Wednesday, August 30, 2006


Well its been a hetic few days and I think I have managed to annoy most people, so I guess it has not been a total loss. All good things come to an end and I must take a short plane trip for a few days. Back early next week so no blogging until then.

Of course, the new security plans (see picture) at our local airport has made this SO MUCH MORE INTERESTING...and that Asia Air policy of not being able to book seats ensures the running start is a must.

Have a good weekend...and someone feed the trolls please

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

an open letter

It seems I have once again trodden where "angels fear to tread" with yesterdays post BLOGG OFF. I would have thought more comments would be forthcoming on the Genocide in Sudan than the relatively inconsequential "whingers of us bloggers". An interesting social commentary on us all perhaps.

I for one acknowledge that my postings are or can be on the negative side, but most often that is borne of frustration. What frustration you ask? The glaring fact that no one seems to care or give a damn!!..Naturally the more frustration you feel the more cynical you become.

Todays Examples Alone... Ravaged rain forests and buring off with the smoke and haze effecting not only Indonesia but her neighbor's as well. Pictures in the today's paper of riverways that make you want to vomit and cry in disgust ..Thugs and bullies that seem to attract nary a word...etc etc..

And with notable and predictable exceptions

Please and I am serious here not being rude or insulting (or not trying to be) can someone explain why it is so?

Is it the people really just do not care (I can't believe that)

Is it that people are still scared to comment on those with the power to do something?

A general feeling of it won't make a difference anyway?

Don't admit errors at any cost?

Or is it just that culturally we view blogs and open comment differently?

I hope no one takes offence at the above (actaully thats not really true but I hope some take offence for the right reasons). I also hope someone can enlighten me.. I really do not understand where is the outrage? Where is the passion for the things that really effect our lives that is so evident in those things that have no effect (dare I mention playboy)?


Monday, August 28, 2006


I think it is very sad that the very people who you would think that by natural selection would defend freedom of speech (aka Bloggers), are sometimes the first to call for censorship. I have been reading Indonesian Blogsphere posts calling for accountability (?) of other bloggers (never themselves mind you). Accountability will always be a fairly evil word when applied to the media, blogs or any other form of communication. Any restrictions on free speech rarely remain benign. The problem is and always will be “Who checks the checker”?

Have you ever heard one of these censor advocates say "That work had better be banned because I might read it and it might be very damaging to me?" (Joseph Henry Jackson). The very assumption that people (besides the censors) cannot choose for themselves what to read or see is arrogance at its most oppressive.

Almost invariably, the people calling for “accountability” are not really concerned with the facts or the truth no matter how much that they protest the same. These insecure souls want you to be accountable for dragging them outside of their comfort zone and their cozy (and sometimes perverse) little view of the world.

There is no need for censorship in any place let alone amongst bloggers. One of the major advantages of the blogsphere is a lie or falsehood has a very short half-life . Yes, the hate sites remain but they too are quickly exposed to all but the brain dead as little more than the rantings of lunatics.

I believe the “blog” self regulates to huge degree, particularly in our smaller blog world here in Indonesia. Most of us operate on an “open comments” basis (albeit with moderation enabled to kill the spam and mindless bad language and threats). This alone means any obvious bullsh*t will be exposed in a matter of minutes. A pretty simple rule is, if a blogger won’t let you comment with a different opinion then dump the page, its crap and deserves to be treated as such.

On a personal blog note, I love the “inane” comments that sometimes come along with my posts and others such as “Check your Facts” or “You don’t know what you are talking about” Whilst that is probably true in a lot of cases, the comment on its own without providing an alternative or at least a link to demonstrate the error is a waste of the time it takes to comment (Its also lazy and troll like behaviour).

Blog’s are many things to many people, to some they are an online version of the “The diary of Adrain Mole” complete with minute by minute updates of their loves and losses (I will never understand the attraction but hey). To other people, their blog is an opinionated version of current social/political events. This is the beauty of blogging everyone gets to have a say.

Whatever is blogged doesn’t really matter. Invariably the blog takes on a bias of its own. To call for accountability (??) because someone doesn’t meet your view of what “blog-able” is a sign of an immature and insecure society/person. The fundamental principles of freedom of speech (coming back to the “who checks the checkers “principle again) is far more important than any one person’s feelings or prejudices.

This doesn’t mean you can slander someone or print an untruth in a deliberate attempt to hurt someone. There are already laws against slander in the vast majority of countries in the world, including Indonesia.

In a very short time, we know what we are going to get when we check any blog and as the sign says “enter at your own risk”. For example, If I drop into Jakartass then I will get social commentary with a green bent. Indcoup provides social commentary with a distinctly coarse and cynical edge. IndoMatters will normally manage to raise the ire of some with commentary on the more “out-there” pressure groups and quasi-government follies (he is certainly provided with heaps of material by some loons). Yosef provides succinct and informative information on the Indonesian business and Political world, and of course Greenstump he just mucks about and fills his page with whatever fills his head that day.

So in summary, if you don’t like what is said because you don’t like the perceptions of the facts, the sources or the links or even the bias then I can only suggest in the nicest possible way its time to get a grip or …...”BLOGG OFF”.

P.S. If you are going to accuse someone of lacking credibility, it pays to provide a counter argument otherwise yells of common sense and accountability are just so much white noise.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Lebanon or Sudan - A hard question?

It may be that the situation in the Middle East has settled down a bit for the time being. Of course that leaves a heap of the morally outraged all dressed up with no place to go.

Perhaps they could consider the Sudan, where Muslim Genocide is being carried out on a daily basis. Not as newsworthy as Lebanon for some reason.

"Since 2003, the Sudanese government and the Janjaweed militias burned and destroyed hundreds of rural villages, killed tens of thousands of people and raped and assaulted thousands of women and girls. The government’s campaign forced more than two million Darfurians from their homes. As of 2006, some 1.7 million displaced people live in camps in Darfur and approximately 208,000 people have fled to neighboring Chad, where they live in refugee camps"

Perhaps as the world's largest Muslim nation, Indonesia could do a bit better than these ratbags:

"Arab League has been largely silent on the atrocities in Darfur. This is probably because Sudan is a member of the Arab League and the Sudanese government has close relations with Egypt and other fellow Arab League members. The Arab League did send a fact-finding mission to Darfur in May 2004 but although its report concluded that serious atrocities were taking place, the Arab League has yet to publicly condemn or criticize the massive human rights abuses in Sudan"

Oh by the way "All of the people in Darfur are Muslim " as opposed to about 50% in Lebanon.

For those that wish to know more go to HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH SUDAN.

LATEST NEWS BREAK new human rights crisis in Darfu

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Censorship Offends Me!

Censors (the lowest form evolutionary life, along with dog catchers and parking inspectors) and accountability in writing are in the news again and have even found some supporters in Blog World here..(ugh..have you no shame!).

I am working on a post but is taking the meantime

"The populist authoritarianism that is the downside of political correctness means that anyone, sometimes it seems like everyone, can proclaim their grief and have it acknowledged. The victim culture, every sufferer grasping for their own Holocaust, ensures that anyone who feels offended can call for moderation, for dilution, and in the end, as is all too often the case, for censorship. And censorship, that by-product of fear - stemming as it does not from some positive agenda, but from the desire to escape our own terrors and superstitions by imposing them on others - must surely be resisted. ~Jonathon Green, "Did You Say 'Offensive?'," as posted on

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Lies exposed

Recently Jakartass ran some rather pathetic attempts with "Photoshop". It would appear that certain parties have given that up altogether and just plain lie in order to get the propaganda across. The top photo is as published by Defence Industry Daily - of its sinking of the decommissioned Australian destroyer-escort HMAS Torrens off the coast of Western Australia in 1998.

The bottom photo is from - "an Iran-based website run by the Hezbollah terrorist group - is running this picture (above) of what it claims is the Israeli ship it hit with a missile last month" (Andrew Bolt. )

Had a quick read of the web site as well, All I can say is I wish the Italians lots and lots of luck.

Now before the run of usual.."others do it too" comments. I don't care! Expose them as well and maybe one day there may exist some truth and balance in reporting. The more light Bloggers and ordinary people shine in dark places, the harder it is for the cockroaches and liars to hide.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Borders and BullSh#t

Feeling a bit tired today so just a cartoon to keep the expat xenophobes amused and a link to the latest on
Border Security and Refugees in Australia (even manage to get a bit of eco global warming as well).

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Hostile Acts

It’s been a busy week for some Indonesian Government Ministers, with Independence Day and proposing? planning? sending (that won't happen) an Indonesian Peace Keeping (?) Force to the Middle East. Now as an interesting aside, they are also planning to send 42 tanks, but they have to buy them first and ship them straight to Lebanon.

This in itself raises some questions and thoughts on the logic (or absence thereof) applied by some of these people. More of concern is it shows just how beholden the current government is to the more extreme groups in Indonesia.

A couple of quick thoughts anyway...

What use would 42 tanks be? Only one of the combatants has tanks and 42 tanks ain't gunna worry them anyway.

Its common knowledge that to be even semi proficient as a tank crewman you need at least 12 months training, so where and when would the training take place?

Which broker gets the deal? (ok this one is just a bit cynical)

On the same topic Indonesian Defense Minister, Juwono Sudarsono said Friday "that the government had allocated Rp 374 billion (US$41.09 million) to finance some 1,000 troops to join peacekeeping forces in Lebanon."

Now let’s look at this in context. Indonesia does not recognise Israel as a nation, has no diplomatic relations with Israel, as taken a decidedly weak kneed approach to the jihadis (?) planning to travel to the Middle East (to attack who??..sorry trick question) and besides sorely needing the funds at home believes it would be able to act and be respected as a neutral party.... Give us break!!
For a more detailed and cynical view of the plan, pop across to Indonesia Matters

Let’s reverse the situation. How would Indonesia feel/react if Israeli (commonly called the Zionist state) personnel were sent to Aceh to monitor the situation there??.. Can anyone think where $41. million dollars might be spent... perhaps here

Meanwhile, Djoko Susilo, member of House of Representatives Commission I overseeing security and international affairs declared Prime Minister of Australia had hostile intentions towards Indonesia after withdrawing withdrawal a proposed new immigration law in the country.

Djoko from the National Mandate Party was quoted by the Jakarta Post as saying "The withdrawal reflects hostile intentions. Howard was not serious from the beginning. The initiative was taken only to trick the Indonesian government so that it would send back its ambassador to Canberra, and Howard could meet President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in Batam" he went on to say "it is incomprehensible that Howard could withdraw the legislation although his party held a majority of seats in the Australian parliament and senate"

It fact it is not incomprehensible at all. It’s called democracy at work! It was a particularly nasty piece of legislation which would have further prevented refugees from accessing legal processes in Australia and worse doomed them to long stays on difficult to monitor "off shore" facilities.

The legislation did not "sit well" with the Australian people and more than one government "back bencher" knew his seat was at risk if he didn't LISTEN to the people. It was pleasing to see that in a least in some cases, ETHICS rather than party politics won the day and banished this piece of appeasement to the dustbin where it belongs.

Djoko (a renown hater of all things OZ) by his statement demonstrated a complete lack of understanding of the democratic process in Australia (not a good situation for someone sitting on the Commission I overseeing security and international affairs) or....

Seriously, the Indonesian People deserve better than this from their elected representatives (?). Perhaps then instead of blaming others, the real issue of why there are so many Asylum seekers from Indonesia could be addressed.

As for the assertion that the withdrawal of the legislation was "Only to trick the Indonesian government so that it would send back its ambassador to Canberra"

I have some bad news one noticed he was gone!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Independence Day

Happy Independence Day.. 17 August is Indonesian Independence Day although like at lot of other countries there is some dispute about if the 17th is actually technically correct. Not that it really matters as like all independence days it is more symbolic than anything else. Symbolic of what??

Perhaps, the hopes and dreams of the common people after years (centuries) and domination of oppression by external and domestic tyrants, the ability to worship in peace, a right to education, freedom from fear, the ability to support and raise a family. A time to look back and see what has been achieved and what has not.
Perhaps time to reflect on the underbelly as well as the surface gloss..


Essentially, Indonesia shuts down until after the weekend, with any number of parties and celebrations all heavily laced with a healthy dose (perhaps unhealthy?)Dose of Nationalism.

One of the more interesting features of the day is the traditional granting of remissions to the resident jailbirds around the country.

The year is no exception...SCHAPELLE Corby has been given two months remission on her 20-year sentence which must have made her feel fantastic until she heard, "At least nine Indonesian convicts jailed for relatively minor (?) roles in the 2002 Bali bombings, which killed 202 people including 88 Australians, will have four months cut from their jail terms"

Would have loved to have been a fly on the wall when they decided the relative merits of those two cases.

Personally I can't see how you can have a "minor role" when 202 people have been slaughtered by rabid and extremely poor excuses for human beings

However, Happy day all, we all do "live in interesting times"

Who knows maybe we can all have a collective rush of blood and the freedoms and rights of ALL will blossom in the year to come.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Porky pies and my mate bill

Fairly busy of late, with many interesting things happening which I shall go into the meantime.. Cartoonist Bill Leak has been "annoying the annoyed" again.

I agree with many of my critics than it is only a very small portion of nutters that give a country a bad name. However, thats what happens, lets be honest one far right politician (Hanson)convinced nearly everyone that All Australians were racists. Point being is what do the people do about it, pretend it isn't there or..

Speaking of pork products (or not as the case may be)..Who would want to tell this old boar that his whole genus is unclean...

Monday, August 07, 2006

Isn't there enough already

"INDONESIAN protests against the Israeli offensive in Lebanon grew at the weekend, with one of the main organisers, Muslim political agitator Suaib Didu, declaring a deadline of Tuesday for hostilities to cease "or I will no longer bear responsibilities for the jihad activities that follow"."

"He repeated that claim after Saturday's ceremony, adding that if John Howard did not quickly condemn Israel's military actions against Hezbollah, "we have operatives in place who can assassinate him".

loaded words?.


Friday, August 04, 2006


Reading the Jakarta Post today and besides a few laughs in the letters section, I came across, I think the call it a "factiod".

Apparently the US used to produce a coin with "MIND YOUR (OWN) Business embossed on it. What a great motto!!!

Perhaps Indonesia could print it on all of its currency (bit late for the US now). Maybe the next time the thugs, no-hopers, sanctimonious busy bodies and bullies stop off for a "botol teh" on the way to their latest act of intimidation, they might heed the advice.

Sound advice indeed..chill and have some tea!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


As all regular readers of the Indonesian Blogsphere will know expats have been the topic of the week so to speak, so I will continue the trend.

Some of the more prevailing (incorrect) perceptions radiating from some of the posts and comments was the Expat lifestyle was one great party that of consisted of booze, birds and bucks. As usual, a fair bit of envy provided a unpleasant undertone in number of comments, but that is to be expected. The grass is always greener!!

Indcoup touched on a another Expat suicide the other day. This is another uglier/sadder side to consider in one of your more compassionate moments. As Indcoup’s post indicates, far from being a life of endless fun and frivolity, the expatriate life can also be one of intense loneliness, incredibly long hours and intense periods of homesickness. This applies to Indonesian expats as well as your standard variety or as Treespotter would say “bule” version.

However, for the sake of a reference point I shall restrict this point to us ‘bule”. The point is often brought up why are you here? Well for most it’s easy, a combination of the following:

1. Money;
2. Adventure;
3. Challenge;
4. Personal or Professional Crisis at home;
5. Normal Career Progression.

Now the bias attached to any one point is dependent on the person involved but it will nearly always be a mixture of the above.

The new expat will arrive bright eyed and bushy tailed, gazing with wonder at everything new that assaults him immediately upon arrival. Soon however, (unless he is lucky enough to work for one of those generous (?) companies that allow whole families to be uplifted) He finds him (her) self looking for someone to talk to as the loneliness begins to set in.

If he is the only expat in his company this will be interesting and at the same time further depressing. Whilst most of the local staff may speak English of sorts, rarely is it nuanced enough for that inimate conversation he so desires and needs. With his own Bahasa barely above ordering a taxi level, he will seek out the others of his kind in similar situation.

Now comes the most dangerous time for our newbie, the older hands are normally safely tucked away with wives (national or expat) and support networks that have taken sometimes years to build up. Our newbie invariably ventures out and gravitates towards the kinds of places that cater for the lonely guy with time and money on their hands. Contrary to the popular (PC driven twaddle) he is not the hunter but the hunted, like a lame wilderbeast that has wandered from the herd, easy prey for the streetwise and cunning.

If he is lucky and does have a semblance of a support network back home or elsewhere this may just be a phase and he may yet adjust and move on. If not, he may well find himself back at the same place very other night, seeking solace in the bottle and the pretty faces that smile but little else. Both the bottle and the pretty but shallow face (that smile is just her means of getting through the day as well), provide only a temporary, fleeting patch on the loneliness which is now gnawing at his gut.

As time goes buy, he will find a way to feed all of his physical needs. The more he does so, the more his soul will crave that companionship all humans need to grow but is so hard to find. This is the time when that “black dog of depression” can really get his teeth into him.

It’s a testament to the human condition the vast majority of expats manage to progress through these times and nearly all find their place in their new society. A few don’t and some seem to even relish and thrive on the superficial (although none of us are around when the black dog comes calling on them in wee hours).

Whilst the post is about the expat in all of us, I can say the Indonesian Expat if anything feels it even more acutely due to his/her strong family ties.

The partners of these expats, well to that’s another post..perhaps not from me

A few pointers for the new expat (my opinion only)

1. If your relationship at home has fractures, here it will shatter.
2. If you get involved with a local girl, you are involved with her family.
3. Security may be the compound but its not living in Indonesia.
4. Join a club, play golf..anything have to make the time.
5. What you think you said, what they think you said and what was actually said never ever met.
6. Beware the black dog he is always waiting to feed.

So next time you see one of those "hell raising, over paid, expats" and you go home to your loving wife, family and place of comfort. Perhaps you may wish to consider that the grass is not always greener.