Thursday 18th of April 2024

John Richardson's blog

what a sweet scam .....

“More however, could have been achieved.  And there has been understandable disappointment & criticism at the lack of language on disarmament & non-proliferation, particularly given the risk of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to terrorists.

on screwing 'mums & dads'

Hurricane Katrina's financial impact could be reduced by US$10 billion through a tax on windfall profits from the oil industry, according to calculations by the Center for Economic and Policy Research. 


Since the oil industry anticipated much lower prices when it made its investment and production decisions, it can cover its costs and make a normal profit at prices that are less than half the US$60-US$70 a barrel price now seen in world markets.

Johnny's latest pea & thimble trick

Yesterday the prime meanster pulled one of the meanest & shallowest stunts of his career.


Our little johnnie proudly announced that Australia intended to increase its overseas aid allocation to about A$4 billion a year by 2010. Such an increase would represent a doubling of Australia's overseas aid from 2004 levels.


Australia’s foreign aid in 2004 amounted to 0.18% of GDP & with the great benefactor’s latest generous announcement will effectively double our contributions to around 0.36% - if the commitment is met.

a pre-emptive strike in brisbane

Jim Dowling is a care worker.

He is a very gentle man, committed to social action.

He was violently arrested at a debate at QUT last week. (The debate was ostensibly about civil liberties.)

This is his description of his experience.

bang bang

‘The US has a long-standing (and accelerating) policy of arming, training and aiding some of the world's most repressive regimes. As insecurity mounts from Najaf to New Orleans, more weapons and high-tech military equipment are flowing into some of the globe's most vulnerable and war-torn regions.  


The Congressional Research Service recently found that global arms sales rose to US$37 billion in 2004 - the highest level since 2000. US companies such as Lockheed Martin and Boeing rang up $12.4 billion in weapons contracts - more than one-third of the total and more than twice what Russia - the second largest exporter sold. The Departments of State, Commerce and Defense are all involved in different aspects of approving licenses, managing logistics and (in many cases) loaning or granting funds to nations as they seek weapons from US corporations.  

a prescient prediction .....

The time was five years ago, to be exact, and in these memoirs, titled "A World Transformed," the former President, George Herbert Walker Bush, father of George W. Bush, wrote the following to explain why he didn't go after Saddam Hussein at the end of the gulf War:


"Trying to eliminate Saddam ... would have incurred incalculable human & political costs. Apprehending him was probably impossible. We would have been forced to occupy Baghdad & in effect, rule Iraq ...

a cowardly disgrace

On the 4th anniversary of September 11, more than 200 detainees at the US concentration camp at Guantanamo Bay are continuing a hunger strike to protest their ongoing treatment.

Among the Guantanamo Bay inmates is Australian, David Hicks, who has been held by the US for nearly 4 years: tortured; denied his legal & human rights & abandoned by his own government.

In the face of strenuous opposition from Bush administration lawyers, 3 federal appellate judges yesterday expressed doubts about the US government's assertion that hundreds of foreign nationals imprisoned indefinitely in Cuba have no right to challenge their detention in US courts.

fakin' it .....

‘Bush told Mahmoud Abbas, "God told me to strike at al Qaida and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did."


But, did God also tell Bush and company to exaggerate and lie about Saddam's weapons of mass destruction and ties to al Qaida?


Was it God who rendered so many Americans stupid enough to believe such lies and exaggerations? And why did God, who supposedly told Bush to invade Iraq, then trap American troops in a quagmire that exposed Bush and company for the rank amateurs they are?

a surreal foreignness .....

‘There are deeper explanations for the New Orleans catastrophe than anyone has dared suggest, writes Andrew Stephen. The roots lie in America's deluded self-image

We know, now, that there was not even a Prescott in charge in Washington. President Bush was exorcising heaven-knows-what demons by furiously riding his mountain bike in Texas - nobody, not even the Secret Service or a visiting Lance Armstrong, is allowed to pass him - while Vice-President Cheney was fly-fishing in Wyoming. 

corporate terrorism .....

The federal government yesterday released details of its proposed new anti-terrorism measures.


The proposals include empowering police agencies to restrict our basic freedoms, including rights of communication, association, travel & privacy, based on suspicion, & individuals subject to the new ‘control orders’ would be required to wear tracking devices.


The proposed ‘control orders’ (shades of apatheid) would be issued as a result of secret court hearings & not as a consequence of charges having been laid or as a result of a trial & conviction.

on rights & liberties .....

The Editor,

Sydney Morning Herald.                                                           September 9, 2005.

pointing a crooked finger .....

The Editor

The Australian                                                                         September 8, 2005

more bait & switch .....

The Editor,

Sydney Morning Herald.                                                 September 7, 2005.


Obviously stung by the contents of my letter to the editor yesterday, John Howard said today that his government can’t afford to cut the federal excise rate on fuel (‘PM won’t cut excise as petrol rockets’, Herald, September 7).

bait & switch

The Editor

Sydney Morning Herald.                                                           September 6, 2005.  

a blind & rampant cyclops

‘The Bush administration has declared war on the world. The 450 changes that Washington is demanding to the action agenda that will culminate at the September 2005 United Nations summit don't represent UN reform. They are a clear onslaught against any move that could strengthen the United Nations or international law.


The upcoming summit was supposed to focus on strengthening and reforming the UN and address issues of aid and development, with a particular emphasis on implementing the UN's five-year-old Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Most assumed this would be a forum for dialogue and debate, involving civil society activists from around the world challenging governments from the impoverished South and the wealthy North and the United Nations to create a viable global campaign against poverty and for internationalism.

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