreeto Is Byoo-Tee-Ful!!

Concreeto is byoo-tee-ful !!!!
We need more concreeto in the Blue Mountains,
Because there’s a Big Flood coming,
One in a hundred thousand year flood !
Coming tomorrow morning at 6 minutes past seven,
Noah will be “hanging five” on this flood !

We’ve got to put thirty metres of concreeto on top of the Warra-da-Gamba Dam.,
So bush walkers can walk straight up, and straight down,
Saves time walking around the crooked mountains,
Because concreeto is byoo-tee-ful,
It’s a byo-tee-ful colour grey-ey-ey, nice and smoooothe,

One in a hundred thousand year flood,
One is a very small number, not very attractive,
But 100,000 is fairly attractive, it’s one tenth of a million,
And it’s easy to make a million these days with the—concreeto—
Because concreeto is byoo-tee-ful, it’s a beautiful colour, grey-ey-ey,
Nice and smoo-oothe….cheap to make, dear to sell, I love it---

The Mountains are very crooked, very rough job,
Full of cracks, very rough, rough rocks,
Got to fill it up with the concreeto,
Because concreeto is byoo-tee-ful, it’s a beautiful colour…grey-ey-ey…
Nice and smoo-oo-ooth…fill up all the cracks with the concreeto,

Make a nice big wedding cake from Lapstone to Mount Victoria,
Nice and smooooth,
Got to straighten up all the cliffs, with the concrete-eeto,
So the bush walkers won’t get eye strain
Looking at the crooked cliffs, make them nice and smoo-ooth,
Nice and square, nice and rectangular with the concree-eeto,

Nice straight cliffs and nice square waterfalls,
Because concreeto is byooteeful, it’s a beautiful colour, grey-ey-ey,
Nice and smooooth…..

There’s Warra da Gamba, Vasco da Gamba and Viola Da Gamba,
Now Vasco da Gama he circumcised the world,
In a Spanish Galleon! If he had a concrete ship,
He could conquer the whole world, I came, I saw, I con-creeted !!!
Viola Da Gamba, it’s a concrete violin,
If you don’t like the conductor hit him over the bloody head.

Now we’ve got five rivers in the mountains, the Wollondilly, that’s a silly,
The Kedumba, that’s a dumb name, the Grose, that’s a filthy pooey,
The Cox’s that’s a pornographic, and the Cowdung…
Got to fill em up with the concreeto, make them nice and straight,
Nice and square, nice and smooooth, so the water can run straight
Up and straight down, no more crooked rivers, so the bushwalkers
Can walk straight up and straight down,
Because concreeto is beautiful…it’s a beautiful colour grey-ey-ey…nice and smooooth
Nice and square, nice and straight, with the concree-eeto,
So the bushwalkers can walk straight up and straight down,
Saves time walking round the crooked mountains,
The Wollondilly is Concreeto No 1, The Kedumba Concreeto No 2,
The Grose is Concreeto No 3, The Cox’s is Concreeto No 4,
And the Cowdung is Concreeto No 5, nice and smooth, with the concreeto,
Because concreeto is beautiful…it’s a beautiful colour, grey-ey-ey, nice and smooooth,

Some people come to the mountains for the O-ZONE
I come for the RE-ZONE..
Some people like the multiplication and division,
I like the multiplication and SUB-DIVISION…
With the concreeto, because concreeto is byooteeful,
It’s a byooteeful colour, grey-ey-ey, nice and smooooth,

These bushwalkers say the bush is a “Cathedral Without Walls”,
How stupeedo! You’ve got no walls, we’ve got the con-creeto !
Because concreeto is byoo-tee-ful, it’s a byoo-tee-ful colour, grey-ey-ey,
Nice and smoooothhh…

* * * * * * *

Rest in peace, Denis...