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It Was Always Going To Happen

Our political ‘leaders’ are conspiring to assert even more control over us, leveraging the tragedy in Christchurch to rein in the internet and clamp down on our freedom to express, discuss and dissent. Of course they blame the evil internet corporations for promoting the evil, or at least facilitating it. Rather than address those uploading the content, they are hitting the hosts. Fair enough, but why didn’t they do this in 2014 when ISIS hit the web and posted their radicalysing material that helped thousands decide to up sticks and cut out for the Caliphate?

At the moment there is the expected grab for semi-automatic weapons in New Zealand, the political capital wrought from any ‘threat to weaken our gun laws’ here and the push for extending the restrictions on free speech under the heading of ‘hate speech’. And this play for more control over the internet. So what’s new? Back in the 1990s there was a Government White Paper asking if the Internet could be controlled. Every Western government asked the same question as we headed off to the on-ramp for the ‘information superhighway’. Remember that term? If you follow the link (this is an updated 2004 version) and read the paper you will note there is no mention about social media because it hadn’t really been invented then. There is no prediction of live uploads of massacres but then we hadn’t kicked off the ‘War on Terror’ back then, either.

The problem is, like it is with semi-automatic weapons, only honest, law abiding people will be restricted and impinged upon. The outlaws will do as they have always done and break the laws. I don’t own any firearms as I have no need for one. If I need one, I will get one. I don’t think the proposed restrictions on social media will affect me, either, as I have always posted everything under my own name. But who knows where it goes from here.

Same Sex Same Old Same Old

Personally I don’t care if two blokes or two sheilas want to get married; none of my business. Or is it? The whole same sex marriage debate is a political hot potato at the moment. The idea of a plebiscite versus a vote in parliament is a debate unto itself. At first I was all for the vote, after all, what did we elect them for if not to do this kind of thing. Then I heard arguments from those who wanted their say in the changing of a law that is fundamental to our society and its makeup. OK, fair enough, even if the majority of those wanting to vote seem to want to vote against other people being able to do what they already can. They seem, in the main, to be opposed to same sex marriage on religious grounds, as if their religion matters to me or anyone else not of their persuasion.

No it seems we now have the poor relation to a plebiscite… a postal plebiscite! Non-compulsory and like the full blown plebiscite… the government doesn’t have to obey the will of the masses! So what’s the point other than justice being seen to be done and all that? Isn’t that enough? If you think about it, same sex couples have been able to legally partner up as de facto couples for donkeys years, so why the big deal about the word, ‘marriage’? I can only think it is because that is the current, socially accepted title for union. Anything else doesn’t have the same authority and power and could be construed as sending the message that same sex people are lesser in value or somehow not as good as heterosexual couples. I wouldn’t think that but I can see how they think some would.

I do wonder about the real agenda here. Our society has been progressively ‘lefted’ in recent decades. We have identity politics and gender politics and race politics thrown at us constantly. Coupled with the PC brigade usurping all our words and telling us we can no longer use them for the meanings we have always used them for and it all gets a bit tiring. Diversity is another issue. I agree diversity is a good thing but… only if it does not mean a diverse range of white people, right? Especially not males, heterosexuals and particularly Anglo-Saxons. You can have five Africans, each from a very diverse cultural background and that is fine but if you have an Englishman, an Irishman, A Scotsman and a Pole… that is racist. I refuse to cringe or cower because I am who I am and had no say in that. It’s like gay pride… I don;t get it. What is there to be proud of? I ask that because if one can be proud of something then obversely one can be ashamed of the same thing and why should anyone be ashamed their sexual orientation is what it is. Again, like nationality, ethnicity and gender… you had no say in it. It was not a choice so no need to be ashamed and similarly, nothing to be proud of, either.

When we have the USA pre-positioning troops in over a hundred countries around the world, bombing anyone who needs a bit of freedom and basically invading sovereign nations at will, the question of whether two people in love should or should not marry isn’t that big a deal. Except to those two people, of course. Like I said, none of my business. I’m not about to divorce my wife, turn homosexual and marry another bloke. If two men or two women marry each other, how does that affect me and my life? But if the USA keeps throwing its weight around to further advance the business interests of the corporate fascists running our world… that might have more of an affect on my life than two people of the same gender saying “I do”.

Oh, Now They Call It Daish!

I have wondered for some time why that Islamic terrorist group is called by an English language title. ISIL/ISIS/IS. Now a few outlets are referring to it as ‘Daish’, as if to pay lip service to my social media posts asking why. I note it started as the Islamic State of iraq, Syria and the Levant. Then someone must have remembered the Levant includes Israel and as there is a good chance they are somehow behind the creation, funding, training and arming of this mob to destabilize the region to their benefit… they changed the name. I noted how ISIL never once threatened Israel in any way. Still haven’t. Huh? Every other Islamic terrorist group has sworn to blow Israel into the mediterranean, wipe them off the planet. But not ISIL . This does not make sense.

So they became ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. Now just Islamic State. We know as fact the US have trained them when they were officially known as ‘moderate’ opponents of Assad in Syria. Moderate? Al Qaeda cut their ties with them for being too barbaric and vicious! Senator McCain has parleyed with them, so too John Kerry and others. We know the US supplied arms to Libyan ‘rebels’ to oust Gaddahfi after he tried to create an African IMF and their own currency as well as sell oil off the US ‘petro dollar’. Same reason Assad is copping it. The USA doesn’t give a tinker’s cuss about his alleged human rights violations. Never bothered them before. But he pals up with Putin and offers oil off the petrodollar and wham! Regime change is called for. Same reason the Ukraine is bubbling and Putin is being made out to be a demon. The US object to losing their petrodollar hegemony because their economy is built on FIAT currency (made up money) and debt.

Petrol is so cheap at the moment because the US and Saudi Arabia are playing games with supply. Hurting the Russians, sure. But they don’t care as it is cheaper than an all out hot war. IS are all Wahhabists, a Saudi centred Sunni sect of real nut jobs. So the Saudis fund IS who are upsetting Syria, a once stable, secular Arab state, but a threat to Israel and the US (via the petrodollar). Meanwhile, millions of ordinary people suffer. As always. The Turks could wipe IS off the map but instead buy their stolen oil. Since they pay with US petrodollars, the US doesn’t use its drones to wipe out the tankers delivering the oil over the Turkey-Syria-Iraq borders. Off course they can monitor these deliveries! If they can murder an entire wedding party in the Yemen with one Maverick missile, they can surely take out a tanker on one of the very few roads that can be used to smuggle the oil out on.

Make no mistake, we are being screwed over. Our own idiot PM, the Knob, loves to play lap dog to the yanks. Probably sees himself as a crusader fighting the evil moor. We are spending our tax dollars bombing people the Americans, Saudis and Israelis created so that their rich buggers can stay rich or get richer. Don’t swallow the Kool Aid, people. Even if there isn’t much we can do right now, at least let them know we aren’t stupid. We know what they are doing and we don’t like it, even if we can’t do much to stop them. Yet.

‘Gangnam Style’ Still Slaying Them In The Yemen

If you ever wondered where all those bullets fired into the air by excited Middle Eastern types went, watch this. A wedding in Sanaa, the capital of The Yemen, Gangnam Style and an idiot with an AK47. He fires off a burst of full auto and loses control of the weapon. Two die, two more are wounded. A wedding the bride and groom will never forget. This is their ‘culture’, apparently.

Twisted Honour

A Canadian judge called the ‘honour’ killing of three girls and their mother a case of ‘twisted honour’. The two older girls had boyfriends and had told school authorities of the abuse they suffered at home from their father, an Afghan immigrant. Twisted is so very apt. As the judge said, this thinking has no place in civilised society.

Make no mistake, this has nothing to do with their religion, Islam, and yet it has everything to do with it. It is a cultural aberration, much like the wearing of the niqab or burka, seen all too often in Pakistani and Afghan families, as well as Iranian, Iraqi and other Arab communities, yet there are other cultures that practise similar beliefs: Greek, Italian, Indian, African and other non-Islamic cultures have also had ‘honour killings’ of female relatives. It is brought about by the men of the culture thinking they are superior to women, that they have some ‘god-given’ right and know better than anyone else. They allege it is written in the Koran and justify their medieval and misogynistic mindset claiming their God has sanctioned their behaviour. Read this essay in support of the view that this is an Islamic thing. Nothing could be further from the truth according to others. This topic is not new and has been debated for years, so what is the truth?

The truth for me is that it doesn’t make any difference whether it is Islamic and sanctioned in the Koran and the Hadith or it is a cultural misinterpretation of those scriptures. It is wrong. There is right and there is wrong and it makes no difference what religion you are, the colour of your skin or if you are male or female, rich or poor. Right is right and wrong is wrong and if the killing of anyone, other than in self defense, is considered right then that person or society is wrong. Who gave these people the right to take another person’s life? Even though the causes of war are too often wrong, at least on one side but usually on both, from the individual soldier’s perspective it is all about self defence. This is why soldiers fight for each other, to keep themselves and their mates alive and not for Queen and Country or the flag or the cause, but to stay alive.

Murdering your own flesh and blood to preserve an abstract concept such as family honour is obscene. Not to them, but it is to me. Does that make me right and them wrong? Yes. They will never accept they are wrong and no doubt they could argue I am the one who is wrong but I will never accept they have the right to murder anyone, let alone female members of their family. These swine received refuge and a good life in our society, our culture, then they tainted it with their wrong thinking and killed four women who, no doubt, embraced our way of life. They deserve to be sent back to where they came from and buried up to their breasts and stoned to death. Surely they would be grateful for such an Islamic death? Maybe then they might see the error of their ways.

Manila Madness

The recent calamitous hostage scenario played out in Manila that saw 8 hostages murdered and the hostage taker killed underlines how random risk can be. Those Hong Kong tourists could never have expected to be caught up in such a a situation.

Armchair critics can dissect the footage forever but unless one was there, on the spot, it is all speculation. I do wonder though when I see the police all lined up and doing nothing for long minutes while one man attempts to break windows with a sledge hammer. At one point he loses the tool and has to retrieve it from inside the bus!
A Botched Hostage Rescue in the Philippines is republished with permission of STRATFOR.

Did the gunman start shooting and so the police had no choice but to storm the bus? Did they cause the gunman to start murdering hostages when they began the recovery operation? What I do know is that they were far too slow, too ill-equipped and obviously totally untrained. Compare their tactics with those used by the Israelis, German GSG9 or British SAS in similar scenarios. Surprise, aggression and speed. The Manila police couldn’t even get a light stick in through the window first shot. Imagine if that had been a stun grenade and it went off outside the bus? Chaotic and inept.

Manila Police SWAT Training prior to hostage 'rescue'.

Now watch how the Germans did it… first man in the bus (at the back) in about 3 seconds! Even the harder to access front has them in after just 8 or 9 seconds, while the guman is distracted by events at the back of the bus. No hesitation, no hiding behind shields, SURPRISE! AGGRESSION! SPEED! When you commit to action, you don’t hesitate or hold back and that is the same in all situations.

Safety In Numbers…

The old saying there is safety in numbers doesn’t always hold true. In Germany this weekend 80 people were injured and 18 killed when things got out of control at a music festival. Sheer weight of the crowd no doubt played a major part in the tragedy, I have felt the crush of thousands of people when performing security duties at major public events and it is frightening. When you realise how quickly things can go horribly wrong and people can die, it makes it prudent ot rethink your strategy about any event whre rthere are likely to be large numbers of people.

In the case of this event there was just the one entrance, a tunnel, for 1.4 million people to funnel through. When the venue became full the organizers stopped anymore getting in and told them to turn around and go back. Back down a tunnel that still had thousands of people coming forwards. Apparently it all fell apart when a barrier collapsed and people tried to escape out the sides and panic set in.

What happens in these situations is that the body is crushed by the sheer weight of the thousands of other bodies pressing in with no outlet sufficient to keep up a flow of people exiting the choke point. The person has insufficient space to expand their chests and keep breathing and if they lose their footing they are trampled upon, often by people either unaware of what they are doing in the tight press of the crowd or unable to avoid doing it. It truly is a nightmare scenario.

When you throw in the stupidity of many people, the arrogance and selfishness we humans tend to display, then there is no give and take, its all give until something major has to give and people start to suffocate. By far the best advice is to avoid crowd situations. If you must attend such events, go early or accept a position on the fringe and take binoculars. Most people die pressed against the security fence keeping them back from the stage. When the mob mentality hits and everyone surges forward to be closer to their idols, people get crushed. If you are tall and solid you have a chance so long as you stay upright. Small and more fragile people quickly succumb.

If you are caught in such a surge, try to remain calm and make some space around you with your hands clasped in front of you and your elbows out, give your chest room to work. Take short steps and try to move to the sides of the crowd, avoid being caught in the middle but if there is a wall on the side, avoid it as you don’t want to be pinned against an immovable object. You can’t hold back thousands of people pressing on you.

Crowd scenarios are worse in closed venues, where there is noise and disorienting lights such as night clubs and also where there is alcohol and drugs present. Pretty much any entertainment venue young people frequent. You need to weigh up how important being cool and hip is compared to alive, but of course anyone under 30 is bullet proof. I know I was.

Needle Stick Horror

As a parent of five girls, aged  from 9 months to almost 12 years old, I have to say this story makes me very angry. The selfishness of some drug addict to leave a needle in a McDonald’s play area so that a 6 year old girl suffers a needlestick injury beggars belief. There is no excuse. No intravenous drug user is that out of it they are not aware of what they are doing. So they discard their needles wherever they do on purpose. Either because they respect the health and safety of others and thus they discard them appropriately or they don’t give a rat’s bum and drop them anywhere they wish. Then there are those who do evil things like this on purpose.

Of course we still don’t know if the needle was discarded by a druggie. Nor do we know if it is infected with anything. This could be an attempt to obtain money from the restaurant or to discredit them for whatever reason. McDonald’s are a popular target for many. For the sake of this post, let us presume it is an infected needle left there by a drug user, either on purpose or simply because they didn’t bother to think about the consequences.

I have little to no sympathy for drug addicts. As a former smoker I fully empathise with the whole addiction thing and how hard it is to kick a habit. Some experts claim nicotine is more addictive than heroin and much harder to quit. Well I quit and while I confess I still have cravings the bottom line is I no longer pollute my body or the atmosphere, not do I swell the coffers of the government and the tobacco companies. If I can do it, why can’t everyone? I am oh so boringly average in so many ways, more than I like to admit so if I can, anyone can.

I chose to smoke as all addicts choose their habits. I then chose to be in charge and quit and after  several years and multiple attempts I managed it. So can anyone. I look now at the cigarette butts discarded in the bushes and gutters and shake my head as I too once threw away my butts with no thought for the environment. Mea Culpa. In Australia there are billions of cigarettes smoked every year. Billions. Where do the butts go? What about the ash? Regardless, it is still not as anti-social as leaving a needle in a kid’s playground, or anywhere for that matter.

We have to dig into the thinking of the addict, their mindset and figure out why they feel so useless and worthless that they need drugs to feel normal let alone good about themselves. Why do they discard their needles without care or, worse, deliberately and hoping they will inflict their misery on others? While we ponder that and the parents of the poor child in the story wait for the test results, spare a thought for how to avoid repeating this sad incident. How can we protect our kids and not wrap them in cotton wool?

Once A Pedophile…

In Brisbane there is a convicted child molester facing court over an attempted abduction of a 12 year old boy. It seems he was released from prison last July and was supposed to be wearing an electronic monitoring device. He grabbed the boy from behind in a park but the lad managed to escape. I presume that is how the police pinged him once the boy escaped and reported the time and location. This worm had allegedly been through the counselling and what have you that made him safe to return to society. He was on an 8 year parole like program for sex offenders. And yet it all failed. He returned to his old habits.

It begs the question whether a leopard can change his spots. In the case of these sick people, I say no. They are sick, mentally very ill. If one believes that being not like most people as being ill (a person with cholera is not like those without cholera) when it comes to such vastly different behaviour, then he is ill. It has to be something in his ‘wiring’ that makes him want to do this, that makes him think it is alright to go ahead and give in to his urge.

I have sympathy for the mentally ill, probably more so than many men of my generation, but there comes a time and a place when you have to stop being understanding and start being firm and definite in your choices for dealing with these criminals. They are criminals, even if the motive stems from mental illness. What they do is a crime and that needs to be addressed. In the case of mental illness causing the crime, perhaps punishment is the wrong path to follow. I don’t think rehabilitation works, it hasn’t in this case. So what are we left with but isolation. Is that a trip we wish to take as a society? For the sake of our kids we isolate pedophiles for the rest of their lives? Why not do the humane thing and euthanize them? But that would be capital punishment and we have agreed we are not punishing them for being ill…

You can see from that paragraph how complex the debate can easily become, even a hypothetical discussion on a blog quickly uncovers the paradoxes. So don’t be too quick to condemn the authorities, the corrective services, the psychologists and the law makers. It is not a problem with an easy to find solution. If it were, that 12 year old boy would never have been at risk.

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