Ol’ Blind Joe
Shot down in flames
By Stirling Hamilton
AS THESE are the last lines for the year, I might reflect upon the state of play on this enchanting chessboard.
One exceptional advantage of being blind is the ability to discern and follow the hidden orchestral geopolitical manoeuvres in the dark.
Last month some chap wrote his second rather unflattering letter about me to the editor.
Seems I’m from the loony left still suckling on the tit of the ABC and that the science wasn’t in on climate change.
The next day a group of 11,000 of the world’s leading ‘scientists’ used ‘facts’ and ‘proven research’ to declare the world is in the midst of a ‘climate emergency’.Read more
Previously, 97 per cent of climate scientists announced it is a clear and present danger and even the 2016 Defence White paper talks of a worldwide emergency.
Then the whole east coast erupted in a conflagration of unprecedented fires receiving international coverage.
Even the rainforests have been decimated and most of the trees in my old haunting grounds lay charred and weeping for their fallen brothers and sisters.
Former fire chiefs from across Australia have hit out against an “unofficial gag order” on speaking about what they say is a climate emergency.
They form part of a coalition of 23 fire and emergency leaders from every state and territory, known as Emergency Leaders for Climate Change.
Next it was the first day in history where it forgot to rain across the whole of Australia.
It was ‘time to discuss climate change’ 40 years ago when it was called ‘the greenhouse effect’ or 30 years ago when it became ‘global warming’.
Better discuss it now before it becomes a dreadful silence.
I’ll argue with any man but I expect the debate to be based on facts and not mere hyperbole.
You can lead a horse to where the water once was but you can’t make him think.
It’s not hard – South Australia has historically had the highest prices of energy of any Australian state, thanks to its location and dependence on expensive gas.
But in October, it had the lowest wholesale prices in the grid.
One swallow does not a summer make, but it is a sign of the transition taking place.
Wind and solar power
South Australia has dumped coal and now sources more than half its energy generation from wind and solar, becoming a net exporter rather than an importer of electricity along the way.
It now has plans to make that share of renewables “net 100 per cent” in a decade, and a multiple of that in the future.
My nemesis further claims I have been overly critical of democratic nations such as the US and Israel.
Well sir, I am an American, born and bred, and I quote US author James Baldwin:
“I love America more than any other country in this world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticise her perpetually.”
Since the end of World War II in 1945 the United States has been almost totally engaged in warfare throughout the world.
According to the late US historian William Blum, the US between 1945 to 2005 has attempted to overthrow more than 50 foreign governments, to crush more than 30 popular nationalist movements and killed more than 40 million people.
‘Crushing our enemies’
In October 2017, then-CIA Director Mike Pompeo (now Secretary of State) said the agency “must be aggressive, vicious, unforgiving, relentless … we must every minute be focused on crushing our enemies and providing unfair advantage for our diplomats, our military, and our president.”
US imperialism quickly lost legitimacy in the 21st century once the peoples of the world tasted the deadly fruit of neo-liberal shock therapy.
That austerity has included cutting pensions, slashing government jobs, closing schools, raising utility costs, eliminating past household subsidies and privatising everything while giving tax breaks for the rich and corporations.
US activist/philosopher Cornel West once described austerity measures in America as the “naked calculus of greed”.
As for Israel, that belligerent nation wants more land for housing, so with the US war machine and Saudi Arabia they have completely laid waste the Middle East and crippled Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen while always keeping their eyes on Iran.
They’re funding and arming dozens of terrorist groups to keep the fighting alive while neo-liberalism and sanctions strangle those left of the innocents.
The US and Israel have vetoed every UN attempt to stop the space arms race, to create a nuclear-free Middle East and end the Cuba embargo.
Buggalugs then goes on to admonish me and declared that “Socialism doesn’t work, Stirling”.
Look, I’m an old hippie and to “live simply so all may simply live” is our motto.
A little secret: for hundreds of thousands of years (99 per cent of human history) our hunter gatherer ancestors were avid socialists keeping their plenty safe in each other’s belly.
If you break your leg I’ll hold you up just as you would do for me was unwritten law.
Before the advent of agriculture the concept of property and wealth was hitherto unknown.
Then came capitalism and the dog-eat-dog world now heralding the extinction of our species and most of the others.
Well done clever mankind, every time a government of and for the people is elected it is beheaded by corporate America.
Until lions have their historians, tales of the hunt shall always glorify the hunters – African proverb.