Sunday 1st of October 2023

the resurrection of strangelove .....

the resurrection of strangelove .....

The west must be ready to resort to a pre-emptive nuclear attack to try to halt the "imminent" spread of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction, according to a radical manifesto for a new Nato by five of the west's most senior military officers and strategists.  

Calling for root-and-branch reform of Nato and a new pact drawing the US, Nato and the European Union together in a "grand strategy" to tackle the challenges of an increasingly brutal world, the former armed forces chiefs from the US, Britain, Germany, France and the Netherlands insist that a "first strike" nuclear option remains an "indispensable instrument" since there is "simply no realistic prospect of a nuclear-free world". 

"The risk of further [nuclear] proliferation is imminent & with it, the danger that nuclear war fighting, albeit limited in scope, might become possible," the authors argued in the 150-page blueprint for urgent reform of western military strategy and structures.  

"The first use of nuclear weapons must remain in the quiver of escalation as the ultimate instrument to prevent the use of weapons of mass destruction."

Pre-Emptive Nuclear Strike A Key Option, Nato Told

Truth in cartooning...

Sometimes, in order to express a point, Cartoonists push beyond the boundaries of realdom. For example, to me, today's (28/01/08) Moir cartoon in the Sydney Morning Herald pushes the therefore of the whenever bizzo beyond what a cartoonist should do. There lays the hospital system of good ol' New South Wales as a dead bag o' bones in a bed while our glorious premier, Morris Gimmeegimmee — disguised as a doctor — suggesting that he does not think the condition is as serious as people make out. Sure, I laugh yellow... But I, for one, agree with Gimmee. Sure, there are things (possibly many) to be healthily fixed but to represent the health system as a lifeless skeleton is not on. Many dedicated people, at all level, from government to private doctors make sure the system works at least at 95 per cent, on the trot. It's only a few small bits that are terminal.

Therefore there should be a "truth in cartooning" brigade, making sure cartoonists do not fall into the hands of hysteria and deliberate media orchestrated opposition campaigns to undermine a government more than what it deserves — the former Howard government excluded, of course (but did it not deserve every punch it got or what?). Should the cartoonists fall into the trap of being a "courtier" of populist propaganda from hidden agendas designed to undermine proper working systems, the cartoonist becomes a "coortianist"— a sold-out cartoonist... This is why whenever I cartoon (for no financial gain ever so far), I angst over the truth in cartooning. Sometimes my efforts are convoluted, weird, unfunny and painful. The funny part comes from our amazing acceptance of the wacko reality exposed. We digest totally unacceptable thingies, including conspirational set ups from our leaders because "we want to" and are part of a system where spruiking and lying are the fastest way to gain... (this reminds me: I should carry on with my "age of deceit" publication)... The media of course indulges in this BS game by providing the guns and the munitions, some real but plenty of blanks and pranks — and diversion via the field of lame fame. Of course these fields are loaded with landmines, carefully placed by the media to observe which celebrity can jump through the hoops without ending in a pine-box... Poor Heath. But this is another story.

When I was a kid, my favourite composer was Arnold Schoenberg. This exposure of my innards will give some loonies out there an insight into the twisters of my mind. But "let me say this": in some of his works Schoenberg to me was — and is — a master of the "decided" creation. It's a new ball game where the creation is set up in a totally invented framework, as free as possible from misunderstandings and emotional reactivity from our past — decidedly creating a new misunderstanding, shaking our emotional reactivity decidedly. Some would call some of Schoenberg's music "cats paws on a dozen blackboards" but the result is unique, surprising and, strangely enough, once past the shock and no-awe moment, very enticing. Most modern artists have the elevated intent of shock and awe, but they've lost the plot. They are totally boring us with indulgent in-depth analysis of their small shrinking navel...

Cartoonist are more grounded. They have to plunge into the guts and viscera of our social framework, sometimes dexterously using a scalpel sometimes using an axe with rage (you know whom I'm talking about). Hence are born the inconsistencies in purpose and realisation.

As a serious artist of no repute nor fame beyond indulging in cartooning here, I try not to participate in self navel-gazing. I indulge in deliberately creating visions of my (mis)understanding of the world, slightly wider than my footpath... with undertones of hopeful doom, in the sense we're maintaining the hope of joyful life yet we are individually "doomed"... Nothing new. But in the meantime, let's have a fantastic fun without damaging the place. Unlike Corey... My intellectual plodding of course will lead me nowhere on the tooting scale because in these days of the celeb, one needs to have bulging tits and pouted lips to get on the cover of the glossies, unless one throws a mega party at one parents' expense. Or one is a winning tennis player. Or is a lying President. Or are reputable banks indulging into wedges beyond insecure unsecured securities... Some of the game plan is not to sneeze while pulling the gold-braided tablecloth from under the stack of cards.

So how can we create a good democracy when many of us are trying to pinch other people's blankets? Our understanding of the past is fooled by the historian tricksters, the unscientific spruikers and our own foolishness. Our brains are craving for sumpthin'!!!... Gimmee, gimmee... as long as I do not have to learn complexities... We are addicted to the entertaining unimportant, to distract us subconsciously from the grinds, the diseases and our ultimate destination. When we wake up to the pain, we do not like it... Or when we brush with complex scientific and technological knowledge, most of us dismiss it: "it too complicated..." . Sure we're not all addicted to the same fluff.... But the spruikers, advertisers and professional brain-washers know that and make sure a certain (largest) proportion of us is cottoned-wooled in this false paradise where we toil for mostly useless goodies. It's practical and it works as a bonding democratic agent... In short, we all have different ideas but most of the ideas and wants we have are "managed" from the "in-putters" whose ideas and wants are also managed, etc... Our uniqueness is only on the edges, the surface where the mix of individuality is decoration like the shifting colours on a soap bubble. And then there is the "cultural" element... For years people in this country have struggled with what makes "us" Aussies... The Poms have caught the disease now — after having been invaded by hordes of Catholics. Happy Aussie Day.

"Aussie" Tony is a case in point... His father, Charles Leonard Augustus Parsons, was born as the son of two unmarried travelling entertainers (entertainment must run in the genes), who fostered him out to a couple called Blair. Charles was a communist who became a conservative. Anthony Charles Lynton Blair ("Aussie" Tony) was born in Scotland and spend about three and a half years in Adelaide, Aussieland, when Charles had become a lecturer at the university in the 1950s. Tony's mother died in 1975 of a weird thyroid cancer. This latter fact may be irrelevant for most people but "spinifex man Trevor Jamieson, his family, the Ngapartji Ngapartji Choir and some Pitjantjatjara elders and young people" are at the Belvoir theatre to share a bit of this "history". See, Trevor's aboriginal family came mostly from a place called Maralinga... I do not have to draw a picture for you to understand the rest of the story in this BRILLIANT BRILLIANT play.

Aussie Tony should go and see the play. May be the Belvoir will invite him, who knows... But we all know most of the story: a few mushroom clouds from the atomic bombs drifted towards Adelaide and the radio-active clouds of some other explosion drifted towards Brisbane. Result? It has been estimated that many kids (blacks and whites) died of radiation poisoning in this country. the tip of the iceberg is a collection of 20,000 skeletons of kids all showing thus: radiation poisoning and weird cancers. Could have been the milk. Who knows. It's always hard to know in these radiation cases as the spear that penetrates your body is invisible, unmeasurable and "you don't know you've been hit" until it's too late. Tony's mother may have been affected by the radiations while in Adelaide...

Thus "Aussie" Tony could have been a great statesman should he had not indulged in going to war uselessly and deliberately lied about its purpose. Doing so brought him down to a mere thug, like Dubya, a thug who did not learn anything of humanity not even from his own family, or that of those affected by the experimental bombs. Sure "Aussie" Tony improved a few things but when the going's good everywhere, Improvements often take care of themselves because of converging aspirational improvements in the populace...

For millena we've tried to improve our lot. We've succeeded magnificently. So why complain? Er... because... we've still unable to understand complexities beyond a serve/volley at a tennis match?

In the mid-50s I indulged in trying to understand "The Phenomenon of Man" in which Pierre Teilhard de Chardin synthesized his scientific, philosophical and theological knowledge in the light of evolution. Working in a paleontology laboratory in Paris he would have been informed about the works by Nicolas Steno (1631-1686) tooted by some as the pioneer of modern geology. "His principles of stratigraphy have stood the test of time. They are still taught in first year geology courses all over the world, and used every day in the field by professional geologists. Most geologists do not realize that Steno was a Bible believing creationist." Sure...

But many mistakes were made, fabulously BIG mistakes... Creationists only remember the erroneous small threads that only support their ideas. They spruik like historian tricksters of scientific rot-abilities... Even my scientific encyclopedias of the 1920s still write of the dinosaurs living till 6 million years ago. Rot. Crap. Our knowledge has moved on! For some of us, acceptance has not. We've doomed ourselves to believe things that are untrue. Father Christmas, Santa Clauss and the tooth fairy... Teilhard was a grand master of the scientific spirituality convolution that got bogged down in its own hardening viscosity. He postulated that the entire world was converging in a giant spiral towards a central point which he equated as god. He had been seduced by the beautiful galactical shape. In fact the world is presently expanding and galaxies are but little relative farm-yards of matter in an unbound universe. And should the universe "collapse" it would be more like a deflating advertising balloon till another Big Bang dispersed its own new flaws.

The study of the statigraphic record is a lot more precise than in the days of Steno — who would not even make it as a tennis player these days — but knowing what we know now, I would bet, should he be living in our days and age, he would recant his spiritual errants and be a lot more astute scientifically — rejecting the notion of mixing faith and science in an unbelievable leap.

Cartoonists need to keep abreast of relative knowledge but we can be wrong. Often we know too much.

talk to the professor...

Rudd heralds new nuclear disarmament body

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has announced the creation of a new international body that will push for nuclear disarmament.

Mr Rudd says Australia will set up a body to be known as the Nuclear Non-Proliferations and Disarmament Commission.

Former Labor foreign minister Gareth Evans will co-chair the body, which will take up the work of the defunct Canberra Commission set up by the Keating government in 1995.

Mr Rudd made the announcement in the Japanese city of Kyoto just hours after laying a wreath in Hiroshima for the victims of the 1945 atomic bombing and touring a museum documenting the attack.

"Let the world resolve afresh from the ashes of this city - to work together for the common mission of peace for this Asia-Pacific century, and for a world where one day nuclear weapons are no more," he wrote in the museum's guest book.

He echoed his message in public remarks, saying "Hiroshima should cause the world community to resolve afresh that all humankind must exert their every effort for peace in this 21st century".


Gus: one thing that Keating did when he was booted out of the Prime Minister-ship — by His Porky Himself, Little Johnnee — was to accept a professorship at the University of New South Wales or such. There Keating exposed in no small detail the danger of the status of nukes in the world. Coming from his knowledgeable lips, the presentation was captivating and worrying. And since this memorable lecture, unfortunately, things have not improved one bit... Gone backwards actually with the warmongers... Thus Keating refused to accept the highest honour in the order of Australia grading — an award that our former Liar-in-Chief, Johnnee, accepted humbly today: "Kids", he did not say in his speech, "you can lie about reasons for going to war anytime you wish. It's easy if ya've got the gift of the gab to con people and as long as you have a flagpole. I've done it meself and got away with it brilliantly. Plus I got a prime gong for it. Cool?"... Yes, the Prime Rattus should lie... in a prison cell. But that's only my opinion and that of the majority of fair minded people, I hope.

Good on PM Rudd to rekindle the work of P J Keating on the subject of nukes, if Rudd remembers it happened before his time... Having Gareth Evans steer his commission, seems to indicate Rudd remembers...

 See toon at top.... 

north atlantic in Afghanistan...

Browne casts doubt on Nato's long-term future

The defence secretary, Des Browne, yesterday questioned the long-term viability of Nato, saying it was not providing the forces or capabilities needed to maintain its credibility as a military alliance.

In a remarkably strong attack on Nato's failings by a British defence secretary, he said there was "far too big a mismatch between our aspirations and what we actually deliver".

In a thinly-disguised reference to the reluctance of some Nato countries to deploy troops or military equipment to Afghanistan, he said: "I sometimes wonder whether the concept of improving usability in Nato is not embraced with much warmth by some allies. Indeed, in some quarters it is an exercise conducted through gritted teeth."

Addressing an international security conference in Rome, Browne told fellow defence ministers that Nato was "not getting the forces or capabilities it needs in order to maintain its credibility in carrying out the full range of missions for which it was designed. As a consequence, there are concerns as to its longer term viability."


NATO (North Atlantic treaty organization) was never designed as a world cop. The words "North Antlantic" become meaningless when campaigning in the deserts of Afghanistan. Should one want to wage war in that region, one should have another moniker: something like "Pipeline Protection Pact Police" — our "Keep An Osama Smiling" (KAOS — Twin Towers Revenge Sub-Branch Committee). Unless it's "Poppydom, Police Academy 13 and a half"...

Sorry... I'm out of my tree...

provocation ink...

No words necessary: The cartoonists tackle climate change

The results of a worldwide competition are sharp, satirical – and even funny

By Siski Green
Thursday, 3 July 2008

Ever since the 1750s, when the writer, satirist, statesman and inventor Benjamin Franklin put political cartooning on the map by publishing the first cartoon of the genre in America, artists have combined their talent, wit and political beliefs to create cartoons that enrage, enlighten or simply engage the viewer.

A picture may paint a thousand words, but a cartoon provokes, protests and entertains – all at once. It is this that makes cartoonists so valuable and influential in times of crisis. Today, that crisis is climate change, and clever imagery can give new impetus to our struggle to combat global warming. The organisers of Earthworks 2008, a global cartoon competition, believe that art and humour are simple ways to get the environmental message across.

"We set up the competition to give cartoonists around the world a platform on which to express themselves," says John Renard, one of the Earthworks organisers. "We hoped that the competition would stimulate cartoonists to use their pens and wit to help combat environmental devastation and give new impetus to our desperate fight to stop global warming," he says. "After all, humour is often a valuable key in the struggle to win hearts and minds."

But despite the sharp wit that pervades the cartoons, climate change is no laughing matter for their creators. The 50 or so countries from which the 600 competition entries were sent are all suffering the effects of global warming, some more dramatically than others. Two cartoons were sent from Burma, where in May this year a cyclone tore through five regions along the western coast, killing at least 100,000 people, and leaving millions more without shelter, food, or clean water.


I did my bit over the years to fight the climate change skeptics armed with cartoons but sometimes it is preferable to use a stick. Especially to those mad leaders who want to go to war no matter what...

I also ponder about a few things here and there including about truth in cartooning... 

See toons around this site, some are good, some are passable... most are spur of the moment...

long live Arno

from The Independent

Ed Arno: Cartoonist with a surreal wit

Martin Plimmer

Ed Arno's brisk stabs of surreal wit punctuated the refined columns of The New Yorker for 30 years. Unlike other long-lived cartoonists, whose entire artistic development can be traced within that magazine's back catalogue, entry to the New Yorker pantheon was a late career move for Arno, who lived the first half of his life in Eastern Europe.

The writer Brendan Gill described Arno's cartoons as "skittering squiggles", and they were refreshingly free of such pretensions as artistry. They showed scant regard for composition, lacked shading and often contained background lines that had been drawn in using a ruler, giving a schoolboy stamp to the whole thing. This casually uncomfortable style was radically different from that of Arno's hero, Charles Addams, whose carefully fleshed compositions were like mini-masterpieces.

In the late 1950s, when Arno was working as an artist for children's books and magazines in Bucharest, he came across a collection of Addams' New Yorker cartoons in a library, thought them wonderful, and instantly recognised a professional goal. He carried the book around with him for years like a talisman, and when he eventually emigrated to America at the age of 49, in 1965, he wasted no time in submitting cartoons to The New Yorker.

He was rejected at first because of a coincidence of names. Peter Arno was one of the magazine's most famous cartoonists. Fearing confusing the readers, art editor James Geraghty told Ed, "We can't use two Arnos here." But Ed Arno's wit was recognised and he began contributing ideas for other cartoonists to interpret, including, ironically, Peter Arno.

Both names were in fact pseudonyms. Ed Arno adapted his from elements of his real name, Arnold Edelstein, in the Thirties. He was born in Innsbruck in 1916, and brought up in Czernowitz, an Austro-Hungarian area of Romania. At the age of three he revealed his vocation, at least in his parents' eyes, by accurately reproducing the Gothic script of the Bayer aspirin logo. He travelled to Paris to study at the Ecole Paul Colin in 1935, and afterwards found work there in film animation. He had just signed a contract with Pathé Nathan film studios when the Nazis took over Austria and he felt compelled to return to Czernowitz, where he was incarcerated for the next four years with his family in a labour camp.

Arno, who spoke five languages, derived ironic satisfaction from the fact that the name Czerno witz, if translated half in Slavic and half in German, can be interpreted to mean "black joke".

long live Bruce...

An Artist of the Cutting-Room Floor
Anthology Film Archives

Mr. Conner died on Monday at the age of 74.

Published: July 12, 2008

Bruce Conner's ecstatic films — fabricated from bits of old documentaries and educational reels, from mass-cultural snips and snails and recycled movie tales — were at once salvage projects and assertions of individuality in an increasingly anonymous age. In their modest way (modesty, in this case, being less a virtue than a worldview), they were acts of resistance, an aesthetic rejoinder to a world drowning in its own image. Just as important, they are generally a blast — witty, exuberant, despairing, engaged, apocalyptic.

As it happens, a real blast figures large in his most famous film, “A Movie,” which was also made under a (mushroom) cloud in 1958, the year a B-47 lost a hydrogen bomb off the coast of Georgia and a second B-47 accidentally dropped an atom bomb in South Carolina. (No one was killed, but yikes.) There are jokey sections in “A Movie,” funny if sinister laughs, but mostly there are found-footage wipeouts and crashes, firing guns and dropping bodies and that very big bomb. An elephant dies, and Mussolini shows up dead. As a chronicle of the first half of the 20th century, the film takes you down, down, down, even as its kinetic editing brings you up, up, up.

Mr. Conner, who died on Monday at 74 after a long illness, made some two dozen films. Even if you think you’ve never seen any of them — “A Movie,” “Cosmic Ray,” “Report,” “Mongoloid” — you probably have, if only by proxy, because of their influence and cultural dispersion. (Generally short, they make for friendly viewing, if deeper thinking, which is why they show up in college courses.)


see toon on top 

Long live satire

The offence defence

Obama's team has played the ultimate card over the controversial New Yorker cover. Satire is now off-limits
 Martin Rowson (cartoonist) The Guardian

Offence, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder, as has just been proved again by the response to this week's New Yorker cover showing Barack and Michelle Obama dressed respectively as a Muslim and a terrorist.

It's actually a pretty good gag, satirising the shitrain of rightwing smears the Obamas are currently enduring, and Barry Blitt's cartoon accurately depicts precisely what their enemies accuse them of being. But although its context – the front of a beacon of metropolitan liberalism like the New Yorker – should make the object of the joke obvious, we no longer live in obvious times. Worse, in recent years there's been a growing recognition on all fronts that taking offence is an enormously powerful aggressive weapon, used by Zionists, Muslims, Christians and every other special interest group you care to think of.

So it's depressing but unsurprising that Obama's campaign team have chosen not to get the joke, and instead accused the cartoon of being "incendiary", "irresponsible", "tasteless" and "offensive', even though their man is not the direct object of the satire. Nonetheless, it seems that we're all obliged to feel and share the pain of collateral damage too, and in a way you can hardly blame the Obama camp for using the cartoon as a pretext for utilising the potent political tactic of taking offence.

That's because taking offence is all about totally silencing your opponents. If I say you've said or drawn something offensive about me, it means that whatever you've produced is so beyond the boundaries of acceptable public discourse that you should never have done or said it in the first place. In other words, you must shut up and slink away in shame. I, therefore, win the argument, and that's an end to it.

So even though Blitt's cartoon was clearly on the Obamas' side, in repeating – albeit ironically – their enemies' smears, it offered an opening to deploy the classic, aggressive, taking-offence defence in order to wrongfoot the Republicans and their more rabid supporters.

The Democrats know that there's no point in seeking to shame all the rightwing nutjobs disseminating the initial poison. But rather brilliantly, in refusing to accept New Yorker editor David Remnick's "it's clearly a joke" response, Obama's supporters have been able to imply the deadly dangers of irony.


read more at the Guardian. And by the way, when satire hits the mark is often when people object to it. Otherwise it's just a nice "joke"... 

long live boris

Boris Yefimov: Russian cartoonist who was a friend of Trotsky and a propagandist for Stalin

Thursday, 2 October 2008
Yefimov 'survived not because of Stalin's generosity of soul, but because his talents as a cartoonist'

Boris Yefimov was a richly gifted cartoonist and caricaturist, who had a ringside seat at events which shaped the 20th century. Most of all however, he was a survivor – in a country, the Soviet Union, that for much of its existence made survival impossible for a tragically vast number of its citizens.


Gus: even cartoonists batting for the wrong side deserve a medal for living that long: 107 years... Is this a record? Especially in a county the government of which was swift at sending artists to the Siberian salt-mines?

comic relief

Attempting to predict the next twist in this uniquely serpentine US election is a game for imbeciles, as some of us have learned to our shame, but one thing seems safe to predict. Assuming she managed to stand upright without drooling, ceding control of bodily functions or flashing a Janet Jacksonesque nipple at the cameras, Sarah Palin did better in last night's vice presidential debate in St Louis than Admiral Stockdale.

Until Governor Palin's emergence, Ross Perot's 1991 running mate stood as the leading paradigm of the buffoonish political ingénue. The sadness here is that, far from being a buffoon, James Stockdale was not only a lustrously decorated war hero, but a man of intellectual brilliance who wrote books on and taught philosophy at Stanford.


our best wishes...

YD best wishes go to the cartoonist Bill Leak, one of the most talented cartoonists and artists in this country. He was badly hurt in a fall and is slowly regaining consciouness. I had not mentioned his accident before, in fear of the worst but he seems okay... All the best.

NY Post chimp chupaz*...

Hundreds of protesters have called for The New York Post to close down over a political cartoon of a monkey that black civil rights leader Al Sharpton considers a racial reference to US President Barack Obama.

"Yes we can, shut it down," shouted the demonstrators outside News Corp headquarters on Thursday (local time).

"They thought we were chimpanzees. They will find out we are lions," Mr Sharpton said.

State Senator Eric Adams, a Democrat representing the New York borough of Brooklyn, addressed another demonstration in the city over the cartoon.

"Americans went to the polls to elect a man of honour from its country, not a monkey, not a chimpanzee," he said.

"This is not funny, this is not a cartoon, this is disgusting."


Oh boy... I have made cartoons with most leaders of the world as chimps myself... Had the police been in monkey suits as well, it might have been... Hell no... Why stop at a shilling when you can go for a pound... But even with all my chimptoons, I tend to stay as close to the truth in cartooning as possible... and prophetic toooooooo (Coy smile).


The NY Post defends the cartoon:

Wednesday's Page Six cartoon - caricaturing Monday's police shooting of a chimpanzee in Connecticut - has created considerable controversy.

It shows two police officers standing over the chimp's body: "They'll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill," one officer says.

It was meant to mock an ineptly written federal stimulus bill.



Mr Murdoch would be secretly proud....

*Chupaz: a Spanish name meaning a person who drinks a lot of beer

some of us are simply mad...

According to new research, psychosis could be the answer. Creative minds in all kinds of areas, from science to poetry, and mathematics to humour, may have traits associated with psychosis. Such traits may allow the unusual and sometimes bizarre thought processes associated with mental illness to fuel creativity. The theory is based on the idea that there is no clear dividing line between the healthy and the mentally ill. Rather, there is a continuum, with some people having psychotic traits without having the debilitating symptoms.

Mental illnesses have been around for thousands of years. Evolutionary theory suggests that in order for them to be still here, there must be some kind of survival advantage to them. If they were wholly bad, it's argued, natural selection would have seen them off long ago. In some cases the advantage is clear. Anxiety, for example, can be a mental illness with severe symptoms and consequences, but it is also a trait that at a non-clinical level has survival advantages. In healthy proportions, it keeps us alert and on our toes when threats are sensed.


Gus: cartooning is one of my stylistic escape from the grind. And there are many times when my natural madness leads to idiotic failure big time. It's a risky business, but one has to try and try till we're sure we're dead... We, the mad pseudo-artists of this weird humanity, do our best to ask the hard questions and to provide the illuminated answers... But few people cope with the spray coming from our sailing close to the wind of maddening clear-mindedness, as most prefer to go with the strong breeze of illusions on the deck of a Titanic mainstream...

Most of us are simply mad, some of us channel the madness into creative output...

painting for love....

A pitch by Google to solicit freebie artwork to offer as "skins" to users of its recently released web browser has backfired spectacularly.

Inspired by Canadian Gary Taxali's very public rejection of the non-monetary offer for his work, scores of fellow artist and illustrators have taken a stand against what they say is an insulting form of payment: exposure.

"Too many companies dangle that word like a carrot in front of artists in the hope that they will get work for nothing," said Taxali in a telephone interview.

"The idea that you're going to be on Google and millions of people will potentially see you and therefore that far exceeds anything they can write in the form of a cheque ... that kind of thinking is so destructive, is so disrespectful."


As an artist who's done more freebies for whatever purpose than stars in the sky, I know the feeling... but who cares... I've also had humpteen great ideas that were "stolen" from me... In the end, what matters is that the works get done. Win some, loose some... At least, on this glorious site, more people see my bad side and my prejudices, my anger and my strong views, expressed in my cartoons and ramblings — often bathed in extraordinary clarity and purpose... See all the comments on this line of blog... and all the others too... Eventually, my body of work will make sense.

If I don't sleep at night, it's not due to the bad deeds I've ever done but due to planning the good deeds for the next.

painting for love....

A pitch by Google to solicit freebie artwork to offer as "skins" to users of its recently released web browser has backfired spectacularly.

Inspired by Canadian Gary Taxali's very public rejection of the non-monetary offer for his work, scores of fellow artist and illustrators have taken a stand against what they say is an insulting form of payment: exposure.

"Too many companies dangle that word like a carrot in front of artists in the hope that they will get work for nothing," said Taxali in a telephone interview.

"The idea that you're going to be on Google and millions of people will potentially see you and therefore that far exceeds anything they can write in the form of a cheque ... that kind of thinking is so destructive, is so disrespectful."


As an artist who's done more freebies for whatever purpose than stars in the sky, I know the feeling... but who cares... I've also had humpteen great ideas that were "stolen" from me... In the end, what matters is that the works get done. Win some, loose some... At least, on this glorious site, more people see my bad side and my prejudices, my anger and my strong views, expressed in my cartoons and ramblings — often bathed in extraordinary clarity and purpose... See all the comments on this line of blog... and all the others too... Eventually, my body of work will make sense.

If I don't sleep at night, it's not due to the bad deeds I've ever done but due to planning the good deeds for the next.

100 metres below...

Woolly mammoths survived in Britain until 14,000 years ago, around 6,000 years longer than previously thought, according to a study.

The study should settle a raging debate over the extinction of mammoths in Europe, unleashed when fossils from an adult male and four youngsters were found in the central English county of Shropshire in 1986, its author believes.

Conventional wisdom has held that mammoths died out in north-western Europe some 21,000 years ago during a deep freeze called "the last glacial maximum."

But the new research, published in Britain's Geological Journal, proves that the giant tuskers of prehistory hung on for at least another six millennia.

"Our new radiocarbon dating of the Shropshire mammoths shows they returned to Britain and survived until around 14,000 years ago," said Adrian Lister, a professor at the Natural History Museum in London and author of the study.

Previous techniques used for dating the fossils were not very accurate, he explained.

The giant mammals flourished during the initial phase of the last Ice Age but, despite their "woolly" coats, could not cope with its bitterest chill.

The British mammoths headed south and east towards slightly warmer climes, crossing a land bridge to continental Europe when sea levels were up to 100 metres below what they are now.

landmark progress...

World powers have adopted a landmark resolution seeking to rid the planet of nuclear weapons.

The resolution was adopted unanimously at a rare United Nations Security Council meeting of presidents and prime ministers, the first to be chaired by a US president.

It comes as Iran's suspected nuclear weapons program has once again been thrust into the spotlight.

The 15 members have agreed to renew long-stalled efforts to curb nuclear weapons. Countries must refrain from nuclear test explosions, secure all vulnerable nuclear materials within four years to keep them out of the hands of terrorists, and freeze any financial assets being used for nuclear proliferation.


...And tomorrow my barber is free...

intruding on the cartoonist...

Danish police have shot and wounded a man at the home of Kurt Westergaard, whose cartoon depicting the Prophet Muhammad sparked an international row.

Mr Westergaard was at home in the western town of Aarhus when a man broke in. He pressed a panic button, then police entered and shot the man.

Danish officials said the intruder was a 28-year-old Somali linked to the radical Islamist al-Shabab militia.

The cartoon, printed in 2005, prompted violent protests the following year.


United States and Russia reach nuclear-arms deal
By Mary Beth Sheridan and Philip P. Pan
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, March 25, 2010; A01

The United States and Russia have reached a deal on their most extensive nuclear arms-control agreement in nearly two decades, the Kremlin announced Wednesday. The pact appeared to represent President Obama's first victory in his ambitious agenda to move toward a nuclear-free world.
The new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) would replace a 1991 pact that expired in December. Experts called the new agreement the most significant arms-control accord since the 1993 signing of START II, which the Russians never ratified.

Officials in both countries would not discuss details of the new accord, but the general outlines have emerged during the year-long negotiations. Each side will reduce its most dangerous nuclear weapons -- those deployed for long-range missions-- from a ceiling of 2,200 to between 1,500 and 1,675. And the two militaries will make relatively small cuts in the number of jets and land- or submarine-based missiles that carry nuclear warheads and bombs.

A Kremlin spokesman told reporters that the two countries' presidents would talk soon to decide when to sign the pact. "All documents related to the new treaty have been agreed upon," he said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of diplomatic sensitivity.

The declaration appeared to surprise the White House, with spokesman Robert Gibbs saying that the two sides were "close" to a treaty but that it would not be announced until Obama could speak with President Dmitry Medvedev, probably in the next few days.


US President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev have finalised a historic new deal to cut long-range nuclear arms, slashing the number of deployed warheads by a third.

After months of intense negotiations, the pair sealed what Mr Obama called "the most comprehensive arms control agreement in nearly two decades," as they hailed improved ties that hit a low under US president George W Bush.

The new pact, due to be signed on April 8 in Prague by both the presidents of the former Cold War foes, replaces the landmark 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), which expired in December.

In the Czech capital last year, Mr Obama unveiled a plan to purge the world of atomic weapons by cutting stockpiles, curtailing testing, choking fissile production and securing loose nuclear material.

Mr Obama - standing overnight next to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and other key officials - stressed that the new START treaty was a "fundamental part of that effort" for a nuclear-free world.


The New Cuban Missile Crisis
While history will remember the 20th century for the nuclear arms race, the 21st century might be remembered for the missile defense arms race. About 20 countries now possess missile defense systems, but more than 40 states are expected to have them by midcentury. In fact, by 2050 an entire coordinated system will appear of ground-based, sea-based, air-based and possibly even space-based missile defense elements.

At the same time, the United States and its NATO partners are trying to downplay the negative consequences that missile defense will have on international security, saying it is purely defensive in nature. The standard explanation is that the missile shield will consist of 40 ground-based interceptors positioned on the territory of the continental United States and several dozen more interceptor missiles deployed on the territory of NATO member states and on war-ready battleships.

The spread of U.S. and NATO missile defense systems to many regions of the planet will inevitably lead to an increase in missile defense development-related expenditures. In fact, the current rate of spending will soon outstrip total U.S. outlays for missile defense for the past 25 years combined. Washington spent $132 billion on missile defense over the past quarter century, but now the Pentagon plans to invest $50 billion on such programs over the next three years alone. In addition, the U.S. missile defense program will receive $7.4 billion in budgetary funds in 2010, and the White House is planning to ask Congress for $9.9 billion in 2011.

Interceptor missiles have steadily become more effective as both their accuracy and range have increased. This enables the United States to convert the existing tactical missile defense system in Europe into a strategic system capable of striking and taking out intercontinental ballistic missiles during all three phases of their flight — boost, midcourse and re-entry.

Washington’s development of a new program to “reconfigure missile defense” will be linked to the strategic and tactical nuclear capabilities of the United States, Britain, France and a range of other NATO member states, as well as to space-based weapons that the countries of the West might deploy in the future.

The result is that the “new missile defense architecture” announced by U.S. President Barack Obama last year might turn out to be a dangerous undertaking that could lead to a breakdown of strategic stability in the world. The United States has yet to convince Moscow that this undertaking will not undermine Russia’s national security. Moscow officials are now wondering if the West isn’t leading the world toward another Cuban missile crisis.


Nato chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen has called for a new missile defence system that would protect the US and its allies, and include Russia as well.

Mr Rasmussen said the threat of missile proliferation was real and growing and, in cases such as Iran, these missiles could threaten Nato territories.

He said missile defence could bring Nato and Russia together.

Mr Rasmussen was speaking at the Brussels Forum - an international gathering in the Belgian capital.

see toon at top...

reducing nuclear stockpiles by 90 per cent by 2025

from Al Jazeera

The United States and Russia have signed a new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (Start), as world leaders gear up for next week's nuclear security summit in Washington.

Al Jazeera's Divya Gopalan speaks to Gareth Evans, the co-chair of the International Commission on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament, on the latest developments.

He says the US and Russia must be serious about reducing the number of nuclear weapons and momentum must be maintained to achieve the target of reducing nuclear stockpiles by 90 per cent by 2025.


santa mo...

Comedy Central's South Park included a representation of the Prophet Mohammed as a character this week despite a radical Muslim group's warning that its producers could be killed.

Mohammed appeared on Wednesday night's US episode of the cartoon with his body obscured by a black box, since Muslims consider a physical representation of their prophet to be blasphemous.

Last week, the character was believed to be disguised in a bear costume. When that same costume was removed this week, Santa Claus appeared.

The bear costume had angered the New York-based group Revolution Muslim, which posted a message on its website saying that producers Trey Parker and Matt Stone had insulted their prophet.

The message included a gruesome picture of Theo Van Gogh, a Dutch filmmaker murdered by a Muslim extremist in 2004 after making a movie about a woman who rejected Mohammed's teachings. The message said the South Park producers would "probably wind up like Theo Van Gogh" for airing the show.


how did an idiot like that become president?...

Paul Conrad, Cartoonist, Dies at 86


Conrad's favorite target was Nixon. At the time of the president's resignation, Conrad drew Nixon's helicopter leaving the White House with the caption: ''One flew over the cuckoo's nest.''

''He always said he was most proud of being on Nixon's enemies list,'' David Conrad said.

In a 2006 interview with The Associated Press, Conrad compared his favorite target to then-president George W. Bush.

''I felt two ways about Nixon. First, how did an idiot like that become president,'' said Conrad, a Cedar Rapids, Iowa, native. ''And, secondly, how soon can we get rid of him. Almost the same thing applies to Bush.''

One of Conrad's final images showed Bush as Sisyphus, rolling a huge boulder labeled ''Iraq'' up a hill.

Democratic politicians weren't safe from his barbs either.

After Jimmy Carter admitted that at times he had ''lusted in his heart,'' Conrad drew him mentally undressing the Statue of Liberty.


Long live Paul Conrad's work...

the maverick of mathematics...

Benoît Mandelbrot, Novel Mathematician, Dies at 85

Benoît B. Mandelbrot, a maverick mathematician who developed an innovative theory of roughness and applied it to physics, biology, finance and many other fields, died on Thursday in Cambridge, Mass. He was 85.

His death was caused by pancreatic cancer, his wife, Aliette, said. He had lived in Cambridge.

Dr. Mandelbrot coined the term “fractal” to refer to a new class of mathematical shapes whose uneven contours could mimic the irregularities found in nature.

“Applied mathematics had been concentrating for a century on phenomena which were smooth, but many things were not like that: the more you blew them up with a microscope the more complexity you found,” said David Mumford, a professor of mathematics at Brown University. “He was one of the primary people who realized these were legitimate objects of study.”

In a seminal book, “The Fractal Geometry of Nature,” published in 1982, Dr. Mandelbrot defended mathematical objects that he said others had dismissed as “monstrous” and “pathological.” Using fractal geometry, he argued, the complex outlines of clouds and coastlines, once considered unmeasurable, could now “be approached in rigorous and vigorous quantitative fashion.”

For most of his career, Dr. Mandelbrot had a reputation as an outsider to the mathematical establishment. From his perch as a researcher for I.B.M. in New York, where he worked for decades before accepting a position at Yale University, he noticed patterns that other researchers may have overlooked in their own data, then often swooped in to collaborate.

“He knew everybody, with interests going off in every possible direction,” Professor Mumford said. “Every time he gave a talk, it was about something different.”

Dr. Mandelbrot traced his work on fractals to a question he first encountered as a young researcher: how long is the coast of Britain? The answer, he was surprised to discover, depends on how closely one looks. On a map an island may appear smooth, but zooming in will reveal jagged edges that add up to a longer coast. Zooming in further will reveal even more coastline.


Gus: for all the afficionados of the Chaos Theory, Mandelbrot was a tall figure amongst giants of the reality of unpredictibility in relativism and of the "fractal" structure of nature. He was one of my heroes...

codes to destroy the world went amiss...

The codes used by the president to launch a nuclear strike were mislaid for months during the Clinton administration, the former highest-ranking US officer has said.

Ex-chairman of the joint chiefs of staff Gen Hugh Shelton made the claim in a new book.

The codes are usually held by an aide who remains close to the president.

Gen Shelton said there was an incident where an aide said the codes had been lost.

They were immediately replaced, but an internal inquiry was conducted.

Gen Shelton said the incident had taken place "around the year 2000".

Under the procedures, an official was sent every month to check the codes, and that they were replaced every four months with new codes.

According to Gen Shelton's book, Without Hesitation, an official had gone to check one month and been told by the aide that the codes were on the president's person but that he was in an important meeting and could not be disturbed.

A different official went to do the same check a month later and was told a similar story. When it came time to change the codes, an aide admitted they had been missing for months.

see toon at top


it wasn’t the Swiss bombing them

Leo Cullum, a cartoonist whose blustering businessmen, clueless doctors, venal lawyers and all-too-human dogs and cats amused readers of The New Yorker for the past 33 years, died on Saturday in Los Angeles. He was 68 and lived in Malibu, Calif.

The cause was cancer, said his brother, Thomas.

Mr. Cullum, a TWA pilot for more than 30 years, was a classic gag cartoonist whose visual absurdities were underlined, in most cases, by a caption reeled in from deep left field. “I love the convenience, but the roaming charges are killing me,” a buffalo says, holding a cellphone up to its ear. “Your red and white blood cells are normal,” a doctor tells his patient. “I’m worried about your rosé cells.”

Mr. Cullum seemed to have a particular affinity for the animal kingdom. His comic sympathies extended well beyond dogs, cats and mice to embrace birds — “When I first met your mother, she was bathed in moonlight,” a father owl tells his children — and even extended to the humbler representatives of the fish family. “Some will love you, son, and some will hate you,” an anchovy tells his child. “It’s always been that way with anchovies.”

“There are many ways for a cartoon to be great, not the least of which is to be funny, and Leo was one of the most consistently funny cartoonists we ever had,” said Robert Mankoff, the cartoon editor of The New Yorker. “He was certainly one of the most popular — some of his cartoons were reprinted thousands of times.”

In all, Mr. Cullum published 819 cartoons in The New Yorker, the most recent in the issue for Oct. 25. Many of them were gathered in the collections “Scotch & Toilet Water?,” a book of dog cartoons; “Cockatiels for Two” (cats); “Tequila Mockingbird” (various species) and “Suture Self” (doctors).

Leo Aloysius Cullum was born on Jan. 11, 1942, in Newark and grew up in North Bergen, N.J. He attended the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., where he earned a degree in English in 1963. On graduating, he entered the Marine Corps as a second lieutenant and underwent flight training in Pensacola, Fla.

In 1966 he was sent to Vietnam, where he flew 200 missions, most in support of ground-troop operations, but at one point he flew secret bombing runs over the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Laos. “Who these were secret from I’m still not sure,” Mr. Cullum told Holy Cross magazine in 2006. “The North Vietnamese certainly knew it wasn’t the Swiss bombing them.”

don't mess with the cartoonists...

A Somali who attacked the home of a Danish cartoonist who caricatured the Prophet Muhammad has been jailed for nine years by a Danish court.

Mohamed Geele, 29, was convicted on Thursday of attempted murder and terrorism after his attack last year on Kurt Westergaard, 75.

Mr Westergaard avoided injury by sheltering in a panic room at his home in the city of Aarhus.

Geele also faces deportation to Somalia at the end of his sentence.

The maximum penalty he had faced was a life sentence and prosecutors sought 12 years.

Geele's defence lawyer, Niels Strauss, had asked for, at most, a suspended six-year sentence and for his client not to be deported.

ginger toonist...

It was meant to be a night of celebration for cartoonist Jason Chatfield but it ended in hospital after he was dragged along a city street by a taxi and hauled, limp, to safety by his panicked girlfriend.

Chatfield, 26, was admitted to emergency at The Alfred hospital early yesterday after attending the launch of a friend's new stage show.

His efforts to get home ended in near disaster about 3.20am yesterday when a cab driver refused the fare because it was "too close" and sped off while his arm was trapped in the passenger side door.

It's a hard life to be a cartoonist... May Chatfield recover soon and may his talent still be intact despite this...

Doing Ginger Meggs cartoons is a national responsibility... No joke.

fear the cartoonists?...

In the 19th century, Honoré Daumier, the great French caricaturist, was thrown into prison for his depiction of  King Louis-Philippe as Gargantua.  And in 1835, when the king re-established censorship, which had been temporarily suspended, it was not for print but rather for caricature (“censorship of the crayon”) on the ground that whereas “a pamphlet is no more than a violation of opinion, a caricature amounts to an act of violence.” And let’s not forget that Julius Streicher, editor of the Nazi newspaper Der Stürmer, notorious for its vicious, anti-Semitic cover caricatures, was the only war criminal executed by the Nuremberg tribunal who was not a high-ranking Nazi official.

 Neuroscientists and Freudians all have their explanations as to why and under what circumstances people — be they Muslim workers, French tyrants or members of an international court — find this “silly,” “trivial” and “irrelevant” medium so threatening.  I have long had a theory that one reason people become so agitated by cartoons is that there is no way of answering back. A caricature is by definition an exaggeration, a distortion, unfair. If you don’t like an editorial you can write a letter to the editor, but there is no such thing as a cartoon to the editor.

But here’s another thought. For years anthropologists, art historians and others have patronized so-called primitive peoples as naïve heathens, as guilty of fetishism, animism and totemism because they believed that pictures had magical powers, that in some sense they were alive. These days neuroscientists tell us that if we want to understand our emotional reaction to what we see, we have to understand the brain, its right (emotional) and left (rational) spheres and how the visual stimulus passes on the information to the region called the amygdala, the brain’s so-called fear center.

 Maybe so.  But I can’t help thinking that the British social historian E. P. Thompson was on to something when he wrote, in another connection,  about “the enormous condescension of posterity.” In other words, if brains could whisper, mine would be whispering that perhaps these primitive peoples were right after all; maybe they knew not merely that pictures were magical but also why we should fear them.


Unfortunately, most people think with lower parts of their anatomy, rather than with their brain... This is what the world should fear, not the cartoonists. Cartoonists, in most circumstances, will express a complex thought into a small capsule, as close to the weird reality as possible... Of course, their images can be challenging to the many people who have spend years brainwashing themselves that god Tipikoopoo, or whatever, is the big cheese of the universe.


custard with a sense of anarchy...

One of the UK's most beloved cartoonists, Ronald Searle, creator of the tearaway girls' school St Trinian's, has died aged 91, his publisher Penguin has announced.

The artist died on 30 December in a hospital near his home in southern France. "[He] passed away peacefully in his sleep, with his children and grandson by his side," Searle's daughter Kate Searle told Reuters.

Best known for his spiky comic drawings depicting the outrageous antics of the St Trinian's girls, and for his illustrations of the Molesworth series, written by Geoffrey Willans and which, as any fule kno, tells of life at the boys' prep school St Custard's.

Searle "created an alternative to the conformity of Harold Macmillan's Britain", said his publisher Simon Winder. "He gave Britain in the 1950s particularly a sense of anarchy. He was extraordinarily sceptical about all forms of authority [and] there's something just astonishingly anarchic about Molesworth and St Trinian's," said Winder. "That's why they have appealed to so many generations."


strangelove revisited...

Mike Partain didn’t believe the rumors about a place called Baby Heaven until he visited a Jacksonville, N.C., graveyard and wandered into a section where newborns were laid to rest.

Surrounded by hundreds of tiny marble headstones, he started to cry. A documentary film crew that followed him for a story about water contamination at Camp Lejeune heard his whimpers through a microphone clipped to his clothes. The crew dashed from another part of the graveyard and found him asking, “Why them and not me?”



OF COURSE!!!! THERE WAS SOMETHING IN THE WATER!!! (Any folk who remembers the movie would know what I am talking about....)

by whichever hypocracy you can place your hands upon...


The United States is pursuing its 'manifest destiny' to dominate the Eurasian landmass, stretching from China to Europe, writes John Pilger.

I WATCHED Dr. Strangelove the other day. I have seen it perhaps a dozen times; it makes sense of senseless news.

When Major T.J. "King" Kong goes "toe to toe with the Rooskies" and flies his rogue B52 nuclear bomber to a target in Russia, it's left to General 'Buck' Turgidson to reassure the President.

Strike first, says the general, and "you got no more than 10 to 20 million killed, tops."

President Merkin Muffley:

"I will not go down in history as the greatest mass-murderer since Adolf Hitler."

General Turgidson:

"Perhaps it might be better, Mr. President, if you were more concerned with the American people than with your image in the history books."

The genius of Stanley Kubrick's film is that it accurately represents the cold war's lunacy and dangers.  Most of the characters are based on real people and real maniacs.

There is no equivalent to Strangelove today, because popular culture is directed almost entirely at our interior lives, as if identity is the moral zeitgeist and true satire is redundant; yet the dangers are the same. The nuclear clock has remained at five minutes to midnight; the same false flags are hoisted above the same targets by the same "invisible government", as Edward Bernays, the inventor of public relations, described modern propaganda.

In 1964, the year Strangelove was made, the "missile gap" was the false flag. In order to build more and bigger nuclear weapons and pursue an undeclared policy of domination, President John Kennedy approved the CIA's  propaganda that the Soviet Union was well ahead of the U.S. in the production of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles. This filled front pages as the "Russian threat". In fact, the Americans were so far ahead in the production of ICBMs, the Russians never approached them. The cold war was based largely on this lie.


Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the U.S. has ringed Russia with military bases, nuclear warplanes and missiles as part of its 'NATO Enlargement Project'. Reneging a U.S. promise to Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev in 1990 that NATO would not expand "one inch to the east", NATO has all but taken over eastern Europe. In the former Soviet Caucuses, NATO's military build-up is the most extensive since the Second World War.    

In February, the United States mounted one of its proxy "colour" coups against the elected government of Ukraine; the shock troops were fascists. For the first time since 1945, a pro-Nazi, openly anti-Semitic party controls key areas of state power in a European capital. No Western European leader has condemned thisrevival of fascism on the border of Russia. Some 30 million Russians died in the invasion of their country by Hitler's Nazis, who were supported by the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, the UPA, responsible for numerous Jewish and Polish massacres. The UPA was the military wing, inspiring today's Svoboda party

Since Washington's putsch in Kiev – and Moscow's inevitable response in Russian Crimea, to protect its Black Sea Fleet – the provocation and isolation of Russia have been inverted in the news to the "Russian threat".

This is fossilised propaganda.

The U.S. Air Force general who runs NATO forces in Europe  – General Breedlove, no less – claimed more than two weeks ago to have pictures showing 40,000 Russian troops "massing" on the border with Ukraine. So did Colin Powell claim to have pictures of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. What is certain is that Obama's rapacious, reckless coup in Ukraine has ignited a civil war and Vladimir Putin is being lured into a trap.

Following a 13-year rampage that began in stricken Afghanistan well after Osama bin Laden had fled, then destroyed Iraq beneath a false flag, then invented a "nuclear rogue" in Iran, dispatched Libya to a Hobbesian anarchy, and backed jihadists in Syria, the U.S. finally has a new cold war to supplement its worldwide campaign of murder and terror by drone.


A NATO Membership Action Plan or MAP – straight from the war room ofStrangelove – is General Breedlove's gift to the new dictatorship in Ukraine. 'Rapid Trident' will put U.S. troops on Ukraine's Russian border and 'Sea Breeze' will put US warships within sight of Russian ports. At the same time, NATO war games throughout eastern Europe are designed to intimidate Russia.

Imagine the response if this madness was reversed and happened on America's borders. Cue General "Buck" Turgidson.

And then there is China.

On 24 April, President Obama will begin a tour of Asia to promote his 'Pivot to China'. The aim is to convince his 'allies' in the region, principally Japan, to re-arm and prepare for the eventual possibility of war with China. By 2020, almost two-thirds of all U.S. naval forces in the world will be transferred to the Asia-Pacific area. This is the greatest military concentration in that vast region since the second world war.

In an arc extending from Australia to Japan, China will face U.S. missiles and nuclear-armed bombers. A strategic naval base is being built on the Korean island of Jeju less than 400 miles from the Chinese metropolis of Shanghai and the industrial heartland of the only country whose economic power is likely to surpass that of the US.

Obama's "pivot" is designed to undermine China's influence in its region. It is as if world war has begun by other means.

This is not a Strangelove fantasy.

Obama's defence secretary, Charles "Chuck" Hagel, was in Beijing last week to deliver a menacing warning that China, like Russia, could face isolation and war if it did not bow to U.S. demands. He compared the annexation of Crimea with China's complex territorial dispute with Japan over uninhabited islands in the East China Sea.

Said Hagel with a straight face:

"You cannot go around the world and violate the sovereignty of nations by force, coercion or intimidation".

for America's massive movement of naval forces and nuclear weapons to Asia, that is

"... a sign of the humanitarian assistance the US military can provide."

Obama is currently seeking a greater budget for nuclear weapons than the historical peak during the cold war — the era of Strangelove.

The United States is pursuing its longstanding ambition to dominate the Eurasian landmass, stretching from China to Europe — a "manifest destiny" made right by might.

You can follow John Pilger on Twitter @johnpilger.,6400


Please note the term HYPOCRACY  means that we are run by hypocrite governments. 





vale barry...


Barry O'Keefe, a former New South Wales Supreme Court judge and commissioner of the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), has died.

In a long legal career, Mr O'Keefe served as chief judge of the Commercial Division of the NSW Supreme Court, an additional judge of the Court of Appeal, and as a judge of the Common Law Division and the Court of Criminal Appeal. 

Before his appointment to the bench, he acted for the Federal and NSW governments in a number of leading cases, and also for Her Majesty's Crown Agents in the United Kingdom.

He served as ICAC commissioner from 1994 to 1999.

In 2012, he was made chairman of the Truth Justice and Healing Council to coordinate the response of bishops and church leaders to the child abuse Royal Commission.


Of course Barry was also the brother of Johnny O'Keefe... And was the mayor of Mosman, on... Sydney North Shore... Though a fellow on the liberal side of politics, Barry was far more honourable that all the other pollies that breed on that northern side of the harbour — including our own Tony Detritus who lies like you breathe...

I met Barry in the 1970s... I also met Neville Wran in the 1970s when he was Premier of NSW... I never asked for anything. Bugger. Wran was a tough, clever and direct man. I believe Barry O'Keefe was too. 


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