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Liberal fraud: race card with Labor logo

It's not the Liberal Party's fault, just the fault of some members. They've spread vilifying propaganda, a message from a non-existent Islamic group in support of Labor - complete with the Labor Logo - across the western Sydney electorate of Lindsay. Amongst others, the husband of the current sitting Liberal member Jackie Kelly have been exposed, literally, in photos.

Once Labor produced the proof, the Liberals disowned the dirty trick and its five perpetrators. One of these is allegedly NSW Liberal Party executive member Jeff Egan, who has been named in Labor's complaint to the Australian Electoral Commission.  Egan has denied the allegations.

Let me translate for you the psychological message that the Liberals have been spreading to save a marginal seat.  "Be afraid of the Muslims.  They support terrorism.  Labor supports the Muslim supporters of terrorism.  To protect yourself, vote Liberal."

Labor's Penny Wong has called for the PM to 'fess up everything he or his party knows.  This might not be a bad idea, given that as Labor knew where to go to get the photos of the scaremongers, they may know a few other things as well.  For a PM to be caught out lying on such a matter one the very eve of an election just might cost a few votes.


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The edifice complex and minding one's own colons

Malcolm B Duncan: "He doesn’t have to do better; he has to do adequate for basic human decency in a pluralist society."

Let him try, Malcolm. The ball's in his court.

Happy New Year to you, too, Margo.

Leaders and the Swan

 Malcolm B Duncan says:

"Surely, Dr Woodforde, the appropriate place in Sydney for the Costello Statue is Chifley Square."

No way. I've got that earmarked for a large edifice representing Peter Garrett with a gag around his mouth. It will be titled 'Ventriloquy'.

Margo: Happy new year, Eliot.

The invisible hand of the marketplace

John Pratt says:

"Eliot: it seems Australian consumers are taking the credit, for our booming economy."

Philosophically, of course, that's entirely consistent with conservative laissez faire economic philosophy.

Now, it's up to Labor's environment spokesperson Wayne Swan to do better.

The Economic Portal

No, Eliot Ramsey, Prince of the laissez faire economy.    It's up to Wayne Swan to get people out of sleeping in doorways, to re-define "employment" as working more than an hour a week and to tax outrageous executive salaries and payouts at about 95% over a $250,000 threshold.    Anyone who can't live on $250,000 a year personal income isn't really worth their salt.  (I could even run a practice on that as well).

He doesn’t have to do better; he has to do adequate for basic human decency in a pluralist society.

That should get you going. 

David C: Hi Malcolm.  In answer to your NFP question, you could do it in Microsoft Word (format/font) then paste back in to Webdiary.  Not sure if it's a good look for Webdiary, though. 

Howard's final economic report card

National Australia Bank chief economist Alan Oster says the economy is still strong.

"We still think the economy is doing pretty well but it may well be we have seen the peak of the cycle in terms of the growth rate," he said.

It's tricky, isn't it? Should Paul Keating take credit it for this?

Or should Labor's environment minister Wayne Swan?



ER It's tricky, isn't it? Should Paul Keating take credit it for this?

No, ER. Everybody has seen those Federal Treasury TV ads showing the late Mr Costello, deep underground, stripped to the waste, the muscles of his magnificent torso rippling in the flickering light of his Davey Lamp as he shovelled millions of tonnes of coal, gold, asbestos, iron ore, and many other minerals into the huge leathern trucks, while the patient shaggy little pit ponies stood unblinking and waiting to tow the wealth to the surface and on to China.

Only Costello alone is responsible for Australia’s huge mining largesse and the wildly successful $10b national water scheme which will soon save us all, despite Rudd’s Soviet-style collectivisation of banking and agriculture.

It is incumbent on the so-called Rudd government to tear down the huge statue of Bernie Banton erected atop the Blue Mountains, where it straddles the Hume Highway, and substitute a more subdued, highly appropriate statue of Peter Costello, legs athwart, on Knobby’s Beach, Newcastle.

Inside the head could be a revolving 240 table restaurant beneath glowing red eyes lit up as a boon to the navigators of the bulk coal ships, yachts and aviators. The architecture could be modelled on that of the Christ of the Andes. The cost could be met from Mr Howard’s pension, director’s fees, gold pass and his ministers’ huge fines.

It is important that life size Costello statue models be erected in every capital city, with a jolly decent one put up quickly in Martin Place, that Mr Howard be able to pass it by as he is quickly chauffeured to and from his new ex-PM’s office.

Dr Hannes van der Woodforde, OAM, CEO Statue of Peter Costello Inc., c/- Kroger Monster Raving Loony Drooling Drongo Merchant Banks Group, Apartheid House, Collins Street, Port Phillip


Surely, Dr Woodforde, the appropriate place in Sydney for the Costello Statue is Chifley Square.   

That way, when the revolution comes and the statue is toppled, it can be aimed at the old Bond building and take Level 41 with it.


McDunk the appropriate place in Sydney for the Costello Statue ... is on Tamarama, its bum waxed to a Coppertone sheen and dispensing icecreams. As usual.

Local member Malcolm Tossbull could be given a modest lighthouse keeper's cottage near the chute. That sort of thing falls into his bailiwick now.

Dr Joahnnes van den Woodforde, OAM, lifeguard


That's liefguard, I'd as lief, meines Lieblings.

Dr Liefguard van den Woodforde, OAM

Australian consumers should take the credit.

Eliot: it seems Australian consumers are taking the credit, for our booming economy.

The national accounts data shows Australia's gross domestic product rose by 1 per cent in the September quarter and 4.3 per cent over the year - mainly driven by household spending.

Then again it might be the Bank's who should take the credit, for giving Australian consumers credit.  Credit cards are fuelling our economy.


CREDIT card debt in Australia has topped $41 billion, though the interest-rate burden on households held steady in the Reserve Bank's latest figures.

The figures, which pre-date last month's rate rise and the subprime mortgage crisis in the US, show Australians owed an unprecedented $41 billion on credit cards at the end of July.

Christendom and enlightenment

Angela, it seems to me that you are, like Ian MacDougall, getting bogged down in detail to the point where you risk losing sight of the bigger picture.

The history of Afghanistan goes way back. That country has, at great cost to itself, repeatedly thwarted attempts by outside forces to control its destiny; and part of the cost has been the unfortunate effect on its cultural psyche. All it ever wanted was to be left alone to find its own way; and that has been denied it, and continues to be.

I speak of Christendom in general terms, to refer to the culture with which we are familiar, as distinct from that of current Islam, for instance, which holds fast to literal readings and ancient tradition, and eschews interpretation and innovation. Things were not always thus: the Islamic world was once a leader in secular teaching and scientific enquiry.

I am inclined to subscribe to the paradigm whereby thesis and antithesis resolve their differences by means of synthesis; this is a useful tool in understanding the workings of the world. I see no unresovable dichotomy at all between Christianity and enlightenment. In fact, using that word as I do in its broadest sense, I think we can take Jesus' message as a roadmap to an enlightened age. Throughout history we have from time to time diverged wildly from the map, but we have made some progress; and the map remains there to guide us, should we ever feel like stopping to look at it.

anitthesis and thesis make such a mess at parties

Bill: ". . . you risk losing sight of the bigger picture.”

All the same, Bill, I would say the devil is in the detail in finding solution to these problems, finding what the actual players are and who their backers are and what are their motivations.

While I understand your sentiment in " … All it ever wanted was to be left alone to find its own way; and that has been denied it, and continues to be …", I would question whether projecting such human individual emotional responses/wishes is really a precise tool in analysing the historical events in such a region and as such has any added value in historical assessments.

I understand what you are trying to say. However, I question the validity of your conclusions and your depth of understanding of the issue when you criticise others for theirs and then propose a rather whimsical motivation hypothesis to justify such world events. Sure, fine for general causal discussion of most events, and one could use such a pronouncement for many peoples and regions of the world caught in the cataclysmic churnings of war, but it has as little relevance to finding cause and hypothesised solution. Another such generalised pronouncement would be to say “all they wanted was for their families to grow up secure and happy and prosperous", another projection with likely universality except among certain situations of fanaticisms. Yet again irrelevant when discussing that particular situation due to its very commonality.

Just so that we are not talking in "cross" (:-) ) purposes, what is exactly our understanding of "enlightenment"? You seem again here to be talking in popular culture terms rather than what the term actually involves in method thinking etc that the Church found so threatening (rightly so).

I still say that even Christianity, in its current form, would have great difficulty with entwining with Enlightenment. The "Western" culture which is dominated by the Christian religion, however, is well entwined and it is only that Enlightenment persists that keeps the check upon more fundamentalist versions of Christianity and keeps them in the backrooms (eg of the NSW unelectable Liberals and young Libs on campuses. Take a tour, you would think you were stepping back to the middle ages in dogmatic bigoted thought.) . When you listen to some parliamentarians speak you may be excused to think Enlightenment and all its progeny of thought passed them right by.

If we are talking of enlightened (as a term to denote improved thinking and humanistic based stance) and illuminated then I do agree the path is now one in the more established versions of Christianity. I wonder if you have forgotten the many wars fought in Europe with church power and money in the background. It has not at all been an easy distance to travel. The French Revolution and the Russian both resulted in Enlightenment conquering church for a time. Looking at Putin now I wonder whether he is Enlightened, illuminated, enCrossed, or just power pragmatic. Most leaders are just the latter.

I also agree that the teachings of the NT are a light to guide people in their daily lives, as are many works, and how better the world would be if the leaders actually abide by it. As far as "diverged wildly", well never a truer word there. It is a pleasure to listen to certain Christian leaders speak, like Bishop Robinson here or the Archbishop of Canterbury, yet appalling to listen to others who seem to still be on some path mazed in McDonalds like workings with huge walls around them. A-mazing Grace takes a new meaning, hohoho, ahem.

Understanding the workings of the world with your cute paradigm, hmmmm. Sounds good, so good but in practice? Most situations I can think of when thesis and antithesis come together result in either war or genocide depending upon whether both are well armed or not. Mutual benefit (ie money, wife or combining to wipe out a mutually disliked neighbour etc) is the only catalyst for synthesis I can think of. A bit like the meeting of matter and antimatter. Or an AFL supporter meeting a gridiron supporter. . . . . . . one ends up in “jail".

No, I think it is usually the less fanatical from thesis and antithesis fringes that start dialogue and trade. Or their kids fall in love as the Bard shows us or both and they fleece the lot of them.

Anyway, I find people so very interesting and why they think the way they do. It is always a pity I think when one comes across someone who has lost the ability to think anymore. You, Bill, are certainly not that and it is a pleasure to read your writings even if it may affront you for me to take you to task on points you feel are not relevant. I just like fine toothcombs, The end result is so much cleaner even if it does damage the hair macro curl.


As to the topic, sorry Mme Shepherd, quite right, a bit off. What more can one say that has not been said about the event? And the little game the last time by the same mob. If you don't hold people to account, they do it at a greater scale next time. Angela's Rule for raising kids and watching pollies and bureaucrats.

View from the kitchen as the Christmas madness sets in all around


Dear Antitheses

Ian MacDougall, I said, in respect of the Islamic world in general: "Stop the crusade. Enlightenment was never successfully forced on anyone."

You contradicted what I said, or claimed to be contradicting it, by pointing out that the Taliban has little support in Afghanistan. I fail to see any relevant connection between my statement and your so-called contradiction, simply because there is none. Unless you are claiming that the Taliban's unpopularity equates with enlightenment.  I am charitable enough not to insult your intelligence by assuming that to be what you mean. Nor will I insult my own by pretending that your challenge amounts to a rational argument.

And like a dog with a bone too big for him, you continue with the same theme: the Taliban are bad, therefore Western interference (which is what gave rise to the Taliban in the first place) must be good. Oh, but I mentioned in passing that "Afghanistan's history goes way back", didn't I? So of course I must be wrong. Then again, if you know anything of that history you must know that Afghanis will never be defeated on their own territory. People who would rather die than be defeated will never be defeated.

Tell you what, though, Ian, any bloodbath that happens in Afghanistan or anywhere else won't be due to anything I or my co-channelers did. Whatever co-channelers might be.

Angela, dear self-appointed tutor, thanks for the report card. I didn't come here for that, though, and I'm not convinced you're qualified to write one. An outline of your own alternative viewpoint might have been more appropriate, and more to the point.

In my view the devil is indeed in the detail; getting bogged down in detail blinds us to the overall picture. And let's face it: what we say here can solve no problems anyway. But to solve any problem you first have to understand what it is, and its underlying causes. That is what I have tried to explore here. By all means disagree with my take on things if you wish. However, to say my take on things has little relevance to finding cause and hypothesised solution, without offering a contrary take of your own, simply begs the question.

You mention fanaticism, and here you touch on the root of the problem. The problem may be seen — too superficially, I think — as fanaticism. The real problem we need to consider is what gave rise to the fanaticism. This is the question on which I have offered an opinion. And received such responses as "No one likes the taliban", and suchlike thoughtless guff from one; and schoolmarm style critique of my approach from you. Thanks, but no thanks.

My understanding of "enlightenment" is in accordance with the common dictionary definition of that word. If it were not, it would be capitalised. All you really needed to do to understand what was meant was to read what was written.

Anyway, been nice talking to you and others, but I have better things to do than present my thoughts here only to be carped at by people incapable of understanding perfectly lucid English. On another thread I'm being trolled by someone who seems to be saying that since people of African descent live there, Europe cannot be said to have a Caucasian population. And another who seems to think that since the Nazis were racists, Germans and English are of different races. I ask you! This place is not for me. It's becoming just another mindless blog. I'm outa here.

Merry Christmas to all.

Richard:  And to you, Bill.  You'll be missed. 

Enlightenment and Chrisitanity

Is it really those of secular values that keep the fundamentalists in check.

(Leaving aside whether there are some of those on the Enlightenment side who look a lot like fundamentalists - think Richard Dawkins.)

In my experience it is those of the moderate versions of christianity.  There was moderate christianity before the Enlightenment (eg the church hierarchy opposing the witch trials).

Why do you think it is secular people who keep the fundamentalists in check, this doesn't seem the way it is to me. 

Secular society

Evan Hadkins: You make a good point. In fact secular and atheistic societies can leave a spiritual vacuum into which the fundamentalists of any colour can easily step. Australian society has become more secular. Attend any church and you note the age of the congregation, the absence of  children, the long rows of empty pews.

Then hop over to Hillsong (Inc.?) and see where the young have fled and the sort of uplifting spiritual experience they now embrace. But they are still a minority. Christianity in western democracies in is decline, even in predominantly Catholic France. There will be no religious barriers to the Islamisation of the West, particularly as liberal immigration policies and large Muslim families ultimately lead to Muslim majorities in the West. (Won't happen? With some Dutch cities already on 40%?) It has and will continue for a time as a benign and moderate process, but ultimately, because of the nature of the faith itself, it will mutate into its true radical self. Islam is not a religion of moderation. It never got a New Testament or a Martin Luther and that is its basic problem.

As I said to Peter Kelly, Islam confronted in Indonesia strong pre-existing faiths. It did not find a spiritual vacuum and so underwent substantial indigenisation. But with the almost total conversion of the population over the centuries to Islam, the fundamentalists are now making inroads there and are likely to ultimately prevail.

Islam has also failed to date to make major inroads into the predominantly Buddhist/Hindu countries.  And it will probably not make easy inroads into the strongly Catholic societies of Eastern Europe which survived decades of atheistic communist rule. Back a bit in history its spread faltered at Kosovo as it ran into Christian Europe. The survival of Greek Orthodoxy under the Turks and Catholicism in Spain should also be noted. 

But the secular atheistic democratic West has in my opionion now left itself wide open to the fundamentalists of all colour and creed. So we now see Islam, a radical and human rights unfriendly religion being accommodated in our midst, rather than confronted for what it is. 

If you accommodate the extreme, then ultimately you will be its victim.

I recommend Ophelia Benson's review of Ibn Warraq, Leaving Islam: Apostates Speak Out . 

No spiritual vacuum, but maybe a vacuum cleaner.

Jenny: you seem to think our brain (spirit) is a vacuum that needs to be filled.  You wrote:
But the secular atheistic democratic West has in my opinion now left itself wide open to the fundamentalists of all colour and creed. So we now see Islam, a radical and human rights unfriendly religion being accommodated in our midst, rather than confronted for what it is.

Just because I have rejected all religion, because of a process of logical thinking, does not mean that I now have a vacuum that needs to be filled. I still hold the right to confront all religion, including Christianity. I reserve the right to defend human and animal  rights wherever they  are threatened. Christianity cannot claim to be better or worse than any other religion. All religions ask us to believe what is illogical. After 60 years of study and experience, I believe what I see.  I have no spiritual vacuum. I accept that I live in a beautiful universe, on a wonderful planet, filled with miraculous flora and fauna, some of which believe in a number of various Gods. Each to their own, I accept all of them for what they are, comforting to some, but not necessarily for me.

Lactose free? What sort of cow makes that?

Oh John, I think some religions are definitely worse than others. Much worse in fact.

But in the spirit of harmony I wish you all a very happy Christmas and New Year, no matter what you believe or do not believe.

As for me, I am feeling very good having cleaned the house for the first time in a month for the arrival of "Saffy" and her brood. As I said to Roger Fedyk, why do the kids keep their rooms like a hovel, then when they get a place of their own you feel like you have the hovel.

I've been scrubbing and cleaning all week like Eddie of the Absolutely Fab pair just to keep up with our "Saffy". The Scot has been hoovering till he near dropped and his yard would take a first in any Most Improved Backyard Competition for sure.

It won't last after the departure. The kids were right after all. There is more to life than a tidy house and yard.

Now to go and find that lactose free milk for the small fry. As one who grew up midst the cows, I was not aware there was such a thing. Milk is milk, or at least it used to be.

A little too indulgent for me. It will increase tourism thank Go

Catholics visiting the site within a year of 8 December will be able to receive an indulgence, which the Church teaches can reduce time in purgatory.....

The decree was signed by US Cardinal J Francis Stafford, who is head of the Apostolic Penitentiary, a Vatican court dealing with indulgences and matters of conscience.

Indulgences became infamous in the 16th century for being sold rather than earned, helping, historians say, trigger the Protestant reformation.

While some might consider indulgences an outdated concept, great spiritual importance have been assigned to them by Benedict XVI and his predecessor, Pope John Paul II.

I would have thought a modern church would have moved on. But no, you can still buy your way to heaven.

No mention of buying

The story is about visiting not buying.

Isn't giving money morally worthwhile?  If so how is this different to indulgences?

I think purgatory in the West (and the correlative of indulgences) and karma in the East are ways of avoiding the scandal of unjust suffering.  As to our sense that some suffering is unjust - this leads to much moral reflection I think. 

Visiting is buying when you fly Vatican airlines.

Evan Hadkins, fly Vatican Airlines to a guided tour of holy sites. As a special bonus on you trip the holy father will put in a good word for you, cutting down your time in purgatory. Evan, when sold like this it could be said that visiting is in fact buying. Certainly some money is being made. I particularly like the Asian dating service available on the  Vatican Airline site - nice touch. What sort of religious commandment does this relate too? Go forth and multiply maybe.

Church officials argued that clergy were doing more good works then they needed to; they had, you might say, more than good works in their spiritual accounts than they had sins to pay for. Why not sell them? So selling the good works of the church was precisely what the church did. With the approval of the pope, individual bishops could sell indulgences which more or less paid off any temporal punishment or good works that the individual believer had accumulated in the previous year. It substituted the good works of the Catholic clergy for the good works required of the individual believer. Proof of this substitution was in the indulgence itself, which was a piece of paper, like a piece of money or a check, that certified that the good works of the clergy had paid off the "good works debt" of the individual believer.

This all sounds like a good way to make a quid - see my post on L R Hubbard. I believe the money wasted on trips and icons could be better spent building hospitals and schools. All this means the rich can do all the evil they like and buy their way to heaven but what about the poor?

"The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." (Luke 4:18-19)


JHoover's Witness Lactose free? What sort of cow makes that?

A fair cow, M'vroeu. And a jolly good Feet of the Nativity to youse.

Rabbi Dr Jihad Jacques Gnotoze van den Woodforde, OAM, shepherd, clean watched sox and everything. All the better to hold gold, frankincense and myrrh, from Vicar Benedict XVI's people in Persia. Ciao.

No goats please

Now multi Pete, found the stuff.  Learn something every day I do.

But goats? Their milk. Pure poison.  Hostess the other week proudly told me she had made a nice veggie dish just for me. Laced with flaming goat's cheese. Took me half and hour to pick my way through it, pleading allergy. Lied I did. But goat's stuff is never going down this old goat's throat.

And a jolly good one to you too. Now off to find a toy or two for the sans lactose brigade. 

BTW: Bet you never heard the one about the lactose in the vat. Remind me one day. Dairy farmer's secret when the poor old cows couldn't keep up with the bureaucrats.

Salam alai kum.


Sorry, JH, one should have baaaaaed: "And a jolly good Feet of the Nativity to ewes." Excellent cheese, every bit as good as the buffalo stuff. Except the Hellenic Xmas is slightly off our holiday calendar. Kalamata olives, oil, unleavened bread, a chardonnay so solid you could stand a spoon up in it and a platter of barbecue lamb with pepper, thyme, kaffir lime, rosemary and lemon juice. Now tell your mouth aint watering.

And also some jolly fine singing of those roaring old PASOK ditties, of course.

Dr Woodforde, OAM, ramming home a point

Bigger picture, bigger waffle.

Bill Avent: "Angela, it seems to me that you are, like Ian MacDougall, getting bogged down in detail to the point where you risk losing sight of the bigger picture.

"The history of Afghanistan goes way back. That country has, at great cost to itself, repeatedly thwarted attempts by outside forces to control its destiny; and part of the cost has been the unfortunate effect on its cultural psyche. All it ever wanted was to be left alone to find its own way; and that has been denied it, and continues to be."

Angela, I take it that the second paragraph there is Bill's 'bigger picture.'

In contrast to Bill's sweeping Imax view of Afghan history (which I must confess gave me a bit of a surprise: I had no idea that Afghanistan's history went as far back as 'way back') I offered him (on December 4, 2007 - 7:01pm) the results of the latest poll in Afghanistan in particular:

"Only 4% would like to see the Taleban return to government.

"Against this, 71% of respondents said they supported or strongly supported the presence of US military forces in Afghanistan, with 67% supporting or strongly supporting Nato and its Isaf peacekeeping mission."

(Details here.)

I assume that this is the 'detail' (read fact) that I am 'bogged down' in.

Bill wants an end to the 'crusade'. That means an Australian withdrawal of its troops from Afghanistan, by my reading.

I can't help feeling that Bill has all the bases covered here. If a withdrawal of the forces from Afghasnistan resulted in a Taliban resurgence and a bloodbath, Bill could say it was all because of the original intervention. If the troops stay, and there is firefighting and bloodshed, Bill can say that it is all down to the continuing intervention.

Much the same goes for Iraq.

For Bill and his co-channelers, it is truly a win-win situation, as in 'heads I win, tails you lose.'

nice reference thanks Ian, but disagree, we should be outtathere

Hi Ian Mc, I too am humbled by one such as Bill with his judgement putting myself in the same august category as one such as you.

Here is a further analysis of the detail of the survey by Charnely et al, loved well by CFR.

None of this is new stuff. All of it is 101 how to manage an occupation, Vichy style and succeed and profit. Give peace, security, keep the military aged youths occupied with some work, illusion of self determination, keep corruption down to only your friends with occasional loud arrests, avoid bashing down their doors at dinner time and raping their women and carpet bombing wedding parties and use the radio for propaganda to enable understanding of these actions in a more positive light. Hush up those damn rumours about Karzai's drug baron brother. How to vilify and create dislike of Taliban? Aside from the dreadful memory of their reign which lets the headstart go to the new regime, have the "Taliban" do some locally targeting terrorism maiming people and destroying the new infrastructure (local anger) .


All done before. Vichy France is such a good study for such things but it goes back to at least the Romans in how to subdue conquered populations and make them proud to be part of the empire, or not know they are, like us. Soon there will Afghanis in the US military and they too will buy Abrams tanks (also discounted without armour).

I like this:

"...Others feel that confidence in the government is plunging precisely because of its association with corrupt officials, warlords, and drug traffickers, and that the government needs to end impunity and move strongly toward an agenda of justice and accountability. This call for accountability also applies to the international forces, particularly on the issue of civilian casualties – in terms of both compensating for and reducing them...."



"When Saddam Hussein’s hanging took place in Iraq, Afghan warlords were scared because the idea of being held accountable was suddenly palpable. Shortly after, an amnesty law was passed by the warlord-dominated parliament, granting themselves shelter from the law, at least temporarily. The lack of political will on all sides is a hindrance that might prevent the formation of some type of tribunal on war crimes ......"

Wow sounds like the US Senate/Congress and any party except the Greens. Warcriminals? Not here matey. Move along. Only in them moooslem countries.

All common sense. All well studied in the Academies. The "US" has managed its Empire for a long time, well enlightened (see Perkins Confessions of an Economic Hit man for a nice snap shot). One has to ask why was this standard plan of occupation for friendly result not followed in Iraq???? Incompetence at lower levels or at the top level (more listening to think tanks not really interested in the same aims as the US people?) or something else. This should be urgently investigated by the US and I think it already has been by the Agency. Interesting times. But a bit too much powerful thesis breaking into antithesis behind closed doors with synthesis in the fission form being the worry.


PS Ian, withdrawal will not end in Taliban resurgence if those supporting such from outside the country are neutered and the drug trade, which can cause any amount of trouble with such unlimited funds, is fully shut down once and for all. Gnash of teeth from the Atlantic Coast! Also some FIS Nutcase War lords. Alas for those Cayman etc Island bank accounts owned by such respected names. Ever wondered why such a thing was permitted when it clearly is so damaging to every nation's tax system and so beneficial to the world's covert and organised crime? No I haven’t either.

If you think it is in our interest really to be there, then by all means send your kids to risk their life. Here is where out action is.

August, September, Whatever

Angela: These augustinian heights are manageable, as long as you don't look down. Bit hard for some Webdiarists re others, I know.

I'm surprised you left off with Vichy. What about the conduct of the Brits in the Opium War and the Indian Mutiny? What about all those countries south of the Rio Grande that the US invades from time to time? What about Vietnam? What about Etc? What good can the lot responsible for all that ever do in Afghanistan?

You want the intervention to end now. I want it to end when the majority of Afghans want it to. It's only a matter of about 25% of the Afghan population changing their minds and we're outa there. (Where's my taxi?)

Whenever the foreign troops go (unless Afghan government control is sufficiently strong and popular) there will be vengeance by some upon others. Get set for more refugees. Vendettas and Bloodbaths 101: enrol now.

Good grief what rot

This thread is about a ludicrous racist flyer that was spread around Lindsay.

The other crap you are all on about is best just left alone.

Associated matters

Mary j Shepherd, how much can be said about a ludicrous racist flyer? Ludicrous racist flyer just about sums it up. Many more words have already been said about it than were on the flyer in the first place.

Now people have moved on to talk about associated things. Aspects of racism and religious intolerance and other things ludicrous are things not best left alone, but ones that should be picked over and exposed for what they are. If you don't care to consider such things, no one is forcing you to read about them, are they?

The Setting Of Records Straight

Kathy, what a coincidence — so did I!

Look at Matthew 7—12: So in everything, do unto others what you would have them do unto you, for this sums up the law and the prophets. Pretty much what I said earlier.

A large number of professed Christians would disagree with you when you call the Old Testament passé.  Passages from it do form the basis of sermons, perhaps not in the church you attend, but certainly in many churches. And kids are taught the ten commandments of Moses in Sunday School, along with stories of Jonah and the whale.

Here's one:

Maisy told her teacher that story she had learned in Sunday School. The teacher told her it couldn't be true: a whale's throat is far too small for it to swallow a person, really.

Maisy looked doubtful. "When I get to Heaven," she decided, "I will ask Jonah."

"But how do you know Jonah went to Heaven?" asked the teacher. "He might have gone to Hell."

"Then you can ask him," Maisy replied.

100% Of Afghans Don't Even Know I Exist

Ian, I read your links. I fail to see how they have anything to do with anything I said, and I fail to understand what, if anything, you mean by what you say.

Enlightenment, especially in the context in which I used the word, has nothing to do with whether or not someone likes or doesn't like the Taliban.

Christendom reached whatever level of enlightenment it now enjoys (not terribly much, I would suggest, but more than it enjoyed when it was burning witches) in its own time and by its own route; not by being bombed into submission, or by being harangued by self-proclaimed superior outsiders. The modern Islamic world may reach its own enlightened age similarly in its own way. It will never reform by being bombed or harangued into submission.

As I have expressed earlier on these boards, in discussion of the destruction of Buddhist statues in Bamiyan, it goes like this: a religion-based culture under threat and suffering misfortune inclines more and more towards intolerant fundamentalism. Simply put, it sees its misfortune as the result of its laxity in observing its religious practises. It has offended its God, therefore it is being justly punished for its transgressions. With stricter observance will come God's forgiveness, and with that the return of good fortune. This syndrome is what gave rise to the Taliban.

The forced ousting the Taliban by interfering outsiders intent on replacing it with an uneasy coalition of warlords will not lead to an age of enlightenment, in Afghanistan or anywhere else.

Enlightenment,pepetual enemy of organised religion

Bill, I am surprised at what you wrote about Enlightenment: "Christendom reached whatever level of enlightenment it now enjoys ... etc".

At the time it was more an enemy of the organised church having been engineered by a refugee, Spinoza, arrive in Amsterdam from the persecution of Jews by that Church organisation machine. The two were antitheses of each other. Enlightenment was only a tool, a theory, with which to garner support and when in power the Enlightened regimes used the same tactics as the Church to control etc in their "colonies" to reap profits. The same thing happens now. The Enlightened Left soon morphed to the Neocon (Right) when required.

I think the important values are shared by both church and "enlightened", but Christianity, or any organised religion, would find it hard to accept the questioning and proving requirements of "Enlightenment".

Equally I do not think the Afghanistan picture is as simple as we have not factored the huge amount of money and power that heroin produces are involved in, nor the pipeline issue and its money/energy power spinning effect. Control those two issues and THEN the others all start to take controllable shape. . In the past it was opium and monopoly rights of certain trading companies etc.

What gave rise to the Taliban? ISIS and its funding (Saudi, theUSA, and the UK) with hope for change used to manipulate.



St Paul: if Christ did not rise from the dead we are of all [people] most to be pitied.

The founders were open to falsification.  An example not always closely followed in successive generations.

Which leads to problems of validating the scientific method.  Does it require something beyond itself.  If not it is a circular argument (not usually regarded as scientific).  If so what is the higher court which judges it?

We need tolerance and patience.

Wise words, Bill. With tolerance and patience the world will grow.

Cheers, John

On Bill's Response

Bill Avent: "Ian, I read your links. I fail to see how they have anything to do with anything I said, and I fail to understand what, if anything, you mean by what you say."

Noted, Bill.


Not Ancient At All

Early modern, actually, Kathy. When news reached them of witch burnings in the West, people of the Moslem world said "How barbarous!" Even if the stories were invented, as tales so horrific surely must be, they could only be made up by brutes so unenlightened as to worship a mere man as God.

Even more recent, within living memory, who persecuted six million Jews to death? I know Nazism was not a Christian movement, but Germany was a Christian country, and virtually all those who carried out the atrocities classified themselves as Christians. The Nazis didn't import an army of Islamists to do their dirty work. Modern disinterested Moslems see the Holocaust as an atrocity perpetrated by the Christian world. And who can contradict them?

Things change. Going back to real ancient history, Saint Augustine decreed in the 5th Century that the very belief in the existence of witchcraft was heresy; so the idea of persecuting witches was impossible. And things continue to change. If you wish to see the modern Islamic world find (or more accurately rediscover) enlightenment, leave it alone to find it by itself. Stop the crusade. Enlightenment was never successfully forced on anyone.

Your idea that the Old Testament is irrelevant to what passes for Christianity today is nonsense. Every Sunday, OT tracts are preached to Christian congregations. Every Christian is taught Moses' ten commandments, and to blithely ignore Christ's instruction that there is only one law now — Do unto others …

Not to mention His enjoinder to pray not in public, in a watered-down imitation of those ultra-orthodox Jews banging their heads on a wailing wall, but alone, in private.

OT No way. NT OK.

Now, now Bill. Christ came to set the record straight mate!

"Two new commandments I give to you ," he said.

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and soul.

And, love your neighbour as yourself."

No matter what you may think, the Old Testament is most certainly passe, Bill.

In my own Church (Catholic) OT tracts are not preached to the congregation. I think perhaps you are being a little overly dramatic, perhaps to bolster your arguement.The reality is, that the New Testament is what the priest's sermons are based on, not the OT.

Oh if only it were true...the NT is so glorious, but...crossroad

Wow, Kathy, you forgot the "Thou must not taketh the Pill" third commandment preached so often. Where is that in the NT m' lass?

And, er, about that Nicene Creed....

Have a look at the Scripture Union's calender for this year given out to all the primary school kids. Open your eyes to how much of the "Old Testament and its wars and battles are being taught.  Try the Veggie Tales for another propaganda tool.

Just because your belief system is not based entirely upon the NT doesn't discredit it or devalue it, but calling it such is open to criticism. Most religions have huge cultural input from the moment it is written down. If we stuck to what is written in the Torah and New Testament we too would be stuck in the past millenia just as fundamentalist Moslems are.

By all means support our belief system, but do undestand what it is based upon and where it comes from.

For example the Fallasha of Ethiopia were originally rejected as Jewish due to their not celebrating the Maccabbean revolt (Hanukkah) and a few other traditions; thus through ignorance of the source of one's religious activities mistakes are made. Naturally,the Fallasha were not in that land at the time of the Maccabee (although one might ask about trade and lack of communication and sharing of such traditions etc).

You might find the history of the Nicean Creed a very enlightening event to research, Kathy. You will note the Hebrew based bishops did not get their way and Christianity went on the path you find so familiar. It could have been so different. Such as history crossroads.


A homogenous Christianity or Islam?

Bill: I forgot to add: belief systems are fairly elastic. An interesting reformist current in Islam can be tapped into here.

71% of Afghans are against you, Bill

Bill Avent: "If you wish to see the modern Islamic world find (or more accurately rediscover) enlightenment, leave it alone to find it by itself. Stop the crusade. Enlightenment was never successfully forced on anyone."

That would appear to be contradicted by a recent poll in Afghanistan. Details here.

"One of the most striking findings was the apparent unpopularity of the Taleban and their foreign supporters.

"Only 5% of respondents said they supported or strongly supported the Taleban (against 4% last year), with 14% of respondents saying they supported or strongly supported jihadi fighters from other countries.

"Only 4% would like to see the Taleban return to government.

"Against this, 71% of respondents said they supported or strongly supported the presence of US military forces in Afghanistan, with 67% supporting or strongly supporting Nato and its Isaf peacekeeping mission."

Another thing history has shown again and again: an armed and well trained minority can not only lord it over a majority, it can terrorise it.


There is an excellent account of dirty tactics in Lindsay over the last six years in today's SMH, and an assessment of its implications for the NSW Branch of the Liberal Party:

... the grubby actions of a handful of rogue Liberals in western Sydney will be remembered as the night any flicker of re-election hope extinguished.

The reality is even harsher for a party searching for a link between that fear-mongering and bigoted deceit, and the disintegration of voter support in Howard's home state.

Lindsaygate, as it quickly reduced to shorthand, was a time bomb waiting to blow. And everybody of significance within the Liberal Party knew it, or should have known it. Why? Because the letterboxing under darkness four days before the election of flyers purporting to be Islamist endorsement of Labor's support to "forgive our Muslim brothers … unjustly sentenced to death for the Bali bombings" was the culmination of a pattern of dirty tricks.

Rather than whacking it in its infancy, the Liberal Party in NSW was paralysed in ugly factionalism, characterised by a loathing so intense between warring camps that Labor was often ignored as the enemy.

Having borrowed from Labor's deep drawer of dirty tricks, the Molotov became the cocktail of choice for these trench warriors, allowing the ALP to parade itself as the epitome of unity. Lindsaygate was merely the worst manifestation of this reliance on deceit.

The NSW Liberal leader, Barry O'Farrell, told shadow cabinet on Tuesday that the Rudd campaign could teach Liberals much about unity and discipline. "Anyone not about that should head out that door there," he said.

Earlier, O'Farrell referred to "the enormous damage" done by extremes. "I've seen both sides behave similarly … it's got to end."

It's showing no signs of doing that. On learning of the rogue plot, the Liberal left could have aborted Lindsaygate by dobbing in the plotters to the party hierarchy, but instead tipped off the ALP's assistant secretary, Luke Foley, allowing him to arrange the ambush that trapped the letterboxers red-handed.

When that led to the expulsion of Jeff Egan, the right-wing Liberal state executive member exposed by the ambush, one left-winger boasted: "His is a great scalp for us." The right pointed its fury at both the perpetrators and the "treacherous" individual or individuals, who alerted Labor to the scam.

The Australian Federal Police is examining whether the Electoral Act was breached because the flyers did not carry the authorisation and identification of their printer. NSW police are investigating whether the NSW Crimes Act prohibition on the making of false documents was breached. That investigation will go to the question of who printed the flyer in the name of the fictitious Islamic Australia Federation.

That's one of the intriguing unanswered questions…

One point is likely about the flyers' publication, however. It seems it was produced on a Riso, an expensive, high-volume printer provided to federal MPs. Just how Howard can state categorically that no taxpayer funds were used in the flyers' production is unclear, given few steps seem to have been taken to establish its source.

I doubt that Mr Nelson has what it will take to clean the Augean Stables of the NSW branch. Neophyte MP Alex Hawke is hardly likely to offer a hand.

Lindsay is symptomatic of a political party, and consequently a government, that was loose with the truth, with responsibility, and with compassion. I hope that the necessary inquiries are pursued, not just with respect to Lindsay, but into all the manifold sins of commission and omission of the Howard government: AWB, DIMIA, and certain interesting defence contracts, to name a few.

And Mr Rudd and his colleagues should pay attention lest they be tempted by the primrose path.

Lindsay sub judice, remember

Fiona: "And Mr Rudd and his colleagues should pay attention lest they be tempted by the primrose path."

That "they" (ie the lot of them) will skip down that path together is highly unlikely. However politicians being what they are, and Lord Acton's dictum being what it is, the probability that a few of them will succumb seriatum is quite high, and that one of them will approaches certainty. Think of past Labor governments. Think of Juni Morosi (Whitlam), the Paddington Bear Affair of Mick Young (Hawke), and Ros Kelly's whiteboard (Keating). See also Damien Murphy on the ministerial code of conduct.

Though the police have not laid any charges in the Lindsay case, I would remind you and all other Webdiarists that the matter is now sub judice, as it is now before the Liberal Party's powerful Rules, Discipline and Rorts Committee. My sources tell me that the Committee is taking the matter very seriously, as the dirty tricks were unauthorised (in the sense of not being properly authorised) and undoubtedly lost the party the seat of Lindsay, almost certainly cost the Prime Minister his seat, and were clearly a major factor in bringing down the Liberal government.

This matter covers the full panorama of the Committee's areas of responsibility, involving not only breaches of the Party's rules requiring discipline of members, but unauthorised rorting of the perks of office, in that the dodgers (nice irony there) may have been printed on a parliamentary printer at taxpayers' expense.

Clearly we have a responsibility to abstain from futher comment until the Rules, Discipline and Rorts Committee has completed its enquiries and announced its condemnations, exonerations and exculpations.


Ah yes, Ian - the exquisite Juni (thank goodness someone else know the correct spelling), the cuddly Mr Young (and his bear), the - um, can't think of a Webdiary-friendly adjective here - Ms Kelly (must be something about that surname). Yet their iniquities seem venial when measured against those of the Howard years.

As to your sub judice proposition, however, I think that an argument that the Rules, Discipline and Rorts Committee has jurisdiction over Webdiarists would be unlikely to succeed.

Besides, if we were "to abstain from further comment until the ... Committee has completed its enquiries and announced its condemnations, exonerations and exculpations", we could be waiting a long, long time...

Gold, gold, gold!

Do photocopiers leave identifying marks these days? Why can't I find Tony Abbott's name linked anywhere to this story? Are the answers to these questions related?  Alright, try this one.  Might Tony not have nominated for the Liberal leadership because of possible flack from Lindsaygate?

It's to be assumed that the AFP will be checking the former ministers' copiers.  Of course, the culprit will say his/her machine was used withou authorisation, and there won't be  a strong enough case for charges to be laid, but the correlation should be enough to keep whoever is responsible out of the limelight.

I wonder how far this little plan was intended to evolve. Race riots in Sydney's west.... you never know, it might've saved Howards backside.

Thank you, Fiona, for making my day.

Did "The Lindsay Effect" change the election?

Costello says the media coverage of the issue "squeezed the oxygen out of any other message" and plenty of Libs are remaining fairly non-committal. 

Downer's perception of the situation is more interesting.  He was using the same approach as Costello yesterday, saying that the scandal  "ijust took out 36 hours of other (Liberal) messages."  He said on Adelaide ABC-891 this morning that the Libs' tracking polls were (pre-Lindsay) showing that they were heading for  defeat anyway.   For Downer to come across so apparently truthfully automatically makes me wonder what he's hiding.  Perhaps the fact that the Libs were exposed as villifiers of Muslims might have further ramifications? 

Certainly in the wake of Hicks and Haneef the Lindsay pamphlets would be taken by many as confirmation that the Liberals were prepared to sacrifice the reputations of the immigrantsthey governed in their zeal  to retain power.

However high on the Liberal ladder the germinator of the plan dwells, it's pretty obvious that the aspirant Liberal candidate for the seat didn't have a clue.  Today she has no job and a marriage in tatters, and no doubt a few  questions she'd like to ask LIb leaders.

David R: George Megalogenis suggested on Insiders that Jackie Kelly on radio had personally lost Bennelong for JWH, having been leading Maxine up to Wednesday night ...


How shocking that some crazed vandal has erected replicas of the Lindsay race-hate Liberal Kelly Gangstas on stakes at the site of a proposed Islamic school in Sydney's south-west. When will it all stop?

One blames David Irving and the Akerman/Alan Jones school of righ-wing race hate for this kind of sorry behaviour by dunces. And the Howards, of course. Thank god the veterinary surgeon has been in, to put them both to sleep for 1,000 years, until revived by the kiss of a allied hair care products salesperson - the former Commander in Chief of All That's Khaki and now new party leader and squashed echidna-cum-hair stylist, the Marquis Dr Brigadøøn Maelstrøm. Standing close, but not too close, to Ms WA Klaus-Barbie, a lover of all that's Howard's, especially flagpoles and secondary schools versions recounting how the blacks were driven off productive land by Our Pioneers. Mention Gallipoli and that in the test and we'd have matriculated you, until Rudd's Soviet-style hordes careened into town, raping and killing (that's for you Akkimoto-san).

Rabbi Dr Woodforde, OAM, Razorback

It's A Crime

A criminal act has definitely been committed Bill Avent but as it's now been referred to the AFP this gives ministers like Ruddock etc. a good out to discuss it further. It isn't a very serious although it carries a penalty and jail sentence if proven.

I would think there is an offence under the anti-discrimination act as well. Certainly Sheik Hillaly has been libelled by inferring that he agrees with the contents of the leaflet although that may be difficult to prove.

What are the chances that if this had happened weeks ago at the beginning of the campaign, Howard would have laughed it off just as Jackie Kelly has ?. Kelly thinks it's highly amusing to make fun of the Bali bombings and went on tp tell an outright fib about "unionists" assaulting Coalition leaflet distributors in Lindsay. It was a complete fabrication. And she being a lawmaker-until tomorrow.


Aren't there laws against public speech or distribution of documents designed to arouse racial hatred?

Look at the design of the flyers. The Australian flag is dwarfed by the Islamic logo. Christian is written with a lower case "c", whereas Islam has a capital. And then there is the reference to poor innocent Bali bombers. Can this be seen as anything but an attempt to rouse hatred against all Muslims, in any non-Muslim who reads it and takes it to be genuine?

Ruddock and that other goose talk about it being a misdemeanour. Looks like a felony to me. Why isn't anyone locked up? 

Dumb and dumber

It was so dumb it is hard to believe. Rudd forgiving the Bali bombers for heaven's sake. And they might have checked on the correct anglicisation of the Arabic God is Great. I wonder if they even know what it means. Ala Akba or whatever they had. That at least was funny.

One can only wonder how they thought they would get away with it. Even if they weren't dobbed the proverbial was bound to hit the fan before Saturday. And I would agree, it looks more like a crime than a misdemeanour. Time might take on a whole new meaning for them.

As for the wives.  Even dumber if they did not know what these guys were up to.


Howard's life flashes before his eyes

Myth has it that just before you die your life passes before your eyes. 

Is it just me or is fate conspiring to provide just such a slide show for Mr Howard?  There may also be just a little bit of Karma at work here:

·         Howard’s race cards (1996, 2001) - replayed with some gusto, if not the usual finesse, in Kevin Andrews’ inflammatory comments on Sudanese refugees, 2007. 

·         Lies, lies, lies (Iraq, children overboard) – bogus Labor leaflets purporting support from fictional Muslim extremist group distributed in Lindsay two days before the 2007 election.  Problem this time is the lies backfire before the election (D’oh!).    

·         Various weaselly and inflammatory comments about Muslims – see same leaflet. 

·         Interest rate scare campaign 2004 - replayed 2007, with interest (1.5%).  Except this time the fear is in Howard’s eyes.  (See also lies, lies, lies). 

·         Tampa 2001 – a small boat of Indonesian asylum seekers is picked up by the Australian Navy days before Election 2007, a spooky reminder of 2001’s glorious repulsion of 400 asylum seekers in the name of national security.

·         Trashing of long-held notions of natural justice and presumption of innocence in 'War on Terror' with regard to Hicks and Habib – Election 2007 provides Haneef.  (Should we have a security register of people whose surnames begin with ‘H’?)

·         Howard’s hairy-chested national security 'credentials' – Chaser drives fake motorcade up to George Bush’s hotel at APEC conference, Election 2007. 

·         Trashing of reconciliation in Howard's first term – martial law in NT indigenous communities, Election 2007. 

·         The taint of corruption from the AWB scandal - outright corruption in the Regional Partnerships program, exposed in the last week of Election 2007. 

Oh - first steps in removing workers' rights, 1996.  The stench of Workchoices loses Libs the election, 2007. 

Wedges?  See most of the above. 

Farewell, John.  To know you was to truly detest you.  

and 'sorry'.

Howard won't say sorry to indigenous Australians, 1996 - says sorry to mortgagees for interest rate lie, 2007.  But isn’t sorry. 

Sorry a. (-ier, -iest).  The hardest word.  Not to be confused with repentance, except in relation to treatment of indigenous Australians (see blame, responsibility, denial and double standards). 

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