under the linoleum
Old newspapers show Mussolini's imperialism looked a lot like today's
I sat on the floor and picked through the tragedy of the country we now
call Ethiopia laid out on the yellowing pages. It was eerily reminiscent
of the current Iraq adventure.
tale for our times
The December 1934 assassination of Sergei Kirov
Seventy years on, the killing of Sergei Kirov casts an eerie light on
the events of 11 September 2001, the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan,
the war on Terror and the state-sponsored hysteria surrounding
the shadowy figures of Osama bin Ladin and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
years of bombing the Arabs
It was the Italians, hell-bent on acquiring an African empire, who got
the ball rolling. In 1911 the Libyan Arab tribes opposed an Italian invasion.
Their civilians were the first people in the world to be bombed from the
all over again
After spending nearly two months in the West Bank the pull towards my
village was growing stronger, especially after being detained twice and
threatened with deportation
an Australian Palestinian returns to
her ancestral home.
tragic inevitability of a forlorn hope
slides further into the Iraq quagmire
Cabinet documents recently released under the 50-year rule show that,
in 1954, Liberal (conservative) Prime Minister, Robert Menzies, and key
figures in his Cabinet were extremely gloomy about the prospects for success
in an American war against nationalists in Indochina. But eventually they
went to the Vietnam War anyway.
One mans freedom fighter is anothers terrorist
Some historians date the beginning of modern terrorism from the 1946 bombing
by Zionist terrorists of the British military HQ in Jerusalem.
loiter near the exit
Military debacle and economic decline haunt the Bush regime
When I was just a young possum in the school cadet corps there was a hoary
old war story that we all knew. It was almost certainly apocryphal, but
it ruefully expressed a nasty historic truth about the US role in the
demise of the British Empire.
We've been online since 1997.
Check out the archives
their Senate preferences, shall ye know them
been too engrossed in my investigation of the RTAs perpetual campaign
for more motorways to pay much attention to the federal election campaign,
but when I sidled into the Brushtail Café for lunch I could see
I was about to go up the learning curve. Joadja was chatting to Abdul
The Cabbie and was clearly in one of her dark moods.
Have you seen this outrageous preference deal the ALP and the
Democrats have done with the so-called Liberals for Forests
and the religious nutters? She asked.
Were talking about the Senate here?
Yeah, the Senate positions for NSW. Its lets
stop The Greens at any cost time. Any pretence of political principle
is out the window.
Whats this Liberals for Forests thing? Ive never heard
Its another of those miss-named right-wing schemes lashed
together by Glenn Druery. He was the bloke whose mini-micro party preference-swap
deals led to the election of Malcolm Jones of the anti-conservation
Outdoor Recreation Party in the 1999 state election.
Yeah, I remember, that was the election where 264 candidates ran
for the Legislative Council, and the ballot paper was the size of a
tablecloth. I said. Malcolm Jones got elected on just 0.2
per cent of the vote, on the preference flows from a bunch of tiny single-issue
parties. But he was eventually chucked out of parliament for rorting
You got it. But Druery didnt get elected in 99 so
he tried the same scheme in 2003, running as the Fishing Party. In that
election he was swapping preferences with the Four Wheel Drive Party
and the Horse Riders Party
who were also redneck micro-parties
opposed to sensible conservation measures. He missed out again
All a rort. So whats this Family First mob the Dems are
giving their first preferences to?
Basically its a front group for the right-wing fundamentalists
of the Pentecostal Church. Youll love them. They might publically
deny theyre nutty Christian zealots, but if you spend an hour
on the internet it all becomes clear.
What do you reckon their agenda would be if they got into office?
Well, for a start, like John Howard, theyre into breaking
down the distinction between church and state. You can bet theyd
like to see creation science introduced into the schools.
Ah, that anti-scientific twaddle about God making the world in
seven days, round about 4004 BC.
Yep. And they hate gays and they dont like Moslems and you
can bet theyd be into the Iraq war like a rat up a drainpipe.
Politically, most of them are Christian Zionists.
Zionists I know, but what is a Christian Zionist? asked
Theyre fundamentalist Christian neoconservatives who hate
the Palestinians (even the Christian ones) and support the most extreme
vision of the craziest Zionists a Jewish theocratic state from
the Mediterranean to the Jordan River.
Which is a curious development because historically Christian
fundamentalism is the natural home of anti-semitism. Up until a few
years ago fundamentalists saw Jews as the killers of Christ, blah, blah.
Then suddenly, these folk saw Islam as a mortal danger. Theyre
steeped in the gibberish of Biblical prophesy and, as they see it, the
quicker the End of Days happens, the better, so theyre
pretty sanguine about the prospect of Israel nuking the Arabs back to
the Stone Age.
Armageddon, how charming. But please explain how this preferences
Okay, lets say you vote above the line for the
Dems. If they dont get a quota (thats a bit over 14 per
cent of the primary vote), then your vote flows to Family First, then
to Liberals For Forests, then to Fred Niles Christian Democrat
Party, and only then to The Greens.
You mean to tell me the Dems have organised it so that, if they
dont fall over the line, theyre passing their vote, first,
to a bunch of religious nutters, and then to the bloke who gave us the
tablecloth ballot paper and then to an anti-gay bigot, and only then
to The Greens.
Yep. Such is the unprincipled desperation of a clique of egotistical
And what about the ALP?
Well, theyre not much better. In NSW theyre giving
all their preferences to the Liberals for Forests, then one third of
their preferences flow to Fred Nile and only two-thirds to The Greens.
So as a result of all that, I said, Labor or Democrat
supporters who vote for their party above the line risk
electing senators whod probably support Howard over the Iraq war,
destroy public services, fully privatise Telstra and woodchip the environment?
You got it.
So what happens if you vote above the line for The Greens?
All very cut and dried. Your second preference flows straight
to the Democrats theyre not going to get in anyway
then on to Labor and only then (and very improbably) to the Libs and
the right-wing nutters.
Looks like the way to go.
AND READ ...
to the drums of madness
Good Christian boys and girls abusing Iraqi POWs ... John Howard's God
Squad lashing out at secularism ... our hero ponders the religious right's
march to madness.