Thecuriousmail’s Weblog

The times they are a changin’.

Posted in Uncategorized by thecuriousmail on June 17, 2017

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In countries around the world, disenchantment and anger builds against the status quo.

The cynical ideology of neoliberalism has increased the power and wealth of the privileged, and wannabe-privileged, and increased inequality to obscene levels.

 Democracy manifests a sameness and has become much ado about nothing, where secret decisions based on hidden agendas entrench the position of the privileged, and the rights and freedoms of the governed are being steadily removed by corrupt and compromised politicians, only concerned with political power, and justified by lies and half-truths.

But a change is coming.

It may or may not be bloody. That depends on the actions of the privileged.

Will they engage and discourse, recognize the current problems and commit to a solution, a return of power to the people, an openness and accountability to decision-making,  and a fairer and more equitable future for us all?

History would say: no. The state will use all force available, force meant to protect will be used to harass, imprison and murder. The privileged, then as now, will use complicit and obedient police and courts to maintain their control, even as events take on an increasingly absurd, and violent,  air.

Is history to doom us to a bloody conflict?

Or can reason and an equanimity prevail, a commitment to a shared future as equals?

And as the political system must change, so must the economic system.

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A Note On Free Agency

Posted in Uncategorized by thecuriousmail on June 15, 2017

Reason must be our last judge and guide in everything-John Locke

Free agency is a natural right. The state has no justification to intervene in any arrangement between adult free agents exercising their reason and common-sense and in good faith, or the decision of a free agent exercising their reason and common-sense and in good faith, provided that arrangement does not deleteriously affect the experience of other free agents. The full expression of reason and common-sense means this provision should not arise, but there may be unforeseen or untoward consequences. Free agents acting in good faith can and do resolve issues and arrive at a consensus.

It is not the state’s right to otherwise intervene or to approve. The state may make procedural requirements, but the arrangement stands and is inviolable. Governments need the consent of the governed; free agents do not need the consent of the government. State intrusion into free agency has become so widespread that many think the social contract is now made null and void.

According to, for example, John Locke, when the government fails to secure our natural rights, free agents can withdraw their obligation to obey, and use any means, including, when necessary, violence, to re-assert their primacy.

Locke affirmed an explicit right to revolution in Two Treatises of Government: “whenever the Legislators endeavor to take away, and destroy the Property of the People, or to reduce them to Slavery under Arbitrary Power, they put themselves into a state of War with the People, who are thereupon absolved from any farther Obedience, and are left to the common Refuge, which God hath provided for all Men, against Force and Violence. Whensoever therefore the Legislative shall transgress this fundamental Rule of Society; and either by Ambition, Fear, Folly or Corruption, endeavor to grasp themselves, or put into the hands of any other an Absolute Power over the Lives, Liberties, and Estates of the People; By this breach of Trust they forfeit the Power, the People had put into their hands, for quite contrary ends, and it devolves to the People, who have a Right to resume their original Liberty.”

Addressing a couple of contemporary issues:
1. People with an incurable disease wanting to end their own lives.
The state may make minimal procedural requirements, eg two doctors must be consulted, there must be a 7 day delay between decision and action, or such like, but the free agent can make such an arrangement without either the approval of, or hindrance by, the state. The means are provided, but the act must be of the free agent themselves.
2. A woman choosing pregnancy termination.
Being a free agent, a woman’s body is her own, and she is soley able to decide on such matters, The state may make minimal procedural requirements, eg to be performed by a doctor in a hospital or clinic, or such like, but the free agent can make such an arrangement without either the approval of, or hindrance by, the state.
3. Same sex marriage.
In regards to a community recognized relationship commitment, ie marriage, with its explicit responsibilities and obligations, any adult free agents are able to make that commitment to each other, same gender or different gender. Free agents can make such an arrangement without either the approval of, or hindrance by, the state.

We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force.
Ayn Rand.

The Age Of Deception

Posted in Uncategorized by thecuriousmail on June 11, 2017

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Capitalism and parliamentary democracy  are 2 very destructive  and essentially corrupt mental constructs that have evolved together, and continually re-enforce each other, and together have reached a point of being virtually unreformable.

The citizen in a parliamentary democracy has abrogated ALL personal decision-making in the polity, EXCEPT for the every-so-often marker of an election, where we are asked to express a general satisfaction/dissatisfaction.

In the meantime politicians and bureaucrats make compromised decisions largely in secret. In fact it is secrecy they demand, and lies abound. Deception is the coin of the realm.

The type of person attracted to a political career seems mostly to be the worst of us: not too bright, wanting the opportunity to let loose their prejudices into prescriptions,  and willing to be bought for the right price.

Nowadays the state can conceive of no significant polity; provided the state endures, the citizenry may number just one. And increasingly no action by the state against the citizenry is considered taboo, no liberty or right they cannot exclude or reject or modify into meaninglessness.  As long as the pigs can play in the mud, they are happy little pigs; the colours vary, but these little piggies have learnt to fly.

If in my power I would do away with parliamentary democracy and party politics tomorrow. I am happy for the future to judge me in this desire. I am happy for the citizenry to discuss what might come after this Age of Deception.

A question all people should address, as they are free agents able to use reason and common-sense. You need not listen to the oink, grunt and squeal, of the piggies. Remember tho, the pigs will defend the pigsty, and their place in the pigsty. You are a free agent, and you can rely on reason and your common-sense. You will overcome.

 

Terrorism paranoia allows Australian politicians to erode individual rights

Posted in Uncategorized by thecuriousmail on June 9, 2017

NEWS REPORT:The Council of Australian Governments has come to an agreement over a number policy issues, including reforming bail and parole laws.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced the heads of the nation’s states and territories have agreed to legislate on a presumption against parole and bail for people with terror links.  (Charged, NOT yet convicted)

COAG also agreed senior parole board and corrections staff will be briefed by ASIO on terror suspects, and all the leader were reconvene for a special terrorism summit to discuss pre and post jail control orders and surveillance of terror suspects

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the gathering would take place as soon as possible.

‘This is not an area of policy where you can set and forget,’ he told reporters following the Council of Australian Governments meeting in Hobart on Friday.  (Yes, the state will take every opportunity to erode individual rights)

‘We’re going to be very proactive, constantly upgrading our defences.’

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said the special COAG meeting was very important.

‘I think the community will take a very dim view of each of us if, after that meeting, we do not have a detailed list of concrete, common sense steps, doing what has to be done to keep every Australian safe,’ Mr Andrews said (We must keep the sheep afraid, very afraid, so they do not object to their loss of personal rights).

George Williams:  “Of greater importance is the reach of the laws in introducing restrictions on speech through sedition offences and censorship; detention and questioning by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation of Australian citizens not suspected of any crime; the banning of organisations by government; control orders that can enable house arrest for up to a year; detention without charge or trial; covert surveillance of non-suspects; and warrantless searches of private property by police.

As these examples demonstrate, exceptional powers and sanctions thought to lie outside the rules of a liberal democracy, except during wartime, have become part of Australian law.”

Number of people killed in Australia between 2010 and 2016

by terrorist acts,  3  (plus 3 perpetrators)

by bee and wasp stings, 51

by being struck by lightning,  64

women and children, by ex partners,  253

in motor vehicle accidents,  8,762

by heart disease and stroke,  272, 352

Does a terrorist kill civilians? Yes.  In Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria, have American, Australian, and British forces, killed civilians? Yes, in the tens of thousands.

It seems the definition of terrorist depends on what side of the rifle, and what side of the bible, you are on.

And there is a connection between foreign policy abroad and home Islamic attacks, denied by politicians in successive governments, because to acknowledge it means to accept responsibility and culpability, and this they just will not do. Western governments have for no valid reason put the soldiers in harm’s way and civilians in peril, and their answer to the danger they created is to remove the rights and freedoms of their citizens! Oh what a sordid bloody mess they create.

My future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades

Posted in Uncategorized by thecuriousmail on May 13, 2017

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Why, without exception, are human visions of future society so bleak?

In literature, cinema, conversation, myth and prophecy,  we strive to find our place in the desolation that awaits,  and so fulfil a just and deserved damnation.

What do we know, that we know? When did the unwritten get wrote?

What contagion do we carry in our soul that manifests itself in these dark visions of time to come?

With our thoughts we create the world . .

and our future.

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The world was a better place when John Clarke was in it.

Posted in Uncategorized by thecuriousmail on April 23, 2017

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1948-2017

A man of rare wit and compassion.

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Democratic governments are now NOT so democratic.

Posted in Uncategorized by thecuriousmail on April 23, 2017

gold dollar.jpgThe increasing inequality in democratic developed countries can only have a certain number of explanations:

Either, 1) that there is no problem that warrants action, and even if only 1 person owns 99.9% of the wealth, this is an acceptable situation.

The best way to “spread the wealth around is to leave it in the hands of the wealthy.” says John Tamny,  a senior fellow in economics at Reason Foundation, the political economy editor at Forbes, a senior economic advisor to Toreador Research & Trading, and editor of RealClearMarkets.com.

Carol Roth,  an American radio host, television personality, author and investor, says: “I take issue with the entire inequality discussion, as opportunity and prosperity are important objectives, but equality is not only a pipe dream, it isn’t desirable.”

Or, that there is a problem with wealth inequality, but

  1.  we’re at “X” level, which is ok, but when we reach “Y” level, then action will be taken, or
  2.  governments are taking no real action, but say they are (collusion, corruption), or
  3.  governments are taking real action, but it has no effect (ineffectual).

What does your government say??

So, is Tamny, Roth and the like, correct?

Or these people:

During the Age of Reason, Francis Bacon wrote “Above all things good policy is to be used so that the treasures and monies in a state be not gathered into a few hands… Money is like fertilizer, not good except it be spread.”

“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”  Franklin D Roosevelt.

“It was possible, no doubt, to imagine a society in which wealth, in the sense of personal possessions and luxuries, should be evenly distributed, while power remained in the hands of a small privileged caste. But in practice such a society could not long remain stable. For if leisure and security were enjoyed by all alike, the great mass of human beings who are normally stupefied by poverty would become literate and would learn to think for themselves; and when once they had done this, they would sooner or later realise that the privileged minority had no function, and they would sweep it away. In the long run, a hierarchical society was only possible on a basis of poverty and ignorance.”  George Orwell.
“I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and cause me to tremble for safety of my country; corporations have been enthroned, an era of corruption in High Places will follow, and the Money Power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the People, until the wealth is aggregated in a few hands, and the Republic destroyed.” Abraham Lincoln.

And in Australia:

The tax cuts announced by Treasurer Scott Morrison flow overwhelmingly to high-income earners, with 70% of taxpayers gaining nothing.

All the benefits go to people in the top 30 per cent of income earners.

“Scott Morrison and Mathias Cormann might not be smoking cigars tonight like Joe Hockey did so ill-advisedly after his budget, but the top 1 per cent will be,” said Richard Dennis, chief economist at the Australia Institute.

Mr Morrison defended the tax changes against allegations they lacked fairness and equity because the benefits were skewed to those on higher incomes.

So, is wealth inequality increasing or decreasing? Every study I have seen, from numerous unrelated sources, says that it is, a resounding yes that wealth inequality is increasing, and an equally definite affirmation that the government is doing nothing to reverse the situation. In fact, governments appear to be not just enabling the inequality thru tax concessions and the absence of legislative action, but to also be actively attacking poorer Australians thru reductions in wages and conditions.

The question then is, have the so-called democratic governments now become the enemy??

“Concentration of wealth yields concentration of political power. And concentration of political power gives rise to legislation that increases and accelerates the cycle.” Noam Chomsky.

E.T., please stay!

Posted in Uncategorized by thecuriousmail on April 22, 2017

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E.T.,                        please don’t go!

 

I live in a world of leaders and lies, of authority, control, and  an obedience enforced but never justified , a world of a vicious anti-reason that demands ignorance, prejudice,  and compliance, a world of violence and war, where what we do to each other will always haunt our existence, and victory a careless remembrance of brutal folly passed.

We are the worst of children who never grew up, who will never grow up.

E.T.,                               please, stay.

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Australian democracy is broken

Posted in Uncategorized by thecuriousmail on April 17, 2017

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Nearly 60% of Australians are unhappy with the way Australian democracy works (and trending upward).

Only 15% of Australians believe politicians are honest (and trending downward).

The richest 10% of Australians own more than 50% of the total wealth, and the bottom 40%, just 3% of the total wealth (and wealth inequality is trending upward).

80 per cent of the wealthiest people in Australia have amassed their wealth via political connections rather than via innovative businesses. They made their fortunes in property, mining, banking, superannuation and finance generally – all heavily regulated industries in which fortunes can be made by getting favourable property rezonings, planning law exemptions, mining concessions, labour law exemptions, money creation powers and mandated markets of many stripes. Additionally, government legislation is specifically favouring the rich, eg negative gearing, superannuation, taxation.

Successive governments have gutted public housing stocks (waiting lists are now more than 15 years), and Legal Aid budgets have been continually reduced.

1 in 200 Australians are homeless (and trending upward).

14 in 100 Australians live below the poverty line (and trending upward).

Statistics for Indigenous Australians are so much worse as to be almost unbelievable.

Our political leaders are supposed to be the best among us. They’re supposed to be the ones with the highest levels of ethics and integrity, the least selfish and the most intelligent. But in many cases, the inverse has become true, and a self-reinforcing loop of dishonest rhetoric stands to make it much, much worse.”

What we have in Australia is compromised politicians with hidden agendas making flawed laws, actioned by a secretive and unaccountable bureaucracy, and with an amoral judicial system complicitly enforcing compliance.

There needs to be a new kind of democracy in Australia, with, I suspect,  no place for political parties or politicians.

Australian Terrorist Attack

Posted in Uncategorized by thecuriousmail on April 16, 2017

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A terrorist attack at Australia’s Parliament House today was foiled by quick thinking politicians who ran away.

The terrorist, killed when his bouquet of gladiolus prematurely exploded, has been identified as Sir Les Patterson, a disgruntled former Commonwealth employee who objected to the fluoridation of water. Inquiries are continuing into Mr Patterson’s Islamic affiliations.

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In a breach of parliamentary security protocols, it is believed that Patterson was waved thru several security checks by brandishing his Melbourne Club membership badge. “Well he looked like he belonged here”, lamented one security guard.

Prime Minister Turnbull has ordered an investigation into the incident,  and applauded  “the Members of Parliament who demonstrated great courage thru a tactical retreat. It could have been a lot worse but for their decisive action,” said Mr Turnbull.

In the chaos after the explosion, it was reported to the Prime Minister that cheering could be heard from the Aboriginal Tent embassy, on the lawns of Parliament House. Mr Turnbull said it was a criminal offense to offer any kind of support to a terrorist, and “that if the claim is substantiated, people will face the full force of the law”.

However, Prime Minster Turnbull was quick to affirm that flashing your lights to a terrorist, to indicate a police speed camera ahead, “would not be considered offering support to terrorism. At least in the short-term”.