Archive for October 24, 2011

To many people the killing of Muammar Gaddafi by the revolutionary forces was in itself a major story with significant ramifications for the Middle East and the world. It was an event any serious national newspaper would report soberly and objectively.

Clearly  not up to providing an  insightful article on the implications for Libya, Murdoch illuminati Greg Sheridan and John Lyon have joined the triumphalism in the death of Muammar Gaddafi by embellishing their stories with exaggeration and false statements in an effort to further vilify and diminish the dead dictator.

Sheridan claims that not only has Gaddafi’s life ended with a whimper rather than a bang it ended in a sewer while  John Lyon has reported in the Weekend Australian that “Gaddafi died a horrible death after being pulled from a sewage drain begging for mercy”.

While one can understand that a hotel dwelling foreign correspondent like Lyon may not know the difference between a culvert and a sewer, there are many who would claim that Sheridan is particularly familiar with sewers and should know what they look like. Here’s a clue Greg, they don’t go under roads and like the Australian they contain a great deal of unsavoury material.

Lyon is either psychic or must have been on the spot to hear Gaddaffi’s final words otherwise I am at loss to understand how he is able to know that Gaddafi was begging for mercy when pulled from the sewer. Perhaps he can lip read foreign languages or heard it in the bar. It is interesting that Lyons version is factually different from the Arab networks who say that sound recording from the video coverage indicate he was defiant till the end.

In his article, brave John chides Gaddafi for running into the culvert implying that he was reneging on his promise to fight to the death. Now I wonder if NATO aircraft had bombed John and his fellow Murdoch news crew killing most of them, would John sit in his vehicle sipping his gin or take cover in the only safe spot.

A good quality newspaper should be able to be used as a source to inform future generations about important events. While Gaddafi is not my idea of a hero we should expect that a newspaper that poses as a serious news source gives us facts about his life and death not the fanciful nonsense served up by the “ Australian”.

infamous Milgram experiment…will he or won’t he?

Below is a concise PPT that I put together for a general audience, (feel free to click on ‘theobedience’ hotlink below for the ppt. download)


Just a week ago, Trinity College Dublin said NO to British hatemeister and BNP leader, Nick Griffin, debating immigration at the University. Even the conservative Daily Telegraph (UK) recently headlined “The rise of the far-Right: Europe’s worrying trend.”

With the ascendancy of the abominable BNP in the UK, Front Nationale in France, and other political movements that are motivated by discrimination, division, the attribution of blame and implicit conformity, sharing perspectives on antidotes to tyranny is as necessary now as ever. Add into the mix economic tsunamis and the urgency intensifies.

Hannah Arendt, philosopher and writer, covered Adolf Eichmann’s trial for the New Yorker from Jerusalem, where he faced a court in 1961. The latter Gestapo head evaded capture until 1960 and had been living in Argentina. She witnessed successive psychiatrists declare him to be clinically sane, his demeanour was ‘ordinary’…

“in certain circumstances, the most ordinary, decent person can become a criminal”

Banality of Evil’, H.Arendt (1963)

Evidence based research of the social psychology of tyranny and despotism evolved from a very humanistic intention to understand more about the situational dynamics that underpinned and facilitated the ascendancy of Hitler and Stalin…and the many people who were “just following orders.” ‘Banality of Evil‘ was the impetus for Professor Stanley Milgram’s notorious Yale obedience studies, (1963,1965 & 1974)…more on this on the hotlink above.

Milgram gave the world even more tangible evidence that as humans, there can be a very strong tendency to obey authority, even in violation of conscience.

Add to the vertical social dynamic of obedience to authority the horizontal peer pressure of conforming to group norms and we have the essential ingredients for tyranny and despotism.

“The power of authorities is demonstrated not only in the

extent to which they can command obedience from

followers, but also in the extent to which they can define

reality and alter habitual ways of thinking and acting.”

Phillip Zimbardo, The Lucifer Effect (2007)

Having had a former incarnation as a Psych lecturer, this interpretOr just wants to share a few scraps of evidence on the attached ppt.

(J Healy, MBPsS, Assoc MAPS)

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