Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category
From Hot Air:
The Bible says that you will know a tree by the kind of fruit it bears, meaning that you will know what someone believes by what they do. Considering the ‘revolution’ in Egypt, I would like to quickly examine three examples of foreign policy maneuvers that Obama has taken, including Egypt.
First, let’s look all the way back at June/July of 2009. President Zelaya was working with Castro to subvert the Honduran Constitution to turn Honduras into a dictatorship. The government of Honduras acted quickly and had the military remove Zelaya from the country. This measure had the support of almost the entire Honduran Congress (1 person voted against it), Attorney General, and the Honduran Supreme Court. They acted constitutionally to remove Zelaya from power.
So what did Obama do? He dubbed it an illegal military coup and said they must stand up for the rule of law and reinstate Zelaya back to power. However, the interim President of Honduras who was serving out Zelaya’s term, Robert Micheletti, said they acted constitutionally and would not return Zelaya to power. In return Obama helped to isolate honduras by voting with the other members of the OAS to suspend Honduras’ membership and moved to cut off aid to Honduras despite them being such a poor country.
Next up, Iran. Remember the 2009 Green Revolution? Most of you are more familiar with this so I’ll make it short. Iran basically cheated their people out of free and fair elections by ignoring the ballots and declaring Ahmadinejad the victor. It was only an hour or so after the people voted with paper ballots that the Iranian government declared him the winner, and at that point the people knew they’d been had. They poured into the streets of Tehran in protest as the world watched on. But instead of condemning the falsified elections and calling for free elections, Obama said that the US would continue to work with the Iranian government and added that it wasn’t our place ‘meddle’ in Iran’s affairs. In fact it took Obama 10 days to make a strong public statement against Iran, but only to condemn the widespread brutality as Iran was suppressing it’s people. I don’t think he ever called for new elections once. Iran successfully suppressed their people and Ahmadinejad remains in control. Obama was pretty much silent through this entire revolution.
And now that a revolution is happening in Egypt, our ally, Obama has taken center stage and has been publicly vocal against Mubarak calling for him to step down. In fact, I don’t believe he ever voiced support for Mubarak at all, instead saying that the people have spoken and Mubarak must go. Obama has even called for elections though we know elections in the middle east never yield democracies. On top of that, Obama has advocated that a terrorist organization, the Muslim Brotherhood, should play a part in the new government of Egypt. This has major implications for Israel as the Muslim Brotherhood truly hates Israel and wants to wipe them off the map. And now that Mubarak has stepped down today, Egypt will likely continue toward elections and could be well on it’s way to a theocracy just as Gaza turned into a theocracy in 2006 and Iran in 1979.
These are just three examples of Obama’s Foreign policy moves and they all have one thing in common. In every case Obama stood on the opposing side of US interests whether it was to side with a dictator wanna-be, a fascist Islamic theocracy, or against an ally and in favor of another Islamic terrorist organization as part of his replacement. And discounting Honduras, Iran and Egypt have the anti-Israeli component in common.
I know you are not supposed to assume malice when stupidity might be an adequate explanation. But to get so many important aspects of foreign and domestic policy so badly wrong requires a special kind of stupid.
We have the same problem here in Australia, where we are lumbered with most spectacularly inept government in Australia’s history. But no one takes any notice of us anyway. A mountain of overspending and alienating our friends is only going to cause us some pain and inconvenience.
When the US alienates its friends and gets itself so deep in debt it cannot see the light of day, then the whole world is in trouble.
President of France Nicolas Sarkozy has joined UK Prime Minister David Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in declaring recent attempts to force multi-culturalism onto Western communities a failure.
“We have been too concerned about the identity of the person who was arriving and not enough about the identity of the country that was receiving him,” he said in a television interview in which he declared the concept a “failure.”
Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar said something similar last year at the World Jewish Congress. Perhaps people were not ready to listen then. That seems to be changing.
Some parts of his speech were quite confronting. A sample:
… major parts of the West are suffering a kind of crisis of identity. Europe is a good example. With a declining population, increasing numbers of Muslim immigrants, many of them exposed to radical ideas, multiculturalism has imposed itself as the politically correct way to deal with the challenges of different cultures living together even if some of them do not want to be integrated or do not respect the other.
The problem becomes all the more acute when judeo-christian values are aggressively challenged every day and the 68-generation that dominates our current leadership does nothing to defend them.
Peacenik Europe has been fighting the West for too long, and because of that has been so hypercritical of Israel.
The US provides a different story. At least until very recently. President Obama has put in motion forces that, if unchecked, may redefine the nation and its place in the world in ways that, to me, may cause major problems to all of us.
From his inauguration he has sought a new relationship with the Muslim world even at the cost of undermining America’s best ally in the region, as he has done with Europe in seeking to “press the reset button” in relations with Moscow.
He seems to have devoted more time and energy in organizing today’s meeting in Washington and advancing a new peace plan than in trying to prevent the Iranian regime from building its bomb. He has projected an image of somebody who wants to escape from the problems of the world, from Iraq to Afghanistan, embracing many enemies of America while punishing its traditional allies.
I don’t think the growing attacks against Israel, and the general campaign of deligitimation are unrelated to the crisis of the West, and more particularly, the crisis of confidence that emanates from the White House today.
Ron Burgess at Business Spectator describes Australian uber-alarmist Flim Flannery as ‘Labor’s new bogeyman.
I am not sure in what sense Flannery or his message are new. He has been constantly, amusingly wrong, but at least he has been consistent.
Ron says he doubts that Australian politicians, even those most stridently in the AGW (warming) camp, really believe what they are employing Tim Flannery to tell us to believe.
After all, you can judge what people really believe by what they do. If politicians like Wong and Garrett and Gillard really believed that human activity was causing catastrophic global warming, they would stop doing climate warmy stuff like flying everywhere and living in huge houses, and they would be doing their best to convince everyone else to do the same. But they’re not.
There’s an opnion that despite what they say, leftist politicians don’t really believe this. After all there’s no evidence for AGW and never has been (not that reality is a major factor in leftist policy development). They only espouse global warming alarmism because it gives an opportunity for restrictions on industry, and greater government control over almost every aspect of the lives of ordinary citizens.
I disagree. I think that on this, Wong, Garrett, Gillard, Turnbull, etc really do believe what they say they believe. People’s actions are not always consistent with what they believe, even if those beliefs are deeply and sincerely held.
In the case of politicians, the need to get re-elected is pre-eminent. After all, having high ideals and believing the right things is important, but if you are not in power, you can’t change law or policy. So it’s better to stay in power and do what you can, even if you think that is not enough, than to be out of power and not be able to do anything.
Here is where Ron Burgess’ assessment of this appointment is spot on. He says Flannery’s real job is to ‘put the wind up Australians.’ For non Australian readers, that means to scare people.
On paper, the primary role of Tim Flannery’s new position is to ‘provide independent information for members of the community … on three areas in particular: firstly, the science of climate change and its impacts on this country…’
We all know he is not going to do that. Independent information on the science of climate change is the last thing Flannery is interested in. He has made huge amounts of money by ignoring climate science. What he is an expert in is scaring people. Good choice for a bogeyman.
Except that, as I noted above, his scary predictions have been consistently wrong.
The problem for the Labor government is that this fact, and this appointment, make it clear right from the beginning that there is no objectivity, no interest in a fair assessment of climate science, no commitment to truth.
People are not buying this. The bogeyman just isn’t scary anymore.
Update: Saturday – Andrew Bolt has a useful and extensive list of Flannery’s failed predictions, and the cost imposed on the community by those who believed them.
News of the latest violent incident at a detention centre for illegal immigrants brought to mind a couple of recent conversations with customers.
The first was with a woman who said she could understand people wanting to get away from places that were violent, or where they couldn’t get enough to eat. If she were in that situation she would do everything she could to get her family out too.
‘But,’ she said, ‘if things really are that bad, and they come over here, and we make sure they’re safe, we feed them, we give them medicine, we teach their chidren, and all this costs them nothing, why are they so angry?’
‘I know it would not be nice being in detention, but they must know that’s reasonable if they arrive with no ID, and that if they are patient, most of them will be accepted?’
‘So how can being in a safe comfortable place be something you would riot over, and cause harm to property and other people?’
The second was with another female customer. She too had read recent stories of violence among illegal immigrants. She too was sympathetic to a desire to get one’s family away from poverty and violence.
‘But,’ she said, ‘these people have stuffed up their own countries. Or they live in countries which have been stuffed up. And some of those countries could be very rich. And then these people come over here, and they demand to have the same rules that made their countries so horrible. So why don’t we just say no, you can’t do that, and if you want to live like that, go back where you came from?’
“People come to Australia because it’s a better place,” he said. “So then you should become Australian and abide by the customs of Australia, not change Australia to suit your customs from another country.”
Nor can a culture. We all just have to accept one another and learn from one another.
Yes. Lovely. Except that accepting this lovely idea means ignoring virtually the whole of world history.
Andrew McCarthy at the NRO notes a particularly egregious example of sharia in practice – a fourteen year old girl who had been raped by a forty year old neighbour was sentenced to 100 lashes for illicit sexual activity, but died after 80 lashes.
When I catalogue the horrors of sharia, I frequently hear in response that I am oversimplifying it, that I am relying on incorrect interpretations (oddly said to be inaccurate because they construe Islamic doctrine “too literally”), or that I fail to appreciate the richness and nuances of sharia jurisprudence that have made it possible for moderate Muslims to evolve away from the law’s harshness. Some even claim sharia is not a concrete body of law, just a set of aspirational guidelines — as if Sakineh Ashtiani, the woman sentenced by an Iranian court to death by stoning, will merely be having advice, rather than rocks, thrown at her …
These criticisms miss the point … It should by now be undeniable that there is an interpretation of sharia that affirms all its atrocious elements, and that this interpretation is not a fringe construction. It is mainstream and backed by very influential scholars who know a hell of a lot more about Islam than we in the West do. That makes it extremely unlikely that this interpretation will be marginalized any time soon. There is no agreed-upon hierarchical authority in Islam that can authoritatively pronounce that various beliefs and practices are heretical. The closest thing Muslims have is the faculty at al-Azhar University in Egypt, and it is a big part of the problem. Whether this fundamentalist interpretation is accepted by only 20 or 30 percent of Muslims — or whether, as I believe, the percentage is higher, perhaps much higher — that still makes it the belief system of almost half a billion people worldwide. That’s not a fringe.
No it’s not. And, pretending it is means we are blind to the likely outcome of elections in Egypt – another hardline islamist state – and to the infuence of that outcome on the rest of the Middle East.
Daniel Greenfield at Sultan Knish makes the same point, but better:
59 percent of Egyptian Muslims want democracy and 95 percent want Islam to play a large part in politics. 84 percent believe apostates should face the death penalty. That is what Egyptian democracy will look like. A unanimous majority that wants an Islamic state and a bare majority that wants democracy. Which one do you think will win out? A democratic majority of the country supports murdering people in the name of Islam. Mubarak’s government does not execute apostates or adulterers. But a democratic Egypt will. Why? Because it’s the will of the people.
The cheerleaders shaking their pom poms for Egyptian democracy don’t seem to grasp that the outcome could be anything other than positive …
We fought to free Korea and Vietnam from Communism, but we lacked one basic thing. Ground level support from the people we were fighting to protect. Today South Koreans like Kim Jong Il more than they like us. We fought to free the tyrants of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia from Saddam Hussein. As a reward, they financed the terrorists who have been killing us ever since. We fought to free Iraq from Saddam, and the entire country imploded into armed camps. Our “Victory in Iraq” came about because we cut a deal with the Baathists against the Shiites and Al Qaeda, essentially restoring a broken version of Saddam’s old status quo. We fought to liberate Afghanistan, and now we find ourselves allied with some Muslim warlords who abuse women and rape little boys– against the other Muslim warlords who abuse women and rape little boys.
Handing out democracy like candy does not fix existing cultural problems. It does not end bigotry, free women or stop murder in the name of Allah. Open elections are only as good as the people participating in them. And the 84 percent of Egyptians who want to murder apostates have issues that democracy will not solve. The problem with Egypt is not Mubarak– but the Egyptians.
Let’s take another example. In Jordan, the next target on the freedom tour, King Hussein passed a bill to criminalize the honor killings of women. And their democratically elected parliament voted 60 to 25 to strike the bill down. It took them only 3 minutes. That’s what democracy would mean for the Jordanian girls murdered by their husbands, brothers and fathers. The right of the people and their duly elected representatives to legalize the murder of women …
Egypt’s period of greatest liberalization was under British rule. Since then its cosmopolitan nightspots have been torched and it has drifted closer to Islamization. Even Egypt’s current level of human rights under Mubarak is above that of most of its neighbors. And the reason for that is Mubarak’s ties to America. The more democratic Egypt becomes, the more its civil rights will diminish. Its rulers will see social issues as an easy way to compromise with the Muslim Brotherhood. As Egypt’s cultural ties to the West diminish, so will its freedoms …
A people who do not believe in the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness will not be free no matter how many times they go to the polls. You can place voting booths outside every home and run elections every week, and it will still do no good. Freedom may be the birthright of every man, woman and child on earth– but it cannot be theirs until they claim it. As long as they believe in the right of the majority to oppress the minority, in the value of order over liberty, and the supremacy of the mosque over any and all civil and legal rights– then they will never be free. Never. Their elections will either give rise to chaos or tyranny. That is how it is in the Middle East. That is how it will always be until they claim their birthright by closing the Koran and opening their minds.
These low tech, fuel efficient wood burning stoves are a renewable energy project that will save lives, by leaving more time for mothers to spend with their children, and more money to be spent on food and medical care.
You can help – just follow the link.
Of course, if we really want to help people out of poverty, nuclear power would be better. But this is a good start.
So you might think I’d agree with the Economist Intelligence Unit that the Australian Labor government’s NBN is not a good plan because it is going to cost a lot more money and deliver slower speeds that South Korea’s similar proposals.
On this, a spokewoman for Communication Minister Stephen Conroy:
“Comparing Australia to Korea is like comparing apples to oranges. Investment in Australia’s road, rail, telecommunications and utility infrastructure faces vastly different factors than countries such as South Korea,” she said.
“Australia’s land mass is over 7.6 million square kilometres compared with South Korea’s which is just over 100,000 square kilometres. Australia has a population density of 2.7 people per sq/km compared with 487 people per sq/km for South Korea.
She’s right. For any group calling itself intelligent, that is not a terribly intelligent comparison to make.
And the NBN is still a dumb idea.
A letter from 36 leading climate scientists responding to the latest round of alarmism. Longish, but worth quoting in full:
February 8, 2011
To the Members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate:
In reply to “The Importance of Science in Addressing Climate Change”
On 28 January 2011, eighteen scientists sent a letter to members of the U.S. House of
Representatives and the U.S. Senate urging them to “take a fresh look at climate change.” Their
intent, apparently, was to disparage the views of scientists who disagree with their contention
that continued business-as-usual increases in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions produced from the burning of coal, gas, and oil will lead to a host of cataclysmic climate-related problems.
We, the undersigned, totally disagree with them and would like to take this opportunity to briefly
state our side of the story.
The eighteen climate alarmists (as we refer to them, not derogatorily, but simply because they
view themselves as “sounding the alarm” about so many things climatic) state that the people of
the world “need to prepare for massive flooding from the extreme storms of the sort being
experienced with increasing frequency,” as well as the “direct health impacts from heat waves”
and “climate-sensitive infectious diseases,” among a number of other devastating phenomena.
And they say that “no research results have produced any evidence that challenges the overall
scientific understanding of what is happening to our planet’s climate,” which is understood to
mean their view of what is happening to Earth’s climate.
To these statements, however, we take great exception. It is the eighteen climate alarmists who appear to be unaware of “what is happening to our planet’s climate,” as well as the vast amount of research that has produced that knowledge.
For example, a lengthy review of their claims and others that climate alarmists frequently make
can be found on the Web site of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change
(see http://www.co2science.org/education/reports/prudentpath/prudentpath.php). That report
offers a point-by-point rebuttal of all of the claims of the “group of eighteen,” citing in every
case peer-reviewed scientific research on the actual effects of climate change during the past
If the “group of eighteen” pleads ignorance of this information due to its very recent posting,
then we call their attention to an even larger and more comprehensive report published in 2009,
Climate Change Reconsidered: The 2009 Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on
Climate Change (NIPCC). That document has been posted for more than a year in its entirety at
These are just two recent compilations of scientific research among many we could cite. Do the
678 scientific studies referenced in the CO2 Science document, or the thousands of studies cited
in the NIPCC report, provide real-world evidence (as opposed to theoretical climate model
predictions) for global warming-induced increases in the worldwide number and severity of
floods? No. In the global number and severity of droughts? No. In the number and severity of
hurricanes and other storms? No.
Do they provide any real-world evidence of Earth’s seas inundating coastal lowlands around the
globe? No. Increased human mortality? No. Plant and animal extinctions? No. Declining
vegetative productivity? No. More frequent and deadly coral bleaching? No. Marine life
dissolving away in acidified oceans? No.
Quite to the contrary, in fact, these reports provide extensive empirical evidence that these things are not happening. And in many of these areas, the referenced papers report finding just the opposite response to global warming, i.e., biosphere-friendly effects of rising temperatures and rising CO2 levels.
In light of the profusion of actual observations of the workings of the real world showing little or
no negative effects of the modest warming of the second half of the twentieth century, and
indeed growing evidence of positive effects, we find it incomprehensible that the eighteen
climate alarmists could suggest something so far removed from the truth as their claim that no
research results have produced any evidence that challenges their view of what is happening to
Earth’s climate and weather.
But don’t take our word for it. Read the two reports yourselves. And then make up your own
minds about the matter. Don’t be intimidated by false claims of “scientific consensus” or
“overwhelming proof.” These are not scientific arguments and they are simply not true.
Like the eighteen climate alarmists, we urge you to take a fresh look at climate change. We
believe you will find that it is not the horrendous environmental threat they and others have made it out to be, and that they have consistently exaggerated the negative effects of global warming on the U.S. economy, national security, and public health, when such effects may well be small to negligible.
Syun-Ichi Akasofu, University of Alaska1
Scott Armstrong, University of Pennsylvania
James Barrante, Southern Connecticut State University1
Richard Becherer, University of Rochester
John Boring, University of Virginia
Roger Cohen, American Physical Society Fellow
David Douglass, University of Rochester
Don Easterbrook, Western Washington University1
Robert Essenhigh, The Ohio State University1
Martin Fricke, Senior Fellow, American Physical Society
Lee Gerhard, University of Kansas1
Ulrich Gerlach, The Ohio State University
Laurence Gould, University of Hartford
Bill Gray, Colorado State University1
Will Happer, Princeton University2
Howard Hayden, University of Connecticut1
Craig Idso, Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change
Sherwood Idso, USDA, U.S. Water Conservation Laboratory1
Richard Keen, University of Colorado
Doral Kemper, USDA, Agricultural Research Service1
Hugh Kendrick, Office of Nuclear Reactor Programs, DOE1
Richard Lindzen, Massachusetts Institute of Technology2
Anthony Lupo, University of Missouri
Patrick Michaels, Cato Institute
Donald Nielsen, University of California, Davis1
Al Pekarek, St. Cloud State University
John Rhoads, Midwestern State University1
Nicola Scafetta, Duke University
Gary Sharp, Center for Climate/Ocean Resources Study
S. Fred Singer, University of Virginia1
Roy Spencer, University of Alabama
George Taylor, Past President, American Association of State Climatologists
Frank Tipler, Tulane University
Leonard Weinstein, National Institute of Aerospace Senior Research Fellow
Samuel Werner, University of Missouri1
Thomas Wolfram, University of Missouri1
Rodney Armstrong, Geophysicist
Edwin Berry, Certified Consulting Meteorologist
Joseph Bevelacqua, Bevelacqua Resources
Carmen Catanese, American Physical Society Member
Roy Clark, Ventura Photonics
John Coleman, Meteorologist KUSI TV
Darrell Connelly, Geophysicist
Joseph D’Aleo, Certified Consulting Meteorologist
Terry Donze, Geophysicist1
Mike Dubrasich, Western Institute for Study of the Environment
John Dunn, American Council on Science and Health of NYC
Dick Flygare, QEP Resources
Michael Fox, Nuclear industry/scientist
Gordon Fulks, Gordon Fulks and Associates
Ken Haapala, Science & Environmental Policy Project
Martin Hertzberg, Bureau of Mines1
Art Horn, Meteorologist
Keith Idso, Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change
Jay Lehr, The Heartland Institute
Robert Levine, Industrial and Defense Research and Engineering1
Peter Link, Geologist
James Macdonald, Chief Meteorologist for the Travelers Weather Service1
Roger Matson, Society of Independent Professional Earth Scientists
Tony Pann, Meteorologist WBAL TV
Ned Rasor, Consulting Physicist
James Rogers, Geologist1
Norman Rogers, National Association of Scholars
Thomas Sheahen, Western Technology Incorporated
Andrew Spurlock, Starfire Engineering and Technologies, Inc.
Leighton Steward, PlantsNeedCO2.org
Soames Summerhays, Summerhays Films, Inc.
Charles Touhill, Consulting Environmental Engineer
David Wojick, Climatechangedebate.org
1 – Emeritus or Retired
2 – Member of the National Academy of Sciences
Nonie Darwish says she believes it was inevitable the Muslim Brotherhood would take edvantage of any civil unrest after what they would have seen as encouragement in President Obama’s Cairo speech:
I foresaw that there could be an uprising in Egypt that would empower the Brotherhood right after I heard Obama’s Cairo speech. Losing Egypt and perhaps more other countries may be Obama’s legacy. Obama has empowered the Islamists not only in the Muslim world, but also inside in the U.S. Could anyone have imagined the U.S. president support the building of a mosque on Ground Zero against the wishes of his own people and the families of the victims?
From The Barnabas Fund:
As Egypt descends into deeper unrest … the country’s Christians are falling victim to the chaos as their shops are looted and essential supplies start to run out.
The majority of Egyptian Christians already live in extreme poverty, and as the demonstrations paralyse daily life, their struggle to make ends meet has become harder. While many shops are being attacked and looted, Christian shops have been particularly targeted.
Christian gatherings and church meetings have been cancelled, while some church minsters are sleeping in their church buildings to protect them from attack. A Barnabas Fund contact said that believers were staying in their homes, where they are “praying hard” and “trusting God” amid the tumult.
Egypt’s Christian community was already feeling under threat following targeted attacks, most notably the suicide bombing at a church in Alexandria on New Year’s Day that killed at least 21 worshippers. Now they find themselves caught up in an escalating political crisis that could have worrying implications for their future.
Though the unrest is essentially fuelled by economic, social and political grievances, there are growing fears that radical Islamists may capitalise on it to seize power. The Muslim Brotherhood, which is backing influential opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei, is the only large, organised opposition group.
Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton warned this weekend that Egypt’s ancient Christian minority could become increasingly endangered should President Hosni Mubarak be ousted:
“It is really legitimate for the (Christians) to be worried that instability (will) follow Mubarak’s fall and his replacement with the Muslim Brotherhood.”
In addition to the targeted, violent attacks, Egyptian Christians face discrimination in many areas of life, such as in education and employment. Conditions for them would only worsen under an Islamic regime.
One sixth of one percent of the land in the Middle East. No oil. Not much in the way of natural resources. Constantly under threat.
Yet what they have built, and what they give, is amazing.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem – those who love you will prosper. Psalm 122:6
No blow too low!
That could well be the motto of some of Australia’s legacy media outlets.
The latest example is the claim that Tony Abbott made light of an Australian soldier’s death by saying ‘Well, shit happens.’
He did say that. But not about the soldier’s death.
The claim that he did is simply, and outrageously, dishonest. But I guess it makes a good headline.
Sometimes I wonder how some of these slimo journalists can sleep at night. Anyone who works for the fag end of Australian news organisations, Channel 7, for example:
In a 7 News exclusive, Tony Abbott has been caught on tape making an insensitive remark about one of our fallen soldiers while visiting Afghanistan.
What Channel 7 means by ‘exclusive’ is that they made it up all by themselves.
But whatever the garbage is, it won’t be exclusive for long. Other losers like Malcolm Fart, sorry Farr, national editor for making stuff up and ripping off other people’s stories at news.com, can be relied on to repeat anything as gospel if they think it will gain a few more readers.
So what was Tony talking about? The fact that, no matter how well tactics are planned and resources allocated, in battle things will sometimes go wrong, and when they do, this does not mean anyone is to blame.
Mark Riley – the dim-witted self righteous arse at Channel 7 who made up this story – deserves a lot more than 45 seconds of silence and a stony glare.
If any integrity at all was required for a job with Australia’s mainstream media he would be out on his shiny bum.
Kristina Keneally has one significant advantage in announcing policies (I use the word loosely): she doesn’t have to worry about being around to implement them.
With that knowledge, it’s a surprise that the fag end of New South Wales government hasn’t gone much further than yesterday’s $250 electricity rebate giveaway. Why stop there? How about a $500 rebate on gas bills, $1000 cash back on bus tickets and $2000 for dog registration? And a free airconditioner personally installed by Mark Taylor just for asking?
‘Don’t worry about the Muslim Brotherhood’, President Obama is reported as saying, ‘they don’t have majority support.’
Maybe not, but they do have majority support for the majority of things they believe in – an islamist state, sharia law, beheading people who leave islam, stoning adulters, war with Israel, etc.
And they are the only well organised opposition, the only opposition likely to be able to field and fund a large number of candidates.
I heartily agree with the implied answers to President George Bush’s rhetorical questions about freedom and democracy in the Middle East.
People in Islamic countries should be able to choose those who govern them, should have economic freedom, freedom of movement and religion.
They should. But it is counter-factual to write off as ‘cultural condescension’ a suggestion that a commitment to Islam may be very difficult to combine with a commitment to democracy.
Democratic government does not instantly result in everyone’s suddenly deciding to abandon old enmities, to foreswear the use of violence in the resolution of political debate, and to work together for the good of all.
In 2003 Robert Congleton set out some Economic and Cultural Prerequisites for Democracy.
Perhaps the key pre-requisite for effective democratic government is a commitment by every citizen, or at least, an overwhelming majority of them, to the rule of law.
This means being willing to accept a government you don’t like and didn’t vote for, which takes your money to do things you don’t believe in.
Every Muslim is required to work for the implementation of sharia law. Sharia means, amongst other things:
No freedom of religion
No equal rights for women
No freedom of speech
No freedom of thought
No freedom of artistic expression
No freedom of the press
Justice does not apply equally to all – there are different rules for Muslim males and for women and non-Muslims.
Gays and lesbians subject to the death penalty
Girls as young as nine can be married and divorced
In theory, democracy is incompatible with sharia. A democratic government means equal weight is given to the opinions of muslims and non muslims. And a democratic government could introduce laws contrary to sharia.
By all means let’s work for democracy in Islamic countries. But let’s not be naive. To a large number of muslim leaders in those countries, such efforts are another example of the imposition of corrupt Western values on islamic people.
It won’t be easy. And we shouldn’t expect any thanks.