outback to jungle

Musings on experiences of volunteering in Papua New Guinea with some gratuitous domestic social and public comment

Thursday, March 22, 2007

give the strategy time to work

How much more time? The Iraq invasion has been going for four years now. How much more time? 6 months? One year? two years? Five years? How much more time? And if this strategy fails, will the Coalition of the Willing come up with another alternative strategy or will it realise it can't be done?
If this was a professional boxing match, the referee would have stopped the fight ages ago and called in the doctor. We should never have been there in the first place. Saddam Hussein was bad and so is Robert Mugabe and so was the apartheid regime in South Africa. Why was Saddam Hussein different that the Iraqi people needed to be treated this way? To call the misery being endured by the Iraqis a victory for freedom really makes one wonder.
What is at stake here is ego. Like the Monty Python sketch of the knight who doesn't know when enough is enough and is delimbed until he is nothing but a head in a helmet, so too is the mess that is Iraq. Ego, stupidity, pride, selfishness, stubborn-ness. It doesn't matter about misery of the living and the deaths of the innocents.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Oh darling John, what's wrong?

You're so upset.
Oh sweet ever faithful Jan, my most loyal fan. Alas my heart is broken. They don't love me anymore.
Who diddums? Who doesn't love you?
The voters. They are saying horrible things that I'm not likeable like I used to be and that I'm arrogant and not trustworthy.
There there Honeybunch. They're only voters. What would they know. And anyway, at least they're not saying you're mean and tricky like they used to.
Oh, but woe, what am I going to do? I like to be liked. I had such a wretched childhood from being teased for being a four-eyed nerd.
Well. That's it then. We'll tell your childhood myth. Just like Rudd. We'll go on A Current Affair and tell them about your sad upbringing.
Oh really Jan my sweetness? Really do you think it'll work? Oh I knew I could count on you. You turn my sorrow into hope and my darkness into light.
Yes, we'll do that and then also we'll go on Bert's Family Feud - you, me and two of the kids. All those contestants are popular. I'll send in a nomination form today. Bert is so good at building people up and making them feel good about themselves. Let's see how Mr Smarty-pants Rudd like that!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Iraq - 4 years on.

Us heartless, selfish, stubborn and stupid people of power. We feel really proud. We showed that Saddam Hussein not to mess with us. 60 thousand dead - minimum. Doesn't matter. At least Saddam Hussein is dead now too. Yair, we got 'im.

War leaders we are. Stupid men and one silly woman who intend to shape the world in our image.

60 thousand dead - minimum. What did you do for the sake of Humanity, Daddy? I killed 60 000 Iraqis.

What's more, we're Christians. We did the Lord's work for him. Killed all them 60 000 mainly Moslems to save him the trouble. Plus about 4000 soldiers from our Christian countries. But that was just collateral damage.

60 thousand dead - minimum. Iraq, four years on. We're winning, we're winning. 60 thousand dead - minimum.

Staff Meeting, PM's Office

Present: PM; Leader of the House; Chief of Staff; Whip; Press Officer; Liberal Party Executive Director. (footnote: General Secretary is a term for less prestigious Union type organisations).
PM: Let's get down to business. A right stuff up you've made of things. I've been away for 10 days - 10 days - and look at what I've come back to. Tony, what's on today? A thanksgiving service in Innisfail. And where have you got me? In Parliament! You're not thinking. The cyclone was a year ago. That means anniversary. Where should the Leader of the Nation be on an anniversary? Where the cameras are! Gabrielle, what positive news have you got in the papers? There's some shonky journo writing about me as a circus master and pulling rabbits out of a hat! That's the news. Where is the story of me being an elder Statesman in the Middle East? Brian, a fat lot of good you've been you slack-a#$%. How many more misdemeanors have our members been up to? Andrew, what support has the Party been giving me? Stuff all. Now for all the public liability that Brian Burke is seen to be, he can get things done. Get on to him on the side - ask ASIO how you do it surreptitiously - and get some pointers from him. Take a brown paper bag with you and tell him you'll double it if the meeting stays out of the papers till after the election. Ryan, get me a schedule of all the anniversaries. Mix them up - the sad with the solemn with the happy ones. Get me some new outfits - budgie smugglers for starters. They seem to have made even the international press take notice. Some riding boots and a pair of jeans and find out where the next rodeo is on. We also need to appeal more to the hippy culture and the Gay and Lesbians so get me some leathers and feathers and invite a few of them say 20 over to the Lodge. What are you staring at? If you lot had been doing your job I could have been spared this anguish. I can just imagine Jan's face. How she will explain it to the Bishop I don't know.

from the National 20 Mar

Unitech crisis ends. BY PETER KORUGL.
AN independent team will look into the allegations made by the National Academic Staff Association (NASA) against the University of Technology administration. This was one of the key points agreed to by the university council and NASA members over the weekend. The crisis resolution had encouraged the more than 2,000 students to return to their classes yesterday after being away for about three weeks and brought an end to uncertainty, frustrations and fears within the campus. University sources said the terms of reference for the team, yet to be announced, would be drawn up and agreed to sometime this week.The Ombudsman Commission would also investigate the allegations, many of which are “serious”, according to Morobe Governor Luther Wenge. Mr Wenge had met the NASA executives at the height of the crisis at the Taraka campus. The independent team was expected to present their findings after the third or fourth week. If there were sufficient evidence of mismanagement and malpractices at the university, then the senior executive management will be sidelined and the Ombudsman will take over, the source said. The issues were resolved by NASA members and the council over the weekend, leading to the signing of the agreement. The crisis resolution had encouraged the more than 2000 students to return to their classes yesterday after being away for about three weeks and brought an end to uncertainty, frustrations and fears within the campus. The students had feared that the current academic year could have been wasted and that they would have to come back next year to repeat their courses. “They (students) are back in classes and everything is very quiet on campus,” a source in the student representative council told The National.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Prime Minister, welcome to Iraq again.

President Maliki, how good to see you again. My troops are looking after things?
Yes of course. The support for me among my countrymen is so small, I am very happy to have outside asssitance to prop up my regime.
Good, I'm glad to hear it. Now if you would be so kind as to repeat that for the cameras. It will lend legitimacy to what I am telling my people back in Australia. And if you could pour a bucket of mud on the Opposition Leader that would be good.
Gather round everybody. Good, I see weve got all the major networks here. Well Ladies and Gentlemen, President Maliki and I have concluded our talks and we will take questions.
Prime Minister, before we take questions, allow me as your host to say a few words. My country and my family appreciate the measures Australia has taken to prop up my regime. This is bold thinking from a bold man of steel. I request you keep your troops here. Opposition Leader Rudd should remember what it was like living in a car and he ought to spare Iraqis the same fate. Iraq needs the boldness of your Prime Minister. Thank you. No further questions.

Zimbabwe is barbaric

"The Prime Minister, John Howard, says the Zimbabwean Government's violent suppression of its political opponents is barbaric. He says one of the major reasons that President Robert Mugabe has remained in power and presided over the destruction of his country is that Zimbabwe's neighbours, particularly South Africa, have failed to exert the pressure they could have."
So John what does this mean?
That it's all Rudd's fault?
Well yes, that too. But remember who else was barbaric? And what did you do?
Kim Beazeley? Barak Obama? Malcolm Fraser?
Yes, them too, but remember Sadd..? Saddam Huss...? Saddam Hussein? Ir..? Iraq?
Oh yes. Saddam Hussein. Yes it's all coming back to me. I invaded Iraq. Great military war time Prime Minister I was. Yes, it's all coming back to me. And I called Beazeley No Ticker Kim. Yes. I should bomb the shitter out of the Zimbabweans. Take a moral position. I will fight them on the beaches. I will never surrender. Great war time leader. And accidentally I win a fifth term as Prime Minister?
Well done John.

from the National 19th March 07

"More lecturers to leave Unitech. By PETER KORUGL.
MORE national lecturers plan to resign from their positions at the PNG University of Technology in Lae, Morobe province.The planned resignations are over the treatment their counterparts received in the current dispute between the council and the National Academic Staff Association (NASA).The National was told by several senior academics that some of those were experienced lecturers, including acting departmental heads.“I am going. I am just sorting out a few things before I go,” one acting head of department said over the weekend.Many of them were with the university for many years and were going into the private sector, joining a group of people who had resigned to go contest the elections.Those who resigned last year were served with eviction notices last Friday and the notices were expected to be served on NASA members who resigned en masse last week. Chancellor Philip Stagg told a student meeting at the height of the crisis that the council would recruit new staff to ensure classes started today.Sources said it would take the university at least four months to recruit new people to fill in the vacant positions.Classes at the university may start today – that is if national academics agree to get back into their jobs.NASA members were reviewing their position, with the option to reapply for reinstatement into their positions at the 13 academic departments.NASA last night said its members had met and looked at the details of the Memorandum of Agreement and it would put its position to the council that would lead to the signing of an agreement.“Certain details of the MoA are being looked into by the members. We have our lawyer here so he is going to meet with the members tonight,” caretaker president Loko Anota said.Lae police are on full alert and will move into the Taraka and Bulolo campuses should the continued stand-off between NASA and the council escalates into rampage by the students who felt victimised in the dispute and were frustrated because they were not in classes.There is calm but uneasiness at the university as the negotiations to end the dispute continue. "

so now we've got to stay in Iraq

until we've got rid of the terrorists in there.
What bloody peanut was responsible for getting the terrorists into Iraq? There were none there in Saddam's time. Victory was declared in about May 2003 against the background of a sign on the USS Aircraft Carrier "Mission accomplished". We did not go in for regime change but to satisfy ourselves there were no WsMD. There were none so why are we still there? If we were not about regime change then why did we change the regime? The bullshit, the lies, the hypocricy. Too bad about the shattered lives of the poor bloody Iraqis.

Beryl love, come quick

it's our Prime Minister. My, doesn't he remind you of Churchill? That battle jacket he's got on. He must have nerves of steel. I mean he's not only got a country to run but there he is looking completely Churchillian fighting a war. The only thing missing is the cigar. Visiting the troops among all 'em towel head terrorists. You wouldn't catch me over there. Suicide bombers, terrorists, Moslems, extremists. Wipe 'em all out. Bring back conscription and wipe 'em all out. That's about the only thing I could fault Howard on. We got no conscription. Bring back conscription that's what I say. And put all them Abo kids in the army to teach 'em a bit of work ethic. That's how to clean up Redfern and all them western towns. Put Sheik Hilali and that Ramdo Habib guy and David Hicks in the army. And all the other asylum seekers. Put 'em in the army and that'll prove how much they want to live here. Why should our kids have to risk their lives? All 'em asylum seekers - that 'd be the best citizenship test - make 'em kill ten terrorists and they can come here.
Oh Arthur, doesn't he remind you of Churchill? Remember Churchill in his battle jacket giving 'em Germans curry? I'll get us a cup o' tea love. Oooh I feel so proud once again.

Liberal Party room

Attention colleagues, let's give a big hearty welcome home to the most successful PM in history.
Yair-no, cut the crap Peter. I'm not in the mood for adulation. I'm pissed off with you. I leave the country for 10 days, I make myself a hero - nerves of steel the paper said I had - and what do I find when I come back? Another minister resigned, three colleagues under investigation in Brisbane, and NSW looking like a disaster zone for us in next week's election. What the f*&% has been going on? You're s'posed to be the deputy leader - which means you look after things while I'm away. Some job you've done. As for you Santo you bl&^%$ clown.
W-w-with due respect Prime Minister, you don't look too good yourself dining out with porno kings.
With due respect be buggered Santo. You got no respect at all. None of you. You're just riding on the coat-tails of my popularity. And if I fail you all fail. Just remember that without me you're nothing. All that effort of mine, risking my life in visiting the troops, being smoked out of a plane, all that valuable photo op footage and I might as well stayed at home wa#^%& myself. Sweet Janette is heartbroken. All my effort and for what she says. There's not another that can lie like I do - except maybe for Eric the merciless - she says. I'm the best bullshitter in the business. I can con the tits off a bull. I'm as cunning as a shit-house rat. That's what I've built my reputation on. And you jokers can't take a trick without me. I'm going off to confession. Eric, you take over and try to teach 'em a thing or two about the art of bullshit and being sly and cunning. Santo, you'd better come with me and confess your stupidity. Waste o' space all o' you. Waste o' space.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Peter? John here.

Yair-no Peter, how'd my secret mission to Afghanistan go down with the viewers? Did you see me there with the troops? They just couldn't get over my bravery in visiting them. They felt really proud when they shook the hand of THEIR Prime Minister. Have the polls picked up for us yet?
Well Prime Minister, it's a bit too early to tell. After all it only happened yesterday.
Yes, I suppose so. Look Peter, the football kick offs are on this weekend so I want you to ring around the clubs and find out which ones would be honoured if I could do the ceremonial kick off for them. Try to get me on to the Brisbane one - that'll give Kevvy something to be smarmy about. They might just have to put the start of it back until midnight because my plane won't get there before that time. But I'm sure for the honour of my doing it then it won't be a problem. And then get me on to the official party for the Harbour Bridge celebrations. Yair, the Sydney Harbour Bridge. You're just so Melbourne Peter. Sydney Harbour Bridge. Everyone knows it. Yair, it does sound a bit ordinary doesn't it? What do you think of Howard Boulevarde? Get one of the staff to write a letter to the Editor to suggest renaming it in honour of our Greatest Prime Minister. Yair and I'll be watching the World Cup Cricket replay against Lichtenstein so let the Press Gallery know they will be able to get vision of me jumping up and down when we win. They love that sort of thing. It works well with the voters too. You should learn some of these tips Pete. Budget's coming along alright Peter is it? See you when I get back.

heff mate, how you going?

Yair-no, John Howard mate, Australia. Loved the last Playboy, Heff. Yair some really top articles. Yair-no Heff, I was just calling, like, we've got a fundraiser on for me. We got a bit of a tuff election on this time. I was hoping you might be able to come over and help us out like? Yair-no, I thought if you brought over a few of your Playboy bunnies. You know, a lot of good upstanding God, Queen and Country Liberal party supporters who'd appreciatiate your business acumen if you know what I mean?
Well John dude, Seein' as y'all a good friend of our President now I wouldn't mind helping out. I could survey the Ausssie talent scene while I'm there.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

I knew I had a rat in the flat

when my NICE biscuits had been chewed, along with half a banana. I don't like rats - or mice or snakes. I have had to kill two snakes before for lurking around my school but I like to leave them alone. But rats and mice frighten me. As for spiders - even red backs - I like them. They are good pets and require no looking after. You go for a holiday and they have survived your absence. I like that independence and self reliance in a pet. It shows a level of maturity that dogs and cats and gold fish don't have.
So I see this rat scurry across the floor and lurk behind Robert's stuff. I leave out gumboot glue trap and poison pellets. Then one night I went upstairs to my bedroom and I see a rat scurry up over the louvres and escape through a hole in the gauze. It comes back a bit later after lights out and was trying to get back in. I banged on the louvres and it took off but I had visions of its coming back in and gnawing by ears and toes while I was sleeping.
On Tuesday afternoon I returned home and noticed a black blob near Robert's stuff. I pulled everything out away from the wall, banging boxes as I went to frighten it to go outside so I wouldn't have it running over my feet. I lifted out the last box and trapped the rat with a rake. It must have been full of rat poison as it was hardly moving. I threw it outside by means of the rake and the dogs did the rest. Then I discovered why it liked Robert's stuff - it had eaten the bees wax out of his digeridoo. I disinfected the area to remove the rat germs. That's the second one in my time here.

from the National 15th March

"Tension high at Unitech
MEMBERS of the Student Representative Council (SRC) at the PNG University of Technology are stepping down as tension on the campus rise and the crisis worsens with the academic year in doubt following the resignation of over 60 national lecturers. The National Court also ordered yesterday that four leaders of the National Academic Staff Association (NASA), who are on bail be arrested again and brought to Port Moresby to face a judge for contempt. The SRC leaders have offered to resign if no solution is found to allow classes to begin on Monday. No one wants to admit it but tension is running high as panic grips the students that their academic year may be in doubt. Many of them are angry and frustrated over the delay in classes brought about by the deadlock in the negotiations between the NASA and the university council and the subsequent mass resignation of academics last Sunday. “We are urging the students to stay calm. There is panic here following NASA members’ decision to resign from their respective jobs. We the student leaders cannot say for certain what will happen on Monday, when the students find that they cannot go to classes,” one student leader said. NASA caretaker president Dr Loko Anota yesterday said they were still waiting for a response from the council on their resignation letters. Meanwhile, in Port Moresby Justice Ambeng Kandakasi issued fresh orders for the four top executives of NASA to be arrested again, and this time be detained until they are brought to Port Moresby to face him. The four were arrested last Sunday for contempt of court but released on bail, but failed to appear before Justice Kandakasi in a hearing yesterday. The four NASA executives are president Pulas Yowat, his deputy Robert Songan, secretary Raymond Bure and treasurer Gibson Tito. Lawyers explained to the judge that the four were part of the 64 staff who resigned on Sunday over the impasse with the Unitech administration, and were no longer considered staff of the university. The two disputing parties had also agreed to drop the contempt charges and that NASA members had agreed to return to classes on the condition that the current university administration was sidelined. But Justice Kandakasi said the contempt of court charges were not for the union members and the university council to deal with in their deliberations. “The issue before this court is about the contempt charges. The issue against the NASA members are now a court matter and must be dealt with in this court,” Justice Kandakasi pointed out and ordered that there be another warrant of arrest issued for the arrest of the four academics. Justice Kandakasi said the NASA executives had also breached their bail conditions when they were released. He said once the four executives were arrested they were not to be allowed bail until they are transferred to Port Moresby to appear before him."

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

naa it's not true, I'm much more racist

than Rudd is. He's lying again. Us Libs went to war with the slopeheads in Vietnam. Us Libs went to war with the towelheads in Iraq, us Libs refuse to say sorry to the Aborigines. You can't get more racist than that. We don't take no s*** from no-one. Not even from Australian Citizen Mr David Hicks in Guantamo Gaol. Rudd is a wuss and a wimp. He's got no ticker, no spine, no nothin'. Look at me. I'm as racist as racist. The only reason the Sheik hasn't called me a racist is that he knows I'll bash him up down at the beach. He's protecting his skin. He's not afraid of Rudd because Rudd is a softy. Rudd wants to stop bombing the towelheads and shooting 'em up. Look at me though. I'm in there givin'em curry - them towelheads. They know not to mess with me. And Rudd wants to bring that towelhead-lovin' Australian Citizen Mr David Hicks home. That's not racist. He just wants to try to copy my policies. Come on Sheik, call me a racist - yair you're not game. Please, please call me a REAL racist. Rudd's only a PLASTIC racist compared to me. Please Sheik. I'll let you watch the invasion of Iran on my big screen tele at Kirribilli.

yair Brian, it's Kevin Rudd here

Kev you old b*&%*. I thought you must've died. I haven't seen you for 18 months.
Yair well Brian you know how it is, self interest and all that.
Of course, don't worry about it. Self Interest is a great champion. Now how can I help.
Well we reckon we can go after the racist vote and that's where we need your help. If we can show the racists that we're more racist than Howard then we've got the election stitched up.
Yair, go on, I'm listening. Where do I come in?
Well if you could lobby Sheik Hilali and get him to denounce me as an Islamophobe, then that is more than Howard has been called. He's never been called an Islamophobe. Think of what we can do with our advertising. "Rudd is an Islamophobe: Officially denounced by the Sheik; Official - Rudd more racist than Howard." Think about it. How are the Libs going to beat that one?
That's pretty clever Kev. Listen, after the election, would you like to come and work for me?

from the National Wed 14 March

"NASA members resign en masse. By PETER KORUGL.
ALL MEMBERS of the National Academic Staff have resigned en masse from their respective jobs in protest over the way they were treated by the Lae-based PNG University of Technology.Their resignations have thrown the entire 2007 academic year into doubt.Sixty-four members, from both the Taraka and Bulolo campuses, handed in their resignations to the university administration on Monday and yesterday handed copies to the University Council and the Office of Higher Education.“We were forced into doing this. We want the students to understand our action and maintain calm,” Dr Loko Anota, caretaker president of NASA said.“There is still time for the council to reconsider. There are still three more days before Monday” he said, after he and his team returned from a meeting with Ombudsman John ToGuata and Dr William Takis from the Office of Higher Education and council members.“The NASA members have resolved to collectively and individually submit their resignations to the registrar of the PNG University of Technology effective as of 10pm, Sunday, March11.“We therefore, request that all our severance benefits and entitlement be sorted out immediately,” the staff said in their letter.They wrote that “regrettably the decision was based on the fact that we have lost total confidence in the current senior executive management (SEM) and the council, hence our resignation en mass.”In the letter addressed to the registrar, they said this would have been avoided of the SEM were sidelined to allow for an independent investigation to take its course.“We have come to realise and learn today that the SEM is part of the council. NASA’s case against the SEM not only has been downplayed but that council has employed heavy handed tactics and intimidation against NASA members and executives, which are disproportionately excessive and highly traumatising for members and their families to bear.“This cannot be tolerated any more and enough is enough,” they explained in their letter.The resignations affect the 13 academic departments and the distance education program run by the university. Ten of the members have PhDs, most with masters and a few with bachelors’ degrees. All have been with Unitech for 15 years or more.Following the mass resignation, students urged the Government to intervene and get the local academics to return to classes on Monday.“The Government must step in, sidelined the senior management and bring the lecturers back to classes,” a student said. The Minister for High Education David Basua last night sent a letter, congratulating the NASA members for signing the memorandum of agreement on Monday night.Mr Basua said following the agreement, the NASA members should return to their classes.“I never signed any agreement. The minister has been misinformed,” Dr Anota said."