Posts Tagged ‘Syria’

Trump-Turnbull and refugees. Full Transcript of phone conversation.

August 5, 2017
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Asylum seekers on Manus Island.

There are about 1800 refugees on Manus and Nauru facing their fourth year in detention.

“Australia maintains one of the most restrictive immigration detention systems in the world – Australian Human Rights Commission.”

http://www.smh.com.au/world/full-transcript-donald-trump-and-malcolm-turnbull-telephone-conversation-20170803-gxp13g.html

 

“The President: Mr. Prime Minister, how are you?

Prime Minister Turnbull: I am doing very well.

The President: And I guess our friend Greg Norman, he is doing very well?

Prime Minister Turnbull: He is a great mutual friend yes.

The President: Well you say hello to him. He is a very good friend. By the way thank you very much for taking the call. I really appreciate it. It is really nice.

Prime Minister Turnbull: Thank you very much. Everything is going very well. I want to congratulate you and Mike Pence on being sworn in now. I have spoken to you both now as you know. I know we are both looking to make our relationship which is very strong and intimate, stronger than ever – which I believe we can do.

The President: Good.

Prime Minister Turnbull: I believe you and I have similar backgrounds, unusual for politicians, more businessman but I look forward to working together.

The President: That is exactly right. We do have similar backgrounds and it seems to be working in this climate – it is a crazy climate. Let me tell you this, it is an evil time but it is a complex time because we do not have uniforms standing in front of us. Instead, we have people in disguise. It is brutal. This ISIS thing – it is something we are going to devote a lot of energy to it. I think we are going to be very successful.

Prime Minister Turnbull: Absolutely. We have, as you know, taken a very strong line on national security and border protection here and when I was speaking with Jared Kushner just the other day and one of your immigration advisors in the White House we reflected on how our policies have helped to inform your approach. We are very much of the same mind. It is very interesting to know how you prioritize the minorities in your Executive Order. This is exactly what we have done with the program to bring in 12,000 Syrian refugees, 90% of which will be Christians. It will be quite deliberate and the position I have taken – I have been very open about it – is that it is a tragic fact of life that when the situation in the Middle East settles down – the people that are going to be most unlikely to have a continuing home are those Christian minorities. We have seen that in Iraq and so from our point of view, as a final destination for refugees, that is why we prioritize. It is not a sectarian thing. It is recognition of the practical political realities. We have a similar perspective in that respect.

The President: Do you know four years ago Malcom, I was with a man who does this for a living. He was telling me, before the migration, that if you were a Christian from Syria, you had no chance of coming to the United States. Zero. They were the ones being persecuted. When I say persecuted, I mean their heads were being chopped off. If you were a Muslim we have nothing against Muslims, but if you were a Muslim you were not persecuted at least to the extent – but if you were a Muslim from Syria that was the number one place to get into the United States from. That was the easiest thing. But if you were a Christian from Syria you have no chance of getting into the United States. I just thought it was an incredible statistic. Totally true – and you have seen the same thing. It is incredible.

Prime Minister Turnbull: Well, yes. Mr. President, can I return to the issue of the resettlement agreement that we had with the Obama administration with respect to some people on Nauru and Manus Island. I have written to you about this and Mike Pence and General Flynn spoke with Julie Bishop and my National Security Advisor yesterday. This is a very big issue for us, particularly domestically, and I do understand you are inclined to a different point of view than the Vice President.

The President: Well, actually I just called for a total ban on Syria and from many different countries from where there is terror, and extreme vetting for everyone else – and somebody told me yesterday that close to 2,000 people are coming who are really probably troublesome. And I am saying, boy that will make us look awfully bad. Here I am calling for a ban where I am not letting anybody in and we take 2,000 people. Really it looks like 2,000 people that Australia does not want and I do not blame you by the way, but the United States has become like a dumping ground. You know Malcom, anybody that has a problem – you remember the Mariel boat lift, where Castro let everyone out of prison and Jimmy Carter accepted them with open arms. These were brutal people. Nobody said Castro was stupid, but now what are we talking about is 2,000 people that are actually imprisoned and that would actually come into the United States. I heard about this – I have to say I love Australia; I love the people of Australia. I have so many friends from Australia, but I said – geez that is a big ask, especially in light of the fact that we are so heavily in favor, not in favor, but we have no choice but to stop things. We have to stop. We have allowed so many people into our country that should not be here. We have our San Bernardino’s, we have had the World Trade Center come down because of people that should not have been in our country, and now we are supposed to take 2,000. It sends such a bad signal. You have no idea. It is such a bad thing.

Prime Minister Turnbull: Can you hear me out Mr. President?

The President: Yeah, go ahead.

Prime Minister Turnbull: Yes, the agreement, which the Vice President just called the Foreign Minister about less than 24 hours ago and said your Administration would be continuing, does not require you to take 2,000 people. It does not require you to take any. It requires, in return, for us to do a number of things for the United States – this is a big deal, I think we should respect deals.

The President: Who made the deal? Obama?

Prime Minister Turnbull: Yes, but let me describe what it is. I think it is quite consistent. I think you can comply with it. It is absolutely consistent with your Executive Order so please just hear me out. The obligation is for the United States to look and examine and take up to and only if they so choose – 1,250 to 2,000. Every individual is subject to your vetting. You can decide to take them or to not take them after vetting. You can decide to take 1,000 or 100. It is entirely up to you. The obligation is to only go through the process. So that is the first thing. Secondly, the people – none of these people are from the conflict zone. They are basically economic refugees from Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. That is the vast bulk of them. They have been under our supervision for over three years now and we know exactly everything about them.

The President: Why haven’t you let them out? Why have you not let them into your society?

Prime Minister Turnbull: Okay, I will explain why. It is not because they are bad people. It is because in order to stop people smugglers, we had to deprive them of the product. So we said if you try to come to Australia by boat, even if we think you are the best person in the world, even if you are a Noble [sic] Prize winning genius, we will not let you in. Because the problem with the people –

The President: That is a good idea. We should do that too. You are worse than I am.

Prime Minister Turnbull: This is our experience.

The President: Because you do not want to destroy your country. Look at what has happened in Germany. Look at what is happening in these countries. These people are crazy to let this happen. I spoke to Merkel today, and believe me, she wishes she did not do it. Germany is a mess because of what happened.

Prime Minister Turnbull: I agree with you, letting one million Syrians walk into their country. It was one of the big factors in the Brexit vote, frankly.

The President: Well, there could be two million people coming in Germany. Two million people. Can you believe it? It will never be the same.

Prime Minister Turnbull: I stood up at the UN in September and set up what our immigration policy was. I said that you cannot maintain popular support for immigration policy, multiculturalism, unless you can control your borders. The bottom line is that we got here. I am asking you as a very good friend. This is a big deal. It is really, really important to us that we maintain it. It does not oblige you to take one person that you do not want. As I have said, your homeland officials have visited and they have already interviewed these people. You can decide. It is at your discretion. So you have the wording in the Executive Order that enables the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretary of State to admit people on a case by case basis in order to conform with an existing agreement. I do believe that you will never find a better friend to the United States than Australia. I say this to you sincerely that it is in the mutual interest of the United States to say, “yes, we can conform with that deal – we are not obliged to take anybody we do not want, we will go through extreme vetting” and that way you are seen to show the respect that a trusted ally wants and deserves. We will then hold up our end of the bargain by taking in our country 31 [inaudible] that you need to move on from.

The President: Malcom [sic], why is this so important? I do not understand. This is going to kill me. I am the world’s greatest person that does not want to let people into the country. And now I am agreeing to take 2,000 people and I agree I can vet them, but that puts me in a bad position. It makes me look so bad and I have only been here a week.

Prime Minister Turnbull: With great respect, that is not right – It is not 2,000.

The President: Well, it is close. I have also heard like 5,000 as well.

Prime Minister Turnbull: The given number in the agreement is 1,250 and it is entirely a matter of your vetting. I think that what you could say is that the Australian government is consistent with the principles set out in the Executive Order.

The President: No, I do not want say that. I will just have to say that unfortunately I will have to live with what was said by Obama. I will say I hate it. Look, I spoke to Putin, Merkel, Abe of Japan, to France today, and this was my most unpleasant call because I will be honest with you. I hate taking these people. I guarantee you they are bad. That is why they are in prison right now. They are not going to be wonderful people who go on to work for the local milk people.

Prime Minister Turnbull: I would not be so sure about that. They are basically –

The President: Well, maybe you should let them out of prison. I am doing this because Obama made a bad deal. I am not doing this because it fits into my Executive Order. I am taking 2,000 people from Australia who are in prison and the day before I signed an Executive Order saying that we are not taking anybody in. We are not taking anybody in, those days are over.

Prime Minister Turnbull: But can I say to you, there is nothing more important in business or politics than a deal is a deal. Look, you and I have a lot of mutual friends.

The President: Look, I do not know how you got them to sign a deal like this, but that is how they lost the election. They said I had no way to 270 and I got 306. That is why they lost the election, because of stupid deals like this. You have brokered many a stupid deal in business and I respect you, but I guarantee that you broke many a stupid deal. This is a stupid deal. This deal will make me look terrible.

Prime Minister Turnbull: Mr. President, I think this will make you look like a man who stands by the commitments of the United States. It shows that you are a committed –

The President: Okay, this shows me to be a dope. I am not like this but, if I have to do it, I will do it but I do not like this at all. I will be honest with you. Not even a little bit. I think it is ridiculous and Obama should have never signed it. The only reason I will take them is because I have to honor a deal signed by my predecessor and it was a rotten deal. I say that it was a stupid deal like all the other deals that this country signed. You have to see what I am doing. I am unlocking deals that were made by people, these people were incompetent. I am not going to say that it fits within the realm of my Executive Order. We are going to allow 2,000 prisoners to come into our country and it is within the realm of my Executive Order? If that is the case my Executive Order does not mean anything Malcom [sic]. I look like a dope. The only way that I can do this is to say that my predecessor made a deal and I have no option then to honor the deal. I hate having to do it, but I am still going to vet them very closely. Suppose I vet them closely and I do not take any?

Prime Minister Turnbull: That is the point I have been trying to make.

The President: How does that help you?

Prime Minister Turnbull: Well, we assume that we will act in good faith.

The President: Does anybody know who these people are? Who are they? Where do they come from? Are they going to become the Boston bomber in five years? Or two years? Who are these people?

Prime Minister Turnbull: Let me explain. We know exactly who they are. They have been on Nauru or Manus for over three years and the only reason we cannot let them into Australia is because of our commitment to not allow people to come by boat. Otherwise we would have let them in. If they had arrived by airplane and with a tourist visa then they would be here.

The President: Malcom [sic], but they are arrived on a boat?

Prime Minister Turnbull: Correct, we have stopped the boats.

The President: Give them to the United States. We are like a dumping ground for the rest of the world. I have been here for a period of time, I just want this to stop. I look so foolish doing this. It [sic] know it is good for you but it is bad for me. It is horrible for me. This is what I am trying to stop. I do not want to have more San Bernardino’s or World Trade Centers. I could name 30 others, but I do not have enough time.

Prime Minister Turnbull: These guys are not in that league. They are economic refugees.

The President: Okay, good. Can Australia give me a guarantee that if we have any problems – you know that is what they said about the Boston bombers. They said they were wonderful young men.

Prime Minister Turnbull: They were Russians. They were not from any of these countries.

The President: They were from wherever they were.

Prime Minister Turnbull: Please, if we can agree to stick to the deal, you have complete discretion in terms of a security assessment. The numbers are not 2,000 but 1,250 to start. Basically, we are taking people from the previous administration that they were very keen on getting out of the United States. We will take more. We will take anyone that you want us to take. The only people that we do not take are people who come by boat. So we would rather take a not very attractive guy that help you out then to take a Noble [sic] Peace Prize winner that comes by boat. That is the point.

The President: What is the thing with boats? Why do you discriminate against boats? No, I know, they come from certain regions. I get it.

Prime Minister Turnbull: No, let me explain why. The problem with the boats it that you are basically outsourcing your immigration program to people smugglers and also you get thousands of people drowning at sea. So what we say is, we will decide which people get to come to Australia who are refugees, economic migrants, businessmen, whatever. We decide. That is our decision. We are a generous multicultural immigration nation like the United States but the government decides, the people’s representatives decides. So that is the point. I am a highly transactional businessman like you and I know the deal has to work for both sides. Now Obama thought this deal worked for him and he drove a hard bargain with us – that it was agreed with Obama more than a year ago in the Oval Office, long before the election. The principles of the deal were agreed to.

The President: I do not know what he got out of it. We never get anything out of it – START Treaty, the Iran deal. I do not know where they find these people to make these stupid deals. I am going to get killed on this thing.

Prime Minister Turnbull: You will not.

The President: Yes, I will be seen as a weak and ineffective leader in my first week by these people. This is a killer.

Prime Minister Turnbull: You can certainly say that it was not a deal that you would have done, but you are going to stick with it.

The President: I have no choice to say that about it. Malcom [sic], I am going to say that I have no choice but to honor my predecessor’s deal. I think it is a horrible deal, a disgusting deal that I would have never made. It is an embarrassment to the United States of America and you can say it just the way I said it. I will say it just that way. As far as I am concerned that is enough Malcom [sic]. I have had it. I have been making these calls all day and this is the most unpleasant call all day. Putin was a pleasant call. This is ridiculous.

Prime Minister Turnbull: Do you want to talk about Syria and DPRK?

The President: [inaudible] this is crazy.

Prime Minister Turnbull: Thank you for your commitment. It is very important to us.

The President: It is important to you and it is embarrassing to me. It is an embarrassment to me, but at least I got you off the hook. So you put me back on the hook.

Prime Minister Turnbull: You can count on me. I will be there again and again.

The President: I hope so. Okay, thank you Malcolm.”

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The running of the Shoppers.

December 14, 2016
Grand dad Oosterman design of church window

Grand dad Oosterman design of church window

It has been written by others that Christmas period is often highly charged. It would be wise to remain in control. The police are never so busy as during the Christmas and New Year period. While we are glowing with joy, shaking hands, giving presents and baking the dinner, others often feel less convivial. Whatever we might feel, both the good and bad reach fever-pitch in the lead-up to Christmas. It is a period of great expectations for happiness but we would be wise to remain wary and wise to the images of commerce and tinkling cash registers that want to sweep all before it. A tsunami of reckless spending and gluttony is threatening all. This is the opposite of happiness. The nail in the coffin for what Christmas used to have, is the almost demonic commercialism of it all. Joseph and Mary would turn in their graves. Baby Jesus would weep, I am sure.

Many shoppers even at this early stage are already running around nervously. They confer by iPhone for advice on whether the pavlova is better or cheaper at Woollies or Aldi. Should they get the double smoked ham now? Yet, was it only last year they promised not to ever get ham again. Or has it been forgotten that the pavlova ended up in the recycle bin with rotten mangoes and the over-ripe prawns? The trolleys are already being filled as if expecting a Russian bombardment. Calm down. The shops will only be closed for one day. Remember, last year how the David Jones’s crowd on boxing day slept overnight outside in order to get T-shirts at a fantastic discount on Boxing day? Yet, a cursory look inside their wardrobes might well indicate a huge surplus of T-shirts. How can commerce have such grip on us?
Still, let’s not get too churlish. The ones that ought to be allowed to enjoy the magic of a happy Christmas are the children.

But, dear Lord; what about Aleppo? What about the Syrian Christmas? I am afraid that we shall just continue to keep our eyes closed and switch of the telly or change over to the cricket score instead. The shouting about war crimes being committed are now just that, shouts.

I noticed that the Johny O’keefe song ‘ You wanna make me shout’ is now being used in a commercial without even a hint of an acknowledgement to the long dead pop-star. The patent on his music score must have run out and is now blatantly being used to sell stuff. Nothing is spared to make a buck, especially not a dead pop star.

Of course, if we want to revive the true spirit of Christmas we should just ignore the lure of the shopping and spending. Remembering it is a time for friendship, sharing and giving. Spare a thought for the refugees on Manus and Nauru detention. Hopefully, they will be finally allowed out of those torture camps and welcomed in the US. After three years, surely they deserve a good outcome.

What did they ever do wrong?

The Japanese Windflower understands.

March 6, 2016
Japanese Windflower

Japanese Windflower

This picture explains it all. If the purpose of life is to worry about what has been or what is yet to come, contemplate this flower. It asks for nothing more than to be looked at or ignored (at own risk). The choice is up to the viewer.

This photo was taken with my old iPhone. I really liked the previous misty looking results of the photos till my grandson wiped the lens clean with his T-shirt. All done in one single swipe. Since then the images are clearer and more colourful.

Before I forget. Remember this governments promise to take in an extra 12000 refugees from those that followed the exodus out of Syria back in September 2015. So far, just 26 have arrived.

“Canada has resettled 800 times more Syrian refugees in three months than Australia has in almost twice the time, fuelling concern the delay is pushing desperate families in the Middle East into a perilous crossing to Europe.

Labor has called on Immigration Minister Peter Dutton to explain why Australia has resettled just 26 Syrian refugees five months after former Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced an emergency intake of 12,000 “as quickly as possible”.
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/canada-has-rescued-800-times-more-syrian-refugees-than-australia-figures-show-20160217-gmw7dz.html#ixzz424nz9Uld

Actually, The Japanese windflower does take an exception by not understanding Australia’s stance on refugees.

We will again now take Milo on his walk and try come to grips with this latest. We are having  gloriously warm weather, two weeks in a row now, with the promise of another warm week to come. I see people carrying air conditioning units to their cars. The elderly are advised to not forget to drink lots of water and to take it easy.

‘Take it easy.’  This is what my father was told repeatedly back in 1956. Take it easy, Mr Oosterman. Don’t muck it up for us. They meant, that working hard would also then be required for those that did not pull their weight. Not pulling their weight was hugely popular in Australia during those earlier times. It was almost an entitlement that needed to be protected by all means. The balance between workers and bosses was a fine line, well understood. A kind of understanding that no strike would be undertaken if the workers were given leeway in getting paid for a fair day’s work, but not too hard. ‘Taking it easy,’ was understood by both. Funny that. A fair day’s work included plenty of smokos and generous breaks. Double time for Sundays and Saturday afternoons with the mornings time and a half.

It had more than a kernel of truth. Now ‘hard work’ has become the norm. Working days are getting longer and absent parents through work is normal. Kids come home with the key to the front door under the mat. Many mums and dads working, scratching enough to pay the mortgage and put food on the table.  Glass ceilings are crashing down. People look pale and hurried scurrying past each other. Shopping in a hurry. Cars screeching around the corner. Not giving way. Only the retired calm and serene. Feeding the ducks and wondering about the beauty and understanding of the Japanese wind flower with a Milo sleeping.

Taking it easy, lost and gone.

 

We shall see, but a win with the Body- Strata.

September 15, 2015

Bowral’s tulip festival is in full swing. The locals have free entry, yet foreigners from outside the Shire have to pay an entre fee of $10.-. It seems odd, seeing the venue of the tulips is in a local public park. However, having gone through a legal tussle with our Body Corporate’s management and Strata, I am loath to pick up another fight.

IMG_0623tulips

Inside this little park, one can, apart from admiring the swaying of the tulips, also go and have a tasty sausage roll, a coffee, and if the sun gets too much, buy a hat or a nice leather belt in case of sagging trousers. Which reminds me, that at Australian airports , belts don’t have to be taken off trousers anymore, together with a more lenient attitude to having to take off shoes. So, all you intending air travellers, relax and enjoy the trip! Our Border Protection Patrols have declared the terrorists are in retreat and Syria is being bombed into safety.

Yesterday Vivaldi’s Spring was being rotated around on the public mike. They used to have a Peruvian group playing rather mournful music on pan flutes. The Shire must have thought Vivaldi was more in tune with tulips. One just never know what is behind the decisions that aldermen make. I suppose they have meetings and discuss how to make the tulip festival even better.  The aldermen made huge mistake some many years ago planting cherry trees throughout the Shire. They are beautiful but also spread out so wide that pedestrian are forced to give up walking on the foot-path or nature strip and actually now share the roads with cars. Counsel now are asking for input by the locals on how to re-claim the footpath once more. I suggested the lanky birch-tree and for next year Sibelius music at the tulip festival.

The Strata has come to a good rest. All has to be done through an EGM as yet to be dated, and any shortfall in costs to be raised by a special levy. All owners to be give the opportunity to reflect on the issue and allowed to vote on the issue, at the AGM following the EGM.

So, all in all, a worthwhile effort rewarded by common sense.  Thank you Mr NSW, Department of Fair Trading.

Shopping (again)

March 18, 2015

imagesLoaves and fishes

It seems that the large super markets are getting less popular. None too late. By the time the car has found a parking spot, their owners are almost ready to give up an lie down somewhere behind a solid concrete column, between fading windswept catalogues and screaming shopping enticements. ‘Free this and Free that.’ Mothers  are wrenching giant triple story Syrian tank like prams out of the car, sobbing in tune with  children choking on  lollypops and angst inducing vibrating IPhone. A calamity waiting for a jovial funeral director! It is no wonder they are in decline. It was too much, too large and all too spread out. Too much choice, too little service and exhaustingly depressive.

A couple of German billionaires took on the huge super market domination of shopping and are now reaping the benefits. They call their shops ‘Aldi’. They are to be found all over the world but they remain in the hands of private owners and are not publicly listed. They generally are all of a modest size and do not provide, (the enemy of our ecology but much loved by the capitalist word,)   plastic shopping bags, nor do they allow their shopping trolleys to be skated around suburbia only to end up around telegraph poles or in the local creek. They ask for a deposit before being released. They had that system back in Holland decades ago when I was still a young man , brimming with optimism and joy de vivre but also with some early burgeoning signs of a clear-sighted despair as well. ( not totally unfounded.)

Most of their products are Aldi brands and have simple direct exterior packaging doubling as display as well as being the product. The stores themselves are small to walk around and one doesn’t have to go on a day-long hike, risking dehydration, to find the elusively shy toothpaste or the brazen Spanish salami.

The giant supermarkets in Australia, Woolworth and Coles are now rapidly losing market share with a sagging share price. Aldi is becoming the popular way of shopping. At least 20% cheaper on everything especially groceries.

Here an extract of the philosophy of Aldi, by Der Spiegel.

“It took until the end of the 1990s for the product lines to change, in line with society, gradually and subtly, but with remarkable consequences. Smoked salmon replaced broad beans, Montepulciano wine lined shelves previously crammed with standard German Schnapps. And even middle-class consumers or good earners felt pleased with themselves when they wheeled an Aldi PC out of the store.

Aldi’s firmly established presence in everyday German laugh contrasts with a dearth of information about its founders. The secrecy they shrouded themselves in at times seemed ridiculous. Questions to the management had to be submitted by fax. They rarely elicited an answer. This was generally attributed to the traumatic kidnapping of Theo Albrecht in 1971.

No entrepreneur and no company celebrated its own reclusiveness as rigidly as Aldi. The company would say that its founders had nothing to say because they were concentrating on the business. The company had grown because it did not feed a curious public with news, a close confidante once said, describing Theo’s creed.

Enthusiasm, Perfectionism and Absolute Thrift

In Aldi’s world, open communication was regarded as a mistake, or at least as a waste of time. Anyone who broke that code was a traitor. Almost everyone who provides information on the family or the company does so on condition of anonymity.

Enthusiasm for the product, perfectionism and absolute thrift — those were the secrets of success for the Albrecht brothers. High-ranking executives would dig old pencils out of their desk drawers whenever one of the brothers paid them a visit, just to avoid causing any suspicion that they were wasting office supplies.

For decades, the brothers have focused on what they consider to be the essentials: the best quality product at the lowest possible price.

In the process, Aldi’s product range has always remained relatively limited. The supermarket chain sells around 1,000 different articles. By comparison, the US retail giant Wal-Mart stocks up to 50,000 different products. But anyone who has ever stood looking at a supermarket shelf featuring 28 different kinds of fruit yogurt knows that sometimes less is more.

“From the beginning, Aldi has always focused on two, or a maximum three, varieties of a product, thereby helping the customer by making a useful pre-selection,” says Thomas Roeb, a retail expert and former Aldi manager.”

Western Polo-necked Youth drawn (radicalised) to Isis.

October 1, 2014

untitledvoodoo

The local youth don’t know what they are missing out on. What’s the golden syrup that draws the future jihadists away from our lovely, caring and all inclusive culture? Of the estimated 30000 Isis army about a thousand or more are alleged to have come from Western countries. The videos and the beheadings in Syria are supposed to have been done by someone with an English accent. Perhaps even an English national. Claims were made that the identity of him is known. Many countries are scrambling their fighter jets. We are daily shown TV images of pin point accurate bombs honing in on enemy targets with plumes of black smoke radiating dangerously close towards us on the comfy couch, accompanied by a shot of a pulverised, disintegrating enemy(real people).We almost end up clapping or at least hope for an encore.

If those figures are correct, it means about 10% of all the Isis forces are from Europe, America and Australia. That sad video made by a woman undercover in Syria, of a French youth on the phone to his crying mum back home in France, telling her that he wants to stay in Syria and fight. “I am not coming home”, he said

The reason given is that of being ‘radicalised’. The young people are being radicalised! It almost sounds as if there is some Voodoo going on. You know, feathers and chicken heads besmirched with demonic dancing around funereal fires. There must be hypnotic Isis practitioners out in the suburbs casting strange spells on our youth. Oh, that’s the explanation! Yes, we see now. Yes, that’s why! Nothing more? Is that all there is to it? The magic of radicalisation? How simplistic, but that word is being used to explain the hard to swallow fact that many of our young feel attracted away from our much revered system of consumerism and capitalism. How can that be?. Let’s cancel their passports; teach them a lesson.

http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2014/09/dutch_cancel_49_jihadist_passp.php

Isn’t that a bit easy? Surely there must be better explanations offering more thought out and credible reasons why so many are drawn to fight in far away sandy and risky countries. I don’t know either but I am now old and often in repose mood, not yet listless. I well remember, as if yesterday, not being like that. My main aim in life was always to savour the new and skirt and flirt the adventurous, avoid the staid cemented-in, like the plague. I have been reasonably successful in that and wasn’t ever tempted to become a lawyer, a quantity surveyor or actuarial expert with a sound grounding in so much nothingness. Not the stooped-over office chair for me. I too might have been tempted to join an Isis!

I do remember the opposition to the Vietnam war. Young boy-like soldiers laughingly saying goodbye to wives, mothers, girlfriends. Many never to return but in bitter graves under moonless skies. There were escapes for youth then, with protests by students, energetic rock throwing by their professors. America and its allies capitulated. The war lost.

But now, nothing but a numb acceptance of everything that is imposed, unquestioningly and obediently. Dreadful things happening under the guise of ‘humanitarian concerns.’ The killing fields of our detention camps. The 15% unemployment rates of the young. It must be having an effect on our youths. Is despair rampant?

Perhaps this disillusion felt by youth has spread to the Western world as a whole. Has capitalism and consumerism run its course?

Don’t we give back what is given to us?

Is that perhaps one reason for some of the youth to be attracted to Isis.

Is that the radicalisation? I don’t know.

What do you think?

Our friends are our enemies.Foxglove poem

September 29, 2014

imagesFoxglove

A few days ago I read an article which has disappeared into the bowels of IT. That’s how things are on the WWW. It’s a bit like flipping through a phone book after the imbibing of a couple and not only not remembering the page number but also what you had actually read. I get this more and more. No sooner have I read a fascinating unforgettable bit of essential trivia and even before taking leave of my chair, it has already gone or in a Dali Watch meltdown.

I have told my wife to take a good grip on me. I am losing it. Oh, now I remember what it was that took my inattention. Something about bombing and the futility of it. Someone pointed out that;
We not only fight our enemies in Iraq and Syria but also our allies and friends.
The situation gets more and more complicated as time goes by.

Get again a bit closer now and écoutez carefullement svp.

We don’t like Isis, but Isis is supported by Saudi Arabia who are our friends. We don’t like president Assad and support the fight against him in Syria. So does Isis who we don’t like. We don’t like Iran but Iran supports Iraqi government against Isis. We support Iraq in fighting Isis but not others such as Iran who also fight Isis. Isis must only be killed by our friends but not by our enemies.

Some of our friends support our enemies and some of our enemies support our enemies. Some of our enemies support our friends. Some enemies are fighting against enemies that are also (at time) our friends. Some want our enemies to win while some of our enemies want our enemies to win depending on who is enemy or friend.
Our best friends are or were also our enemies and vice versa.
Hope this clears it up.

Or, someone better grounded in logic could sum it up thus: Our friends and enemies are one. They are us. I now surmise but ask; are we really bombing ourselves?

Does that make sense?

Or have I fuckcen flipped?
Should I just concentrate on growing Foxgloves.(Foxglove poisoning usually occurs from sucking the flowers or eating the seeds, stems, or leaves of the foxglove plant.)

Foxgloves by Mary Webb.
“The foxglove bells, with lolling tongue,
Will not reveal what peals were rung
In Faery, A thousand ages gone.
All the golden clappers hang
As if but now the changes rang;
Only from the mottled throat Never any echoes float.
Quite forgotten, in the wood,
Pale, crowded steeples rise;
All the time that they have stood
None has heard their melodies.
Deep, deep in wizardry
All the foxglove belfries stand.
Should they startle over the land,
None would know what bells they be.
Never any wind can ring them,
Nor the great black bees that swing them
Every crimson bell, down-slanted,
Is so utterly enchanted. –

The Terrorists in Government.

September 24, 2014

0041

Yes, what are we going to do? Australia will not make a living from keeping out boatpeople or ramping up fears. The scraping the top layer off our continent and selling it wasn’t exactly very taxing.

What are we going to do? A youth unemployment of 15% doesn’t auger well for keeping murderous attacks under control.

I sometimes wonder what people are doing in those gigantic city office buildings. I know we have one the highest densities of litigation lawyers and Big M. burger arched take away, but what about making things? You know actually producing stuff?

We could have been the world leaders in alternative energy with the world at our feet wanting solar panels, wind towers, etc. Even the Rockefellers are getting out of fossil fuel, But us…What have we done?

What are we going to do?

We could ease up on exercising our pyrotechnical bath-tub toys above and in far away sandy countries and save the $ 500.000.000 yearly.

We could also save even more doing away with the Government using ADF’s insane ‘stopping the boats’ policy. Billions in fact. Just imagine what that money could achieve?

The following from Andrew Kaldor; http://www.kaldorcentre.unsw.edu.au/node/386

Tony Abbott

Tony Abbott

“Australia now spends the same as the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) spends on its entire global refugee and displaced persons operations.

The UNHCR is responsible for helping and protecting some 50 million displaced persons around the world, including 11.6 million refugees. It expects to spend about $3.5 billion (US$3.3bn) in 2014. To cover 10,000 staff and all relief for the emergencies in Syria and Iraq, and Africa, as well as the protracted situations worldwide.

Tow back boats by Australian Navy

Tow back boats by Australian Navy

Compare that with the $3.3 billion Australia spent in 2013-14 on the detention and processing of boat arrivals. It has been the fastest growing Government programme over recent years, increasing from $118 million in 2010 at the average annual growth rate of a staggering 129 per cent.

Next year, the Department of Immigration’s budget is about $2.9 billion for that operation. But this number probably understates the total costs. It appears to ignore the extra aid to Papua New Guinea for signing the Manus Island deal, $420m over four years. It also ignores the costs of the AFP, ASIO, and State judicial system. Moreover, the value of current contracts issued by the Immigration Department, just for offshore detention for the 2014-15 fiscal year, has been estimated to be $2.7 billion [Source: data compiled by Nick Evershed, The Guardian, 25 August 2014].”

This money could have helped with our 15% youth unemployment. A terrible situation. Perhaps easing disillusionment and desperate ,perhaps even murderous situations arising.

Just imagine?

http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2014/08/28/boats-may-have-stopped-what-cost-australia

The Escape from Suburban ennui.

September 17, 2014

It makes you think when an seventeen year old boy escapes home and joins IS in Syria. He could be concentrating on his stamp collection or help dad prise out unwanted grasses from the front lawn, couldn’t he? Surely there must be ways to escape from our much praised ‘own home on own block’ in those endlessly anonymously sun-lit streets of suburbia, without going to that extreme.

photo 3Kalancoe enlarged

I remember well my introduction to an Australian suburb after my parents in 1956 decided to buy a fibro asbestos dwelling in Sydney’s western suburbs. It was a devastating experience which, now at the age of 74, am finally accepting that it did happen, it was not their fault. I have conquered and overcome! It all came back last night when watching the excellent ABC TV documentary on writers/comedians/artists who not only overcame but became national Icons of art and culture precisely (bar for Robert Hughes)because of the dreariness and desolation of the Australian suburb. They escaped but used the experiences in ways that enthralled millions around the world for decades. There is nothing like a mirror being held up in front of us.!

http://www.theguardian.com/world/australia-culture-blog/2014/sep/17/brilliant-creatures-germaine-clive-barry-and-bob-review

It must seem like typical responses from the incorrigible Jerimiah Jacobson to finally have escaped England and rejoice in the sun and warmth that greeted Howard Jacobson in 1965 after sailing into sunny Sydney harbour. The gleaming whiteness of the Opera house a cheerful greeting card. He visible recoiled when ruminating over the dreariness and greyness of England’s skies heavy with sombre souls of past leaden Lords and hollowed out Timothy Thatchers. The cricket score on a Sunday afternoon, as exciting it could ever get. Waiting for the dreaded mid-night knock on the door. What Howard took delight in, the four giants of Australia’s own suburban making, escaped and flocked to Earls Court and at roughly the same time.

It just proves that changing and escaping from something might be an essential part of coming into one’s own. Even so, I do think that our architectural domestic way of housing ourselves leaves much to be desired. The fenced off and utterly lonely environment, the strips of bitumen snaking mile after simmering mile. Not a soul to be seen. Just metal boxes on endless journeys, but whereto and why? A Sunday afternoon, a solitary figure perched on a ladder clearing his guttering from errant leaves. I am surprised that young people can survive all that.

After every domestic murder, the usual responses; “Oh, such a lovely family amongst a close-knit community. We sometimes saw then and even said hello”! In the meantime some young people go to Syria and fight to get killed.

The age of Essentials.

February 21, 2014
Christine Lagarde

Christine Lagarde

No matter what, no matter who or whatever happens in Australia or elsewhere in this neck of the woods or deserts, we will never have a Christine Lagarde amongst our gaggle of politicians.

How refreshing to hear the IMF’s chief last night on the ABC’s Questions & Answers. “Health and education are NOT entitlements”, she reiterated several times.
Eighty individuals now own half the world’s wealth. How can that be right?

You wonder how the world can continue on with such gross inequity? There were always rich and poor. Just reading old Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace where it is taken for granted that footmen turn up at any given time, all dressed in finest livery, to take the rich and famous to the next dinner or party somewhere in St Petersburg.

One of his quotes still rings true: “Everything comes in time to him/her who knows how to wait.”

I reckon we will wait a long time before we have an admission from our leaders that Health and Education are the pinnacles that a good and just society is based upon. They are not entitlements, they are necessities that should be equally available to all.

Isn’t it telling that the IMF chief, fearlessly, appears on such a public program in Australia, and yet, our PM never. Such an incoherent bumbling coward. ” We will not listen to “Moral objections ” ,re the killing and maiming of Manus Island illegally detained prisoners of war.

The refugees on Manus Island were told they will never be allowed to settle in Australia, no matter what. There are 700.000 people having fled into Turkey, another 700.000 into Jordan, just over the last few months from Syria alone, and yet…Australia not generous enough to allow AT LEAST those that have been found wandering the ocean in leaky boats.

What sort of hell-hole did my parents migrate to?

At least I have my words that I can type out on my electric writing motor and, if that fails, I have my H and Milo in that order. 😉 Just making Spätzle. I have my H, than my putor and then Milo.

“You are a bit grumpy this morning” she told me. No real reason, “just pissed off with this government”. “No you are not,” “you are just naturally grumpy, regardless of anything”, she answered so brutally but with a fair crack of the whip. To be honest, grumpiness is the domain of men, I reckon. My H said, ” I was hoping that with your flagging testosterone diminishing that goodness and sweetness would come to the fore a bit more often.

I told H to again read Tolstoy’s quote.