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Tareq Kamleh joining ISIS proves emotion trumps intellect

April 26, 2015
Not so long ago it was reported that a former economics student from Perth called Muhammed Sheglabo had signed up for jihad with ISIS. Now there's been an even more alarming story in the same vein.

Doctor Tareq Kamleh, who practised for some time in Subiaco, is now appearing in recruitment videos for the gruesome pre-mediaeval death cult. If this doesn't disprove the hackneyed ol' PC theory that Islamic radicalization springs primarily from legitimate anger against the greedy, racist eeevil west then nothing will. The guy was a highly trained, well paid, white, blue-eyed male professional. Certainly not an oppressed minority have-not by any measure.

He's obviously a very intellectually capable guy. But given that he's allowed his deep-seated emotional commitment to Islam to guide him he's made a spectacularly stupid decision. Talk about a useful idiot! 

Given that he's a qualified doctor one assumes that he's made some sort of ongoing commitment to upholding certain professional and ethical standards. Now, contrary to popular opinion that doesn't necessarily mean taking the Hippocratic Oath. But it's not unreasonable to assume he's pledged to follow a set of tenets something along the lines of the Declaration of Geneva:


I SOLEMNLY PLEDGE to consecrate my life to the service of humanity;

I WILL GIVE to my teachers the respect and gratitude that is their due;

I WILL PRACTISE my profession with conscience and dignity;

THE HEALTH OF MY PATIENT will be my first consideration;

I WILL RESPECT the secrets that are confided in me, even after the patient has died;

I WILL MAINTAIN by all the means in my power, the honour and the noble traditions of the medical profession;

MY COLLEAGUES will be my sisters and brothers;

I WILL NOT PERMIT considerations of age, disease or disability, creed, ethnic origin, gender, nationality, political affiliation, race, sexual orientation, social standing or any other factor to intervene between my duty and my patient;

I WILL MAINTAIN the utmost respect for human life;

I WILL NOT USE my medical knowledge to violate human rights and civil liberties, even under threat;

I MAKE THESE PROMISES solemnly, freely and upon my honour.

If you consider all the raping, pillaging, decapitation and immolation of apostates that Mr Kamleh's spiritual masters have been gleefully advocating of late, you'd expect him to be suffering some sort of cognitive dissonance -- or ambivalence at the very least. Maybe he has been, but it certainly has not been severe enough to stop him from going over there and agreeing to be used in their creepy online propaganda campaign. 

Just goes to show that you can disregard even the most powerful argument against your actions and beliefs when you know in your heart that you're doing God's work. Doesn't matter how powerful your intellect is, vile and sinister manipulators can get you to do pretty much anything if they mange to get control of your emotions.

Just remember that next time you go and see a professional -- medical or otherwise -- for expert advice in the outwardly good, kind, meek, well-meaning city of Perth. You never know, you could be talking to the next ISIS poster boy!

Church of Christ building on Eighth Ave, Maylands

April 19, 2015
I lived in Maylands in 2006-2007. It was quite different then. Not exactly a flash part of Perth, the main drag of Eighth Ave was pretty low key and almost run down. 

Lately, though, there have been some big changes such as the big new library and community centre being built nearby. Upmarket units have been constructed in recent years, most notably on the corner of Eighth and Whatley. As a result the suburb is becoming more attractive to young professionals. 

Eighth Ave itself has a much more ...
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Grand Hotel in Wellington St is now Grand Central Backpackers

April 17, 2015
Perth has some fine old hotels. Some have been lovingly preserved and refurbished. Others haven't fared so well. 

The best example of the latter kind is the old Grand Hotel in Wellington St. You'll see it as you go into the city along Beaufort St as it becomes Barrack St, just near the bridge over the railway line. 

It's still in commercial use, now as the Grand Central Backpackers. Doesn't look in the best of shape, not unlike the venue's tenants, who you sometimes see sitting on one of the li...
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Perth buskers are a colourful bunch

March 30, 2015
One thing I've noticed since returning from Sydney a few years ago is just how many buskers and street performers there are in Perth. Even taking into account the city's significant increase in population, there do seem to be an awful lot of them! When it comes to busking this city seems to punch above its weight -- much like it does for that other mode of self expression, street art.

Granted, many of them are not that good. And some of them are just excruciating. But some are extremely accomp...
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Bon Marche building sadly scarred by graffiti

March 28, 2015
There's a lot of aesthetically pleasing street art in Perth these days -- most of it done with the owners' blessing, I suspect. But there's still too much ugly, stupid "tagging" going on as well. That's depressing on any structure. But it's particularly so when it's inflicted on a beautiful old architectural creation. Sadly, this is what's happened to the Bon Marche building recently. 

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Army surplus stores in Wellington St have been there for ages

March 26, 2015
New construction in the CBD continues apace. You don't have to walk far within the city proper before you see a building site. This is good news in many ways, of course. But it can also be disconcerting -- even a bit depressing -- because some buildings that held sentimental value are just no more. 

But there are still pockets of Perth that seem untouched. Hopefully they will remain this way for quite some time. 

One example is the corner of Wellington and Pier Streets in the city. On that corn...
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Ben Cousins' sad decline continues

March 25, 2015
Ben Cousins has been in the news again lately. This time he wound up being arrested after some bizarre behaviour near a temple in Canning Vale.

A lot of people find his mental problems a bit of a laugh. Check out some of the comment threads on Facebook page updates by news sites and you'll see what I mean. But I think his protracted fall from grace is terribly sad

Clearly drugs have played a huge part in this ongoing tragedy. Meth has clearly damaged his mind severely and it seems permanently...
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The Bassendean Hotel

March 24, 2015
There are many differences between the general atmosphere of Perth and Sydney. Perhaps the biggest relates to the relative amount of space in each city. Perth is far more spread out, giving it a more relaxed feel.

Another big difference: pubs. If you're anywhere near the Sydney CBD, there seems to be a charming old pub on every corner. In Perth they are comparatively few and far between. They're here of course. You just have to look for them.

One of the few Perth hotels that has that comfortabl...
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St Denis Catholic Church in Joondanna

March 24, 2015
As I mentioned in a previous post I've really started noticing churches around Perth. Their function makes them distinctive, of course. Then there's the fact that they aren't overly numerous. Then there's the care that's gone into their construction. Several of them are quite distinctive architecturally also.

Take the St Denis Catholic Church in Joondanna. It has an unusual curved roof that is very noticeable when seen from the side. 

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North Fremantle Fallen Soldiers War Memorial

March 23, 2015
For those keen to get a sense of West Australian history there's a war memorial worth seeing in North Fremantle. Built to honour the fallen of that suburb it is located on Queen Victoria St. It is surrounded by some elegant old buildings including an antique store that enhance its solemn atmosphere. You'll see it if you're driving into Freo from the north.

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Good books about and set in Perth and Fremantle
Line of Sight
When War Came to Fremantle
The Devil's Garden
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