Balneus

Australian Lefty on Politics, Governance, Science and Info Management

Archive for the ‘International’ Category

US default can be good value

Posted by Dave Bath on 2011-07-30

I admit hoping the impasse in the US continues until a US default – as it would do much good worldwide, not the least, help the US citenzery a great deal, although in the long term

For one, the US dollar needs to be treated on its merits, devalued by the market rather than priced at a premium on the basis of nostalgia.

A default, then backdown of the Republicans so employees are paid, would through a low greenback and deserved loss of consumer confidence, might help muzzle consumerism first in the US and then across the world.

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Posted in Economics and Business, Environment, International, Politics, Society | Comments Off

Lefties should hurt the bastard, not legitimate righties

Posted by Dave Bath on 2011-07-26

Skepticlawyer has a(nother) good post "Excusitis" (2011-07-25) talking of the "no true scotsman" fallacy – giving a wide range of examples across the political spectrum.  This error is something many in the less-decent right have been, and will be, doing in the wake of the Breivik atrocities in Norway.

We in the left should acknowledge those on the right who are thinking logically, with decent motives, and help them clean up the fifth column of bastards and inflammatory voices within the right.  It will give us on the left a chance to have a proper debate where we’ll have to keep on our toes – be protagonists not antagonists.

But those on the right who choose not to reflect, choose to dismiss Breivik as unrelated to the rhetoric of right-wing pundits, are fair game for derision and exposure by the left.

The decent righties can be troubled and reflective.  We on the left need them, and need to help them reflect rather than attack the good with the bad, causing knee jerk defences, the debate about extremism turned merely into "two dogs barking"

Consider the predicament and honesty and basic decency of "Anonymous John" from Sweden, commenting on the sweep-Breivik-under-the-carpet post over at OzConservative – it’s something every lefty should read and reflect on to know what we should do next:

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Posted in Australia, International, Media, Politics, Society | 2 Comments »

Would a lone Green wiping out Young Libs be a terrorist?

Posted by Dave Bath on 2011-07-24

Perhaps I was wrong in an earlier post about how a lefty watermelon lone gunman would be labelled by the media here.

I’d thought the label "madman" would be applied if the mass-murderer was white and non-moslem, if the mass-murderer was from the left or the right.

But, thinking about the effect of who was killed by Breivik, the gutting of the Norwegian lefty talent base, I think the likes of the Murdoch press would identify such politically-motivated terrorism as such, if and only if it was something like a (very hypothetical) watermelon mass-murderer, going into a Young Liberals annual general meeting and wiping out a similar proportion of talent.

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Posted in Australia, International, Media, Politics | Leave a Comment »

Was the Norwegian atrocity strategic?

Posted by Dave Bath on 2011-07-24

I am suspecting that Breivik’s targetting of the best and brightest youth of the left in Norway was not to strike terror – but to remove talent, to weaken the left.

It’s wiped a massive proportion of the talent the left has, talent about to enter real-world politics over the next decade.

It has gutted the left’s talent pool, effective for the next few generations: – the young talent so tragically removed would doubtless have had children and grandchildren of similar talents, of similar leftist leanings.

There are indications about the net that Breivik thought strategically.

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Posted in Ethics, International, Politics, Society | 6 Comments »

Dummies Guide To Mass Murderers

Posted by Dave Bath on 2011-07-24

Unless you are part of that demographic-to-be-ignored, the latte-sipping bleeding-hearts, both left and small-l-liberal, here is a quick guide to labels and policies regarding mass murderers, or assassins of your own prime minister:

Demographic: Swarthy Moslem White Lefty Latte Sipper White Christian Anti-Moslem Righty Swarthy Ultra Orthodox Jew Righty
Psychology: Evil Mad Mad Mad
Your Ideology: Evil Mad and Dangerous Irrelevant because of insanity Irrelevant because of insanity
Punishment: Execute or incarcerate forever without trial Criminally insane ward in a prison Criminally insane ward in a prison Imprison
Others in the demographic: Kick them out of the country, don’t let any more in, or subject them to security agencies bullying. Make them shut up, and especially don’t let them speak in schools or mass media.. The Right Stuff Patriots
Assumption next atrocity is from the demographic: 99% 1% 0% 0%
Assumption the demographic’s policies will destroy civilization: 100% 100% 0% 0%

 

Personally, I’d classify all four as mad, and where frank psychosis is incomplete, the evil results come from improper education, incitement by others in the same demographic, and twisted readings of the texts of the ideology.

In other words, things that could be largely prevented by a combination of decent community mental health services, and an education system that gives fair exposition of all texts used by nutters as pretexts for action, stressing the humanity in those texts, and showing how the inhumane parts should be deprecated.

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Posted in Australia, International, Language Use, Law, Media, Politics, Society, Theology and Religion | 1 Comment »

What turned Breivik into a gunman and/or bomber?

Posted by Dave Bath on 2011-07-23

(Update on my opinion of what was going on in Breivik’s head: "Was the Norwegian atrocity strategic?")

I wonder what filled the gunman arrested in Norway and linked to the Oslo bombing, Anders Behring Breivik, with so much hate?  (Here is the untranslated original.)

I wonder if he reads papers filled with the same Tea-Party-esque anti-watermelon rhetoric as we have here…. Or are the Norwegians too damned nice to have a popular columnist equivalent to our bogan-inciters?

The guy probably has a pinup of Sarah Palin on his wall and a bible by his bed.

I wonder how long F*x News pushed an islamist terrorist line, or whether even F*x realizes that those nice nordics are so nice, that they’ll only be attacked by individuals or a "losers’ club" in desperate need of psychiatric care – the types who probably needed remedial reading classes but didn’t get enough of them.

Can you see tabloids around the anglosphere (or indeed anywhere) demonising as "the face of evil" people who look like the following?  Calling for incendiary right-wing groups to be shut down?

The man arrested over the shootings and bombing in Oslo - a profile that will not be demonized by Andrew Bolt

The man arrested over the shootings and bombing in Oslo - a profile that will not be demonized by Andrew Bolt

No… I don’t think so.


Update: I expected better of "The Guardian"!

Oslo bomb: suspicion falls on Islamist militants
Norway’s role in Afghanistan and its decision to file terrorism charges against a Muslim cleric may explain the Oslo bomb attack

The question now is who is likely to be behind it.
The most obvious conclusion would be a jihadist group.

Ye gods, could the The Guardian attacking Murdoch be not a principled stand but a takeover bid for the ability to spout rubbish to bogans?

Update: This page apparently lists Breivik’s facebook interests, favorite books, etc … saying (in my view correctly from what we know), that he is "Norway’s Timothy McVeigh" – except McVeigh wasn’t exactly bright.

Update: – I was wrong about the remedial reading if the reports about his facebook reading list are correct.  I still reckon he’ll turn out to be a nutter not a terrorist.

Update: Yes, Andrew Bolt did as expected:

Once the identity of the attackers becomes known, the consequences for Norway’s immigration policies could be profound

Yes…. paragraphs on moslems, and any corrections or focus on the real problem tucked away, not blasted in bold….. but read the comments to Bolt’s article and see what ordinary voters who drive the policies of both major parties are like..

UPDATE: THE BEST TWEET I’VE SEEN: from @ElineGiske

ElineGiske Eline Giskeødegård
G.W. Bush, 9/11: “We’re gonna hunt you down.” Stoltenberg, 22/7: “We will retaliate with more democracy”. I’m proud to be Norwegian.


Posted in International, Media, Society | 2 Comments »

Latte-sippers on-side with our military – bogans and pollies off-side

Posted by Dave Bath on 2011-07-05

It turns out that the latte-sippers, worried about legal niceties, have been thinking along the same lines as our military – while the jingoistic politicians and bogans who claim to back our soldiers are instead forcing our military to do the wrong thing.

Those legal and ethical niceties about those our soldiers capture that have worried our brass include the practice that means if a single US private (4th class) is alone in an entire brigade of Australian soldiers, and any opponents are captured, it is the US, not Australia, that does the capturing.

As detailed in "Australian POW policies risk: top secret papers" (The Age, 2011-07-04) and "Revealed: Defence confusion over POWs" (ABC, 2011-07-04), show that the military brass were worried about not merely the legality of their operations, but indeed, whether it was principled:

Confidential Defence documents reveal that Australia’s policies on handling prisoners in Afghanistan and Iraq between 2001 and 2003 were so contrived that they ran the risk of being neither ethical nor in line with international law.
 
The risk was starkly outlined in a top-secret memo from former chief of the Defence Force, Admiral Chris Barrie, to defence minister Robert Hill in February 2002, which warned that Australia’s prisoner arrangement "may not fully satisfy Australia’s legal obligations and in any event will not be viewed as promising a respect for the rule of law".

– The Age

And what does Mike Kelly, now a politician but previously Australia’s top military lawyer in Iraq, have to say about responsibility for prisoners we capture?

He says the country that captures prisoners of war retains a responsibility over their welfare.

- ABC

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Posted in Australia, Civil rights, Ethics, International, Law, Politics, Society | Leave a Comment »

The Chaucer Wedding Ban

Posted by Dave Bath on 2011-04-28

The Chaser’s Royal Cockup Performance Cut … why?

Perhaps the royals were worried about crudity, given what The Chaucer authored last time after seeing DCameron.

Goe uppe the ille, ryght uppe the myddel,
goe downe the knayve, the ryng than twyddel.
We practysed words, the dressyes mocked up,
for we do and don’t want ryght royle cock up.

- The Commoner’s Tail

For those readers who don’t get it D.Cameron is British PM, while Prince Gay Otter is the alternate title of The Decameron by Boccaccio, a series of often bawdy tales which inspired Geoffrey Chaucer to pen Canterbury Tales.


Posted in Humor, International, Media | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Old cartoon more relevant than ever

Posted by Dave Bath on 2011-04-23

A post from 2007-08-14 with a KAL cartoon from "The Economist" is more relevant than ever, the 1.3 trillion Chinese reserve of US dollars then growing to 3 trillion now.

Chinese dragon on top of floodgates for dam, threatening, oh so politely, Uncle Sam

China and the US Talk Money

Wargame this – as soon as Asian consumption (which is paid for) starts to get close to US consumption (put on the credit card), China can release those floodgates and hit the US economy so hard it will find the cost of any military action, even maintaining existing capability, prohibitive.

Watch for more and more long-term international contracts where people want to buy in greenbacks and sell in baskets of other currencies.


See Also



Posted in China, Economics and Business, International | Leave a Comment »

Just intervention requires a written legal code

Posted by Dave Bath on 2011-03-21

If, as some say, the UN’s military action in the internal affairs of a soveriegn state heralds the end of the Westphalian system, then I say good riddance, while lamenting the current unprincipled application of power.

If the action were based on a set of principles, laid out for all to see and debate, applied to all states based on the needs of the citizenry for decent treatment by those in power, I’d be far less troubled – for then the action would be based on something akin to law.

If truly principled, it would be the lives lost, the misery imposed that mattered, that demanded action, regardless of the nation in which the oppressed reside, regardless of whether the oppressors have power through hereditary monarchy, through ballot, through force of arms, or indeed, perhaps even greater power through force of purses.

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Posted in International, Politics | Leave a Comment »

Nuclear resilience and reactor design

Posted by Dave Bath on 2011-03-16

In the wake of troubles with Japanese nuclear reactors, opinions about nuclear power are inappropriately polarized.  (Links to my most trusted source of technical news on the crisis, Nature Group, over the fold.)

The debate should be less about use of nuclear power as such – more about what reactor designs are appropriate for what situations.

The reliance of Japanese reactors on electricity for cooling, given the geology of the place, is lamentable – and other designs, such as micro-reactors, thorium and pebble-bed reactors are better alternatives, especially for replacing the now useless ones.

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Posted in International, Politics, Science and Tech | 2 Comments »

Lefty traitors

Posted by Dave Bath on 2011-02-14

It’s probably in blogs (I haven’t gone looking) but certainly around facebook (I won’t abuse privacy): there are quite a few lefties expressing support for the notion of Mubarak being executed or rendered to the mob for a lynching.  A sample:

lol, dumping him in Tahrir Square and being kicked to death by 60,000 angry people? Sounds good to me :)

I expect many hypocrites on the right.  Hypocrites on the left are worse – they should know better.

Posted in International, Politics, Society | Leave a Comment »

No Choices Left Conroy

Posted by Dave Bath on 2011-02-06

It's time to kick ass and assign IPv4 addresses - and I'm all out of IPv4 addresses - said by big tough guy

Mind you - some IPv6 would make me calm again


Who is our Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy and what has he done to address this by bringing in IPv6?

Isn’t he one of the righties in the ALP who is so against acting on climate issues?

For more background – go to: "Internet runs out of addresses: a model for climate policy inaction" (2011-02-04) and follow the links.

Posted in Australia, Economics and Business, Humor, Information Management, International, Politics | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Internet runs out of addresses – a model for climate policy inaction

Posted by Dave Bath on 2011-02-04

I cannot imagine a better model of the political response to climate change than the way IPv4 internet addresses have just run out.

Domain experts warning for years about a crisis: but politicians doing nothing, powerful businesses charging big bucks for resources running dry… Sound familiar?

The only difference between the political inaction making the shift to IPv6 is that the perfect solution was already in place years ago, pretty soon after the geeks started worrying.

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Posted in Economics and Business, Environment, Information Management, International, Politics, Science and Tech | 7 Comments »

China and Middle East uncertainty

Posted by Dave Bath on 2011-02-01

With pro-democracy protests springing up across the middle east, predicting the overall outcomes is nigh impossible.

There is little talk of how China might view opportunities in the region, despite China’s skill gaining access to resources such as rare earths in Africa, despite the diplomatic opportunities when everything is up in the air.

Those diplomatic opportunities for China are considerable.

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Posted in China, International, Middle East, Politics, USA | Leave a Comment »

 
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