Saturday 29th of July 2017

understanding amerikan diplomacy .....

The US has finally announced the
appointment of its new Ambassador to Australia. 

The announcement was made ahead
of Condi Rice’s upcoming visit, suggesting that the US wanted to avoid any
embarrassment for the Presidential aspirant, given that the post has been
vacant for more than a year. 

And whilst the US was doubtless
more than satisfied with the fawning way John Howard has looked after its
interests in the interim, he would simply never be able to do the job as well
as a real American no matter how hard he tried. 

bushwhacked .....

‘More and more people,
particularly Republicans, disapprove President Bush's
performance, question his character and no longer consider him a strong leader
against terrorism, according to an AP-Ipsos poll documenting one of the
bleakest points of his presidency. 

labor pains .....

labor pain

the big dark .....

‘Who are these people? These people who line their pockets
with the lives of our loved ones? These gray men who lurk in shadows and kill
the sunshine of democracy? These people who wear morality like a cheap suit
pilfered from the collection plate of decency? Who are these people who have
turned America into their own personal ATM machine? These are the people of the
lie - Republicans. 

Who are these people? These
people who sit in spineless silence unable to speak in defense of America?
These people who mime the words of our founders, afraid to act with
independence? Who utter the words "We concede," instead of "We
the People?" These are the people who lie down - Democrats.’ 

immigration gone mad .....

 

Jovicic urged to take Serbian citizenship

war criminal, nuclear proliferator & hypocrite .....

‘Vice President Dick Cheney has
vowed unshakeable solidarity with Israel, and condemned the new Palestinian
government. 

Cheney
made it clear Iran would not be allowed to have a nuclear weapon, described the
Iranian regime as "irresponsible," and warned the United States had
"all options on the table." 

"The
Iranian regime needs to know that if it stays on its present course, the
international community is prepared to impose meaningful consequences," he
said. 

Our US reflection

In a report released today, the US State Department outlined a human rights abuses around the world, including concerns in Australia. They are as follows:

  • prolonged detention of unsuccessful asylum seekers who could not be returned to their home country
  • domestic violence against women, particularly in Aboriginal communities
  • societal discrimination against Aboriginal people
  • trafficking in persons
  • a few interrelated incidents of interethnic societal violence in December
  • labor law reform including restrictions on the right to strike
Missing was, as far as I could see, any analysis, let alone criticism of the US itself. That aside, I'm awaiting JH's response to the criticism of his IR laws, which I though he modeled on the US in the first place, at least in spirit.

heads you lose, tails we win .....

‘In theory, in a society that enjoys the "rule of
law," the government is supposed to be subject to the same laws that are
applied to ordinary citizens. In reality, things are quite different. For as
long as human beings have ruled other human beings by force, those who control
governments have used their power to minimize responsibility for their own
incompetence and malice, while maximizing penalties for everyone else. 

In common law countries, this habit of governments not
playing fair is cloaked in the important-sounding phrase "sovereign
immunity" under which governments can only be prosecuted for crimes with
their own consent. In other places, it has other names, but the outcome is
always the same – a government can declare itself immune from legal penalty for
offenses for which a mere private citizen or organization could face serious
penalties indeed.’ 

the UK's creeping authoritarianism .....

‘The Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill is hardly an
aerodynamic title; it doesn't fly from the lips. People have difficulty
remembering the order of the words and what exactly will be the effect of this
apparently dull piece of lawmaking. 

But in the dusty cradle of
Committee A, a monster has been stirring and will, in due course, take flight
to join the other measures in the government's attack on parliamentary
democracy and the rights of the people. The 'reform' in the title allows
ministers to make laws without the scrutiny of parliament and, in some cases,
to delegate that power to unelected officials. In every word, dot and comma, it
bears the imprint of New Labour's authoritarian paternity. 

but will he remember anything .....

woolwheat

From the ABC ....

we don't do torture .....

 

‘While the publication of the
first Abu Ghraib photos in April 2004 opened the floodgates for former Iraqi
detainees to speak out about their treatment at the hands of occupation forces,
this wasn't the first I'd heard of torture in Iraq. A case I'd documented even
before then was that of 57 year-old Sadiq Zoman

He was held for one month by U.S.
forces before being dropped off in a coma at the general hospital in Tikrit.
The medical report that came with his comatose body, written by U.S. Army medic
Lt. Col. Michael Hodges, listed the reasons for Zoman's state as heat stroke
and heart attack. 

business as usual: changing labels for some .....

from the ABC

Australia's wheat exporter AWB has
some rare good news today after sealing deals overnight to sell 1.4 million
tonnes of wheat to four countries.
AWB is not disclosing the value of the
contracts, which include a 500,000 tonne sale to India and smaller purchases by
Iran, Kuwait and Yemen.
It says these are new markets for Australian wheat
and denies the troubles facing the company have been used to bargain down the
price.
Iraq is now refusing to deal with AWB because of allegations the wheat
exporter paid kickbacks to Saddam Hussein and last week was locked out of a
350,000 tonne sale to Iraq.
Despite fears it faced a further backlash, AWB
International's Ian Donges says the new sales show it is business as usual for
the company.
"There's no doubt today's announcement is a very positive story
for the sales program for the '05 pool year," he said.
Meanwhile some
graingrowers are becoming concerned about the true costs of the oil-for-food
inquiry.

Gus stalks:
Sure, stop the enquiry or you
might find the truth...

 

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