Sunday 16th of December 2018

Asserting Our Right to Kill and Maim Civilians

By George Monbiot 

The central mystery of the modern state is this. The necessary resources, both economic and political, will always be found for the purpose of terminating life. The project of preserving it will always struggle. When did you last see a soldier shaking a tin for a new rifle? Or a sponsored marathon raising money for nuclear weapons? But we must beg and cajole each other for funds whenever a hospital wants a new dialysis machine. If the money and determination expended on waging war with Iraq had been used to tackle climate change, our carbon emissions would already be in freefall. If as much money were spent on foreign aid as on fighter planes, no one would ever go hungry.

oil futures .....

‘Big oil companies will be a top target of Democratic lawmakers when they officially take over the House of Representatives early next year.

Democrats picked up enough seats in Tuesday's US election to win majority control of the House and have promised to roll back billions of dollars in tax breaks and other financial incentives extended to the oil industry in energy legislation Congress passed last year.

Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi, who is poised to be the next Speaker of the House when the new Congress convenes in January, says oil companies have unfairly earned record profits by gouging consumers at the gasoline pump.

attention deficit disorder .....

‘For the first time in American history, Americans have gone to the polls in wartime and rejected that war. Not only that, but they've done so overwhelmingly. Just as the election of 1932 was a seismic repudiation of the failed economic policies of the Hoover Republicans, the election of 2006 was a landslide against the Bush Republicans and their criminally misguided war against Iraq.

Amid pre-election polls showing that voters oppose "staying the course" by margins of as much as three to one, the American people have issued a sweeping mandate to the U.S. government: Get out of Iraq.

our ABC .....

from Friends of the ABC, NSW …..

A number of significant issues have arisen for the ABC since mid-October. Some members have voiced their concerns via the FABCList, the FABCDigest, and our website. These issues will also be covered in the December Update, but with the number and consequence of the issues, I have decided to write to those members whom we can reach by email.

Privatise the ABC: A large Opinion piece by Rudi Michelson in The Australian on Mon 16th October called for the privatisation of the ABC, and I responded with an e-mailed letter to the Editor that day which was not published. I will submit it to Helen, our Update Editor, to see whether it can be included in the December Update.

the road to guantanamo .....

from the Sydney Morning Herald …..

‘Concern is growing among the Coalition back bench over the future of David Hicks, who has been held at Guantanamo Bay for more than five years.

The Liberal senator Russell Trood said yesterday there was concern about how long it had taken Mr Hicks, yet to be charged under the new US military commission process, to receive justice.’

the big thieves hang the little ones .....

‘He might have lied his country into one of the most foolhardy wars ever schemed into existence. He might have thrown away billions of dollars of other people’s money, and thousands of lives and limbs belonging to other people’s children. He might have played a central role in bringing death to hundreds of thousands and disruption and destruction to millions in order to indulge a personal fantasy about taking out Doctor Evil. He might have declared the "right" to wage pre-emptive war and endorsed the "right" to torture out of one side of his mouth while This Country Does Not Torture was coming out the other. He might have resurrected the spectre of a nuclear arms race. He might have bullied his public into a state of political paralysis, while alienating an astonishing share of the rest of the world. He might have stained an already be-spattered election process and spat on an already be-spittled Constitution. He might have treated one of the most traumatic events in the history of his nation as an occasion to advance a crass political agenda. But Ted Haggard did none of these things – beside the clay-footed calamities of the Bush Administration, his dabbling in drugs and prostitution looks like community service. At least the pastor’s mistakes led to an immediate dismissal, and a frank apology. "I am a deceiver and a liar," Haggard said. In contrast, presidential mistakes seem to bring consequences down on everyone save their perpetrator.

trousered .....

from The new York Times …..

Rumsfeld Resigns and President Bush Pledges to Work With Democrats
White House Moves Quickly to Signal Its Flexibility

By Sheryl Gay Stolberg & Jim Rutenberg

President Bush portrayed the election results as a cumulative "thumping" of
Republicans and conceded that he bore some responsibility ……

Umbrellas Up! PM Howard On Adelaide Radio Today

The Prime Minister was busy on Adelaide this morning puttting up an umbrella to shield his electoral hopes from the downfall of the Republicans.

Speaking on ABC-891 today MrHoward explained that Republicans, given their financially conservative nature, stayed at home in protest of the Bush Administration's fiscal deficit, and that this was a big difference between the two countries.

"What has happened at the ballot box in America has not changed the situation on the ground in Iraq" Mr Howard said

Detaching himself from Bush's recent comparisons between Iraq and Vietnam, the Prime Minister explained that Irraq couldn't be compared to Vietnam as "The judgement in history in relation to Vietnam is that it was a civil war."

necks please .....

 

The Editor,
Sydney Morning Herald.                                                 November 9, 2006.

Donald Rumsfeld will certainly do better justice to an orange jumpsuit, than George Bush did to a flight suit (‘Rumsfeld resigns in poll fallout’, Herald, November 9).

defending our way of life .....


‘In Geneva today, at the new review of the conventional weapons treaty, the British government will be using the full force of its diplomacy to ensure that civilians continue to be killed, by blocking a ban on the use of cluster bombs. Sweden, supported by Austria, Mexico and New Zealand, has proposed a convention making their deployment illegal, like the Ottawa treaty banning anti-personnel landmines.

But the UK, working with the US, China and Russia, has spent the past week trying to prevent negotiations from being opened. Perhaps this is unsurprising. Most of the cluster bombs dropped during the past 40 years have been delivered by Britain's two principal allies - the US and Israel - in the "war on terror". And the UK used hundreds of thousands of them during the two Gulf wars.

shameless .....

8 November 2006

TRANSCRIPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER
THE HON JOHN HOWARD MP
PRESS CONFERENCE
PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA 

JOURNALIST:

Do you think there is a case though for lifting the level of foreign aid?

PRIME MINISTER: 

I think there is a case for increasing it, which we have done. We have increased it a lot and the increases have yet to be paid, so let's just, at this stage, leave it on that basis.

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