Category Archives: Politics

The Blame Game II

Have just been over to Tim Dunlop for my daily does of senseless vitriol. Aussie Bob is in full flight proving once and for all that no amount of facts will ever dissuade him and his kind from blaming Bush or Howard for perceived ills in our society.

Bob writes:

Imagine if Bush had gotten that bull horn of his (surely there’s one on AF-1), or even gone on TV before Katrina and said “Get out now!”. Like, just after the disaster was declared on the Friday before the storm. He’d have been an effing hero. But that was too easy…

No… he went a strummin’.

Well Bob, you can imagine it. In fact you can do more than that, you can actually read about how Bush got on the horn and tried to get the Loiusiana Governor to order an evacuation and call for federal help well before Katrina landed. She stonewalled and that hesitation added to the long list of stuff-ups.

You can read about it Bob but I know you wont so I won’t even post a link. The Blame Game doesn’t have any rules and facts are to be ignored.

Like most western societies there are laid down procedures for the US central government to adhere to prior to sending in the cavalry. The US laws do not allow the Federal government to just send in the troops, to order evacuations or to abitrarily impose Military Law.

The primary responsibility for dealing with emergencies belongs to local and state officials who are charged by law with the management of the crucial first response to disasters. First response should be carried out by local and state emergency personnel under the supervision of the state governor and his emergency operations center.

When the local authorities decide that the emergency is beyond their capabilities then a procedure exists to call for help. This procedure exists in Australia and we in the military call it Aid to the Civil Power. Well, we did in my time, whatever, the proceure will still exist.

I’m not trying to exhonerate the US Federal authorities. On the face of it the system didn’t work with suffient alacrity to match the size of the disaster and I’m sure subsequent investigations will improve on procedures and that, I might add, should be the aim of any investigation. It should not be an avenue for vested interests to allocate blame against their political foe.

Governor Blanco and Mayor Nagi have a lot of explaining to do as well but I note little critical assessment of their involvement in the tragedy outide of blogs.

Has anyone else noticed the presence of USN hospital and logistic ships now providing support in the disaster area and thought to ask themselves how many days sailing did it take to position these ships. I can assure you that ships of this size still have no “Beam me to NO, Scotty” facilities and thus would have had to have been put on notice well before the event.

I imagine this will be ignored along with the fact that even though the US has only 10% of the military in Iraq, detracters still believe that the US involvement in Iraq is part of the reason that troops were slow to get into the area and therefore this can be sheeted home to Bush as well.

Fine – call the federal agencies to task. They are after all, a part of the procedure, but in doing so look to the local agencies in the state and city administration as well. They too are a part of the procedure even if they are Democrats.

Brogden attempts suicide

FORMER New South Wales Opposition Leader John Brogden was rushed to hospital last night after an apparent suicide attempt.

He was unconcience and is now in ICU in Sydney.

The Australian and News.com are carrying the story.

He was found lying on the floor of the bathroom in his office last night and it is understood he had been drinking heavily from a bottle of gin.

Liberal sources had told The Daily Telegraph that, apart from these incidents, Mr Brogden had also decided to exit the leadership because a raft of fresh allegations of sexual misconduct was set to destroy his career.

They include propositioning women for group sex and harassing his own staff and other Opposition employees at State Parliament.

Looks like Howard was right not to back him.

Politics

The ALP are making some positive moves for a change. Beasley is veering to the centre according to Dennis Shanahan in todays Oz

Labor’s pragmatic new approach will build on policy proposals from frontbenchers to move Labor away from the Left and towards the Centre on key issues.

Good move Kim. Keep it up and you might even make the ALP a viable opposition.

On the subject of IR Reforms Mr Beazley said it was “bit premature”, since the Government’s reforms weren’t yet public, to say in detail what he would be doing.

Good point which the ACTU have missed in spades. Their adds have had an impact on Howards popularity even though they are based on supposition and emotive language. Some people will believe anything that puts Howard in a negative light and others, with little real understanding of politics, will believe any lie that is repeated often enough.

The ALP/ACTU are fighting in the courts to prevent the governments IR add campaign going to air. Well they would, wouldn’t they. Can’t have the people informed on the issue…they may see the value of reforms. Much is being made of the fact that the government is using public funds for the adds. I’m cool with that – it’s an important issue and we need to be fully informed.

As an aside, while driving from Coonabarabran to Brisbane yesterday I was listening to the ABC doing their best to make Howard look dumb. Professor Ian Lowe from Griffith Uni (GRIFTAFE to my QUT degreed kids) has taken over the chair from Garret at the Australian Conservation Foundation. Talking about Kyoto and Australia’s refusal to sign he stated it wasn’t ideological, it was just that Howard was too stupid to understand the science of global warming. He didn’t actually use the word ‘stupid’ but said he had never seen any indication that Howard understood the issue.

Such arrogance and abysmal lack of understanding of broader issues seems to be the norm with professors. The two others on the panel were beside themselves with undergrad snide comments about Howard.

I’s good to be back from domestic duties in WA where I was obliged, by way being the only son, to set my aging Mother in a home and clear up 86 years of writings, letters, photos, books, furniture and paintings from the family home in preparation for sale. Duty done now I’m back home and can concentrate on my interests.

Unions lose bid to stop $20m IR ad blitz

Federal Labor and the ACTU have lost an interim legal bid to have government advertisements promoting industrial relations reform taken off air.

Bit rough, isn’t it..not being allowed to stop the other side put their point of view? How disappointing it must be that the government will be able to counter their emotive lies and exaggerations.

Student Unionism

Monash Uni students and staff are going on strike to protest the government’s plan to make student unionism voluntary.

… Vice-Chancellor Professor Richard Larkins said voluntary student unionism would jeopardise thousands of jobs and the viability of extra-curricular activities at Australian universities.

Is the VC saying that union fees pay the salaries of thousands of workers? If so, therein lies a very good reason to review the whole situation.

Association spokeswoman Danya Bryx said they expected thousands of students to boycott classes this week and join rallies.
She said some staff had also cancelled classes all week and others were holding VSU discussion classes instead.

It’s all about power, folks – the power to control millions of dollars of student funds.

My children have a total of five degrees from UQ and I’m well aware of Student Union fees. No fees…no results…no degree…help Dad…mumble…bitch…moan.

And then one child borrowed the Union car to drive home…a Suburu Forester…better than mine at the time but then I wasn’t enjoying the largesse associated with controlling funds unfairly extracted from 20, 000 odd students struggling to get through Uni.

Keep yelling, keep striking, makes no matter.

Things are changing…move on

The IR battle continues

Well, it’s all doom and gloom in the labour and union ranks as they predict the end of civilized society as we know it with Howard’s IR reforms.

As the IR laws haven’t been submitted to the house yet I must presume they are basing their predictions, as they are often do, on the premise that anything coming from the Conservative benches must be bad for the worker.

The unfair dismissal laws are getting a hiding as the Unions predict every honest and loyal servant will be sacked at the whim of the boss for trivial misdemeanours, but any employer acting that way is simply going downhill fast. The only people who need fear unfair dismissal laws are those bludging slugs that hitherto, bosses have been forced to keep on as it was simply to expensive to dismiss them.

Rob Corr, over at Red Rag is attacking with both barrels loaded with emotive language cartridges.

Courts may face a shortage of jurors…..granny had better get used to those kerosene baths…..anyone who wants a pay rise will be forced to sign away their holidays and the proposed scrapping of unfair dismissal laws will silence whistle-blowers

and mentions

….job security should comes first with corporate profits and conservative ideology a distant last.

Maybe, but the worker better hope his company has corporate profits – it’s the source of his wages after all

Labor’s new advocate and Primate of the Anglican church, Dr Phillip Aspinall, says;

The purpose of unfair dismissal laws is to prevent unfair dismissals. If a change there means we’re going to allow unfair dismissals — that is, expose vulnerable people to unfairness — that is a real concern, not only to the churches but the whole community.

This emotive, simplistic and illogical statement doesn’t hold water as the purpose may have once been to prevent unfair dismissals but in reality it ended up preventing any dismissal for almost any reason and therefore does need changing.

The Unfair Dismissal laws, in fact, became Guaranteed Employment-for-life laws and has subsequently held back many businesses by forcing them to carry deadweight.

And the best plug for IR Reform is Paul Keating saying we don’t need it.

Chinese Checkers

From Lateline

MADAME FU: I was asked by the Australian Government about whether he will be – whether he will face persecution if he returns to China, as he said, and I said he won’t.

TONY JONES: How can you guarantee something like that?

MADAME FU: I think there is no reason. I don’t see there is any reason to persecute him, and China doesn’t do it, and he has never been persecuted.

Sorry Madam Fu, I don’t believe you and neither do most Australians .

The full interview with Madam Fu here

Laurie Ferguson thinks Immigration phoning the Chinese Embassy on the matter would have only made things difficult for the would-be defector.

Laurie normally doesn’t get quoted, for good reasons, but gets some some air-time with the ABC (surprise) with this line.

Labor’s immigration spokesman Laurie Ferguson says the phone call may have placed the diplomat’s life at risk.

Can’t see it, Laurie. I’m reasonably confident that the Chinese Embassy staff read our newspapers, watch the ABC and have regular roll calls so would have been aware that Chen had done a runner well before someone called.

Currency Lad has this angle covered.

Last night Lateline found another Chinese chappie who says there a thousands of Chinese spies in Oz. Second Chinese defector backs Chen’s claims.

He may be right but I suggest caution until we can sort out everyone’s agenda.

The Dems, Greenies and Labour must select an ABC item critical of the Howard Government (and there are plenty of then) every day as a basis for a Senate inquiry or a Royal Commission.

The Democrats and the Greens think a Senate inquiry is the right way forward, but Labor says it is still seeking a royal commission into the Immigration Department instead.

A bit over-played, these Senate hearings. While the ABC broadcasts every anti Howard one-liner from said hearings, the public are getting bombarded and subsequently bored with the predictable messages.

Peter crying wolf type of stuff.

Bob Brown invents a role for himself and his party by requesting diplomat protection for Chen saying he has been forced to ask NSW to protect the Chen family.

“What an appalling situation when we have to appeal to the NSW authorities to give the protection to Mr Chen that should have been forthcoming from the Commonwealth authorities right at the outset,” he told ABC radio.

You didn’t have to appeal to anyone, Bob, and your contribution will, as always, do more damage than good.

As I understand it, the ABC has a direct line to Brown’s office and hit him up for a comment on everything, which makes sense as they both start every thought process with ‘Howard wrong, Conservatives Bad”

Howard doesn’t need this shit and neither does Australia. As always it will bubble on the surface until someone finds another “shock, horror, look what the bastards are doing now, lets hold another Senate inquiry, fill Tony’s Lateline agenda, Bob Brown what’s your opinion” type of event

Unions back criminals

The unions are up in arms because Deputy Prime Minister Anderson says he expects police checks on 130,000 maritime workers will reveal that a significant number have criminal convictions and the Government will have to be “firm” in issuing security cards.

The head of the Australian Maritime Union, Paddy Crumlin, is not impressed. He has accused Mr Anderson of “bashing wharfies” and says Australia’s ports are secure.

Ah well, if the unions say the ports are secure who are we to worry.

And how’s this for a startling comment.

“There has never been a serious crime or any crime on the Australian waterfront.

The results of the Police checks will make interesting reading

Commo’s again!

Every now and then I think it relevant to remind ourselves just how bad communism was and how many of their people suffered under it’s yoke.

Damien Perry has a post about a new book on Mao Tse Dung that suits the purpose.

An extract.

Famine apart, the authors calculate that deaths in prisons and labour camps over Mao’s years from 1949 totalled some 27 million. In the ten years of the Great Purge (1966–76) that came with the Cultural Revolution, at least three million people died violent deaths outside prison. Post-Mao leaders have stated that 100 million people (one-ninth of the entire population) suffered in one way or another during that period.

1966-76. Now let’s see. Who, of all of our Prime Ministers, was it that couldn’t wait to get into bed with these bastards.

Oh yes. Comrade Whitlam.

It was only recently that the “Communist Manifesto” by Marx and Engels was voted as the most harmful book printed during the 19th and 20th century.

I have to agree.

Honour and Honesty ‘Deep Throated”

The daughter of the former FBI agent who was revealed this week as Deep Throat has acknowledged that money played a role in the family’s decision to go public.

Grandson Nick, heads for similar career based on honour and honesty.

“My son, Nick, is in law school and he’ll owe $US100,000 ($A132,500) by the time he graduates,” she said. “I am still a single mum, still supporting them to one degree or another, and I am not ashamed of this.”

Dad’s weak at the moment, let’s go talk to him.

Joan Felt said her father suffered a stroke in 2001 and has undergone surgery for heart problems and a broken hip but is still lucid.

Daughter gets him in a weak moment and now he believes that he was a hero.

“We had to help him see that most of the world now considers what he did heroic,” she said. “At the time it was happening, he wouldn’t have gotten that percentage of support, but history has shown it was so important what he did.”

I’m no fan of Tricky Dicky but I am of institutions, Official Secrets Acts and outwardly (at least) apolitical Public Servants and holders of high office.

Doubtful motivation to the end.

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