Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The TMI Files. Cack Attack!

Well, not exactly, but it might as well be.

The Fat Cat was dozing on Magilla's bed, just for something different. Usually she camps in my room. I stroked the cat, and promptly got told not to.

Why not?

Because the cat has a poo coming out of her bottom.

News to me, and I'm sure if the Fat Cat spoke english, she'd be surprised with that one, too!

Shell shock, PTSD, whatever we call it.

Being an Army Brat, I'm always fascinated with stories of what our forces do. I try to keep up with the news, I've gone to see my dad march in the Anzac Day Parade. I keep the minute silence on Armistice Day.

One area that seems to have be regularly neglected in our troops is that of mental health. The Forces provide you with rules, regulations, discipline, reward and taxfree grog, but when you are out of there, you are pretty much out of there.

The society that used to value our protectors no longer seems inclined that way, or so the newspaper reports would have us believe.

One of the interesting items in Today's Blognews comes from Matthew Good. As there are 48 gazillion blogs in existence (I think), this is one I've never come across before.

Basically, the post in question deals with suicidal inclinations in soldiers returning from the theatre of war, and how we support them. Go have a read (linky in title). I can't vouch for the veracity of the post in question, but that is not relevant for my 2c worth.

What is relevant, is this comment from PlayerTwo:
playertwoNovember 28th, 2005 at 9:20 am
when I went to basic I got a letter from a friend of my dad. He was a U2 pilot and he basically toldme that once you join the military (armed services) you disappear to most people in the civilian world until you reappear on leave or in a box. This was the world that I lived in untilI returned home a few years later with my brain scrambled. I’m in no way blaming the Army or any other person, I jsut stating that the culture of the time was that you either man-up and deal or youre at fault and get dx’d.
It seems that someone finally figured out that this was all a bunch of bullshit and that’s really cool.
When I was in the Army there was a lot of pride over haveing gone throught the necessary training and stress to be a soldier. Nowadays when I see guys right off the farm and in national guard units going straight to battle and all of the parades and thanks they get it blows my mind. I never ever ever felt that kind of love when I was in during the early eighties. If anything I fgelt ashamed that I wasnt in some dorm rooms with the other rich liberal kids orstarting a business. to put it lightly no one even gave a rat’s assthat we were there and anyone taking the time out to actually THANK us for being there was probably just trying to swell us something. Add all that to the optempo and you start to see where a lot of the ptsd comes from.
the rise of the blogs is such an amazingly beautiful thing and one of the great blessings it bestows is that guys like Matt Good who in the past would probably be reintegrated into the civilian bubble would never ever get the chance to reach back and help out a buddy.
What he has done here is not just something occuring in a vacuum. there has been a momentum building within the community of veterans, not just including the viet nam era soldiers, for a long long time.
I don’t really think that its just about ptsd either. I think its about the deficit that the country owes its warfighters in the emotional deposit account. For those of you who don’t know what this means look up Dr.Covey. Its a fact and doesnt have anything to do with touchy feely bullshit. Its about reality. How amny billions of dollars have been wasted on training soldiers to replace those that left the armed services
in disgust or disillusionment because of a lack of respect of their basic humanity?
Morale is a huge issue and if thesubject is left up to a bunch of shit talking jock wannabes instead of a grateful nation of supporters we will be throwing away the tax and fruits of our nations labors.
Do you really think that youre creating a soft soldier by telling him jsut how much you appreciate his or her efforts on your behalf?
that’s the real issue here and I commend to the highest degree any effort made in support of the troops and to change the sop regarding force protection. You deserve a medal for this action.
I hope that one day it won’t take a veteran to catch this stuff,but it is wonderful that the troops still look out for each other even after ets.
thank you.

There's a lot in here, but regarding the morale of troops on return, and the lack of support from the services are important points.

My granddad served in Malaya and suffered from shell shock, battle fatigue, PTSD, name-your-poison. He was sent home from Malaya because he was going to kill himself if they didn't. He had begged my nana to call his commander and find some way to get him home, but in the end, he found his own way.

He couldn't cope in the army, and he couldn't cope out. From what I hear, he was always a bit of a ratbag, liked a drink or three, but what he went through in the Army and the jungle did something to him that he couldn't handle.

He left he Army in the 50s, and went back in later at a lower rank. Even then he couldn't cope. He was always drinking.

He died before I was born, drunk and smoking in bed apparently, and the house burnt down. One story has it that he got killed by going back into the house to rescue the canary, and from other stories I've heard about him, that doesn't surprise. I'll just have to check with other family sources to make sure.

My own dad is a Vietnam Vet. He served over there in 1965, so was there in the early stages. He doesn't talk about it, and the few things I ever heard came from my mum. As a 21 year careerist in the Army, he, too was pretty much cut adrift when he got out.

My parents went through a pretty rough patch around then, and separated for a short time. I've never talked about it with Dad, but Mum told me that basically he had a bit of a breakdown after getting out, and couldn't handle the lack of structure away from the Army. She kicked him out to get his head straight.

I was around 10 at the time, so didn't pick up on anything like that at the time - all I knew is that Dad wasn't in the Army, so wasn't away on exercise or anything else. Something was going on. He came around, sent flowers to Mum and basically wooed her back, which I still find incredibly romantic, and after a short time (like a couple of weeks), things were back on track.

There are plenty of suggestions for how to look after our soldiers, sailors and airmen when they come home or leave their forces. With blogs like Matthew Good and also LGF bringing up the issues, then we can start providing practical support when it's needed, and not when it's too late.

Maybe I would have gotten to meet my granddad in that case.

I always wanted to.

For those serving, and those who served, God Bless.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

The TMI Files. There was a young lady who swallowed a fly.

I don't know why she swallowed a fly. Or an ant, or another ant, or that blowie.

blech. I don't know what it is with children. I know in the toddler stages they are learning to exert their influence on the world around to see what changes they can effect.

I know that they are testing boundaries.

What I don't know is, why does she insist on eating insects and not good stuff like eye fillet steak? Why won't she eat eggs or oranges or tomatoes?

Okay, she eats pasta, and sausages, and apples, bananas, sultanas and cheese until it comes out of her ears.

But her favourites of the moment belong to invertebrata rather than the refrigerator.

Mind you, it could be worse - my sis apparently used to eat spider webs as a little tacker, and her daughter was caught with a spider in her mouth. Luckily the spider was dead. I think I stuck with the usual mud pies. I'm not game to ask the oldies.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

The TMI Files. Cutting edge kiddy.

I know that we are always told never to let toddlers near scissors. Sometimes we get a bit lax, which I have done lately.

Magilla, on the whole, is careful with her kiddy scissors. They don't work very well, so she doesn't spend a lot of time trying to cut things.

My general* scissors, on the other hand..... Now that's a whole different ball game.

She's been helping me with the wrapping of chrissy pressies - sometimes cutting paper, sometimes sticking said paper down. She also moves off with the scissors and brings me back shapes she has cut out of the newspaper or any spare bit of paper to hand.

What I've also discovered, is that she's been cutting the cat's hair, too.

I'd noticed the clumps of hair last night, and it's only this evening that I've had a chance to follow up on it.

First of all, I did wonder if she was cutting her own hair, but the small clumps I found seemed to be too dark, and very soft. Magilla has dark brown hair, the moggy has black. The fat cat is also reknowned for her soft, soft fur. Plus, Magilla didn't seem to be minus any hair.

So far, so good.

The cat didn't appear to be missing fur, either.

Smart money suggests going to the source, and since more little clumps of hair had appeared, I collected them and asked Magilla.

She explained that she had been cutting the fat cat's hair, and proceeded to demonstrate with the big scissors.

Some disciplinarian I am - I had to sit down, I was laughing so hard.

Basically, she was sticking the tip of the scissors into the cat's fur and snipping. Not a lot - just enough for a little clump of fur to be cut. Not enough to be that noticeable on the cat, either. Now I know what to look for, I can see that quite a bit has been snipped.

Poor cat. I think no more unsupervised cutting. We might end up with a bald cat moggy!

*I do have a halfway decent pair I use for work - dressing hair pieces, latex, that sort of thing. Not for household stuff.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

One mosque we should consider?

I wrote about this a while back here, and the saga is continuing.

Because I like to have my say, I emailed one of the local councillors about this.

From: nilknarf
Sent: Fri 11/11/2005 11:12 PM
To: Cr Roland Abraham
Cc: mailto:xxxxxxxx
Subject: Regarding Building applicaition by the Ahmadiyya Association

Dear Mr. Abraham,

It is with interest that I have been following in the local papers the progress of the application by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association (Vic branch).

First of all, I am not a Muslim - as a catholic, I'm a long way from part of the religious spectrum.

I have recently moved into the City of Casey, and I know that this is an area with a large diversity of peoples, both racially and religiously.

And, of course, with the arrests over the last few days of people (Islamists) suspected of planning terror attacks, the thought of allowing a new mosque into the area is daunting.

That said, I am wondering if you were aware that the Ahmadiyya are considered heretical by larger, more vocal sects of Islam. A quick glance at Persecution.org will show the persecution suffered by the Ahmadi's at their fellow Muslims.

I am quite happy to go on record as saying that from my studies into Islam (I am currently reading the Qu'ran), I consider that it is discriminatory and does not instil confidence in me as to it's peaceful intentions. That is merely my opinion.


Closer investigation into the Ahmadiyya practices reveal them to be a more tolerant branch than those that are currently blowing up weddings in Jordan, or setting fires in France. Anything that fosters more peaceful relations between our respective religions and communities should be encouraged.

People talk about the Reformation of the Christian and Jewish traditions. They took hundreds of years.

People also say that the Islamic faith can never be reformed; Mohammed's (pbuh) words and deeds must remain the pinnacle of aspiration for now and forever.

I believe that the Ahmadi may just be the people needed to bring Islam into the 21st century, and for that consideration should be given.

Lest you think that I have some sort of agenda to push, I have never met a member of the Ahmadi community, and I have quite cheerfully accepted the epithet 'racist' before because of my views. My thoughts on these and other matters can be found at my blog, with a piece regarding this particular case at http://rightwingdeathbogan.blogspot.com/2005/10/knees-up-in-suburbia.html .

For further reading an the Amadiyya Muslims, I've a selection of links for you to browse if you have the time.

The Official Website of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community

Human Rights Watch report into discrimination and violence against the Ahmadiyya in Bangladesh.

Introduction to Islam. Note that the author/s of this site consider the Ahmadiyya to be a 'deviation' of Islam, rather than a part of it.

An article from the www.jihadwatch.org website detailing persecution in Pakistan. JihadWatch is considered anathema by many muslims due to it's reportage of activities carried out by Islamic jihadis.

Another article from JihadWatch, referring to discrimination in Indonesia.

Amnesty International on the treatment of the Ahmadi in Bangladesh.

Those are just a few of the websites available.

Here in Australia, we do have the freedom to believe (or not) as we choose. Ignorance is our greatest enemy, particularly in the So-Called War on Terror.

Perhaps if we were more educated about what is going on in the Land of Islam, then we would be better able to combat potential terrorist.

I don't expect that this will have any impact upon the building application, but that is okay.

I do hope that in future, the bigger picture will be taken into consideration with regards to the building of churches, mosques and synagogues.

Perhaps if the local community knew more about the different groups within Islam, there might be a bit less fear and more communication. After all, we know the differences between catholics and protestants!

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this.

I have cc'd a copy to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association purely for their information, as they are a part of the community and this is regarding them.

I will also be posting a copy of this letter at a later stage on my blog, irrespective of whether I receive a reply from you. I am aware that you are busy, and at this time of the year the pace can only increase.

Again, thank you for your time,

Yours sincerely,

Nilknarf Arbed

I've spoken with Mr. Abraham about this application, and it was certainly an educational chat. Mr. Abraham is an Australian of Egyptian (christian) background, so would be well aware of the situations in places like Egypt, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

So what is the current situation here?

Well, the application has been passed, and the residents are not happy. There is stll an avenue for them; they can take it to VCAT. After arbitration and adjudication and other beauracratic stuff (excuse my ignorance here!), the application can still be overruled by the tribunal.

My opinion? Well, the more I learn, the more inclined I am to say "Mr Ahmadiyya, come on down!"

Do I agree with the fact that as a branch of Islam, segregation of the sexes is an intrinsic part of their practice? Not at all. In fact, I detest that particular idea.

However, we are living in uncertain times, and a quick read of RWDB sites will show a growing desire for people to take action while their governments are dithering and pandering to the PC crowd.

We know that terrorist problems are being driven by 'Islamic extremists'.

We know that whatever we do, the problems are not going away. It doesn't matter whether we throw money, or therapy, or warm fuzzies in their general direction, the extremist/fundamentalist/pick-your-ist Islamics are not going to go away.

They want what we have, they want it now, and while some are happy to bide their time, others are not.

They also want their war, and I fear it's not far off.

If there is a chance to head this off, then we need to support groups like the Ahmadiyya. These guys have even supplied the only mslim Nobel Prize for Physics which is great going. The competition in the hard sciences for the Nobel is pretty stiff.

The local community here could also use a bit of education - I hear that Mr Abraham has been told he's not welcome here, and should get back to where he came from. The Ahmadi's have also been copping some abuse. It's not been pleasant, but ignorance never is, and at the risk of sounding superior and pissing off the natives, we are in the lands of the Greater Eastern Bogan.

Change in Islam can only come from within, and the more assistance we can give to truly moderate and peaceful muslims, the faster it can occur.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The TMI Files. Discipline me, baby!

Ahhh. The joy of Discipline.

I'm not talking about tie me up and beat me, hotstuff (save that for another time!). I'm talking about recalcitrant rugrats. My minor gorilla in particular.

So I watch SuperNanny and get lovely ideas about the naughty corner. That's not too bad an idea. I ask Magilla to do something, and get told no. I ask again, and get refused again. I explain that I'm going to ask one more time, then count to three. If I get to three, then she gets to go in the corner.

LOL I think she's spending too much time there. It's almost become a game to her, and if I'm saying or doing something she doesn't like (like when she asks for ice-cream and gets told no), then she starts counting to three, and then tells me to go into the corner. 'You don't say no to me.'

Needless to say, I've yet to obey her, but it is so hard keeping a straight face when being told off by a toddler. She gets this stern expression on her face, she's got my tone of voice almost perfect, and the hand gestures.

I have to explain that I won't be told what to do by her, and she is supposed to do what I ask.

What I really want to do is fall about laughing. It's got to be one of the funniest things I've ever experienced. Especially when she's counting off on her fingers, and holds up three at the two count.

It's slowly working, though. Today she only went into the corner once. A couple of times I had to count as far as two.

YAY! With luck she'll be under control by the time I'm 70.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Infidels 1 : Non-Infidels -1

I've been a bit slow this week in my blogging and emailing and general online stuff. Admittedly it's a self-imposed task, but that's not the point.

I'm halfway through composing a letter to a local social welfare commentator (Les Twentyman from Open Family Foundation).

I've got a stack of links to sort through so that what I write is coherent and well-sourced.

Anyway, I've mentioned before someone asking me why I was 'obsessed' with muslim fundamentalist/islamists/extremists/your call, and have I read the qur'an? With, of course, the addendum that I really can't say I'm educating myself unless I read the texts themselves.

Well, I've got a copy of the qur'an. It's a Penguin translation by N J Dawood, but I also compare that with the Pickthal and Yusuf Ali that are online. I think that's a good start. More than one translation are generally recommended - I have the Jerusalem Bible and the King James, also. I just need to get one more for a hattrick (/joke). I do need one that's a bit more up to date language-wise.

This person who suggested I go to the source was loaned my copy of Trifkovic.

We talked about it tonight, and WOW! I guess she's had her eyes opened, too. Particularly with regards to ancient history like the Crusades, and the fact that they were a response to years of depredation carried out by muslim forces.

It's amazing what a bit of knowledge can do for you.

Amusingly, she's also now being accused of racism. Didn't see that one coming, did we now?

That's one less dhimmi in the world.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Les' fires are burning in the wrong direction.

Dear Mr. Twentyman,

I am writing to address some points made in your opinion piece in the Herald Sun newspaper of today, November 18th, 2005. In particular, your points about the continuing civil unrest in France, and how we should take Islam out of the equation.

In the interest of public debate, I will be copying this letter, with links, onto my blog at http://rightwingdeathbogan.blogspot.com.

You said:

I am sure most readers would have shared my horror at the violence we saw in Paris.

Paris, long seen as the cultural capital of Europe, the centre of all that is good and uplifting about Western society, liberty, equality, fraternity and all that.

Well, that's all taken a battering in recent weeks.

Thousands of vehicles torched, scores injured, police attacked.

And one has a sense that although it might have gone quiet momentarily, there's a lot more to come.

Especially if senior French politicians continue to inflame the situation with wildly provocative comments.


The explanations for why this should be happening have been varied, but mostly predictable.

I am not surprised that many commentators, including some in Australia, have rushed in and blamed Islamic fundamentalism.

And some of the conclusions arrived at have been just as predictable and simplistic: send them back to where they came from.

Forgetting that many of the young people involved are second and third generation French, and have never been anywhere else.

To read some "experts", Osama bin Laden himself must have been directing operations from his cave in Afghanistan or his apartment in Brussels: take your pick.

The beauty of such simplistic expectations is that it means that we don't need to analyse what the real reasons might be. It just lets us off the hook.

But forget the Islamic angle. To me, what's happening in Paris is little different, although larger in scale, from what has happened in Newcastle-upon-Tyne in the north of England, in Redfern, in Macquarie Fields in Australia and in countless other places where young people, particularly the young, are disenfranchised,pushed aside and told repeatedly that they don't matter.

(The bold type is my emphasis.)

I don't believe that we can take Islam out of this particular equation.

Your points regarding disenfranchisemnt of the young and them being told they don't matter, or are expendable, are spot on.

It's when you add them to a fundamentalist belief system which perpetuates a sense of entitlement that you get the powder keg that is Europe at present.

We have lack of employment opportunities, we have discrimination. What we also have is a particular belief system that promotes a sense of entitlement, superiority, and segregation.

This belief system also practices polygamy, which is detrimental to any human society it is a part of. In particular,

...if a culture adopts polygamy as its mating system, it will experience heightened levels of male violence.

The rules of polygamy and monogamy are well known to scientists. It's really a matter of simple arithmetic. Into every society is born approximately the same number of males and females. If each takes one mate - if there is "a girl for every boy and a boy for every girl" - then all will all have an approximately equal chance of mating.

If a society tolerates polygamy, however, the equation changes. When one man can take several wives, other men will have none. If there are five eligible males for every four eligible females, for instance, one in five males must remain unmarried.

This creates social tensions. It also creates strategies to deal with these tensions. One is to allow child marriage. Because there is a "wife shortage," men are permitted to reach further down into the female population, marrying girls that have barely reached puberty. In some ancient societies, grown men married infants and waited for them to grow up.


Faced with this exclusion from domestic society, men tend to join the "bachelor herd" - gangs of unattached males that adopt criminal, even warlike, behavior.

(From "Terror and Polygamy" at Jerusalem Summit.)

With the call to jihad against the 'western oppressors' being heard ever more loudly, then surely it's permissible to take on board exactly what these disaffected youths are actually saying and doing?

They are declaring that the rule of law in secular France is not acceptable.

They do not want jobs. They do not want responsibility.

They want recognition of their own worthiness, and that comes only from within. While they live within the separatist Islamic dogma, they will never be satisfied with handouts or what they perceive (rightly) as condescension.

The only thing that has really changed lately is that now they are willing to put some force into their demands rather than just sit around complaining about how hard done by they are.

Now they are taking action, and since the French government has effectively caved in to them, there will be more to come.

This will be encouraged by muslims around the world.

That is what is different about Redfern, although I don't doubt that some in that community would be watching Paris burn with interest.

Considering what has been happening here in Australia lately, please do not ever discount Islam as a very real force in people's lives. It can motivate people just as strongly as disenfranchisement and despair can motivate, if not more so.

Thank you for taking the time to read this far.



Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Woman poet ‘slain for her verse’

This was addressed recently at JihadWatch with much more eloquence than I could muster.

I am saddened that this could happen. I'm not surprised, especially considering where it occurred.

It should never have happened.

Proof positive that the pen is mightier than the sword; what words she must have held within her, waiting just beyond the reach of her pen. What vistas she could have drawn for all of us - even if we never read her work.

There was too much longing for freedom and the words would not be kept caged.

There is no place for that within Islam.

Not if your husband witholds his approval.

SHE risked torture, imprisonment, perhaps even death to study literature and write poetry in secret under the Taliban. Last week, when she should have been celebrating the success of her first book, Nadia Anjuman, was beaten to death in Herat, apparently murdered by her husband.
The 25-year-old Afghan had garnered wide praise in literary circles for the book Gule Dudi — Dark Flower — and was at work on a second volume.

Friends say her family was furious, believing that the publication of poetry by a woman about love and beauty had brought shame on it.

“She was a great poet and intellectual but, like so many Afghan women, she had to follow orders from her husband,” said Nahid Baqi, her best friend at Herat University.

Farid Ahmad Majid Mia, 29, Anjuman’s husband, is in police custody after confessing to having slapped her during a row. But he denies murder and claims that his wife committed suicide. The couple had a six-month-old son.

Whether he 'murdered' her or not is ultimately irrelevant, I guess.

What is relevant is that under Islamic law, she was his chattel, and therefore subject to his requirements.

The death of the young writer has shocked a city which prides itself on its artistic heritage. It has also raised uncomfortable questions about how much the position of women in Afghanistan has improved since the fall of the Taliban to American-led forces four years ago.

“This is a tragic loss for Afghanistan,” said Adrian Edwards, a spokesman for the United Nations. “Domestic violence is a concern. This case illustrates how bad this problem is here and how it manifests itself. Women face exceptional challenges.”

Herat, in particular, has seen a number of women burn themselves to death rather than succumb to forced marriages.

And yet, Islam honours women. We know this, because we are told so in the mainstream media everyday.

Okay, so the UN thinks it's a loss. Are they going to do anything? Somehow, I doubt it. They've not really given a very good accounting of themselves over the past few years.

Many women were allowed to stand in parliamentary elections in September, the results of which were being finalised yesterday. One of the most surprising results announced earlier in the count was in Herat, where Fauzia Gailani, a female aerobics instructor, topped the polls.

The 32-year-old mother of six said she was outraged by Anjuman’s death and was compiling a list of such cases. “In Islam no one has the right to hit their wife,” she said. “We hope the government will take action and stop crimes like this.”

Uh-oh, ignorance alert! (nb I mean this in the true sense of the word, not the usual derogatory sense.)

Our favourite quote from the Qu'ran:

YUSUFALI: Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient, and guard in (the husband's) absence what Allah would have them guard. As to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (Next), refuse to share their beds, (And last) beat them (lightly); but if they return to obedience, seek not against them Means (of annoyance): For Allah is Most High, great (above you all).
PICKTHAL: Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them. Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them. Lo! Allah is ever High, Exalted, Great.
SHAKIR: Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out of their property; the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded; and (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High, Great.

I guess admonition didn't work.

Go with God, Nadia.

Who would you prefer to rescue you?

This absolute GOD?

Or this one?

Monday, November 14, 2005


I was mucking about with the template and managed to lose my blogroll. :(

My bad.

I should be able to fix it up in the next couple of days.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Radio kicking for terrorists.

For those not in the know, one of the larger commercial radio networks is the Austereo group. I couldn't tell you which stations they run, although there are a lot of them around the country. The main one is Triple M, which is networked through Brissie, Sydney and Melbourne. And Adelaide, if I recall.

Weekday evenings, there is bloke going by the name of the Spoonman. I can't lay claim to being a fan as I only listen to the radio in the car without the ruggie. If she's in the car it's Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat.

Last week, Spoonman had a comment on the arrests of muslim men accused of belonging to terrorist groups.

The recent threats in relation to alleged jihad terror threats in Sydney and Melbourne has had some interesting and disturbing fallout.

Islamic community leaders have complained that ordinary muslims will be targest of a so-called redneck backlash yet the only overt violence associated with the arrests so far has been perpetrated by supporters of the accused.

The Wild brawl with the media outside the court in Melbourne the firebombing of a police car in the muslim heartland of Sydney and Auburn and the alleged shooting of a police officer in the course of those raids and arrests.

When will Islamic community leaders wake up to the fact their people may well have been victims of any terror attack on our shores?

When will they wake up to the fact that it's mostly muslims killing those of their own faith in terror attacks all over the world?

When will they stop seeing Islamic extremists as muslims first and crazy murdering bastards a distant second?

By suggesting that Australian muslims are now targets it sends the signal that ordinary decent muslims support the crazed extremists, when in reality most don't.

The Islamic community here needs some of those decent Australian muslims to rise up as their communities leaders, as the current crop are hurting those they claim to represent.

Please forgive me if the transcript isn't exact - I've not taken dictation in years.

I also am not sure if I'm in breach of copyright, so this may well have to come down after I cop a cease and desist from Austereo lawyers.

Enjoy a soundbite of pure anti-chimmitude.

Friday, November 11, 2005

The TMI Files. World War 3 year old.

I decided it was time to take back my bed, so the other night I put my foot down.

Magilla was to sleep in her own bed. Hehe. She is a tyrant.

It only took an hour and minutes of crying, screaming, kicking, biting, scratching and smacking me, to get her to sleep. Somehow, I got the impression she wasn't real happy with me. LOL!

Tonight, I tried a different tack. Negotiation, aka bribery. If she stays in her own bed all night, then when she wakes me at sunrise (bleh), she can have a Pooh Bear sticker to put on her headboard.

It worked. YAY!

As much as I believe in co-sleeping, and as much as I enjoy snuggling up with her, there comes a time.....

How much does an accused terrorist cost?

"The Benbrika family is in difficult financial circumstances and are dependent on Mrs Benbrika's social security benefit," an immigration review tribunal report from 1995 found.

The suspect's wife, Rakia Benbrika, asked yesterday if she was still receiving social security payments replied: "Yes I am."

So exactly how much would Mrs Benbrika be receiving?* It's probably none of my business, and I couldn't say exactly, but let's check out what Centrelink has to offer on this.

First of all, we know that the Benbrika's married in 1992, and they have 6 children. This being 2005, the oldest child would be 13 years old. For eas of calculation, let's say all 6 are under 12. I don't know the ages; again, none of my business.

What payments are available?

Let's start with the Parenting Payment: As she is partnered, the maximum she could be receiving is $365.00 per fortnight. This assuming that neither she nor her husband own any assets, and that he does not have an income, either. (I'll address that a bit further down).

Next, we have the Family Tax Benefit - Part A: This is like child endowment used to be (or is that Part B?). Anyway, the minimum rate for each child is $44.10 per fortnight, with a maximum rate being age-based. For children 0-13 years, the maximum rate is $137.06 per fortnight. This is asset and income tested, but for the sake of argument, I'll total both of those up later.

FTB-A is available to all families whether single income or dual income - it is means tested, though, and some people think it's not worth going through all the paperwork for a measly $10.00 a week or so. (I know someone who gets about that much, and reckons it's worth it purely on the principle alone.)

Third cab off the rank is the Family Tax Benefit - Part B: This is for single income families or sole parents/careers. Again, it is income tested. As Mr Benbrika has apparently been receiving benefits for the last 10 years, I think it's safe to say that Mrs Benbrika would be on the maximum rate of $117.60 per fortnight. This is dependent upon the age of the youngest child, and I'm sure that this is not per child. It's only paid the once.

But wait! There's more!

As the proud parents of 6 children, they are eligible for the Large Family Supplement, which with 6 children is an extra $28.56 per fortnight.

How are we going so far?

Okay, let's see what we have.
$365.00 Parenting Payment
$264.60 FTB - A (min $44.10 x 6 children)
$822.36 FTB - A (max $137.06 x 6 children)
$117.60 FTB - B
$ 28.56 Large Family Supplement

So Mrs Benbrika could be receiving anywhere from $775.76 and $1333.52 per fortnight.

No doubt there are a few cries of "Pot! Kettle! Black!" That's cool - I receive benefits, too. I'm a single parent. I have one day a week that I do 'real work' while Magilla is in daycare, and I also do filmwork. That is sporadic, and sometimes paid, sometimes not. In any case, I work around the needs of my child.

I've got no axe to grind with Mrs Benbrika staying home with the kids. If she wants to. I have a sneaking suspicion it's probably because she thinks that it's what a good muslima does. In any case, because she wears a burkha, I don't think it's too much of a stretch to consider her unemployable. Before screaming discrimination, think about how many companies like you to wear photo-id tags? If she's wearing a burkha then that sort of puts paid to the efficacy of that idea, doesn't it?

Other entitlements, in this land of milk and honey, are:

Maternity Payment which currently sits at a $3079.00 one-off payment for each birth, whether live or stillborn. This is colloquially known as the Baby Bonus, and has been around in one form or another for years and years. I received around $800.00 when I had Magilla back in 2002.

There is also the Maternity Immunisation Allowance of a one-off $219.00 payment for each child between the ages of 18 months and 2 years. This is conditional upon the child having completed their immunisation schedule. There are some exemptions, although I personally don't see why anybody should refuse to immunise their child.

Oh, and let's not forget Rental Assistance, and as a Concessoin Card Holder, she may be entitled to concessions on pharmaceuticals, her water bill, the gas and electricity companies have winter concessions, public transport, the cinema, the zoo, and most theatre shows.

But back to Mr Benbrika.

He could be on Disability Allowance, Newstart or other sort of allowance. That would be a fortnightly payment of between $365.00 or $408.20.

I know that we have a great social support network in the world.

I know that there are people who do genuinely need that support - I'm greatly appreciative that I have been able to spend the most important years of my daughter's life with her. As the Jesuits say: Give me the boy and I'll show you the man.

There are also now numerous psychological studies coming out all the time and they all pretty much state the bleeding obvious: The most important factors in a child's first years are continuity and quality of care. If you have to put your child into longday care, that child can thrive providing the quality and continuity are there.

Ideally, I believe that children should stay close to at least one of their parents in the formative early years.

I also worked for years in the corporate world before attempting to make my mark in the filmworld. I paid my way from the age of 17 onwards, so I think I'm entitled to have a bit of a whine about a man who comes to this country, overstays his visa, marries a resident, then proceeds to live off her benefits and then his own.

In a land known for giving everyone a fair go, I think he's had more than his share.
I have yet to read any report of what he has contributed to the economy. Well, apart from insurance fees exploding due to fear of possible terror attacks.

*Please note, I have taken the figures from the Centrelink and FamilyAssist websites - they are part of the public record and freely available to anyone who wants to have a look. These are also just estimates - they do not take into account any income that Mr Benbrika may have actually earned. The protrayal of him as someone unwilling to earn a living may be inaccurate, but it is also widespread in the MSM, and it is this I am basing my assumptions on.

Then again, maybe it's just that he feels entitled to it.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

An Open Letter to the Leaders of France and Denmark.

Dear M. Chirac, M. de Villepin, and Mr. Rasmussen,

I have been following the rioting in your countries with dismay, and note that we here in Australia are having some minor difficulty here, also.

There appears to be a reluctance on the part of the intellectual elite, including mainstream media, left-wing politicos and academe, to recognise the part in all of this that (so-called) radical Islam is playing.

This behaviour has been seen many times before - look to Israel, the only true democracy in the Middle East. While non-Jewish people in the State of Israel may claim discrimination, the fact remains that they are still entitled to own businesses without paying the jizyha to their 'overlords'. They can walk their streets unafraid. They can practise their religion without persecution.

In France and Denmark, as with most other Western countries, there has been a policy of appeasement to those of ethnic or religious minority. Under the guise of multiculturalism, many concessions have been made.

In most cases, this has led to cohesive, vibrant countries.

In one case, it apparently has not.

One unifying factor in the discrepancies noted over the Western world has been a form of Islam. This has been variously described as "radical", "fundamentalist" or "true" Islam, depending upon the point of view of the commentator.

Another common thread through this unrest is a claim for territory. Being a part of Denmark and France, with all the benefits and bounty associated is not what the rioters/dissenters/restless youth wish for. They wish for their own Islamic land, in the heart of secular societies founded on the Judeo-Christian tradition.

I say give it to them.

The thought of sending the Army in to quell the violence is abhorrent to any right-thinking person, particularly when it is your own citizenry.

These people have abrogated their right to civilised treatment. They show nothing but contempt for the countries and people that have provided for them for generations. They disdain the Rule of Law, unless that Law is Islam.

I am sure you are well aware of what may happen: another Gaza.


If we take heed from Israel's example, we can see that there is no requirement to provide infrastructure or businesses in the new enclaves.

As the 'gangs of youths' do not wish to be French, or Danish, then you no longer need to provide welfare benefits, or free healthcare, or education. In any case, the Islamists prefer to provice their own education, which does not necessarily coincide with Western ideals.

As these new mini-states are demonstrably hostile to France and Denmark as host-Nations, the suppliers of utilities - water, gas, electricity - would need to negotiate with the new territory leaders for supply.

Perhaps a 'pay-as-you-go' scenario, much like telephone companies do with pre-paid cell phones.

The people in these areas have shown a willingness to destroy property wholesale, then all them to rebuild it at their leisure. Fully-funded by themselves. I am sure that the fiefdom of Saudi Arabia would be willing to contribute to this scheme for the betterment of Muslims in Europe.

On the subject of travel through the host-countries, then visas would most definitely be in order. Of course, the governments of Denmark and France would retain the right to restrict the passage of their newest tourists, but in any case, it is any nation's right to guard it's sovereign borders. From within as well as without.

If they wish to leave Marseilles to visit Dijon, for example, they will need to apply for a visa. They are no longer a part of France, they are no longer citizens. They are no longer deserving of the freedoms they have thrown aside.

If the UN see fit to become involved and provide succour to your enemies, deny them access. The UN can be likened to a pox-ridden whore.

Food-for-Oil. Rwanda. Child-sex scandals.

Approximately 46 percent of member-states for the UN are functioning democracies.

There is no gain in the United Nations becoming a party to the civil wars you find yourself a part of.

When the United Nations can demonstrate that it's own ranks are clean from the defilement of tyranny and systemic abuse, then perhaps they may assist you. Until then, they have no right.

These are merely my thoughts on the situation around the world.

Islam demands dominion.

Give it to them, but under your rules.

Unconditional surrender is not an option.

The long and wondrous histories of our Western civilisations do not deserve to be wiped out by 'gangs of youths' armed with molotov cocktails and bottomless hatred for us.

A small Muslim nation surrounded by a hostile secular Western society may in time come to see the wisdom in the separation of Church and State.

The freedom to practise religion is just that. A freedom that would be taken away by an Islamist state.

Look to Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, India. Look to any country with a majority of Islamic population. You will see poverty, illiteracy, disease, and a moral decay like no other.

These people act like animals and wish to be treated like them.

Do so.

Give them the same restrictions that they would expect others to live with under sharia.

Again, they have abrogated their right to mature, civilised, discourse.

The time has come to end the games.

Yours sincerely,


Sunday, November 06, 2005

Paris timeline.

With thanks to Kim over at Tim Blair's:

Urban violence continued for the 10th night straight

As France’s urban violence flared again for its 10th night straight, police become more robust in arresting trouble-makers, signalling the government’s resolve in ending the rampages.

Here is a timeline of the unrest:

Wednesday, October 19:

- Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy declares a “war without mercy” on violence in the suburbs.

Tuesday, October 25:

- During a visit to the Paris suburb of Argenteuil, Sarkozy is pelted with stones and bottles. He describes rebellious youths in such districts as “rabble”.

Thursday, October 27:

- Two boys in the suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois, Bouna Traore, a 15-year-old of Malian background, and Zyed Benna, a 17-year-old of Tunisian origin, flee a police identity check. They scale the wall of an electrical relay station and are electrocuted as they try to hide near a transformer.

- Youths in the suburb, hearing of the deaths, go on a rampage, burning 23 vehicles and vandalising buildings and hurling stones and bottles at riot police.

Friday, October 28:

- Four hundred youths clash with police in Clichy-sous-Bois, throwing stones, bottles and Molotov cocktails. Twenty-three officers are hurt and their colleagues are forced to fire rubber bullets to push back mobs. Thirteen people are arrested and 29 vehicles are burned.

Saturday, October 29:

- Five hundred people hold a silent march through Clichy-sous-Bois in memory of the dead teenagers.

- Violence resumes at night. Twenty vehicles are burned. Nine people are detained, some of them for carrying hammers or petrol cans.

Sunday, October 30:

- Clashes occur on the outskirts of Clichy-sous-Bois. Six police officers are hurt, 11 people are arrested and eight vehicles are torched. A police teargas grenade hits a mosque, prompting anger among the suburb’s large Muslim community.

Monday, October 31:

- Running clashes between youths and police take place in Clichy-sous-Bois and in surrounding suburbs. Nineteen people are arrested and 68 vehicles are torched.

Tuesday, November 1:

- Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin meets the families of the dead teenagers.

- Riots and clashes erupt in several suburbs to the north and west of Paris. Altogether, 180 vehicles are torched and 34 people arrested.

Wednesday, November 2:

- President Jacques Chirac tells ministers “tempers must calm down.”

- Villepin and Sarkozy cancel overseas trips to deal with the spreading violence.

- Trouble erupts in 22 suburban towns north, south, east and west of Paris. A handicapped woman suffers severe burns when youths set a bus on fire. Police say 315 vehicles are torched and at least 15 people arrested.

Thursday, November 3:

- A criminal investigation is opened into the deaths of the two teenagers.

- Sarkozy says more than 140 people have been arrested since the violence began.

- The riots resume at night, but for the first time spread to other areas around France, in Dijon, Marseille and in Normandy. Seven cars are also set alight in central Paris. In all, 517 vehicles are torched in and around the capital and another 78 people are arrested.

Friday, November 4:

- Arson hit-and-run attacks take place in suburbs around Paris and other French cities. A total of 897 vehicles are torched and more than 250 people arrested.

Saturday, November 5:

- Paris Prosecutor General Yves Bot says “we can see organised actions, a strategy” in the violence.

- The rampages again take place in suburbs outside Paris and other cities. At least 70 people are arrested and over 600 vehicles burned. Police use seven helicopters with lights and cameras to chase fast-moving youths who set fire to property then flee.

A Letter From John Howard

Threats need urgent response


By Prime Minister John Howard

IMAGINE if the Attorney-General and I had not revealed to the public our plan to introduce an urgent amendment to Australia's counter-terrorism laws.
Our security and law-enforcement agencies advised us that they needed greater capacity to effectively respond to potential terrorist threats and they needed it urgently. The only way to do this was through a change in the law.

If we had not announced the plan, what would the public have thought when they eventually found out the Government was secretly trying to change the counter-terrorism legislation?

And how would the Australian people have reacted when it was made known the changes were needed urgently because of specific information about a potential terrorist threat?

Of course I had to announce the proposed changes and explain why they were needed.

Early last week, the Government received specific intelligence and police information which gave cause for serious concern about a potential terrorist threat.

After a briefing from the relevant agencies to the National Security Committee, I talked to all of the state premiers. I also provided the Leader of the Opposition and the Shadow Minister for Homeland Security with the detail of the intelligence. I provided Mr Beazley with exactly the same material that I was given by intelligence agencies and we talked it through with them.

I was satisfied, on the advice provided, that having Parliament pass the amendment immediately would help our law-enforcement agencies better respond to the threat. All of the premiers agreed. So did the Opposition. Parliament passed the amendment on Thursday.

Some people have queried why I announced the changes to the Australian public.

It's just not possible to amend an Act of Parliament urgently and recall the Senate without giving a reason. Others have asked whether I have risked tipping off the terrorists. Again, you are damned if you do, damned if you don't. Those risks were discussed with relevant security agencies.

I took the decision to disclose to the public as much information as possible, consistent with protecting the operations of law-enforcement agencies.

I am sure Australians can understand why I cannot get into operational detail. Revealing details might jeopardise intelligence and security operations and that is not a risk I am prepared to take.

The Government must strike a balance between maintaining security and keeping the public informed about any threats.

The Government is acting against the background that a terrorist attack is feasible and could well occur in Australia without warning. This is the assessment of our intelligence agencies. In the past week, the national security service ASIO publicly acknowledged the threat of home-grown terrorism.

At all times, the Government aims to keep the public informed of threats and of any steps they can take to assist authorities and protect themselves and their families.

I think this is am important message and one that needs to be shared.

When John Howard announced the changes to anti-terrorist legislation being rushed through senate, he consistently refused to give specific details of the threat. Or 'so-called' threat according to a lot of commentators.

It was all over the news like a bad case of hives, and while my thought was that there must be something serious going on, the letters pages were full of the same old moonbat whine about the Industrial Relations changes, and how propitious the timing of the 'threat' was. Or there were comments about it just being another day in the life of 'Jakcboot Johnny'. The talking heads on the teev were pretty much the same. Snide remarks about the IR legislation and wasting of taxpayers money, a majority parliament abusing its majority.

Hello, Brackistan calling. Toll-free roads, anyone? Speed cameras that so aren't about revenue that they are often placed on freeways where the road is wide, and open and smooth.

But I digress.

A quick look at what's happening around the world would surely knock a bit of sense into people. Paris burning, riots in Denmark, schoolgirls decapitated in Indonesia. Surely there is cause for concern.

Then again, with none of these being addressed with any sort of depth or consideration by the television stations or the daily papers, why wouldn't anybody think that the government have a hidden agenda?

Heaven forbid that there might actually be a legitimate reason behind the PM's actions.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

The TMI Files. (Pity) Pool Party.

Well, the local swimming pool opened this weekend, so Magilla and I kitted up and rocked on down to get ourselves wet.

The weather was glorious and the water was inviting. What more could I ask for?

Well, there was that small part of me inside that still mourns some of the changes that motherhood has made. Not so much physical changes (I'll get to that later), as the changes in perception.

When the rugrat was only a few months old, I was driving to visit a friend, and a Kids in the Kitchen song came on the radio. I just cried and cried, because I felt to desolate. The song brought back all these memories of being 18, 19, 20.... and hitting the dancefloor. Yes, I used to dance all night (or until we got kicked out at closing). Yes, there were times when I definitely had too much to drink and paid for it bigtime. But I was having fun!

And here I was, 35 years old, driving around with a baby in the back and never going to dance again.

It sure felt like that. It was actually only a couple of months ago that I got the opportunity to go out and have a few drinks and dance to a really awful covers band in a Bogan Paradise.

It wasn't until Magilla was 9 months old that I got to go out and play pool one night. It was only for an hour or two, but it was a nice break. I've been to the cinemas a couple of times, but mainly it's all family and close friends because there is no large network I would entrust her to, and those that I would are usually overcommitted to other things anyway.

It all sounds much worse than it really is. :) She's the most adorable creature. I'm still getting plenty of cuddles and kisses (human as well as puppydog kisses lol) so I can't complain. Watching her develop is a joy to behold. (no, this is not me trying to convince myself).

But back to the pool.

I watched her in the shallow pool surrounded by other kids who were a few years older and ignoring her. Sometimes I was in with her, and others I sat on the edge watching.

Of course, I got a major attack of the guilts:

It's my fault she's a bit socially inept (she's not really, just not had the exposure to lots of unkown children, hence figures that everyone she meets is a friend and should be interested in her also).

It's my fault she's only got me to asociate with. (Well duh! Who else would she have? She gets to see other people more frequently these days than in the past, and now we're settling into somewhere with some peace of mind, we can get to know the neighbours properly. As for it being my fault, well that's stating the bleeding obvious, but there's nobody else for her to live with. Not while I'm still kicking, that is!)

You get my drift.

And while I was on this maudlin journey, working on my suntan - it's currently a melbourne tan of white on white - I got to thinking of the other changes in my life. Like how when I was going out and about I used to turn heads. I really miss that sometimes. It's nice to be considered physically attractive and seen as a woman as opposed to a mother. I've been told in the past to get over it, because it was my choice to become a mother and that's how people will see me forever more. I was insulted then, and am insulted now with that comment.

Physically, I've not changed appearance all that much. The hips are a little bit wider. Not by much, but I'll never get down to a size 8 again regardless of how skeletal I get. I'm around the size I was when I got pregnant, so I can't complain there. Up top, I'm still doing okay, too. Especially when I take into consideration 2 years of breastfeeding. I'm just not quite as firm as I once was lol.

I've always liked my grey hairs, so no problem there, and I'm not too haggard these days.

So why am I whining?

I sometimes miss the irresponsibility. The ability to come and go as I pleased and answering to nobody.

Did I feel like taking a couple of weeks and heading north? No problem. I had a nice disposable income and no ties. Just phone up the airlines, call the mates up north and tell them to get the couch ready. No fuss, no problems.

I miss seeing the desire in a man's eyes and knowing that I'd put it there.

Here I was at the pool, in a bikini, looking quite okay for a middle-aged mum (snicker) and there was nobody to look at me with lust.

That is so tragic.

Needless to say, I got over it, but it does rear its head every now and again. It's just one of the things we deal with when we become mums.

No longer a woman, we become mother first and everything else second.

Would I turn back the clock and do things over? No. Because then I wouldn't be where I am with Magilla. At least I did have a great time before settling into parenthood; there are plenty who can't claim that.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Is hijab freedom of choice?

If you are an adult, and have made a conscious, educated decision to wear it as an article of faith.

But what about if you are a child, or a teenage girl?

What if all of your life, you are taught that girls or women who don't cover themselves are loose, dirty or whores? Surely in that case, you are not coming from a postion of knowledge, but rather one of prejudice?

Instead of seeing a girl as just a girl, you see in her the personification of unclean. Would you want to be seen like that?

And what about when you go to school? If you are going to a state school, you meet girls of other beliefs, or even no beliefs, but they don't sleep around, they don't tempt men into sin. They are other people, that's all. You can't tell me that there is no confusion there.

Being a teenager is diffcult enough at the best of times. Added pressure to conform to a religious or cultural dress code that is also restrictive can only make life more confusing.

This is, of course, my opinion only.

I'm just not the only one who thinks this way.

Please read the defence of the banning of the veil from the Middle East Women's site. The rest of the site is well worth a look, also.

Van Gogh's Murder, a `Message in Blood,' Divides Dutch People

Three words.

No shit, Sherlock!