Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Broken Glass

December 20, 2010

There was so much dust and cobwebs on my dashboard when I logged in! Sorry blog friends. Although the blog world feels a lot emptier lately.. where have we all gone?

I admit to you, I have been feeling apathetic towards politics the past year or two. Powerless, mute, like nothing I did would ever amount to any positive change. It was just going from bad to worse with no hope of improvement. My vote was not for Liberal or for Labor, and either would win, so what’s the point? The left is right. And my left is “radical”.

Wikileaks means something though. Whether it will slip into the vacuum of forgotten topics of the internet or not I do not know. I’m hoping it had a lasting effect. But we’re so easily distracted by the next big thing. We have verified proof that our governments have been lying and deceiving us in the most abhorrent of manners and yet, it’s as if nothing was said. Where is the outrage?

For the first time in a long while I found myself engaging in debate with people. I trolled statuses, posted videos, wrote tongue in cheek commentaries to headline my news links. Something big is happening right now, something we can never go back from. We successfully shattered the mirrored glass they were hiding behind. We found the wizard behind the curtain. What has been seen cannot be unseen.

The question is, will we be held captive to our government masters or will we finally be granted our freedom (of information, speech, religion, to assemble, to privacy..) ?

What do you think?

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19 Activists Killed By Israeli Soldiers On The Freedom Flotilla

June 1, 2010

Israel has illegally killed 19 and injured over 100 unarmed civillians and peace activists aboard the flotilla.

Israel does not own the Gaza sea and has no right to stop aid arriving through there.

Israel attacked the flotilla in International Waters while the ship was flying Turkish flags. That’s an act of war.

Israeli commandos were not armed with crowd control equipment, only guns and knives. Seems like a peaceful cease and desist was out of the question entirely. An interesting strategy considering there were only UNARMED civillians aboard, including a baby.

Killing civillians is a war crime.

Starving an occupied people is a war crime. Just as an aside, its interesting to look at the blacklist of items that are not allowed to be imported into Palestine:  wood, cement, iron, chocolate, potato chips, paper.. They also shut the power and water on and off regularly. They don’t permit importing clothes or fabrics to make new clothes. They are basically strangling the population of all its basic needs until it dies off.

The raid was before dawn, there is footage of Israeli soldiers shooting sleeping passengers before even getting on board.

A white flag was raised after the first death, yet the Israeli army still persisted in their attack.

At some point, the Israeli government ok’d this act, and the killing of innocents in order for the mission to begin.

Perhaps the worst part is that despite the deaths and  injured civillians, nothing will be done, no justice will be given and no international action to stop Israel will be taken. We are frustratingly mute.

Update: Turkey has just warned Israel that more aid ships will be sent to Gaza, accompanied by their Navy! Perhaps I was wrong about international action.

Collateral Murder

April 6, 2010

Firstly, I’m  deeply sorry to the victims in Collateral Murder, my heart goes out to their families and friends. There’s something very despicable about watching someones life being taken from them, it’s wrong on so many levels. I didn’t want to watch it,  and I found it so distressing that I cried most of the way through, but unfortunately the video is too important to ignore and I can’t write about it without having seen it.

A brief run down for those who don’t want to watch: A helicopter spots a group of  about 15 people walking through the streets, somewhere in Iraq, one of which is carrying something that looks like a rocket launcher. It is in fact a camera, held by one of two journalists for Reuters who are walking with the group. The helicopter requests permission to fire, then does and kills all but a couple who try to crawl away. Both happen to be the journalists. One of them is shot at again until he is dead, the other crawls for a while until a van arrives to try and rescue him. They are also shot and all are killed. In the van are two children who were wounded, the van was completely destroyed. A tank then runs over one of the bodies.

They were acting on orders. They took a look at what was going on and came up with the viable solution that they are trained to find in this situation. They are in a hostile zone, someone looks to be carrying an RPG, others look to hold guns. But this shocking play out of events finds them realising in the last scene that they killed innocent people, even injured children. “Well its their fault for bringing kids into a battle,” says one soldier. “That’s right,” another replies. They have to alleviate themselves from the guilt of the situation or else they can’t do the task at hand. They’re rash, they’re afraid, they’re jumpy.

I can’t completely blame the soldiers who think they are just doing their job, saving the rest of the world. They weren’t the ones who pushed for this fake war where innocent people die for trying to take photos of atrocities they would ultimately become a part of. But I can question their procedures. Why can they kill before they have accurate and verified sightings of weapons? Why do they keep shooting until everyone is dead, instead of just wounding them so that they are out of action? Why can they shoot at any vehicle no matter who may be inside? Why are they allowed to shoot people trying to rescue the wounded? Why are any of these innocent deaths justifiable by the US Army?

Break it down. Why are these 15 people dead? Not because of any real or valid reason I can find. They are dead because the US wanted to invade, to get some oil, to establish a Middle Eastern stronghold, to avoid righting the class imbalance in their own society by allocating funds to the latest “threat” to national security. Iraq had no WMD’s, nor was there the intelligence to suggest there was any. They weren’t connected to 9/11. There were no terrorists. We simply went into a country, tore apart their government and businesses and destroyed the whole lot. We left them with nothing but bombed rubble piles that were once homes and dead family members. Over a hundred thousand civillians have died for this reasonless war.

And we only find out because in this group of civillians, two journalists died. Reuters fought for the footage via the Freedom of Information Act for three years. This was held back from the public for three years. I first saw the story at 5am this morning on wikileaks, Al Jazeera ran it immediately, The Age took six hours after realising it wasn’t just going to blow over, Fox News took 9 and CNN finally ran it almost 12 hours after the fact. Still, till now, they would prefer to sweep this under the carpet than expose the world to the truth. That is where our media stands. Biased, controlled, ruthless, frustratingly mute on the most important stories. How many more videos are there like this one?

Again, I’m gravely sorry for what has happened to these poor souls. But I am thankful that this has come to the surface, for the sake of democracy and transparency and truth. We need to see our leaders for what they really are, the system for what it is. It is corrupt and it cheats and it lies and it kills. This story is a step on the path of righting the injustice of many at the hands of the rich, elite few. Hopefully soon the trickle will become a flood and there will be nowhere left for them to hide.

Error 404: Freedom Not Found

March 30, 2010

A poll today on Internet Censorship currently stands at 96% opposed, 3% in favour and 1% indifferent. At last count there were almost 27 thousand votes on the SMH/The Age poll that accompanied the article ‘Government Goes To War With Google Over Net Censorship’. It covers Conroys recent attack on the giant cyber-corp Google, after Google objected publicly to an Australian internet filter.

The Obama administration has also echoed concerns with the state of freedom of speech and free-flowing information which would be halted with the introduction of the filter. In particular, the filter goes against US foreign policy which seeks to preserve an open internet to spread economic growth and global security.

With such heavyweights in opposing positions one would think that Stephen Conroy, who was never elected but obtained his position after another MP stepped down, would reconsider his draconian plans. Not so. Conroy has shrugged it off and once again did not publish the blacklist he has proposed, of which the last version included materials on abortion, euthanasia and other politically volatile topics, of which discussions are controversial but in no way illegal.

One has to wonder exactly how much blatant opposition does there need to be before the public’s wishes are taken into consideration in regards to the state of democracy in Australia.

A Thousand Curses Upon You CONROY / RUDD / LABOR!!

February 9, 2010

What the fuck is going on around here? I leave the game for a minute and suddenly democracy turns to shit, just when I was starting to believe in the system. How does the government have a free reign to do this shit? Labor seems to be playing up harder than Johnny Howard in his Iraq days! And on the topic, what happened to withdrawing the troops?

What happened to my education? I thought we were gonna give students a break and suddenly I’m hit with a $1k bill for “fees” that I’ve never had to pay in my whole university career. What do they need that for after all this fucking time? I was cut when they were simply proposing a mere (only in comparison to the grand) three hundred bucks! And giving the private schools more funding than the public ones.. Which fuckhead spun the logic on that one?

Internet filter going ahead despite wave after wave of disapproval from the ISP’s, experts and the majority of citizens. Except now they’re going to wait till after the election to implant it, knowing full well that the backlash would definitely affect their vote count. You’re damn right it will! I’ve never once thought that voting Liberal could possibly be better than voting Labor, but I hate this fucking assembly. I want it dismantled! Maybe it wouldn’t be such a problem if the issue wasn’t shrouded in mystery and outright lies from Conroy, “The filter is 100% accurate,” “Its going to block pages not sites,” and other such nonsense ripped apart in this article from Crikey.

In SA bloggers aren’t even allowed to POST POLITICAL COMMENTARY ONLINE ANONYMOUSLY!! You can’t tell me that shit ain’t fucked up, and you know its us next. We’re right next door. If you want to keep talking with all your dissent and “political critiques” you can say hello to the blacklist fellow bloggers!

Is it enough yet? No? That’s cool, I got more.

What about the ban on small boob porn? Or female ejaculation porn? You all know I hate the porn industry and everything it stands for, but when you start banning you can begin with the misogynistic shit that encourages violence against women who moan in pleasure when the guys spit in her face and slap her. Maybe I should be happy they’re banning the porn? No, no I can’t be! Who is the man who gets to decide which of the boobs are big enough? Is a visible female orgasm so offensive that we have to ban it from sight? Where is the logic? Isn’t this crazy talk to anyone yet?!

Now Conroy (the man I hate so very dearly, dearly, dearly!) is giving $240mil of tax payers money to tv networks for doing no more than meeting the content requirements they were already meeting? Take from the poor, give to the rich, its genius! Why didn’t we think of it before? Oh wait.. They wasted $30mil with Telstra when they scrapped their broadband revamp, replacing the $4.7bil plan with a $43mil one. Think of what that kind of money can do and it went to nothing.

Thats fucking it! I’m gonna do something. Join something. March or rile up a mob or something. Storm city hall. Australia is a fucked up place to live. It’s definitely not the worst, you know, it’s no Sudan or Zimbabwe, but its full on fucked up right now and more people should be screaming about it. I’m enraged by this bullshit.. Contact me if you need more soldiers for the revolution, I’m down for life!

Fuck you CONROY! Block me! I dare you!!

Gen Y to ‘Grey Generation’:

August 8, 2009

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STFU NOOBS!

Uhhh, let’s do something not fashion or Japan-related for a moment. I’m starting to lose my cred as an intellectual (did I ever have it?), and it’s pretty debatable whether I’m being relevant to the streets of Melbourne in any real way. Today one of my classes gave me some decent left wing inspiration. I’m loving uni right now, all my seemingly boring subjects have cool teachers and there are even some cute guys! I just dropped my cred again, didn’t I? Fuck.

So I don’t believe the Age blogs are to be classified as real blogs. If anything, they’re columns. First of all, they don’t generate their own readership (or if they do, it’s helped immensely by banners and links and having a newspaper such as the Age behind them), secondly there’s no real networking, which I feel is an important characteristic of the blog. We have blogrolls and we follow them to comment on other blogs, develop communities etc. The Age ‘blogs’ barely even reply to their own comments. Thirdly, they’re paid and supported by a news corp which has endless contacts, authority and influence. Who gets paid per blog post in the blogosphere? We get advertising deals at best. Anyway, that’s just my position. They’re not authentic. Samantha Brett sucks ass. There’s a reason for this paragraph, I swear.

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It was the best of times, it was the BLURST of times?!

I read this “blog post” (I’m being mean coz the writer annoyed me, sorry, I’m a biased fool) and it was all la la la ageism sucks, the workforce is hard for old people, so on and so forth. I agree with you. My poor mother is struggling herself, after divorcing my dad she needs some income and its been rough for her. No matter how good she was back in the old days, nobody is willing to give her a go. And that’s fucked up and sad, and it makes me feel extra bad because she wants to be able to prove she can be self-sufficient without my father, and each knock back is affecting her confidence and optimism. She’s losing sight of her credentials and she feels useless. I hate it, I don’t want her to feel so down on herself, especially since she is perfectly capable and would be amazing if she only got a fair go.

It was all fine until this part, obviously the troll paragraph that is designed to make the fish bite, which I found to cheapen his entire argument (James Adonis, if you were wondering):

“This brings us to the imbalance in today’s workplaces, where there’s too much of a focus on Generation Y. Older workers might not use terms like “LOL”, “sweet as”, and “fully sick”, but all generations generally want the same thing. Everyone wants a work/life balance. Everyone wants to use their talents. Everyone wants to have close relationships at work. The only difference is that Gen Ys demand these from their employers, while older generations have become accustomed to putting up with whatever they get.

Gen Ys are as loyal to employers as Elizabeth Taylor’s husbands. Older workers, on the other hand, hang around for as long as Elizabeth Taylor herself. The world needs to move on from Gen Y. It needs to embrace the grey matter of the grey generation. This means seeking older employees’ opinions and suggestions; respecting and harnessing their experience; being patient, especially when skilling them up on new technologies; and being sensitive to their possible discomfort at having a young boss.”

In the words of Gen Y, STFU! You can’t be loyal to your employer anymore, because your employer is not loyal to you. It’s their world, they wanted it this way, corporate mofo’s eating up everything they can just to get a step ahead of each other. Lobbying for the breakdown of workers rights, downsizing staff whenever they could, cutting costs, outsourcing labour, blah blah blah forever!

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Gen Y: Adaptable

If we want to break it down, the difference is not that Generation Y demands this or that, it’s that we are adaptable and flexible when it comes to work. We have to be, we don’t have the opportunities that the generations before us had. We definitely do not have the stability of knowing once we get a job we can hang onto it till retirement like the jobs of the past. We will always be paying more in comparison to the living costs of back then. Realistically, unless we have a dual income with a partner, we won’t own our own home. We’re not working one 9-5 job anymore, most of us are under-employed by companies who want to keep their skilled labour (highly educated workers) without having to pay us a decent weekly paycheck. We gotta get ourselves a hustle on the side now too.

Gen Y did not bring in the discriminating values of the corporate world. Howard and the old fashioned, conservative voters did. We didn’t peak in the 80’s like all the other jet-setting, power suits who threw away their ethics chasing the cash money. We didn’t bring in this cruel, capitalist market which was supposed to regulate itself with its invisible hand, that instead collapsed and made things the way they are today. Times are tough for all of us, stop pointing fingers and take a look at the bigger picture. You would be able to retire instead of working if you had of voted for a socially conscious party who would increase your pension.

Alas, you did not.

So as we say in Gen Y.. Fuck you B, we out! Pshhh, haterz.

As an aside, here is the comment monkey fight I am currently waging with the Age ‘blogger’ (after the jump).

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It’s Only Cool When We Nuke You

July 7, 2009

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Vice President Joe Biden has taken it upon himself to approve the go ahead of an Israeli nuclear strike on Iran, stating “If the Netanyahu Government decides to take a course of action different than the one being pursued now, that is their sovereign right to do that.” He went on to add that the US would not stand in their way. Of course, Israeli officials have welcomed these comments.

Does anyone else see the hypocrisy in this? Nuke Iran for having nukes. Why can’t Israel nuke itself for having nukes? Why Iran and not North Korea? They’ve been actually using theirs aggressively, obviously in some sort of warning or threat to the Western nations they oppose.

How can a nuclear strike ever be a solution to this problem? Yes, Iran is in a volatile state of unrest, civillians revolting against a corrupt government who believe they are acting on the behalf of the Islamic world and lashing out against foreign interference. But nuking Iran would not change the way things are run, or who is in charge. It would kill thousands of innocent people and exacerbate the feeling of hatred against the US & Israel, possibly extended to the rest of the Western world.

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As former chair of the Foreign Relations Committee, Biden must know this. ‘Relations’ implies relationship, no? A diplomatic dialogue. The only dialogue here is once again between Israel and the US on behalf of the world, without consulting anyone! I can see how Israel would love to see a war against Iran (which would surely be the outcome once the dust has settled), they are their most fierce opponent at present.

If they want a war so badly, why not invade Zimbabwe or do something about Darfur? Or even China? It seems horribly unfair to allow Israel to nuke Iran, when Israel won’t even agree to Obama (and the rest of the world’s) request that a two party state be established for the people of Palestine. I mean, aren’t they committing the same crime? Oppression of the people and so forth.

This is an unacceptable and inappropriate attitude to have as a Vice President, especially with the current political climate. I can’t get past the idea of nukes being fine in Israel or the US, but when it comes to anyone else, its all over. Blah!

Guest Post From TDW

April 20, 2009

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So I sit here having downloaded yet another album through the Pirate Bay using my Bit Torrent program, and am wondering whether or not it truly is naughty of me not to pay anything for this music. After reading an article over at the Economist about the starters of the Pirate Bay webite getting in a lot of legal trouble at home in Sweden, obviously there was a bit of heated discussion in the comments section about whether or not downloading is naughty or if record company executives are merely trying to hold on to a dying and outdated business model. I care obviously because I hope to one day get in the business. This comment stuck out to me:

“The author is completely missing the point. The Pirate Bay case is not “a victory for media companies against internet piracy”, it is their (temporary) victory against change and innovation. It is giving them the right to keep operating with their outdated 20th-century model, and keep feeding their customers an inappropriate product (low-quality, rigid, locked and overpriced). What the public wants is a product that would be versatile, readily-available, high quality and affordable.

This industry is calling itself “creative”, yet it hasn’t been able to figure out a way to adapt to current technology or its cusomers’ needs. Through its systematic resistance to change and progress, it has left a gap in the market, which, in turn, has allowed so-called pirates to flourish.

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Few will deny artists the right to make a decent living off of their work. That they have the right to make fortunes is more debatable. However, now that the need for material supports is disappearing, that recording equipment is becoming affordable, and that music and film can almost market themselves, the middle man (“the industry”), on the other hand, has become an unnecessary, expensive step in the creative process.

Hopefully, the market will do its work, and weed out those dying relics of the past century. Someone will figure out a legal way to bring artists closer to their audiences, and still make a healthy profit. Adapt or die. 2009 is the 150th anniversary of the publication of “Origin of Species”. How appropriate!”

What do you think? To be honest, I think that downloading illegally has allowed me to discover FAR FAR FAR FAR FAR more artists than ever before. Great for me, but what about the bands? The odds of me going to see these bands live, or buying their merchandise has increased avenged sevenfold now that my awareness of music is at its highest. So if you were a musician, what would you prefer: sell CDs at a rigid $30 a pop where you are in direct competition with zillions of other artists, many of whom are incredibly fake and manufactured by industry heads to sell CDs over yours, or distribute your music freely, generate a massive word-wide fanbase that is restricted only by who has internet access and has an interest in checking you out, and selling almost nightly concert tickets from $50-$150 where thousands of people attend, selling t-shirts at $50 a pop and actually interacting and PERFORMING live like all good musicians should? I’m really starting to feel this new direction, even though it feels somewhat wrong.

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This is an excellent example found in a different article:

“Take, for example, two hypothetical films: one made by struggling idealistic art students and the other by a big name director backed by a major studio with a multimillion dollar budget and nationwide advertising campaign. If each film was pirated and watched by a million people we could reasonably expect that the film students would be ecstatic (without an advertising budget their film would have been doomed to the art house circuit) while the big name director would be furious. Why? Because the film students are doing it for art while the director is doing it for the money. This is, in simple terms, what I believe the political potential of piracy to be — piracy allows us to quickly ascertain the authenticity of a cultural product.”

Authentic Jews

January 26, 2009

This may cause a bit of a kerfuffle, especially with the title, but it headed a very interesting email I got from a Muslim friend of mine, and the images shocked me. I wonder if I just was unaware myself, or does it shock you too?

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I did know that there are many Israeli citizens against the actions of the IDF, and that usually the most significantly attended protests are from those actually living in Israel/Jerusalem, I guess I just never pictured it properly. Upon first seeing them, I even considered whether or not they were fake.

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They are the Neturei Karta, the “Guardians of the City” in Aramaic, a term reserved for the scribes and scholars, who protect the city with knowledge rather than brute force. They have branched off from the Jews who supported the state of Israel because they believe it goes against the scriptures, faith and beliefs to try to pursue a ‘Jewish only’ state.

From their website:

Jews are not allowed to dominate, kill, harm or demean another people and are not allowed to have anything to do with the Zionist enterprise, their political meddling and their wars.

The true Jews remain faithful to Jewish belief and are not contaminated with Zionism.

The true Jews are against dispossessing the Arabs of their land and homes. According to the Torah, the land should be returned to them.”

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I’m not making any judgments on what is or isn’t Judaism, I just think its good to see that it is and can be separated from the conflict. Jews, Muslims, Christians, non-believers, other believers, ufo believers and nessie believers can all get behind the anti-Israel movement, because no matter what we do or don’t pray to at the end of the day, killing people is always wrong.

Happy Australia Day!

Phosphorus & Uranium Used On Palestinians

January 20, 2009

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For those who were in doubt of the vile and disgusting behaviour of the Israeli army, have no fear that I was mislead in my reaction to the invasion for thankfully some of the recent atrocities have been uncovered and Amnesty International has been amongst the first to recognise the war crimes. These include using weapons with depleted uranium, as Israel has always done because it makes the bombs harder and more effective. Traces of uranium have been found in Palestinian victims.

Even more disgusting, Israel was using white phosphorus indiscriminately on civillians. For those who are unfamiliar with white phosphorus, it is a chemical used for a smoke screen which has the vicious side effect of burning the shit out of anything it touches. I wouldn’t recommend googling for the effects, because the pictures that may turn up in the results will be quite horrific. Even after the cease fire on the 23rd day phosphorus bombs were still being dropped.

About 1200 have died from this attack, and over 5300 wounded. Last week I started up a monthly donation with Amnesty International who are working very hard to do all they can for the Palestinians suffering from this ongoing crisis. If you are willing and able, you could do the same or just check out the site here for more information on other worthy causes.