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Miscellaneous comments from 10 Jan 2015

Comments made on the previous Miscellaneous comments page from 30 Nov 2014 can be found here.

If you have anything you would like to raise, which is likely to be of interest to our site's visitors, which is not addressed in other articles, please add your comments here.

Comments on this page are now closed. Further comments can be posted here. - Ed (21/2/15)


The below is a bit of a loosely pinned rant:

Can't you also obviously pin Syria to Western intervention? The so-called rebels are being financed by US-NATO. America is currently salivating to go into Syria and destroy it on the flimsiest of reasons.

Sri Lanka is an argument between people who were brought there to work from the mainland in colonial times and those with a prior claim to Sri Lanka, if I am not mistaken.

Pakistan is the result of a British colonial border creation.

Egypt ... ugh...Such a confusing past of foreign interference.

And South Africa under Mandela, a product of western interference dismantling land-rights legislation before it could be submitted.

Iraq (as you have mentioned) with all its oil and gas privatised and dedicated to foreign corporate interests.
And Russia - I just realised that the same thing happened there - with Gazprom and other Russian petroleum assets - asset stripped according to laws written by the United States. These were clawed back by Putin, who also got rid of a bunch of oligarchs. Fantastic story. Who elsewhere is capable of doing this? Chavez did - but he is dead.


I must say that I think everyone, including Australia and the United States, should be provided with national civil codes, in Napoleonic style. That would give citizens some legally defendable rights and it would place a break on corporate interference. But then I am always saying this and few people have any idea of what I am talking about . :-)

Hi Sheila,

How do you 'unwind' these issues, without more intervention? At this point, you either intervene, or leave the results of the intervention in place.

As for the middle east, this is an interesting read, if you didn't already know the history, which you probably are familiar with.

While its has an Islamic bias, the use if division by the British is a standard tactic. They did the same thing with Cyprus, leading to Greek/Turkish tensions. We can't undo this, but what interests me, is why does this mentality still persist?

The same is true for African states. Arbitrary borders were drawn up, leading to divisions of nations. Yet, it interests me that no one sees the nature of the problem. Today, "all sides" of politics still treat these nations, as legitimate nations, as if the issues concerning their creation should not exist. They CAN'T exist. They're not supposed to.

The above link shows ethnic borders, and you see little correlation with the current political borders (which DO correlate with how European powers divided Africa amongst themselves).

Our ability to intervene without creating more problems, relates to our own sense of nationhood and identity. For example, we KNOW that the African nation states were drawn up along colonial lines. We KNOW that the Middle Eastern states were arbitrarily created (again by colonial lines).

Most people stop there (if they even get that far).

Why has the West failed to realise why Iraq needed an authoritarian power to stay together? Why do we seem puzzled at these intra-national fights?

I think the answer is, we don't actually know what's going on! Even the anti-war Left, during the Iraq war, spoke of Iraq as a nation as real as any European nation like France or Italy or Britain or Greece.

So where is the misunderstanding? The current Western narrative, is that a country is an administrative entity, which contains an arbitrary collection of people who happen to pay tax to the same entity, have the same passports, and support the same 'team'. Our modern view of a country is one which is purely propositional and bureaucratic and economic. So we assume that this should work anywhere. Why CANT we just make people all 'Iraqis' or 'Angolans', and have them adopt this as the primary, and SOLE identity?

In short, we Westerners don't understand the problems, and therefore, no matter how well meaning someone might be, they won't be able to fix it, because their model of how the world works is fundamentally flawed. We can only pretend to relate.

We can only impose our own viewpoint on others because we've learned to shut out other views and systems. The necessity, the actions and beliefs and systems of other peoples aren't understood and are immediately rejected, because we've only tolerated one specific narrative of progress here. What is worse, is that in the West, the others don't exist any more. There IS only one correct way. One correct vision of 'progress'. We've philosophically accepted this and as a result, have become incapable of understanding the world.

This makes us incapable of successfully intervening anywhere, even with good intentions and perhaps part of the reason that Putin is gaining power and we are losing respect. We just don't "get it". We don't "get it" with regards to Islam. We don't "get it" with regards to Russia, the Middle East or China or anywhere. We've lost the ability to even see or understand different socio-political systems or what they are doing.

This is NOT just the ruling elite. This includes the student activists, the anti-war activists, academia. "Left" and "Right" subscribe to the same paradigms and goals and have the same tunnel vision.

Why this is so is another discussion, but I think this loss of political diversity means that talk of straightening out problems that we started will end up making matters worse (as has been demonstrated in the Middle East). It is only when we change our own view of the world that we can even hope to look at the rest of the world and not muddle it up any more.

I didn't mean to go off on a tangent, but I do believe that disparate issues interrelate. I don't believe that we can have effective political change, and change the actions of our leaders and politics, unless we acknowledge this problem and start to redevelop our politics and open it up. It is a fundamental step towards shifting power away from corporations and vested international interests. It is this reason that I think that we've been so ineffective at implementing, or instigating political change, and perhaps for the apathy as well.

The secretary of the Gold Coast North Chamber of Commerce, Gary Mays, said it was vital to create more jobs in a variety of industries so people could live and work locally.

At least there are some voices out there, not actually criticising population growth, but our business model based on housing and construction growth, and youth unemployment.

There's no economic or social precedent for our high rates of immigration, and the population growth crush we are experiencing. Housing does not produce enough jobs, and adds to our unemployment rate.

Demographer Bernard Salt predicts the combined population of the Gold Coast and Tweed will double to 1.2 million in the next 35 years!

Unemployment rose over that period, from 5.2 per cent to the 6.4 per cent reported by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Thursday. The mantra is that "growth means jobs" - but what growth? Obviously population growth stimulates GDP growth, but there's no indication that this leads to economic growth, and jobs!

The housing "boom" is warping our economy, and leaving a damaging legacy of debt, social and environmental challenges, for future generations.

Gold Coast urged to diversify economy

Population growth is being used to mask a weak economy, and artificially prop up our GDP figures and consumption rates.

Gary Mays says that "the other thing is we've got to start utilising these graduates that we're turning out at a rapid rate from the universities with nowhere to go." Unemployed graduates is an indication of skills overshoot, and a stagnant economy, which flies in the face of our skilled immigration rate.

See also:
Queensland's Gold Coast losing its lustre – the Australian, 11 Jun 11 and Construction of the Gold Coast light rail system and major roadworks are causing big delays for frustrated motorists 14 Jul 13 and Roadworks cause major traffic gridlock on Gold Coast 21 Jul 13 – Courier Mail. - Ed

If you use the Roy Morgan unemployment statistics which includes all people over the age of 14 who are looking for work plus those who are employed but looking for more work the problem becomes even more stark. Roy Morgan research shows the unemployment rate for January, 2015 to be 9.8% plus those looking for more work at 8.2% for a total of 18%. The same figures for January 2014 were 11.3% and 8.7% for a total of 20%. While the latter figures make the former look OK, what must be taken into account is that the total workforce in same period fell by some 97,000 while the total population grew by some 360,000. The Roy Morgan data is raw i.e. not seasonally adjusted and is done face to face, not by telephone.

Islamic State has released a video that appears to show the beheading of a group of Egyptian Christians kidnapped in Libya. The victims in orange jumpsuits are made to kneel beside the sea in what is identified by militants in the video as the coast near Tripoli in Libya. Each captive is led by a black-clad executioner who is grasping a knife. The only sound is that of the crashing waves. They are made to kneel, and then one by one they are beheaded.

Militants in Libya had been holding 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians hostage for weeks, threatening them with death. “We will conquer Rome,” one of the executioners warns after committing the bloody act.

The gruesome five-minute long video, is called 'A Message Signed With Blood To The Nation Of The Cross'.

The Coptic Church said it was confident the Cairo government would seek justice. Al Azhar, the centre of Islamic learning in Egypt, said no religion would accept such "barbaric" acts. It's revealing that this is not a "religious" act, but one based on revenge, terror, fear, brutality and lust for power.

Although Christians have lived in northern Iraq and Syria for nearly two-thousand years, and at least six hundred years before Islam, today they face extinction across the region.

Across Northern Iraq, Christians are huddled in refugee camps, trapped in the desert, or trapped in their homes, waiting for death.

The word Copt is derived from the Greek word Aigyptos, which was, in turn, derived from "Hikaptah", one of the names for Memphis, the first capital of Ancient Egypt. The Coptic Church is based on the teachings of Saint Mark who brought Christianity to Egypt during the reign of the Roman emperor Nero in the first century. The call to Islam resounded in Egypt with the arrival of the Arab Muslims into the Christian country in 640 A.D. Coptic history from the first to the seventh centuries was removed from the textbooks of public schools for decades till the year 2002. In 1868, the Egyptian sheikh Rifa al-Tahtawi published a history of Egypt giving full attention to her Pharaonic civilization. In fact, the entire Egyptian population was Christian on the eve of the Islamic Arab invasion of 640 AD.

Egypt today may have a Muslim majority. But it has not been totally islamized yet.

Greyhound racers are secretly blooding their dogs with live bait as part of systemic and widespread cheating within the country's multimillion-dollar industry, according to explosive evidence uncovered by ABC's Four Corners program.

Piglets, possums and rabbits tortured in sadistic greyhound training 'rituals'. Barbaric training practices in Australia's greyhound racing industry have been uncovered in ground-breaking investigations by Animals Australia and Animal Liberation Queensland.

Live baiting has been banned and criminalised for decades, but trainers and owners across the country have been using the illegal training method in the belief that it will improve a dog's performance.

The Victorian Government announced two separate investigations into the greyhound racing industry following the Four Corners story.

The state's chief veterinary officer was appointed to undertake a broad investigation into the industry, while Mr Perna was to conduct an independent probe. More than 20 greyhound racing dog owners and trainers across NSW, Victoria and Queensland have been suspended after a series of raids which allegedly discovered the illegal use of live animals being used to bait and lure dogs.

Any use of animals in "sports" or entertainment means they are open to abuse, exploitation and cruelty. There's so much money at stake, and money will drive cruelty.

Animals Australia: Take action re greyhound live baiting exposed

Greyhound racing’s biggest sponsor, Macro Meats, has withdrawn its support of the industry in the wake of the shocking live-baiting scandal.

The South Australian company, which specialises in kangaroo meat, was the naming-rights holder for major Group 1 races across the nation, including the $107,500 Adelaide Cup and $475,000 Golden Easter Egg, but has stopped all sponsorship immediately after the shocking revelations of animal cruelty.

While it's commendable that Ray Borda has withdrawn his support for the greyhound racing industry, in light of barbaric and horrific cruelty in the use of live animals for blood baiting, it ignores the inherent cruelty of the commercial kangaroo industry. Does he not care about the cruelty to kangaroos, but for the live animals used to lure greyhounds?

Borda, a passionate greyhound enthusiast, says the decision was easy and admits he was sickened once he saw the animal cruelty — aired on ABC current affairs program Four Corners. A pity he has no empathy for kangaroos, the mis-shot animals that die slowly and the 800,000 joeys that are disposed of by bashing on the head each year!

There's also the inherent cruelty to the greyhounds, of the over-breeding and the killing of up to 25,000 each year because they are "too slow" or injured! Maybe Ray Borda wants to keep a squeaky clean image, and maintain the extreme mass killings of our native kangaroos that happens outside the scrutiny of the public and animal activists?

Macro Meats have brought themselves down a couple of notches on the cruelty scale by withdrawing sponsorship of the greyhound racing industry but when you put it in perspective what else could they do? Killing en masse our native fauna to support an avenue for gambling, greyhound racing which harbours it seems the most depraved, sadistic, hard hearted creatures in human form is really an obscenity.

I would really like to see a prisoner exchange with the perpetrators of the greyhound industry's recently exposed cruelty with the convicted drug smugglers in Bali who await execution. I would be overjoyed to see the greyhound "trainers" who I saw on film this week executed. They could never be rehabilitated. They obviously enjoy inflicting pain on the weak and helpless and watching terror and bloodshed. I don't see any of those characteristics in the convicted drug smugglers in Bali.

The following was posted to a forum discussion on about the threatened execution of Australian citizens Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran by the Indonesian government for their attempt to traffic heroin from Bali into Australia in 2005.

Megan wrote on February 19th, 2015 at 22:10 :

The AFP knew exactly what the Bali 9 were up to and secretly told the Indonesians all about it, thereby ensuring the current outcome.

The role of the Australian Federal Police (AFP) in setting up Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran to face execution is chilling and shameful. Regardless of how this turns out, the AFP should be made to answer before the public for their actions, ideally through a parliamentary inquiry.

In any case, if Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran deserve to face the firing squad, so too do members of the Indonesian police, who are also known to be corrupt and implicated in drug trafficking.

One of many articles which explain heroin trafficking is "Deep Events and the CIA's Global Drug Connection", originally published 6 Sep 2008, by Professor Peter Dale Scott. The global flood of heroin, particularly from Afghanistan after the invasion of 2001, shows that the Opium Wars of 1839-1842 and 1856-1860 never ended.

The irony is that Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran were LEAVING Indonesia, to come to Australia. Surely, then, there's more profits to be made from the smuggling of drugs due to the internal drug insecurity! Schappel Corby was accused of taking drugs INTO the country, not OUT! Of course the proof was destroyed.

Instead of executing the smugglers, who are said to be reformed and rehabilitated, there should be a tough crack-down on drugs inside the country, and the drug lords that provided these drug smugglers with their supplies.

Australia is officially against the death penalty, but is implicitly supportive of it if it denounced to the Indonesian police that the Bali Nine had drugs. The smugglers should have been caught arriving in Australia, if the real motive was to avoid the death penalty. Instead, they were reported and fell in a trap, with the AFP fully knowing that Indonesia has the death penalty for drug possession. They were betrayed!

A response to the above comment ban be found here. Comments on this page are now closed. - Ed, (21/2/15)

To Whom it May concern:

We, members and committee of the Australian Wildlife Protection Council, and Animals Active,  are shocked and appalled at the revelations that live animals, including protected native possums, have been used as lure to bloodlet greyhounds in the racing industry.

Possums, and all native animals, are protected by law, and this gives another layer of illegality, and disregard for the sentience and status of animals in our community.

This greyhound industry clearly has animal cruelty deeply entrenched, and embedded, into its history and practices.  It's all based on gambling profits without productivity or integrity. 
The use of wildlife for any industry or entertainment inherently exposes animals to abuse, exploitation and depraved cruelty.

The capture and killing of protected native animals in such as way is a flagrant violation of the Victorian Wildlife Act, 1975.

We demand that the greyhound industry be investigated, prosecuted, and shut-down.

Australian Wildlife Protection Council

Comments on this page are now closed. Further comments can be posted here. - Ed (21/2/15)