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Trawlings caught in the net - In the Shadow of Leaves
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Trawlings caught in the net
[Do the words "Told you so" have any resonance here? (Going back to that pre-Olympic legislation ... what _did_ happen to that?
Despite Ric Birch's assurances, don't know if it did end up with 'sunset' clause. Trying to remember if it was State or Federal.)]

All the way with LB ... er ... ASIO
By Alan Ramsey
November 2 2002

... Squads of assorted police, directed by ASIO agents, guns drawn, were bursting into homes of people "who may have some knowledge". That's all it takes, in these days of fear and not a little hysteria, to have armed police take your home apart, in front of your children, and cart away anything they choose, yourself included, to examine at leisure, telling the rest of us, in a sense, to mind our business, that all is above board and entirely lawful, and, as Williams asserted on Wednesday, "that everything is being done in order to ensure the Australian community is properly protected"...

Was looking for EM Forster's bit on not believing in belief, having come across the quote recently. Sounded like one of the sort of things I've been rabbiting on about. Finally found it at: www.geocities.com/dspichtinger/otexts/believe.html

What I Believe
E.M. Forster in Two Cheers for Democracy (1951)
Interestingly, it also addresses another subject that's a recent worry (particularly since September 11th). People are currently bringing up some memories of the sort of things done in the 1950s & 1960s to helpless 'no-count' types (e.g. poor &/or non-white &/or prisoners &/or mentally ill &/or handicapped) for Cold War experiments, and the penalising of others on the merest suspicion of connection with 'unAmerican' activities. Interesting how many seem to think it was such a happy & innocent decade, the fifties.
Even in retro shows like 'Grease' - as well as ones made at the time like 'West Side Story' you could see some of the problems. This gives you some idea of the kind of pressures building up at the start of the 1950s. Which of course is what I've
been pointing to with the anti-terrorism moral panic (see story above).

While searching, ran across some interesting places, including
[BTW, Pink Alert]:
Benzaldehyde reviews

Assorted quotes & examples of people mostly living a tolerant life. This seems to be a 'defensive' site against the blitz of the American
"Moral Majority" - who don't recognise any other morals - since it seems to assume a bad attitude towards atheist/agnostic 'nontheists',
as he dubs them: www.visi.com/~markg/atheists.html

And an article, some years before he died, by Carl Sagan (another of my heroes):

His last book was "The Demon-Haunted World". According to someone who'd read earlier drafts, Dr Sagan strengthened & hardened it up, he thought perhaps CS knew that it was likely to be his last word on the subject. Have a couple of his books, might check for that one next time I get to a a) library; b) 2nd-hand book shop.

Thoughts about democracy, government & society:

Article on www.smh.com.au [Franco's "stolen children"]
Have heard this story about Chile too. Looks like Latin America copied the old Latin country. I suspect similar things have happened over centuries, e.g. heretic's infant children being taken before they burn the parent(s); native peoples' children being deprived of their language & culture, to be acculturated to colonialists' ideas -- including the inferiority of the natives & their culture (have heard the Australian 'stolen generation' story repeated in several countries).

The thought in the story did occur to me at the timing of the sudden cessation of that trial...
What butler saw will remain secret
(This blew up into quite a noisy story over the next few weeks. Then faded off.)
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