Thursday, March 15, 2007

Thursday crunch

It's that time of the week when I'm too rushed and busy to think through so many of the issues churning around my head and articulate any one clearly enough for a post. So, I'm rounding up a bunch of things that I've noticed today and the past week:

Liberal backbencher Petro Georgiou and former Liberal PM Malcolm Fraser have slammed the government's proposed citizenship test. Fraser reportedly described it as unwise, foolish and would create division.

While we've long suspected it, it's now confirmed that federal politics is child's play. In responding to criticism from Labor Opposition leaders and other commentators of the government's sustained mud-slinging attack on Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd's character (the latest being Tony Abbot questioning Rudd's story of how his family was evicted from a farm when he was a child), the best the Liberal head-kickers like Peter Costello seem to manage is, "He started it"! How bloody puerile can they get? I suspect it will get worse before the election is over, as do the commenters to one of my previous posts on this matter.

Maybe we need warning signs like this outside Australia's Parliament:

beware snakes
And tell me, when you read this, do you first think this refers to terrorists and their backers?
[these men] subverted the Constitution, funded terror, retained the services of drug traffickers, and helped prolong brutal conflicts that siphoned off tens of thousands of lives on two continents.
Well actually, history blog Axis of Evel Knievel, where this quote is from, is referring to the members of the US defense, intelligence agencies and administration who were behind the Iran-Contra affair. Worth remembering this: just over 20 years ago, the US clandestinely sold weapons to Iran to bankroll its support for terrorist organisations undermining left-wing governments in Nicaragua and elsewhere. These days, the US is desperately trying to paint Iran as the next Iraq – the big Middle East bogey with its finger on the nuclear button. Go figure.

Meanwhile, after failing to get the Indonesian government's assurances that they would not deport them back to danger in Sri Lanka, the Howard government is now shipping the Sri Lankan asylum seekers being held on Christmas Island
off to Nauru, so cutting them off from their legal recourse in Australia, and indeed breeching their rights under the UN refugee convention.


[Image is one of mine, from my family's visit to the Collingwood Children's Farm]

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At March 16, 2007 1:54 am, Blogger Juan Moment said...

Thanx for the reminder, the dirty Iran-Contra affair is indeed a these days often forgotten milestone in US - Middle East politics, one that goes to show that US foreign affairs policy has little to do with the well being of the people living there, but with money, oil and influence. Influence to make even more money and control even more oil.

At March 18, 2007 7:19 pm, Blogger unique_stephen said...

I do so love that sign. A reminder that we still live on planet earth, and as much as we may walk on concrete and tar and under bitumen and may not step foot on something natural for a week at a time - nature is still there ready to bite

At March 19, 2007 10:52 am, Blogger Mark Lawrence said...

Hi juan moment, thanks for your comment. I hope you enjoy this blog. I did find it odd to be reminded of a political controversy that dominated the news in the late eighties – coinciding with my teens. Lately, I've been finding many things that I vaguely followed on the news during my teens resurfacing in relevance today, such as Afghanistan and Iran-US conflict.

Steve: 'beware of the snake' signs are some of my favourites, up there with 'beware of crocodiles' signs at some idyllic, isolated water hole in the Top End of Australia.


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