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Category Archives: Poetry

“The Book Of Love”
(originally by The Magnetic Fields)

The book of love is long and boring
No one can lift the damn thing
It’s full of charts and facts, some figures and instructions for dancing

But I,
I love it when you read to me.
And you,
You can read me anything.

The book of love has music in it,
In fact that’s where music comes from.
Some of it is just transcendental,
Some of it is just really dumb.

But I,
I love it when you sing to me.
And you,
You can sing me anything.

The book of love is long and boring,
And written very long ago.
It’s full of flowers and heart-shaped boxes,
And things we’re all too young to know.

But I,
I love it when you give me things.
And you,
You ought to give me wedding rings.

And I,
I love it when you give me things.
And you,
You ought to give me wedding rings.
You ought to give me wedding rings.


To hear this beautiful song:

Peter Gabriel
Tracey Thorn
Magnetic Fields (Original Artists)

Instantly go to First Dog On The Moon’s The Age Of Entitlement Will be Over When I Say It Is. I reproduce it here as the beautiful, unsettling, lacerating poetry that it is. Thanks, First Dog.

The Age Of Entitlement Will Be Over When I Say It Is

Close those women’s shelters
And cast those women out into the street
Send them home to the men who will beat and kill them
and their children
Do it

Throw the weak and lazy off the dole
Down into poverty and homelessness
Just say no
Do it
Save my ever loving tax dollars
I will sleep soundly at night

Please spend my tax dollars on your smug glossy children
And their remarkable schools
Do it
Just do it

Spend them on great smooth roads
And killer planes
Do it
I will be warm and dry

You must never wake at 4am
With a fear in your gut
Realising how you climbed across the backs
Of the rest of us
Don’t do it
Never doubt my resolve
You owe it to my taxes

We put you there
Tiny feculent gods
Dancing to consolidated revenue
My vote is lurking
Ever vigilant

Hurry! Build your great fetid looming obelisks
To your mercurial glory
Poison the sky
Do it
But don’t you waste my goddam taxes
Have some decency.

First Dog’s poem reminds me of Adrian Mitchell’s To Whom It May Concern (Tell Me Lies About Vietnam). The link between the two is the concept of immunity from (First Dog) or self-delusion of safety from (Alan Mitchell) harm. In Age Of Entitlement this concept is conveyed by the pivotal line I will be warm and dry. Tell Me Lies conveys this idea in its title and also the remedies for the intrusion of reality e.g Fill My Ears With Silver.

Here is reproduced Tell Me Lies About Vietnam:


To Whom It May Concern
(Tell Me Lies about Vietnam)

I was run over by the truth one day.
Ever since the accident I’ve walked this way
So stick my legs in plaster
Tell me lies about Vietnam.

Heard the alarm clock screaming with pain,
Couldn’t find myself so I went back to sleep again
So fill my ears with silver
Stick my legs in plaster
Tell me lies about Vietnam.

Every time I shut my eyes all I see is flames.
Made a marble phone book and I carved all the names
So coat my eyes with butter
Fill my ears with silver
Stick my legs in plaster
Tell me lies about Vietnam.

I smell something burning, hope it’s just my brains.
They’re only dropping peppermints and daisy-chains
So stuff my nose with garlic
Coat my eyes with butter
Fill my ears with silver
Stick my legs in plaster
Tell me lies about Vietnam.

Where were you at the time of the crime?
Down by the Cenotaph drinking slime
So chain my tongue with whisky
Stuff my nose with garlic
Coat my eyes with butter
Fill my ears with silver
Stick my legs in plaster
Tell me lies about Vietnam.

You put your bombers in, you put your conscience out,
You take the human being and you twist it all about
So scrub my skin with women
Chain my tongue with whisky
Stuff my nose with garlic
Coat my eyes with butter
Fill my ears with silver
Stick my legs in plaster
Tell me lies about Vietnam.

…also somewhat in this genre …

I Like To Know About A Story From You Your Heart Your Feeling Your Way Of Looking At It

Literary Genius

Open Hearts In Arnhem Land

Five Things To Know About Me

I Feel Like Having You As A Pet

The Truth About Bugs
T-Shirt Of The Week

During my teens I read a poem in Rolling Stone magazine called Bargain.. It so perfectly encapsulated by love of the experience of listening to the radio that I cut it out and blu-tacked it to my bedroom wall where it stayed until I moved out of home. Here it is in its entirety:


“You’ve got to change your evil ways”
The Radio says to me
I’ll change my evil ways
If you show me
How you got on the radio

And This quote by Kurt Vonnegut Jr seems weirdly connected somehow:

I’m eighty-three and homeless. It was the same when World War II ended. The Army kept me on because I could type, so I was typing other people’s discharges and stuff. And my feeling was “Please, I’ve done everything I was supposed to do. Can I go home now?” That what I feel right now. I’ve written books. Lots of them. Please, I’ve done everything I’m supposed to do. Can I go home now? I’ve wondered where home is. It’s when I was in Indianapolis when I was nine years old. Had a dog, a cat, a brother, a sister.

KURT VONNEGUT, JR., Rolling Stone, Aug. 24, 2006

I was watching Q&A’s pollie-heavy edition “The Queensland Election” this week, hopeful for a illuminating stoush about the Queensland election result. Question 1 was put “Now that Labor has effectively been killed in Queensland, is it possible for the party to survive off the rest of the country?” and the panel rotated to Graham Morris, ex-Howard campaign manager.

Now Morris, through no fault of his own, looks and sounds like a 250 year old Goblin who has just sculled a quart of Claret. Morris’s answer, produced below, was several times interrupted with loud laughter from the studio audience as his comically bug-eyed delivery and the hysterically inbred stereotypes of his content, contrasted so pointedly with the refreshing normality and appeal of the Green’s Senator, Larissa Waters, two seats away, whose party and leader, Bob Brown, constituted the point of Morris’s attack.

Morris said:

The labour, L-A-B-O-U-R, vote and support has just collapsed. It is down under 30 per cent, which means in everywhere from here on in they’re going to have to rely on the Greens and that is really hard. You know, how do you tell a truck driver that he’s got to get into bed with some of Bob Brown’s supporters. How do you tell a brickie’s labourers…

CRAIG EMERSON: I’m going to leave it alone.

LARISSA WATERS: Yeah, I’m not touching it either.

GRAHAME MORRIS: How do you tell a brickie’s labourer that, you know, some tree frog is more important than his family’s jobs.

Morris was oblivious that it was in fact the Green, Ms. Waters, who looked and sounded rational and appealing, while he looked and sounded like a bigoted circus freak forcefully defending the necessity of using children to sweep chimneys.

The above effect was replicated by George Brandeis’ extended impersonation of a vampire cousin of Dr. Evil while sitting next to the articulate and fresh Liberty Sanger, descibed as a ‘Labor Lawyer’. She is married to Victorian Labor Senator David Feeney.

Which got me thinking about Clive Palmer’s hideously less-than-magnaminous victory spew to the media on Qld election night, which the Courier Mail described, accurately, as ‘an almost hysterical rant’.

Palmer himself, due to years of self-indulgence, now has the appearance of a besuited and overflowing sack of onions, stretched to the point of explosion, and his heart-felt response to the question ‘Has the LNP won too many seats ?’ was

No. We should get the lot.

…surely a concise expression of his personal ideology, with We replaced by I.

Palmer’s graceless and self-indulgent behaviour added ‘unashamed greed’ to a public face already shaded in as ‘several screws loose’ after his assertions that the Australian Greens were funded by the CIA, a statement which he has lately admitted was invented with the intention of transient political (which for Palmer means ‘personal’) gain. So let’s add ‘opportunistic liar’ to that list.

Palmer and Morris are key Lib/Nat operatives. Palmer is their No.1 donor and Morris is a senior strategist. Their behaviour and/or appearance and/or attitudes are light-years from that of your normal Aussie. I hope that both will spend much more time in public commenting as loudly as possible as they display a heart of the Coalition which is alternately rotten (Palmer) and bizarre (Palmer and Morris).

Nick Minchin must be chewing through his mobile credit trying to get Palmer to shut up and leave the talking-to-the-public to those trained in its art like himself and Abbott. But Palmer, a man of enormity in ego, size and wealth has developed a taste for public interaction. His 2010/11 advertising campaign over the Mining Tax crippled the ALP and he now apparently believes his Green-CIA-Link Horror was an adroit and subtle manouver which rescued the LNP from disconcerting pressure. Palmer is not so easy to sit down or shut up. Minchin will have to convince him money is at stake.

Great! Let’s hear more from Palmer. With any luck he’ll cost the LNP about 20 seats at the next Federal Election.

And finally, there’s Gina Rineheart. Well, she’s a female version of Palmer. Though not boorish, she’s just as greedy, just as self-obsessed and just like Palmer, titillated by the success of the mining tax campaign and enervated to see more of herself on the teev. And everywhere else. Hence at the macro level she’s bought a big stake in Fairfax and Channel 10 including a position on its board, and at the micro-level she’s started depositing her personal manifesto in public space.

In behaviour which can only appear normal to a gazillionaire buffoon, Ms. Rhinheart installed a poem of her own devising on a plaque on a boulder in a Perth street. Its not the poem-on-a-plaque itself which is weird, but the content of that poem which called for Australia to establish special economic zones to facilitate minerals export (I kid you not – in a poem) and Palmer-like, excoriated ‘political hacks’, no prizes or guessing who. The intriguing blog ‘The Worst Of Perth’ has pictures of the boulder and plaque including readable images of the poem and a serious artistic review of Gina’s muse.

Like Morris in his obliviously self-targeted critique and Palmer in his ‘almost hysterical rants’, Gina’s main target is the treacherous – yet though they know not, much more normal than them – Greens. In feminine type, Gina’s attack on the Greens is much more oblique and subtle than Clive’s, as it uses a typically inner-city Green mode of communication, public art, to convey her message. But there is something chilling about Rineheart’s excursion into Greensville. And it is this:

Rineheart’s poem and boulder, like the Dome Of The Rock on the Jerusalem Temple Mount colonizes a precinct previously belonging to others, does so with grandiose and profane boasts, and proclaims victory over lesser and conquered faiths.

It is the victory monument of the Jihadist.

I only hope that Gina’s Jihadic rants via Fairfax and Channel 10, like those of Clive who comports himself as fetchingly as Russ Hinze psychically controlled by Sir Les Patterson, will be repeated continuously and in such conspicuously poor taste as her boulder poetry so that the voting public can get a good ear-, eye- and gutful of the intellectual freakery which drives the Liberal and National Parties.

So, here’s hoping the coalition’s collection of circus freaks can prevent a LNP victory in 2013. Graham, Clive and Gina, over to you.

Andrew Bolt is an intelligent, sensitive and highly informed
Many of his articles are meticulously researched and rich in detail.

They are also designed to delberately misinform his readers.

It takes an especially perverse mind to devote a career to concealing truth. In this short post I will offer an explanation as to why Mr. Bolt is so dedicated to misinforming his readership.

In my view there are three motivating forces behind Bolt’s systematic and deliberate dedication to obscuring truth:

1) His dedication to a higher cause, namely the protection
of decent society from the Green movement, which Bolt believes wishes to enact a totalitarian Communist anti-human One World Government

2) His assimilation and adoption of systematic deception and
propagandist techniques
learnt while an employee of Graham Richardson
in the infamous ANiMaLs section of the ALP.

3) His personal emotional and psychological history as a victim
of bullying.

Bolt The Animal.

As is now more widely known, Bolt had two periods of employment working for the ALP including the infamous aNiMalS or National Media Liason Unit, sometimes described as the ALP’s ‘fearsome attack machine’.

It was during those engagements Bolt was first exposed to – and soon intoxicated by – the journalistic dirty tricks, disinformation and propaganga tactics employed by professional political parties.

Bolt immensely enjoyed these jobs working inside the soulless ‘whatever it takes’ political machine created by Graham Richardson and has ever since dedicated his own efforts as Richardson did, to the achievement of political goals irrespective of truth.

Revealingly, Bolt describes an emotional satisfaction and moral justification in defeating one’s enemies through lies and distortion.

Says Bolt:

“It was just really intoxicating and it was the first time I got that real buzz you get from politics which is really dangerous.

You know, that space where you’re so convinced that your side is right and
in those conditions the other side is immoral and therefore you’re excused
all sorts of things.

You start thinking:
“they’re immoral so why should you be nice to them? Why should you follow all the rules?’’’


Because Bolt has a personal and moral commitment to distortion, because Bolt’s primary mode of opertion is to distort the arguments of his opponents, then naturally he sees distortion (a.k.a. ‘spin’ in the propaganda/marketing
speak of the well trained aNiMaL) in all the utterances of his opponents.

A search for the word ‘spin’ on Bolt’s own Herald-Sun Blog finds many hits, not merely in the copy of his Blog posts but in the very titles. Spin is constantly uppermost in Bolt’s mind; he therefore decorates his Blog journalism with the name of his god.


Calculating ABC spin May 22, 2008…/calculating_abc_spin

How the Age drowned its readers in spin…/index…/how_the_age_drowned_its_readers_in_spin/

G20 spin unspun 31 Mar 2009…/g20_spin_unspun/

Big boat comes in to spoil Gillard’s spin 20 Jul 2010 ……/big_boat_comes_in_to_spoil_gillards_spin/

Spin overboard 21 Oct 2009…/spin_overboard1/

How will Garrett spin this? 4 May 2009…/how_will_garrett_spin_this/

The lie in Gillard’s population spin 23 Jul 2010…/column3/

Smith demands better spin doctors to hide the kind of damage he’s …17 Apr 2011…/smith_demands_more_spin_merchants_to_clean_up_his_mess

Tanner unleashes on Gillard and Rudd’s spin .24 Apr 2011…php/…/tanner_unleashes_on_gillard_and_rudds_spin/

The essence of spin 30 May 2008…/the_essence_of_spin/

Tanner spins Labor’s obsession with spin May 2011…/tanner_spins_labors_obsession_with_spin

Rudd gets 1000 to help him spin Feb 2008…php/…/rudd_gets_1000_to_help_him_spin/

Rudd’s spin unspun…/rudds_spin_unspun/

Another leak exposes Gillard’s spin 2 Aug 2010…php/…/another_leak_exposes_gillards_spin/

So much spin 21 Mar 2011 .…/so_much_spin

Rudd spin makes Ferguson ill…/rudd_spin_makes_ferguson_throw_up/

Ellis on Gillard’s cold spin 19 Dec 2010…/index…/ellis_on_gillards_cold_spin/

How Rudd’s spiders spin 17 May 2008…/how_rudds_spiders_spin/

Rudd can’t say “billion”, Oakes can’t say “spin” 30 May 2009…/index…/rudd_cant_say_billion_oakes_cant_say_spin/

New spin needed…/new_spin_needed/

Let the part tell the whole. Spin is an instrinsic and instinctive part of Bolt’s thinking and modus operandi; He is continuously producing it, continuously ascribing it to his opponents and continuously genuflecting to it in his Blog Post titles. Spin simply pours out of Bolt.

As a wise man once said “From the overflow of his heart, so a man speaks”;
or more prosiacally “The fox detects his own stink first”.

Bolt’s treasure is spin. His mind and heart therefore continually attend it.

Higher Truth

Bolt is a moral man. His dedication to distortion is justified because it serves a higher truth; namely the salavation of Australia from TEH LEFT and most particularly The Greens.

Bolt is an Independent Advisor to the hilariously misnamed “Galileo Movement”, an AGW denialist group whose patron is the spittle-flecked Alan Jones.

The Galileo Movement’s semi-rational manifesto has five planks of which four (by discarding ‘protect the environment’) can be taken seriously and two of which reveal the slightly nutty character of the typical One World Government conspiracist.

These latter two are:

– Protect freedom – personal choice and national sovereignty;
– Protect people’s emotional health by ending Government and activists’ constant destructive bombardment of fear and guilt on our kids and communities.

The reference to ‘national sovereignty’ is a dog-whistle for ‘escape the clutches of the evil United Nations and IPCC’ while the second is the polemical paranoic utterance of persons too much acquainted with Ayn Rand and Frederick Hayek, where dwell the modern under-read Libertarians, Cold War dinosaurs and careerist, knee-jerk reactionary anti-Leftists (Bolt is in this category) for which revilement of TEH LEFT and GREENS is as merely automatic and as reasoned as the tribal hatreds bedevilling suburban football fans.

A quick Google for ‘Fear Guilt Left’ on Bolt’s Blog easily shows how Bolt shares with the Galileo Movement the nuttiest fifth plank of its manifesto, while reading his posts on The Greens (e.g the Hamilton one below) soon show that he considers them innately totalitarian in agreement with the polemic associated with the Galileo Movement’s first plank.

The posts also contain elucidations of various other anti-left/Green memes including

– How the Left (surely typified by the Greens) encourage disprespect for
institutions and engender societal sickness and therefore violence and thus are
seeking its ultimate collapse (in order to institute a totalitarian
Communist Green dictatorship);
– Are rampantly hypocritical and morally sick.
– Are Anti-Human
– Poison the minds of children

Here’s “Fear Guilt Left” from Bolt’s Blog

Hamilton stands for Greens – and for fear and less democracy …23 Oct 2009 .…/hamilton_stands_for_the_grees_and_for_fear_and_less_democracy/

Attacking what they no longer respect or fear 14 Feb 2011…/attacking_what_they_no_longer_respect_or_fear

The Left vs Israel 9 Aug 2006 ..…/the_left_vs_israel

The ABC of spreading baseless fear 4 Aug 2008…of…fear/…/P20/

Better left unsaid | 12 Aug 2009 .…better_left…/P20/

This “good” racism of the Left is killing black children .9 Nov 2010

Bullies of the Left 3 Sep 2007…of…left/asc/P20/

Save the planet! Hurt people! 14 Mar 2009…/save_the_planet_hurt_people

Earth Hour bores 28 Mar 2010 … Messing with children’s minds
by installing a sense of guilt and fear over …. From…/earth_hour_bores

This is the real Australia 1 Jul 2011 … As someone so aptly said today,
‘white guilt is heroin for the left’.…/this_is_the_real_australia

Why David Marr dances 9 Nov 2010 …
Guilt and fear were instilled in young people from an early age. … Marr is an act, this ultra left, ultra permissive, contrarian view on every ……/why_david_marr_dances/

Arnie gases on about “sexy” greens 13 Apr 2007 …
You know the kind of guilt I’m talking about: Smokestacks belching pollution and ……php/…/arnie_gases_on_about_sexy_greens/

This is why Bolt has no compunction about misrepresenting his enemies. Bolt’s enemies are evil. They do not deserve truth or fair play. They deserve only defeat and preferably destruction.

To reprise Bolt’s own words about his experience as a political apparatchik:

“You know that space where you’re so convinced that your side is right and
in those conditions the other side is immoral and therefore you’re excused
all sorts of things.”

Bolt joyously inhabits that dangerous space. In fact, the article in which he made those statements is, in my view, a confessional. Bolt is telling the world that truth is irrelevant to him because his enemies do not deserve it.

Revenge Of The Nerd.

Bolt has an extremely poor self image and was an outsider at school,
an experience he did not enjoy.

This explains his constant projection of victimhood, his hurt at people
apparently trying to victimize or silence him for no good reason apart from their innate bullying or their own farcical self-confidence at being part of the
brainless clique/mob of conformists/insiders.

Maybe at times Bolt was derided or the victim of name-calling or other anti-social acts directed at he, Bolt, the quiet, shy Dutch boy not fiting in.

Bolt’s first published piece was a poem he wrote at 13 years of age about
his abhorrence at bullies and at becoming a bully himself in order to fit in.

Bolt’s sense of victimhood is eternally fresh. Always present, it has been
conspicuosuly on display somewhat pathetically twice. Once when Bolt asserted
that he was in physical danger of mob violence agitated by an obscure (but brilliant) political blog, and most recently when whinging and moaning at his finding of guilt by the Federal Court of Australia for Racial Discrimination.

David Marr succintly skewers Bolt’s nonsense here. detailing how Bolt simply ignored inconvenient facts while penning the articles which led to his conviction

Robert Manne here notes the side-splitting insanity of Bolt who has a newspaper column and a blog in a wide-circulation national newspaper, his own TV program and a regular Melbourne radio slot claiming that his views are muzzled and that being held accountablee for untrue and racially-based slurs is an unfair prohibition on his free speech.

David Penderbethy here describes the embarrassment his colleague, Bolt, embodies to serious journalists and journalism ans also notes the imbecility of Bolt’s claims to be silenced or otherwise victimized.

I see Bolt’s articles and certainly his persona as strongly informed
by those boyhood experiences. The ‘mob’ is transmuted into his poltical enemies, The left/Greens, but now the power relationships are inverted.
Bolt has freedom to excoriate ‘the mob’ protected by the financial resources
of his attack dog newspaper, and as his boyhood poem prophetically stated,
Bolt has become the attack dog and bully himself.

The well-spring of Bolt’s rage, as all emotional hurts are, is inexhaustible.
As an adult Bolt is now able to channel that rage into excoriating the left/Greens dressing it in the fig leaf of moral justification since the Greens themselves are irredeemably evil and therefore deserve it.

Bolt’s articles are the revenge of the hurt boy.

Bolt’s Fundamental Motivation

So, in the end, what motivates Bolt ? To answer to this question I believe one must look to where Bolt expends most energy: Aboriginal Affairs and Climate Change.

Bolt came to prominence as a Poison Pen for the Right on the back of the ‘Stolen Generations’ issue which was the centrepiece of the ‘History Wars’ in Australian Politics from 1996-2007.

Bolt engaged in an extended public debate with one of Australia’s leading public intellectuals, Robert Manne, over the Stolen Generations. The question is why would Bolt bother to expend such energy on this particular issue ? That question has added salience now that Bolt has been found guilty of Racial Discrimination by accusing nine prominent part-Aboriginal Australians of falsely claiming or duplicitously emphasizing their Aboriginal heritage merely for financial benefit. What is it about Aboriginal issues that engages Bolt to such a degree ? Why does this issue in particular motivate him to write with such passion ?

Bolt gave a significant clue in an article of his ‘Why I Wont Change’ which appeared in the Herald-Sun in Feb. 2004.

In the article Bolt cites a plea for help from a Year 12 student seeking accurate information about the Stolen Generations. The student sent Bolt a Stolen Generations ‘Fact Sheet’ supplied by the school which Bolt typifies as full of ‘luxurious falsehoods’ and says:

I admire that girl for already knowing that what matters is that she first be told the truth, before she’s taught what to feel about it. I admire her for demanding the right to exercise her own conscience, rather than mimic her teacher’s. How can we tell lies to such a young woman — however noble our motives — and have such contempt for her perception, her reasoning and her moral sense?

So Bolt claims his motivation is the defence of the minds of Australia’s youth from the fear/guilt propaganda inflicted on them by TEH LEFT via the education system. i.e. Bolt is standing up for the fifth plank of the Galileo Movement manifesto:

Protect people’s emotional health by ending Government and activists’ constant destructive bombardment of fear and guilt on our kids and communities


For Bolt, the Stolen Generations history is a myth invented by the Left to poison the minds of children, presumably to engender mistrust in our institutions in order to foment leftist revolution.

Ironically, of course, the Stolen Generations is a true history; but like former Prime Minister John Howard, Bolt prefers the received myth of Australia’s white settlement, that it was concluded largely without violence and without racism expect for some limited and unfortunate mistakes made only in the best interests of Aboriginal persons by those trying their best at the time.

Bolt styles himself as a truth crusader. On Aboriginal issues, however, he is in reality a myth crusader. His recent conviction for Racial Discrimination has bought out that Bolt ignored facts inconvenient to him when compiling his dossier on prominent Australian ‘false Aboriginals’. His previous conviction, for Defamation in 2002 also showed that Bolt ignored facts known to him when writing an article containing defamatory untruths regarding Magistrate Jelena Popovic. Simply, Bolt prefers myth to fact and falsehood to truth as he serves his Higher Truth.

As Emile Durkheim noted, the function of myth is to validate, explain and preserve an established belief or authority system.

The question then becomes ‘what Higher Truth is Bolt serving’.

I submit that Bolt’s Higher Truth is the salvation of Australia from Leftists and Greens. The battle is fought on ideas. Therefore no Leftist idea, Stolen Generations or otherwise, must be allowed to survive. Leftists ideas must be defeated and, as Bolt learned as an aNiMaL, truth is the first casualty of this war. Lies must be mobilized to preserve truth. The minds of Australian youth must be fortified with good Right-wing lies in order that evil left-wing lies be defeated.

In short Bolt has adapted a Vietnam War dictum: The minds of Australians must be destroyed in order to save them.

The Utility Of Andrew Bolt

Bolt is allowed his privileged safe haven at the Herald-Sun because he serves the interests of power. His strident and duplicitous vocalisation of anti-Left, anti-Green propaganda buttressed by his sneakily adduced statistics provides a superficially authoritative denunciation of the Left/Green perspective.

Bolt’s passionate advocacy provides a pseudo-intellectual justification for the rejection of progressive reforms and entrenchment of the privileged status quo.

Bolt is a useful tool for entrenched privilege. So the Herald-Sun is prepared to pay well to keep Bolt’s megaphone open. Which is why the Herald-Sun is gritting its wallet to pay Bolt’s legal fees and keep Bolt’s misogynistic, homophobic, counter-factual and anti-scientific diatribe page open…for business.

One of the great joys of life is discovering a new poet.

I saw a documentary on TV the other week about George Mackay Brown, a poet who lived in the Orkney Islands of Northern Scotland (which makes him an Orcadian, what a lovely word)

I have always been attracted to wild islands and one of my ambitions is to camp outdoors for a month in a place like the Orkneys, just watching the light change, marvelling at the sea birds, trying to catch fish and enjoying the sheer beauty of nature which I believe to be God’s creation. Jesus used to spend significant time by Himself in communion with God in the wilderness.

So here is one of George Mackay Brown’s poems, Dead Fires, which, despite its title is full of life, and through which, like the documentary said, you can can hear the winds of Orkney whistling.


…now since you are a newly birthed admirer of George Mackay Brown you will want to read his extrordinarily beautiful poem Hamnavoe and answer this question:

Since merely reading the poem Hamnavoe can wrench tears of joy from my eyes, what is it that I should be doing with my life ?

When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, `it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

Three threads over December 2009 -January 2010 on Lavartus Prodeo (here’s number two) addressed the issue of assaults on Indian Students, mostly in Western Melbourne, but also other parts of Melbourne and Western Sydney.

Its Racism

The question is,’ said Alice, `whether you can make words mean so many different things.’
`The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, `which is to be master – – that’s all.’

The LP moderators who wrote or authorised the posts bluntly attribute the reason for these attacks to racism, despite the comments of Victorian Chief Of Police, Simon Overland, who said that while a number of the attacks were undoubtedly racist the bulk of the attacks were ‘opportunistic’

i.e. comprising robbery as the primary motive on the ‘soft targets’ of Indian students, mostly slight of stature, known to carry cash , iPods, laptops and mobile phones, walking or travelling alone to and from late night shifts as taxi drivers and service station and late-night convenience store attendants in low socio-economic area suburbs.

..which sounds to me eminently plausible.

Circumstances Are Irrelevant: Its Racism

While the LP moderators and contributors acknowledge the relatively risky profile of the work activities of Indian students they absolutely refuse to factor that circumstantial risk profile into their characteristaion of the attacks as racist.

Rather, the LP team say that the Indian students are forced to engage in high-risk jobs by a set of laws and practices which produce a disproportionately high incidence assault on Indian students. Since the Indian students self-evidently constitute a racial group and the attacks are concentrated on this racial group, the LP commentators state the set of laws and practices which cause these assaults are ipso facto racist.

Specifically, these laws and practices are an example of Structural Racism.

The Structurally Racist Laws Causing Indian Students To Be Bashed

Alice was too much puzzled to say anything, so after a minute Humpty Dumpty began again. `They’ve a temper, some of them — particularly verbs, they’re the proudest — adjectives you can do anything with, but not verbs — however, I can manage the whole of them! Impenetrability! That’s what I say!’

`Would you tell me, please,’ said Alice `what that means?`

The supposed racist structures that cause Indian students to be bashed were enumerated by Mark Bahnsich
in this post

Mark enumerates the following: The 20 hr per week limitation on foreign students, the requirement of foreign students to fulfill work experience requirements in their courses, incomplete, misleading or poorly researched information propogated private colleges and (Indian) education agents, that only low-skill employment opportunities are open to foreign students despite the fact they may already have foreign qualifications, negligent regulation of the private education sector, the fact that Indian students come to Australia with little money, the fact that Indian students are unfamiliar with our legal and bureaucratic system, , the fact that Australian-run private educators and the fact that Indian students are unfamiliar with the cultural, safety and social aspects of Western Melboune or Sydney.

Reading through Mark’s list, it is apparrent that not one of these laws and practices is framed with racist intent or motivation, a fact readily acknowledged by the LP commentators. That fact, however, is regarded as irrelevant.

It does not matter to them that the set of laws and practices faced by Indian students is not framed with racist intent, only that the combined effect of such laws and practices forces Indian students to take low-paying jobs in risky socio-economic areas and thus they get exposed to thugs and criminals and get bashed.

For the LP commentariat Structural Racism can exist without racist intention or motivation.

For me this is a lunacy worthy of Humpty-Dumpty from Alice In Wonderland, who, you may remember, assigned meanings to words based on his own personal whim and preference and for his own transient enjoyment.

Miracle Cure For Racism Discovered

`Now you talk like a reasonable child,’ said Humpty Dumpty, looking very much pleased. `I meant by “impenetrability” that we’ve had enough of that subject, and it would be just as well if you’d mention what you mean to do next, as I suppose you don’t mean to stop here all the rest of your life.’

`That’s a great deal to make one word mean,’ Alice said in a thoughtful tone.

`When I make a word do a lot of work like that,’ said Humpty Dumpty, `I always pay it extra.’

`Oh!’ said Alice.

Mark Bahnsich and his supporters provide a number of solutions for what they consider the deeply-ingrained xenophobic gene in Australian society. They mostly boil down to one thing: give Indian students more money – then they wont have to take the aforesaid risky jobs and put themselves in the way of thugs.

Consequently the LP team recommend giving Indian students Cab Vouchers, providing subsidized or free student housing, ask or require them to bring more money with them, relax or abolish the 20 Hr per week work limitation and abolishing or amending their work experience requirements.

Its is a strange sort of racism that can be cured merely by providing money to the victims.

To my mind, this Miracle Cure indicates very clearly that the problem is not racism, but one of wealth. Its a poverty issue not atypical of that facing students of every nationality including locals, not a problem of racism which persists despite the persecuted group having money or not (e.g ‘rich Jew’ anti-Semitism).

If Its Not Racism Then What Is It ?

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

`That’s enough to begin with,’ Humpty Dumpty interrupted: `there are plenty of hard words there. “Brillig” means four o’clock in the afternoon — the time when you begin broiling things for dinner.’

Indan students are being attacked for precisely the reasons Vic. Police say they are: opportunistic attacks on soft targets icarrying valuable items in risky areas at risky times of night while travelling alone. What puts them in harm’s way is a their relative poverty. Therefore the problem is far better called ‘Structural Poverty’, not ‘Structural Racism’. The fact the problem can be cured by applying money is a clear indicator of its true cause.

Over Eager

`I see it now,’ Alice remarked thoughtfully: `and what are “toves”?’

`Well, “toves” are something like badgers — they’re something like lizards — and they’re something like corkscrews.’

Many on the left are over eager to identify racism. This is a result of the volumes of leftist literature that portray (Imperialist) Capitalism as inherently racist and sexist. This ideological inertia predisposes leftists to enthusiastically identify racism even where it does not exist.

Here follow two examples of leftist ideological polemic which illustrate how the understanding of the interconnection between Capitalism, Racism and Sexism is described in varying levels of correlation.

First, From CLASS STRUGGLE, CAPITALISM AND THE STATE by The Workers Solidarity Federation an Anarchist/Syndicalist organisation which believes in a revolution by the workers and the poor to establish Stateless Socialism.

Class struggle does not ignore sexism, racism etc.: insofar as the majority of people who are affected by these oppressions (and who are also affected the worst by these oppressions) are working class, insofar as these oppressions are rooted in the capitalist system, and insofar as the working class can only be united and mobilised on the basis of opposing all oppression, these issues are all class issues. It is impossible to mobilise the working class without dealing with all the issues that affect the working class. That is to say, the class struggle can only succeed if it is anti-racist, anti-sexist etc.

Second, from Defying corporations, Defining Democracy

In one sense, capitalism is not inherently racist or sexist – corporations are happy to exploit anyone in the drive for profit. But owners and managers have used racism to divide workers and solidify control, and sexism has been important in keeping certain jobs associated with women or “women’s work” (such as the expanding customer service sector) low paying. Those stories are also an integral part of the history of the corporation.

Examples could be easily multiplied.

Indian Students Are Divided As To Cause

While the LP moderators are insistent that Structural Racism is the cause of the attacks, a significant minority of Indian students, like Vic. Police, assign the cause to Opportunism.

Of course this does not contradict the Structural Racism hypothesis because Structural Racism is said to explain the preconditions for the attack, not the attack itself, which thus still permits the attacks to be bluntly described as racist even though robbery or thuggery may be acknowledged as the primary motive by Leftist analysts.

To my mind, this is a lovely way of having your explanation and eating it too as the emotive and unnuanced appellation of racism with all its accusatory power can be levied at Australian (Capitalist) society while the highly jargonized term of Structural Racism is employed as covering fire when the racist motivation is questioned.

Indian student Ruchir Punjabi, former President of the University Of Sydney Student Union, made the interesting comment that that portrayal of the attacks as racist was a distraction for the severe problems besetting private foreign education in Australia.

In this way he was drawing attention to many of the problems identified by Mark Bahnsich around the largely unregulated flow of under-resourced and under-advised Indian students into Australia which has led to a more than tripling of Indian student numbers in Australia between 2004 and 2009. As an informed Indian student national with intimate knowledge of Australian society and culture he has an unusually well-rounded perspective and does not cry ‘Racist!’

Anglos Are Largely Not Perpetrating The Bashings

Humpty Dumpty raised his voice almost to a scream as he repeated this verse, and Alice thought with a shudder, `I wouldn’t have been the messenger for anything!’

The testimony of the Indian students is that the attacks are largely perpetrated by Immigrant, non-Anglo groups. The attacks on Sydney’s Indian nationals are described by the victims themselves as coming from Lebanese youths:

Macquarie University student Mukul Khanna, called back home by his worried parents: “A lot of my Pakistani friends have left the place after being brutally attacked and robbed . . . Interestingly, the attackers are mostly not locals and are themselves people of foreign origin.

In Melbourne (same link as previous) This year between May 8 and August 2 there were 12 reported robberies on taxi drivers in Flemington, Moonee Ponds and Ascot Vale. “Police will not officially acknowledge any particular ethnic group is a target, or that any other group is carrying out the crimes. But in every case the victims told police their attackers were African . . .”

In The Guardian:

Pulok: The media is giving a false impression of this – it could have been any ethnic group that actually did this. Last year it was bunch of Somali guys smashing up an Indian shop in Sunshine [a suburb three kilometres to the west] and bashing the owner. But you see all kinds of people not in their senses on the street and they can be dangerous.

Rav: There are new migrants in this area from all over the place and not having much money is a big contributing factor. Indians usually find it much easier to find jobs (even if they’re not great jobs) than a lot of the African guys, so that probably causes some resentment.

While the fact that Anglo attackers are in the minority is acknowledged by the LP commentariat, this (fairly enough) is also regarded as irrelevent, but does not deter some commentators from explaining the racist nature of the attacks with reference to Australia’s Constitution, the White Australia Policy of 1908 (approx.) and pre-WW2 attitudes to Aboriginals and non-European persons in general as they hunt out teh various mainfestations of Australia’s ‘deeply-ingrained’ xenophobia

…all of which of couse is only germane to Anglo Australia and completely irelevant to the Lebanese youth gangs of Western Sydney, the Somali gangs of Melbourne or the mixed ethnicity cohorts of unemployed friends that are actually perpetrating the attacks with minority Anglo input.

Once again the predisposition to critique (White) Western Capitalist societies interferes with the ability of some leftists to discuss this issue objectively.

So What Should Be Done ?

In the short term I agree with the LP team. Give late-night workers Cab Vouchers, provide Student Accommodation, better policing, better lighting, everything possible should be done. We differ only on the description of the problem, not its severity or victims.

Its a poverty issue, not a race issue

In the medium-term, the repulsively negligent oversight of overseas student education should be addressed with primary attention on requiring overseas students to come to Oz with more money. The problem will then magically disappear and Australia will no longer be (structurally) racist.

I would retain the 20 Hr work week minimum as a sensible limitation on foreign students and also retain the work experience requirement for qualifications.

To conclude, more poetry from the incomparable Humpty-Dumpty:

I took a corkscrew from the shelf:
I went to wake them up myself.

And when I found the door was locked,
I pulled and pushed and knocked.

And when I found the door was shut,
I tried to turn the handle, but — ‘

There was a long pause.

`Is that all?’ Alice timidly asked.

`That’s all,’ said Humpty Dumpty. Good-bye.’

Just started a new contract in my day job as a Software Engineer.

Most of the Dev team have English as a (far distant) second language. On my first day I noticed a quotation in Chinese in the Dev area prominently written in Texta on an erasable whitewall. The English translation underneath it made quite a disturbing accidental Haiku:

If you think you dont have bugs
You already have bugs
Bugs are in your brain

I guess that would account for those incessant tiny far-off chomping noises.

Fatima Al-Mutairi was killed by her family for becoming a Christian. Here is the
poem she wrote and published on the Internet while locked in her room by her brother waiting for her family to decide her fate.

And We For the Sake of Christ All Things Bear

by Fatima Al-Mutairi

May the Lord Jesus guide you, Oh Muslims
And enlighten your hearts that you might love others

The forum does not revile the Master of the prophets
It is for the display of truth, and for you it was revealed
This is the truth which you do not know

What we profess are the words of the Master of the prophets
We do not worship the cross, and we are not possessed
We worship the Lord Jesus, the Light of the worlds

We left Mohammed, and we do not follow in his path
We followed Jesus Christ, the Clear Truth

Truly, we love our homeland, and we are not traitors
We take pride that we are Saudi citizens
How could we betray our homeland, our dear people?
How could we, when for death – for Saudi Arabia—we stand ready?
The homeland of my grandfathers, their glories, and odes— for it I am writing
And we say, “We are proud, proud, proud to be Saudis”

We chose our way, the way of the rightly guided
And every man is free to choose any religion
Be content to leave us to ourselves to be believers in Jesus
Let us live in grace before our time comes

There are tears on my cheek, and Oh! the heart is sad
To those who become Christians, how you are so cruel!
And the Messiah says, “Blessed are the Persecuted”
And we for the sake of Christ all things bear

What is it to you that we are infidels?
You do not enter our graves, as if with us buried

Enough – your swords do not concern me, not evil nor disgrace
Your threats do not trouble me, and we are not afraid
And by God, I am unto death a Christian—Verily
I cry for what passed by, of a sad life

I was far from the Lord Jesus for many years
Oh History record! and bear witness, Oh Witnesses!
We are Christians – in the path of Christ we tread

Take from me this word, and note it well
You see, Jesus is my Lord, and He is the Best of protectors
I advise you to pity yourself, to clap your hands in mourning
See your look of ugly hatred

Man is brother to man, Oh learned ones
Where is the humanity, the love, and where are you?

As to my last words, I pray to the Lord of the worlds
Jesus the Messiah, the Light of Clear Guidance
That He change notions, and set the scales of justice aright
And that He spread Love among you, Oh Muslims

Such A Religion Cannot Come From God

The martyred poet gives an insight into the allegations against her and to the
attitudes of Saudi Muslims in general toward Jesus, Christians and Christianity.

Her question, and mine, is ‘why does Islam need to kill those who convert to
other faiths’. It is hard to believe that such a religion could ever come from God.

The allegations against Fatimah are that she became a follower Christian (this is enough for death), but also, concomitant to this, that she worships the cross, reviles Mohammed, that she is possessed and that she is a national traitor to Saudi Arabia (her longest stanza).

Of course all that is fabrication, mere window dressing, gilding the lily of her real and only crime which is that she was once a Muslim and is now a follower of Jesus.

In the Hadith of Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 84, Number 57, authoritative for all Muslims:

Narrated ‘Ikrima:
Some Zanadiqa (atheists) were brought to ‘Ali and he burnt them. The news of this event, reached Ibn ‘Abbas who said, “If I had been in his place, I would not have burnt them, as Allah’s Apostle forbade it, saying, ‘Do not punish anybody with Allah’s punishment (fire).’ I would have killed them according to the statement of Allah’s Apostle, ‘Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him.'”

Wikipedia says on Apostasy In Islam:

The four major Sunni Madh’hab (schools of Islamic jurisprudence) and the Twelver Shi’a Jafari madhab agree that a sane adult male apostate must be executed. They differ on the punishment for a female apostate – some schools calling for death and others for imprisonment.

This is why converts to the path of Jesus in Saudi Arabia pray the conversion prayer with their own hands around their throat, symbolic of the Sharia penalty, decapitation, should they be arrested for the ‘crime’ of Apostasy. They know that their faith is a death sentence, as Fatima did (‘swords’)

I met an ex-Muslim. He told me His sister said ‘We should kill you’. So, his family know what Islam decrees. They just had the fundamental humanity to ignore it.

‘And every man is free to choose any religion’.

Fatima is amazed and shocked, as I am, that the Muslim faith is so totalitarian that it cannot tolerate any conversion. ‘What is it to you that we are infidels’.

She tries to reason with her family from the Qu’ran that diversity of faith is permitted by referring to Quran 2:256 “There is no compulsion in religion, for the right way is clearly from the wrong way.” – in her words ‘And every man is free to choose any religion’.

Fatima may not have realised that Surah 2 was revealed in the early part of Mahammed’s career when he was militarily weak. No such option was permitted by Muhammad once he had power over the destiny of subjugated populations.

But Fatima certainly did realised she would be killed, hence her martydom poem, published on the Internet.

See here, here and here

What The Learned Do Not Know

Fatima, in Jesus, has discovered that God is love and a good portion of her poem is a prayer for Muslims to recognise and admit that love is absent fom Islam. She notes, in her own family, the cruelty they visit on her, their looks of ‘ugly hatred’ and their ‘threats’, their general malice, for which she advises they ‘pity’ and ‘mourn’ for themselves.

Fatima’s wish for Muslims, the thought she leaves them with even as they kill her, is that they too experience the love that is from God of which they have no experience.

I pray to the Lord of the worlds
Jesus the Messiah, the Light of Clear Guidance
That He change notions, and set the scales of justice aright
And that He spread Love among you, Oh Muslims

Fatima’s father is an Iman. It is to him specifically, amongst the ranks of the learned in general, that she instructs in the elementary truths of humanity and chides for moral blindness.

Man is brother to man, Oh learned ones
Where is the humanity, the love, and where are you?


I enjoyed Fatima’s expressions of the spirituality of Jesus in Islamic phraseology e.g ‘Best Of Protectors’, ‘Light of Clear Guidance’, ‘for you it was revealed’, ‘bear witness oh witnesses’.

I hope that her martyrdom poem achieves her prayerful intent, the illumination of many in darkness.

Message on T-Shirt
seen in Wynyard train station
during the rush hour

“Haiku Are
Interesting But Do Not Make

Flexing My Kigo

Haiku Of The Week tell me: “Great Haiku poems are designed to create strong emotions and within a few short lines evoke a similar experience in the reader to what the poet was expressing.”

and Red Ravine (recommended) says:

“Characteristics of haiku:

Simple, direct, non-metaphorical language
Captures a transitory insight or moment in time called satori or the aha moment
Contains a kigo, an image of nature that evokes a particular season
Contains a cutting or pivot word that turns the movement of the poem
Based on experience, speaks of the common, in the moment, just as it is.”


A blurred T-Shirt
Crystallises through the sweat
Cacking myself stupid


A T-Shirt message
Stills Wynyard’s sweaty rush
Cacking myself stupid

Rate me out of 575.

Personally I enjoy the ironic conjunction of Australian boofheadery with traditional Japanese forms, and ‘cacking’ is perhaps unparalleled as a ‘cutting’ or ‘pivot’ word, though perhaps the Kigo is not sufficiently subtle. If this were a wine it would be a McLaren Vale Chalk Hill Cabernet Merlot strained through a Shearer’s Crutching Brush, left standing in Oak for serveral minutes then drunk with gusto and a few snags. Basho would roll in his Cherry Blossoms … and then probably cack himself stupid.

But the T-Shirt, yes it was a ripper. You know who you are.