Fundamentalism – This Must Stop

November 4, 2008

Warning – This blog will seem quite Right Wing. I’m really not, btu I am sick to death of these fundamentalist murderers getting away with their crap.

 

If you haven’t read the news today, let me draw your attention to two particularly disturbing items from the good folk at Fairfax.

To read the story fo a 13 year old girl raped then murdered, click here.

To see people defending the right of the Bali bombers to kill innocent people, click here.

The acts described in the first story are simply heartbreaking. A girl, raped, accused of adultery and stoned to death. A young boy gunned down in cold blood by the religious police when he tried to defend her. The truly sickening aspect of a crowd of 1000 people cheering this act. Yes, cheering.

It is enough to bring tears to your eyes, and turn your stomach. Thank God I was born here, and not there.

The second story talks about the crowds of people seeking to defend the right of the Bali bombers to live full and happy lives, even though none of the 202 people killed on October 12, 2002 get that chance.

As I write, bomb threats have been issued against the Australian and USA embassies in Jakarta. There is no knowing what is going to happen in Indonesia, or elsewhere over the enxt few days as fundamentlist Islamists mourn the death of truly evil men.

Reading these two stories prompted me to wonder what we have to do in order to stop this kind of behaviour? Having looked at the history of armed conflicts, sanctions and diplomacy it seems that nothing at all has brought us any closer to stopping this behaviour.

I ahve always opposed the death penalty, but it seems that it is our last resort. It must become so unattractive to perform these acts that people will simply stop.

So when I speak of the death penalty, I am not just talking about the people who undergo well managed trials in courts, or are made scapegoats by their fundamentalist regimes.

I believe that we need to find the people who perpetrate these acts, and kill them. Then we need to find the people who funded the acts and kill them. Then we need to find anyone who supported these acts and kill them also.

WE need to use unimaginable military force to say enough is enough. Enough of fundamentalist Hindus raping Christian nun’s in India. Enough of Irish fundamentalist Catholics killing Protestants. Enough of Islamic women, and children, being stoned to death because they were raped.

As Yitzhak Rabin said, “Enough of blood and tears. Enough!”

If the talking won’t work, then make these cowards truly scared, and make them realise we’re coming.

This may be read one day, and I may end up with a Fatwa thrust upon me by some ridiculous joke like figure such as Sheik Hilaly or Mahmood Ahmedinijad, but I simply don’t care. We must stand up and stop fundamentalists of all colours and creeds.

It is the only way we will ensure a peaceful future, where we will truly be able to honour Rabin’s dream.

The US Election – My Endorsment

November 3, 2008

More than any other day in recent history, Tuesday November 4 will be a day when the world changes.

For the last 8 years, we have seen the world’s only superpower become the world’s second best superpower. We have seen a President who redefines incompetence lead the worlds largest military force into a war with no exit strategy or reasonable plan for reconstruction.

For the record, I fully supported the overthrow of Saddam Hussein’s brutal regime. It was done to secure the energy future of the Western Hemisphere. It should have been done to liberate a people, and the same should have been done in Zimbabwe, North Korea and the Sudan.

I do not support the cold blooded killing of civilians, and I do not support terrorism. I supported the overthrow of Saddam Hussein by whichever means necessary.

Now that we have cleared that up, I want to, very briefly, give my $0.02 on the US election.

The only reasonable choice for the next leader of the free world is Senator Barack Obama.

His message of change, hope and reconstruction is necessary to inspire the great young minds of my generation to use their intelligence for good. We have many great young minds, and too many of them are being put to waste instead of tackling the  immense problems we face in this day and age.

Senator Obama has the political will and oratory skill to lead the world into a bold new age of social responsibility and fiscal best practice. Wars will be fought against disease as well as despots. Rescue packages will exist for those who need them most, not just the biggest banks. We may finally learn to trust the political system and those who engage in it.

The current federal government is in a catastrophic state. Prime Minister Rudd is so focused on spin, advertising and Kochie that he has failed to truly make a positive difference to Australian culture or society since his election.

He could learn a great deal from Senator Obama.

May whichever God you pray to lead Senator Obama into the Oval Office.

Manly Council – All new and with 33% fewer meetings!

November 1, 2008

One of the first acts of the new Manly Council has been to slash it’s own workload by removing the Land Use Management meeting from it’s calendar entirely.

While the content of the meeting will now be handled by the Manly Independent Assessment Panel, the lack of a forum for residents to engage with council is a retrograde step for Manly.

The last term of Council saw vibrant debate in the chambers, with members of the gallery able to freely express their disapproval or otherwise at the three regular monthly meetings. This has now been slashed to two, with no talk of a replacement for the now defunct LUM Meeting.

Given the lack of experience of some Councillor’s, and their ability to make decisions which have a broad affect on the day to day lives of Manly’s residents, I feel the Council should be actively seeking opportunities to engage with the consituents.

The last Council was perceived as one of the least accountable in recent memory, yet the new council seems determined to take this mantle from their predecessors.

This is a situation that must be rectified.

Mayor Jean Hay should be calling for a third meeting to be introduced into the monthly meeting schedule – the Manly Community Forum Meeting.

This would follow a Q and A format with a time limit of two hours, where any member of the community can ask questions of their elected representatives, and the said representatives can provide clear, concise answers.

Rather than have the Council’s message carefully crafted through the Manly Daily, let’s put our representatives to the test and see if they are really knowledgeable about their role and the community they intend to serve.

I think this would be particularly important for new Councillors, such as Clr Le Surf, Clr Elder, Clr Whitting and Clr Burns, who were elected whilst having been remarkably silent on key community issues over the last 4 years of Council.

Indeed, Clr Elder was so engaged in the campaign for her own election, she found time to slot in a quick trip to India -hardly what I would call full commitment.

Mayor Hay, show the community that you truly value their opinion, and return a bit of community involvement to the Council process.

BREAKING NEWS – MANLY INDEPENDENTS SCANDAL

September 8, 2008

In news breaking this evening, The Manly Independents Party have been linked to a website at www.manlycouncilelections.com which treads perilously close to breaching the Manly Council’s copyright, and also slanders other candidates in the elections.

Anthony Cameron, who is responsible for the website, is listed as donating ten or more hours to the Manly Independents Party on the candidate’s statements, which are required under Manly Council’s Charter of Political Reform.

The statement for Peter Macdonald can be found here with the statement for Barbara Aird also showing a donation accepted from Anthony Cameron. View Barbara Aird’s statement here.

The returning officer is investigating, however the website is not expected to last long, as Anthony Cameron has hosted it on a server in Sydney, allowing the site to be shut down in a matter of hours.

The key problem is that, despite being clearly political, Anthony Cameron has broken the golden rule, by failing to authorise the website, whi9ch could leave him liable to a fine of up to $20,000.

 

It also looks like it’s not the first offence for Anthony Cameron, his last web site leading to this result. Yes, I know it’s a 404 error, clearly something was forced down.

I’m also a little concerned about his “Fragrant B.O.” theory of political ascendancy, which is found here  (Hit Ctrl-F and search for Cambo)

For now, the website is still up, but we watch with great interest over the next few days.

SOS Manly – Tim Fiddes, or is it Tim Feeder?

September 8, 2008

As promised, the next installment of Tom’s Truth looks at SOS Manly, ably led by Tim Fiddes at the top of the ticket.

SOS Manly have run arguably the highest visibility campaing over the last several weeks, distributing hundreds of bright yellow enviro shopping bags and being an almost constant presence on the spit hill with their banner (at first illegaly atached to crown land,See Local Government (General) Regulations) and then having Deborah Mosman and James McFarlane hold the banner aloft.

Like almost all the other tickets, policy has been thin on the ground, and when it has made an appearance it reads as a virtual carbon copy of the previously mentioned Manly Independents. This is no surprise as SOS Manly is the Manly Independents feeder ticket. It is true that no money has chanegd hands between the two, but Tim Fiddes has long been associated with Peter MacDonald, and indeed Richard Hewitt, who runs on the SOS Ticket, ran with MacDonald in 2003.

On a quick aside, it seems I pissed off Roy Lennon by being mean to Manly Independents. Well, back on August 5, Roy put pen to paper in the Manly Daily spruiking Barbara Aird, so now he trawls the internet searching for a forum in which to defend his beloved leader. Give it up Roy, the leadership of Manly Independents has seen more money spent fighting residents in court than any other council, including a council funded defamation case because Peter MacDonald couldn’t keep his mouth shut. I am fiercly independent, but I can think of nothing better than Manly Independents being wiped completely from the Council.  No doubt Roy, you’ll be out on polling day shoving a Barbara Aird leaflet in my face. I’ll take it, as I need something to……ahem…..clean myself…….with.

Now, back to SOS Manly.

In simple terms, this is a well funded feeder ticket, designed to strengthen the representation of Manly Independents on council. I get along well with Tim Fiddes and Deborah Mosman, and even though we disagree politically, I have always enjoyed pleasant conversation with them. I even get my shopping in a bright yellow bag.

I wish Tim all the best, but I honestly feel that, as the capmaign draws to a close, the lack of any policy and any real different offering to the current crop of “Manly Independents” will ultimately be the undoing of SOS Manly.

Next Up – The Liberals……oh come on……again??????

Manly independents?

August 26, 2008

This election will be one of the most fiercly contested in Manly’s history. With 8 groups, 1 ungrouped candidate, and 9 mayoral candidates it is vital that voters look closely at each group.

I would suggest we start with the curiously named Manly Independents.

I mention this curiosity, as far from being truly independent, they are actually a registered political party. This requires them to have a certain membership level, party rules and funding.

It is completely the opposite of the original free thinking independent candidate .

Their ticket is headed by current mayor Peter MacDonald, although their mayoral candidate is Barbara Aird, who appears second on the ticket. No folks, this is not a typo. It is a cynical political move that has revealed the true power structure of the ticket.

You see, when a Mayor is directly elected, the subsequent winner of that election CANNOT be elected as a Councillor. Clearly, Manly Independents are not confident of reaching 2 full quotas (Who, apart from the Liberal Party, could possibly expect 2 full quota’s with 8 groups running?) and so will try and gain three spots on Council by winning the Mayoralty (worth a quota in real terms), getting Dr. MacDonald elected from the above the line votes, and taking the mayoral quota for their third candidate.

Feeling confused? If you answered yes, then Manly Independents have done their job.

I perused their website, at www.manlyindependents.com.au and discovered very little in the way of forward thinking, progressive policy. It appearred to be full of escuses for the myriad of things that have gone wrong during the last term of council, including the Corso refurbishment, Corso Dining and ever rising rates.

It’s probably worth mentioning that Manly Independents (under a different name) currently control council, and have done since 2003. In that time, the foul stench of corruption has lingered over the council, and a fortnight ago I presented irrefutable proof that the Manly Independents controlled council lied to the public regarding their connections with Culligans Water.

So, in summary Manly Independents have done very little to move Manly forward since they took over, and now seek yet another term to lie to the public, mismanage major projects, and swell GM Henry Wong’s bank account.

My advice…..don’t give it to them.

Coming up next – SOS Manly (AKA Tim Fiddes while Manly Burns)