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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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"I wouldn't hire them to clean my toilet”
Dec 3rd, 2008 by Syd Walker

The most memorable one-liner of the week surely goes to Runar Birgisson, an Icelandic Marketing manager. Runar feels disillusioned with politicians he helped elect.

Demo in ReykavikMany around the world share similar sentiments, but Icelanders currently believe they have more reason than most.

Following the widely-reported financial meltdown in Iceland, a winter chill has set in. Moods are turning ugly. The hunt is on for perpetrators. Where did all the money go? Some blame politicians. Politicians blame bankers. Artists have begun invoking ancient Norse techniques for cursing enemies.

The whiff of revolution is in the air. Perhaps Marx and Mao were both wrong. Maybe the real revolution will start in Reykavik?

According to an Associated Press report by Jill Lawless and Valur Gunnarsson (emphases added):

Thousands of Icelanders marked the 90th anniversary of their nation’s sovereignty with angry protest Monday, and several hundred stormed the central bank to demand the ouster of bankers they blame for the country’s spectacular economic meltdown.

Tiny Iceland has seen its banks and currency collapse in just a few weeks while prices and unemployment soar — leaving a country regarded as a model of Scandinavian prosperity in a state of shock.

“The government played roulette and the whole nation has lost,” writer Einar Mar Gudmundsson told a noisy but peaceful anti-government rally of several thousand people in downtown Reykjavik.

After the rally, hundreds of protesters stormed the headquarters of Sedlabanki, Iceland’s central bank, demanding the sacking of its chief, David Oddsson.

Honour Without Respect
Nov 22nd, 2008 by Syd Walker

Peres = War CriminalIn a case of life imitating the blogosphere, since I began writing the previous article about Shimon Peres, there been ‘breaking news’.

Apparently the President of the Apartheid State in Palestine (ASP) has been honoured by Queen Elizabeth II.

Now he is a knight commander of the Order of St Michael and St George, no less!

I had no idea this was in the offing, but apparently so – for some time.

Peres meets MadonnaIt isn’t just crazed pseudo-Kabbalist tinsel-queens like Madonna who shake his hand. Mr Peres gets to schmooze with real Royalty!

There are indications that the Palace was bullied and/or embarrassed into granting this ‘honour’ to Peres.

See Queen to Snub Israeli Knighthood Bid by the Daily Express’ royal correspondent, published on November 3rd 2008 – and as of today still retrievable from Google’s cache.

The original of this article has been scrubbed from the Daily Express online edition. Not surprising really. It suggested that the Palace stood up to Israeli stand-over tactics and rejected Peres’ unseemly ‘hints’. As it has turned out, it eventually caved in to Israeli / Jewish pressure.

Here’s an extract from the Daily Express report earlier this month:

“THE Queen has been drawn into an embarrassing diplomatic wrangle with Israel after Britain snubbed efforts to have the Jewish state’s President Shimon Peres knighted.

“She will meet Mr Peres, the architect of several stalled Middle East peace plans, when he begins a three-day official visit to Britain on November 18.

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’.

Australia's Chums, the Cluster Bombers
Sep 10th, 2008 by Syd Walker

Cluster Bombs

Cluster Bombs

Cluster Bombs are a particularly vile weapon. Murderous on impact, they remain lethal long after fighting ends.

In recent years, there have been moves to ban the use of cluster bombs. Successive Australian Governments have played some role in this. The Peace Organization of Australia explains…

“In May 2008 the text for a treaty banning cluster munitions was concluded in Dublin, Ireland, at a meeting of 111 states. The treaty bans the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of cluster munitions and places obligations on countries to clear affected areas, assist victims and destroy stockpiles. It is the most significant treaty of its kind since the ban on anti-personnel landmines in 1997.

Like the Mine Ban Treaty, this new treaty is likely to have a powerful effect in stigmatising cluster bombs, so that even those countries that do not sign the treaty will not be able to use them without being subject to international condemnation.

The Peace Organisation of Australia urges the Australian Government to sign and ratify the Cluster Munitions Convention when it opens for signature in December.”

Developing international momentum for an effective ban on cluster bombs has been like a twin-track obstacle race for (genuine) proponents.

The most obvious problem were States that simply didn’t show up at Dublin. These include Russia and China, India and Pakistan. But the USA and Israel are also on this list. They are nations that currently refuse to sign any kind of ban.

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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