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So you say you want a revolution

Mao is famously quoted as insisting that “all power comes from the barrel of a gun” and while that may hold true for a country in the throes of a revolution or subject to military conquest in an established democracy like our own all power comes form the most persuasive tongues and the dialogue those tongues foster within the part of the population who are politically active or engaged.  For a very long time during my lifetime those persuasive tongues were controlled by the owners of the mass media who were able to disseminate their ideas and understandings to a receptive audience who could only respond and engage with the issues via a limited facility provided by media owners in the form of “letters to the editor” they heavily controlled the choice and publication of such feed back to maintain their monopoly of political  discourse. This made owners, editors and Journalists both powerful and significant in our democracy. Political parties and aspirants to office openly courted the media and media owners and editors of both political inclinations have not hesitated to promote or deride the political players of their day especially when it came to promoting their own beliefs or vested interests. Thus we have a business focused player like Rupert Murdoch considering not only the players who will serve his political ideals but also his business interests. We should never forget that the reason that anyone publishes a news paper or owns a commercial television channel is to make a quid by selling advertising on or in it so it naturally follows that a media entity has to be responsive to its audience and to some extent reflect the needs desires and aspirations of that audience as well. Thus no matter what the ideology of a media owner may be (and I’m sure that some readers are imagining Rupert Murdoch as an evil manipulative puppet master right now) he or she also  has to respect and reflect the audience who buy his product.

The media landscape changed with the rise of the internet and the invention of the blog. All of a sudden political discourse was not controlled by mega rich gate keepers who shaped the discourse through their cohorts of authorized writers and speakers (journalists) Suddenly ANYONE  could write anything they pleased about the issues of the day and more importantly ANYONE could comment freely on what had been written. And comment people did with spirit and gusto. In the political blogs that were the pioneers of this brave new online world it was not uncommon to have comment threads that had many hundreds of postings as commentators had lively debates in real time as they tried to “find the plan” to explore an issue with great thoroughness. The problem is that most of these blogs have become very tribal indeed. A sort of mob rule mentality and tribalism has become the norm in most of the online spaces where politics are discussed. Thus if you visit any popular political site you will find that the commentators who have views consistent with the slant of the site tend to gang up on anyone with a dissenting voice who happens to raise their heads above the parapets and offer a contrary opinion. I’ve seen this happen on both left-wing and right-wing sites and it almost always devolves into personal attacks upon the person espousing a heterodox position along with the accusation that they are “trolling”.

My question is does it have to be this way forever? Surely the better way to go would be for those who have a passion for politics to do more than just seek the affirmation of those with a like minded.  Democratic politics is first and foremost about the art of persuasion. If you want change you have to persuade those who disagree with that change that they are in error and that the changes you propose have real virtue. No one is ever going to be persuaded to change their opinion if they never even encounter a rationale for a contrary opinion or if they never have their own beliefs challenged which means that even the most spirited but  “within the tribe” discussion is ever going to change a single mind. To make change within a democracy you have to change the minds and vote of those who give our political candidates their jobs.

What I advocating here is that those who want to see a better standard of political debate in this country learn to respect political difference and to embrace diversity in their interlocutors and further that everyone who wants a  better Australia needs to try to breakdown the tribalism in the online spaces where we discuss the issues. At the very least you could learn more about why those you disagree with think the way that they do, and you may even find that you can persuade them to a position that is closer to the way you see things.

Of course if you are going to be at all convincing you will have to interact with your interlocutors sincerely and with a generosity in debate that many culture warriors (as so many long time blog commentators become) find difficult. You see snarky comebacks and put downs become quite addictive when you are arguing with someone in an online forum (I know because I have not always  been a saint on that myself) but if you can resist that temptation you will discover a couple of things pretty quickly. Firstly your “political opposites” are often  not that different to yourself and that you may well have more in common than your think you do. From common ground you can find a common purpose and from a common purpose you can find a way to try to reconcile the differences in your positions. Even if you can’t reconcile those differences you can at least learn to respect each other.

As I suggested with the tittle “So you say you want a revolution ” its very easy to want change if you don’t think about how that change is to happen and what is to be built in the place of that which you want to tear down. Well I want to see a revolution in political discourse where those on the right and those on the left are willing to engage in productive online  debate that does not just degenerate in to acrimony and rancor. Hopefully in time we will see roughly equal numbers of players in the modern electronic sandpits but if we can’t have equal numbers any time soon can we at least have some respect for those of one political persuasion who go and play in the sand pits of the other-side? These brave souls bring that most rare and valued thing to these debates and that is what the Catholics used to call “an advocate for the devil”. You see once you have an advocate for the devil in your debates the depth to which you can explore the issues increases as a consequence. Of course those who just go into online comment threads for a bit of venting and affirmation from the like minded will probably hate having their blinkered thinking challenged, they will also hate having to justify many of the notions that they have previously taken for granted but the totality of the debate will have benefited. In the end we all want to change the world, we all want to see the plan, but you need to do more than carry pictures of Chairman Mao if you want to make it with anyone.

With a hat-tip to John and Paul

Sending them to meet Mo, in person

Police have taken part in terror raids across western Sydney. Photo: NSW Police Media Unit

Police have taken part in terror raids across western Sydney. Photo: NSW Police Media Unit

 

Its sort of amazing just how nasty the latest plot to further the cause of Jihad in this country is, according to the news reports the plotters would have grapbbed a random person off the street and then brutally murdered them with a knife.

Police allege the 22-year-old, who was among 15 people arrested yesterday morning during the biggest anti-terrorism operation in Australia’s history, communicated with the Islamic State organisation while allegedly planning the attack.

TIMELINE: Terror hits home

Court documents allege Mr Azari had been preparing for the attack for several months, working closely with several other men including Mohammad Ali Baryalei, an Australian thought to be in Syria and working in a senior role with Islamic State.

Mr Azari “did between 8 May and 18 September 2014 conspire with Mohammad Baryalei and others to do acts in preparation for, or planning, a terrorist act (or acts)”, the documents allege. He could face a life sentence if convicted.

Police moved swiftly to arrest Mr Azari after intercepting a phone call two days earlier, Mr Allnutt told the court.

“There has been an immediate reaction to a clear and imperative danger,” he said.

The alleged attack “was clearly designed to shock the community as a whole with a plan to randomly select a person to rather gruesomely execute … I don’t think I’ve seen much worse”, Mr Allnutt told the court.

Mr Boland said the allegation was “based on one phone call”.

“As I understand it, there’s a very limited compass of information that federal police intend to put forward,” he said.

Bail was refused, and Mr Azari will return to court in November.

source

Even worse is the left’s favorite follower of Allah, Waleed Ali who seems to be suggesting that we should not even try to smash ISIL in Iraq because some new iteration of the Jihadi scourge will inevitably spring up in its place:

And it’s that thought that perhaps has the most to teach us in Australia. ISIL is not simply a group to be vanquished. It is not a fixed, finite, collection of people we can somehow control or eradicate. For us in Australia, it’s most dangerously a symbol: a brand a young man from Sydney can claim for himself; a flag in which he can wrap himself, and his proposed victim. For all its pretensions to statehood, the key thing is that it’s anything but. It exists in the mind as much as on land.

So it’s not the kind of thing we can simply destroy with military force. Modern terrorism doesn’t work that way. We keep killing “senior figures” in terrorist groups – indeed, it’s more than three years since we killed the most senior of them all – and nothing substantive changes. We tried to smash al-Qaeda. It fragmented, then morphed into a mass movement not truly under anyone’s direct control, with Osama bin Laden mostly a symbolic figurehead. Then it begat ISIL.

This yields a devilish problem: namely, that we are trying to confront a threat that exists nowhere in particular, and anywhere in theory. We can’t destroy that. Not in the short term and not with the kind of conventional force the state has at its disposal. What we can do is manage it. Arrest, prosecute, convict. The good news is, we’re good at that. The bad news is that this isn’t a cure. It’s the (certainly necessary) treatment of symptoms.

Ali is wrong about one thing and what he is wrong about is that there is a point to killing as many of the ISIL Jihadists as we can, simply put dead Jiahadists can’t commit any further atrocities, even if its only large numbers of the foot soldiers that we kill each one of them who is sent to their death is on less we have to worry about. The reports on twitter yesterday claimed 200 IS Jihadists were sent to Mohammad near Mosul yesterday, which is  a good start and I have no doubt taht more will join them over subsequent days and weeks. With a bit of luck those in control of the malignant IS  enterprise will likewise be sent to meet Mohammad, sooner rather than later. Ali is wrong on anther front too. His whole argument suggests that there is some way that ISIL et al can be dealt with on a political level. That is utter nonsense of course. We can no more reach a settlement with evangelical Islam than we could calm a rabid dog. There is only one way to deal with the brand of Islam that would enslave the world and that is to put down any who flock to its banners. With the sort of plotters arrested yesterday that means throwing them into the deepest darkest hole that our judiciary can find for them and keeping them there for as long as the law will allow. For their compatriots in Iraq and Syria it means bombing and strafing them until they don’t dare come out of their hidey holes.
Personally I don’t think that the campaign  in that part of the Levant will be as long as minions of the left like Waleed Ali imagine, simply put for  guerrilla war to be sustained you need the support of the indigenous population for the fighters cause and aims. In other words you need more than their acquiescence due to fear from your indigenous population. I very much doubt that ISIL is at all loved anywhere in Syria or Iraq so I don’t think that they are going to get as much support form the people as was the case during the post Saddam war in Iraq. Which means that as their fighters are wiped out there will joy form the locals rather than sorrow or anger. This joy could be the foundation upon which an enduring peace could be built if the Iraqi government can get its act together sadly I have my doubts that it can.
Cheers Comrades
Animated GIF knife

He who lives by the knife shall die by the hellfire missile

Who said we have nothing to worry about from the followers of Allah?

Police have taken part in terror raids across western Sydney. Photo: NSW Police Media Unit

Police have taken part in terror raids across western Sydney. Photo: NSW Police Media Unit

Police are carrying out terror raids across western Sydney.

NSW Police said the operation, which was still ongoing on Thursday morning, was the result of a counter-terrorism operation also involving the Australian Federal Police.

Officers have raided properties in Beecroft, Bellavista, Guildford, Merrylands, Northmead, Wentworthville, Marsfield, Westmead, Castle Hill, Revesby, Bass Hill and Regents Park.

Hundreds of police officers are believed to be involved in the operation.

A number of arrests have been made, but police would not specify how many.

It is understood that raids are also being carried out in Brisbane.

Further updates were expected later on Thursday morning.

Does this story give you reason to be at least suspicious of those who follow the teachings of Mohammad?
Sadly I think that it does because no matter how many times we tell our selves that those taking up the head chopping aspects of this faith are “a small minority” we still keep getting more and more examples that suggests the pernicious aspects of the ideology are more common and closer to the surface than apologists for Islam will admit. To be frank I think that as a society we have become increasingly more complacent about the potential for an atrocity here in our country since 9/11,the Bali bombings and London bombings. Our police and security services have just been far too effective in nipping nasty plots in the bud at an early stage for many of the public to accept the reality of the threat.  I want to suggest that everyone who thinks that we have nothing to worry about to do a little thought exercise next time they are in a crowded public space, you know in a commuter train or in the lobby of a cinema, just try to work out when you could flee to if that person with a back pack were to be carrying a bomb.
Have you had a few sobering thoughts?
I’m not saying that it is going to happen, heck I’m really hoping that it never happens in this country but such atrocities are all grown from the heart of Islam  and anyone who pretends otherwise is a fool. All that we can rely upon here, apart form the good efforts of our police force, is that the majority of Muslims in this country are in fact “bad” Muslims who like so many Christians are only nominal followers of their faith.  Frankly though I don’t want to rely on that for the safety of my fellow Australians.
Cheers  Comrades
crowds-on-the-move-o

in a worst case scenario where would you flee to?

The cycling lycra we’ve all been waiting for

(by SockPuppet ~ a Libraryatarian blogger)

nude-cyclists-1

Click to enlarge if you must – warning it looks more like real muff in the small image

 

I cannot believe what all the fuss is over these brave Colombian girls wearing lycra that looks like a bare midriff gone way south  – all the way past Brazil if ya get me drift:

A flesh-coloured kit that makes a Colombian women’s cycling team look naked below the waist has been described as unacceptable by the sport’s governing body.

Photographs of the Bogota Humana team were taken at the Tour of Tuscany, showing the six women wearing red and yellow kit with flesh-coloured material immediately above and below the waist.

After the pictures went viral on social media, International Cycling Union (UCI) president Brian Cookson wrote on Twitter: “To the many who have raised the issue of a certain women’s team kit, we are on the case.

“It is unacceptable by any standards of decency.”

Among leading riders criticising the outfits was the Welsh former Commonwealth, Olympic and world road race champion Nicole Cooke.

“This has turned the sport into a joke,” she said.

“Girls stand up for yourselves – say no.”

What a bunch of spoilt sports.

Let the girls show their fake lycra muff if they want to.

They obviously did.

Yeah I think maybe they should “stand up” too by saying “up yours Nicole” and show their real muff – don’t you?

Go the whole hog girls and cut out the middle bit for real.

Just do it. Please.

It would do wonders for the sport.

A war that is unavoidable and sadly necessary

 Tony Abbott: the operation could take ‘many months’. Photograph: Julian Smith/AAP

Tony Abbott: the operation could take ‘many months’. Photograph: Julian Smith/AAP

Australia will send a military force to the United Arab Emirates to contribute to the US campaign of airstrikes against Islamic State (Isis) militants in Iraq.

In response to a formal request from the US for specific Australian defence force (ADF) capabilities, the prime minister, Tony Abbott, said Australia would supply 600 personnel – made up of 400 from the air force and 200 from the military, including special forces – along with equipment to the coalition force against the Isis movement.

Up to eight Royal Australian Air Force F/A18F Super Hornets combat aircraft, a Wedgetail surveillance aircraft, and a tanker and transport aircraft will be sent to the United Arab Emirates.

“In addition, the Australian Defence Force will prepare a special operations task Group as military advisers that could assist Iraqi and other security forces that are taking the fight to the [Isis] terrorists,” said Abbott. Military advice would also be provided to Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq.

ADF personnel will be based in the US headquarters “to ensure close coordination” with the US and to support planning and logistics.

“We are not deploying combat troops but contributing to international efforts to prevent the humanitarian crisis from deepening,” said Abbott.

source

For once its possible to praise Bill Shorten for something because the on this occasion the opposition is sticking with the long standing tradition of solidarity with the government when our troops are deployed into harms way.  In fact with the exception of the far left Greens who have been predictably tacitly defending the IS Islamofachist killers in the northern part of Iraq there is an almost universal feeling in this country that going to war to stop the atrocities committed in the name of Allah. With the brutal murder of a British aid  worker fresh in our minds who could possibly think that there is any other choice but to go into northern Iraq and Syria with all guns blazing?

I rather firmly of the opinion that a predominately air based campaign will be more successful on this occasion than it was in the previous forays into Iraq. I think this for a couple of reasons. Firstly the current crop of Jihadis have very little willing support from the people in the territory they nominally control. This has to be a natural consequence of their brutality and continuing war crimes. Without some support from the population for their aims and methodology then all they have is fear from the people who currently live under their rule. While that is a good motivator for population compliance its not going to help them much in terms of defending the territory that currently occupy.  Secondly the local geography of dry desert mostly flat territory provides little cover and that means that vehicles  and men on the move are hard to hide form air surveillance and more importantly air strikes. If its moving and holds armed men then it can be taken out form the air.

I think that we can be pretty sure that the Kurds in the north will not tend towards the excesses of war that will alienate the Sunis who we want on our side n this war but I am far less confident of the Shia militias who may well be inclined to take some sort of revenge on the Suni population if they are perceived to be at all sympathetic to the IS Jihadis, this issue was front and center in the weekend news reporting out of Iraq on the ABC.

One thing that I don’t expect though is that there will be many IS Jihadists taken prisoner. Fanatics can not be trusted to be honorable  nor is it to be expected  that they will surrender when their situation is hopeless. Rule 303 is also likely to be applied by the ground forces that mop up as well. If many of them are taken prisoner its likely that bleeding hearts like the loopy Greens will want to see them tried by one court or another.  While that may suit the namby-pamby Greens I just don’t think that you want to give too many of these scumbags the venue to further promote their hateful ideology.

Its of course  too early to predict the result of this war but I don’t share the pessimism of  dyed in the wool extreme  lefties who are already wishing for failure here. Frankly failure is not an option because we have to excise the cancer from he middle east if any of us are to sleep well in our beds into the future the death cult has to be, well, killed as quickly and completely as we can do it. Fortunately there seems to be a quite broad range of nations who are willing to join into this sadly necessary task.

Cheers Comrades

If it moves and it has armed Jihadists in it blow it up even if they have hostages as Human shields which, sadly,  is likely to be the case

If it moves and it has armed Jihadists in it blow it up even if they have hostages as Human shields which, sadly, is likely to be the case

Threat levels and Islam

Those who have been following this blog for sometime must have noticed my interest in the battle that we are all involved in between modern secular society and the medieval version of Islam that sadly too many young Muslims are so keen to kill and die for. So it should surprise none of you that the government has just announced that the threat level has been increased. Who could complain? in the last few days we have had arrests made of two men who have been charged with terrorism offenses not that far from Chez Hall in Logan (speaking from a global perspective), Obama has announced that there will be no rock that the Jihadists can hide under in Iraq or Syria and no day goes by with out some new Jihadi  outrage hitting the airwaves.  Personally I don’t feel any more concerned before the change to the threat level but then I have been more interested in this issue than many people for some time. I do however hope that the discussion helps those who have been either in denial about the nature of Islam or the sincerity of those who would kill for it realize the error of their ways before its too late.

Cheers Comrades

NoSharia-NoJihad

ISIS: Those Opposing Military Strikes Should Ponder This

Iain Hall:

I Know precisely how you feel about these scumbags of the left who want us to do nothing, to look the other way at the savagery of the the Jihadists Yale. I too have a teenage daughter and there is nothing taht horrifies me more than the thought that young girls like her are being so ill used by the ISIL mob. There can be no redemption for “men ” such as these and the only solution is to rain death upon them with enough consistent ferocity that they are wiped from the face of the earth. Be it in the shape of drone or ordinary air strikes they should be pursued from the air until they are frightened to show their faces above ground.
Any that are captured should be subject to a capital sanction for even being the most minor part of this evil enterprise.
Sadly I can foresee some problems with stripping them of their current citizenship should they try to return to this country because the bleeding hearts like Geoffrey Robertson will want to insist that such a thing might contravene the UN conventions by making them stateless.
There is only one rule for this brand of pedophile thug and that is rule 303 .
Angry Comrade Yale, Very angry

Originally posted on The Red And The Blue:

WITH CALLS GROWING for military action against the so-called Islamic State — and warnings, including from Foreign minister Julie Bishop, that jihadists bent on setting up a terrorist state may already be too entrenched to wipe out — the usual anti-war bleatings are emanating from the usual orifices of the Left. Today we see a picture somewhat less ideal than the fantasy world in which the “compassion” babblers and chardonnay drunks dwell.

Readers know I make very few bones about the true value of the ABC’s QandA programme: with a panel of six (including the host, journalist Tony Jones) that is invariably stacked 4-2 or (mostly) 5-1 with left-wing participants, QandA is not a serious forum for quality discussion of politics and current events: it is merely a weekly opportunity to get a good look at what the Left is talking about among itself.

So it was last night, and it will equally…

View original 1,762 more words

Waiting

I expect there are readers of the Sandpit who are waiting for my next words of wisdom. Well I’m it a bit of a waiting mode too. I have finally connected up our new water-tank I have set it up  so that it can both equalize with the house tank and with a bypass that allows me to fill it above what would be the full to the brim level of the house tank. So naturally I’m waiting for it to rain now and the Gods are trying hard to mock my hubris.

In terms of my car building hobby its been a case of one step forward and a couple back. I want to swap out the Honda carbs I have on my sports car for a pair of SUs which I naturally want to rebuild. Naturally enough the mob I order a full kit form have the kit I want on back-order, due late this month. Likewise after a great deal of thought I have decided to fit a manual gearbox . The normal wisdom would be to go for a five speed but I have a very limited budget so I’ve bought a 4 speed out of a KE70 Corolla and guess what I’m waiting for that to be delivered by courier from the importer I bought it from. Those of you who are familiar with my car  may be wondering why I chose that particular gearbox well its the manual alternative to the Auto that I currently have in the car which means the adapter plate I made for that box will work for the manual. All I have to do is get a Pulsar flywheel, a Corolla clutch plate make a clutch peddle  and of coarse that will all need a bit of finessing . Which means you guessed it more waiting as I try to source all that I will need and waiting between the small amount of time that my pain issues will allow me to tinker with this stuff. What this all means is more waiting…

Hell is the eternal sojourn in a waiting room, where   the magazines are filled with print that is just a tiny bit to small to read  and the TV plays eternal advertorials for consumer  crap that promises far more than it can ever deliver.

Cheers Comrades

Toyota-Corolla-KE70-4-Speed-Gearbox-Manual-171387985670

I am on twitter as theiainhall

Previously at Iain Hall…

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