Category Archives: Introspective

Fifty Years of Imagining


Fifty Years of fruitless

Imagining in song

And yet still we hope

Perhaps one day we will

Overcome our genetics

All the inbuilt self hatred

Expressed as hatred of others

Too late for you and I

But perhaps it will be

For our children to heal

Oh please, let it be.

Dumbing Down


Somehow we are all surprised that America is no longer the World’s Super Power?

Because Trump.

No, the signs were there long before that.

I really wish this was a cyber-myth – yet research shows it actually happened.

Image may contain: food, text that says '"Describe Americans using a single picture" Me: In the 1980s, A&W tried to compete with the McDonald's Quarter Pounder by selling a 1/3 pound burger at a lower cost. The product failed, because most customers thought 1/4 pound was bigger.'

 

 

Whoever Fights Monsters (a repeat)


I posted this in July 2013. Since then Australia has seen the cases of David McBride, Bernard Collereay, Bernard Collaery and WitnessK, Witness J along with others which have probably escaped any reference in the media. It seems reasonable to think about this erosion of the basics of the Magna Carta now in 2020.

 

Whoever fights monsters

The USA has fought many monsters in its short history as a Nation.

Religious persecution, a battle which continues to this day. The British Monarchy which was a successful battle. Slavery where they had to fight themselves with mixed results. Spain and Mexico in successful American Imperialism. German Imperialism which was not quite so successful so they had to do it twice. Russian Communism which eventually worked after unleashing many potential horrors upon an undeserving world.

should see to it that in the process

The Founding Fathers of the USA set up an apparently fool-proof process so that the citizenry could see what was happening within a tripartite form of Government.

An elected President limited to two terms. An elected Congress subject to the will of an informed electorate. An appointed Supreme Court where the best minds in the country could rule, in Law, on the decisions of the first two branches.

All open and visible to the public.

Successfully fighting against the casual cruelties of Nazism and the secret arms of Eastern Europe’s tyrannical Governments.

he does not become a monster.

Yet somewhere along the way the USA lost its integrity.

The cruelty of mid-Century Germany was mirrored in the drug experiments by the CIA in the 50’s and 60’s.

The secrecy of the KGB became the norm in the CIA and the Gulags of Russia have found an echo in the creation of the Guantanamo Bay prison.

The stop and search and constant inspection of its and other Nation’s citizens, the intrusion of the NSA into every corner of the cyber-world and the use of drones to remotely kill people are all symptoms of the USA having tipped over the edge into becoming one the monsters it was trying to eradicate.

And if you gaze long enough into an abyss,

After looking into the Abyss created by megalomaniac rulers throughout the world; After counteracting the terror unleashed upon the world by those with extreme religious and secular ambitions; After close association with the worst the world can produce, the USA has become infected with the evil virus it has spent so long trying to eradicate.

Consider this new step in the sickness and hubris of the secret American State.

In more than a dozen classified rulings, the nation’s surveillance court has created a secret body of law giving the National Security Agency the power to amass vast collections of data . . . . . the court has taken on a much more expansive role by regularly assessing broad constitutional questions and establishing important judicial precedents, with almost no public scrutiny, according to current and former officials familiar with the court’s classified decisions.

So now there are secret laws, secret courts and secret committees and people making the rules Americans have to live by.

the abyss will gaze back into you. Friedrich Nietzsche

st judeThe one lesson we, as a species, have learned is that bureaucracies outlive people.

They outlive nations.

The new American intelligence bureaucracy has an un-elected leader.

One whose name we will never learn.

In the coming struggle between America and China and between America and its people, there will be many casualties.

Not the least of which will be truth and freedom.

As well as those brave people who try to lift the lid on this new terror organisation.

Daniel Ells­berg, Julian Assange, Bradley Manning, Thomas Drake and Edward Snowdon are just the tip of the iceberg. There will be many more who who will try to save the ideals of honesty, openness and accountability and who will pay the price.

Yet the Abyss will almost certainly win. And the contagion which now infects America will spread, in epidemic form, to all of America’s allies.

St Jude, Pray for us indeed!

Thoughts Caused By Imminent Extinction.


A vague 3am thought which has been bugging me.

With the combined efforts of a changing climate, evolving virii and bacteria, increasingly possible nuclear war and the poisoning of our environment for short-term benefits and shorter term bottom lines, extinction of the human species is, at least, a possibility. Oh, and never forget the chance of a stray asteroid impacting on our planet.

At the same time our ever-present human curiosity continues to look for life beyond this planet. There are growing signs that there may well be extra-terrestrial life and proof is being actively sought.

Since homo sapiens first thought of the possibility of life on other planets there has been an assumption that it will be intelligent life. Possibly friendly, possibly hostile.

But intelligent. Evolved from single cells into intelligent beings.

Yet must this be so?

We, as a species, have evolved from earlier species which have not developed intelligence to the level of creating science. Evolution has created many lines of specieal existence, yet only one with ‘human’ intelligence. An attribute which seems to be counter-productive to all other living beings.

Should our intelligent species become extinct, is there any guarantee that another species, of whatever lineage, would develop the intelligence to continue the progress of earthly life to the stars?

There is a distinct possibility that star-gazing, star-reaching intelligence may be a one off, not only on this planet, but also on all planets throughout the Universe.

 

 

Image

Racism


Now I Hate Australians


I have lived in this, my country, all of my life.

I have cheered its sporting accomplishments. I have had a heart swollen with pride at its scientific achievements. I have loved it for its artistic triumphs. I applauded its “fair-go” attitude.

Yet now I find myself not liking my fellows.

We have become greedy and intolerant and gullible.

We had the best economy in the world, yet we demanded more and felt aggrieved that we did not have it. We became envious of all with a little more worldly wealth and forgot the wealth our country gives us for free. Its skies and seas and vistas.

We help create impossible conditions in other countries by invading them and when terrified people flee we refuse to help. We choose, instead to treat them as worse than our own criminals.

We have contributed to the destruction of the whole of civilisation in our rush to extract the last dollar from our coal, our fracked gas and our water. And in that destruction we have destroyed the generosity of our land.

We have stopped believing the evidence of our own lives and eyes and experience, and choose believe the lies of those who would deceive us. Those who would take advantage of our gullibility in their lust for power and wealth.

Australia has men and women both good and ill. Yet we are choosing to give our leadership to base men who have proven their felonious and corrupt character.

In a country which could have been great, I am, sadly, left with the words of Kahlil Gibran.

You, My Countrymen…your souls
Are like ashes which the winds
Scatter upon the snow, and which
The tempests disperse forever in
The valleys.

Fear not the phantom of Death,
My Countrymen, for his greatness
And mercy will refuse to approach
Your smallness; and dread not the
Dagger, for it will decline to be
Lodged in your shallow hearts.

I hate you, My Countrymen, because
You hate glory and greatness. I
Despise you because you despise
Yourselves. I am your enemy, for
You refuse to realize that you are
The enemies of the goddesses.

Australia Is Better Than This.


We keep hearing this said as our national freedoms, as our national reputation, as our remembrance of the fair go are all flushed down the gurgler by this Government of selfish, avaricious cowards.

Yet that mythical past we bemoan losing was not real. What was bad but swept under the carpet is now out in the open. That which was good is now being destroyed.

The fair go for everyone. Ok, It was a nice feel-good thing. Just so long as we ignored the wars on indigenous people, the White Australia Policy and the denigration of Boongs, Wogs, Krauts, Eyties, Chinks and Reffos. (Sorry for the Grand-dad-speak) Yes, there was a fair go. But it was only for white men. Real people. Not those foreigners. Even playing ‘Ping-Pong’ was a crime if you were Chinese.

Australia had a reputation as progressive, caring nation. We gave the vote to women early, we set up a social security net for the unemployed and the elderly, we had a free education system. Our industrial system was fair to workers in weekends, holidays, fair pay for a fair day’s work and sick leave. Our economy did not see that as a burden and our nation boomed. We were among the first to join the United Nations, among the leaders in international Refugee policy, our national leaders were respected, whichever side of politics they came from.
Now all those progressive and caring parts of the Australian way of life are gone or on the verge of going. We are about to become a pariah nation in the Climate Wars. We already have concentration camps.

We keep hearing that the Terrorists have not won yet where is that magical casualness which was a hallmark of our society? Where is the freedom to jump on a plane to travel from city to city? Where is the freedom to walk over the lawns on top of Parliament House. Where is the freedom to associate with like minded people going?

How many people have died from terrorism in Australia? And how many people have died because of avaricious employers failing to protect their employees? Yet the industrial action happening now is to shut down the Unions.

No, none of what we claim as Australia’s superior moral positions were really true.

It is just that we are now being brought face to face with our National Ugliness by the political choices we have made.

Yet Australia is getting better. At last we are acknowledging the evil in our National Soul.

Sadly, we are celebrating it.

I Hate You, My Countrymen


I have lived in this, my country, all of my life.

I have cheered its sporting accomplishments. I have had a heart swollen with pride at its scientific achievements. I have loved it for its artistic triumphs. I applauded its “fair-go” attitude.

Yet now I find myself not liking my fellows.$100

We have become greedy and intolerant and gullible.

We had the best economy in the world, yet we demand more and feel aggrieved that we do not have it. We have become envious of all with a little more worldly wealth and have forgotten the wealth which our our country gives us for free. Its skies and seas and vistas.

We help create impossible conditions in other countries by invading them and when terrified people flee we refuse to help. We choose, instead to treat them as worse than our own criminals.

droughtWe have stopped believing the evidence of our own lives and choose believe the lies of those who would deceive us. Those who would take advantage of our gullibility in their lust for power and wealth.

Australia has men and women both good and ill. Yet, once led by people of the highest ability we have chosen to give that leadership to base men who have proven their felonious and corrupt character.

In a country which could have been great, I am, sadly, left with the words of Kahlil Gibran.

You, My Countrymen…your souls
Are like ashes which the winds
Scatter upon the snow, and which
The tempests disperse forever in
The valleys.

Fear not the phantom of Death,
My Countrymen, for his greatness
And mercy will refuse to approach
Your smallness; and dread not the
Dagger, for it will decline to be
Lodged in your shallow hearts.

I hate you, My Countrymen, because
You hate glory and greatness. I
Despise you because you despise
Yourselves. I am your enemy, for
You refuse to realize that you are
The enemies of the goddesses.

I See A Time


I see a time when governance has reverted to the bullying of the weak by the strong.

I see a time when politics is once again naked warfare between warlords.

I see a time when taxation is redundant for the wages of the poor will be wholly consumed by the inflated prices they pay for the products they make.

I see a time when the poor are the slaves and villeins and serfs and property of the warlords.

I see a time when the very thought of revolution will be bred out of the slaves.

I see a time when thinking of change will be punishable by death.

I see a time when the truth of the day varies with the warlord of the day.

I see a time when history and the past are malleable.

I see a time when the future is the next lash from an overseer.

I see a time when I will not be allowed to write this.

I see a time when democracy is no more.

Image

Pearls before Swine


A Discussion on Ethics.


For nearly a century there has been an often asked question in ethics classes and philosophical discussions.

Should someone have killed/murdered/assassinated Adolph Hitler before he could cause the death of millions of fellow human beings?

Many people chose to answer that question one way, many others the other way.

Today we appear to be facing a very similar problem. Although there are differences.

Hitler was a rogue event similar to Isaac Azimov’s ‘Mule’ in the ‘Foundation’ series. Today, with the advent of the Internet and its ability to surveil and to disseminate the ability of a few to control and the many to notice and discuss that control, we do have a different situation.

We know it is not a single rogue causing the damage this time. There are money men like the Oil Bros, like Mediaorc, like the cyber billionaires, like maybe another dozen who hide in the background. We know they have bought and paid-for puppets like an Orange fool, like a loud-mouthed, self-centred Pom, like a failed salesman who was fired for fraud and has spent all his time since holding positions where he can shut up anyone who knows the truth.

So the number of targets has increased but the same ethical discussion needs to be had.

Are the lives of those few oligarchs and trendsetting corrupt politicians worth more or less than the lives of the several Billion who will die as the planet becomes unfriendly?

As the Earth becomes polluted with the trash; solid, liquid and gaseous, which they are encouraging us to leave in our wake.

This is an ethical problem we need to wrestle with into the foreseeably short future.

Then again no matter how much we discuss the ethics, nothing will stop a determined individual who cares not for ethics.

And maybe he will be the most ethical of all.

Drinking Dec-ade


Collecting ripened decs
Then squeezing their juice,
Adding honey to taste
Making cups of decade.

Yet decs are rare
And in my life I
Have found just eight.
Each greedily drunk.

I have found too late
Decades should be sipped,
Not gulped down whole
As I seem to have done.

JEMcL June 2019
Image

Feeling for Christchurch


KIWI!


This Christmas think of those who cannot enjoy themselves.

We Still Live in a Humane World


Going through some old computer files I came across this and I thought to myself, ‘This is what I am living through at the moment.’

Then I realised I had found it somewhere in 2006. Which is interesting because 2006 to 2018 is a shorter length of time as from 1933 to 1943.

Think about that for a minute, then read what is was I found. I wish I could remember where I found it back in 2006.

******************************************************

It was the formula Hitler used, and it still works today. It is, in fact, the most consistently reliable way for demagogues to gain power. It works because it’s gradual but relentless, and progressively absorbs – and then intimidates or co-opts – both government and the media.

For example, Milton Mayer, an American Jew and writer who extensively interviewed German Jews who survived Hitler’s era in his book They Thought They Were Free, noted that:

What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise; to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if he people could understand it, it could not be released because of national security….

As a friend of Mayer’s noted, and Mayer recorded in his book:

This separation of government from people, this widening of the gap, took place so gradually and so insensibly, each step disguised (perhaps not even intentionally) as a temporary emergency measure or associated with true patriotic allegiance or with real social purposes. And all the crises and reforms (real reforms, too) so occupied the people that they did not see the slow motion underneath, of the whole process of government growing remoter and remoter. …

To live in this process is absolutely not to be able to notice it – please try to believe me – unless one has a much greater degree of political awareness, acuity, than most of us had ever had occasion to develop. Each step was so small, so inconsequential, so well explained or, on occasion, “regretted,” that, unless one were detached from the whole process from the beginning, unless one understood what the whole thing was in principle, what all these “little measures” that no “patriotic German” could resent must some day lead to, one no more saw it developing from day to day than a farmer in his field sees the corn growing. One day it is over his head.

In this conversation, Mayer’s friend suggests that he wasn’t making an excuse for not resisting the rise of the fascists, but simply pointing out an indisputable reality. This, he suggests, is how fascism will always take over a nation.

“Pastor Niemoller spoke for the thousands and thousands of men like me when he spoke (too modestly of himself) and said that, when the Nazis attacked the Communists, he was a little uneasy, but, after all, he was not a Communist, and so he did nothing: and then they attacked the Socialists, and he was a little uneasier, but, still, he was not a Socialist, and he did nothing; and then the schools, the press, the Jews, and so on, and he was always uneasier, but still he did nothing. And then they attacked the Church, and he was a Churchman, and he did something – but then it was too late.”

“Yes,” I said.

“You see,” my colleague went on, “one doesn’t see exactly where or how to move. Believe me, this is true. Each act, each occasion, is worse than the last, but only a little worse. You wait for the next and the next. You wait for the one great shocking occasion, thinking that others, when such a shock comes, will join with you in resisting somehow. You don’t want to act, or even to talk, alone; you don’t want to ‘go out of your way to make trouble.’ Why not? – Well, you are not in the habit of doing it. And it is not just fear, fear of standing alone, that restrains you; it is also genuine uncertainty.

“Uncertainty is a very important factor, and, instead of decreasing as time goes on, it grows. Outside, in the streets, in the general community, everyone is happy. One hears no protest, and certainly sees none. You know, in France or Italy there will be slogans against the government painted on walls and fences; in Germany, outside the great cities, perhaps, there is not even this. In the university community, in your own community, you speak privately to your colleagues, some of whom certainly feel as you do; but what do they say? They say, ‘It’s not so bad’ or ‘You’re seeing things’ or ‘You’re an alarmist.’

“And you are an alarmist. You are saying that this must lead to this, and you can’t prove it. These are the beginnings, yes; but how do you know for sure when you don’t know the end, and how do you know, or even surmise, the end? On the one hand, your enemies, the law, the regime, the Party, intimidate you. On the other, your colleagues pooh-pooh you as pessimistic or even neurotic. …

“But the one great shocking occasion, when tens or hundreds or thousands will join with you, never comes. That’s the difficulty. If the last and worst act of the whole regime had come immediately after the first and the smallest, thousands, yes, millions would have been sufficiently shocked – if, let us say, the gassing of the Jews in ’43 had come immediately after the ‘German Firm’ stickers on the windows of non-Jewish shops in ’33. But of course this isn’t the way it happens. In between come all the hundreds of little steps, some of them imperceptible, each of them preparing you not to be shocked by the next. Step C is not so much worse than Step B, and, if you did not make a stand at Step B, why should you at Step C? And so on to Step D.

“And one day, too late, your principles, if you were ever sensible of them, all rush in upon you. The burden of self-deception has grown too heavy, and some minor incident, in my case my little boy, hardly more than a baby, saying ‘Jew swine,’ collapses it all at once, and you see that everything, everything, has changed and changed completely under your nose. The world you live in – your nation, your people – is not the world you were in at all. The forms are all there, all untouched, all reassuring, the houses, the shops, the jobs, the mealtimes, the visits, the concerts, the cinema, the holidays. But the spirit, which you never noticed because you made the lifelong mistake of identifying it with the forms, is changed. Now you live in a world of hate and fear, and the people who hate and fear do not even know it themselves; when everyone is transformed, no one is transformed. Now you live in a system which rules without responsibility even to God.” …