Tuesday, October 26, 2010

David Hicks: Martyrdom Lite or "Better Read than Dead"

[Wonder how many low-rent types have been housed since the stimulus and the NRAS (National Housing Affordability Scheme)? While awaiting results, pls allow DH the pleasure of pontificating on national security.]\

Move over Mary McKillop. David Hicks is our First Aussie Martyr.

David, Islamic martyrs are supposed to die for their cause. You're doing Martyrdom Lite, or is it Martyrdom, Aussie style?. Martydom lite's credo:  "better read than dead"

DH never thought she'd agree with John Howard on anything,  but Hicks is no hero. He chose to learn to kill and go against Australia's national interest. There's a name for people who do that, and it's severely punished by even the most enlightened nations. Hicks paid the price for being a traitor. It's meant to be food for thought for any hot-heads who want to follow in his footsteps. Sadly for him, he was made an example of.


Clearly, DH should stop pontificating on national security without doing more research. Let no-one say she is rigid in her beliefs, for ...  as "Himself" points out (in comments below):

This is nonsense. Hicks 'learnt to kill' yes, but only in the context of being a soldier. He never trained as a terrorist. He was involved in a civil war in the Balkans and a civil war in Afghanistan. The Taliban were at this time the defacto government of Afghanistan, not a terrorist organisation in the strict sense. It was only with September 11 that Hicks's association with the Taliban became a point where he could be accused of criminal association, and this preposterously given that the Taliban have never been directly linked to September 11 by anyone.
DH is hanging her head in shame, and will leave this post up as an ongoing testament to her folly.

Let DH make one thing perfecty clear, Guantanamo was itself a war crime with many innocents incarcerated, and Bush and his henchmen should be indicted. Terrorists are also war criminals and should be treated the same way.

But DH is sorry for assuming David Hicks was guilty on the basis of lies emanating from the Bush administration.

Just because he was a stupid d*ckhead conspiracy theorist who said vile racist things about Jews, and aided and abetted that enlightened band of proto-feminists, the Taliban, does not justify 5 years in hell. Public contempt and perhaps some Shariah justice would suffice - say a light stoning, cutting off his trigger finger, two years in isolation in a hole in the ground in Beirut, if not a beheading for being unfortunate enough to be an unconverted Anglo straying into the wrong territory.

OK, OK, two wrongs dont make a right... the end.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Aux Armes, Citoyens Anglos Toothlesses, the French aren't taking it lying down.

Mark Weisbrot, the Guardian: By taking
to the streets to defend their pension
rights from regressive cuts,the French
are fighting for all our benefits*

George Monbiot comments in the Guardian: For the Conservatives, this is not a financial crisis but a long-awaited opportunity: In a classic example of 'disaster capitalism', the cuts are being used to reshape the economy in the interests of business – and to trash the public sector.

At least the French aren't falling for it. Mon dieu,  they're not going gently into the good night of eternal Newstart as the retirement horizon recedes forever into the distance. While Lily-livered Labor does nothing to prosecute age discrimination.

By gum, by DH's toothless old gum (we lost universal dental care in 1996 under Howard, and never got it back, remember?) we Aussies have become a nation of whipped and toothless curs by comparison.

The Marseillaise still says it all (freely translated by DH):

Que veut cette horde d'esclaves,What does this horde of toadies,
De traîtres, de rois conjurés ?Of traitors and spinned up political pretenders want?
Pour qui ces ignobles entraves,For whom are these ignoble shackles,
Ces fers dès longtemps préparés ? (bis)These long-prepared fetters? (repeat)
Français, pour nous, ah ! quel outrageOrdinary Aussies, that's who, ah! what outrage
Quels transports il doit exciter !What fury it should arouse!
C'est nous qu'on ose méditerIt is we whom they dare plan
De rendre à l'antique esclavage !
To return to ancient slavery!

* Photograph: Pascal Guyot/AFP/Getty Images. From Sarkozy Should Resign by Mark Weisbrot, The Guardian

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Let them eat Cert IV's: recipes for make celebrate Anti-Poverty Week in Glorious Lucky Nation of Australia

It's no wonder that Australia's charities are calling for urgent government subsidies to help Australians struggling with hunger  ... oops... don't mention the "H" word ... that only happens in the USA... In Glorious Lucky Country food insecurity much more reassuring and not frighten horses.

According to Australia's largest hunger relief organisation, Food Bank, an estimated 2 million Australians do not have enough food to eat, while one million children go to school without breakfast, or to bed without dinner! If you find this hard to believe, check it out on ABC News.

Meanwhile, talking about 2 million, a report just released by the Salvos shows that  2 million Australians are living in poverty.  Wonder if it's the same 2 million?

No wonder, when Lily-livered Labor has done bugger-all for the 610,000 unemployed and 837,000 underemployed Australian citizens on Newstart, John Howard's miserable Oldidea for plenty of stick and never you mind the carrot.

The Newstart benefit for a married couple with two children is $97.00 per week below the poverty line, whilst for a single person it's $118.00 per week below.  That's just $235 a week, and maybe $50 rent assistance, folks.

But if the remnants of the Labor Left get any wet, wimpy, big-hearted ideas, Tony Abbott just has to start pounding his hairy simian chest: "Bom Bom Bom,  A Great Big Tax", and Labor goes all limp at the knees.

The best response Mary-Antoinette Macklin's  Ministry for Social Inclusion seems able to come up with is "Let them eat Cert IVs".   Just what we need: Mickey Mouse training courses for non-existent jobs.

Maybe someone should tell Mary-Antoinette that there are 4 people looking for every job available.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Mark Arbib: Senator for Bread and Circuses.. (and Fergedabout-da-Homeless?)

Winners are grinners while homeless
queues grow.  Pic lifted from
The ABC's Q&A which,  in this infotainment age, appears to be our most prominent arbiter of what's important to the nation, features this Monday, Senator Mark Arbib, denoted simply as the "Minister for Sport". 

Oy!?!! What about his other portfolios: housing, homelessness, aboriginal employment and community development?  Don't these rate anymore?

But why worry? The stimulus package fixed all that, didn't it?  Didn't you listen to Labor's subliminal election slogan "IT'S TIME TO MOVE ON"?   As long as there's flour, sugar, tea and sports spectaculars, who cares? After all, most people can still afford bread, or at least get a serve at a soup kitchen. And the middle classes, or what's left of them,  couldn't give a damn, so well are they pandered to by Q&A which bowdlerises public discourse and turns politicians into lovable buffoons, 

What does it mean that the Ministry of Housing under the Left's Tanya Plibersek has been subsumed back into Jenny Macklin's FAHCSIA, while the Right's Mark Arbib takes up the rump: social housing? Should we start worrying? Having proved successful in chopping off the fingers of any asylum seekers still clinging to lifeboats, is the current management of Fortress Australia  now turning its attention to casting adrift its own underclass?

Lizards, they say, cast off their own tails to save their skins when pursued by predators. Is Australia, pursued by the predatory practices of globalisation throwing off its own underclasses? Has trying to house the masses proved to be too difficult?

DH has not been able to unearth a single pronouncement yet by Mark Arbib about the direction of Social Housing. 

Tanya Plibersek meanwhile has given birth to baby Louis, and will be out of action for 3 weeks before resuming her roles as Minister for Human Services (eg Centrelink) and Social Inclusion. Can hardly wait to ask Tanya how people paid just $235 a week unemployment benefits are going to be "included" in anything when they can't even get out of the house. Tanya, people on unemployment benefits are effectively under financial house arrest, which is what happens when you spend everything on rent, flour, sugar, tea and utilities in the first week and run out of money for a bus fare (which NSW doesn't even subsidise for unemployed people).

Question for QandA      
DH has submitted the following to Q&A:                                                                                                

Senator Arbib, has Federal Labor downgraded social housing and Aboriginal employment by putting them below sport in your list of portfolios? Can we relax and assume the housing crisis is over, and should the homeless be content with bread and circuses?