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Return from Sabattical?

I guess two years is more than just a hiatus. The trouble has been choosing what to write about. Since the last Federal election, I’ve paid probably too much attention to politics and what our government has been doing since winning the poll on 7/9/13.

And with Tony Abbott as Australia’s PM, the question is, “Where the hell do I start?” Just looking at the gigantic pile of gaffes, fuck-ups and deliberate horrible things is daunting enough. The stink infects you if you’re just standing near it. And that’s just Abbott. The rest of his crew is at least as gross.

It’s all just so goddamn exhausting. You don’t even get to process one vile utterance from the Libs when another reeking Tory turd is shat out by one of them, so huge you can’t step around it. This nation is full of people putting their heads in their hands and muttering, “What the fuck is wrong with this country?”

The truly heartbreaking thing is that the Labor Party, the opposition-in-exile, is very nearly just as shithouse. They’re in lockstep with the government on too many bastardly things for them to even pretend to be an alternative for any voters with a conscience.

I don’t know where this path will take Australia, but given the terrible steps that have been taken so far, it can’t end anywhere good.

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Stop the madness, Mr Obama

December 15, 2012 Leave a comment

An email to the President of the United States…

From: Paul Carson
Date: 15 December 2012 11:44:43 Eastern Australia Time
To: president@whitehouse.gov
Subject: Please consider gun control

Dear Mr President,

I awoke this morning to read news of the terrible tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut. This is the first time I have ever felt the urge to write to someone who holds elected office.

I am not a US voter, I am not even a citizen of the United States. I am Australian. Despite my lack of proximity to your country, this massacre has compelled me to write to you.

We have some of the strictest gun laws of any liberal democracy on Earth. In 1996, a gunman went on a rampage in Australia and killed 35 people, wounding 21 more. Our Prime Minister at the time, John Howard, a Conservative, enacted a series of gun law reforms that saw the banning of military-style weapons along with semi-automatic rifles and shotguns.

Australia has suffered no such incidents of mass shootings since this time.

I’m not a Conservative, sir. Far from it. But I am grateful that Mr Howard showed leadership in this matter, and has spared my country from such tragedies that seem to befall the United States all too frequently.

I understand that the circumstances of our countries are different, and the way in which they came about are also different. But I would hope that it’s also obvious that the world is a different place now than it was when the Second Amendment was ratified in 1791. I would also hope that it’s apparent that few people who have weapons in their homes or carry them for self-defence are a part of any militia at all, let alone one which is “well regulated”.

I am Australian, Mr President, and therefore not a constituent of yours. But I am also a human being. I wept when I read of what happened in Newtown on Friday. I have a niece and a nephew of elementary school age. The thought of them suffering a similar fate breaks my heart, but I am also comforted by knowing that such a thing is unlikely here.

I hope that there is no cause during the remainder of your term for you to be forced to address the United States due to yet another firearms massacre.

After these incidents, people often say that it’s too early to talk about gun control. I worry that it might be too late.

Please stop this madness, sir.

Yours faithfully,

Paul Carson
Sydney, Australia

Gillard sticks it to Abbott

October 9, 2012 Comments off

About time too.

After many months of appearing to cop it sweet, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard finally fired back at the Opposition…

Our Streets Are Out Of Control! (not really)

January 2, 2012 Leave a comment

The way the media go on about crime we’re likely to be a victim of, you’d think there’d be more chance of someone getting bashed to within an inch of their lives by drunken hooligans than being able to enjoy a night out.

Not so much.

chartgo

The above graph shows total number of assaults not connected with domestic violence per year until the end of last year. Incidents are decreasing, and have been since 2008.

Don’t live in fear.

(Data from the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics & Research.)

[smh.com.au] – Security tight ahead of summit

November 28, 2004 Leave a comment

http://www.smh.com.au/news/World/Security-tight-ahead-of-summit/2004/11/28/1101577342324.html

Security tight ahead of summit
November 28, 2004 – 3:39PM

Australia spent $42 million building the Friendship Bridge between Laos and Thailand. Just don’t try looking at it.

Amid unprecedented security for a meeting of regional leaders tomorrow, jittery security guards and police detained two journalists attempting to look over the pride of Australian aid in Asia.

The 1.2 kilometre bridge across the Mekong River was opened with much fanfare by then prime minister Paul Keating and his Lao and Thai counterparts in 1994.

Located on the outskirts of Vientiane, the span is described by Australian officials as “a potent symbol of Australian commitment to Laos and its integration with other economies”.

But following threats by ethnic minority Hmong guerrillas to disrupt the 10-nation Association of South East Asian Nation (ASEAN) leaders summit in Laos tomorrow, Lao security officials seemed to abandon their Government’s commitment to welcome overseas visitors.

After one official directed the journalists – one from AAP and another from The Australian Financial Review – along a track beside the bridge to a point presumably overlooking the bridge to take a photo, a group of three armed police and several plain-clothed security officers suddenly descended.

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AdvertisementBoth journalists were placed on the back of police motorbikes and taken to a security and immigration interrogation office while passports were confiscated for “checking”.

Several security officials then explained “it is not possible to photograph the bridge”.

After a lengthy delay, police shunted both correspondents out a side door when a mysterious official bearing both ASEAN media and security passes arrived to intervene.

The incident helps explain why ordinary Lao people do not seem to share their Government’s enthusiasm for the first ASEAN leader’s summit to which Australia’s Prime Minister, John Howard, has been invited.

One of the world’s last communist bastions, Laos has ordered its own people off the streets in an Orwellian bid to paint the capital in the best possible light, clean and free of the traffic problems which plague other Asian capitals.

Taxis have been banished from the leafy streets and offices shut down, while restaurants have either closed for the duration of the summit or reduced their opening hours.

“It makes it very hard for us to make money. The Government says we cannot go into the city,” motorised tricycle driver Sisay told AAP.

“It will be better when [ASEAN] is over and we can make some money again.”

Even traffic across the Friendship Bridge – which Australia says has had an important impact on Lao economic development – has slowed to a crawl amid the lockdown.

The Vientiane Times newspaper said hardly anyone was bothering to cross the Friendship Bridge in the leadup to the summit.

Given Lao security for the meeting, it’s best not to try and check it out.