Why I think Mainstream Media is Living in a Past

Over the past few weeks I had an opportunity to visit a number of European countries. I enjoyed the trip, I feel rested and enriched by all the historic sites I’ve visited. I also feel sad.

Sitting in s hotel room in Spain, I turn TV on to news, and I see CNN, MSNBC, BBC, ABC, NBC….

Moving to a hotel in France, I turn TV on to news, and I see CNN, MSNBC, BBC, ABC, NBC….

Next stop, in a hotel in Italy, I turn TV on to news, and I see CNN, MSNBC, BBC, ABC, NBC….

Media integrity

Media integrity

You see the pattern, right? I feel sad because I’ve come to realise that no matter where you are in a world, you are very limited on a number of independent mainstream sources that are available to you when it comes to keeping up with the news and current affairs.
The number of genuine sources can really be counted on fingers of one hand. And most of the other ones are really just a repeat of each other.
It also made me realise that our mainstream media can be to blame for flaming the fire between the old Cold War enemies the West and the Russia.
The problem is that the Western media picked up where they left off some 25 years ago, and keep using the old recipe of blaming the Russia for all the evil in the world. What they fail to understand, is that the world has changed.

Back in a 70’s and 80’s, Western media could dish out as much dirt on Russians as it wanted. 95% of Russian population didn’t have access to this sort of “news”, and therefore didn’t care. Today things are different. Thanks to the advance of internet, every Russian is fully aware of all the filth that they’ve been smeared with, courtesy of CNN and other letters of alphabet claiming to be News providers.

Time for change

Time for change

It is now a good time for the mainstream media to stop and re-evaluate its position and its relevance. It is time to change, time to act. Because if you really think that Russians are so evil and dangerous, why would you poke the bear? You might well end up with a broken back….

Yo, Bitch! Did you hear Bill Maher using the N-word?

As you might’ve heard, comedian Bill Maher used the N-word during his HBO show. While talking to Senator Sasse, he came out with the “I’m a house nigger”. Comedians are known to push boundaries, but sometimes they just push it too far, they try too hard. We just have to think few days back to a completely distasteful photoshoot coming from Kathy Griffin.

Bill Maher

Bill Maher

Given the nature of conversation at the time, Bill’s remark actually made sense – during the times of slavery, the “house nigger” was a common term to describe slaves working in and around the house, as opposed to the ones working out in the field. However, Bill is not a history professor lecturing in college on a subject of slavery. He is a comedian, and could’ve gotten his point across without offending anyone.

Having said that, I can’t put the blame entirely at Bill’s feet. Just look at movies that come out of Hollywood, at music videos, at the way people talk to each other in real life and on Social Media… The N-word is such a common thing, that one can be forgiven for thinking that’s it is an acceptable, everyday word. We often hear black people calling each other the N-word. Guys – it’s either offensive or it isn’t. If it is, STOP USING IT! Just because you use it yourselves doesn’t make it any less offensive. Lead by example, show to the rest of the world that using the racial slur is NOT OK.

While we are on a subject of respect, what is it with girls addressing each other as “bitches“? When did it become the norm?

Princess

Princess

Is it all a byproduct of “equality”? I’m pretty sure that your grandfathers would’ve gotten in a fist-fight if someone called your grandma a “bitch”. Once again, you want to be respected by men, start by respecting yourselves.

You can address each other by your real name, by a nickname, you can call each other Girlfriend, or Подруга, or Mate, or Paisano, or Homie….

just don’t call each other Bitch.

Radicalised Atheists And Your Obligations on a Census Night

I’ve come across this billboard the other day. It suggests to mark No Religion in the upcoming census.

Be careful who you listen to.

Be careful who you listen to.

We just had a federal election, and if you remember, there were Australian Christians party and Christian Democratic Party thrown in a mix of all the parties fighting for the 150 seats in the big house on the hill. So why didn’t this “no religion” mob erect a billboard then? Why didn’t they try to convince us not to vote for parties associated with religion? And why did they spring into action now? A billboard this size doesn’t come cheap, so who’s paying for it, and who will benefit from it?

So you’ve missed few weeks (or years) going to church/mosque/synagogue? Is it really a good enough reason to abandon something that kept generations of your ancestors going, from your parents to grandparents to great-grandparents and so on…. And even if you don’t feel all that religious today, in 20, or 40 or 60 years time things can change. We change, we look at life differently. Make sure that what you enter into your census on August 9 will not come back and bite you on the ass later on.

If you ever identified yourself as Christian, mark it as such, if you’ve always thought of yourself as Jedi, mark it too. I mean seriously, if Tom Cruise, Kate Ceberano and Kirstie Alley could believe that the Earth was populated by little green aliens, why can’t you believe that you are a Jedi knight? In words of George Costanza – It’s not a lie if you believe it!

So before you start listening to a teacher of Religious Education telling you not to mark religion on your census form, ask yourself WHY?

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention – one of the people behind this “no religion” campaign was a former school Religious Ed teacher, and the other one is a former leader of a fundamentalist Christian church. Have they become radicalised atheists?

Which makes me wonder… were they spinning shit then, or are they spinning shit now?

School Zones, Speed Zones, Confusion Zones

Last Sunday I was driving down my local street, and found myself stuck behind the car that was doing 50km/h. I couldn’t help but wonder what was the guy behind the wheel thinking. On Sunday, the speed limit there is 60 km/h, other days it’s 40 km/h. Did he think he’s in a built-up area and therefore should stick to a generic 50 km/h speed limit? Did he know that the road there has a 60km/h speed limit and he was just a Sunday Driver? Did he know it was a 40 zone and he was being a rebel, driving recklessly at 50 km/h? Who knows!

But it did got me thinking. It’s hard being a motorist in Victoria. Not only do we have to deal with “regular” speed limits changing on a same stretch of road without rhyme or reason, but we also have to keep in mind school zones.

Speed signs must be consistent

Speed zones chaos

It wouldn’t be so hard if we had some sort of uniform approach towards it, but I guess the people in charge of our roads think that it will make our driving experience too dull. Guess what? I can do “dull”. Dull trip is the opposite of Adventure trip, and when you are on a way to work, adventure is the last thing on your mind.

At the moment, we are in a middle of School term 3, and according to the Government sources, the dates of this term are from Monday, 11th of July to Friday, 16th of September.

But….. there is always that nasty “but”.

So the dates for the Term 3 are from Monday 11 July to Friday 16 September. Easy enough to remember, right? Not quite. If you happened to be driving along the Wootten Road in Tarneit, you don’t have to keep to 40 after 9th of September, as the Islamic College there finishes their term a bit earlier. Or if you were driving along the Old Melbourne Road in Chirnside Park during the first week of term, you didn’t have to drop the speed either, as the Oxley Christian College there starts a bit late. Or if you are driving past Yeshivah College in Balaclava – they start their term later as well.

These are just a few of hundreds upon hundreds of private schools in Victoria, and each of them is making rules as they go, changing term dates, adding or subtracting few here and there…

Speed zones chaos

Speed zones chaos

While I understand the reasoning behind the decision to make speed limit in school zones a low 40 km/h, I think our government, as usual, failed to think through the execution of this initiative. Let’s think about it – if you have a child that goes to your local school, you might eventually remember the dates of school terms. But what if you have to drive next to a different school, in a different part of Melbourne? How can you be sure if it is a school day, or a student-free day in a school you didn’t even know exists?

If our government is fair dinkum about safety, the solution is simple. Instead of those old style road signs advising motorists of school zones, we need electronic ones, which present correct speed limit at any given time and have an added benefit of having higher visibility level.

I will be getting in touch with a couple of people who not only have interest in this matter, but also have ability to make it happen – I’m talking about Minister for Education, The Hon. James Merlino and Minister for Roads and Road Safety, The Hon. Luke Donnellan.

And while they are out there, righting the wrongs, they might consider making our roads less “speed camera friendly”, and more “driver friendly”. Do we really need a change of speed limit every 1.5 kilometre? Because that is exactly what we have at the moment. If you travel along the North Road from about Leopold Street, South Caulfield to Blackburn Road, Clayton – a grand total of 11 kilometres, you have to go through 7 (SEVEN) different speed zones, ranging from 40 km/h to 80 km/h.

The Lone Wolf Myth, or Why There is no Such Thing as Self-Radicalization

After the Orlando shooting, the American establishment has, once again, came out with the now familiar line of “the perpetrator appeared to be a “self-radicalized” sympathiser.

The problem with this statement is that it is misleading and extremely damaging to the success of our fight against global terror.

Over the past few years, we’ve been getting more and more terrorist acts in USA, Australia, Europe and everywhere else, where the attacker was after-the-fact portrayed as “self-radicalized”.

It would’ve been right, if we were talking about 1 or 2 incidents. But when it stops being an isolated event and starts resembling an avalanche of attacks, it is time to stop, take it all in, and finally call a spade a spade.

terror at Lindt Cafe, Sydney siege

Lindt Cafe, Sydney siege

We have a much bigger issue here. Each of these so-called Lone Wolves has spoken to at least one ‘handler” or “recruiter”; visited at least one website promoting radical Islam. Once we accept this, we will realise that the numbers are starting to add up. It’s not only few dozens of individuals who performed actual attacks. It’s now also at least a few dozens of their handlers, plus hundreds of people involved in running all those hat-spewing websites, plus high level operatives coordinating the flow of poisonous ideas and information.

All of a sudden, it looks less like a couple of single, not connected to each other events, and begins to look very much like a well-coordinated attack against the Western civilisation and our way of life.

London lone wolf attack

London lone wolf attack

One of the ways to limit “lone-wolf” activism is to restrict access to the propaganda both online and locally. If a site is known to spew hatred, we should shut it down if it’s based in your given country. If the site is located in a different country, blacklist it, stop it from being accessible locally. Let the freedom of information and expression warriors scream and protest all they want. If it’s not an online site, but a local radical Islam activist who’s poisoning minds and recruiting terrorists, put handcuffs on him and hide him in a dark cell for a long time… forever would be a good idea. If he’s happen to be a dual national, even better – send him back to the country that created him.

What we need, is a change in the way we deal with this threat. We need to change the way law enforcement acts on these matters. We need to get more serious on a government level about monitoring enemy’s on-line activity. And make no mistake – we are talking about a real enemy here. An enemy who is dedicated to destroying us.

Labor’s scare campaign

Just a short post, brought on by one of the election campaign ads coming out of the Labor camp. As usual, they have nothing constructive to say, so they do what they best – talk shit.

I am referring to the ad that Labor are running in which they talk about Turnbull never having to use services like Medicare, implying that he is one of the Australian rich ones (which is true).
Interestingly, they conveniently forgot to mention that Billy Shorten isn’t exactly a poor man either. He attended Xavier College, where fees run in excess of $20,000 per year.
After finishing school and Monash Uni, he hasn’t done a day’s honest work in his life.
While doing his gig as a Union bully, he was married to Deborah Beale – a daughter of Julian Beale – a Liberal MP and a wealthy Melbourne investor. During this time, he was known to use his buddy’s Pratt’s private jet as his own.

Former Faceless Man, now in a running to become our next Prime Minister

Former Faceless Man, now in a running to become our next Prime Minister

But Bill is always looking only after one man – himself. That’s why at the first opportunity, he dumped his “Liberal blue blood” wife to throw his lot in with the glamorous daughter of the Governor-General, Quentin Bryce.

So if anyone has no clue about how us, “regular” folk live, that would be Mister “I only look after myself and ready to stab my friends in the back” Shorten.

Retail, Politics and Hate

Today I found out that H&M is about to open a new store in Israel’s capital, Jerusalem. Normally, I couldn’t care less – another retail giant opening yet another outlet, big deal. Well, this time, it is a big deal.

H&M Store Melbourne

H&M Store Melbourne

Or at least it was made into a big deal by Melbourne scumbags from the BDS movement. What’s their issue with a shop opening halfway across the world? Nothing really. Nothing except a blind hatred towards the state of Israel.

Now, if you ask the people (and I use the term “people” very loosely here) from BDS what their goal is, thy will tell you that it is to bring Israel to its knees, stop it from any activities in Judea and Samaria and by doing so advance creation of an independent state of Palestine.

Noble cause, right? No, not really. To me, a noble cause is the one that improves the lives of poor and oppressed. A noble cause is the one where you do all you can to make sure that your workers work and live in a humane, sustainable conditions.

So let’s look into it a little bit deeper.

H&M has stores in dozens of countries. Including in the Middle East, countries that might not necessarily be Israel’s friends. They have stores in Bahrain. They have stores in Jordan. They have stores in Kuwait. They have stores in Lebanon. Oman. Qatar. Saudi Arabia. United Arab Emirates. All these countries have benefited from having H&M stores in their shopping centers. All these countries recognize the importance of having a robust economy based on free trade and sound management. How many of them are going to close down H&M chains in their countries, just to piss Israel off? None.

This is what BDS supports

This is what BDS supports

So why is the BDS different? Is it because they care more about the plight of the Palestinian people than the Arab countries do? Hardly. If they did, they wouldn’t cause the closure of the SodaStream factory in Judea and subsequent loss of jobs for 500 Palestinians. If they did, they wouldn’t oppose $15 Billion gas deal between Israel and Jordan, a deal that is set to benefit people of Jordan immensely.  

But let’s go back to H&M for a moment. If anyone from BDS bothered to look at H&M website, they would find that the level of morality and justice advocated by this company is something that every  company in a world should try to imitate. They work hard to make sure that everyone who works for them is earning enough to live on. H&M philosophy – Everyone who’s employed by the fashion industry should earn enough to live on – whoever they are and wherever they work. To this end, H&M set a goal that all of workers should have improved pay structures for fair living wages in place by 2018. This will affect around 850,000 textile workers. They take care of workers conditions, they pay attention to things like sustainability and animal welfare. They use their influence to positively change people and countries they involved in.

But all of this means little to BDS. They rather see people lose their jobs, farmers unable to sell crops, than to allow a new shop in Jerusalem. I guess it’s hard to see the reason, to see unmistakable advantages to hundreds of thousands of people, when your head and your heart filled with hate.
All this reminds me of something Golda Meir once said: “We will only have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than they hate us.” Today, it can also be applied to BDS and all the other Israel haters.

Appointment at Metro West: Jousting with Max and Sarina

One of the volunteers greets a staff member from Sarina Russo. “Hi, Dan, how’s it going?” Dan mumbles a reply and avoids eye-contact as he heads for the escalators. “He used to be my case officer” says the volunteer loudly.

I really like the bit above – the Union volunteer was a bludger before, and now that he’s with the Union, he’s still a bludger!.

What’s that saying….something about leopards and spots?

Source: Appointment at Metro West: Jousting with Max and Sarina

Is it time for UN to Follow in the Footsteps of the League of Nations?

While all the news channels have been working overtime, providing in-depth coverage and analysis of UN’s decision that Julian Assange has been detained unlawfully in Ecuadorian Embassy, I couldn’t help but laugh at the “power” of UN.

Let’s leave the issue of whether Assange is being guilty or not aside. (Just for the record – the guy should be sitting in jail as far as I’m concerned). What I find incredible that it took UN 44 months to come to the point of making a decision, and once the decision actually has been made, it’s not worth the paper it’s written on!

For those who didn’t follow it too closely, I’ll remind that the UN’s decision is not binding, and therefore both UK and Swedish governments immediately responded by not recognising the UN’s decision as valid and even calling it “ridiculous”.

UN - United of Nothing

UN – United of Nothing

Once again, the UN proves to be a toothless tiger, a gathering of useless bureaucrats whose main task is to move papers from one side of the desk to another one.

There is nothing new about countries not recognising UNs decisions. It’s almost expected that states like Iran, North Korea, Syria, Russia, Pakistan to name a few, would ignore the whining originated from the leather armchairs of UN’s offices.

However to hear the rebellious rhetoric coming out of the government offices of UK and Sweden is entirely different matter.

These events make me ask – why do we need UN? Is there a point in pouring billions of dollars in supporting organisation that is unable to do or change, I mean REALLY change, anything?

Maybe it is time that the UN follows in the footsteps of its predecessor, the League of Nations? LN has been founded in 1920 on a back of the Paris Peace Conference at the end of World War 1, functioned (sort of) for about two and a half decades and then fallen apart just before the World War 2 started. The League failed in its prime goals – achieving peace and disarmament.

Shortly after the World War 2, the UN has been formed, and it has been functioning (if it can be qualified as functioning) for the past 70 years. In my opinion, UN is way past its due date, and the only thing it is now capable of, is producing unsavoury smell, just like most “out of date” products do. It needs to be taken off the shelf of the world politics and buried deep inside, only accessible by people with special clearances, trained to withstand large amounts of hot air and bad gases.

Let’s be real – UN General Assembly can make all decisions in a world, but they are not binding and therefore the very existence of Assembly is pointless. UN Security Council does have a bit of a muscle, but most of the times the decisions are blocked by either US/UK camp, or by the Russia/China camp. So the Council spends most of the time in a deadlock, unable to make much use of its powers.

Guardians of the Galaxy - a better choice

Guardians of the Galaxy – a better choice

I think it’s time to cut our losses, admit that the humanity failed, once again, to achieve utopia and find better use for the hundreds of millions of dollars we spend every year flogging a dead horse.

I’m tipping, Guardians of the Galaxy crew or a Green Lantern would do much better job. Alternatively, if we could find a way to neutralise Loki, we would find Thor more than capable of keeping the peace on good old Earth.

ASIC – a toothless tiger of financial industry

Last night I was looking for some light reading, so I’ve turned my attention to the Money Management website. On it, I found an article telling us that ASIC (Australian Securities and Investments Commission) purposefully does NOT take action against misleading advertising by Industry Super Funds.

Former Faceless Man, now in a running to become our next Prime Minister

Union cronie, wants to be our next Prime Minister

For anyone who just came back from extended travels throughout the Phoenix Cluster galaxy and might not be up to speed with things here on Earth, Industry Super Funds are effectively owned by the Unions and for all intents and purposes are untouchable.

According to ASIC’s own website, they “contribute to Australia’s economic reputation and wellbeing by ensuring that Australia’s financial markets are fair and transparent, supported by confident and informed investors and consumers.” Again, in their own words, one of their strategic priorities is “Ensuring fair, orderly and transparent markets”. They should add “unless it involves Trade Unions, in which case we tuck our tail between our legs and play dead”.Don’t get me wrong, ASIC isn’t just sitting idly on its hands. It jumps in and investigates and sets rulings and cancels licenses and banishes businesses….. Only last year they banned a finance broker from Lidcombe, NSW. They banned Commonwealth financial planning adviser for not providing a paperwork within specific timeframe. They banned adviser of the Magnitude Group. They banned insurance broker of Leedam Pty Ltd. The list goes on and on and on. Mostly ASIC came down really hard on small to medium size businesses.

real people are the victims

-thejournal.ie

Don’t get me wrong, ASIC isn’t just sitting idly on its hands. It jumps in and investigates and sets rulings and cancels licenses and banishes businesses….. Only last year they banned a finance broker from Lidcombe, NSW. They banned Commonwealth financial planning adviser for not providing a paperwork within specific timeframe. They banned adviser of the Magnitude Group. They banned insurance broker of Leedam Pty Ltd. The list goes on and on and on. Mostly ASIC came down really hard on small to medium size businesses.

 

I am the first to congratulate ASIC for cleaning the industry from the dodgy operators. I would congratulate them even more if they actually dared to face up to the real bullies of the industry.

2015 – The Year of Terror

As this year draws to a close, I look back and remember all the things that happened in a last 12 months. Unfortunately, the memories that come to the front are far from being pleasant.

I remember about thousands of people being murdered in terrorist attacks. I remember that over half of the population of the Earth live in countries exposed to terror. Countries where murder committed by terrorists is a daily occurrence. We tend to ignore the terror when it happens in “one of those places”. Terrorist attacks in Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel, or anywhere in Africa are of little consequence to the rest of us in a Western world and barely score a mention somewhere on page 9 of a daily newspaper.

terror at Lindt Cafe, Sydney siege

Lindt Cafe, Sydney siege

But this year it’s not just the “usual suspects”. This year we have seen terrorists blowing a Russian passenger jet out of the sky.We’ve seen terrorists killing a police employee on a streets of Sydney in Australia. We have seen them spilling blood in Ukraine. Exploding bombs in Paris. We’ve seen an ISIS-inspired execution in Japan. We’ve seen car bombs exploding in Aussies’ favorite holiday destination – Thailand. We have seen shootings in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We’ve seen people being murdered on streets of United States.

They say numbers don’t lie. Well, here are the numbers. As at the time of writing this blog, we experienced 338 terrorist attacks. That’s 1 attack every day. No longer it’s something that only happens sometimes, a couple of times a year or maybe once a month. Terror is a daily occurrence in our lives.  Terrorists performed their heinous acts in 35 countries. Combined population of these countries is 4.2 billion people. That’s 59% of an entire world’s population living their lives exposed to terrorism.

Drug Cartels

Drug Cartels

 

On a side note, the only continent that didn’t really get affected by terrorism this past year was South America. Coincidently, we all know about how strong the drug cartels are in Colombia, Peru, Guatemala, Mexico and Bolivia. I guess cartels are scarier than American Navy Seals, Australian SAS or French Foreign Legion? Maybe instead of spending millions of dollars by sending our troops in Syria or Iran, we can just ask Cartels to “take care of business”?

What is the cost of a human life?

What is the cost of a human life?

On a surface, it’s a simple enough question. After all, a human life is all we have, is the only thing we care about. I mean really care about. Human life is priceless, right?

Well, it depends. Depends on whose life it is. Over the past 5 years the world has seen lots and lots of people die. In Syria alone, 250,000 people died. What did the world do about it? Nothing.

Syrian  conflict - 250,000 people dead

Syrian conflict – 250,000 people dead

Sure, we sent some troops in, we dropped few bombs, we ran few news reports, but largely, this remained something that was happening to some random people in a part of the world where someone is always fighting someone else. So we really didn’t give a shit.

Not until terrorists killed 224 people on board of a Russian plane and 130 people in Paris attacks.

Suddenly, the whole world is outraged. Russia, France and the USA talk about tough measures to stop terror. They talk about retaliation. They talk about being at war. Things just got real.

French soldiers patrol near the Eiffel Tower in Paris

French soldiers patrol near the Eiffel Tower in Paris

And so now, we can try to answer our question about the cost of a human life.

One Russian life cost about 1,116 Syrian lives. One French life cost about 1,923 Syrian lives.

The world has to come to realisation that a terrorist act is a terrorist act regardless if it happens in Middle East, Europe, Bali, or anywhere else in a world. The world has to come to realisation that a terrorist act is a terrorist act regardless of a weapon being used. It can be a nervous gas, or a Kalashnikov, or a bomb, or a knife, or a rock. The victims of terrorist acts don’t care how they got killed.

The families of victims don’t care how their loved once got murdered. What they want, what they really care about is for us to get real and to stop the terror.

Who is providing support to ISIS terrorists?

Isn’t is ironic, that USA and UK are in top 10 countries from where the ISIS supporters are tweeting from?Infographic: Where are ISIS supporters tweeting from? | Statista
You will find more statistics at Statista

Perharps America, England and all the other Western democracies should get real serious about cleaning up their own backyard?

Being Somebody – My Musings During the Melbourne Cup

Yesterday Melbourne was in a grip of a racing fever. There’s been a lot said over the past few days about the Melbourne Cup all over the internet and traditional media, so I’m not going to talk about it. I’ll leave it to others to talk about the winning horses, or talented trainers, or incredible jockeys.

Zap Fitness gym

Inside one of Zap’s many locations

I want to talk about something completely different. At about the time when Race 7 was stopping the nation, I was in a middle of my own race – on a treadmill in my local gym. Coincidently, there was a lot of people around me, who cared very little about the races, but who cared a lot about deadlifts, bicep curls and reps. While running, I was listening to  Lay Me Low – a great song by an extremely talented Nick Cave. I must’ve been hearing this song for the hundreds time, but for some reason, this was the time when something about the lyrics attracted my attention. In particular, these lines:

They will interview my teachers (Lay me low)
Who’ll say I was one of God’s sorrier creatures
They’ll print informative six-page features
When I go

 

This made me think – how many of us will merit a six-page feature when we go? How about a one page? Or even a single line? Too many of us go through life without really doing anything outstanding, without caring about what’s happening around them, without being a Somebody.

Freedom of thought

Engage your mind.

I remember years ago, as a young man I was working with a cynical old-timer. He used to tell me “Never get a reputation”. I asked him once, “Don’t you mean never get a bad reputation?” “No” he said, “never get a reputation of any kind. You will be expected to live up to it”.

Now decades later, listening to Nick Cave, I remembered this conversation and thought that I would rather, in a words of a song, Make a Stand. I would rather get a reputation.

Be known for something. Be known as someone.

Melbournians fallen victims of self-absorbed and disgruntled renegades with permanent chips on their shoulders

Another day, another industrial action by Melbourne’s Public Transport workers. Once again tens of thousands of people have been left stranded, inconvenienced, made hostages of the Unions.

Yarra Trams holding Melbournians hostage

Yarra Trams holding Melbournians hostage

Yesterday, for the fifth time in two weeks Melbournians fallen victims of self-absorbed and disgruntled renegades with permanent chips on their shoulders, otherwise known as Rail, Tram and Bus Union leadership.

Workers fighting for their rights and conditions is an important and necessary part of a democratic society.  Unless, of course, this fight becomes a nasty squabble and stops being a vehicle of progress.

 

 

So what do the Unions want?

They want 6% pay raise each year for three years (18% pay increase) for Yarra Tram and Metro employees. That’s on top of already generous pay increase they’ve negotiated in the last two Enterprise Agreements:

According to a report from 3AW tram and train drivers have received pay rises of 28 per cent in the past six years after negotiating two new EBAs since 2009.

What does the Metro Train management offer?

Another day, another industrial action

Another day, another industrial action

  • 13% pay raise over three years
  • Increased maternity leave from 12 to 14 weeks
  • Increased Carers leave from 1 week to 2 weeks
  • Up to 5 days of Bereavement leave
  • Trauma and Family violence leave
  • An option of when to take their five weeks annual leave

According to Yarra Trams, tram drivers, on average, currently take home $91,000, including penalties, bonuses and overtime. So we are not exactly talking about poverty-stricken segment of our society here.

 

It reminds me of when Telstra employees engaged in the rolling industrial strikes few years ago, after the Company and the Union failed to reach an agreement.

I’m sure you all remember it – tens of thousands of people lost their access to the internet, nobody could call their families overseas, people couldn’t withdraw cash from the ATMs and the entire police force went on leave, because no-one could call 000, remember? No? Because that’s not how it works when people taking industrial actions actually care about what they do and about their customers.

The problem is, the way I see it, that the Union bosses get joy from making life hard for businesses. They genuinely thrive on it, and are completely indifferent to the hardships their militant actions cause to country as a whole.

What’s even worse, they end up becoming a Labor Politicians and legislate to make it easier for their Union cronies to continue this vicious cycle!

Greste and his al-Jazeera colleagues are criminals who potentially endangered the lives of people of Egypt

Once again, I couldn’t help but laugh at the hypocrisy of the left-wing media.

Peter Greste in a nutshell- embarrassed to say "thanks" to his government

Peter Greste in a nutshell embarrassed to say “thanks” to his government

The same people who jump up and down at every opportunity – and often without one – to scream at us about the importance of free choice, democracy and the right to decide without undue interference, the same people are now shaking their fists at big bad wolf who almost swallowed poor innocent Little Red. I’m referring of course to the news of Peter Greste being sentenced by Egyptian authorities to 3 years in prison on terrorism charges.

It’s the Bali saga all over again. Australian citizens go to an independent sovereign country, break that country’s laws, get convicted, and this creates an absolute cacophony of voices trying to convince us that our fellow Aussies are just innocent victims of hostile foreign powers.

Am I missing something here? Greste decided to make a career as a journalist. Instead of doing something safe, like reportage from a chess championship, or from Melbourne Spring Festival, he chosen to travel to the country known for its instability. Regardless of what we might think of that country, it is a free, sovereign state with its own set of laws and its own judicial system.

Do the crime, do the time

Do the crime, do the time

Greste wasn’t triad by a kangaroo court. He went through the comprehensive investigation, discovery process and a trail.

It is a common knowledge, that not knowing the law does not free you from being accountable under that law.

Greste and his left wing cronies might think that he is an angel dragged down by the evil power, but in the eyes of the host country he and his two al-Jazeera colleagues are criminals who endangered the lives of people of that country.

Egypt is doing its hardest to combat the terrorist group known as Muslim Brotherhood, and arrogance and ignorance of media “professionals” like Greste doing a lot of damage to the long and hard process that the people of Egypt are currently undertaking.

People Who Live in Glass Houses Shouldn’t Throw Stones, or Is This The End of English Monarchy?

‘The Sun has sunk to a new low’, ‘British public reacts with fury after tabloid publishes 80-year-old pictures of the seven-year-old Queen and the Queen Mother being taught a Nazi salute’ – these are just some of the headlines following publication of the current Queen of England performing Nazi salute 80 years ago.

There is a lot of talk about banishing The Sun, and about restricting Murdock’s rights of entering the UK. While I understand the sentiment behind it, I disagree with the idea. UK is a free, democratic country. The Sun, while being an absolute rat rag, published a factually correct story.

Queen Elizabeth

Queen Elizabeth

Instead of calling for heads to roll and for banishing people and businesses, the English establishment should stop and think about what this really means to them.

The way I see it, a 7 years old girl had been brainwashed to become a Nazi sympathiser. Instead, she grew up to be a woman of good stature and a reasonable Queen. She had shown the strength of character befitting of a monarch. If anything, the English should see it as a feel-good story.

On another side of the divide, there are loud voices calling for the end of monarchy and for introduction of a republic.

This just makes me cringe. I wonder if these same individual protest all and any political and/or economic dealings with the US government, which was quiet happy to acknowledge the French Vichy government as the official government of France. The fact that it was Hitler’s little puppet didn’t seem to bother anyone in Washington.

In all fairness, France  and USA weren’t the only ones who openly (or secretly) embraced the Nazi regime. Russia had signed a Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, aimed at carving up bits of Europe.

It Is also a well-known fact that Muslim Brotherhood’s leader Hassan al-Banna, was an ardent supporter of Nazi Germany, as was a Grand Mufti of Jerusalaem.

It wasn’t just the political and religious leaders who willingly cooperated with Nazis.

There was a lot of money to be made, and some big businesses couldn’t contain their greed.

Nazi Concentration Camp Tattoo

Nazi Concentration Camp Tattoo

That’s why I wonder how many of these same republicans that call to abandon the monarchy, simply because a 7 year old girl gave Nazi salute, are driving Fords? Henry Ford was Hitler’s close friend and the only American who received Nazi Germany’s highest honour – the Grand Cross of the German Eagle. Or how many of them use IBM equipment? Remember those infamous tattoos that Nazi victims were given upon entering concentration camps? They are the serial numbers that were fed into IBM’s accounting systems to insure efficiency.

The list of the companies who made their fortunes by cooperating with Nazis is quite long. Some of them made (or at least attempted to) make amends for their dark past, some are completely happy and comfortable with their history.

I guess what I’m saying is that before calling for the heads to roll, and for monarchs to be toppled, the instigators should have a good look at themselves and make sure they are not tainted.

Destroying Our History…. and Confederate Flags

For the past week America has been busy. Busy burning flags, editing them out of movies, removing references to Confederate flags, getting ready to demolish statues and rename the streets named after the Confederate leaders.

Why? It follows the tragedy of the shooting at Charleston church. The shooting suspect has been seen in a photo holding the Confederate flag.

Confederate Battle Flag was simply just that. A battle flag. It was never even a National flag, so how could it have flown over a slave nation or represented slavery or racism

Confederate battle flag

Is the Confederate flag a symbol of racism? Maybe. Does is have anything to do with the church shooting, or the murder of blacks in America that seems to be an everyday occurrence?  I doubt it.

In fact, of all blacks murdered in USA in 2013, over 90% were killed by other blacks. So we are not looking at wide-spread, racially motivated phenomenon here.

My first thought when I’ve heard about this idea of editing the flag out of history – “It’s just like Orwell’s 1984!” Not really surprising, considering the current political climate in America.

My second thought was – why is it, that displaying an ISIS flag, or a Hezbollah flag is perfectly fine, and Amazon selling ISIS flag, but removing Confederate flag is also fine with everyone – apparently it’s all about the “freedom of speech” and “freedom of expression”, but displaying a Confederate flag is suddenly an act of evil?

On emotional level I can understand the reaction. Innocent people dying is an ugly, horrifying event. An event that is sure to affect people’s ability to think rationally. However it should never result in us erasing our collective history. It’s amazing though, how often we engage in this kind of destruction of our history.

Lenin

Founder of the Communism in Russia

From the Tatars burning orthodox churches of Russia and Ukraine to the Communists destroying everything related to the Tsar family, to the current Ukrainian government destroying statues of Lenin and all things Commy, to the ISIS destroying mosques in Syria, to the Americans destroying their history of slavery, the story is always the same. Regardless of who’s holding the torch (or controls the demolition ball), from Golden Horde to the Communists, from Nazis to terrorists, from Whites to Blacks to Yellow, we are all engaged in one common action – destruction of the history of the humanity.

So maybe next time we stumble across something “offensive” or “undesirable” from our past, before we start looking for matches, I suggest we stop for a minute and think not about “here” and “now”, but about how erasing this particular part of our past will affect our future.

Our history, good or bad is what brought us here. Just like a tree cannot grow without its roots, the humanity cannot move forward without knowing its history.

Australian Greens Enter New Era Under New Leadership

And so it happened. After just two years at the helm of the most useless (or is it the least useful?) party in Australia, Christine Milne has announced her resignation as the leader of the Greens Party of Australia.

The media is abuzz with speculations as to why she decided to resign so unexpectedly – the official version is to be with her family, and who the man who became a successor really is– apart from having an uncommon name of Di Natale, and what’s he really about.

The question is – do we really care? I mean it’s not like we are talking about a party of substance, a party of progress. Greens have always been an “I Object” Party, making it their goal to create as much noise and enter into as many political speculations as possible.

Encourage people-smugglers to bring more illegal immigrants into Australia? Greens vote YES! So what if a couple of thousand of them get drowned on a way? There’s plenty more where they came from, and it makes for a great news story.

Australian Parliament

Australian Parliament

Protest back-burning of bushland in ACT? Greens vote YES! So what if houses get destroyed by raging fire and people die? We have lots of people in Canberra, and it makes for a great news story.

Sending a Sea Shepherd to board a sea vessel flying a flag of an independent country in international waters? Greens vote YES!  So what that by doing so the lives of people put in mortal danger? There is plenty more people on high seas, and it makes for a great news story.

If the Greens are to be taken seriously, they should take a good hard look at themselves and decide if it’s time to leave behind its questionable past and move into the future where most of us reside already. Not that I’ll be holding my breath waiting to see the Greens turning into political party of the 21st century, but it is encouraging to see that they started with one thing that made sense.

Lenin

Founder of the Communism in Russia

The fact that Adam Bandt, the only Lower House MP got effectively dumped, is an indication that Greens leadership is taking the right approach and moving away (at least on a surface) from being an openly Socialist Party (Adam Bandt) to being a quasi-progressive party (Richard Di Natale).

 

 

From now on, only time will tell. We would have to make ourselves comfortable, get some pop-corns and get ready to watch the never-ending tragicomedy that is Australian Politics.

Prime Minister is holding a vigil for a couple of convicted criminals

Now I’ve seen everything! PM of Australia Tony Abbott and the Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, accompanied by other MPs are holding candlelight vigil for Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, due to be executed in Bali. For those living under a rock for the past few months – Chan and Sukumaran are a couple of scumbags, who used to make money by destroying people’s lives

I wrote about the Bali pair last month here, and I argued that drug traffickers deserve the strictest punishment available under the law.  But at the time, I was only angry at all those little people living inside my TV and talking nonsense all the time.

Australian Parliament

Australian Parliament

Today I’m absolutely dumbfounded by the fact that my Prime Minister displays same level of stupidity (and yes, I know that the accepted, politically correct word is compassion) as the talking heads inside of my TV. I am absolutely dumbfounded that the Opposition Leader found the issue of prosecution of a drug trafficker, drug kingpin, drug-ring leader the only issue worthy enough to show solidarity and support with the current Government. Not the issue of improving our economy. Not the issue of dealing with the raising terrorism threat, not any of the other real issues affecting millions of people of Australia. No. The one and only issue that united Tony Abbott and Bill Shorten is How we can save lives of people whose chosen life path is destroying other people’s lives?

I am speechless. I have no speech. Both Libs and Labor are very lucky that we are not going into an election any time soon, because even that Muir dude, the one that spends his time throwing faeces at his mates is looking pretty good right now.