Monthly Archive for February, 2011

shock tactics in alice

The Weekend Australian (Feb 19-20) ran an article, Destroyed in Alice by Nicolas Rothwell exposing the severe alcohol and drug abuse problems amongst aboriginal people in Alice Springs.

In response, some have deplored Rothwell’s “shock tactics”

In some ways this is already an old discussion. Rothwell’s so called shock tactics ought to be welcomed. The taboo of not discussing the most shameful features of our society is now long broken. How does not exposing shame assist the shamed? No one has ever explained this. The taboo was broken by Noel Pearson many years ago, for example, in his Charlie Perkins memorial Oration, On the human right to misery, mass incarceration and early death (October 2001). This set the precedent and the taboo has been broken on an increasingly frequent basis since then.

Continue reading ‘shock tactics in alice’

debate: A zero carbon Australia: plan or pipe-dream?

A zero carbon Australia: plan or pipe-dream?

This issue will be debated at the next The Monthly Argument

Matthew Wright (Beyond Zero Emissions) will present the Zero Carbon Stationary Energy Plan

Following this Matthew and Arthur Dent (formerly know as Albert Langer) will debate it.

When: Thursday March 10, 2011 at 6:30pm for 7:00pm start
Where: The Dan O’Connell Hotel, 225 Canning Street, Carlton

WikiLeaks: Gadhafi and Chávez are Great Pals

This Huffington Post article about the warm relations between Gadhafi and Hugo Chavez of Venezuela is a good read: WikiLeaks Drags Libya and Venezuela Through the Mud

Brotherly Leader on the Ropes

It’s hard to imagine this lovely guy massacring his own people. As Libya’s Brotherly Leader and Guide of the Revolution, Gaddafi stands for everything warm and fuzzy and his regime is based on grass roots genuine democracy, not that phony stuff you find elsewhere. Anyone who opposes his regime is obviously a reactionary and agent of imperialism.

Come to think of it, there is an uncanny resemblance to Cuba, don’t you think?

No fly zone demand for Libya

Author: Arthur
Comment: (on Egyptian thread)

Former UK Foreign Secretary David Owen has come out with a clear demand for UN Security Council to immediately enforce a no fly zone over Libyan to prevent air force attacks on opposition.

All previous commentary has been hand-wringing. Al Jazeera interviewer uncomprehending asked inane question about whether regime would take any notice and was given clear explanation that the point was not to influence them but to shoot them down.

Immediately available forces mentioned were NATO UK, Cyprus, and Egypt.

Qatar also called for (unspecified) Security Council action.

Meanwhile US still dithering and editorialists blathering about “dilemma” in Bahrain.

And from D.C. Exile:

Former British Foreign Minister David Owen today called for a UN No-Fly Zone to be adopted and imposed on Libya. Owen’s call came in the wake of the defection of two senior Libyan air force pilots and reports of the state’s use of airstrikes against protesters in Tripoli. Along with the defection of the two pilots, several Libyan diplomats resigned in protest over the state’s use of force against protesters. At the same time, protesters in Benghazi have declared their city liberated from the regime.

Twitter feed #libya

Cuba: Viva la dissolution

Cuba definitely deserves our special attention because the hideous regime there calls itself socialist and people believe it. Current developments mean that things may start to get a bit more interesting. The current economic “reforms” are in full swing. Basically they are sacking about a million government employees while allowing them to set up small businesses and “cooperatives”. Also the fibre optic cable connection to Venezuela is complete and the government will now endeavor the tricky task of trying to manage wider use of the internet which is presently very limited.

Being basically a mix of feudalism and state capitalism, “socialism” in Cuba is a total disaster and needs a massive injection of “normal” capitalism to get any growth from its economy. Vietnam and China managed to get a lease of life from doing this. It will be interesting to see if Cuba can pull off the same trick. Any sort of socialist trajectory of course is out of the question because the privileged strata would suppress it and the populace at large are not subjectively equipped for the task, in any way shape or form.

I’ve got some books about Cuba on my Kindle which I have started to plow through. The first one is Persona Non Grata: A Memoir of Disenchantment with the Cuban Revolution by Jorge Edwards who was Chilean Charge d’Affaire in Cuba under Allende and is a famous novelist. Here are some interesting quotes from the book followed by a few comments. Continue reading ‘Cuba: Viva la dissolution’

Intellectual property is a big issue for the long haul

I plan to do quite a bit on intellectual property (IP) in the future because it is one area where you can attack capitalism and show how social ownership would be superior. At the moment I am spending a bit of time reading up on the views of “Austrian” economists on the subject. The libertarian/anarcho-capitalist camp to which they belong are split on the issue. The Austrians have generally disowned IP and don’t see it as legitimate bourgeois private property. The 73 page booklet Against Intellectual Property by N. Stephen Kinsella is a good place to start. He is the IP man in the von Mises universe. Continue reading ‘Intellectual property is a big issue for the long haul’

the vlog that helped spark the egyptian revolution

On Line Opinion under attack

Graham Young the editor of On Line Opinion has just put up this piece: Wanted – new financial backers

Some people have organized a very effective advertising boycott because OLO published an article by religious conservative Bill Muellenberg  against gay marriage.  OLO is an important institution on the political landscape which publishes anyone regardless of where they are on the political spectrum

Read the article and do whatever you can to support them.