It’s incredible the power that terrorism has to strike fear into the hearts of ordinary people. The now nightly news reports of our security forces raiding homes and arresting individuals is worrying to say the least.
That said, what of those individuals. Many have been arrested, but nearly none charged. Why is it that they are paraded before the nation, as though guilty, before a trial has even happened? Would that one charged even come close to getting a fair trial, should they even be tried?
The language used should be a target for cynicism. The endless bandying about of terrorism and language of war is nothing more than the inflammation of fear. The notion that we are any better serviced as a nation, by stoking the culture of fear is patently stupid. This fear of the Other is an unfounded fear, based on nothing more than allegations.
There are only two groups that benefit from the parading of accused on TV and the fear that is stoked through it - those in power and groups like IS. For those in power it is the construction of a political agenda that does nothing for us or our political discourse. For terror groups, it’s sowing fear through their actions thousands of kilometres from our shores.
Those to lose will inevitably be our fellow Australians who happen to also be Muslims or whoever it is people formulate to be the Other. Whoever it is they want to target their spurious racism at (that and seemingly the half of Melbourne that wear rough beards - as we all know - it’s appearance that equal terrorism, not ideas or actions). We will all lose from this culture of fear - we lose our sensibility, our empathy, our freedom. We reject it all for fear.
Now I’m not suggesting we have nothing at all to fear. There are those that seek to harm and kill and their motivations are varied. From robberies to murder, there are those amongst us that seek to do harm. Always have been and unfortunately always will be and we should be wary of that.
That’s why our security forces exist. They do their job and they do it well. They do it everyday keeping the peace and investigating crimes - whatever those crimes may be. Long may they continue so that we don’t have to live in fear.
"If you think that money can’t buy happiness, work for minimum wage for a few weeks and get back to me."
— A thought after talking with a few friends about whether money can buy happiness. It certainly can.
That’s right - it’s time to ban homelessness. People should not be allowed to sleep rough. They should not be allowed to beg. They should not be allowed to sleep in doorways or parks. Enough is enough.
Some as a consequence of their own actions, most not, are stuck there. No roof over their head, nothing soft to sleep on. Not enough food in their belly. No way out. That has to change though - it is not acceptable.
Some cry just get a job, but what employer is going to hire someone who looks like they haven’t slept in weeks and smell worse.
I know that many reading this will already be glowing white with rage and why would you not? Ban homelessness? That’s a preposterous idea. Where are these people to go? Are they just going to rounded up and thrown in prison? There are of course those that suggest that’s just the course of actions to take, as though punishing those who have no hope is going to bring them back to a place of prosperity.
The action to take is not punish them, but to help them. They are people like you or I with the same capacities and common humanity. It is not acceptable in a wealthy society such as ours that people go to sleep without a roof over their heads or something soft to sleep on. It is not acceptable that people in a society such as ours go to sleep hungry. We are a wealthy nation and have the capacity to provide for our own.
We do not accept that financial capability to pay should be a barrier to healthcare or education, so why should at least basic housing or sustenance be? Such fundamentally basic physiological needs should not be lacking through incapacity to pay. Certainly not in a wealthy country such as ours where there is more than enough to go around times ten.
I’m not calling for some socialist utopia, just a pragmatic approach to ending homelessness. Much like the plan Utah is implementing. It is not only ending homelessness, but saving the state money.
It’s time to #banhomelessness.
Istanbul is one of my favourite cities. I first went there in 2008. One of the most readily noticeable changes between my first visit and this trip was the lack of street hagglers.
When I was first there people were constantly trying to sell me things. Usually fake watches. Quite hilariously, a Kiwi I was with tried to sell his fake watch back to the bloke trying to sell him one. The Turk didn’t quite know what to make of it - he was laughing, then looking a little concerned, then wandering away as the Kiwi followed him much like the Turks would do. It provided us all with a great laugh.
This time around - nothing. I don’t think anyone tried to sell me anything. It’s not that its been stamped out, rather that Turkey has been growing at breakneck speed for years and the economy has simply improved. At least in as much as I could gather.
It’s still an incredibly beautiful city filled with lovely people and astonishing amounts of history. Roman ruins, aqueducts, water systems, later Byzantine, Christian and Islamic architecture. The palaces, markets, huge churches and mosques. An incredible city.