1. Who knows Peter Cuffe? Peter is a guy in his 50s. He is homeless, well educated, well-spoken, and he used to be a frequent visitor to Speakers’ Corner. Oh, and he is now incredibly rich. A private investigator is trying to find Peter to inform him that his father has died and left him a considerable fortune.
This scribe thought stuff like this was for movie scripts, but this is real. If you know anything about Peter’s whereabouts please phone Steve Maxwell: 0404009294.
2. Today there was a police helicopter hovering over Speakers’ Corner, making it difficult for the speakers to be heard. Presumably they found our gentle Domain more interesting than the ‘Reclaim Australia’ rally in Martin Place nearby.
Thankfully, there were no unpleasant incidents with the helicopter, like the time when the Irish helicopter pilot crashed after switching the fan off.
3. A question was asked about eternal life. The question couldn’t be answered because of the helicopter noise. This scribe hopes the picture below helps the man who asked.
4. ‘Success’ was also a topic discussed: (Click to enlarge)
5. The Middle East was discussed at length as well. Coincidentally, this scribe was emailed this article tonight. I hope it helps. For that matter, I hope it’s accurate. The author is unknown.
A briefing document on Syria……
President Assad (who is bad) is a nasty guy who got so nasty his people rebelled and the Rebels (who are good) started winning.
But then some of the rebels turned a bit nasty and are now called Islamic State (who are definitely bad) and some continued to support democracy (who are still good).
So the Americans (who are good) started bombing Islamic State (who are bad) and giving arms to the Syrian Rebels (who are good) so they could fight Assad (who is still bad) which was good.
By the way, there is a breakaway state in the north run by the Kurds who want to fight IS (which is a good thing) but the Turkish authorities think they are bad, so we have to say they are bad whilst secretly thinking they’re good and giving them guns to fight IS (which is good) but that is another matter.
Getting back to Syria. President Putin (bad, as he invaded Crimea and the Ukraine and killed lots of folks including that nice Russian man in London with polonium) has decided to back Assad (who is still bad) by attacking IS (who are also bad) which is sort of a good thing?
But Putin (still bad) thinks the Syrian Rebels (who are good) are also bad, and so he bombs them too, much to the annoyance of the Americans (who are good) who are busy backing and arming the rebels (who are also good).
Now Iran (who used to be bad, but now they have agreed not to build any nuclear weapons and bomb Israel are now good) are going to provide ground troops to support Assad (still bad) as are the Russians (bad) who now have ground troops and aircraft in Syria.
So a Coalition of Assad (still bad) Putin (extra bad) and the Iranians (good, but in a bad sort of way) are going to attack IS (who are bad) which is a good thing, but also the Syrian Rebels (who are good) which is bad.
Now the British (obviously good, except Corbyn who is probably bad) and the Americans (also good) cannot attack Assad (still bad) for fear of upsetting Putin (bad) and Iran (good / bad) and now they have to accept that Assad might not be that bad after all compared to IS (who are super bad).
So Assad (bad) is now probably good, being better than IS (no real choice there) and since Putin and Iran are also fighting IS that may now make them good. America (still good) will find it hard to arm a group of rebels being attacked by the Russians for fear of upsetting Mr Putin (now good) and that mad ayatollah in Iran (also good) and so they may be forced to say that the Rebels are now bad, or at the very least abandon them to their fate. This will lead most of them to flee to Turkey and on to Europe or join IS (still the only constantly bad group).
To Sunni Muslims, an attack by Shia Muslims (Assad and Iran) backed by Russians will be seen as something of a Holy War, and the ranks of IS will now be seen by the Sunnis as the only Jihadis fighting in the Holy War and hence many Muslims will now see IS as good (doh!).
Sunni Muslims will also see the lack of action by Britain and America in support of their Sunni rebel brothers as something of a betrayal (might have a point) and hence we will be seen as bad.
So now we have America (now bad) and Britain (also bad) providing limited support to Sunni Rebels (bad) many of whom are looking to IS (good / bad) for support against Assad (now good) who, along with Iran (also good) and Putin (also, now, unbelievably, good ) are attempting to retake the country Assad used to run before all this started?
I hope that this clears it all up for you.
6. For past posts, go to the archives.
Steve Maxwell’s Passing Parade.
FRANK BARNES, by Steve Maxwell.
Frank Barnes was a runaway child from the country. His father, a religious man, proved to have a hypocritical nature. When Frank’s father burnt down his own property for the insurance money, Frank ran away to Sydney, supporting himself by doing odd jobs for the prostitutes of the inner city who took him in.
He later worked on the waterfront. Unlike many street kids he did not turn to crime but educated himself through the Workers’ Education Association, libraries, and by listening to the speakers in the Domain.
Frank Barnes married and lived in Balmain, which was then a working class suburb of Sydney.
He spoke at the Domain regularly to raise money for the first Police Boys’ Club in Balmain. Every Sunday he lectured from his platform at Speakers Corner. His cause soon became a Rationalist one, against superstition. He would have a bag of bones (relics) and a baptismal basin of holy water (“ordinary water with hell boiled out of it”). There were times when he would dress up as a bishop, with a string of frankfurters around his neck to represent rosary beads. He was often arrested for blasphemy.
Frank quickly became a legend on the Domain. He was described as “short in stature, with an impish face and mischievous look ”. He was known to be the best speaker at Speakers’ Corner; speaking forcefully and with eloquence.
Frank was a strong supporter of the New York magazine “Truth Seeker” which he sold on the Domain. His political ideas reflected a left-wing world view. He looked forward to a world without the humbug of religious sentimentality hanging around the necks of the people.
His platform was situated towards St. Mary’s Catholic Cathedral, at the end of the Domain. He had a clear view of St. Mary’s many lighting conductors. He would point to the TNG building across the road where there were no lighting conductors and say in a loud voice that there was proof the Catholics where indeed the target of God’s wrath!
Running jokes about Noah’s Ark and St Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, prompted the ‘Catholic Action’ group to lobby the police to stop his blasphemy. In spite of numerous arrests and warnings by police, he continued and never gave up.
He made fun of all churches, including the Salvation Army. The Salvos in revenge would play a brass band late into Sunday night in front of his flat in Balmain. Frank, who had a hard day’s work waiting for him the next day, was at his wits end. Until he hit upon a solution! Using a pair of pliers, he heated a few pennies on the gas stove, and threw the pennies out the window to the Salvos in the street. The Salvation Army band stopped playing in front of his flat.
He continued speaking for nearly forty years until his health gave way in the 1960’s. His battle with diabetes got the better of him and he was hospitalised. He died in 1967.
For more episodes of Steve Maxwell’s Passing Parade click here.