Category Archives: CPDS

Lions and donkeys

There were “275,000 casualties lost overall to the armies under British command at Passchendaele. The Germans suffered another 220,000 killed and wounded. At the end, the point of it all was unclear. In 1918, all the ground gained there by the Allies was evacuated in the face of a looming German assault.

“A century later, the Battle of Passchendaele is remembered as a symbol of the worst horrors of the First World War, the sheer futility of much of the fighting, and the reckless disregard by some of the war’s senior leaders [read Butcher Haig] for the lives of the men under their command.”


Neo-nazi revisionism in Hungary

Some anti-Semite got Budapest city council to remove a park statue of Georg Lukacs – under the pretense of anti-communism. Another sickening sign of the radical right-wing resurgence currently infecting Europe.

“The idea of its removal came from a young nationalist, Marcell Tokody, a neo-Nazi Jobbik party councilor of Budapest.”

A short list of works:

A junk food tax that excludes meat?

A new study proposes a tax on unhealthy foods that would exclude meats and many dairy products. If the point is to try to take cost pressure off public health, I would have thought a tax on meat and dairy would be a priority.



Images from the unorguration

The folks at CNN published this humongous photograph of the Trump inauguration. A person could spend a lot of time zooming in on all the sadness. Here are a few snapshots.

People barely awake:


People taking the piss:


And Australia’s very own Embarrassor to Washington, Smokin’ Joe Hockey (with some Oz spies probably):


Demonic males

There ought to be a law against some Australians breeding.

An anatomy of tyranny

“Much of the newly energized left has come to see the white working class not as allies but primarily as bigots, misogynists, racists, and homophobes, thereby condemning those often at the near-bottom rung of the economy to the bottom rung of the culture as well.”

From a very long read with some interesting observations by Andrew Sullivan:

“Fusty old-media institutions, grown fat and lazy, deserved a drubbing. The early independent blogosphere corrected facts, exposed bias, earned scoops. And as the medium matured, and as Facebook and Twitter took hold, everyone became a kind of blogger. In ways no 20th-century journalist would have believed, we all now have our own virtual newspapers on our Facebook newsfeeds and Twitter timelines — picking stories from countless sources and creating a peer-to-peer media almost completely free of editing or interference by elites.”


“The oppressed are allowed once every few years to decide which particular representatives of the oppressing class are to represent and repress them.”

The playbill changes, but the play does not

Today I am reminded of Michael Glennon’s notion (after Walter Bagehot) of “double government”.

“[T]he United States has moved beyond an imperial presidency to a system in which the gargantuan US security apparatus not only has broken free of constraints but has engulfed even the presidency itself. Contemporary US security policy is seldom formulated in the Oval Office and handed down to compliant managers in the military, intelligence, and law enforcement agencies. Instead, nerve-center policies ranging from the troop buildup in Afghanistan to ABM deployment to NSA surveillance percolate up from the Pentagon, Langley, Fort Meade, and myriad Beltway facilities with no public names. With rare exceptions, that is where options originate, plans are formulated, and strategy ultimately defined.”

“Congress, the presidency, and the courts appear to exercise decisional authority, yet their control is increasingly illusory. The real shaping of security policy is carried out quietly, in highly classified facilities, by anonymous managers the public never sees.”

Source: From Imperial Presidency to Double Government



Telstra blocked page alerts

God help you if your website is flagged by Telstra’s ‘Network Protection’ software because you will be passed around technical support and security support people for HOURS. You will be hung up on. You will have to provide your credentials every single time for each new support person. You will have to repeat the problem for each and every support person on the other end of that crackly tin-pot telephone line. You will be told that it is your problem to fix not Telstra’s for erroneously flagging your website in the first place.

In my case it has been four hours of talking to various support people with absolutely no solution.

Telstra’s own website states:

“If you think the site shouldn’t be blocked you can report it as Safe and we’ll review it.”

However, no one in Telstra has been able to tell me who or which department I can report the site to have it reviewed. No one.


Five of the worst atrocities carried out by the British Empire

See also:

Not including Ireland or Australia.