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The article by Narváez is astonishing. Note that his ultimate position of First Secretary is an important one, senior office manager, giving him oversight of much of the Embassy’s internal operations. So many lies to refute, so little time. I will keep this article and attempt to pass it on to people who make comments about the evils of Assange. Wish me luck.
I love the composition of Valloton’s painting, the small central figure anchored by two larger ones, the umbrella providing a visually surprising point of focus. My eyes go back and forth across the tableau: pink – red – yellow – red – pink, set off by the muted tones of sea and sand. I presume the trio is sitting at some height above the waterline. It looks like a calm day, not much wave activity.
I can’t help contrasting this scene with that of the modern Australian beach in warm or hot weather. Life in those days for both men and women, but more so the latter, seems to have been hot, hot, hot. Fashion kept both sexes heavily clothed, even in summer. I have photos of relatives on summery beaches in the early 1900s, and the only concession they made to the location is for the men to roll their trousers up and the women to sit under big hats or parasols. How they didn’t all die of heat stroke escapes me.
Men in the Moon and all that…
What about the Lunar Laser Ranging experiment? Where US astronauts allegedly left a reflector on the moon for the laser beams of earth-bound scientists? And what about the Lunokhod arrays? See Wikipedia.
After applying Occam’s Razor I conclude that these alleged reflectors are actual reflectors. Etc etc etc.
The Jimmy Carter article was written in 2009. It went viral recently. The Age has an analysis here.
Extraordinary Collapse In Home Ownership In Sydney And Melbourne
The state and federal governments have no idea how to keep the party going except by the endless importation of people and yet more people, who are meant to take out mortgages and loans for housing, and thereby constantly transfuse and stimulate the stumbling economy.
This is a Ponzi scheme. It will succeed until it doesn’t.
Sydney and Melbourne have become seething antheaps of overstressed humanity. They have a huge and permanent arrears of infrastructure. Governments constantly make promises to fix it but never do — because they can’t. The system works against itself but the politicians and their galaxy of lobbyists simply cannot see that.
Cooling the Planet
Thanks, John day, for that message. A countryman, Walter Jehne, soil scientist and microbiologist, has much to say on ways to cool the planet, rehydrate the soils and improve agricultural output. He reckons we’re concentrating on the wrong variable. Not CO2, it should be water vapour. We can’t do anything about CO2 levels, currently 406 ppm, for a thousand years. The key is water vapour, globally about 40,000 ppm, i.e. air is 4% moisture even over deserts. A column of air 1 cm2 in area and ascending to the top of the atmosphere is water for the first 50cm. We must fix the land system to capture and cycle this moisture. At present globally we are aridifying and heating up the land by destructive land management practices. Invest 2 hours and watch this lecture he gave in Vermont:
The Soil Carbon Sponge, Climate Solutions and Healthy Water Cycles
There are plenty more enlightening videos.
He speaks in international forums, e.g. the UN Conference on Climate this September. The FAO have invited him to India in the same month to address a conference on Zero Budget Natural Farming. This makes fascinating reading:
Wow, the FAO strongly critcises neoliberalism and the harm it has done to India’s famers and farming sector! Time for a change. May it spread.
That picture of Assange is just pathetic. Solitary, lonely, a living death really. No wonder his health is bad, and if the venomous hatred against him has its way, he is due for a lot more until death do us part.
The winds are not shifting for others. In the Australian media at the moment are stories about the help given by Swedish diplomats in North Korea to secure the release of an Australian citizen. One report is here. “We are so very grateful,” intoned our PM.
Surely a precedent exists now for Swedish diplomats to secure the release of Julian Assange from his unlawful detention.
The world is becoming ungovernable.
If the insects go, then it really is the end of the line for humans. There’s no way that our vaunted technologies can substitute for the role insects play in pollinating, recycling nutrients, cleaning up the environment. We will find ourselves in a weird world of death and decay, somewhat dealt with by fungi, but nowhere near comprehensively enough.
If the insects go, then Homo sapiens, or rather, Homo hubris, will dine at a lavish banquet of consequences.
If the insects go, then all the rest is commentary.
Development (TM) is the God of this era.
Adani’s crazy coal mine ruthlessly approved?
People are irrelevant to development.
The thought police are unleashed and unmuzzled?
People are irrelevant to development.
Assange and others are persecuted for their virtues?
People are irrelevant to development.
All corporations seek to automate all jobs?
People are irrelevant to development.
The elites are not people. They are die Übermenschen, a new breed, quasi-divine, destined to grow beyond the bounds of this little planet, destined to seed the universe. All the universe or nothingness!
What of me? I am a petty man, un petit homme. What is my role in Development (TM)? Cassius: Why, man, [they do] bestride the narrow world like a Colossus, and we petty men walk under [their] huge legs and peep about to find ourselves dishonorable graves. (Julius Caesar, Act 1, scene 2).
China v Hong Kong: the outcome is inevitable. It just takes time.
Glyphosate vs Everybody: the attitude here is one of utter malevolence. And greed: OK, so we het a few lawsuits and pay out reluctantly and sullenly. Just the cost of doing business.
Some years ago I did some basic research into the psychopathy of corporations. Got some very disquieting results. Must look again and see what new articles exist.
NOW I see her! Wonderful camouflage! Thanks.
Doug Casey and others may lament the decline of the morals and ethics of Americans and especially their federal government, but rest assured that Australia is doing its best to catch up!
There’s a growing movement to establish a Bill of Rights (no, we don’t have one), but I fear the horse has long bolted from this stable.
Peer as I might, I cannot see the leopard. So I guess I’d be a leopard’s lunch…
“I know no method to secure the repeal of bad or obnoxious laws so effective as their stringent execution.”
– Ulysses S. Grant, First Inaugural Address, 4 Mar. 1869
That’s be nice to see.
The Australian dictatorship grows apace. The PM was grilled on press freedom after the police raids. He ducked the issue by saying that the police decided to carry out the raids, it was nothing to do with his government.
Ingenuous in the extreme. The police in Australia are — so far — enabled by the law, and restrained by the law. The police are merely doing what the law requires (and allows) them to do. Where did these laws come from? Parliament! The PM’s party waved the bill through and now it claims that none of this is anything to do with them. And the PM claims to be a devout Christian. I don’t like the way this theocracy is developing.
JUST USE IT FOR FREIGHT.
Not for my parcel, I wouldn’t! I want it to get to its destination intact! And what about the flight crew? They may have families who feel the same way. The cost of doing this business has become impossibly, murderously high.
Is Boeing going?
I’ve given up the great privilege of commercial air travel, being unhappy with the ecological and environmental damage it seems to cause, mainly the injection of large quantities of CO2 and other exhaust gases at precisely the altitudes where these cause the most damage.
Yes, I have grounded myself. But were I forced to travel by air again, and had I any choice in the matter, I would check carefully what aircraft I was to travel in. Guess what: if it were a 737 MAX, I would not travel. How confident am I that Boeing will fix this problem? At the moment, not very. What I know of the typical corporate mentality doesn’t make me confident that Boeing will do a thorough job.
As to Monsanto, well, what more can one say? Res ipsa loquitur.
Dr D. asked,
PS, where’s Australia? Censure, sanction, and boot them too.
Australia is where it has been for far too long: taking orders from Washington. We now have a new Prime Minister who lets it be known that he is a Christian. Maybe we’ll see some love and compassion coming from him, although I strongly doubt it.
Glennda wrote, “I got to LOL at the final eagle catching the drone. Yes, now what does he do with it?”
I guess he’d taste it, find it foul, decide it was no fowl, feel a bit of a fool, and throw in the towel.
I’m old enough to clearly remember the Cuban Missile Crisis. Things got more and more tense as the days passed until one morning the newspaper had headlines sternly warning of imminent war between the US and USSR. I wondered if those two started throwing things at each other, would Australia be affected, concluded we wouldn’t, and blithely went on with the rest of my day. I thought then and still think that at the time the world was threatened by armed, militant, aggressive Communism.
My number didn’t come up to be fed into the Vietnam war machine, thank god, and I never had to suffer through what so many other young men suffered, and suffer they did. I am blessed. I have read of the emotional, mental and physical illnesses experienced by Vietnam servicemen.
I read of the shabby, parsimonious treatment offered to contemporary men and women in our armed services. Our navy personnel seem to commit suicide far more often than they should, and no war has been declared.
I have heard and read similar histories from WW2 serving personnel.
Now we see the world threatened by armed, militant, aggressive Americanism. We are all in a desperately bad situation. We squander resources of every kind — human, animal, vegetable, mineral, temporal — in a childish and futile competition to see who can be hegemon over as much of the planet as possible, who will be King of the Mountain this decade.
I find it interesting to observe how the situation has reversed since Cuba: the US now appears as the global menace, Russia appears to be defending us from it. I am heartily sick of hegemons and would-be hegemons: US, EU, Russia + China. If planetary resources hold out, which they won’t, India will soon claim a place at the hegemonic table.
I wish they’d all settle down and just play nicely. Dream on.
Dr. D wrote, “Or that Fox is “Right”, owned by very-left UK/AUS Murdoch, and now his even-more Left kids.”
Very left??? To me an exceedingly odd point of view. The view in Australia is that Murdoch, his media empire and his kids are Hard Right who enthusiastically support the outgoing neocon / neoliberal federal government, to the extent that some people wonder where the government ends and News Corp begins.
Never Left. Unless the US has some strange new definition of the meaning of “Left.”
Homo hubris is ever so busy! In today’s articles, on this and other sites, I detect a distinct, larger than normal rise in the Derangement Level of our lords and masters. As a wild estimate, we’re at Derangement Level 8, or maybe even 9. Not 9.5, not yet, but getting there.
Morbid curiosity keeps me watching.
What strikes me most in my experiences of the United Kingdom are the incredible levels of cognitive dissonance demanded by its media, politics and economics in order for the society to function.
Severe cognitive dissonance can lead to suicidal depression. The UK, having being among the first to embrace suicide capitalism, may also be the first to embrace national suicide. Oh the humanity…
Sophocles again: “The keenest sorrow is to recognize ourselves as the sole cause of all our adversities.” The ruling classes need to take a good long look into the mirror.
Australian property market: the reckoning is long overdue. Sydney and Melbourne mainly have been the sites of Ponzi schemes where bulk immigration is used to generate mortgages to keep the economy alive.
This policy has turned those cities into seething antheaps where providing the necessary infrastructure is permanently in arrears. For example, “Why $110 billion is not enough to fix Sydney’s transport woes”
Residents of those cities find it increasingly slow, expensive and stressful to get around by motor vehicle, and yet the motor vehicle is the primary means of supplying the cities. Yesterday I had this confirmed in person by a Sydney resident. The NSW and Victorian state governments are constantly selling off taxpayer-owned assets in a futile attempt to pay for infrastructure arrears (roads, railways, electricity) and endangering the food supply by building housing over all land regardless of its agricultural value. Civility is eroding.
Only two land-use zones matter in Sydney and Melbourne: one is called Housing; the other is called Future Housing. Everything not zoned for Housing is zoned for Future Housing. Quite simple, really.
The Ponzi Scheme has reached its zenith. How far down is the nadir?
During the 1930’s depression the banks offered no mortgage relief to borrowers until the governments forced them to do so. This policy helped a lot of people. This time around, I wonder how long before the same policy is implemented again, or are the Banks Too Big to Control now? I do wonder.
“Evil appears as good in the minds of those whom god leads to destruction” — Sophocles.
Only I doubt very much that god is leading our leaders anywhere. They’re off on a frolic of their own and aren’t listening to any god or gods except those of fortresses, armaments and filthy lucre.
• Australia’s $7 Trillion Question: How Low Will House Prices Go (SMH)
Australia has for decades been relying on bulk immigration and more and more mortgages to keep its economy going. As a result Sydney and Melbourne are badly over-stuffed, infrastructure arrears are getting longer and longer, the people are weary of it, and the various levels of government have no alternative to offer. All I can do is watch.
Van Gogh: je pense voir un gilet jaune! Déjà!
And because we feed — in effect, force-feed — grain to cows whose digestive systems are not designed for it, the animals sicken and suffer and develop illnesses. Clever ag & livestock scientists have found that antibiotics will keep the animals alive long enough to get to the abattoirs and turn a profit.
These antibiotics do not just disappear. They linger in the meat and are a major cause of the rise of antibiotic resistance in the general population. With some bacteria there is no longer any antibiotic that is effective against them. We are squandering our antibiotics, and it may be only a matter of time before an unstoppable epidemic or plague breaks out. But no matter: science and technology will always save us. Business may continue as usual.
Vaccines and antibiotics have become the standard response to unhealthy animal husbandry practices. I know someone who raises pigs for a living but does so along organic, sustainable lines. At pig expos she discusses techniques with the experts and other producers. A producer may say that his pigs are suffering from such-and-such a condition. “Oh, we’ve got a vaccine for that,” is the usual response.
Isn’t Aristotle’s 1653 wardrobe just the thing?
In Australia, the ruling party seems to disagree with nothing that Mueller and his ilk say.
Re the Parthenon Marbles, I recall reading years ago of a fringe benefit of their being stored in the British Museum. Atehns had been suffering for some years from acid smog and acid rain, and marbles exposed to it were being eaten away at a surprising rate.
True? False? I don’t know. This was before the Internet and its plentiful image galleries, so I had no way of checking apart from going to Athens, which I never did. A quick Internet search just now reveals opinions on both sides of the argument: yes, they were preserved; no, that’s a furphy and a post-hoc justification.
Anyone in Athens itself able to enlighten us?
nine statutes and 600 statutory instruments that would need to be adopted. The government cannot simply cut and paste the 120,000 EU statutes
Good grief, what a lawyerfest! And I doubt that we’re at Peak Legality yet. When does this ziggurat of legislation crumple under its own weight?
If the Parthenon marbles were returned to Greece, what are the odds that as part of the continuing dismantling and liquidation of Greece they’d be sold to the Germans or the Chinese? But if the marbles stay in the British Museum, how long before the dismantling and sale of Britain consigns them to the same fate?
What’s a safe place for our treasures? Is there one?
A manifestation of climate change is increased instability in weather patterns and the development of new ones. In large parts of Australia we are now enduring record high temperatures, over 40, in large areas of the south-east. I listen to older people who grew up in rural areas telling us that climatic conditions have most definitely changed over the past 50 years. The seasons lack their usual markers, such as what ripens when, and the vegetation is altered by fires and heat. Rain comes in powerful bursts, not in long, soil-saturating showers.
Taking lessons from a professional meteorologist, I learn that the extra heat energy in the atmosphere evaporates much more moisture than it ever did and provides the basis for huge snowfalls and savage rains. Look behind the phenomena to the causes.
Raúl Ilargi wrote, “There is no solution for nuclear waste.”
Depends on the technology used. Thorium-based reactors seem to be t he way ahead. One was operating successfully at Oak Ridge in California in 1968. Closed perhaps because it did not produce plutonium for weaponry as a by-product.
China is OF COURSE busily doing the R&D needed to resuscitate it.
Washington seems to think that the US Empire is the key actor in bringing worldwide order out of disorder, prosperoty out of poverty, in setting up some kind of Utopia. One could possibly give them credit for tackling so audacious and commendable a goal. Too bad that it has all turned sour and nasty. Then again, The British Empire, the French, the German had similar aims. Splendid successes, all!
An acquaintance here has been closely watching and advising politicians at various levels for 40 years. He told me recently that he reckons all politicians are at the peak of their capabilities and capacities, and have been for years. They are overwhelmed and overworked and can do no more. They pick and choose two or three issues to attend to, and leave the myriads of other issues untouched. We are at peak complexity. And no, it would NOT help to create more sub-national units of government or more electorates: that would only multiply and compound the confusion.
The pictures of Byker remind me of my first visit to the UK in 1971. I went from sunny, colourful, optimistic Australia to the grime and murk, grey drabness and sheer extent of the likes of Byker, replicated even in London. Horrors; THIS was the centre of the Empire? I endured it for 6 months and scurried home where I could breathe free.
I live in Oz. One of my social circle is a retired senior meteorologist (from the Bureau of Meterology, a government agency). He knows where the data is and how to interpret it. He is adamant that global warming is a fact.
Over the past 40 years I have definitely noticed it getting warmer in our part of the country.
Will the Earth experience global cooling? Maybe. maybe not. Ideally we would be prepared for both. However, the false god Market seems to be ignoring all of this and pursues only Business as Usual.
China is a mirror held up to the West so that both societies may see what travesties they have become. Both exhibit similar if not identical pathologies.
We can only guess at how much more of this the biosphere can cope with.
Tim Cook says the Free Market isn’t working? How long ago was it that we had a free market?
China expands ban on waste imports? The world has just had its exhaust pipe blocked off, its sewer outfall bricked up. I can only wonder what happens next.
The calibre of Australian politics? No surprises there. Been deplorable for years and years. Our fearless leaders have been instructed by The Hegemon to do nothing helpful for Assange. Oh, and Morrison counts himself as a Christian! Hypocrite.
In the Amazon Alexa excerpt, I read, “The speaker also starts recording a few seconds before a command is issued,…”
What? Does this gadget have the gift of prophecy? Or can it time travel? Or do I totally misapprehend?
Re the F-35, I’ve seen articles in the US armed forces journal calling it the “Little Turd.” Oh dear, if the very people who must use and maintain the aircraft have contempt for it, what does that tell us? Other articles have used the term “Tarmac Queen.” Oh dear.
• UK Restaurants And Cafes Throw Out 320 Million Fresh Meals A Year (G.)
During WW2 in Britain, food rationing led to it being made illegal to feed human food to wild animals. Also, and this is highly relevant to today, grocers were required to source their bulk food supplies from as near as possible to save transport and fuel. Hey, maybe we should declare war and implement all of these rationing systems again! That would solve a lot of problems!
(Fascinating history: https://www.cooksinfo.com/british-wartime-food/ )