Security vs Human Rights in the 21C

Security is the most important issue for states, both internally and externally. Those in power want to keep their grip on that power, free from threats from terrorists domestically. The threat from outside agencies internationally may be unlikely but they still beat the drums via spending on weapons to deter any opportunistic military actions. Governments within countries like Australia, the US and the UK make political mileage out of any threat of terrorism. A strong leader is seen as a vote winner and tough policies on border security are likewise electoral gold. Security vs human rights is an unfair fight from the outset.

Wishy Washy Human Rights

Human rights are wishy washy things, in the minds of many ordinary Australians. They are associated with things like political correctness, which annoy those who like to call a spade a spade or a refo a refo. The dominant white Anglo-Saxon male does not like to be criticised in any way. Pauline Hanson , a white Australian senator, has called for special protection for this sensitive bully in the Australian playground. There is too much questioning about the prominent and privileged place enjoyed by white Australians going on, in her view. Too much diversity being served up on the fish and chip shop menu in 2018..

Toothless Tigers Roaming Canberra

Australia is fond of signing treaties and conventions, under the auspices of the United Nations, to protect the human rights of children, women, migrants, refugees, disabled people, first peoples and gay people. Australia is not so quick to legislate these protections into their own domestic laws. This leaves a lot of toothless tigers roaming the corridors of power in places like Canberra. Australians, apparently, are not ready for a Human Rights Act federally, which would see our rights protected properly in law. Human rights will remain wishy washy things, especially when compared to security issues in this nation.

Security Rarely Neglected in Australia

Security is rarely neglected when it comers to actual powers of enforcement in Australia. The Australian state does not shy away from legislating invasive special powers for our many police forces and justice agencies. Security is valued as important and a priority in the 21C. Click here to see another online example of a service, where security is taken seriously in Sydney. Locking up houses is a good way to deter criminals of all persuasions. Security vs human rights in the 21C, no contest, I’m afraid.

People Power Perennials

In the 21C, where liberal democracies are lauded like the sainted bodies of yesteryear, we remain entranced by people power. Social media lights up, when people take to the streets in support of their cause. We have seen it in the west and, more recently, in places like Egypt and Tunisia. People power can bring down governments, as was the case in the Philippines in 1986, with Corazon Aquino ousting long-time dictator Ferdinand Marcos. People power perennials include: The Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia; the Cedar Revolution in Lebanon in 2005; and the Saffron revolution in Burma in 2007.

Democratic Reforms Are Exciting to Witness

The resulting political organisations and regimes in these countries, may not be the perfect outcome that students of democracy are looking for, but they are a part of the process. When citizens come together to overthrow tyranny it is always an inspiring event. Democratic reform is exciting to witness, but it is never the final piece in the puzzle. We only have to look at the election of Donald Trump to the presidency of the United States to understand that everything is always a work in progress. The Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia began a wave of democratic reform movements throughout the region.

Third World Despots Maintained by First World Powers

Catering for the masses is never an easy task. Too many despots have been maintained in their positions by first world powers seeking stability in the region. Witness Trump and the Saudi Arabia situation right now in 2018. A state sanctioned murder of a dissident Saudi journalist by the Saudi Prince and his regime is accepted by the American president. Keeping a friend in a region full of enemies is more important to the Americans than the life of a dissident. Right and wrong are no longer moral points on the compass, when it comes to international affairs, apparently. They have not been for a very long time in fact.

Feeding the Mob

People power perennials include feeding the masses with desirable fare. Great “armies march on their stomachs”, according to Oxford Reference it has been attributed to both Napoleon and Frederick the great. See for yourself a fine Sydney caterer with a menu for just about every occasion. Catering for the mob is always easier if you have something delicious to offer them. Victories are always sweeter with a celebratory repast to accompany the shared enjoyment of the occasion. Viva la revolution.

State Healthcare Priorities in 2018

When considering the healthcare priorities in nations like Australia, America, the UK and Germany, it remains based on statistical medicine. This means the decisions in the health departments are made to serve the greatest number of people via the results of studies commissioned by vested interests like large pharmaceutical companies. Medicine is in the service of drug companies, whose whole raison d’etre is to sell product at a profit. Individual human beings and their health issues must fit into the lowest common denominator to be treated by our healthcare infrastructure. There is no room for individualised diagnosis and healthcare.

Immunisation Remains at the Forefront of State Healthcare Priorities

In Australia, we spent $170 billion on health in 2015-16, this was an increase of around 50%, in real terms, on an average year in the previous decade. The government funded around two thirds of that figure and non-government sources the remainder, which include the individuals themselves. Immunisation, which is at the vanguard of statistical medicine, is at around 93% of 1 to 5 YOs in this country. Immunisation allows the government to ignore the individual rates of health and nutrition in an area by insisting on broad levels of immunisation for a whole range of possible health issues for everyone. Pharmaceutical companies would prefer to sell a medicine for a condition than for governments to ensure the prevention of the health condition through monitoring diet and nutrition in their citizens.

The Rise of Complementary Medicine in Australia

The rise of complementary medicine and alternative natural healthcare has aggravated many in the medical establishment and health departments. As many as two thirds of adult Australians have sought out these kinds of practitioners and the products associated with them, according to market research. This is a telling statistic when examining the success of the healthcare establishment in this country. Check this out as an example of the type of quality alternative healthcare practitioner flourishing in Sydney.

Drug Companies are Running the Show

You only have to look at America to see everything that is wrong about the free enterprise healthcare model, when it operates without effective government oversight and guidance. The profit motive is not the best thing to underpin a healthcare program nationally. The companies selling the drugs have a vested interest in defining what health actually is. Look at clinical depression and the huge increases in that condition. Concurrent with that is the huge rise in the number of people being prescribed antidepressants to treat depression.

 

 

The Role of Lawyers in the Socialist Society

“As the lawyer awoke from surgery, he asked, “Why are all the blinds drawn?” The nurse answered, “There’s a fire across the street, and we didn’t want you to think you had died.”

Lawyer jokes, there are literally thousands of them out there, which must tell us something about this profession. When you get involved in other people’s business, and, indeed, your business is all about settling the disputes of others, you will be fanned with the flames of that conflagration.

“At a convention of biological scientists, one researcher remarked to another, “Did you know that in our lab we have switched from using mice to lawyers for our experiments?” Really, the other replied, “why did you switch?” “Well, for three reasons, Firstly, we found lawyers were more plentiful. Secondly, the lab technicians don’t get so attached to them. Thirdly, there are some things even a rat won’t do.”

Socialist Lawyers in History

What about the role of lawyers in the socialist society? Do we really need these rats in a socialist paradise? Karl Marx was a journalist for much of his professional life. His father was a lawyer and, quite, a successful one at that. Although Jewish by birth, Karl Marx’s father converted to Christianity at the age of 35, but that was more about anti-Semitism in Germany limiting his social mobility than any real religious fervour. There are lawyers who campaign vigorously for human rights and justice for the downtrodden. The Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers has been operating for some 80 years under the socialist banner. This British group has been involved in many legal struggles to end inequality on numerous fronts, both internationally and domestically in the UK.

Lawyers in Australia

Lawyers in Australia are, also, involved in things like compensation law to rectify wrongs in the system and in our society. Click here to see an example of an Adelaide based firm of compensation lawyers doing great work.

I suspect that lawyers, like rats, will be around for a long time to come, in whatever political and economic system we may be governed under.

Protecting the Rights of Animals in 2018

When you think about us, human beings, as a species, and what we have done on this planet over the last 60 000 years or so, it makes you wonder. We have enslaved most other animal species for our own rewards. We have, even, invented gods who inspired scribes to write down justifications for the wholesale slaughter that we have committed all over the world. The domestication of animals, especially livestock, is unparalleled in history. We are so used to being able to pick and choose cuts of meat in our supermarkets, we don’t even think about it. What about protecting the rights of animals in 2018?

Thinking About Animals

Every life outside of our own species is up for grabs to enrich our own existence in some way. Cattle used to be wild animals. Dogs used to be wolves. Horses never used to carry anything on their backs or pull anything along. Many people will interject here and say, well, we could not have survived as a species otherwise. I would say in response, the victims of our enslavement and domestication programs have survived as representatives of their species. Have you seen how large a cow can grow just by eating grass? Have you seen a tall horse or a big kangaroo? The vegetarian diet does not inhibit size or strength.

Killing Animals May Decline as We Evolve

We used to hunt and kill whales for their oil and various other body parts. That reliance on whale oil for lighting is now obsolete. I hope that, as we move into the future, our reliance on killing animals for food and pleasure will also abate and become obsolete. Animal testing for beauty products is on the decline and there are many manufacturers of cosmetics no longer practicing this barbaric process. See here online an example of a popular cruelty free beauty brand available via an Australian seller. Killing animals may decline as we evolve and protecting the rights of animals in 2018 is the way forward.

The Egyptians Made Their Gods in the Image of Animals

As people concerned about the fairness and equality within our worlds, should we not, also, fight for the rights of those who cannot fight for themselves? Animals are gentle souls, in the main, despite the fact that Christianity denied them a soul at all. What a silly religion, like all religions essentially are. They are justifications for our barbarous behaviour made right by made-up divinities.  At least the Egyptians made their gods in the image of animals.

Beauty & Vanity in the Socialist Paradigm

In 2018, when self-aggrandisement and the self-perpetuating myth have never been more prevalent, what place do beauty and vanity have in the socialist paradigm. Socialism has been pilloried on the basis of the failures and excessive cruelties of communist regimes in places like the Soviet Union and North Korea. Socialism is now considered a good idea, which does not translate well into practice in the real world. Unions are besmirched, daily, by the Murdoch press and its conservative minions around the globe. The socialist cause does not fly its flag proudly but, rather, goes about its business quietly.

Look at Me, I Am Beautiful

Beauty and vanity are the polar opposite of quietly going about one’s business. The ‘look at me’ call is like a clarion leading a charge into battle for the attention of the world. Cosmetic surgery is pumping up the tires of men and women in wealthy nations everywhere. People are primping and perming. Beauty and vanity are the main stays for many in the reasons for living stakes in the 21C. We have become so enamoured of style over substance that nobody even notices it anymore.

Is Beauty Something That Can Be Shared?

If socialism is political and economic organisation based on an equal share of state ownership, then, is the concept of beauty, something that can be shared? Can beauty and vanity fit under the socialist umbrella? Everything, seemingly, has a beauty spin put upon it these days. Check this out as an example of the proliferation of cosmetic services, now, promoted under the banner of dentistry. I remember when a dentist was a tooth puller and painful driller in search of dental hygiene. Today, it is all about a pretty smile and whiter than Snow White teeth.

The Meaning of Life in 2018

What is the meaning of life in 2018? What is your moral compass telling you about beauty and vanity in this day and age? “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?” Karl Marx? Engels? Fidel Castro? Comrade Stalin? Lenin? Kim Jong-un? Those North Korean dictator hair styles are something else, aren’t they? My sneaking suspicion is that we have always been terribly facile and, now, we just don’t care who knows. Human beings are big brained monkeys, mammals with a taste for animal flesh on an industrial scale. We like to look in the mirror and gaze upon our own visages. We like to primp and perm.

The Culinary Atlas: A Tasty Journey

A great way to gain real understanding about a certain culture or country is to cook and eat its food. The culinary atlas: A tasty journey, is how I describe this dynamic and worthwhile activity. If you want to go beneath the superficial generalities of appearance and Wikipedia excerpts, then, try and cook the food of a nation or community. Many of the great export cuisines of the world are peasant foods. These collections of recipes have been handed down via generations of their people and have migrated to the new world with them. You can journey to the soul of a people via their love affair with particular foods.

Peasant Food for the Famished & the Phoenicians

The peasants had the earthiest relationship with their food. They grew it, reaped it, prepared it and ate it, all in the shadow of the field or farm. The chickpea pulses of the people of the Levant on the Eastern Mediterranean, are their life blood. Hummus can be spelt in almost as many ways as it can be flavoured. The spices and the flat breads of this desert culture have spread far and wide. The Phoenicians were the great travelling traders of the ancient world. A rich and influential culture and civilisation, which still has its fingers in many dips around the world.

Cooking is Cool in the 21C

Cooking has become a favourite pastime of many in the 21C. What once was considered a chore beneath the dignity of the upper classes, has, now, become tres la chic. Slave labour is, now, a nifty hobby to pursue in your kitchen at home. Click here to discover Sydney’s best kitchen design and renovation specialists. If you are going to rattle the pans and sauté away to the strains of the Gypsy Kings, then, you need a good workspace, in which to make it happen.

An Exploration of Peasant Food Cuisines

The culinary atlas journey is best served by a spacious kitchen, where you can row your salmon kettle ashore. If you are to embark upon the exploration of peasant food cuisines, you will need a finely-honed blade, chopping board and ample benchtop space. You may wish to caress the granite surface and imbue yourself with ancient and earthy talismans. A good cook speaks the language of the four elements, fire, earth, air and water, as he or she goes about their humble business.

Corporate Pharmaceutical Giants: Making Money Out of Ill Health

I pose the question, should people be making money out of the ill health of others? An important role of government has always been that of providing healthcare to its citizens. The capitalist free enterprise system is heavily predicated on the profit motive. In recent decades, the world has been sold on the concept of ‘trickle down economics’, where the wealthy are largely left untaxed to get on with the business of making money, in the hope that money will trickle down to the many poorer people below them on the food chain. The United States of America has been the greatest proponent of the neoliberalist economic philosophy.

America the Land of Free Enterprise

In the US, corporate pharmaceutical giants are making money out of ill health on a mega scale. America has always been ‘the land of the free’, according to their patriotic spin. Perhaps, that should read ‘free market’, which is free of regulation and free of government oversight. Rampant profiteering is the order of the day in the USA, where people aspire to mega wealth. Donald Trump is the president of this nation. Barack Obama had to fight incredibly hard to get his Obamacare health insurance measures into law. This is a country that defends its rights for its citizens to bear arms.

Pharmaceutical Companies are Defining Health in the 21C

If companies are selling health, then, they have an economic motivation to define health. Witness the massive rise in the sales and consumption of antidepressant medications. Big Pharma courts the MDs and GPs in all the nations that practice free enterprise medicine around the globe. They buy these doctors expensive dinners and holidays in a tacit exchange for their services in prescribing their pharmaceutical products to their patients. This is, merely, one example of the many healthcare products and services, which are marketed via our capitalist free enterprise system.

Big Pharma Rules the Roost

Many of these services are unnecessary and surplus to the actual health and wellbeing of people within our societies. There are alternative healthcare products, which are not produced by these pharmaceutical corporate giants. Click here to see for yourself an example of a quality complementary medicine manufacturer in Australia. Unfortunately, many of these businesses are bought up by Big Pharma in a bid to rationalise the market and control the healthcare dollar spend globally. As governments become less and less powerful in this neoliberalist world, the checks and balances are further lost, and rampant profiteering remains.