Category Archives: Politics

Why I’m concerned about the events unfolding in Syria

A comment to the Financial Times from K N Al-Sabah of London succinctly catches the situation in Syria when he writes:

“Sir, Iran is backing Assad. Gulf states are against Assad!

Assad is against Muslim Brotherhood. Muslim Brotherhood and Obama are against General Sisi.

But Gulf states are pro Sisi! Which means they are against Muslim Brotherhood!

Iran is pro Hamas, but Hamas is backing Muslim Brotherhood!

Obama is backing Muslim Brotherhood, yet Hamas is against the US!

Gulf states are pro US. But Turkey is with Gulf states against Assad; yet Turkey is pro Muslim Brotherhood against General Sisi. And General Sisi is being backed by the Gulf states!

Welcome to the Middle East and have a nice day.”

As this points outs , everything’s a right royal mess with the potential to escalate to levels unthinkable. This is why I am concerning about the unfolding events surrounding Syria to anyone who’ll listen as when respected, independent scholars, activists, journalists and politicians start casting their concerns of the situation I listen.

I like to look at history as an indicator of potential events as any psychologist will state the best determiner of future behaviour is past behaviour.

As much as we like to flatter ourselves, as a collective humans haven’t changed immeasurably over the years – we’re still often motivated (particularly those who rise to the top of the power structure) by greed, status, resources & wealth which often results in humans doing atrocious things to one another.

Map displaying areas of control in Syria. – courtesy of German magazine, Der Spiegel

I’m so worried by Syria as in many ways I see it as the perfect storm which has the potential to spiral out of control once the ignition is lit.

In many ways I see a resemblance with the situation in Europe in 1914. A riven, fractured region – a crossroads – of competing powers, factions, vested interests, empires & religions propped up artificially by manufactured nations, client states and hungry empires. Only difference whereas what it took in Europe to ignite the war was a lone radical, this time it will inevitably be the strike from the superpower with the potential for everything to unravel.

Military build-up surrounding Syria – somehow I don’t think they’re there to take in the late summer sun. – Courtesy Ria Novostri

If you protest one thing this year, protest war in Syria.

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My term as leader

With the Australian Federal election coming up Saturday week, and with my apathy towards the two major parties, I thought it might be interesting to discuss just what you would do if you were given one full term to shape the direction of Australia’s (or your own country’s) future?

Being an exercise in fantasy, imagine the past, present and potential issues affecting your nation and the world as a whole remain as is but you however, are blessed with almost unlimited capital to address crippling debt, inflation, unemployment, crime, social issues, crumbling infrastructure, or whatever other maladies blight your homeland.

As for me, if I were declared Prime Minister of Australia following the election to be held on Saturday, 7th September, 2013 – and assuming my party (let’s call them The Australian Evolutionary Party, as for me it’s time Australia matured and evolved in its status, representation, policies and conduct on domestic and foreign issues) wins a clear, unimpeded majority, safe for one full-term after which I’ll bow out of politics. I would set about:

  • Continuing the National Broadband Network, as increasingly nations will prosper or falter in future in no small part to their digital infrastructure
  • Sign a treaty with indigenous Australians acknowledging the crimes and injustices of the past, addressing the issues remaining and working together towards a better future
  • Build a second Sydney airport, it bloody needs one! Personally, I wouldn’t mind the site at Wilton, being just 80km south of Sydney, 30km from Wollongong and Campbelltown, and 150km from Canberra being located right by the Hume Highway and Picton Road, both of which would be further upgraded. It could be linked to the Very Fast Train corridor with a station, and the establishment of a largely self-sufficient ‘new town‘ within the sphere of a larger metropolis a la Milton Keynes or Cyberjaya based on logistics, information technology and light industry; reducing the burden of the housing shortage and crippling infrastructure in metropolitan Sydney and having a local population base for the substantial aviation, high-tech, industrial and logistics industries in the region.
  • Secure the corridor and set about building a Very Fast Train service between Melbourne and Brisbane; servicing Shepparton, Albury-Wodonga, Wagga Wagga, Canberra, Wilton, Sydney, the Central Coast, Newcastle, Taree, Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour, Grafton, Casino and the Gold Coast in between.

The current proposal looks a winner to me, though I’ll probably add on a spur line to Wollongong and set about its eventual extension to Rockhampton through the Sunshine Coast, Gympie, Harvey Bay/Maryborough and Bundaberg.

  • Build the Cross River Rail project in Brisbane and build a bloody rail line to Tullamarine Airport in Melbourne. Increase public transport infrastructure, facilities and services in all major urban centres, reducing the reliance and necessity of car ownership. At the very minimum, follow through with each of the proposals in the NSW Transport Masterplan.
  • Seek alternative transport options to constructing (partially) public-funded, privately-operated toll roads including light rail, rapid transit, metro, busways, monorails and maglevs.
  • In line with increased public transportation, better pathways and cycle paths, promote pedestrain friendly, ecologically sustainable cities, investigating the establishment of toll tax, initiatives to reduce central city road transport to essential, logistical or emergency services and vehicles.
  • Actively promote and encourage self-sustainability and ecologically friendly practices – water tanks, solar panels, veggie patch, chook pens, etc.
  • Actively promote and encourage small and medium businesses whilst addressing the every increasingly scope, collosion and corruption inherit in oligapolies and multinational corporations.
  • Increase the facilities and infrastructure of cycle paths, playing fields, playgrounds and natural bushland;  actively promoting the benefits of healthy life choices and lifelong exercise
  • Increase the development and impetus towards real, sustainable and logical decentralisation. True, our nation is on the driest inhabited continent and most people are clustered around the coast but excluding the two-thirds of the nation that is arid, there’s still plenty of spots that could and should accommodate more people to reduce the housing costs; crippling infrastructure; and social and economic strains that come with having 75%+ of the population living in the five largest cities. This is a topic I’ve broached before and still believe wholeheartedly in its merits – provided and this is a strong point – that infrastructure, industry and employment are moved, attracted or gown in these centres to attract growth, and that the regions are equipped with adequate water, road, rail and utility infrastructure to accommodate the growth. If that means a dam or two is built in the process so be it. The regional centres outlined as stations for the Very Fast Train are all excellent candidates for further growth plus I’d throw in Bathurst, Orange, Lismore, Dubbo, Griffith, Ballarat, Bendigo, Rockhampton, Gladstone, Toowoomba, Mackay, Darwin, Cairns, Geraldton, Launceston, Kununurra and Katherine – among others – as cities and regions that can and should be larger in terms of population, educational facilites, infrastructure and significance.
  • Legalise same-sex marriages, monitor media ownership lest too much is owned by too few. Provide better services and initiatives aimed at getting unemployed into work with the individual’s skills, abilities and aptitude at mind first and foremost,; providing incentives for companies to provide further in R&D; ensuring separation of church and State; removing funding to private schools – institutions must survive or thrive on their own foot not governmental handouts. Reduce middle class welfare handouts aimed solely at buying cheap votes.
  • Provide adequate resources and facilities in country to accommodate boat arrivals. If that means build new facilities, build them – but not in the desert. Stop outsourcing our issue elsewhere.
  • More money on health and education, less on foreign wars. Greater investment, involvement and participation in Asia-Pacific region. Greater assistance with the aim of procuring self-reliance, sustainability and prosperity in Papua New Guinea and the Pacific.
  • Analysis into the benefits of a single Pacific union incorporating Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific islands and Papua New Guinea in line with the EU sending feelers out to eventual ASEAN-Pacific economic bloc.
  • Australia could and, bloody well, should be a renewable energy superpower. We have the climate, natural resources, land, innovation and skills to make this happen but not the impetus. No carbon tax? I say yes, the rich hogs securing unimaginable wealth off our resources and throwing crumbs to placate us whilst living on banquets. They can and should be taxed further. The world won’t collapse, in fact it may well save the Earth by a few more years, moving away from dinosaur fuels which make barons and their corrupt sidekicks in politics rich to detriment of the environment and society.
  • Sorry Queen, but it’s time for a Republic and a new flag. We ain’t nobody’s bitch no more, and that includes the United States, let’s stop pandering to this neo-colonial superpower’s every whim, even when they’re to our own detriment. Time for a new flag. I like mine. ;)

  • Less needless representation, less expenditure on unnecessary Governance, less waste. Yes, that’s right, let’s get rid of the States – those lingering, defiant vestiges of our colonial days. No more Queensland, no more New South Wales, no more Victoria. State of Origin, yes. Remember Middlesex technically doesn’t exist anymore, doesn’t mean there isn’t a cricket club baring its name in the English County Championship. My proposal is for 24 ‘Regions- which would roughly average one million people per region. Education, Health, Infrastructure of a national importance, and Policing, to a degree, fall under Federal management; Waste disposal, Local and Regional Public Works and Community Infrastructure fall under ‘Regional’ management. Make it happen. Failing that, I’d settle for the realignment and establishment of new entities to produce nine States as follows:

    - Victoria, capital Melbourne, will lose the north of its current State but gain Mount Gambier and southeastern South Australia. Pop. approx: 4,500,000. 

    - Riverina, capital Albury-Wodonga, will be a new State composed of the Riverina, MIA, NSW Far South Coast, Broken Hill and far west NSW, Canberra and surrounds, and Riverland regions of Victoria and South Australia. Canberra, within its boundary, will remain the Federal capital but be a part of the State but not the State’s capital, which is Albury-Wodonga. Pop. approx: 1,500,000.

    Eora, capital Sydney, named after the County of Cumberland, will contain Sydney and surrounds, the Central Coast, Hunter, Illawarra and mid NSW South Coast as well as the Central West of NSW. Pop. approx.: 5,000,000.

    - Moreton, capital Brisbane, named after Moreton Bay, will contain the northern third of NSW and southern third of Queensland. Pop. approx.: 3,500,000.

    Capricornia, capital Rockhampton, will contain the middle third of Queensland. Pop. approx: 500,000.  

    - North Australia, capital Darwin, will contain the northern third of Queensland plus the top half of the Northern Territory, Pop. approx: 500,000.

    - South Australia, capital Adelaide, loses the Riverlands district to Riverina and the southeast of its state to Victoria but gains Alice Springs and the southern half of NT. Pop. approx.: 1,300,000.

    - Western Australia and Tasmania remain unchanged from their current form.

That’d probably do me for my first and only term, I’d then pass the baton onto someone else to continue the legacy. ;)

What would be your plans, initiatives, policies, direction for your nation?

Change – Change that we can truly believe in; not false hope, empty platitudes and more lies

People often wonder why I’ve become so passionate about the state of the world when it comes to politics, governance and geopolitical hegemony. It is basically because over the past five years, I’ve increasingly grown to mistrust a lot of the information fed to us as gospel by mainstream media, politicians and corporations all of which have an active and vested interest in keeping the current paradigm the same – albeit gradually removing civil liberties, rights and freedoms whilst simultaneously maximising their wealth, structure and, ultimately, power.

This causes many to the knee jerk reaction of ‘conspiracy theorist‘, a refusal to question unquestioned ‘truths’, to complain about the current economic, political and social paradigm but with a seeming inability or desire to join the dots and realise there’s a reason why things are getting tougher. The scales are rigged, they were designed that way. And, guess what Betty? They ain’t ever gonna get better unless we change, demand change and force change to the current corrupt, rotten and dirty paradigm.

 

The Global Financial Crisis, which commenced in 2007, continues to this day leaving a trail of tears, crushed dreams, lost houses, lost bank accounts and superannuation accounts; yet simultaneously with ever increased wealth for the elite. The GFC was disastrous for the people, but damn it was a godsend for traders and other vested interests. So far only Iceland has done the right thing and punished the bastards who got the public into this instead of rewarding them. There’s a lot we could learn from that brave, isolated isle in the North Atlantic.

 

But, there is hope. Real, true hope. Not empty promises and platitudes from a puppet who promised the world but has delivered all the more tyranny. Maybe, I’m bitter but I was foolish, naive and malleable enough to actually believe Obama was on the people’s side and would – as much as he could – bring about substantial and significant change to the American people. If I was American I would have voted for him (in 2008) but alas …

Each day it seems more and more come to the realisation that under this paradigm we are living in a world of diminishing returns, using our labour, talent and spirit to generate others’ wealth, freedom and power in a completely unsustainable manner with blatant disregard for the principles of supply and demand, finite versus infinite.

The reason I speak out in the small way that I do online, a voice in the wilderness – like an increasing many nowadays – is that I do not like the way the world stands at this moment. I think and believe we deserve better. I believe that if we follow this path it will inevitably lead to war, wreck and ruin. Do you want to leave your children and their children this legacy? I sure as hell don’t. I have 3 nephews and a niece all under the age of 6, I fear for what lies in front of them if nothing changes.

We need to realise that under the current system we may well feel powerless. But, remember we are NOT powerless. We have the power through numbers to bring change, real change. To change this paradigm, bring down the crooks, change the corrupt officials, bullies and cowards hiding behind their laws, regulations and ever more militant law enforcement (or should they be, law enablement) agencies. The system is broken. It needs change. We owe that to our children, their children, the planet, our forbearers and ancestors. What a terrible legacy it would be to leave this world in ruin knowing that if we had just stood together and spoken up to tyranny it could have all been different.

Department of Homeland Security – Protecting them from you

I just ask you to think about the current paradigm with an open mind and open heart. Millions upon millions die in the Third World to this day through preventable diseases whilst our Governments and corporations rape and pillage their resources through lopsided trade agreements, debt slavery and indentured servitude. We live on an Earth of finite resources contained within a finite biosphere yet we are  acting as if we have infinite resources with reckless abandon. This must change and must change now as it will only bring ruin.

Michael Ruppert – Information warrior

I first came across Michael Ruppert‘s work a couple of years back via a discussion board, stumbling upon his award-winning documentary Collapse, focusing on the inevitable collapse of the oil industry once peak oil is reached and its implications for the world as a whole and his groundbreaking work on the CIA racket bringing narcotics into the US and actively playing a role in their distribution. (Here’s a prior blog entry on Peak Oil, largely compiled through Mike’s research).

Born into a family with strong law enforcement and surveillance pedigree – his father was a CIA agent and mother a code breaker during WWII – Ruppert was first scouted as a senior at UCLA to join the agency but had always wanted to serve as a police officer. His sharp intellect and background soon had the CIA knocking again not long into his service with LAPD but events he would discover through research and evidence led him to a different path entirely.

 

I quickly became fascinated with his work, initially his insight, research and evidence through his investigative work into discovering a CIA plot to launder drug money whilst funneling drugs into the US from Mexico.  Mike was an LA police officer at the time, working with the narcotics squad. He was so disgusting and disappointed with his discovery that he immediately resigned in protest and set about bringing the truth to the masses. A move that his seen him be a tenacious investigative journalist – or ‘warrior’ in his own words – to this day, three decades later. Mike, in good conscience, immediately quit the force to set about exposing the racket and having those guilty brought to justice, only to find the operation was sanctioned right from the top and that his life was now in danger.

Far from letting this event silence him, it propelled Mike to thoroughly investigate many aspects of Government sanctioned and media propagated collusion, falsehoods, crimes and corruption. Following his work on exposing CIA’s involvement in the narcotics trade, which included famously confronting former CIA Director John Deutch on the matter at a public meeting in an LA high school forum which is said to have ultimately cost Deutch his position, Ruppert went on to cover a wide range of political and governmental issues through the newsletter, From the Wilderness - doing which time he conducted lectures, released books and appeared in documentaries. He’s since been President of the Collapse Network before resigning to focus more on other pursuits including his online radio show The Lifeboat Hour on Progressive Radio Network.

His work, thoroughly researched and verified, culminated in the proof that collusion, corruption and crime of an industrial scale reached all the way to the highest echelons of the United States Government. Understandably, this garnered Mike many enemies in high places – most notably Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld following his exposé on Pat Tillman‘s death (furthered covered in his recent Media Mayhem interviews with Allison Hope Weiner at the bottom of this post), which led to Mike flee to Venezuela to ensure his safety.

His work in ‘The Truth and Lies of 9/11‘ taken from a 2004 presentation at Portland State University – on exposing inaccuracies of the 9/11 attacks and subsequent US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan gained attention for its insight and findings, many of which have since gone on to be proved correct – or at least, widely and increasingly assumed. His newsletter and presentations continued until 2006 when he decided to withdraw from investigative journalism and public lecturing following a false sexual harassment case and destruction of his computers led him to flee to Venezuela for some time.

 

Mike decided ultimately that he couldn’t sit back and let his insights and knowledge in the topics of peak oil, corruption, State sanctioned drug trafficking and crime go unchallenged and returned to the States. He’s written three critically acclaimed books, Crossing The Rubicon: The Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil, Confronting Collapse: The Crisis of Energy and Money in a Post Peak Oil World and A Presidential Energy Policy: Twenty-Five Points Addressing the Siamese Twins of Energy and Money of which I’m currently reading Crossing the Rubicon and can vouch for its extensive, enlightening and often times disturbing insight.

 

Mike Ruppert’s critically acclaimed documentary, ‘Collapse went a long way to exposing the size, scope and seriousness of the peak oil conundrum to a wider audience, and what is likely to lay ahead when (not if) peak oil is reached and surpassed. The documentary is in many parts confronting, disturbing, alarming, pessimistic and worrying –  so much so the late Roger Ebert said of the documentary,

“I don’t know when I’ve seen a thriller more frightening. I couldn’t tear my eyes from the screen. ‘Collapse’ is even entertaining, in a macabre sense. I think you owe it to yourself to see it.”

Yet the documentary is equally fascinating, enlightening and in parts guardedly optimistic and heartwarming.

I was pleasantly surprised to come across the before mentioned two-part interviews Mike conducted earlier this year with Allison Hope Weiner as his voice and presence had been conspicuously and unfortunately lacking in recent years – in the interviews mentions that he has decided to a more reserved role in his journalism these days as he is getting older. His interviews, as of all his work, are fascinating, informative and thought-provoking. I could listen to this man talk all day as his knowledge and intellect exceed just about any investigative journalist or independent media activist around. I strongly recommend watching the two interviews in full where he covers his background, Pat Tillman’s death, his initial work in uncovering the CIA drug racket, 9/11, Dick Cheney and George W Bush through to more recent events such as the Occupy movement, Obama and Bin Laden’s death, and Christopher Dorner.

He’s back …

‘Saint’ Kevin

Lots of excitement in the workplace yesterday as customers were not only coming in yelling “Queenslanderrr” and yarping about the Maroons thumping 26-6 win over NSW and the fight that saw four players sent off. Customers also started trickling in talking about the Labor leadership overthrow with Kevin Rudd winning a leadership ballot over Julia Gillard 57-45 three years and three days since Gillard had overthrown Rudd.

Scenes from last night’s Labor caucus meeting … ah, State of Origin match

The Courier-Mail was obviously happy about the night’s events.

This morning, Kevin Rudd and Anthony Albanese visited the Governor-General’s residence to be formally announced as Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of Australia.

At Governor-General, Quentin Bryce’s residence following his signing in ceremony, Kevin Rudd, with family, is re-instated as Prime Minister 3 years and 3 days after his first tenure

Much more malarkey bound to occur in the ensuing months.