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We are at War

We are at war with multiple enemies, some of them far too close to home for comfort.

Some of them are more tangible than others but the most dangerous is greed.

Driven by ever-expanding corporations, capitalism has driven the concept of everlasting growth, ensuring that a minute proportion of the world’s population corners the vast majority of the world’s wealth.

In this process, politicians have succumbed to corruption and developed policies which benefit them and their wealthy supporters, not the majority of the people whom they pretend to represent.

Consequently, one of the early victims has been democracy.

Religion, too, has been a significant ally of the corporations. Don’t forget that the Roman Catholic Church is one of the world’s wealthiest organisations and its promotion of blind faith in its teachings, ably assisted by the happy clappers who promote the concept “through creating greater wealth for ourselves, we prove we are the chosen people”, has helped to keep the disadvantaged under their thumb.

In more recent years, women have fought against ruthless male dominance with some measure of success, but – with a few exceptions (think – Gina Reinhardt, Maggie Thatcher and some other prominent female politicians, here and elsewhere) – the fact that they are more likely to stress the need for care and concern for others has diluted their impact.

(A disclaimer: I am well aware that many men also care about others, but, unfortunately, they tend to be drowned out by the others!)

The fact that our predominantly male leaders seem to regard serving the economy as their dominant purpose, rather than seeing it as being in the service of the population, is a serious concern. True, it is reasonable to expect that a healthy economy is more likely to enable people to remain healthy, but the current pandemic puts a big question mark over that supposition.

My mind keeps returning to the way in which the British government guided policy during WWII.

Much of the food was imported from former colonies so was in short supply. Consequently, we had severe food rationing and few ways to circumvent the system.

We also made many of our own clothes, sewing and knitting, while we also had restricted access to clothing coupons to enable us to purchase what we could not make. Again, to get extra coupons was essentially restricted to growing children whose body measurements established that they genuinely needed a larger size!

As now, out of home entertainment was barely available as regards cinemas and theatres, but for rather different reasons!

Civilians had no access to petrol during the war but we were discouraged from travelling, anyway. Much as now.

Given a valid reason, most people will accept shortages and the need to be economically compliant.

Rationing also prevents the thoughtless stockpiling which enables the greedy few to have an excess, while others are left without items which, like Ventolin, might be essential to their well-being.

One obvious solution to the present crisis, with many losing their jobs or losing income through having to self-isolate, would be the UBI. It is highly unlikely that the Coalition would even consider such a solution, because they are so bound by their ideology.

It is not just the greed of corporations which damages the lives of others! And governments have been complicit in enabling corporations to avoid regulation to an alarming extent, which was amply illustrated in the banking Royal Commission. And how many of its recommendations have been followed up???

And – forgotten in all the Covid-19 issues – the need to fight a war on climate change has not gone away!

The silver lining – and this is not entirely a nice thought – is that China’s draconian approach to limiting the spread of the infection has resulted in a downturn of manufacturing with a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. And their slow recovery will enhance this positive outcome.

Multiple factors in addition to emissions, and including population growth and pollution, are contributors to global warming, and, again, an unpleasant aspect of the way in which Covid-19 has been indirectly beneficial, has been an increased mortality rate.

Some people have a ‘whatever it takes’ attitude to dealing with a problem, but we really should not be relying on a disaster, which is taking lives, to achieve an outcome which our government’s have proved reluctant to tackle.

Sadly, for too many people, their interest in politics ends when they have cast their vote at a general election.

We are all part of a nation, which is only governed well when those least able to care for themselves are properly assisted.

Is that now the case?

If not, what should be happening and why is it not?

Those whom we elect are only human beings, and, if they are driven by ideology and political bias, then they are as liable as anyone else to develop faulty policies. When these result in harm to the vulnerable, then there has to be some means to ensure those policies change.

In recent years, the Coalition government has been obsessed with protecting our borders against potential terrorist invasions, while ignoring the very real needs of the vulnerable within our borders.

The Fair Go and the Lucky Country are echoes of a past which is now dead and gone, while we live in a ‘what’s in it for me’ environment, where children can be trampled underfoot while selfish adults rush to grab their share.

Shame on you, Australia!

I end as always – this is my 2020 New Year Resolution:

“I will do everything in my power to enable Australia to be restored to responsible government.”

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  1. Pingback: We are at War #newsoz.org #auspol – News Oz

  2. Chesterson

    “I will do everything in my power to enable Australia to be restored to responsible government.”

    The elephant in the room we really need to get rid of – The Morison herd!

  3. New England Cocky

    So far the Morriscum Liarbral Nazianal$ COALition misgovernment has practised “Socialism for the Undeserving Wealthy & Corporates”, ignoring the unemployed, the under-employed, casual and gig workers, the destitute, the disabled, Newstart recipients residential mortgage holders, middle class SMSF landlords with multiple rental properties and indeed, everybody who is not in business.

    The aged pensioners were gifted $750.00, or $14.42 per week over a year or $2.06 per day, less than the cost of a loaf of bread, or a cup of coffee.

    So which political party is the best financial manager of the national economy? Compared to the Rudd Henry response to the 2008 GFC, the present mob have demonstrated few skills or understanding that money pushed into the BOTTOM of the economy flows upwards while money gifted into the TOP of the economy goes straight overseas to untaxable off-shore tax haven accounts.

    There is now no doubt what-so-ever that Smirkie Sacked form Marketing is the least competent Prim Monster since Federation in 1901. Dog help Australia because Smirkie will allow no-one to steal his chance to destroy the Australian economy for the benefit of a select few foreign magnates.

  4. Roland Flickett

    I am not usually sucked into conspiracy theories, but there is a disturbing similarity in the attitudes of the governments of the world that most affect Australian politics.
    The Prime Minister of the UK adopted a pure Malthusian attitude to the virus; to paraphrase his comments (barely paraphrased) he said ‘the vulnerable segments of society are the old, the sick, the poor, the unemployed, the under-employed, the lazy and the feckless. When the Coronavirus has done its dash (meaning it’s job) we will be a stronger and more successful society.’ The unmistakable implications of his attitude are ‘Why should the rich pay to maintain these people.’
    He has gone quiet, likely gagged by the 1% who have garnered all the money and all the assets of much of the earth, and who own the governments of at least the USA, UK, and Australia. Both political parties in the USA are working to avoid a septuagenarian socialist being elected, despite the evidence that a very large number of US citizens seem to be in favour of Bernie Samdets.
    The exit polls and published results of almost all the Dem primaries show variations of up to 20%, in favour of Biden, a corporate-owned candidate with a fading mental capacity. In the USA, a variance between exit polls snd results of over 2% is deemed to be evidence of fraud. So the Democratic Party is doctoring it’s own results to ensure that Biden gets nominated. Conspiracy theorists suggest that, closer to the election, they will declare Joe unfit to run and slip Clinton in as a substitute. So they are prepared to lose to Trump rather than win with Bernie, who most
    Commentators think would beat him.
    I won’t draw any parallels with Australia…its too obvious. The Coalition is Malthusian to the bootheels.

  5. Carole

    This government cannot undo the purse strings. It is not in their DNA. It would destroy their way of life to have compassion and equality applied to the lesser beings who might join a union, vote Labor, demand equality, expect to have a job or own a home, respect the planet .. It has been their selfishness that has seen the Average Australian emulate the behaviour of the greedy and the corrupt, whom we see each day in Parliament.
    The saddest part in my mind is that we have already forgotten the victims of the recent fires and floods, and many of us are so self absorbed that hoarding loo paper and pasta has become an obsession.
    I doubt we would survive a world war in the way our parents and grandparents did. The number of homeless people is now going to include people have always thought they wouLd have permanent full time work. Nothing is certain anymore and I don’t think we are equipped to deal with it.

  6. ajogrady

    The “go to” Neo conservative mantra of fear is working its magic as usual and the loser is Democracy.The winners of the the Corona virus pandemic is big money. There is going to be absolute bargain businesses that will be snapped up by the mega wealthy. The Corona virus story is the story that keeps on giving. It has breathed new life and interest in newspapers and thus sales. It has also generated new advertising revenue for failing free to air TV stations. Also with out diminishing the threat posed to much, it is interesting that just as Climate Change was starting to get some real traction around the world along comes a world wide pandemic to divert everyone’s attention.It will take an inordinate amount of time before it will be as front and centre of so many governments again. Then to top it off the corporatised American Democrats aided and abetted by the Main Stream Media have white anted, knee capped and serially and systematically worked to strip Bernie Sanders of the opportunity again to bring to the polling booths millions and millions of disaffected people who have stopped voting because neither party represents them,the working class and the poor. His policies recognises their fears and despair. The policies of fighting climate change, health care for all, free education and the sheer fact that he totally rejects donations from corporations and big business scares the life out of them. Democracy has been bought and sold and is now a farce.

  7. Socrates.

    After Carole Taylor, I reckon it is not possible for them not to rort components of their schemes, with various accomplices.

  8. Roland Flickett

    A J OGrady

    The Chinese allege that the virus was brought in by Americans. The magazine Nature said, several years ago, that a chemical weapons lab that had been working on fusing two viruses – SARS and another corona virus, leaked some of their handiwork and two local but unconnected nursing homes had epidemics of a flu-like illness killed several people. Investigators said it was due to ‘vaping’, but the research facility was closed down. There had also been a series of anthrax cases in the military, again from leaked material. As has been pointed out, the World Military games were held in Wuhan in November last. Three hundred US attended, and the first case of the new virus was reported – in Wuhan – two weeks after they left. It is possible that a US athlete was a carrier, perhaps inadvertently, as was the case in 1918 when one or more recruits from a training camp in Kansas had flu symptoms when they embarked for France, and started the Spanish flu pandemic.
    Two coincidences, perhaps…
    The incidences of the new Coronavirus in the USA are almost certainly grossly under-reported. It is said that testing there costs $3-4000 even if you are clear. The average American is said to have cash reserves of about $400, so they probably would not go to the doctor.

  9. Aortic

    Great article. I note a headline in the OZ, if you please that the aftermath of the perilous times in which we live may result in a form of communism. I would suggest that perhaps that may be fanciful, but the rabid capitalism practiced in the United States, and in a lesser form here and the U.K. surely cannot continue. In the States any mention of even socialism brings howls of dissent encouraged of course by the Republicans How any system can condone health insurance and pharmaceutical companies making billions of dollars whilst their even slightly disadvantaged have to work two sometimes three jobs merely to survive and heaven help them if they get sick. Governments are seemingly obsessed with tax cuts, but how about a system such as some Scandinavian countries that tax at a much higher rate but you are provided with free health and education and still have an acceptable standard of living. Imagine proposing that in the States and you would be run out of town. This virus will have obviously dreadful consequences in the loss of life, but if it does result in a fairer more equitable system for all, then it may at least bring some benefits.

  10. John OCallaghan

    When our children were young we bought a set of childrens books which all had a moral meaning and ending which were meant to show the children that certain human traits such as greed, dishonesty carelessness apathy…. well you get the picture, would have consequences.
    One book was called The “Hoardasaurus”, a mythical dragon like creature who loved to hoard things but in the end realised it did’nt make it happy, so gave it all away and just kept the things it really needed which made it very happy indeed… maybe we should all try and be like that “Hoardasaurus”….

  11. Kaye Lee


    I am reminded of the men in my life.

    At my husband’s 21st, his boarding school mate said hubby (boyfriend at the time) would give you the shirt off his back.

    At my father’s funeral, his mate said you always knew, if Jack had tuppence, you had a penny.

    Giving makes you feel a whole lot better than hoarding. What a great book.

  12. Miriam English

    Roland Flickett, please be careful of spreading malicious fake conspiracy theories. I think every single thing in your first paragraph is untrue, except that the 7th International Military Sports Council (CISM) Military World Games were held in Wuhan. Snakes did not compete. This virus comes from snakes. Wild food, including snakes, are commonly sold at the market in Wuhan which is generally considered by experts to have been the origin of the outbreak.

    Rosemary, while capitalism is undoubtedly a wellspring of much evil, it is also the source of much good. These machines we type to each other on are an example of something we would be unlikely to have without capitalism. The fraction of humanity living in deep poverty is also falling to its lowest levels in history; this is mostly thanks to capitalism. Like life itself, capitalism is many things. It produces predators and parasites, but it also gives us fruits, and flowers, and symbiotic relationships.

    Short-sighted capitalists who have taken their “free-market” ideology to insane and untenable lengths indulge in raping the planet and barely disguised legalised theft. More balanced souls try to use their privilege for good.

    As with many things, the idea of an ever-expanding market can be a good thing or bad. If it relies upon plunder with no concern for consequences, then yes, it is a bad thing, but an ever-growing market can be sustained by making more out of less, aggressive recycling, and making the knowledge economy an increasing part of the market. Knowledge (includes not just facts, but culture and fictional works, images, and music) has no obvious limits and can likely expand without limit. Miniaturisation (such as in electronics), using less to do more (smaller more efficient cars, insulating homes to reduce energy consumption, etc), re-using resources instead of dumping them in landfills and needing to mine more — all these can let capitalism continue to grow in a finite world without damaging our planet.

    Our birthrate has now barely replacement level and will soon drop below that. Our population is still growing, but that’s because we oldies are still hanging on. When we go, the population will perhaps for the first time in history begin a long-term downward trend. Some things could still prevent that. The hardship brought by a devastating pandemic, for instance, would cause birthrates to rise again. I doubt this coronavirus will do that, as it will most severely hit those in our age-group and older, but the next pandemic, if it has a high mortality rate (like AIDS, ebola, cholera have) could kickstart massive population growth again. Or war could do the same, though I think humanity has finally grown past major wars.

    I have found it deeply depressing that many people have been so quick to spread awful conspiracy theories and have shown such amazing selfishness (for example the lunatic toilet paper crisis). On the other hand I’ve seen people correcting some of the worst fake news, and people helping each other, including big capitalist entities (early morning elderly-folks-only shopping).

    One last thing, Rosemary. I’m an artist and one of the things I am somewhat obsessive about is fixing distorted pictures. I hope you don’t mind that I removed the perspective distortion and fixed the tone-spread in your personal image. I’ve uploaded it to my website’s files directory at:
    I might have introduced another distortion — I don’t know the original image’s aspect ratio (ratio of horizontal to vertical).

  13. Miriam English

    John OCallaghan, do you mean the Serendipity series of books by Stephen Cosgrove and illustrated by Robin James? They seem like a very worthwhile project.

    Here is a description of the Hoardasaurus and many of the illustrations.

    The More the Hoardasaurus Gave Away, the Less Nervous He Felt!

    Here’s a Wikipedia page with a list of the books in the series:

    It seems they have been republished.

  14. Kaye Lee

    Craig Kelly has penned a facebook piece called….wait for it…..THE IMPORTANCE OF ACCURATE DATA.

    He goes on to say…..

    “If we assume that case fatality rate among individuals infected by SARS-CoV-2 is 0.3% in the general population — a mid-range guess from my Diamond Princess analysis — and that 1% of the U.S. population gets infected (about 3.3 million people), this would translate to about 10,000 deaths.

    This sounds like a huge number, but it is buried within the noise of the estimate of deaths from “influenza-like illness.”

    If we had not known about a new virus out there, and had not checked individuals with PCR tests, the number of total deaths due to “influenza-like illness” would not seem unusual this year.”

  15. RosemaryJ36

    Miriam: I am touched by your concern over my photo in my profile. It is a photo of a photo taken when I was 20 and bears little resemblance to me now at 84!
    I was at Imperial College, London and involved in the Dramatic Society productions and our regular photographer was on the committee of the college Photographers Society. He asked me to model when his Society had a professional photographer giving a talk on portrait photography. It was a fascinating experience.
    As far as capitalism is concerned, in my experience we pay a high price for any advantage it might offer.

  16. Miriam English

    Craig Kelly… I wondered how he could get so many things wrong in just 3 sentences… and then I remembered that he’s the idiot who thinks islands float, so aren’t at risk from sea-level rise.

    Estimating the death rate from a cruise ship population introduces multiple distortions. From evidence around the world the death rate of COVID-19 appears to be 2% to 3%.

    As this is a novel virus, most people who come into contact with it will get infected. That will likely be a majority of the population. How soon that happens will depend upon measures taken to slow its spread (social distancing, quarantine, and the arrival of a vaccine).

    If half the USA population catch it in the next 18 months then half of 327.2 million is 163.6 million people. Just 2% of them dying amounts to 3.7 million deaths. But the effects may well be worse than this, considering Italy’s experience, because the limited number of hospital beds, respirators, and tests mean many that might be saved will be lost. Also they will be competing for beds with accident victims and those afflicted with other life-threatening problems.

    The worst thing about this is that it is entirely preventable. China’s amazingly quick reaction, if somewhat draconian, saved them countless unnecessary deaths. South Korea’s more gentle, but equally swift reaction has saved them from great numbers of deaths. The worst outbreak in South Korea came from a church. If that had been able to be prevented then South Korea’s experience would have been very mild.

    Unfortunately USA is full of coronavirus-denying preachers and churches welcoming the sick into their midst, and Trump’s incompetent government is doing its best impression of a Keystone Kops movie. It looks like things will likely be considerably worse than my numbers above.

    Australia is in a similar position, with churches denying the danger from the virus and morons like Craig Kelly spouting nonsense based on wishful thinking. Two great advantages we have are our socialised medicine and our low population spread widely. Social distancing should be relatively easy for us.

  17. Miriam English

    Rosemary, we all deteriorate with age. It’s the great leveller… the grand cosmic joke. You were certainly a beauty in your youth. I wish I’d looked half as attractive. If you want to send me a larger image I can make it like new. My email address is on my info page at the AIMN — click on my avatar image.

    I’ve done this for a number of family and friends, and even people online that I’ve never conversed with. It is a bit of an obsession with me. 🙂

    As for the price of capitalism, I agree, but I think the price of not having capitalism would be even higher. One day I hope that we won’t need capitalism (I even dare to hope that day is very close). Until that time, however, I think we just have to fight against the worst excesses of capitalism, while nurturing its best aspects. Not an ideal situation… but it seems to be what we have. It could be so much worse in so many ways.

  18. Andrew Smith

    UK’s ‘Malthusian’ views of the virus seem at best unfortunate, at worst eugenics based, but always joined at the hip with radical right libertarianism (and related narratives).

    However, be careful, the same types also promote no or low ‘growth’ for everyone else…..

    That’s fine, if everyone wants a (moderate) drop in their income or social mobility for ourselves and more for ‘others’…… while in places too many cannot get out of the metaphorical ‘gutter’ (see this starkly where one is presently due sudden economic issues of Corona, moving back to villages where life is shit….).

    How many (first world people like Australians) people would be prepared to give back their own personal or social gains in growth over past, while the top 1-10% carry on unaffected?

    Careful of the political narrative traps……

  19. Miriam English

    Andrew Smith, well put. The calls to limit goods and services, while well-intentioned, could easily result in awful consequences. It is much safer to gently herd people’s desires toward less harmful things, like greater efficiency, smaller things, and the “information economy”. Unfortunately, for that we need leaders… and that’s what’s most starkly absent in politics for Australia, USA, and UK at the moment.

    In fact, just thinking about it for a moment, I can only come up with one major leader in those countries: Elon Musk. He is putting enormous effort into pushing the world away from fossil fuels. But even he wouldn’t be recognised as a leader by many. We have many smaller-scale leaders who head social justice movements, such as GetUp’s Paul Oosting, but most people, though they know of the movements, would not recognise the people leading them.

    Perhaps we are at a period in human history when we no longer need leaders… that would be nice… however I suspect that isn’t the case. I get the feeling that we’re being pushed away from genuine political leaders, with useless, cartoonish nitwits deliberately launched into power. Australia, USA, and UK are largely controlled by Murdoch — he decides who becomes leader in each of those countries. In parts of the English-speaking world where Murdoch doesn’t control things — New Zealand and Canada — they actually have genuine, smart leaders.

  20. New England Cocky

    @Miriam English 1209 200320: Uhm ….. I also have seen the claim that US military sportspeople were responsible for the initial COVID-19 infection in Wuhan at the Military Games. I am still searching for the link for the benefit of others to peruse and make their own determinations.

    The first reports of COVID-19 identified bats as the likely animal source, much like the Hendra virus in Australia transmitted to horses then onto humans.

    I am also reminded that by 1969 the US military had already stored sufficient Rice Blast Fungus to wipe out the entire Asian rice crop, Afghanistan to Korea, SEVEN (7) TIMES, with other stores of crop pathogen innoculum for killing off food crops in all regions of the globe.

    Then again, I remember that about five years ago, the Chief NZ Plant Pathologist (CPP) infected an apple tree in the Melbourne Botanic Gardens with Apple Blight in an unsuccessful attempt to force the Australian government to give NZ apples free access to the Australian market. This first recording of apple blight in Australia was identified and publicly announced by the CPP during an International conference tour of the Gardens, and confessed to at a press conference the following day after ABC Radio was advised of the epidemiological realities. Victorian DPI officers correctly applied the Dorothy Shaw protocol and successfully protected the remaining Australian apple industry.

    It is unwise to discount possible biological war strategies simply because they offend usual middle class Australian values or morality that many others may not share …..

  21. Matters Not

    Re the claim:

    This virus comes from snakes

    Initially speculated but now virtually dismissed.

    Initially, a group of researchers suggested snakes be the possible host, however, after genomic similarity findings of novel coronavirus with SARS-like bat viruses supported the statement that not snakes but only bats could be the key reservoirs

    Note however, it’s science we are talking about and with all scientific conclusions they are tentative – never claiming to be the truth – seemingly just the best explanation available at any given moment in time. The (long and detailed reference) paper concludes, in part:

    novel coronavirus originated from the Hunan seafood market at Wuhan … The zoonotic source of SARS-CoV-2 is not confirmed, however, sequence-based analysis suggested bats as the key reservoir.

    … According to phylogenetic trees, SARS-CoV is closer to SARS-like bat CoVs. Until now, no promising clinical treatments or prevention strategies have been developed against human coronaviruses.


    Nevertheless, the paper will be critically evaluated – as it should be. That’s the nature of a good scientific journey.

  22. Roland Flickett

    @Miriam English

    Before you throw out allegations of ‘spreading malicious fake conspiracy theories’, please look up the history of Fort Detrick, Maryland, ‘the military’s leading biodefense center’ which was issued with a ”cease and desist’ order by the CDC in Juy 2019, and was apparently ceased functioning in August 2019. An inspection found it did not comply with safety standards in its research involving dangerous microbes such as the ebola virus. It is apparently a CIA operation (the CIA is not noted for its humanitarian work.)
    ‘Defense’ is an American word meaning ättack’. Fort Detrick was set up by the US army to develop germ warfare, and it has been censured a number of times, The CDC cited ‘national security reasons’ for the order.
    The suspended research involves certain toxins, including Ebola, Smallpox, Anthrax, etc.
    It was also suspended in 2009, because it was storing pathogens not listed in its data base.
    The center has been accused of ‘losing’ numerous toxins’ from time to time.

    Don’t take my word for it. Look it up. I am not saying they unleashed the virus – the Chinese have a similar establishment in Wuhan. But if Fort Detrick DID unleash it, the Fort’s history suggests they didn’t have a clue. The Baltimore Sun reported in 2002 that ‘Lab specimens of anthrax spores, Ebola virus and other deadly pathogens disappeared from the Army’s biological warfare research facility at Fort Detrick in the early 1990s. In all, 27 specimens were reported as missing’.

  23. Miriam English

    Matters Not, thanks for the correction. I appreciate it.

    New England Cocky, what are the chances that the USA biological weapons facilities will politely inform people that they have enough pathogen to wipe out all Asian crops? Sounds like kooky conspiracy theory to me. Conspiracy theorists tend to make claims that are unconvincing in their very specificity.

    Yes, I too have seen claims that the COVID-19 virus came from USA athletes at the games. Claims are not evidence. I have seen claims that the Earth is flat. Forgive me for not believing an extraordinary claim just because someone says so.

    Roland Flickett, it seems you are unusually prone to picking up crazy conspiracy theories and spreading them. The Fort Detrick Biowarfare labs were closed down in 1969 by Richard Nixon.

  24. Matters Not

    ME, the paper cited was the best found after a quick Google search. While the references tend to be somewhat incestuous (not unusual) and the conclusions and recommendations perhaps bordering on conflicts of interest (in that they recommend that teams of Chinese doctors be sent as experts across the world), it seems to me that it’s a very useful paper – even for a non-expert such as myself.

    Clearly there’s some dark days ahead but it’s a pity that those among us who want to access the ‘good’ information are being treated like the proverbial mushrooms.

  25. Miriam English

    Matters Not, that is a great article.
    Some people are giving interesting first-hand video accounts:

    UK Doctor live tweets her coronavirus experience

    Roland Flickett, seems I was too quick to stop at information that Fort Detrick was closed down in 1969 by Nixon. It turns out that research continued in some capacity and was stopped again in 2009 when it was revealed that they were keeping incomplete records, then stopped again in 2018 after a storm damaged their water sterilisation facility.

  26. Roland Flickett

    Bats. Over the last decade or so – perhaps longer – a colony of fruit bats/flying foxes has established itself in or close to the Adelaide Botanic gardens. I don’t know why they suddenly appeared (just as I don’t know why Ibises suddenly appeared and became more numerous than, and as welcome as, seagulls at a picnic.), but as they are generally accepted as reservoirs of unpleasant diseases I am surprised they have been allowed to establish themselves here.
    Fort Ketrick has been told to ‘cease and desist’ many times, but it springs up again like soursobs.
    When the world eliminates a disease, as it reportedly did with smallpox, then a country that keeps a supply of it in a lab can have only one aim in mind, in my opinion, anyway. That Fort Ketrick is a CIA establishment should worry us all. It was supposedly trying to fuse the SARS virus with another Coronavirus ‘to try and nullify the effects of each’ .
    As I said, This is the CIA we are talking about, not Medecin Sans Frontieres.
    The ‘conspiracy theory’ in this instance wobbles a bit, certainly, but if you have a full-blown scepticism about the moral probity of the USA (which I fully admit to) the fact that the 3 worst affected countries happen to have upset the USA is more than a coincidence.
    The ‘tangerine twat’, who is likely to get a second term, has taken to calling COVID- 19 the ‘Chinese flu’. He might be right, but the ‘Spanish Flu’ of a century ago should be re-named ‘American Flu’ because it almost certainly arrived in Europe nestling in the bodies of US recruits from a military training base in Kansas.
    Back to Fort Ketrick; if you read ALL the literature available on this establishment you will marvel at the incompetence and outright carelessness of the people running the place. Losing viruses; mis-labelling samples; omitting to record or acknowledge some toxins they were storing…
    Read it, and tremble.

  27. Miriam English

    Roland Flickett, the hysteria around wild animals is unwarranted. We come into contact with them then say they should be exterminated. That’s an irresponsible reaction. People don’t generally notice or pay much attention to bats until a disease strikes — often as a result of us eating them or encroaching on their living space.

    The CIA hasn’t been involved in Fort Ketrick (originally called Camp Ketrick) since the cold war years, as far as I know. You would be surprised to learn that the CIA does many things apart from destabilising governments, some of those other things are actually good. It is rare for any organisation to be only bad.

    Fort Ketrick really does seem to be involved in medical research, not offensive work.

    It’s a pity you seem to have such a fervent desire for conspiracies to be true. While there are some bad people doing wicked things, and even good people who do bad things for misguided reasons, most people are good and try their level best to do good things.

    Why are so many people given to hysterical over-reaction and seeing dark conspiracy theories all around? It is irresponsible, causes suspicion and hate, and inconveniences many others. Christ! I’m down to two rolls of toilet paper and all the shops are empty of toilet paper because of hysterical panic-buying (COVID-19 doesn’t even cause diarrhoea!). I seem to spend much of my time online undoing damage by nuts screaming conspiracy theories or promoting dangerous therapies.

    I sometimes despair of humanity. We are brilliant, but insane.

  28. Roland Flickett


    Flying foxes or Fruit Bats were unknown in Adelaide until 2010. The colony now numbers 20,000.
    The Hendra virus that killed racehorses came from fruit bats. So far as I know – the phrase you used to suggest the CIA is no longer active in Fort Ketrick and does ‘some good things’ – a phrase used by the WA Abetz when defending his great uncle Otto who was a Nazi war criminal – horses don’t eat bats.
    Some conspiracy theories are right. The CIA is extremely unlikely to be awarded a Nobel Peace Prize.

  29. Miriam English

    Yep, many bats are gradually moving to new areas due to worsening heatwaves, and food shortages (largely due to deforestation). When I say “moving” I mean they keep testing the limits of their range, as most animal populations do. Those in some areas die off, and in other areas those who would previously would have died due to cold manage to survive. The “movement” isn’t what it seems. We are at fault, not the bats.

    Horses don’t eat bats, but they do eat grass and fruit, and don’t necessarily notice bat poop, or urine, or saliva on it.

    If you use a mobile phone, laptop, or tablet computer, the lithium battery that lets you use it for long periods before recharging comes from research and development by the CIA.

    If you’ve used GoogleEarth to explore parts of the world that interest you, or to view the streets leading to a meeting you need to attend, then you’re using technology developed by the CIA and released to Google for public use.

    The women in your life may be grateful for image processing technology developed by the CIA that is now used by doctors to analyse breast scans for breast cancer.

    The CIA is primarily an information-gathering organisation and they publish much of that information in their CIA World Factbook series — now a website (I prefer the electronic books).

    Yes, as I said, some conspiracies are real, but the vast majority are not. I’ve never understood why people love conspiracy theories so much. You’d think the real world was exciting enough.

  30. Roland Flickett

    Your defence of the CIA is the first I have ever seen from ANYBODY.
    On the balance of probabilities, the activities of the Central Intelligence Agency have been to the detriment of the world’s stability – Vietnam, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Chile, Bolivia, Iraq, Afghanistan,,even Libya etc., might disagree with your assertion that they’ve done good things. If good things came from CIA activities it would’ve been unintentional and given the viciousness of some of its acts, probably unwanted
    The Cold War hasn’t ended, even though Russia is now a capitalist country. America NEEDS an enemy to sustain itself. They just change the names now and again.
    But hey, I’ve already coughed to being anti-USA so we will have to agree to disagree.

  31. RosemaryJ36

    Just as every action has a reaction, so too, every organisation has its good and bad influences.
    At the present moment, ill-informed rumours are dangerous.
    We have become accustomed to accepting that much of the opinion we see in the media is inaccurate and even the supposedly official reports are often biassed by the source.
    Our main aim at present should be to protect and preserve life – and not just human lives, because the whole ecosystem is interconnected – and ensure that those least able to look after themselves are given all the help they need.
    Our leaders have yet to realise that there can be more satisfaction from helping others than from helping ourselves!

  32. Miriam English

    RosemaryJ36 I agree 100%.

    Roland Flickett the CIA certainly has a lot of evil to atone for (I’ll always be angry at their part in getting Whitlam dismissed), but it is an organisation of many, diverse people. Dismissing them all would be like saying all Australians are loud and uncouth. I’m no fan of the CIA, or any spook organisation, but I think it would be easy to reform them: completely remove their right to secrecy. They could perform their information-gathering activities, which largely benefit humanity, but be forbidden any secretive actions, which are the ones that let them get away with doing horrible things.

    Being anti-USA doesn’t make any sense either. More than 300 million people are not anything in particular. There are a lot of good and smart people in that country, just as there are in every country.

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