September 30, 2005
John Howard's Australia: A police state at last
The Australian justice system became a rubber stamp for government propaganda yesterday when the High Court rejected the Labor/union case against the Howard Government's blatant political advertising. Taxpayers have paid the bill for some $250 million in party political advertising since 2000, with an estimated $100 million more to be blown on the IR campaign. As Michelle Grattan and others have said: So it's legal, but is it moral?
Of course not. What's more, the High Court, like Amerika's Supreme Court, is no longer the arbiter of justice in the land. It's just a collection of devious wigs looking for legal loopholes to please the master.
What the decision finally brings home is that John Howard cannot be stopped; he is Australia's first dictator.
It's hard to believe. Worse, it is monstrously embarrassing. What sort of people would willingly elect over and over such a mealy-mouthed stumblebum as this mean-spirited, Machiavellian milquetoast? For a milquetoast is what he essentially is. Just ask George W, Bush. That part of the Australian electorate who supports him would have to represent the nadir of human evolution.
With the capitulation of the State and territory leaders to Howard's Stalinist anti-terrorism laws two days before, this inauthentic suburban solicitor has got the police state of his dreams. As letter writer David Dyer wrote in The Age:
Tuesday, September 27, 2005 could well be a significant day in Australian history. That was the day our political leaders put at risk what, for centuries since the Magna Carta, have been fundamental elements of our democratic way of life.
It is remarkable how many well-informed and highly respected jurists are expressing their deep concern and what little support these draconian measures attract from the legal profession.
It seems unlikely that the measures will do anything to prevent desperate people from carrying out their evil intents. However, it should be recognised they may well lead to further alienation and they could lead to the cruel treatment of innocent people.
This morning I heard that an 82-year-old peace activist and member of the British Labour party for 60 years was ejected from a Labour party conference for shouting the word "nonsense" during Jack Straw's fantasy-ridden speech about Iraq. When he tried to get back in, he was held under Tony Blair's Prevention of Terrorism Act and refused re-admittance.
That's how these laws will be implemented here in Australia. Because John Howard, the lowly third man in the true Axis of Evil, always tries to please the bullies he looks up to by one-upping their draconian laws, you can expect to see many more Scott Parkin episodes. You and I can be whisked off the street and detained indefinitely, and when we are eventually found to be innocent, the government can always say that our detention was an unfortunate mistake.
In other words, get ready for a whole lot of mistaken disappearances.
There are no checks and balances any more. The word "accountability" is not even in the government's dictionary. John Howard has the power of Joseph Stalin. We still think he is far from utilising his power in the way Stalin did, but we could be wrong.
And then there is this certain result of these stupid anti-terror laws. Kenneth Davidson nails it thus:
It is hard to imagine one single act -- apart from our involvement in the "coalition of the willing" -- that will do more to promote the development of home-grown terrorism than the tough new anti-terrorism laws announced by the Prime Minister and a craven bunch of Labor premiers and chief ministers.
John Howard is the master manipulator of unspecified fear in the service of his constrained vision of the future. State and territory ministers feared that if they resisted the wholesale attack on Australians' basic liberties -- including the presumption of innocence and liberty unless duly charged through the courts -- they would be branded as "soft on terrorism". Worse, they would have the political shelf life of chopped liver if a terrorist incident did happen in the future and the record showed they were less than enthusiastic in jumping through the Prime Minister's hoops.
All the major participants in the COAG terrorism summit on Tuesday were motivated by an innate need to enhance or bolster their own political careers.
There you have it: Craven politicians ruling a nation of moral cowards.
In truth, the Howard Government must be praying for a terrorist attack on Australian soil. Their self-fulfilling prophecy will then allow the next step in the conservative/reactionary dream: the quelling of all dissent. By definition, conservatives are frightened of change, of progressive ideas, of anything outside the meat and potatoes box within which they so comfortably suck their thumbs. Ultimately, they are frightened of freedom itself. Liberty to them means rebellion against the mummified patriarchy that has served them since time began.
September 24, 2005
Typical John Howard Supporters (2)
I apologize for the poor quality of this print. But keep in mind that were it not a scan of a twenty-year-old newspaper photograph, the menacing sausage fingers and the glistening runkles on the face of this standard bearer for conservative white trash would cause your stomach to experience a churn for the worse.
This woman is Canadian, but she could easily be Australian. A supporter of Bill VanderZalm's corrupt provincial government (Canada's equivalent of Joh Bjelke-Petersen), she was photographed at an anti-abortion rally in British Columbia in the early Eighties.
The sign she holds reflects the larval right winger's typical inability to comprehend the difference between a woman's right to choose what she does with her body and the evils of the Nazi regime.
Dr Henry Morgentaler is Canada's pro-choice hero. He opened Canada's first abortion clinic in 1969. Since then he has been assaulted a number of times, including by a man who came at him with garden shears. Being a Canadian, Morgantaler was at least spared assassination, the routine method of protest in Amerika.
Posted by Willikers at 2:03 PM
September 22, 2005
Harold in Provence
This just in from Harold Hark. Is it for real? You be the judge.
OK, so I lied about the pub brawl. But I swear on a stack of Pat Robertson-autographed Bibles that what I am about to relate is true. To prove it, I am sending an item extracted from my buttocks and retrieved from the surgeon's poubelle by an obliging nurse who works in the hospital where I have spent the last ten days.
From Ireland, I went straight to France where I intended to blow half my meagre funds on a few days of bliss in the truffle country of Provence. Mission: consume as many truffles as the allotted funds would allow while feasting on the great cuisine of the region and imbibing copious amounts of Baudelaire's vin de l'assassin, the poetic term he surely meant to describe the wretched table wine of France's southern vineyards.
As karma would have it, I landed in the midst of a truffle war.
It appears the price of truffles has skyrocketed in the last decade, pushed up by a high-flying and voracious global tout-le-monde. To cash in on the boom, truffle rustling has become beeg beezness. Marauding gangs and individual raiders have taken to ferreting out the magic lumps under cover of darkness, armed with guns, wire-cutters and night-vision goggles. Enterprising families have joined in too -- mums and dads, sons and daughters, and, of course, the family chien truffier -- all seeking to do their part to bolster the capitalist/criminal imperative. Every farmer's neighbour is now a suspect.
So there I was in the village of M., buttering and jamming a croissant in the small bistro attached to the hotel I arrived at the night before, when two farmers entered, one in a state of alarm. Amazingly, one of his best truffle-producing oak trees had been uprooted and hauled off overnight. I nearly choked on my brekkie and the comely girl behind the bar let out a seemly squeal of dismay. An entire tree? Evidently happens all the time.
"Mademoiselle, deux Cinquante-et-uns, s'il vous plait!" croaked the violated farmer, calling on a certain Monsieur Ricard, the Provençal oracle to help calm his anger. The girl brought them two ice-free glasses of the liquorice-flavoured, mucous-coloured pastis, which the gents topped up with tepid tap water from a pitcher on the table. Their moustaches trembled as the glasses were raised. Altogether a horrifying sight this early in the day.
The farmers-a-pair then whipped out a couple of Boyards, the cigarette wrapped in papier maïs whose strength makes Gauloise smokers look like poofs. The air filled with the smoke of indecently pungent black French tobacco, lung-cementing as well as muse-provoking, as they conferred with great agitation.
Seems the farmer's son had been swanning around in Lyons for the last week and couldn't be contacted. Farmer Fucked desperately wanted him to come back to stand guard in the smallish plantation for the next few nights.
Before I could stop myself (but after I wiped coffee and apricot jam from my chin -- I'm a dunker whose nickname, Slobodan Disgustos Grossman, is well earned), I volunteered to be his sentry. For a small fee, bien sûr. The farmer turned to me, aghast.
"Espèce de salaud Brittanique, c'est entièrement votre faute!" he spluttered.
"Mais non, Je viens d'Australie," I protested. "I'm an Aussie."
"Même chose," he muttered.
After I convinced him Australians were not the cause of the truffle troubles, he reluctantly agreed to hire me.
"Vingt euros la nuit, repas gratuite," he said. He was offering me around $30 Australian, and free food.
"Vingt-cinq euros," I bargained, "et du bon vin, pas l'ordinaire."
"D'accord," he grumbled. The deal was set. Unless, that is, he could meanwhile find his son. Otherwise, he would pick me up in time for dinner.
So it came to pass that the son was not found and I was not to salivate over several courses of the "black diamond", the famous Tuber melanosporum that night at the nearby Relais Sainte-Victoire. Instead, I found myself, slightly drunk, in an eerie little forest surrounded by a very high, five-strand electric fence.
How did they get in here and remove a tree? I wondered, trying to establish a routine to my pacing. The smells generated by the hidden lumps assailed my nostrils: rich soil, fine wine, ripe cheese, mown lawns and old socks frolicked together in the late summer air.
At this point I realised my blunder in not bargaining for truffles -- straight from the source! -- to go with the farmer's dinner. I kicked a clod of dirt with vicious despair.
To get over it, I turned my thoughts to the girl in the bistro, whom I took to be the daughter of the hotel's propriétaire. A frisson of lust accompanied the vision of her close-set Mediterranean eyes and bronze skin; enough beauty there to have starred in my dreams the night before. Knowing that somewhere on the premises, perhaps next door to my room, she was sleeping in her warm skin under a fragrant doona, hopefully unwashed for some time so that it had absorbed her tongue-lolling female aromas …
What could have possessed me to volunteer for this asinine tribulation!
I decided to do my own rooting for truffles to pass the time. I had no idea how to find them, but if I knelt at the foot of a tree and dug around, maybe I would find one near the surface. If they lived near the surface. What if they were deeper? The old bastard would know someone was digging around. Just then, the torch went dim. The fucking batteries! Well, isn't that just great, I sort of shouted. (Trying to shout quietly is no mean feat and the words came out in a theatrical, strangled sort of way.) I could have been sleeping next to Manon des Sources but there I was stuck in the middle of a medieval forest without a light. In-fer-nal, I cried in my best French accent to date. Unfortunately, I forgot to put at least half a sock in it.
"Who goes there?" someone shouted in French. I leapt a foot.
"Whaddaya mean who goes there?" I shouted back. "I'm the one asking the questions around here. Such as, 'Who goes there.'"
My irate question was met with gunfire. Crikey! The bastard was shooting at me. I ran like hell, but the next round caught up with me. I fell to the ground with several fiery pellets of buckshot in my backside.
"Hey, I'm only a sentry here," I squeaked at the man standing over me. He held a smoking shotgun.
"Les mains en l'air," he ordered, sounding as if he had stepped out of a Lucky Luke comic.
"You want me to put up my hands? But I'm on my hands and knees. If I put up my hands I'll fall on my face!"
"Debout, alors," he commanded. I obeyed, standing with difficulty from the searing pain in my derrière. "C'est la ferme de mon père ," he said, "et vous êtes en état d'arrestation."
"Votre père?" je blubbered, "votre père? Mais c'était votre père qui m'a engagé. Didn't you know?"
Alas (or should I say hélas), the son had returned to the village that night and heard from someone in the local bar about the tree hijacking. He drove home, decided not to disturb his sleeping father, grabbed his shotgun and strode into the forest to look for truffle rustlers.
I later learned that while he was driving me to the hospital, a truckload of poachers arrived and removed another tree, apparently unaware of the drama which had just taken place.
So much for truffles. My arse is mended and tomorrow I'm off to search the villages north of St Tropez for the whereabouts of Johnny Depp. Maybe I can find a job as Depp's personal truffle taster, to save him from the inferior Italian variety, or to insure that they have not been poisoned by agents of Christopher Hitchens. Of course I never got to taste one -- the truffle funds went to paying the hospital bill -- but Depp needn't know. As soon as he hears how much I loved Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, he's bound to hire me for something. I wonder if he has a shack out back I could stay in.
Ed. note: It turns out that the "item" Hark claims to have been extracted from his buttocks is not a pellet of buckshot but a ball bearing. He probably found it while walking down some endless road.
Furthermore, Hark clearly lifted much of the information in this dubious account from Truffles and strife, by John Lichfield, which appeared in the 14 May 2005 edition of The Age Good Weekend. He must have read it before fleeing Australia.
Let's hope Johnny Depp doesn't have a shotgun.
September 20, 2005
Latham facing an abyss
There was a point during Andrew Denton's interview with Mark Latham where I thought: Latham could wind up committing suicide.
I too have been a "home dad" and I often wonder how I got through it without losing my marbles. Don't get me wrong, those years with baby makes three were among the most enchanting of my life; when a memories surface of our adventures out and about or of watching one of her favourite ABC shows or any of a thousand small incidents, I feel a terrible longing to have them all over again. There are times when I actually mourn the passing of those days.
But in all that time, I struggled to put two thoughts together to form a third.
Mark Latham has been cranking on at full bore for years and years. Not until he resigned from the leadership and his seat in Werriwa did he stop. And still, during the period between then and now, he was fulminating, still cranking on at full bore over getting the diaries ready for publication. Now that they are out there, he faces nothing less than a void.
This is a man who is hurt. He is hurt because during his time in politics he was never given the acclaim he thought he deserved. His books were generally thought to be a strange combination of sleep-inducing wackiness. He went to the backbench because his lofty ideas were met, not so much with scorn as with disinterest. When he somehow managed to be proclaimed leader, the party gasped with fear.
Much of what he says in the diaries is spot on. And surely no politician in the world can match him for having the courage in stating the obvious about George W. Bush and the Liberal Party. "The worst President in history," and "a conga line of suckholes" were immediately endearing because they were first order truths.
But his policies were a strange grab bag. He was left and right all over the place. Sometimes you would think he was in the wrong party, that he should have been one of John Howard's henchmen. At other times he seemed to represent the quintessence of the "fair go". He often fit the bill of a "liberal wet". In the end, he didn't really belong in either party.
Latham is an individual, not a team player. This is no bad thing, but in a system that requires conformity, it is lethal. To his credit, he is an individual who is opposed to the cult of individualism that has wrecked our sense of community. The distinction is often overlooked. But he was never able to settle peacefully into the world of machine politics. The bots in the party sensed this and it is they who hated him and into whom he is in return twisting the dagger.
Add to that a mixture of volatility, a heightened sensitivity concerning his self worth and an intolerance for injustice (especially when he feels the injustice is directed toward himself) and you have a man who should never have been a politician.
The Labor Party should never have promoted him to leader. Mainly because the Labor Party is everything he says it is … in a word, dead. It should have stuck with one of the sad sacks who were putting up their hands.
Because he has let it all hang out, Mark Latham can now be assured that, beyond his mother, his wife and children, he has no friends anywhere. His terminator-like assassination of Kevin Rudd on Lateline confirmed his assessment of himself as a hater. He is probably right about Rudd. He has said that the difference between him and the innuendo pushers is that he is signing his name to what he says. But, speaking about Rudd, the cold look in his eyes was damn near terrifying. That taxi driver was lucky to get off with a broken arm.
As a result, no politician, no businessman, no journalist will ever touch Latham again. By revealing confidentialities, he has dynamited his bridges. For the world of wheeling and dealing is based on secrets and the power the knowers of those secrets can wield.
But is he a whistleblower or a dobber? The whistleblower's action is honourable; the dobber's is not. In Latham's case the two seem to coalesce, in that there is as much about revenge as there is in spreading the truth about a moribund party.
Now that he is well and truly finished in politics, what can he do? Aside from his family, his reason-to-be is gone with the publication of the diaries.
No matter how much he goes on about the satisfaction of being a home dad, a man who has been a power player for so long cannot possibly be content with such a prosaic life.
I feel a great sympathy for Latham. He is a powerful person with a fragile ego who managed to get to the top of the heap. He didn't belong there, but I would rather see a Latham gnashing and snarling out bits of the truth than a blancmange like Kim Beazley. As for the other side, they are all guilty of crimes against humanity in one form or other. They are beneath contempt.
If Latham has helped to kill off the last gasps of the ineffectual Labor Party, all the better. Australia needs men and women with vision and compassion, not this lot.
I never much agreed with Latham's policies because I never could pinpoint exactly where he was coming from. I kept hoping that he would clearly and cleanly stand up for the well being of humanity, but then he would sound like just another economic rationalist.
Near the end of the "Enough Rope" interview, Andrew Denton says: "I find this profoundly sad ... that somebody of your intellect and your capacity who spent so much time and energy and invested so much of your heart into attempting to correct society's ills ..." Denton doesn't finish the line, as often happens in conversation, but I believe he meant to say something like … can just walk a way as if it never really mattered, as if it were just another interlude in your life, as if the millions of people who voted for you were of little account, as if, in effect, it never even happened.
If Denton's genuine concern registered, Latham didn't react. He really believes he can just drop all those years into the "been there, done that" basket and replace them with being a home dad.
I just hope he doesn't wake up one morning surrounded by a howling emptiness. The joys of parenting are not enough for someone like Mark Latham, indeed for most of us. The sudden banality of the corn flakes bowl will crumble the delusion he has been living. From that moment he will have to find a way back or face oblivion. His problem is that he is now a stranger in his own, increasingly strange, land.
September 18, 2005
Politicians are like pedophiles
What is it that prevents our leaders from learning the lessons the past has to teach us. Surely it is only toddlers who burn themselves on the boiling kettle and don't have the sense to not do it again.
With these questions, Chris Watson, A Shorter History of the World, sinks his teeth into the ease with which politicians prey on human beings who are so easily distracted by bullshit that they are incapable of tending to their own best interests.
Reading his article, it occurred to me that politicians are no different than pedophiles. Both vermin pretend to love their prey (my people are special, my darling is special), both promise goodies to weaken their prey (tax cuts, lollies or whatever the child covets), both use their prey mercilessly to further their own mean and miserable ends.
Posted by Willikers at 4:59 PM
September 16, 2005
Typical John Howard Supporters (1)
This wholesome pair was photographed at a 1968 pro-Vietnam War rally in New York by Mary Ellen Mark. Mark and Diane Arbus, two of the world's revered photographers, have captured the purgative essence of generations of right wing America. While these subjects are American, they could easily be Australian.
The old lady looks like she just stepped out of a Zippy the Pinhead comic. If the dashing young lad is still alive he'd be rootin' for the bubble boy in the Offal Orifice. Unless he was one of the mass murderers the bubble boy had executed in Texas during his gubernatorial internship in mass murder.
With those sparkling eyes and that snazzy hairstyle, this pinup boy for God's Pit Bulls on the Bite for Christ would surely have Young Liberal gals here in Arseholia creaming their chastity belts ... that is, if their genitals hadn't been blanked out in the name of wholesome family values.
Since he bears a striking resemblance to everyone's idea of Bill Heffernan as a youth, Sophie Panopoulis, one of Bill's greatest admirers, might like to have a copy of this photo to add to her rumoured collection of forbidden erotica. While sticking pins in democracy dolls, sources say Sophie achieves levels of ecstasy unheard of while feeling strands of John Howards eyebrow and nostril hair and gazing at naughty snaps which are said to include a blowup of the PM's lower lip, Bronwyn Bishop's old hairdo, and a doily knitted by Janette.
September 15, 2005
"Sleepwalking into tyranny…"
This country is sleepwalking into tyranny and few people seem to care…. In Orwell's 1984, the population of Oceania believed itself to be free, with only Winston Smith and a few others realising this to be an illusion. We must now question more than ever if the freedom Australians believe themselves to enjoy is in fact becoming singularly illusory. Chris Gaynor, letter to The Age
I can see why Harold Hark fled to Europe. With the deportation of Scott Parkin, the mockery of Parliament as the sale of Telstra was rammed through, and a hundred and one other contemptuous and corrupt incompetencies practised daily by the Howard Government, it could hardly be worse there. Nicer buildings to look at, anyway.
So I stepped into the breach, hoping mostly to write of other things, with an occasional side-eye at politics. And yet, there seems to be nothing but politics to write about. It's all around us, the kind of ideological insanity that crushes democracy in its name.
The Government deported Parkin because he was an unspecified threat to national security. That's all they have to say any more. What they don't realise is that his despotic deportation will cause a rise in dissent. But then, maybe that's what they want.
Every tiny incident gives John Howard another chance to jab the sleepwalkers with his cattle prod of fear. He must be loving it. A nation of sheep in thrall to a rodent.
But this is the country, alone in the history of nations, that voted for a goods and services tax. No other population has ever been so stupid. Howard realised, deep within his desiccated viscera, that controlling such gits would in the future be a piece of cake.
He now leads as a neurasthenic tyrant. As well as turning Australians into submissive and cowardly xenophobes, he has eaten the souls of dozens of his fellow parliamentarians. Philip Ruddock used to be a decent fellow. But under Howard's influence, he has been shown the darkest of paths and, ten years later, looks and acts like a ghoul. The same with every one of Howard's Henchmen. Where once were potentially decent human beings, there is now but a rabble of demons. They speak only for the dark side of human nature.
If I were a Catholic, I would summon an exorcist. For that, or something like it, is what this country needs.
September 12, 2005
America's satellite police state (aka Australia) gets its first political prisoner
While John W. Howard ardently paints his face with George W. Bush's excrement in Washington, his Minister for Terrorgasm, Philip Ruddock, has overseen the arrest of an American peace activist, revoked his visitor's visa and is threatening to deport him for being a threat to national security. What the threat may be is any totalitarian watcher's guess.
Teacher Scott Parkin's crime is that of waging a campaign against the American Vice President's carpetbagger operations in Iraq, namely Halliburton, being one of millions against the Iraq war, and not keeping his mouth shut in Australia.
Greens Senator Bob Brown thinks Parkin's arrest in Melbourne last Saturday came on orders from the Pentagon. This makes sense, since to arrest Parkin in his home country would be far more problematic. But if Australia under Gauleiter Howard steps in to do the dirty work, the Pentagon can always say its hands were clean.
It appears Parkin may be happy enough to be deported. Australia is becoming more like the horrifying caricature of America in L Q Jones' film A Boy and His Dog than America.
Well, there you go, mah fellow Australians. This is the first direct example of the police state we shall not be overcoming. Australia is a wide open rectum for the American Empire's massively engorged shaft.
Outcry over plan to deport activist as a security threat
Protesters decry US peace activist's arrest
Activist's arrest prompts questions about security powers
Detaining peace activist may be abuse of power: QC
Taking Direct Action Against Hallliburton
Posted by Willikers at 1:33 PM
September 8, 2005
Turns out we're all bloody black bastards
That's right, whether a native of Calcutta, Shanghai, Helsinki, Osaka, Rio or Basra, all God's chillun got black ancestors. Even Jackie O.
Howzat? This blonde beauty is really black? Not now, of course. It's taken 45,000 years to bleach that skin and hair. Jackie O took the genealogical DNA test (see below) and found that her ancestors came from Africa to the Middle East and then to the Mediterranean, migrating subsequently to Europe via Central Asia. Her DNA marker is shared by 20 per cent of the population in southern Italy and ten per cent of people in southern Spain.
According to geneticist Spencer Wells, head of the Genographic Project: "If everyone's family tree were mapped forever backward, they would eventually converge on the ancestors of us all, a small band of ancient Africans. We all started off with dark skin and dark eyes, which among those who moved into colder climates gradually became lighter to absorb sunlight and synthesise Vitamin D. There is more genetic diversity in a single African village than in the whole world outside Africa. Every piece of DNA in our bodies can be traced back to an African source."
Of course our simpleton brothers and sisters of the Maul Majority insist it all started in 4004 BC. Uncritical and afraid, if not seriously deranged, it is easy to see how these larvae get sucked in by false gods and political svengalis. Once the present dark age is over and their ilk recede to the primordial shadows representing their evolutionary high point, the human race can finally begin to celebrate itself instead of trying to annihilate itself.
I've never succumbed to the racist imperative which regards anyone who looks different with suspicion or worse, as inferior. But then I got out of town for a number years and travelled the world the hard way. (If, decades ago, schools had extended their curriculum to include grade 13 -- a year's backpacking around the world at government expense -- the planet may not have been in such danger today.) The first thing I learned was that everyone was basically the same. A brown, black or white asshole is still an asshole. Every culture has the same good guys and bad guys. Instead of being stuck with a xenophobic fear of cultural diversity, I found that every region of every country was like entering a magic kingdom.
In the meantime, let's hope the Genographic Project is a roaring success. The more people who realise we are all truly part of the family of man, the better the chance we'll have a future.
For US$99.95 you can take your own DNA test. National Geographic is hosting the Genographic Project web site. As well as a link on how to participate, there is a FAQ link, including a list of ten international centres to be set up in the future. If you live in Australia and want to wait for a hopefully better price, Dr. John Mitchell of La Trobe University will eventually be setting one up in Melbourne.
This post was based on State of Origin, by Greg Callaghan, published in The Weekend Australian, July 30-31, 2005.
September 6, 2005
Not the apocalypse Bush was a-hankerin' for
Here is an excerpt from an article on the fallout of Hurricane Katrina by Felipe-Fernandez-Armesto, lecturer at Tufts University, Massachusetts.
When the terrorists struck on 9/11, Mr Bush could make any number of mistakes, and still gain in popularity, because there were aliens on hand to hate. He could launch and mismanage wars with impunity, counting on the electorate's fidelity in the face of the foe.
This time Mr Bush cannot rail against God or, with his environmental record, make an enemy of nature. He cannot bomb the sea or invade the wind. God and nature are on the same side; and they no longer look like America's coalition partners. Even in the context of a natural occurrence, where there is no real enemy, people still need to hate and long for vengeance. Slowly, inexorably, with a chilling uniformity, the accusing gazes are focusing on the White House.
September 5, 2005
Young Fascists doing Howard proud
"The advancing army of clean-cut arch-conservative Young Liberals has its first scalp in John Brogden, and has delivered control of the NSW Liberal Party to the hard right." Frank Walker, NSW zealots wrest control
The term "clean-cut" sends shivers down my spine. Looking at Alex Hawke, it's easy to see why. His is the face of smug, totalitarian zealotry. Currently an influential staffer for David Clarke, the prominent Christian right-wing Liberal NSW MP, Hawke has risen to power as the direct result of ten years of John Howard's sanctimonious rancour. Among Young Liberals, Hawke represents the most successful of the many toxic blod clots thrown off by Howard's poisonous heart.
"Moderate Young Liberals are afraid to go to Young Liberal Council meetings as they are ridiculed, shouted down and bullied by the Alex-Hawke-led hard right," said one Young Lib (in Frank Walker, above).
"The Young Libs are now run like a military operation," said anoher. "David Clarke is the general and Alex Hawke is the colonel with all these burly sergeants out in the field organising standover operations, branch stackings and recruiting."
This doesn't just sound like the Hitler Youth, it is a carbon copy.
Here is what is on their agenda:
End the long-held policy of mandatory gender equality in the party. (Echoing John Howard's drive to keep women at home as Stepford wives, nannies or the equivalent of black mammys.)
Send undercover agents to kidnap or kill those responsible for the Bali bombing.
Throw Malcolm Fraser out of the Liberal Party for his "liberal" views.
Condemn Liberal MP Petro Georgiou for his moderate stance on detainees.
Reject republicanism, ban abortion, close down heroin injecting rooms, light the torches and hunt down single mothers, homosexuals and anyone else who doesn't fit their image of Christian-Capitalist, Neo-Aryan rectitude.
John Howard has introduced totalitarianism to this country, and Howard Jugend like Alex Hawke are hearing his message loud and clear.
September 3, 2005
Hurricane Katrina: America betrayed by its own
There doesn't appear to be many, but I know a few Americans who despise their country. They feel betrayed because they were brought up to believe in its innate goodness. That's what they were taught in school. That no matter what, America was always a good guy. While all the time, the inhabitants of Capitol Hill were conspiring to subjugate the world, to make each nation dependent in one way or another.
And now one of Mother Nature's offspring, Hurricane Katrina, has blown a hole three states wide in the Chicken Hawk Bush Administration's contempt for all outside of its incestuous desire for wealth and power. And yet theirs is a rule marked by faineance. They like playing soldiers and spewing platitudes, but, like the leaders of all empires in their dying gasps, they are too lazy and distracted by their self-believing lies to comprehend the horror they have created.
The hurricane hit New Orleans on Monday, but Bush refused to cut the latest of his endless vacations at Crawford until Wednesday. He is incapable, perhaps certifiably so, of comprehending reality.
On Thursday, he "made an utterly fantastic claim: that nobody anticipated the breach on the levees." And yet everyone in the Gulf States has known it was more than possible for years, anyone watching the news channels on Monday would have heard it repeated ad nauseam.
But then, Bush would say that, because, as in most other matters, he does not pay attention to what is happening around him. His mirror-mirror-on-the-wall is programmed in a self-congratulatory loop.
You're seeing it in print, but no one on the major channels dared mention the bleeding obvious: all the "refugees" are black. Too poor to get out of town when ordered to. Right or wrong, Reverend Jesse Jackson at least dared to state an opinion when he said, "Many black people feel their race, their property conditions and their voting patterns have been a factor in the (lack of response)."
A few CNN and Fox reporters managed to get down and dirty when interviewing various officials and politicians, but, with the exception of the New Orleans Mayor, they got nothing but doublespeak for their efforts. And then the Mayor's emotional diatribe was sanitised for repeated airings.
Five days after the hurricane, National Guard personnel were only just beginning to arrive. Why? Because 40 per cent of the 135,000 US troops in Iraq are National Guard. And the best trained at that. Along with the cream of the NG in Iraq is the vital equipment needed to deal with disasters such as this.
The Bush Administration is spending around $185 million a day to finance the securing of a puppet regime in Iraq to make Dick Cheney and cronies wealthier than ever. Oh, and to secure the majority of oil for US SUV owners.
Is this why the money allocated to F.E.M.A. has been siphoned off over the years? Is the unacceptably slow response to save New Orleans directly attributable to financing the illegal invasion of -- and subsequent chaos in -- Iraq?
There is a massive betrayal here. A treasonous contempt of humanity is hidden behind the government's patriotic doublespeak. Bush even tried to liken the hurricane to September 11. But the only similarity is in his cowardly inability to deal honourably and responsibly with either catastrophe.
But these betrayers, these traitors, were elected. And so the ultimate betrayal of America rests on the shoulders of each and every citizen who voted them back into office.
Perhaps the most telling example of the lack of critical thinking of these voters, their inability to comprehend reality, to distinguish between the truth and the lie, was when they decided that the man who went AWOL made a better "war president" than the man who had fought in Vietnam.
That is a staggering indictment of a dumbed down country.
September 1, 2005
We interrupt this blog to add 1,000 more Iraqi deaths to Dubya's indictment for war crimes
The deaths on the Baghdad bridge wouldn't have happened if George W. Bush, the fuckwit beloved of millions of brain-dead Americans, hadn't illegally invaded Iraq. His heinous grab for land and oil has brought death and destruction to a nation already devastated but functioning under the deadly but contained rule of Saddam Hussein.
Why should Bush and his huckster cronies be removed from office before dawn's early light and tried for war crimes?
Two overriding reasons:
Between 500,000 and 1,000,000 Iraqi deaths were attributed to Saddam Hussein's dictatorship (1979-2003).
That's an average of 25,000 to 50,000 deaths per year.
In the period 19 March 2003 to 1 September 2005, over 100,000 Iraqi deaths and over 2000 Coalition casualties can be directly attributed to George W. Bush's reign of terror.
That's an average of around 50,000 deaths per year.