Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Ch ch ch ch changes

As I get more organised and things get back on track after having been struck down in a number of ways this year, I am starting to write and think a little more again. As a consequence, I have decided to move the blog onto Wordpress. So, in the next few weeks, No Pasarán will become Translucent Partisan and the interface as well as comments and categories will be much easier to digest.

So, there you go.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

You know, the "vileness"

Anyone who saw The Chaser the other night would have seen the charming people from the Westboro Baptist Church fumbling about like the idiots they are holding "God Hates Crippled Soldiers" signs being totally caught in the headlights when Charles Firth tried to come onto one of them. It was pure genius. Seriosly though, does anyone know what the deal is with these absolute fucking fruitcakes? "God Hates Fags" "God Hates Sweden" "God Hates America"? What the fuck are these people on? Reminds me of the dude in The Last Supper talking about the "Gay Plague" and the "vileness". I am torn between utter disbelief and fascination and almost (!) feeling sorry for them - I mean to be that out of touch with what the fuck life is about must be a pretty shit life when you get down to it. They were filled with such hate and anger - it was really sad. What a bunch of self-loathing idiots. It really is asthonishing. Anyways, just had to say a little bit about that - it really has captured me for the last few days - I mean, hah! Jeez! There really are some fucked up people out there.

Good to see that Chris Masters isn't backing down after the ABC pulled the plug on his book on Alan Jones. He has apparently had plenty of offers from other publishers. People deserve to know about Jones' shady shit and the power that he has over some of the most influential people in Australia - including the Prime Minister. Masters did a great story on Four Corners a few years ago on Jones and I and many others have been looking foward to his book for quite some time now. Still looking foward to it coming out even though someone at the ABC has made this fucked up decision to pull the plug. Hopefully the book will sell even better now. Strangely enough, when I tried to access "The Closet Recordings of Alan Jones" just now, which has always been at the address, the page gave me a 404 error message. Interesting. The last time I accessed it was probably a few months ago. Coincidence?
UPDATE 4/4/06: Well, well, well... Turns out the board of the ABC pressured ABC enterprises into scrapping its plan to publish the book. Is Keith in there getting his hands dirty already?

What to make of the US Supreme Court Decision? The Australian Government answer: nothing. Major Michael Mori said it all on Lateline the other night. Hang your head in shame HoWARd. Not even the lap-dog Blair has acted as disgracefully towards his own citizens as the Australian Government has towards David Hicks. Is it just me or is HoWARd becoming increasingly arrogant and out of touch? Not that he wasn't to begin with, but it seems that he's falling into that trap that few politicians who last in a top job for more than 6 or 7 years manage to avoid. Is he, or is it just my imagination? Have I finally gone stark raving mad at having to have spent most of my politically aware life under this toad now that I'm clasping at anything and interpreting it as a sign that the bastard HAS to go soon?!?!?! How many more staged tracksuit-wearing, sport-watching events must we stomach? Oh yeah, not to mention that little engagement that he froliced us into and the lies that he told us about it - and not to mention all the other lies.

Hope lies on the horizon. Or does it?

Thursday, June 15, 2006

"My" ABC and a random Friday thought

Only in Australia in 2006 could I have tuned into my beloved Radio National yesterday to catch Phillip Adams on LNL saying something about extreme right wing historian and journalist nut job Keith Windschuttle being appointed to the board of my Howard's ABC. Weez suggests some other shining examples that may keep Keith company during his time on the board of ABC. Hey, why not just appoint our fearless Attorney General to the board to make sure that things are running smoothly? Or Helen Coonan - surely then Keith might take back what he said about the ABC being captured by the far left. Or was that the objective study and interpretation of history?

Random Friday thought: Coasting along today, some hope in humanity started to trickle into me again. As did the realisation that there are plenty of us who have embraced freedom and we're out there exercising it whilst adhering to the principles of respect for each other and our personal decisions that we make. To my sisters and brothers out there who feel it, I send my love and respect.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Beyond The Termination Shock

Voyager 1 and 2 have ventured into and beyond the Termination Shock around the edge of our solar system and over the next few years will be crossing the sort of blurry threshold into interstellar space around the heliosphere. This is the point where the massive amounts of energy blown off into space by our Sun in the form of those cool solar winds that we can sometimes see meets the interstellar force of gases moving around in between the stars of our huge 100,000 light-year-across galaxy.

Kudos to everyone who was originally involved in the Voyager project. The two Voyager craft are now farther from the Earth than any other physical thing that has been launched from here. It is a beautiful reminder of what the good side of the human race/mind is capable of. Only 50 odd years after the onset of the Space Age and we have managed to launch two spacecraft that far out. Although I'm usually reluctant to give humanity a pat on the back, this is one thing that does fill me with great joy - a great contribution to humanity by some of the greatest human minds.

Apparently, astronomers think that Voyager 1 is around 100 Astronomical Units (AU) from Earth which is around 15 billion km - Pluto is around 39.5 AU from the Sun, so that gives you an idea of how bloody far these craft have ventured. At this point, the Voyager craft should be entering the heliosphere and will then venture out onto the Oort Cloud - although it will take a very very very loooooong time to reach the Oort Cloud which is about 1 light year from the Sun and Earth. To put things in perspective, Voyager 1, while a long way away is only around 13 light HOURS away from Earth at the present time, so the Oort Cloud is probably a few thousand years off yet at the rate that the Voyager Craft are moving.

A reminder of the fucking amazing, awesome, beautiful and vast universe that we live in and through. Things ain't that great on this speck at the moment, but hey, there's a whole universe out there - and it's pretty amazing, so don't forget that you are part of it too.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Aren't y'all hired killers?

So the Marines are going to implement some "moral and ethical" training on how to conduct themselves on the battlefield. Striking. Last time I checked, The US invaded Iraq. Last time I checked, the war was illegal and immoral. Last time I checked, most (not all) military institutions exist in the first place because governments and their backers need hired killers to be transported around the world to... well... kill other people. When the fuck did morality and ethics come into this practice? Oh wise ones, educate us on when it is moral and ethical to use deadly weapons to end the life of another human being. Oh wise ones, should we shoot the woman in the leg instead of between her eyes? Oh wise ones, what are the conditions of a purely ethical kill? Educate us oh guardians of morality and exporters of war.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The stench is all around

So, our fearless leader, with his forceful smile and bumbling duck-like voice has just received a high five off Mr. Popularity over in Washington. Bush went on and on and on about how Howard is such a good man and even put in the odd "hey, I can make a joke" comment by pointing out that he and Howard are quite similar, except for Howard's lack of hair. But it was the serious part of his praise that stood out the most - and ironically it was the serious part that was probably the funniest thing Bush said in his pat on the back to the junior lap-dog. Now, wait for it:
"Together we fought in Korea and Vietnam, and together we're fighting and winning the global war on terror."
Yes, good work there, George. How nostalgic. Ah, yes, remember those good old days when our two nations fought side by side in those glorious wars that achieved all of our, um, objectives or something? Ah, Korea, freed from... Communism or something, wasn't it? Oh yeah, Vietnam, "V" for victory and "SO" for Solid Objective! Millions of Vietnamese murdered. Tens of thousands of young Americans killed for nothing. Yay for the defenders of freedom. Ah, yes - and our current adventures through the looking glass. Winning the war on global terror? Yes, Afghanistan is a thriving democracy, as is Iraq - and those pesky terrorists are running for the hills and taking their grievances with them. Well done boys. Now let's all turn around, face the flag and take the pledge: "War is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength".

All the while, you both run around patting each other on the back ignoring the real defenders of freedom - all the good people in both your countries who keep pointing out to both of you the fact that you and your cronies are in fact attacking and eradicating freedom little by little, day by day. It's interesting that Bush used Korea and Vietnam as parallels. History has already judged the Korean and Vietnam Wars just as history will judge both these arrogant bumbling brown-nosers as two liars who hold freedom in contempt just as the terrorists they say they are fighting against do.

On a lighter note, I saw Ben Harper last night. He played for almost three hours and put on a great mix of his hard hitting political stuff and his beautiful personal stuff. It was the first time I'd seen him live and I've got to say he was amazing. Thank-you Mr. Harper.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

The System is Down

The new TOOL album "10,000 Days" is fantastic. Been listening to it for the last week now. It is definitely darker than their last effort, Lateralus. The album finishes on a kind of sombre note. It seems to say "well, if this is what you choose, then fuck you, you deserve the impending doom that is about to reign". The last song (not track) has a great line:
"Repugnant is a creature who would squander the ability,
To lift an eye to heaven, conscious of his fleeting time here."
"Right in Two" is probably my favourite song on the album at the moment. Freedom as the ultimate product of reason seems to be the last, lingering theme that the album finishes on. That is what has captured my imagination and thought process over the last week. As a consequence, I have been reading a little more Kant and trying to absorb the whole freedom thing a little more.
Go and listen, absorb and think.
Another wonderful effort from this band that is like no other.
The system is down? Keep digging.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Are you convinced now?

We knew this all along, but now documented evidence has been presented to actually prove it... Bush and Blair were hell bent on going to war with or without a UN resolution even though they preached that they hoped that a UN resolution would be drafted and that Saddam would comply with it. For the full story, go here and for a transcript of the interview with British lawyer Philippe Sands, who details the leaked memo, go here.

George W. Bush to Tony Blair, January 31, 2003 - Secret Memo: "The US was thinking of flying U2 reconnaissance aircraft with fighter cover over Iraq, painted in UN colours. If Saddam fired on them, he would be in breach." And this: "It was also possible that a defector could be brought out who would give a public presentation about Saddam's WMD and there was also a small possibility that Saddam would be assassinated."

Let me just write the date again: January 31, 2003.
On February 5, 2003, Colin Powell gave his "smoking gun" speech to the UN, which of course has been discredited already.

So, Bush and Blair had already planned to go to war on January 31, 2003 and had even discussed ways of starting the war in a style that would have made the architects of the Gulf of Tonkin incident proud. What I want to know is if all those pro-war idiots out there actually believed the farce and ran with it or if they knew all along (like those of us who were anti-war)... If they knew all along, then they are liars - like Bush and Blair lied to all of us when they pretended that they still hoped for a UN resolution on February 1st, 2003 and said:
Bush: "Should the United Nations decide to pass a second resolution it'd be welcomed if it was yet another signal that we're intent upon disarming Saddam Hussein."
Blair: "What is important is that the international community comes together again and makes it absolutely clear that this is unacceptable."

And what role did our fearless leader play in all of this? Well, there's no documented evidence to suggest that Howard knew what Bush and Blair knew. But when Howard was in Washington on January 10, 2003, Bush, when asked if he considered Australia to be a member of the Coalition of the Willing replied "yes".

The war was illegal and Bush and Blair knew this. We were all screaming this at the time (not to mention China, Russia and France), but the war was started anyway and look at all that's happened since. Lies, Lies, Lies, War, War, War... What has become of peace and democracy? Does anyone (apart from those of us who have been screaming about this shit for years now) even care anymore? Wake up and hold these bastards accountable.