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About this website

SydWalker.Info is a personal website. I live in tropical Australia near Cairns. I oppose war, plutocracy, injustice, sectarian supremacism and apartheid. I support urgent action to achieve genuine sustainability and a fair and prosperous society for all. I rely upon - and support - free speech as defined in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (see below).

with the dawg

"Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers"

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Unless otherwise indicated, material on this website is written by Syd Walker.

Anyone is welcome to re-publish material sourced from this site, as long as the source is acknowledged with a hyperlink.

Material from other sources reproduced here is presented on a 'Fair Use' basis. I try to cite references accurately. Please contact me if you have queries, comments, broken link reports, complaints - or just to say hello.

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Mumbai's Terror: More Cheerful on Fox?
Dec 7th, 2008 by Syd Walker

The 2008 Mumbai Terror Attacks - Another False-Flag Operation?

One of my bad habits is to leave the TV running all night.

When I do this, I usually tune to Fox News before dozing off. I know it’s perverse, but I like dreaming to Fox.

Fox, Rupert Murdoch’s TV network in the USA, is the major national cable ‘news’ channel and really must be seen to be believed. It’s the cleanest feed of Zionist war-monguering propaganda available on TV. There’s little window-dressing on Fox News. It’s not designed for America’s intelligentsia. Absorbed at night, by a mind in repose, it’s like a hard-wired connection to the neocon Zeitgeist. They decide. I soak it in. Later, in my waking hours, I try to de-construct and demystify.

Fox and FriendsLife hasn’t been easy for Fox presenters in recent months. For one thing, the Republicans bombed so badly that even Fox and Diebold combined couldn’t save them (except around the edges). But there’s more!

The folk at Fox spent years regurgitating deregulatory, extreme free-market rhetoric (with only the military industrial complex on ever-escalating welfare). Now these unfortunates must re-learn their lines from scratch, so they can explain to a bemused public why gigantic taxpayer bailouts of banks and insurance companies are, on balance, a fantastic idea.

Just over a week ago, I left Fox running when I went to bed. As I surfaced from my slumbers the following morning, I noticed the talking heads seemed more cheerful than before. Voices were animated. Confidence had returned!

Canberra's Upside-Down View of Bethlehem
Dec 5th, 2008 by Syd Walker

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

–  W.B. Yeats The Second Coming, 1919

The Israeli Apartheid Wall at Bethlehem

Australia has more sheep than any other country on earth. Nearly 20 million of us are bipedal.

Several hundred two-legged Australian sheep, with better superannuation packages than most, meet regularly in Parliament House in Canberra. Today they are all off for well-earned holidays. Another session of the Australian Parliament is coming to an end. It’s time for the Christmas break!

Another session is closing, in which the tragic and deepening plight of the Palestinians has not been seriously discussed. Indeed, it has barely been mentioned at all. As usual.

When Members conclude their business later today, exchanging pleasantries about Christmas goodwill in the improbable setting of a sweltering Canberra summer, the odds are nobody will mention the walled-in residents of Bethlehem or the shivering masses of Gaza.

Many of our elected politicians pray from the Christian Bible, but no-one will utter a word about the beleaguered Christians in the Holy Land. No-one will demand an end to the very un-Christian siege of those parts of Palestine not already under the thumb of the Israeli military or their collaborators. No one will say: enough!

End the Siege of Gazas - a Protest by Orthodox JewsWhy is this?

Are the people in Australia’s Parliament completely ignorant about these matters? Are they cruel? Do they share the view of many Israelis that Palestinians are less than human? Is Evil now Canberra’s official religion?

The Trials of David Ahenakew
Nov 29th, 2008 by Syd Walker

A trial is underway in Canada.

It’s a most curious trial. Or perhaps it’s just ‘normal’, in this phase of human history that just gets “curiouser and curiouser“.

David AhenakewThe defendant is David Ahenakew, a 75 year-old First Nation leader, previously honoured with the Order of Canada for his service over many decades to his people and Canada as a whole. In Australia, the word ‘Aboriginal’ is typically used for our indigenous people. In Australian lingo, David Ahenakew is a respected Aboriginal elder and leader.

He is on trial for “willfully promoting hatred”.

What did he say? Did he, perhaps, offend the millions of mainly fair-skinned invaders of his land, who over the last few hundred years pushed his people to cultural extinction in many parts of Canada? Did he call for a war of extinguishment against the invaders? Did he incite a First Nation attack on Ottawa?

No. His alleged offense is more specific. He is accused of willfully promoting hatred against ‘the Jews’. He stands accused of breaching Canadian laws that criminalize ‘hate speech’. In effect, this Aboriginal leader is accused of persecuting other people – with his words (not deeds) – even though he’s a survivor of the shattered remnants of the original Canadians who has put in a lifetime’s effort into remedying disadvantages still suffered by his own disposessed community.

It’s difficult not to wince at the irony.

To be precise, the trial currently underway is Ahenakew’s second trial – for the same offense. He was found guilty in 2005. The Chronicle-Herald reports:

Why The Web is NOT Like TV
Nov 27th, 2008 by Syd Walker

Yesterday I published an article called Clive Hamilton & I: Getting Personal about Sex, Lies, Hate & Censorship

My main purpose was to rebut what I call the ‘Clive Hamilton Fallacy’, named in honour of its most prominent exponent. This is the argument “we already censor TV, radio, movies, books, magazines and newspapers. Why should the Internet be exempt?”

My article delved into related topics. I suggested why defending children against porn may be a smokescreen for eventual, much more alarming, political censorship. The end result was a long article.

In this shorter version, I’ll focus only on the ‘Clive Hamilton Fallacy’.

Why do I call it a fallacy? After all, it sounds reasonable on the surface… “We already censor TV, radio, movies… why not the Internet?”

It’s odd that the word ‘Internet’ (as opposed to World Wide Web) is usually the concluding word in this seemingly plausible appeal. After all, the Internet and the Web are not the same thing. The actual proposal that Dr Hamilton and Senator Conroy are promoting is a proposal to censor the Web – not the Internet in entirety (not yet, at any rate…). Even if censorship proponents get muddled. we need to be clear about key distinctions like this.

Clive Hamilton & I: Getting Personal about Sex, Lies, Hate & Censorship
Nov 26th, 2008 by Syd Walker

Dr Clive HamiltonA decade or so ago, I knew Clive Hamilton personally.

We met a few times through common involvement in environmental issues. He appeared to be a nice man with a good head for policy and commitment to progressive politics. When, in the mid 90s, he became Founder/Director of the Australia Institute, it seemed like an excellent initiative. Public interest think-tanks that develop new ideas and policy can play an important role in bringing about positive change. Australia has few such organizations. Overall, while I didn’t get to know Dr Hamilton well, I liked what I saw and supported the causes he made his own.

Protection of the environment is one policy area where I believe wise and effective regulation is merited – and more of it. Take global warming – an issue on which Dr Hamilton has worked hard throughout the last decade. I believe that the potential for human-induced global climate change is significant and poses unknown but alarming dangers to humanity’s future. Left to ‘the market’ alone, the necessary changes in human behaviour are unlikely to happen fast enough, if at all. Collective, political action is therefore needed, including stronger regulatory measures from governments. Personally, I’d like a global carbon tax, but that’s another discussion for another time…

I mention this to make it clear that my dispute with Clive Hamilton over Internet Censorship is not the quintessential stand-off between a sensible mainstream view and an “unthinking libertarian” who opposes regulation in almost every situation.

Softball on 'HardTalk'
Nov 22nd, 2008 by Syd Walker

HardTalkSome TV is pure shock and awe.

Take the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)’s internationally-broadcast current affairs interview program ‘HardTalk’.

In times past, Englishmen had a reputation for politeness and reserve. It’s possible that was really just another smug self-serving Anglocentric myth – but there did seem to be some validity to the stereotype – at least on the BBC. Politeness was normal. A generation ago, interviewers like Richard Dimpleby combined incisive interview technique with courtesy. His son maintains the tradition.

But politeness is no longer at the cutting edge, if HardTalk is any guide. These days, the brightest and best British interviewers have an extra talent to offer viewers. They can shout louder than anyone else. This especially applies if they interview foreigners.

In the unlikely event I ever get interviewed on this marvellous program, I shall certainly take a megaphone along. These guys are experts at shouting down their guests! Steven Sackur of HardTalk

A couple of years ago, the Chief Shouter was Tim Sebastian. But the BBC has been going through generational change.

In 2008, Shouter No 1 is Steven Sackur. It’s a hard call, but I think he may be an louder shouter than Tim. His lung capacity is probably greater. One of these days, there really should be an International Shouting Competition between Britain and the USA. Perhaps the USA will field Bill O’Reilly. It would be a match well worth watching – a clash of titans. I’d bet a Euro on Sackur to over-shout even the Beast of the ‘No Spin Zone’.

Cynthia Who?
Mar 31st, 2008 by Syd Walker

At last, there’s someone running for President in the USA who is a real inspiration.

A dark-skinned, highly-articulate, insightful politician, with bucket loads of charisma, focused on big picture issues, passionate in defence of the under-privileged and environment – and gutsy enough to take on the most powerful and dangerous vested interests on the face of the earth.

This politician is well-placed to win a Party nomination – although that will not be finally decided before the Party’s convention in the northern summer.

What’s more… she’s a woman.

Haven’t heard of her?

Why would you? Which part of the Australian mass media wants to talk about her?

After all, why would the Murdoch Empire of Limited News give a break to someone who speaks like this?

Why would an insipid and gutless ABC (or SBS, or BBC) cover a politician whose discourse lies outside their cosy, conspiracy-denying, egregiously pro-Zionist and essentially pro-war consensus?

What else is left? The magazines you encounter in the newsagent or at the supermarket checkout? Forget it. This woman’s hairstyle is not favoured as a topic of discussion for the masses.

Cynthia McKinneyIndeed, if the mainstream media has its way, there will be virtually no coverage at all of the remarkable individual who, to my way of thinking, is the most credible and exciting candidate for US President in 2008, notwithstanding Barak Obama’s great oratory.

But the blogosphere can and does do better than fake news media, so (perhaps for the first time?) … meet Cynthia McKinney.

A tale of three broadcasters
Dec 30th, 2007 by Syd Walker

I am one of growing number of people around the world who believes the western mass media is deeply dishonest about some very important topics.

I believe something must be done to rectify this – urgently.

Sad to say, the mass media’s tendency to report selectively is not confined to commercial media.

In this tale, written from an Australian perspective, I’ll review an incident that took place overseas several years ago – and the remarkable failure of Australia’s premier public broadcaster to report the story.

Then I’ll look at equivalent public broadcasters, in Britain and the USA, to examine their bizarre reportage of the same extraordinary event.

Publicly-funded mass media can – and should – survive only if they enjoy widespread confidence. Why should the public fund media which lies about very important topics – matters of life and death? Read on – and judge for yourself whether the tangled web woven by these three mass media organizations is evidence of deliberate deception.

All Quiet at the ABC

WTC-7 on Fire

World Trade Center Building 7, on fire before its collapse later on September 11th 2001

This is the story of a 47-story building, in a world-famous city, that collapsed several years ago. The collapse was not ‘intended’ – in the sense that this was no listed demolition site. It was a busy office building, occupied by working staff until the previous day. Then, a little more than six years ago, it simply collapsed.

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