Tag Archives: politics

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.” …

The Lemon Picker

A man applying for a job at a Mildura lemon grove seemed to be far too
qualified for the job.lemons

The manager frowned and said, “I have to ask you this; have you had any actual experience in picking lemons?”

He replied, “I have had lots of experience picking lemons. I’ve been divorced three times, I paid Bob Day a deposit to build my home, I found out my car has Takata Airbags and I voted for Malcolm Turnbull.”


Tony and the Puppies

One morning Tony Abbott is out doing his lycra overloaded bike riding thing. He spots a man in a front yard with some cute little puppies. Dismounting from his bike, he asks the man what sort of puppies they are.

“Oh, they are Liberal puppies, Mr Prime Minister.” replies the man.puppies

“They are wonderful little puppies. I must bring my wife tomorrow so she can look at them as well. She loves puppies.”

“Orright” says the man. “I’ll be here.”

The following morning Tony stops by again with his wife in tow. “And can you tell Pet – err – Margie what sort of puppies these are?” asks Tony.

“These are Greens Puppies” the man replies.

“WHAT?” shouts Tony in shock. “But yesterday you told me they were Liberal Puppies.”

“Yesterday they were,” says the man. “But today their eyes are open!”



tony relief valve

The Right and Polite Discourse

Political  discourse has always been robust in Australia.

We are proud of our free speech and ability to call an idiot politician a nong.

That “free Speech” has taken a right turn for the worse and now, in most countries in the world, what is happening in Australia would attract the attention of the security forces.  Although they all seem to be looking only at Left-Wing activities.

Not at the words appearing in print, on our TV’s and coming out of our radios.

Words which call for the death of, or physical harm to, our elected leaders.

In most countries, that is considered terrorism or incitement to terrorism. Somehow, it is all just good fun in Australia. Robust has taken on a new meaning.

Wendy Harmer has collected a list of ten insults and threats to our current Australian Prime Minister. Written like that they seem almost innocuous.

Here is another collection and this time the anger and hatred jumps out at you!

Can we please get back to calling our leaders “nongs”? It would be so much easier on our national blood pressure.

Journalists, Pollsters and the Focus Groups

Fill the pages with paragraphs, fill the screen with images.

Do it now and do it again tomorrow. Say and show the same thing if you must but do it with different words, do it with different pictures.

Create a story from Press Releases, create a scandal from whispered rumours. No time to reflect, no time to look for balance.

Just do your job and frenetically do it again tomorrow and tomorrow and the day after.

One sentence paragraphs decrease the number of words needed for a column. Use only the froth because the substance may bore.

Thank goodness for the polls every fortnight. Easy stories and a lot of interpretation which can be stretched out for a whole week.


The Polls which are conducted by the true faceless men of our society. Using questions skewed to produce the answers which are needed. Using theoretical demographics but never a person. An individual.

Forcing individuals into predetermined paths when people are never that simple.

This is what you think because I asked a question. The question was carefully chosen so that others can turn what you want and think into the answer they want you to want and think.


While in the hidden back rooms of the major political parties burnt out journalists and ambitious interns are focussing their thoughts not on the next election but on the next poll.

They have forgotten, or never knew, the long road between elections and have been infected with the virus of NOW!

The Other Party has a new policy which has gained a couple of polling points. It is successful so let’s copy it. NOW

So it doesn’t gel with the philosophy of our members. So what? We have to gain a couple points in the next poll. What do you mean? The good of the WHAT?

Look! A tree. And another tree. And yet another. So many trees.


All the while the individuals who made up the Parties are voting with their feet.

Unable to see a difference between the two coalitions. Beginning to believe a poll has a genuine meaning and effect.

Forgetting, in the overflowing sewer-pipe of “News”, that there is only one true and effective poll.

Not being allowed the time to think of the forest between now and 2013.


Whew, that’s another column finished. I wonder if the boss will let it through with all those very short paras. And the little pics. And I did cut out the bit about talented writers prostituting their talent. ABBA in the background doesn’t help. I had to take out “They are Rich Man’s whores” THREE times! I should be OK with the Lawyers.

Still all of that is done now. Off to the pub! Gotta listen out for what everyone else is writing tomorrow.

Oh wait! I’m not a journalist. I’m a blogger.

That’s right. I only have to write when I have something to say.

Read and Discuss

I found this snippet of a conversation somewhere on the intertoobz.It is an interesting take on Democracy as we know it in the West and on Human Government in general.

The country is largely led around, owned and manipulated by a surprisingly (in proportion) small group of people that sit at the top of the largest Corporations and have almost total immunity to anything beneath them.

They utilise tools such as Religion, the Two Party System and price control to manipulate the masses of humans that feed them and without which they would not survive.

Think predator-prey model, and they have a long way to go before they become threatened by lack of “food”.

Soylent Green *is* the people, it’s just that we aren’t invited to the meal…

Top 10 Internet Filter Lies in Australia

Lie #10: An ISP filter is the best option out there.

Calls to provide parents with tools to control their children’s access to the internet are well founded and practical. An optional, computer level filter would be far more efficient and cost effective without handing over unnecessary power to a government body. And this is the plan that Australians actually want. GetUp’s Galaxy phone poll found that 86% of Australians think that parents, not the Government or Internet Service Providers, should have the primary responsibility for protecting children online.

from an article by by Eliza Cussen on “The Punch”, an online discussion forum.

There are the ten big lies which our Government are telling us.Of course it will not help to simply cast your vote for the Conservatives. They would not dare to alienate the “Church Vote” by dropping the filter.

It will only filter “RC” content.” But watch how quickly a filter will quickly remove sites about “Bypassing the AU Internet Filter”.

Top 10 Internet Filter Lies in Australia

Lie #9: The filter would be impenetrable.

No matter how smart filtering technology may be, there is always someone smarter. The current model of filter has already been cracked. In fact, there’s a good chance your children can show you how. What’s more, organisations around the world are already developing ways to get around the filters of oppressive regimes. One that’s doing a particularly good job in helping Iranians get around their Government filter is Access Now (hyperlink:http://www.accessnow.org/), founded with the support of organisation’s like Avaaz.org, MoveOn and Australian organisation GetUp.org.au).

from an article by by Eliza Cussen on “The Punch”, an online discussion forum.

Top 10 Internet Filter Lies in Australia

Lie #8: If you’re anti mandatory filtering you’re pro child porn.

Conroy, through his argument in parliament and in the media, has constructed a universe where those who question mandatory filtering are, by extension, in support of child pornography. Surely he wouldn’t accuse people within his own party of being pro child porn. Would he?

from an article by by Eliza Cussen on “The Punch”, an online discussion forum.

Top 10 Internet Filter Lies in Australia

Lie #7: The filter will not make the internet more expensive.

The filter itself is pricey. The Government has set aside $44m for the scheme for four years. In 2004 a government report said “given the limited benefits of an ISP-level filtering system, the costs of a mandated requirement to filter do not appear justified.”  The same Government report estimated that a filter of this kind would cost $45m to establish (the equivalent to putting over 300 AFP officers on the online beat) and $33m each year there after. Because much of the burden of maintaining the filter may fall to ISPs it isn’t unfeasible to imagine the costs being passed on to consumers.

from an article by by Eliza Cussen on “The Punch”, an online discussion forum.

Top 10 Internet Filter Lies in Australia

Lie #6: The ISP filter is similar to ones in other Western democracies.

Senator Conroy made this claim and then later admitted that in fact no Western democracy has a mandatory ISP level filter designed like Australia’s. Surely we don’t want to join countries like Iran, China and Saudi Arabia with their harsh and ineffective censorship approach.

from an article by by Eliza Cussen on “The Punch”, an online discussion forum.

Top 10 Internet Filter Lies in Australia

Lie #5: This plan is no different to what is already done with books and films.

OK, so that’s a little bit true. But that’s the problem. We don’t use books and films to communicate one to one or store our family photos. A mandatory filter would give the government permission to scrutinise a space which is both public and private in a way current censorship laws could never allow. The mass concerns of the hundred thousand plus Australians who’ve taken action on this issue are beginning to be heard with the Government appearing to cave in on whether Government officials or classification board members review websites that find themselves on the list. But here’s the point – while with movies we can keep an eye on the classification board and what they are blocking, there’s no way to know which sites will be on the blacklist under the Government’s current proposal. Informing the public of which url’s are on the list may have its own problems. Clearly then, censoring the internet just can’t work (and we’re only half way through our list).

from an article by by Eliza Cussen on “The Punch”, an online discussion forum.

Top 10 Internet Filter Lies in Australia

Lie #4: The filter has been proven in Government trials.

Testing and scaling are two very different things when it comes to filtering mass amounts of content. On top of this Stephen Conroy’s test criteria appear to only have been formulated after the test began. With that kind of logic we should be glad Conroy isn’t designing the national curriculum.

from an article by by Eliza Cussen on “The Punch”, an online discussion forum.

Top 10 Internet Filter Lies in Australia

Lie #3: Conroy’s filter will stop your kids viewing harmful stuff online.

The filter is designed to block material which is defined Refused Classification by the classification review board. This means that the ISP filter won’t help you protect your child from viewing things that you might prefer they don’t see—- only parental control can do that. It’s a bit like hiring a really expensive babysitter who lets your six-year-old watch whatever they want. On the internet you simply can’t outsource parenting.

from an article by by Eliza Cussen on “The Punch”, an online discussion forum.

Top 10 Internet Filter Lies in Australia

Lie # 2: The filter won’t slow connection speeds.

The filter is not equipped to process large bandwidth sites such as YouTube or ABC iView. Google, owner of YouTube, has said that filtering such volume sites is not technologically possible, without an extremely serious impact on internet access speeds. Why? Imagine a tub of yoghurt. In this tub there are a few billion bacteria- almost all of which are good for you. But just one of those germs is believed to be salmonella. In order to get rid of the bad one but keep the billions of good ones, every single germ has to be checked for nastiness. And meanwhile you’re still waiting for your smoothie. No wonder this kind of a filtering won’t work.

from an article by by Eliza Cussen on “The Punch”, an online discussion forum.