Reaction to BBert

Pacific Edge Permaculture + Media pacedge at
Mon Oct 15 20:30:14 EDT 2001

May I make a comment on Tammi's email in which she took objection to the
statement by BBert in reference to the discussion thread of permaculture
assistance to Afghanistan?

Instead of throwing him off the list, maybe we need to be just a little
tolerant with BBert. My assumption is that, like many of his fellow
countrymen, he is reacting emotionally to the September 11 attacks on New

That is understandable. My observation of North Americans (this is simply an
observation, a generalisation - not a criticism) is that they react to
stressful events of this magnitude with public displays of emotion (as do
some other cultures) and by applying pressure on their government to take
immediate, rather than delayed and considered, action.

This is why I see many of US president George Bush's statements as directed
to an internal US audience, as an attempt to deal with this phenomenon. UK
prime minister, Tony Blair's statements, in contrast, have been for a global
audience and were designed to position him as a statesman. There was a lack
of bellicose words that have appeared in George Bush's statements. The
Australian government, too, while supportive of the US, injected terms of
reasonableness in its public statements. This is despite the fact that
Britons and Australians were also lost in the World Trade Centre attack.

Emotional response to traumatic events precedes a more reasoned response, in
most cases. Perhaps BBert should be allowed the space to pass through the
feelings of outrage at  having the major city of his country subject to
attack, although military/ terrorist attack is something people in other
countries live through on a regular basis.

Generalising again, I think that there might be a difference in how
Australians, Britons and North Americans react to traumatic events. New
Zealanders, too - there was no panic when, a few years back, the Auckland
CBD was without electricity for a couple weeks. People simply improvised and
took it in their stride. And, in Australia, yesterday's anthrax
contamination scares in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Townsville has not
resulted in public fear or panic, or in demands for anti-anthrax drugs...
people are calm and going about their everyday business.

As UK author and Moslem, Salmon Rushdie, wrote in the Sydney Morning Herald
a week or so ago, the best way to deal with the threat of terrorism of the
El Queda/ Taliban variety is to go about our lives, enjoying the things
those people so loudly oppose - music, dancing, movies and the other
elements of popular culture that are part o the Western way of life.

I find it good that Lawrence London has offered BBert the opportunity to
clarify the reasoning behind his statement rather than deny him access to
the list. This indicates a sense of justice... a desire to understand what
may initially have offended people. Maybe it has something to do with site
analysis in permaculture... with understanding the situation before taking
action... maybe it's to do with a sense of justice.

...Russ Grayson
Sydney, Australia.

> From: "Lawrence F. London, Jr." <lflondon at>
> Organization: Venaura Farm
> Reply-To: "permaculture" <permaculture at>
> Newsgroups: permaculture
> Date: Mon, 15 Oct 2001 11:59:23 -0400
> To: "permaculture" <permaculture at>
> Subject: Re: pc in Afghanistan
> On Mon, 15 Oct 2001 11:16:15 +0100, "Tammi Dallaston Wood"
> <tdallastonwood at> wrote:
>> I object to such derogatory, monosyllabic postings on an otherwise
>> intelligent site. Moderator, could you either moderate or ask BBurt to
>> leave, please?
>> Tammi, uk
> I agree, Tammi. It was pretty crude and not typical of posts to this
> list. Since it was directed at me and bounced off I'd just as soon
> forget it. 
> I will gladly moderate/intervene in this list if needed but am not in
> the habit of asking folks to leave unless there is overwhelming
> consensus that that be done, i.e. when someone repeadly posts
> messages with 5 megabyte atttached wordprocessor files containing
> a few lines of text. :-)
> Still, I am very curious as to why he posted this. Could you explain
> what you were trying to get across to us, BBurt? Was your knee jerking
> so hard that you couldn't control your typing? Do you work under
> Dennis Avery at the Hudson Institute? Let's hear it dude. Shape up or
> ship out :-) :-)
> Lawrence London
> owner, permaculture mailing list
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: BBurt McClure [mailto:lcb at]
>> Sent: 12 October 2001 04:27
>> To: permaculture
>> Subject: Re: pc in Afghanistan
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: Lawrence F. London, Jr. <lflondon at>
>> Newsgroups: permaculture
>> To: permaculture <permaculture at>
>> Sent: Thursday, October 11, 2001 5:01 PM
>> Subject: Re: pc in Afghanistan
>>> On Wed, 10 Oct 2001 20:40:45 -0800, sfram at (unruLEE) wrote:
>>>> Anybody know of any permaculture folks in Afghanistan?
>>>> Lee
>>> That is an interesting question. There are almost limitless
>>> possibilities and opportunities for putting permaculture to work in
>>> Afganistan, post war, that is. Afganistan is very near the Hunza
>>> area up in very high country, where people often live well in excess
>>> of 100 years. Interesting crops they grow up there, apricots for
>>> example. What will happen to the poppy fields when peace comes and
>>> their farmers will have the opportunity to grow food/fiber/grass/grain
>>> on that fertile land to ensure reliable, independent and sufficient
>>> supplies for their people. Soil tilth & fertility, water and plant
>>> resources, housing, energy & fuel are areas that will be worth looking
>>> at for the long haul. Permaculture consultants and teachers would be
>>> worth their weight in gold.
>>> LL
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