24 November 2012


With sincere apologies to Irving Berlin, who could have written this specially for Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott:


Anything You Can Do.....

Anything you can do,
I can do better.
I can do anything
Better than you.

No, you can't.
Yes, I can. No, you can't.
Yes, I can. No, you can't.
Yes, I can,
Yes, I can!

Anything you can be
I can be greater.
Sooner or later,
I'm greater than you.

No, you're not. Yes, I am.
No, you're not. Yes, I am.
No, you're NOT!. Yes, I am.
Yes, I am!

I can shoot a partridge
With a single cartridge.
I can get a sparrow
With a bow and arrow.
I can live on bread and cheese.
And only on that?
So can a rat!
Any note you can reach
I can go higher.
I can sing anything
Higher than you.
No, you can't. (High)
Yes, I can. (Higher) No, you can't. (Higher)
Yes, I can. (Higher) No, you can't. (Higher)
Yes, I can. (Higher) No, you can't. (Higher)
Yes, I can. (Higher) No, you can't. (Higher)
Yes, I CAN! (Highest)

Anything you can buy
I can buy cheaper.
I can buy anything
Cheaper than you.

Fifty cents?
Forty cents! Thirty cents?
Twenty cents! No, you can't!
Yes, I can,
Yes, I can!
Anything you can say
I can say softer.
I can say anything
Softer than you.
No, you can't. (Softly)
Yes, I can. (Softer) No, you can't. (Softer)
Yes, I can. (Softer) No, you can't. (Softer)
Yes, I can. (Softer)
YES, I CAN! (Full volume)
I can drink my liquor
Faster than a flicker.
I can drink it quicker
And get even sicker!
I can open any safe.
Without bein' caught?
That's what I thought--
you crook!
Any note you can hold
I can hold longer.
I can hold any note
Longer than you.

No, you can't.
Yes, I can No, you can't.
Yes, I can No, you can't.
Yes, I can
Yes, I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I No, you C-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-N'T--
CA-A-A-A-N! (Cough, cough!)
Yes, you ca-a-a-an!

Anything you can wear
I can wear better.
In what you wear
I'd look better than you.
In my coat?
In your vest! In my shoes?
In your hat! No, you can't!
Yes, I can
Yes, I CAN!
Anything you can say
I can say faster.
I can say anything
Faster than you.
No, you can't. (Fast)
Yes, I can. (Faster) No, you can't. (Faster)
Yes, I can. (Faster) Noyoucan't. (Faster)
YesIcan! (Fastest)
I can jump a hurdle.
I can wear a girdle.
I can knit a sweater.
I can fill it better!
I can do most anything!
Can you bake a pie? No.
Neither can I.
Anything you can sing
I can sing sweeter.
I can sing anything
Sweeter than you.
No, you can't. (Sweetly)
Yes, I can. (Sweeter) No, you can't. (Sweeter)
Yes, I can. (Sweeter) No, you can't. (Sweeter)
Yes, I can. (Sweeter) No, you can't, can't, can't (sweeter)
Yes, I can, can, can (Sugary)

Yes, I can! No, you can't!


In 1992 Paul Keating - he of the Australian Labor Party - established the first concentration camp to hold asylum seekers fleeing conditions in their countries of origin too unspeakable for most of us to be able to contemplate.

20 years later and the demonisation continues apace with most Australians conditioned by their media and politicians to believe that people fleeing terror are somehow criminals come to take their land away from them.

It occurs to some of us that most of the 22 or 23 million people now residing in this country are/were asylum seekers/refugees from somewhere where life was running the gamut of appalling to impossible.

Since white settlement in Australia from 1788 onwards in the country stolen from the original inhabitants who were murdered and enslaved in such significant numbers that there is but a small fraction remaining of the original aboriginal population, the settlers have been involved in wars and campaigns of a military nature in vast numbers of countries.

The wars being fought in countries with which Australia did not have basic problems and from which there were no threats to the sovereignty or security of Australia have been the cause of thousands of desperate people fleeing the murders and rapes of their countries and themselves, and they have attempted to find safe haven in any countries which provided them with shelter, food, employment and the chance of survival.

So here we sit in a land of plenty with the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer and we are doing our best to ensure drownings at sea of desperate people will continue while we continue wars in their countries.


23 November 2012


The following item comes from Antony Loewenstein's blog on 23 November 2012:

19 November 2012


Five ways to effectively support Gaza through Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions

Posted on November 18, 2012 by Palestinian BDS National Committee Share on facebookShare on twitterShare on emailShare on printMore Sharing Services

As this new aggression on the people of Gaza shows, Israel will continue its belligerence and state terrorism unless it is made to pay a heavy price for its crimes against the Palestinian, Lebanese and other Arab peoples.

Palestinian civil society has called for a campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) as the most effective way for international civil society and people of conscience around the world to show solidarity with the Palestinian struggle and hold Israel – and all complicit institutions — accountable for its occupation, colonization and apartheid. The global, Palestinian-led BDS movement has achieved inspiring and spectacular success, causing economic damage to companies that support Israel’s crimes, persuading artists not to perform in Israel, winning support from major churches, trade unions and social movements, as well as pressuring governments to take action.

Here are five BDS ways to effectively express solidarity with the Palestinian people in Gaza and elsewhere:

1. Boycott Israel! Don’t buy Israeli goods!

Profits from exports from Israel help to fund the Israeli government and its crimes against the Palestinian people. Refuse to buy Israeli goods and tell retailers that you are doing it. Persuade friends and family to stop buying any Israeli products too!

Brands to avoid include Ahava, Jaffa oranges, Sabra and Tribe hummus and SodaStream.

2. Join an active BDS campaign or start a new one

Initiate action in your institution, union, group, etc., against the companies and organisations that support and profit from Israel’s system of oppression over the Palestinian people.

For example, in the US, campaigners have pressured major pension funds to divest from Caterpillar, a company that provides bulldozers used to destroy Palestinian homes.

Public bodies across the world have been successfully pressured to stop awarding contracts for public services to Veolia, a company that provides infrastructure to illegal Israeli settlements. Veolia has lost contracts worth more than $14bn following BDS campaigns.

Campaigners recently persuaded a major bank to divest from G4S, a private security firm involved in Israel’s crimes against Palestinian prisoners, including children.

You can find out more about campaigns taking place in your area by contacting your local Palestine solidarity organisation. There’s a great online database of Palestine solidarity groups here or contact us for advice on whom to contact or on how to start a new BDS campaign.

3. Organise a BDS protest action

Demonstrations, banner drops and flashmobs are great ways to raise awareness of the boycott of Israel. Some actions target particular products, like the actions against Israeli cosmetics company Ahava, while others take place in supermarkets and remind shoppers not to buy Israeli goods or to target complicit companies.

There’s a useful guide to planning a BDS action here. The guide is written specifically for the Ahava campaign, but it’s full of useful ideas for similar campaigns too.

4. Urge organisations that you are a member of to divest from Israel

Trade unions, student unions, faith groups and other organisations all over the world have passed BDS-related resolutions calling for divesting from companies profiting from Israel’s occupation.

The US Quakers’ investment entity recently sold its shares in Hewlett Packard and Veolia, two companies supporting and profiting from Israeli violations of international law, after having divested from Caterpillar a few months ago for the same reasons.

Student unions around the world have voted to support divestment and have successfully campaigned to have companies like Sabra Hummus and Eden Springs removed from their campuses.

Trade unions can participate in BDS campaigns and sell any investments they may hold in Israeli companies or raise rank-and-file awareness about Israeli products to boycott.

Ask organisations that you’re a member of to hold a meeting to discuss education about and support for the BDS campaign, and find out if it’s possible to pass a resolution to support BDS when the time is right.

5. Pressure your elected officials to impose a military embargo on Israel

Military ties with Israel feed and encourage further Israeli violence. Israel wouldn’t be able to maintain its occupation and apartheid system over the Palestinian people if it wasn’t for the military aid it receives from the US or the military trade it conducts with countries around the world. Urge your government and elected representatives to support a military embargo on Israel.

6. (added by red-jos) Intel, made in Israel and installed in most computers - DON'T BUY!

Each time you buy a new computer, the chances are that it will operate on an Intel system, made in Israel. Intel is installed in most devices which help Israel to do its dirty work in the West Bank and Gaza. Next time you buy a new computer, whether notebook, laptop or PC, see whether Intel is installed. If so. buy the alternative operating system, AMD, and hope its components are not also made in Israel.

18 November 2012


This article appeared in The Age newspaper on Saturday 17 November 2012. Chrissie Foster and her family have waited a long time for this to happen. Now that it has been announced by the federal government, let us hope that the terms of the royal commission will not be full of weasel words that allow the Catholic church an out to escape the blame and responsibility of all these decades of obfuscation and hiding behind their "traditions" such as confessionals and the like. Pell defrocked? Now that would be something to behold!

So much heartbreak, so much pain, it's about time

November 17, 2012
By Chrissie Foster
Happy bedtime: Chrissie Foster with Aimee, Emma and Katie before their world was shattered.
I COULD never stand to live in a world without justice and truth: at last there will be a platform for both. Prime Minister Julia Gillard's announcement of a royal commission on child sexual abuse has brought to an end the cries from victims and victim supporters. Of course, there have been many tears this week. More will be shed. But the royal commission is a cause for celebration.
For my family, the struggle to achieve this breakthrough began 16 years ago, on March 26, 1996. This was the day my daughter Emma, after almost a year of starving her 13-year-old body to an emaciated 41 kilograms, numerous self-harming horrors and attempts to take her own life, disclosed that our parish priest had sexually assaulted her. Not once, but on many occasions over her primary school years.
Fifteen months later more horror and heartbreak surfaced through a half-finished suicide note from our second daughter, Katie. She had hidden the note in a shoebox. It was written in her very neatest handwriting. Katie had been another victim of our parish priest.
There was no cure for my much-loved daughters. The pain never leaves. After years of subsequent torment, Emma took her own life at the age of 26. Katie, while drunk after binge drinking, was hit by a car in 1999 (she was 15) and still receives 24-hour care as a result of her injuries.
There are many of these stories. Ours is not rare. The Prime Minister's announcement was a godsend, proof that our many voices have been heard and believed, at long last. It feels like justice. The burning truth has ignited a light and we must shine it on the Catholic Church because of its cover-up. The Catholic hierarchy fiercely lobbied against a royal commission. But a royal commission had to be called. The claim from the hierarchy and biased commentators - that the Catholic Church is no different to other organisations in relation to child sex crimes and cover-ups - is nonsense. On the first day of the Victorian parliamentary inquiry I sat and listened to the evidence of Victoria Police and three professors.
All stated they would speak only about the Catholic Church. They based their submissions on records and research. Facts. Catholic Church sex offenders committed six times more sexual assaults on children than all the other religions combined. At least one in 20 Melbourne priests was a child sex offender, but the real figure was probably one in 15. There was a systemic obstruction of police inquiries over five decades.
Officers in two police forces - Victoria and New South Wales - have made allegations of extensive church interference with investigations. The royal commission should look closely at this. It should examine the influence of the religious leaders on police and governments.
Why did state governments allow the church's flawed and destructive Melbourne Response and Towards Healing schemes to exist unchallenged for more than 15 years? At his media conference on Tuesday, Cardinal George Pell, ignoring the Victorian inquiry's expert evidence, chose to blame the ''press'' for a ''smear'' campaign against the Catholic Church. But the media is not the problem. Along with brave victims willing to go to police despite their trauma, the ''press'' has helped find a solution. If journalists had not written and broadcast stories of crimes and cover-ups, the likes of Father Gerald Ridsdale and countless other convicted criminal priests would still be celebrating Mass in Australia's Catholic parishes.
One thing is certain: the priesthood never lifted a finger to protect children from ongoing sexual assaults and rapes. Rather, the church paid for the paedophiles' legal defences. Not one priest or brother did it help jail.
Cardinal Pell said the confessional seal was ''inviolable''. I say the lives and bodies of our children are inviolable. Why should a foreign state law - the Vatican's Canon Law - override our Australian laws in protecting our children?
To understand why the confessional seal must be broken to protect children, we need only look at evidence given to a Queensland court in 2004. Father Michael McArdle, after pleading guilty to and being convicted of child sexual assault offences, swore an affidavit. In it he stated he had confessed to sexually assaulting children 1500 times to 30 different priests over a 25-year period.
Every one of those ''good'' priests, as if of one mind and voice, said to the criminal: ''Go home and pray.'' Is that what they are taught to say to each other when told of such crimes? Not one of the 30 priests urged him to get help or go to police. Nor did they report his crimes. The victims were abandoned to become hurting adults, their lives shattered. Distraught. Suicidal.
This is a rare insight into the secret world of paedophile priest confession. We must learn from it. The church system was designed to protect the priest and church from scandal. It was not established to consider the futures of Australia's children. We must not be distracted by the confusion and side issues thrown our way by the church hierarchy.
If mandatory reporting had been enforced at McArdle's first confession, then the next 25 years of pain and suffering for children would never have occurred. The guilt of which he was unburdened though confession only served him to reoffend within the same week. Cardinal Pell said he welcomed the royal commission. Why then did he deny its need just the previous day and the 20 years before?
Recently he spoke of a ''cancer'' in the church. He is part of that cancer. Perhaps it is time for Cardinal Pell to step down and hand over to another cleric who possesses some empathy and compassion for children.
As for the royal commission, the government must strive to write the best terms of reference that encompass the essential need to expose child sexual assault and its cover-up in organisations.
Justice and accountability are needed for past crimes against children. Though it will not help my daughters, this will ensure change and safety for all future children. Only with this reality will victims become survivors.
Chrissie Foster is the co-author of "Hell On The Way To Heaven".

16 November 2012


It is a well-known fact that when human rights activists attack Israel and its ongoing apartheid treatment of the Palestinians, the two standard responses are "anti-semitic" and "look at countries such as........." "why don't you attack them?" "Why don't you look at their appalling behaviour to gays and lesbian?" This last statement because the attacks on Israel - "The Only Democracy in The Middle East" by a gay person are to show how one-sided and lacking in understanding these homosexuals are!!! Israel doesn't behave like that to its GLTH communities.

Now look at the outcry from the Catholic church hierarchy over the calls for a royal commission into the ongoing child sex abuses committed by priests and others in the system over at least the last 50 years - and no doubt the previous 500 years as well!!

"Why is the Catholic church singled out when there are others guilty of committing these crimes in other religions and in the wider community in general?

The similarity hits one when one makes analyses of the current and ongoing situations in the Vatican and Jerusalem - the world is grossly unfair and prejudiced when singling us out - we are not like we have been painted and others are much worse and commit crimes against humanity of which we are not guilty !!

It has been interesting to hear how quickly the so-called democracies have rushed to defend Israel - "Israel is fully entitled to defend itself against aggression from the Palestians" - and from all sides of political spectra - and the same when a royal commission was announced into aspects of child sexual abuse - it will be wide ranging and the Prime Minister assured cardinal George Pell - he who is a man perpetually dressed in women's clothing - that the catholic church has not been singled out and other organisations will be scrutinised by the royal commission as well. Weasel words spoken by a weasel politician - well aren't most of them anyway?


Having upgraded my new computer which came with Windows 7 to Windows 8 from a special offer, I hadn't even got used to Windows 7 when I was trying to contend with Windows 8.

Windows 8 has some word programme which works without problems, but when I transferred my word documents from my old computer which runs on Windows XP to my new computer, this installed word programme didn't recognise the old word documents and told me to download Microsoft 2010.

When I tried to download Microsoft 2010 I was told I needed to insert the Product Key which came with Windows 8, so I duly tried to use it to download Microsoft 2010.

While typing in the Product Key - remember this was sent to me by Microsoft when I upgraded to Windows 8 from Windows 7 - I was told I was making an error because Product Keys did not have the letter "N" in them!!

This was an astonishing statement because I was typing in the Product Key from the email sent to me with the Windows 8 information!

It was fortunate that Charles Wright had written an article about Windows 8 in the "Livewire" section of that week's Greenguide programmes in The Age newspaper. I wrote to Charles Wright who sent me some possible links to download in order to have - once more - the start button so sorely lacking in Windows 8 together with all sorts of other necessary operating buttons such as had successfully operated Windows in all its manifestations over the last 20 years.

As I didn't succeed with those links I looked for others and found a most successful FREE DOWNLOAD link at


Next I reinstalled my original word programme from my Windows XP set of CDs and at last I was out of the woods.

Microsoft may think that Windows 8 is very "jazzy and snazzy" for those who use IPads and apps all the time, but it is hardly suitable for a PC, and this is what it is also supposed to be for.

Send Microsoft back to the drawing board - in my case, once bitten, twice shy!

09 November 2012


When we bought new computers in September from Officeworks they had Windowes 7 installed. There was an offer that came with the purchase which was that we could order Windows 8 for a special price until the end of January 2013, and we could install it on the new comupters.

The offer seemed too good to be true, and as it has turned out, it is too good to be true.

I have been using computers since 1980 with various operating systems and programmes, and in this 30-year period, NOTHING has been as user-unfriendly as Windows 8.

Did Microsoft really think they had something which would be in competition with Apple? If so, they have seriously miscalculated.

It is easy enough to get started, but it is downhill all the way after that.

All one has to do is put Windows 8 into a search engine with one of the problems one is having, and already, in such a short time, people are saying how appallling the system is!

I am thinking of uninstalling Windows 8 and going back to Windows 7, which, after many years of Window XP, was different but accessible.

It reminded me of a children's poem from many years ago which I have changed slightly for reasons which are obvious:

"Win 8 tumbled down the drain;
Couldn't scramble out again.
Now it's floating down the sewer,
And there's one Win 8 the fewer."

One thing is for certain and for sure - I will certainly wait to let new operating systems settle down before rushing in to buy because of special offers - which in the light of our experiences did not seem to have been the best decision. Just remember what happened to Windows Vista which was somewhat of a disaster, and probably Windows 8 will prove to be the same!

04 November 2012


Rupert Murdoch is infamous for his homophobia, and every time one thinks he can't sink any lower, he does!! The article below, from the online UK Gay Star News on 30 October 2012, is one of the latest illustrations of this disgusting, disgraceful organisation!

Gay Star News from UK - 30 October 2012

Right-wing newspaper greets gay candidate’s election victory with slurs Australia’s Daily Telegraph prints article that ‘leaks’ newly elected Sydney MP Alex Greenwich’s ‘party past’

By Anna Leach

Australia’s Daily Telegraph newspaper greeted the landslide victory of marriage equality campaigner Alex Greenwich with a story that ‘leaked’ his ‘party past’. The article attempted to disparage Greenwich, who has worked with utmost professionalism as national convenor of Australian Marriage Equality and during his election campaign for independent MP for Sydney, which he won by a wide margin on Saturday.

In a piece that appears to be motivated by homophobia, journalist Andrew Clennell reveals that Greenwich ‘used to organise risque beach parties at Bondi to raise cash for gay lifesavers’.

Discussing the parties, Greenwich said the Star Observer:

‘I’m really proud of the work we did in raising funds for charities like Movember and Lifesavers with Pride… There’s nothing secret about these parties, they were open and on the public record it was reported at the time; obviously they are trying to beat up this in an attempt to try and sledge me, but I think The Daily Telegraph attempts to sledge me have backfired.’

Clennell also described Greenwich as ‘the latest homosexual in parliament’. In response Greenwich tweeted:

‘I've dealt with homophobia ever since coming out. The Daily Telegraph's headline on me is water off a gay ducks back.’

On his Facebook page, Greenwich posted a photo of him and previous Sydney MP Clover Moore at a children’s dance class with the tongue-in-cheek message:

‘Because I like dance music so much, I spent the morning at Junior Jivers at the Wayside Chapel. Clover and I enjoyed doing the hokey pokey together... don't tell the telegraph!’

Greenwich’s predecessor Clover Moore tweeted: ‘Yes, he’s gay & hosted fundraisers - but @alexgreenwich also admitted to me that he used to play bridge’.




03 November 2012

Open letter to the surviving Rivonia Trialists

Sent by email from South Africa dated 29 October 2012

Open letter to the surviving Rivonia Trialists

By Kay Sexwale
Dear Ahmed Kathrada, Andre w Mlangeni, Dennis Goldberg and Nelson Mandela, I greet you all in the name of the continuing economic freedom struggle of our people.
Your courage in fighting for the emancipation of our country is greatly appreciated.
I was fed ANC propaganda with my Purity baby food, but I believe the time has come to consciously choose South Africa over the ANC.
The governing party, for many, is like a religion, followed by many without question or doubt.
Surely comrades, your sacrifices were not for a one-party, one-trade union state?
The time for a younger, patriotic and selfless leadership, like yours in 1964, is here.
The thinking public laments our bumpy transition from liberation movement to political party, with some pointing out that a liberation movement has to be centralised and secretive while a modern party in government must be influenced by its members and society, and so be more transparent.
The loss of public trust through daily media exposure of the plague of government corruption, which appears to be condoned by the ANC, is deeply seated.
The public perception is that the Mangaung leadership debate will boil down to who will continue to allow rampant looting of state resources, the dangerous slippery slope of tribalism, or who might make a difference.
Truth be told, the names being bandied about as top contenders are all synonymous with the rot that plagues the movement.
The masses so loved by political party leaders at election time have taken to the streets to voice their dissatisfaction.
Earlier this year, even middle-class a­rmchair critics put on their designer sneakers and marched against ­e-tolling, also reportedly shrouded in corruption and an added burden on our ridiculously taxed wallets.
In March, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa informed Parliament that between 2007 and 2010, the most common reason for police crowd management of gatherings was labour-related demands for increases in wages, and that unrest requiring police intervention was related to service delivery issues.
Later in June, City Press reported that 372 protests related to service delivery had been recorded between January and the end of May this year alone.
In 18 years of democracy, we can still blame apartheid for many social ills, but we must also blame our leaders.
The disgraceful and shocking non-delivery of textbooks in Limpopo left me cold.
But the worst thing that broke the soul of South Africa during this fateful year of the ANC’s centenary was the shameful Marikana massacre, reminiscent of the Sharpeville slaughter.
It highlighted aspects of every ill plaguing black society under an ANC-led government: police brutality, wage strikes, corporate greed, failure of natural mineral resource redistribution, flawed implementation of black economic empowerment, violent crime, service-delivery failure, including inhumane slum settlements, unemployment concerns and much more.
The man who shoved his way to the front, taking the reins of leadership in this sorry mess, was Julius Malema, a spat-out child of the movement. In the space of a few days, he single-handedly nullified what little trust I had left in the aging ANC leadership.
I was raised by courageous men and women, people like you, the Rivonia Trialists, who now need me to tell them it’s time to let go.
The ANC has never been as self-destructive as it is today.
Cosatu, the ANC-aligned trade union federation, has driven the economy into free fall as the failure of their collective bargaining strategy, designed to perpetuate the racist status quo, is blowing up in our faces with one strike after another.
I’m waiting for them to stop blaming third-force right wing elements and take some responsibility.
And let me not get started on the recent madness of more than R200 million-worth of Nkandla renovations, SAA’s R5 billion bailout and the relentless e-toll attitude of government.
In 2009, I took longer than usual to vote in the booth, agonising over putting an X next to the face of a man I instinctively knew was bad news.
My love for the ANC won over my reservations.
In last year’s local government elections, I rebelled, voting for the ANC in my neighbourhood and for another party in the city.
I am sure Joburg Mayor Parks Tau is capable, but my rebellion against a President Jacob Zuma-led ANC began with that ballot paper.
To not vote at all in 2014, as many are threatening, will be to dishonour the memory of my uncle, Lesetja Sexwale, and his many fallen comrades who died in combat for my right to vote.
It will be to disrespect the struggle for which men and woman such as him, men like yourselves, sacrificed their youth.
Personally, it will be a betrayal of little Kay who was badly injured in a cross-border raid in Lesotho in 1982 when the apartheid forces were hunting down Umkhonto we Sizwe combatants like my father and Chris Hani.
I don’t know who I will vote for. All I know is that Zuma will never again hold office with my consent.
I know uncle Lesetja and uncle Chris would not view my choice as a betrayal of their sacrifices. I trust that you won’t either.
I choose South Africa .
Sexwale is a media and communication strategist with an interest in current affairs and post-apartheid experiences


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Preston, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
90 years old, political gay activist, hosting two web sites, one personal: http://www.red-jos.net one shared with my partner, 94-year-old Ken Lovett: http://www.josken.net and also this blog. The blog now has an alphabetical index: http://www.red-jos.net/alpha3.htm