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Monthly Archives: September 2008

Parasitology; An Introduction

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I have a particular disdain for individuals and professions which exist by parasitising our society.
I am proud of Australias system of support for disadvantaged citizens, but there is a proportion of able-bodied people who abuse the system and consider it their birthright to be supported financially with benefits paid for by the taxes of those who  work for a living. The public purse in Australia does not provide an adequate deterrent or discouragement for these non paying passengers.  Many claiming "disability" pensions somehow regularly seem to get a miraculous relief from their symptoms which enables them to push lawn mowers around and do mechanical repairs on their taxpayer subsidised cars.

Real estate agents syphon off unrealistic proportions of money for conducting services of dubious value.  They piggyback on the success of others.  Why they are allowed to charge a percentage of property sale value as their own, instead of a fee commensurate with their meagre service is totally beyond my understanding. Perhaps it has something to do with the final paragraphs below.

Corporations, businessmen (and maybe women) use offshore tax havens and other legislative loopholes to avoid contributing to the revenue of the country which enabled them to make the money in the first place. It might be legal, but that does not make it ethical or right, and it transfers a greater financial burden to the working salary earners of Australia.  This definitely has a whole lot to do with the final paragraphs below.

At first glance used car salesmen might seem worthy candidates in any discussion of parasitic professions.  There is however, something honorable and admirable in a person who has the talent to convince someone that my old pile of crap could indeed be their dream come true.  Their pride and glory.  Used car salesmen are the Lords of Recycling and should be regarded with some sort of reverence.  Their remuneration is also more or less appropriate to the service they provide.


Q.   What do you call 10 lawyers at the bottom of the ocean?
A.    A good start.

An old, widely promulgated, and not particularly humane attempt at humor. One which I should condemn totally lest it be used as evidence of premeditation against me in a court of law if, coincidentally, some submerged bodies are discovered in my vicinity.

Let me explain my thoughts as gently and succinctly as I am able.
Lawyers are an abomination of Western culture.  They perpetuate the "legal system" in the interests of their own greed and self aggrandisement.  They are the primary impediment to real and affordable justice, which should be the inalienable right of all people, rich or poor, living in a civilised society.   
They have, over time, by infiltrating political systems, the Public Service, and covertly doing deals within the confines of exclusive mens-only clubs, managed to create an environment for their snouts to have permanent access to one of the worlds most financially lucrative feeding troughs.

Legal practice is a vanity and snobbery unequalled by almost any other profession.  It involves distorting the truth in an attempt to protect the guilty.  It involves the use of antiquated language and regalia, and pompous peacocking courtroom performance all designed to confuse and intimidate ordinary people, and justify being paid obscene amounts of money.  When their greed is not adequately satiated by defending the flow of criminals, they then seek to extract legitimately earned money from honest people. They call it personal litigation.  It is often simply the means by which the inept can suddenly become rich without the expenditure of effort.  A legal lottery whereby a small misadventure or indeed personal stupidity can be converted into a jackpot of riches for both claimant and lawyer.  

The legal profession is the ultimate parasite on society.
Perhaps we do not need it.

What would be wrong with a system whereby judges were selected from the respected and wise within our communities?
Let us, the accused, tell our own story, in our own simple language to a panel of these eminent elders.  Let us deliver our own defence, or, (horror of horrors) admission of guilt, directly to them and/or a jury of our peers.

Any intermediaries would then be surplus to requirements.
As they should be.

In his excellent book of common sense , "The Dead Horses",  Les Mohr makes a logical argument to delete all the thousands of laws in the statute books and replace them with three;
1. Causing harm
2. Attempting to cause harm
3. Behaving in a manner likely to cause harm.

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War, peacekeeping, and cane toads

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Australias active military enforcement roles in other countries, even with the best of intention, is a process fraught with uncertainty and moral questionability.  It also seemingly often receives little appreciation from those whom it seeks to help.

Australia became politically and militarily involved to assist East Timors "liberation" from Indonesia.  There are probably lots of good reasons for numerous provinces of Indonesia to be spared the often brutal rule of their Government and military, but I fail to see why it is Australia's responsibility to enable one select group to break away.  East Timor is part of the Indonesian chain of islands, and, even with my meagre understanding of continental drift, assume it will remain so.

I am a little more tolerant of Australia being involved in multinational peacekeeping operations around the world which are not in our own backyard.  The United Nations, for better or worse, is the best global organisation we have for engineering peace and harmony.  It should ensure, however, that we are not involved where we have a "closest neighbour" relationship to maintain with any of the combatants.    Building a trusting and mutually beneficial friendship with Indonesia should be Australia's primary foreign affairs project.   Our becoming involved in East Timor was detrimental to that relationship.  

And just how much do the East Timorese appreciate Australia's efforts on their behalf?  Certainly those with the biggest mouths find ways to condemn us.  Our troops accused of using a little unnecessary force here and there.  Well, people, that just might happen when gangs of your teenage thugs are pelting them with rocks.   Where is the enduring appreciation for Australia medically evacuating and saving the life of your own elected leader Jose Ramos Horta after your assassination attempt on him?

The very latest criticism from East Timor is that some of our military equipment carried some pesky cane toads as passengers from Darwin to Dili.  Spare me!
If you need help eradicating them, call the Indonesian military…..they have an excellent record of extermination.

Can someone please explain to me why Australia should not be a politically neutral country, and use our large military budgets solely on building up a defence of our borders, and stop wasting it on the unappreciative?
If we have surplus defence force staff just waiting for an unlikely invasion, why not make them available to carry out civil or humanitarian projects with our near neighbours or the less fortunate countries on earth.  That might just make an invasion even less likely. Goodwill never hurt anybody.

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One word too many

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The past year has seen a new word surreptitiously sneaked into our vocabulary by the media, presumably as an aid to popularity ratings.

"Glassing"  refers to the horrendous facial injury inflicted by broken drinking glasses wielded by gutless, brutal, inhuman men, often upon their female companions.

Does this cowardly, hideous act of thuggery deserve to be dignified by a word in our language, or simply treated as the disgraceful violent physical assault that it is, with mandatory incarceration of the perpetrators?

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Happy Birthday to Donna Douglas

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Some insane twit on the radio just tried to tell me that Elly Mae Clampett
of Beverly Hillbillies fame is 75 today.

Rubbish!   Not in my mind she aint.

No-one has the right to mess with my fantasies.

Y'all hear me now?  NO-ONE!

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My little tribute to Mr Dave Carey

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This story is unlikely to be of interest to anyone else in the world.
As I grow older I find that my thoughts often revisit small events which occurred in my early life, but which also had a lasting and profound effect on my development as a human being.
I write this as a tribute to Mr Carey who left this world quite a long time ago.

I refer to him as "Mister" Carey partly because I am from a generation and culture which automatically bestowed respect upon elders, but mostly because his example in life left me with an enduring admiration of his character and humility.

GOF went to Papua New Guinea at the age of 19 to work as a Didiman (Government agricultural extension officer). At the time, PNG was under Australian colonial administration, and a bureaucracy cloned from the Australian model was in place.  Promotion within the service was based primarily upon seniority, and  many inept individuals rose to become Departmental chiefs in the capital city Port Moresby.  They were often largely removed economically, physically and intellectually from native Papua New Guineans and their village lives, and conducted themselves with an aloof air of racial superiority.

As a new appointee, my posting was to a very remote location in the Sepik District, where first contact was still being made with primitive peoples.  My only preparation for the job involved a week studying the comprehensive Government  "Manual of Procedures" which included such rivetting information as "the use of a green ink pen for financial returns is the exclusive preserve of the Government auditor".  I also had to not fall off a Honda 90 motor bike whilst doing a circuit of the police station in order to gain a PNG drivers licence.

During my first year, word of mouth ensured I had a suitable reverence for all above me in the bureaucratic chain of command, and it was thus with some terror and trepidation that I learned that no lesser person than the head honcho, God of all Didimen, Head of Department from Port Moresby, Mr Carey, was to personally visit and evaluate my work.   Not only that, I also had to accommodate this man from a city of 5 star hotels in my 1 bedroom house without electricity or running water for 24 hours.

I was always a fairly conscientious little GOF, and survived the day and night, and his inspection, and life returned to normality soon after.
Most Australians working in PNG had personal servants. They diligently went about their tasks of cooking and domestic duties. Fortel worked for my predecessor, so I acquired him along with the job.  It is no glowing reflection upon me to note that I rarely communicated with him on a personal level, and knew little of his village or family circumstances.  Indeed I was full of youthful arrogance and pretentious self importance.

It was accordingly with surprise that a month later I opened the envelope containing a copy of Mr Careys report on me, and, attached to it was a small package of tobacco seeds with the note "Fortel will appreciate the value of this new variety of tobacco which produces a higher yielding leaf"
(growing tobacco was part of traditional subsistence agriculture, and the quality of a mans home grown "brus" tobacco leaf influenced his status within the village community)
Mr Carey had, unbeknownst to me, had detailed discussions with Fortel during his stay, and discovered that his traditional tobacco variety was growing poorly.  He was a man of great compassion and humility, and cared enough to provide an unexpected act of kindness for a man at the opposite end of the established social scale.
It also gave me an awful lot of food for thought.

Some men earn respect through their deeds.
Others expect it as a right of Office.

PS.  These events took place at a time when the adverse health implications of smoking were not in the public arena.  Accordingly, it is not proper to make judgements on this story based on our current knowledge.

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The dangers of loitering

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I have always been intrigued by the quaint little misdemeanor dating back to the Criminal Code Act 1899, Section 425,  titled "Loitering with Intent…….to commit an indictable offence".
It seems to me like a law of last resort when prosecuters have insufficient evidence for something more substantial.  Whilst the "loitering" part may easily be proven by video surveillance, the remainder of the charge seems largely to rely on the clairvoyancy and mind reading capacity of the arresting officer.

It is my impression that loitering has declined during the last 50 years now that we have full employment and a relentless pursuit of material consumption and personal entertainment.
If you stand still for long enough today,some inconsiderate influenza ridden citizen will cough and splutter all over you, so its really in the best interests of your health to keep moving.

In retrospect, I consider myself very fortunate in not having been arrested and convicted of LWI on many occasions in my life.  In coffee shops, it could just possibly have been interpreted that I was intent on commiting an assault and battery on the large person in front of me who just ordered enough stuff to feed a third world country, when I was really just trying to read the menu.
On numerous occasions I have loitered in airport terminals and, (as some "friends" enthusiastically remind me that I look remotely like the Osama Bin Dude,) could have been contemplating mayhem, when my only serious intention was collecting a member of my family from a delayed flight.
Indeed I have long had a propensity to combine intermittent sauntering (which is apparently still a legal occupation) with loitering in places where people gather, with the singular intent of observing and understanding human nature.
I should not be a free man.

It would, however, disappoint me greatly to be jailed for LWI, for I would prefer to be convicted of a crime with more substance.  Money laundering would be good, as it would infer by definition that I had cash in such quantity that it required a reassignation. Or perhaps something like counterfeiting currency.  That would reflect some artistic and technological ability and I could be proud to do my time with a smile on my face.  

The Bucket would like to start a movement to draw attention to this stupid law and have it removed from the statute books.
We have recently celebrated "National Threatened Species Day". Well, you may have, I sort of missed it.
Similarly, I would like to propose a designated "Loitering with Intent Day", when thousands of us would clog city streets at peak hour, looking furtive and shifty, and demanding to be arrested by the constabulary.

OK, now what else needs to be fixed in the world?

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My really stupid idea #7

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What if, as from next week, it was compulsory for all Israeli secondary school children to spend a year as exchange students hosted by Arab families living across the border.
(Legislatively this should not be difficult, for presently the children are all compulsorily drafted into military training and service.)

And for the Palestinians to simultaneously do likewise in Israel.

What if the students all discovered that their host families had hopes, dreams and aspirations almost identical to their own.  That humans of whatever race, culture or creed are bound by common concerns for peace and a secure world for their children to grow up into.

What if they returned after the 12 months with honorary Moms, Dads, brothers, sisters and lots of friends on the other side of the barbed wire and concrete fence.

What if they realised all the past fighting was conducted in the name of greed, ignorant prejudice and military, religious and political power and was perpetuated by those with vested interests.

What if?  

The bipartisan rocket launching, suicide bombing and random killings might just coincidentally and simultaneously cease at the precise instant the first child crossed the border. Forever.

I really must stop this nonsense and go do something useful.

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Educational gymnastics

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A somewhat historic month in the proud annals of the Australian education system has just passed, and it should be given appropriate acknowledgment.

Officials at one school banned children from performing gymnastic manouvres, especially cartwheels in the playground.

I realize we now live in a society of increasing litigation, and that reduced levels of child mobility may concurrently lower the risk of such sue-age.  But it concerns me that we may be interfering with some basic evolutionary necessity.  Perhaps young children propelling their torsos around the horizontal exis are acting instinctively in order to correctly settle the malleable and pliable developing brain firmly into the cranium.

Our own daughter, Globet, in fact went through a lengthy phase of cartwheeling, interspersed with handstands which were mostly not of a quality and duration needed to draw a standing ovation.  They were nevertheless practised at school, at home on the lawn, in the living room, up the stairs, and also over her pet cow who viewed the whole procedure with her usual bovine amusement.  Her gymnastics were probably a biologically driven necessity to find out which view of the world she preferred.  Fortunately it was only a temporary part of her life, and these days she perambulates her way around the world in a more or less normal manner.

During my school days, the breaking of a bone was seen by my peers as a particularly courageous and honorable achievement.
The greatest accolades were reserved for those who dropped head first from the monkey bars on to the asphalt below and were able to break both an ulna and radius simultaneously.  It was good for the victims self esteem, giving him weeks of being the centre of attention, and it enhanced written English language and artistic skills for those  given the special privilege of inscribing the plaster cast.   Sandpits were subsequently installed underneath play equipment to allow Mother earth to share some of the pain, but we found even more innovative ways to fracture and break body parts. There were walls, trees and fences to be climbed.

I hope the kids can find a loophole in this legislative stupidity.

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