Why Australia Doesn’t Need Nuclear Submarines and won’t be invaded any time soon.

Here is the link to my kindle author’s page – Christopher Michaels

We don’t need nuclear powered submarines, though they might be handy if there was any real or practical chance of an invasion. But there is no practical chance of Australia being invaded. We live in the shadow of the last 200+ years of the European invasion. Terrified someone will do to us what we did to the first nations thus the attitudes to boat people (since that is how my ancestors arrived, refugees forced here by a draconian regime – that is England in 1700s & 1800s and most of the rest of those who came in the last century.)

A pragmatic look at economics and politics says there is zero-to-none chance of anyone invading Australia, since the European invasion was completed a few decades ago. The militaries of anyone who might be interested – Indonesia, China and the rest – are organized around controlling their own populations and paranoid defenses against being invaded as the Europeans were doing until 100 years ago. The USA is the only military with the world-wide organizational structure that could invade other countries, and we’ve seen how that’s worked out for them. They fail because their heart isn’t in it. Their power elite, what ever reason they want to invade somewhere, are stuck with the hypocrisy that means to sell war to the USA public they have to pretend it is a moral action to free the oppressed.

The Romans and the European empires never had to worry about morally justifying invasions (except for the spreading Christianity but then no one was watching the hideous shit they did in the name of Christ).

As far as Australia is concerned, why go to war with us when anyone can simply buy what they want. Capitalism is great system of power (until we find a better one). It is based on seducing people with their dreams and desires and they will give you much more than they would if you bully and intimidate them to get it. Knowing this we should be neutral, be the Switzerland of the south, following New Zealand. Basically forget bullshit moral justifications for interfering with other countries’ politics (following the USA’s hypocritical bull) and go with the money. It is actually more ethical (since it’s honest). Build a practical self-defence force (to further discourage invasion) that builds on the geographical realities.

We don’t need powerful friends by participating in the “hard power” version by sucking up to the USA and has-been empires like the UK and Europe. Like Switzerland we need to use “soft power” that is encourage the world power elites that doing business with us is by far more profitable for them than invasion or blockades. If the cool war between the world powers gets frigid again we need to be like the capitalist in World War II, make money from all sides.

I know there are people who live in that aristocratic world where mercantilism is immoral (I’ve been there and still find this idea a little uncomfortable). But the truth is that the first responsibility of any society and nation is to feed their people, next to have them feel safe and finally create a social atmosphere that allows them to thrive. Not all of this is measurable with money but it is good starting point. Money doesn’t measure inequality which allows some people to thrive, some to just survive and others to die.

In the last century since the end of the hard power empires of Europe have retreated and their soft power has come to the fore in the form of democratic capitalism poverty has dropped to a lower level than at any other time of history. Even the hypocrisy of the USA is based on confusion about where their power truly comes from. It is the Euro-USA soft power that is why it has the position is has, since it has failed every time it has tried using hard power to spread its influence.

The truth is soft power always beats hard power in to end. The Greek and Roman (in the West) hard power (that is military power) empires died 1500 years ago but their soft power is still alive in the Christian church, democracy, academia and in fact that politics and culture still uses that era as (flawed) models.

Our politicians, especially the so-called right, keep focusing on how small we are here in Australia. But if you look through history there are plenty of examples of apparently small helpless places with few resources that ended up having major effects on history – city state republics, like Venice, Florence, Rome and in the modern era Singapore, or even Japan. Their wealth and power came from and comes from the skills, education and the cooperation of their people rather than natural resources. In the past they used hard power to control their populations and to expand their influence to create empires.

Hard power is wasteful. It kills people and destroys property and divides people against you. Soft power operates by consent and seduction so that people join your cause because they want to, because you demonstrate your worth to them and as a result everyone benefits – the rich get richer by making the poor richer.

We, in Australia, have the benefit of the city states of old (since 90% of us live in cities & towns) and natural resources. We have a desert to protect us rather than the swamps and mountains that protected London, Venice and many other great cities of Europe. Our soft power is amazing, just look at how popular we were for education, for doing business, with tourists and immigrants desperate to come here (even from China). Then we tried riding on the coattails of the USA’s failed attempts at hard power and now we are investing unnecessary hard power weapons.

Atm we invest about 2% of GDP in the military, with 59,000 of 250,000 or about 0.2% of the population. The USA invests 4% of GDP with 1,340,000 of 335,000,000 or 0.4% of the population distributed in somewhere between 40 and 50 countries. (according to the CIA world fact book).

Poem: I am Bacchus or Dionysus

I am a mess

I am a God who is dying

A hundred generations ago as Bacchus or Dionysus

In Ancient Greece and Rome I had cults

I went by different names in Haiti and Africa

Baron Saturday

I was worshipped

With the Berzerkers’ blood-rage

With Romeo and Juliet’s lusty obsessions

That dissolves good sense

That break taboos

That inspire the laws of bureaucratic civilisation

I am the God of parties that go to far

Of extreme intoxication

Of the freedom of insanity

Of the riot

And of thoughtless selfishness

For a while, I drove Christians

To change Apollo’s name

Torture and hang him on a cross

Women tore each other apart once or twice a year

To escape the drudgery of their enslavery

I am trance

I am the darkness of a nightmare

When the peace of sleep gives no rest

I am the ritual madness, religious ecstasy, and the theatre of righteousness

That justifies terrorism

You may imprison the grape-harvest, winemaking and wine,

To avoid my rites of spring

Of fertility, of orchards and fruit, of vegetation,

To try to be a good girl and good boy

To be a rational scientist

A philosopher

A monk

To create a fairy garden of beauty and control

Of flowers and fruit that bloom at the right moment

But I am the magnificent storm, Shiva Rudra

That washes away your plans

I am the unfair freedom everyone secretly wants

The freedom the Marquis de Sade and Crowley preached

The freedom from shame and guilt

The freedom to follow your will

Your power

That you drink, dance and snort for

Driven from within

That lets you forget consideration

Forget the feelings of others,

Forget empathy

Forget laws police imposed and lore told as lessons exposed

It is true that when I lived at full flight

When I was named

My ceremonies were the night to Apollo’s day

He was the sharp lines of rationality in daylight




While I am dreams and visions

The imagination of the night

Associations and correspondences

Knowledge from your gut


Together we made you whole

Terror of the unknown

Of the spaces between thoughts

The body’s needy vulnerability

Nature’s gargantuan gorgeousness

The way feelings can be earthquakes

Can be sunny days in winter

Or a song that opens you naked to a moment

Has you reaching for the safety of solid sunlight

Of Apollo’s comfortable prophesies

The command and control of your hand brushing your teeth

The delusions of a web of meaning that will cocoon you

From lightning

From sad stories that make no sense

From trees that drop branches on you without warning because a wildfire hasn’t trimmed them.

If you embrace me

You will learn the art of letting go of control that leads to wisdom

Then the wildfire becomes a release that prunes the forest

My ceremonies become Mardi Gras and New Year

That mark the cycles of life, the seasons

That let lusts grow into the depth of beauty that is the love of Aphrodite

Trump’s communication techniques

I’m not sure what is scarier that Trump knows what he’s doing, or, like so many liberals in the USA and around the world say, that he is a fool and doesn’t. Either way, it is useful to examine how he does what he does because whatever you think of his policies (or lack of them) he certainly has a powerful influence with those who believe in him and with those who seek to resist him.

As an Australian, we take great pride in giving our leadership shit. The more powerful, the more self-assured (or arrogant) and serious, the more we use humour to take them down a peg, remind them that leadership is supposed to be an act of service. My impression is that in the US they like doing this too. They have their roasts and the Washington journalist’s dinner (which Trump hasn’t attended). I spent 5 years living in the States and I have a continuing interest because my son still lives there and because our politics is influenced by our country’s little brother hero-worship attitudes. :-p

It’s true that US citizens are generally much more passionate about politics and religion than we are. It does worry me any time, regardless of the culture, society and nation when people don’t apply scepticism to all political players regardless of their tribe (I mean party). Watching from a distance I worry about the cancel culture and the rudeness and absolutist thinking that I see there (and to some extent elsewhere). I love politics so I don’t shy from it when I see it here or anywhere.

It is sad, but understandable, that some people make personal attacks when they don’t have a strong comeback.

If you are interested in politics and communication, in general, read up about classical rhetoric. 2500 year ago (and with continuing development through all that time) they knew there are 3 appeals on which effective and influential communication is based – authority (ethos), emotion (pathos) and evidence (logos). Different audiences are reached in different ways.

Trump appeals to authority and emotion and purposely pushes away people who respond to evidence. He invites conflict because it creates a sense of drama that appeals to the mass media (including the social versions) and to those members of the nation that are seeking heroes and adversaries, for simplistic black and white stories, who appear to have authority and excite their emotions. He uses the “analog markers” of NLP and the speech rhythms of preachers to deliver embedded commands. His version of the preacher is not as obvious as Obama talking to an audience of African Americans, but it is there subtly because it is part of the public speaking style of the States.

It’d be nice and I’m sure he’d like people to believe that he is a natural genius at this stuff. But he used to teach workshops, present at conferences and was involved with the great NLP Maestro Anthony Robbins – teaching and talking about sales and influence. So I think he’s done a lot of training on how to influence people (check out the Will Smith movie ‘Focus’ about criminal confidence tricksters for the great examples of the dark side of these techniques)

Here’s an example from today of the white Mr T (they both love gold) in action. Close your eyes as you listen. Note the pauses, the rising and lowering intonations, the changing speeds of his delivery – Donald Trump says he has directed a halt to his country’s payments to the World Health Organization pending a review of its warnings about the coronavirus an…

Quartet at the End of Time

Quatuor pour la fin du temps by Olivier Messiaen part 1 titled – Liturgie de Cristal

This part is 3mins 10 secs the whole piece is 48 minute or so… I love the whole piece because of it emotional range and it’s story. The piece was writen in a concentration camp for POWs in France during WWII. for the only 4 instruments available – piano, violin, cello and clarinet. It was first played to prisoner in January 1942 on a very cold day. To me it’s classical punk because of it’s use of rhythm, chord and dischords and melody to represent the emotions of the prisoners and the spirit needed to survive the horror of the place it was written. This first part is just beautiful birds singing and yet has a lot of tension in it. I will come back to this piece again and again. I learn so much from this and there is more to learn.

For this I was inspired by Messiaen’s own writing about this movement – “Between three and four in the morning, the awakening of birds: a solo blackbird or nightingale improvises, surrounded by a shimmer of sound, by a halo of trills lost very high in the trees. Transpose this onto a religious plane and you have the harmonious silence of Heaven”

Music by – Franklin Cohen, clarinet Yura Lee, violin Gabriel Cabezas, cello Orion Weiss, piano ChamberFest Cleveland June 20, 2013 Mixon Hall at Cleveland Institute of Music http://www.chamberfestcleveland.com

Original music here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bUzI…


art @ RPA

This is the product of a carterie project “Village” all participants use the same set of recycled materials but each came up witht heir own designs even if they had to be helped with the making.


Today thanks to St George TAFE School of Fine Arts and especially Thanks to Chris Casali a group of us got an intro to an amazing and beautiful project that acknowledges that being in hospital is tough and that art can help.

Arterie@RPA uses art therapy and art projects to help at least distract people from difficulties of their discomforts, pain and powerlessness of being in hospital.  They do this in a number of ways.

  1. The art is used both to provide direct therapy in the sense of art helping people with their healing process. For example helping stroke victims with redeveloping fine motor coordination. Or to help re-establish (or slow the deterioration of) thinking and problem solving from acquire brain injuries, dementia and stroke.
  2. Then they have Artists in Residence (AIR) who do art on the walls and share their process in public for three weeks. This helps break up the boredom, providing interesting experiences for patients, carers, family and staff. And a beautiful environment for everyone including staff.
  3. There are the travelling art helpers as part of “Carterie”. Volunteers and paid staff take carts around with art supplies and a variety of themes and materials that spark conversations and collaborations that also distract, but also help patients and carers manage the stress of the hospital life.
  4. There are workshops in a central area for patients, carers and staff that basically allow them to socialise and feel empowered and supported emotionally. Some also help people to communicate across the whole range social backgrounds.

    These are 10cm square canvases done with a limited colour pallet, participants could do whatever designs pleased them. The colours allowed them to fit together beautifully.

This project and its processes is such a beautiful modern and advanced health practice. It acknowledges the importance of mind in the healing process in away that goes beyond older ideas of psychology as separate to physiology, as individuals being separate to their environment.

On this visit we were given presentations by staff of the information above, then we were taken on a tour around the hospital showing displays of the results of various Artists In Residence projects and some of the carterie collaborations with patients and carers. Then we participated in a project to create 150 canvas tiles to decorate a rehab exercise area in blue, green aqua and white.

The Aims of This Site.

This site will be a place for me to show explorations, experiments, works in progress (WIP), finished creative works. If I can say it out loud I’m a polymath.

I sometimes hate, but always finds it hard to to be stick to genres, techniques, subjects but I do try to live by an ethical code and philosophy, that of exploration, seeking meaning and understanding, being respectful of others and creativity.

I write, I draw, I paint, I make videos, I make sounds, some of it traditional and some digital. I sit around thinking and feeling and celebrating.

My subjects are sex, politics, violence, philosophy (in the sense of asking who am I, how do I know what I know, how/why do I behave the way I do), everyday crap, and sometimes I have nothing to say at all I’m just playing.