Ceasefire: Hope for the gullible. by underground

Delivering a speech laced with propaganda Goebbels would be proud of, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has announced a unilateral ceasefire in Israel’s invasion of Gaza.

Apparently Israel has achieved its objectives in the war, which must have been to inflict as many casualties on the Gaza’s civilian population. Claims by Olmert that the military have resisted attacking “terrorists” in some cases during the operation because of the potential harm to civilians runs contrary to media reports and UN claims. No doubt the insulated ignorant within Israels borders will lap up Olmerts assurances. Few outside the nation will.

The unilateral ceasefire is hope for the gullible. Hamas is not a signitary and have pledged to continue the fight while occupying forces remain in Gaza. Israel have reserved the right to respond. Considering it was Israels inability to honour the conditions of the last ceasefire which began this disgusting war, this ceasefire is as worthless as Olmert’s word.

So what has been achieved? Israel points to the damage inflicted on Hamas and the governments infrastructure as evidence of the operation’s success. Hamas leaders are dead or in hiding. Many militants are dead. However Hamas will not struggle to recruit replacements. With over 1,000 dead and 5,000 injured, it won’t be hard to find people who want to fight against the Israeli aggressors. Israel has won no support from Palestinians. With every war crime a new terrorist/freedom fighter is born. Peace is very clearly not on Olmert’s agenda. And so the war continues.


Defending the indefensible by underground

After the bombing of UN schools, mosques and universities, as well as firing at marked aid workers and their vehicles, it is evident Israel has no concern for civilian populations in their latest military campaign against the people of Gaza. From the same military who coated parts of Lebanon in cluster bombs, indiscriminate killing devices, in the final hours of the 2006 war with Hezbollah after a cease fire was agreed, as well as past refugee camp massacres and the shelling of a Gaza beach two years ago, no one is surprised, however most are shocked. For most commentators, politicians and people on the street, there is no defence for Israel’s military actions.

However there are some who do support these actions. And not just Israelis who lap up their military’s “defensive” attacks, intended to muster electoral support for an ailing government. Letters to editors and blog comments show the aggressive state has supporters outside its borders. Opponents of Israel are labelled “anti-Semitic” wilfully ignorant to the fact the Palestinians are also Semites! According to these people the conflict traces back only as far as the pitiful Hamas rockets fired into Israeli southern towns, cited as Hamas breaking an existing truce, ignoring Israel’s own failure to honour the agreement. To these people, who choose to see only half the story, Israel’s aggressive bombing campaign and invasion are entirely justified; every innocent death is merely unfortunate, collateral damage in Israel’s pursuit for peace. Continue reading

The true meaning of Christmas by underground
December 28, 2008, 2:09 pm
Filed under: Life, Philosophy, religion | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

As an atheist, I am fortunate enough to get to see Christmas for what it truly is, or rather what it ought to be. It is not just a repackaged pagan festival, or an over commercialised advertiser’s dream. Christmas is more than lying to Children about Santa and Jesus, more than losing years of your life due to the stress of malls and more than satisfying the greed of spoilt Westerners. It has been said before and it is as simple as it sounds, but if Christmas is to have any redeeming qualities it is as a reason for people to get together, putting aside any animosity or rivalries, stresses or difficulties and enjoy a good meal. Maybe seeing each other for the first time in the year, some having perhaps traveled to get together and share their experiences of the year, Christmas is a good time to put your feet up and relax from another hard year of work or whatever.

To me, this is far more important and meaningful in today’s hectic and troubled world than turkey and carols. What I have described above is universal, unless you know no one. Most of the existing Christmas traditions are either outdated or counterintuitive. Christmas should either be de-Christmasised or another day should be set aside for unsullied getting together. Who the hell really likes Christmas carols anyway? Most are absolutely terrible songs, so why put ourselves through hearing them almost nonstop for over a month intensively each year? And must we stuff ourselves sick? The cost is considerable, the stress of preparation no doubt insurmountable and the waste unimaginable. When a modest meal would suffice, why suffer through a dry turkey? Let us share a good meal (don’t get rid of trifle just yet!), but is glutony mandatory? And yes, I appreciate all the incredible presents I got, but I hate to think what stressful episodes my family had striving through malls buying these things. I know I didn’t enjoy shopping!

I’m not really one for traditions that cannot be justified. Of course the magic of Christmas is great for the kids, we need not take that away, but perhaps Santa could stress the importance of time spent with good friends and family as opposed to stuffing down chocolate and demanding the flashest new gaming console.

I’m not even going to start on the religious aspect as I need not to, as fewer are celebrating their own brainwashing with every passing Christmas.

Christmas should be about family and friends. There is far more to be gained by valuing them than any outdated Christmas tradition.

Why referendums are absolutely meaningless. by underground

In a well written and intelligent editorial, the Herald on Sunday outlined why referendums are not worth the ballot paper the poorly written questions are written on. Entitled “Ask an obvious question and you get a meaningless answer“, today’s editorial outlines how the questions used in referendums are loaded as to ensure tht only one result can possibly be found. In next years citizen initiated referendum on the repealing of section 59 of the Crimes Act, the question will be “should a smack as a part of good parental correction be a criminal offence?” When many experts in child psychology and childcare have said that smacking is not actually a part of good parental correction, the question ceases to make any sense. So do you vote if you disagree with the premise of the question? Vote yes and oppose “good parental correction” (which does not include smacking), or abstain in protest? Continue reading

One man poll finds one too many idiots by underground

Although I initially though the Herald’s “One Man Poll” sounded like a massive vox pop (which I can’t stand) in the capable hands of Simon Collins the series was likely to be a success. And he does find some interesting people with interesting views on interesting issues. Collins finds people who do sum up what others are thinking and finds out the thought behind their opinions. Fascinating stuff at times. However, either Collins is drawn to some absolute morons, or New Zealand is a country with a disproportionate number of idiot residents.

Here’s a couple from the last few days. There are many more! Continue reading

The McCain/Bush… Oops! I mean McCain/Palin ticket by underground

Obama has rightly caught out the Republicans trying to divert attention away from policy debate by perverting comments he made likening John McCain’s promise of change to putting lipstick on a pig.

“You can put lipstick on a pig. It’s still a pig. You can wrap up an old fish in a piece of paper and call it change. It’s still going to stink after eight years. We’ve had enough.”

McCain’s team then accused Obama of sexism, twisting the comment as a dig at McCain’s running mate, Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin. Palin, a self-confessed ‘hockey-mom’ had previously commented that the only difference between a hockey-mom and a pitbull was lipstick.

Sarah Palin is not a pig with lipstick on. She is George Bush in a skirt. Continue reading

Review: Bad Religion – New Maps of Hell Deluxe Edition by underground

The cynics among us sees re-releases of albums as little more than poorly disguised attempts to squeeze every last cent from adoring fans. Bad Religion’s deluxe edition of 2007’s New Maps of Hell, is more than just a slipcase, an artwork booklet, a bonus DVD and a couple of “classic” posters.

The original 16-track album was, arguably, the punk album of 2007, despite concerns from some fans they had sold out, after the first single “Honest Goodbye” showed a slower, softer side to the band. Such fears were allayed, however, as the album mixed the passion and pace of their eighties’ releases and the precision and song quality of their later albums. The classic Bad Religion sound rings throughout, from the vocal backing “oozin’ aahs”, the fast power-chords, the melodic leads, to the thunderous trademark drumming.



So is it worth fans buying the deluxe edition if they already own the original album? Continue reading