Category: US Politics

‘Stop the Boats’

Posted by – 5 August, 2014


‘Not the Qantas Club guys that went array’

Posted by – 4 June, 2014

Just Obama releasing 5 terrorists from Club Gitmo for one US Army alleged deserter.

Could you imagine Clinton endorsing Gillard?

Posted by – 11 March, 2014

An actual interview with Obama

Posted by – 3 February, 2014

Snowden – is he a hero?

Posted by – 2 August, 2013

Is the apparent type of indiscriminate surveillance undertaken by the USA (presumably Australia as well) of its own law abiding citizens right? Seems to me that the same arguments made against WikiLeaks could be made against the N – S – A.

In the fanatically puritanical view of WikiLeaks, no one and no organization should have anything to hide. It is scarcely worth arguing against such a childish view of life…….

The dissolution of the distinction between the private and public spheres was one of the great aims of totalitarianism. Opening and reading other people’s e-mails is not different in principle from opening and reading other people’s letters. In effect, WikiLeaks has assumed the role of censor to the world, a role that requires an astonishing moral grandiosity and arrogance to have assumed. Even if some evils are exposed by it, or some necessary truths aired, the end does not justify the means.

Video here for more argument.

Even if you are against Snowden, do you really want a government contractor / official like Snowden going through your private details?

UPDATE

A pattern of cover up

Up to 35 CIA operatives were working in the city during the attack last September on the US consulate that resulted in the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans, according to CNN.

Apparently they were running guns, or something….

Interesting analysis on Snowden

If you want to understand the difference between the two kinds of ‘conservatives,’ take a look at the debate over Edward Snowden, a contract employee at the US National Security Agency…..Mr Snowden has exposed the kind of secret surveillance on American citizens which the US Constitution forbids. The man is a hero. The ones who ought to be facing prosecution in all this are the members of the administration who are running the illegal surveillance. The one who ought to be facing impeachment is President Obama for sanctioning the snooping, which is in contravention of the fourth amendment to the Constitution which he swore to uphold.

………….The fourth amendment of the ten first amendments known as the Bill of Rights says: ‘The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probably cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.’

What this means is that there is a requirement for search warrants when any public authority wants to search individuals or their houses, or to seize any property in connection with an investigation. No law-makers have the right to over-ride this constitutional protection: the US Senate and House of Representatives are not the House of Commons.

It is not Edward Snowden who……..‘disdains allegiance to the rule of national law.’ It is President Obama and his top security officials.

Kermit Gosnell

Posted by – 13 April, 2013

This is story from the US about infanticide and all that entails is without doubt the most horrific story in the developed world right now, but apart from Fox News and a few online websites the US  media for the most part won’t cover it.

For this isn’t solely a story about babies having their heads severed, though it is that. It is also a story about a place where, according to the grand jury, women were sent to give birth into toilets; where a doctor casually spread gonorrhea and chlamydiae to unsuspecting women through the reuse of cheap, disposable instruments; an office where a 15-year-old administered anesthesia; an office where former workers admit to playing games when giving patients powerful narcotics; an office where white women were attended to by a doctor and black women were pawned off on clueless untrained staffers. Any single one of those things would itself make for a blockbuster news story. Is it even conceivable that an optometrist who attended to his white patients in a clean office while an intern took care of the black patients in a filthy room wouldn’t make national headlines?

But it isn’t even solely a story of a rogue clinic that’s awful in all sorts of sensational ways either. Multiple local and state agencies are implicated in an oversight failure that is epic in proportions! If I were a city editor for any Philadelphia newspaper the grand jury report would suggest a dozen major investigative projects I could undertake if I had the staff to support them. And I probably wouldn’t have the staff. But there is so much fodder for additional reporting.

There is, finally, the fact that abortion, one of the most hotly contested, polarizing debates in the country, is at the center of this case. It arguably informs the abortion debate in any number of ways, and has numerous plausible implications for abortion policy, including the oversight and regulation of clinics, the appropriateness of late-term abortions, the penalties for failing to report abuses, the statute of limitations for killings like those with which Gosnell is charged, whether staff should be legally culpable for the bad behavior of doctors under whom they work…

There’s just no end to it.

Don’t think for one moment this could never happen in Australia.

Crisis not over, despite what The Australian claims

Posted by – 3 January, 2013

This is the headline from the Australian today about the US budget deal:

Crisis over, world looks to recovery as shares rise and dollar surges

Wrong! The sloppy report from the Australian continues.

“Under this law, more than 98 per cent of Americans and 97 per cent of small businesses will not see their income taxes go up,” he said. His comments came shortly after the US House of Representatives voted 257-167 to support a deal that had received overwhelming backing in the Senate in the early hours of the morning.

At the rate the US Federal government is accumulating debt, a new budget deal will be needed sometime in February 2013. Crisis not over, just diverted by two months. Furthermore,

….the legislation pushed through the Senate and House on Jan. 1 does nothing to prevent a temporary cut in the Social Security payroll tax from expiring. That means, under the agreement brokered by the White House and Senate Republicans, 77 percent of American households will be forced to fork over higher federal taxes in 2013.

Households making between $40,000 and $50,000 will face an average tax increase of $579 in 2013, according to the Tax Policy Center’s analysis. Households making between $50,000 and $75,000 will face an average tax increase of $822.

Some basic facts might help

Posted by – 17 December, 2012

The Australian experience with reforming gun laws has been no panacea for societal violence.

The New York Times has referred to Australia’s gun laws as a “road map” for the US, saying that “in the 18 years before the law, Australia suffered 13 mass shootings – but not one in the 14 years after the law took full effect.”

Except for the 2002 mass shooting at Monash University, which the NYT omitted and which therefore makes me question this entire ABC puff piece arguing for the USA to emulate Australian 1996 gun laws after the Port Arthur massacre (I can’t actually find any evidence to support the claim that Australia had 13 mass shootings in 18 years).

Well, these are the government provided facts.

  1. Armed robbery increased, reaching a peak in 2001 and falling, but as of 2007 still above 1996 levels;
  2. Rates of assaults rose steadily and remain high today at around 840 assaults per 100,000 people, about 230 assaults per 100,000 people higher than before 1996;
  3. Homicides involving firearms as a percentage of total homicides peaked in 1969 and had been falling steadily before the 1996 gun laws were introduced. In fact, homicide incidents actually increased after 1996, reaching a post gun law reform peak level in 2002 before declining steadily after 2004.
  4. Assaults and homicides using knives have increased.

Reforming gun laws therefore will not solve your crime problem. By all reports the person that perpetrated the mass murder in Connecticut had a psychiatric condition. Investing in mental health might be a start. Daily Mail as always provides some perspective:

….why did this son amongst all those tens of thousands of sons take his mother’s firearms illegally – Connecticut has the fourth toughest gun control laws in the US, and any 20-year old is banned from buying or carrying pistols – and turn into a mass murderer?

News reports say he had a history of mental instability. At least one report mentioned ‘mood altering drugs.’ That is likely. The presence of legal drugs, the kind prescribed by psychiatrists, in the blood of the killers has been a feature of mass murders in America.

Both of the Columbine High School killers, Eric Harris (described as ‘a classic psychopath’) and Dylan Klebold, were on psychotropic drugs.

So was 17-year old Jeff Weise, the 2005 Red Lake High School killer in Minnesota who killed nine people then committed suicide.

So was 19-year old Robert Hawkins who murdered eight people then killed himself in Nebraska in 2007.

And on the list goes.

More reality from Brendan O’Neill over at the Telegraph.

I see the culture of narcissism, taken to its extreme, not the culture of gun worship. Which rather suggests that the supposedly liberal politicians currently wringing their hands over the availability of guns in the US might want to shine the spotlight on themselves instead, and on the dislocated, atomised, self-regarding modern world they have had a hand in creating.

A psychiatrist has his say.

Run for the hills!!!

Posted by – 7 November, 2012

Well, the USA has voted for failure and mediocrity…. and around $21 trillion in Federal US debt in four years time and nearly $240 trillion in unfunded liabilities.

I think the implications for Australia are pretty clear. The USA is in terminal decline due to a sluggish economy, high taxes and high debt. All of which will increase the risk to Australia’s financial and national security.

Niall Ferguson has estimated, along with our economic historians, that when a country starts spending between 40 to 50 per cent of revenue on interest payments on debt then that country goes into terminal decline.

Habsburg Spain defaulted on all or part of its debt 14 times between 1557 and 1696 and also succumbed to inflation due to a surfeit of New World silver. Prerevolutionary France was spending 62 percent of royal revenue on debt service by 1788. The Ottoman Empire went the same way: interest payments and amortization rose from 15 percent of the budget in 1860 to 50 percent in 1875. And don’t forget the last great English-speaking empire. By the interwar years, interest payments were consuming 44 percent of the British budget, making it intensely difficult to rearm in the face of a new German threat.

While “Net interest” payments are only around 10 per cent of US government revenue, this excludes interest payments on debt held by GBEs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the debt the US government has lent itself. If revenues remain stagnate and if inflation picks up, then essentially within about 10 years the US government will be getting close to Niall’s threshold.

Australia’s response? Low levels of government and private debt, less welfare and more spending on national defence. We need to prepare for a post-American world.

It’s all over for the ‘Sun King’

Posted by – 21 October, 2012

Obama knew the Benghazi attack had nothing to do with an obscure YouTube video.