Another Dark Little Corner

moon phases

Started this before change to "New Blogger", as backup in case of trouble with digiphoto blog "In a Small Dark Room", or rants & links blog "Hello Cruel World" . Useful - at one stage Dark Room was there, but like the astrophysical Dark Matter, we could't see it ... better now, but kept Just In Case.

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There is nothing. There is no God and no universe, there is only empty space, and in it a lost and homeless and wandering and companionless and indestructible Thought. And I am that thought. And God, and the Universe, and Time, and Life, and Death, and Joy and Sorrow and Pain only a grotesque and brutal dream, evolved from the frantic imagination of that same Thought.
Mark Twain (letter to Joseph Twichell after his wife's death)
[me, on a bad day]

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Remember Kristallnacht – 9/11/38 [In Australia 9/11 is November 9th]  
Remember Kristallnacht - 9/11/38
[In Australia 9/11 is November 9th]

Two sites of many

November 9th is still a pertinent anniversary: "Kristallnacht – the Night of Broken Glass".

In 1938, incensed by hearing of his family in Germany being forced into "relocation camps" in the November snow under Nazi laws, an adolescent Jew in Paris shot and killed a German diplomat.

Goebbels used this for propaganda about conspiracies against Germany, inciting Germans to "rise in bloody vengeance", culminating on the long winter night of November 9th in organised widespread violence. Non-Jews who protested were beaten. Police and firemen watched people brutalized, buildings smashed, looted and burnt.
Morning footpaths were impassable under an icy glittering crust of broken glass and ashes.

Lack of public protest encouraged the Nazi government to pass even more repressive laws in the next few months. Prominent Germans who protested were arrested. Ordinary Germans who protested were beaten up.

Can we hope that we've learnt from last century's several examples of disasters wrought by stirring up - for power, for gain, for dogmatic religion or ideology - the darker side we all have?

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Trawlings caught in the net:  
Trawlings caught in the net:
[Do the words "Told you so" have any resonance here? (Going back to that pre-Olympic legislation ... what _did_ happen to that?
Despite Ric Birch's assurances at our local meeting, don't know if it did end up with 'sunset' clause. Trying to remember if it was State or Federal.)]

All the way with LB ... er ... ASIO
By Alan Ramsey
November 2 2002

... Squads of assorted police, directed by ASIO agents, guns drawn, werebursting into homes of people "who may have some knowledge". That's all it takes, in these days of fear and not a little hysteria, to have armed police take your home apart, in front of your children, and cart away anything they choose, yourself included, to examine at leisure, telling the rest of us, in a sense, to mind our business, that all is above board and entirely lawful, and, as Williams asserted on Wednesday, "that everything is being done in order to ensure the Australian community is properly protected"...

Was looking for EM Forster's bit on not believing in belief, having come across the quote recently. Sounded like one of the sort of
things I've been rabbiting on about. Finally found it at:

What I Believe
E.M. Forster in Two Cheers for Democracy (1951)
Interestingly, it also addresses another subject that's a recent worry (particularly since September 11th). People are currently bringing up
some memories of the sort of things done in the 1950s & 1960s to helpless 'no-count' types (e.g. poor &/or non-white &/or prisoners &/or mentally ill &/or handicapped) for Cold War experiments, and the penalising of others on the merest suspicion of connection with 'unAmerican' activities. Interesting how many seem to think it was such a happy & innocent decade, the fifties.
Even in retro shows like 'Grease' - as well as ones made at the time like 'West Side Story' you could see some of the problems. This gives you some idea of the kind of pressures building up at the start of the 1950s. Which of course is what I've been pointing to with the anti-terrorism moral panic (see story above).

While searching, ran across some interesting places, including
[BTW, Pink Alert]:
Benzaldehyde reviews

Assorted quotes & examples of people mostly living a tolerant life.
This seems to be a 'defensive' site against the blitz of the American "Moral Majority" - who don't recognise any other morals - since it seems to assume a bad attitude towards atheist/agnostic 'nontheists', as he dubs them:

And an article, some years before he died, by Carl Sagan (another of my heroes):

His last book was "The Demon-Haunted World". According to someone who'd read earlier drafts, Dr Sagan strengthened & hardened it up, the friend thought perhaps CS knew that it was likely to be his last word on the subject. Have a couple of his books, might check for that one next time I get to a a) library; b) 2nd-hand book shop.

Thoughts about democracy, government & society:

Article on [Franco's "stolen children"]
Have heard this story about Chile too. Looks like Latin America copied the old Latin country. I suspect similar things have happened over centuries, e.g. heretic's infant children being taken before they burn the parent(s); native peoples' children being deprived of their language & culture, to be acculturated to colonialists' ideas —- including the inferiority of the natives & their culture (have heard the Australian 'stolen generation' story repeated in several countries).

The thought in the story did occur to me at the timing of the sudden cessation of that trial...
What butler saw will remain secret
(This blew up into quite a noisy story over the next few weeks. Then faded off.)

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