The keyboard is mightier than the machine gun... The political, philosophical and general outpourings of a troubled soul living in Australia and blogging his Vietnam veteran's head off.
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...
Diogenesian Discourse is experimenting with hosting guest bloggers. Lachlan Ridge (a pseudonym) kicks things off:
The Adjournment Debate
There is plenty of parking, which is rare for Canberra, but it’s late, after eight o’clock on a Tuesday night. Fucking freezing middle of May. The problem with dealing with climate change is that, for Canberrans– a few of whom are in significant decision making functions for public polity - global warming strikes them as not the worst old idea in the world. At the least it’d stop those mad skiers being Highway Patrol fodder on the Monaro from June till September. I take security buy surprise after my cloaken and beanied stride up over the gravel on the Parliament House forecourt. I am scanned, including the steel capped boots. The canary yellow high-vis shirt I am wearing throws them. I am obviously worthy, but arrive uninvited and unsuspected, so due suspicion is accorded. The story that I am killing time until I start night shift at the Mail Centre, which is true, barely washes in the security entrance, this place without humour.
I am escorted to the Public Gallery, but am not allowed in until I surrender my mobile, for which receive a chit for redemption,later. I have the gallery to myself. About six members in the chamber, but the government must always provide a minister. The Ministers take it in turns , Nicola Roxon is using her shift to correct a draft of some things, later she is replaced by Health Minister Tanya Plibersek (more on her another time).
Half of the Hansard team is pretty cute, while the Clerk is embroiled with some stern matter with the Acting Deputy Speaker.None of this stops the Member for Bradfield (Liberal), the former Optus executive Paul Fletcher, delivering a polished and fiery denunciation (to the sparsely populated theatre) of letting unions anywhere near the boards of superannuation funds.
I opposed super when it came in because I thought then, and still believe now, that it will be the instrument by which a great deal of currency is extracted from the household sector and then Gen X hits retirement age and all of a sudden the big super funds go all Mother Hubbard.Capitalists better pray to Hell that super holds together, or they will all die with their throats slit in the middle of the night. If it wasn’t for industry super most working Australians today will spend their final years living in a cardboard box behind the tip. But Fletcher sticks like araldite to the Abbott HSU narrative, i.e. that keeping equal representation of employees on superannuation boards will lead to Craig Thompson pimping your daughter.
At nine thirty the house moves that it do now adjourn and we move into the Adjournment debate. This is where an MP can go about anything, and all sorts of libellous gossip can be dumped onto the public record; but tonight we get a mawkish speech plumbing the depths of pathos by the very Christian Louise Marcus,Member for Macquarie. Tragedy strikes as Sarah Frazer and Geoff Clark are killed on the Hume Highway south of Mittagong and Markus attaches herself limpet-like to Sarah’s parents' grief. My deepest and sincerest sympathies to the Clark and Frazer families and all who knew them, but this stuff makes me puke.
They alternate government/opposition/government/cross bench/government/opposition in order of preference for adjournment speeches, like a taxi rank, so thankfully Deb O’Niell, the Member for Robertson (well, Woy Woy really), tells us how they’ve cured Cancer, then there are a few more medical ailments held up by other MP’s before the Member for Hindmarsh makes a more lively contribution on the SANFL Club Glenelg getting lighting at their home ground.
By this stage the attendant (well, technically he’s a security guard, but Al Qaida are safe from this septuagenarian) comes over and asks if I’m asleep. Damned impertinence.
I catch a smile from a most unlikely source;the Member for Chifley, Ed Husic, swaggering in to deliver a structural address on some activities in his electorate. Husic, Australia’s first Moslem MP, bogged down in the politics of incorporated identity, was secretary of my union in 2006, following a career as an executive with Integral Energy. Such are the joys of ALP membership. Back in the day Husic worked for the previous Member for Chifley, another household name, Roger Price. Now Husic’s the boss. Has this man ever held a real job?
Anyway, then there was some guff about the Member for Moreton saving Nemo before Warren Entsch got up and castigated capitalism, which was strange coming from an Abbott acolyte.
Daryl Melham talked about how hard it is to afford to go to the dentist then the Liberal Memberfor Moncrieff (on the Queensland Gold Coast) got up to talk about crime and, as much as I love Laura Norder, I’d had enough. The freezing bite of the Canberra night was not so fearsome after all.
There you are, enjoying a leisurely, relaxing bushwalk in one of our beautiful national parks.
And then you feel a sensation like you've been punched hard on the side of the head... just as the lights go out.
The bits of brain and blood on the tree trunk next to where your head was only a few seconds ago give a clue as to why your body is now lying lifeless, but still twitching its final twitches, at the base of that tree.
Robert Ovadia, "reporting" on the spate of drive-by shooting in Sydney's west on Channel 7 News tonight, compiled a story which implied that the majority of those shootings were carried out by Muslims "refusing to assimilate into the Orstrayan Way Of Life."
In his rant in today's SMH, Henderson suggests that lack of competition has led to corrupt union behaviour. A couple of things immediately spring to mind:
 What would a "free market" among unions look like? Members thronging to unions which offer the best pay and conditions for workers? Interesting. But wouldn't Henderson, a long-time critic of unionism, then call that "employer bashing" or "counterproductive", or "communist"?
 Does Henderson seriously suggest that "competition" in his pet theology, "the free market", has led to a lowering of corruption there?
This is the intro to an article in Counterpunch magazine by John
LaForge: "Wondering why anyone would
confront NATO’s summit in Chicago this month? A look at some of its more
well-known crimes might spark some indignation.
Desecration of corpses, indiscriminate attacks,
bombing of allied troops, torture of prisoners and unaccountable drone
war are a few of NATO’s outrages in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Yemen
There's a concept called corporate personhood. Basically, this means that a corporation should have the same rights as an individual.
OK, so much for rights. But what about a corporation's legal liabilities?
For example: An individual guilty of fraud might be sent to jail for (say) three years. He would lose his job, his income, and his assets could be seized if they are deemed the proceeds of crime.
But what about corporate fraud? The size of the fraud could be thousands or millions of times bigger, yet the corporation does not go to jail for three years, it does not lose it's "job", it does not lose its income, and the profits pocketed by the shareholders cannot be seized. At best, some fall guy cops a token penalty which is a joke when compared to the size and severity of the corporate crime, and the guys at the top usually pretend they were unaware.
You get the drift?
OK, so if that's the problem, how would YOU fix it?
The counter shown below displays the number of Israeli military personnel refusing to serve in the Occupied Territories. I applaud their integrity and their strength of character. To me they are heroes of peace and humanity.