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Brendan O’Neill on the new totalitarians, now policing even our private thoughts and word games

Hat tip to Andrew Bolt on this one:

Brendan O’Neill on the new totalitarians, now policing even our private thoughts and word games:

WHY is it bad to hack and expose photographs of a woman’s naked body but apparently OK to steal and make public the contents of a man’s soul?

This is the question that should burn in our minds in the wake of the Barry Spurr scandal.

For just a few weeks ago, when a hacker invaded the iCloud ­accounts of female celebs and ­rifled through their intimate snaps, there was global outrage… To peer into a woman’s most intimate moments was a “sexual violation”, said a writer for Guardian Australia…

Fast forward to last week, and some of the same people whose jaws hit the floor at the audacity of those who leaked these women’s private, unguarded pics were cheering the hacking of Spurr’s private, unguarded words.

Spurr, a professor of poetry at the University of Sydney, has had his private emails pored over and published by pseudo-radical, eco-miserabilist website New Matilda. In some of his emails, in what he has since claimed was a cheeky competition between him and his friends to see who could be the least PC, Spurr used words that would no doubt cause pinot gris to be spilled if they were uttered at a dinner party.

He described Tony Abbott as an “Abo lover”, referred to a woman as a “harlot”, called Nelson Mandela a “darky”, and used “Mussies” for Muslims and “chinky-poos” for Chinese. He now has been suspended by the university.

Many people will wince on reading those words. Just as we will have winced if we happened upon those photos of well-known women doing porno poses or ­engaging in shocking sex talk in videos shot by their boyfriends.

And that’s because these behaviours, both Spurr’s knowingly outrageous banter and the act­resses’ knowingly sluttish poses, share something important in common: they were private acts, not intended for public consumption. They were things done or said between intimates, far from the eyes and ears of respectable ­society. Yet where right-on commentators and tweeters stood up for the right of famous women not to have their private nakedness splashed across the internet, they have relished in the exposure of Spurr’s soul to the panting, outraged mob.

 

A most worthy argument from one of the lefties I truly respect.

Cheers Comrades

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Brendan O’Neill

Vale Edward Gough Whitlam, Its time! for the big election in the sky

nla.pic-vn3512828-vI met Gough once, shook his hand even, when I was a callow youth an in awe of those playing the game of politics, heck I even voted for the ALP in 1972 and in 1975 and during those years I loved listening to parliament on the radio where his dulcet tones and oratory cemented my love of our democracy. My politics have changed somewhat since then but you never lose the affection you feel for your first political love even when it has become clear that their feet were very much made of clay.

Gough certainly deserves respect for leading Labor out of the political wilderness in 1972 but he also deserves the critiques of his administrative failings and economic mismanagement he will undoubtedly be greatly deified in the next few days which is fine for a long life spendt serving the nation but lets just never forget that a good emperor knows to listen when the dedicated slave reminds him “that you are only a man, not a god” those who admired him need to remember that as well.

With respect comrades

 

 

 

 

Rule 303 works

The usual suspects have been suggesting that changes to our laws intended to address concerns about the ISIS jihadis are “unnecessary” Yet we wake this morning two police officers are recovering from knife wounds and a young man was shot dead.

One shot dead, two stabbed in Melbourne

 

A TEEN terror suspect under investigation for making threats against Prime Minister Tony Abbott was shot dead by police last night after stabbing a Victorian police officer and a federal police agent.

The injured officers, both from the Joint Counter Terrorism Team, are in hospital in a stable condition.

A bomb squad expert suits up to explore Endeavour Hills police station. Picture ; Mike Keating

The 18-year-old man, who was under surveillance over his threats against Mr Abbott, met police outside Endeavour Hills police station, in Melbourne’s southeast, about 7.45pm.

Senior intelligence sources confirmed that the terrorism suspect had been among a number of people whose passports were recently cancelled.It is believed that the man was well known to police, and had displayed Islamic State flags in the local Dandenong shopping centre.

Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner southern region Luke Cornelius said police had arranged to meet with the Narre Warren man because of concerns about his behaviour.

But an altercation started after he arrived at the police station, which led the teenager to produce a knife. He allegedly stabbed the federal agent multiple times, while the Victoria Police officer was stabbed twice in the forearm.

The Victorian Police officer discharged a single fatal shot.

“Obviously both members are in shock but we are doing everything when can to provide them with support and assistance in what is for any police officer an incredibly difficult and challenging time,’’ Mr Cornelius said.

source

There is no doubt for me that the police officer who shot this man did precisely the right thing the young would be Jihadist has got his wish to be “martyred” and we can be thankful that he did not succeed in taking anyone with him and if nothing else it proves that “rule 303″works. I expect that there will now be a flurry of the usual suspects insisting that the police did not have to kill this young man, or that he was a “child”.

The police did the right thing the threat was quickly neutralized and anyone who thinks the Jihadists are no threat should hang their heads in shame.

Cheers Comrades

 Police investigate the shooting. Picture: Mike Keating Source: News Limited

Police investigate the shooting. Picture: Mike Keating Source: News Limited

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?

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

The reviled Mining Tax, gone at a price we can live with

walking-thong

No matter how often you watch this Gif you will never get beyond its promise to the fulfilment that you desire, which sums up the ill-conceived and now abolished MRRT

The mining tax has been abolished after a deal with the Palmer United party (PUP) in which the government delayed the abolition of the schoolkids bonus and other savings and deferred already-legislated increases to workers’ compulsory superannuation for seven years.

The prime minister was jubilant after the shock deal was revealed, claiming it rendered the Labor party irrelevant and proved the government – approaching the first anniversary of its election – was “getting on with the job.”

After secret negotiations with PUP, the government revealed a deal with the crossbench senators to finally abolish the mining tax – as it had so often promised – if it retained three programs until after the next election, instead of abolishing them straight away.

In changes that will cost the budget bottom line $6.5bn over the next four years but leave it no worse off in the long term, the government has agreed to keep the schoolkids bonus, the low income superannuation contribution and the income support bonus until 2016 or 2017.

But it will also freeze the amount employers are compelled to put into all workers superannuation accounts. It is currently legislated to increase to 10% in 2015-16 and then by 0.5% each year to reach 12% in 2019-20. After this deal goes through it will be frozen at 9.5% and won’t reach 10% until 2021, rising by 0.5% a year after that.

Source

Well by my reckoning that is another victory for the Coalition government in their campaign to undo the follies of Labor, which means that we will no longer have a tax that costs more to administer than it collects which  makes us a laughing stock to the world. Further the suspension of increases in superannuation will be greeted with great joy but those in our economy who provide the employment, it will mean that the cost of hiring someone will be less over time which should help business to employ more people.  Personally as I have two children in school the continuation of the school kids bonus will come in handy but I very much doubt that it has ever been a game changer to parents in this age of voter cynicism.  As Tony Abbott said yesterday in the Parliament this is not everything the government wanted but it will do.

What this means is that the government has actually achieved the three planks of its election campaign, the Carbon Tax has gone, the Mining Tax has gone and the Boats have been stopped, more importantly though this demonstrates that for all of his bluff and bluster in the media Palmer can be dealt with and the government can bring about the reforms that it was elected to do.

Cheers Comrades

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