Further to my earlier post, I want to note that I am not suggesting for a moment that Australia holds any high moral ground when it comes to immigration and race relations. It isn’t what anyone would call a good actor in this situation.
Its attempt to fob off a thousand refugees on America is just the latest gambit in aid of a longstanding policy of systematic, heartless abandonment of its international obligations over the last 20 years, under governments of both stripes – demonising refugees, capturing them before they enter Australian waters, and then shipping them off to concentration camps foisted upon Australia’s client states by fiat and run by profit-driven corporates, stripping desperate, endangered people of protection, agency and dignity, all while allowing most Australians to pretend the refugee problem doesn’t exist.
And this is by no means a recent phenomenon. Australians have dabbled happily in racism since the white invasion – from the odd massacre and the old blanket trick, to language tests and White Australia, up to the appropriation of an entire nation from its legally nonexistent indigenes, the ongoing poverty/health/everything else crisis amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and full scale genocide.
Still, Australians have, at the very least, avoided electing a petulant ambulatory yam as their head of state. People like Cory “man on dog” Bernadi and Pauline Pantsdown still comprise the nutty right down here, rather than the entire government, unlike some countries I could mention.
However, the lesson here is not that Australia is any better than America.
It is (as if we needed to be reminded) that, with the ascendency of the Wanker in Chief, the bedrock assumptions of our international polity are shattered, and for the next four years we’re all going to be more rooted than a five dollar hooker in a Kings Cross dunny.
Long term, I suspect that Trump’s dissing of PM Trumble is only going to accelerate Australia’s slow move away from the US, which has been going on for years now. It’s not so much that Australia doesn’t like us anymore, it just wants to see other countries too.
Australia has spent the last few decades snuggling up to (if not engaging in full on groping with tongues with) the Chinese and the Japanese, both of whom are closer to Australia than the US, geographically, economically and, increasingly, culturally – no one who has spent more than a couple of hours in almost any major Australian city could plausibly deny that Australia (at least in the bits round the edge where most everyone lives) is becoming an Asian society.
Australia’s trade figures speak for themselves. If it comes down to a trade war (or even a real war) between the US and Asia, America will be dumped faster than a bucket full of spew at a B&S.
Add in an abusive, angry dickhead who stands them up, refuses to pay for dinner like he promised, and can’t remember their name, and it won’t be long before we’re sleeping alone.
One final thing – I really hope someone is saving a prime spot in the tumbril for Andrea Mitchell. Good christ woman, do your fucking job.
Trump sure seems to be doing everything he possibly can to make sure that China dominates the next century while Europe scrabbles for the scraps.
Are we sure it was really Putin behind Trump’s win? After all, Snowden stopped off in Hong Kong first.
It would be irresponsible not to speculate …
Per a comment I made below. ISIS really is in their heads and they won’t let them out. I know, I know. It’s the number 1 global threat. But our metrics are off.
do your fucking job, andrea indeed.
45 will take credit for improving Mr. Douglass’ Q-rating. I am loving that his quotes and works are getting extra shine. Unintended consequences and all that.
Pre-Fridays feel so much weirder in this new extra FUBAR era.
Pantsdown link is screwed.
Well, since it’s dead around here anyway, I’m off to bed to snuffle myself to sleep with the remnants of my cold.
My Catholic conscience sometimes makes me worry that my boss will think I was lying about being sick if I take a couple of days off, but I’m pretty sure my mucus production today would have eased the most suspicious mind. And that was on pseudoephedrine, too!
The #1 global threat is Climate Change!
And the famines, wars, and refugee crises it is already setting off.
Read The Coming Anarchy http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1994/02/the-coming-anarchy/304670/ sometime. We’re already soaking in it now.
People are really really pissed today. Trumps outburst against UC Berkeley this morning has incensed, well, everyone. The UCs do not censor who can speak. The event was only shut down once public safety was a threat – in exactly the same way that Trump’s rally in Chicago was.
Not only is that a completely wrong assessment of things, coming from Trump after he would routinely encourage violence against protestors at his events has everyone livid. I’m a bit proud of Brown (a UC regent) not going apocalyptic over it, but a lot of people are now beyond their limit. I had a persian faculty member break down in tears in my office today because he and his wife have green cards and he doesn’t know if either of them can travel out of the country and they are so intensely frustrated they just can’t cope with this hateful game of calvinball.
Every day is triage. Nearly a thousand affected students and faculty. Millions in lost revenue expected next year. And every day brings some new problem, before we’ve even gotten our head around the last problem.
The Trumpistas are basically taking a sledgehammer to our government and assuming that they’ll be able to loot it before they get chased away. Meanwhile, the rest of us are stuck living in the resulting rubble.
Power of humor –
@fuckwit: I know. I know. But once ISIS is their, the only way to know if we’re dealing with good guys or bad guys isn’t how well they’re working towards a solution to climate change. The only measure is help with ISIS.
@fuckwit: California is still working on climate change.
Sarah, Proud and Tall
Thanks. I couldn’t get the video to work so I swapped in something else
Also, too, I have a strong suggestion for the normal people of whatever city is unlucky enough to have Milo whatshisname show up in next:
Surround the theater where he’s appearing with at least 1,000 middle-aged women in pink hats and have them point and laugh at everyone who’s going in. Station a bunch of them at the stage door and make sure they get a chance to mock Milo as he goes in. It will be especially effective if you can get some Black women to do the primary mocking of Milo himself.
Don’t be angry. Don’t be “shrill.” Just point and laugh and tell him he must be doing this because he has the world’s smallest dick and that he needs to run home to his mommy. That will bother him far, far more than a bunch of violent Black Bloc assholes who make him feel powerful.
(Taking a job in Australia 5 years ago is looking like a better and better idea every damn day… a lot of my UK colleagues thought it was a huge risk, but now with Brexit happening they’re stuffed)
ETA: in Oct 2016 I applied for a tenured post at Columbia. On 9 Nov 2016 I withdrew that application. I know I’m not the only one who went through that process – not even the only one in my dept
Major Major Major Major
@Mnemosyne: not bad. This is second best to ignoring him altogether, but since that isn’t an option ? this would be a good way to ice out the troublemakers.
@fuckwit: And don’t underestimate how this kind of a report is driving political decisions.
It’s not just that EVs will easily cross the $30K mark long before 2030, it also ignores that changes in transportation business models will further erode gas demand. Ridesharing of some sort is almost certain to take a portion of car demand away, and these will almost all be EVs. If full autonomy arrives by 2025, then you’re going to see a rapid uptake of EV ridesharing as the cost of those services plummet and as delivery grows into the EV space as well.
There’s almost nothing the GOP can do to stop those trends.
@bluehill: I like Jimmy Kimmel’s opening monologues with digs at donnie dick in almost every show.
@Major Major Major Major:
Ignoring him gives him more power so he can pretend that he’s telling people things that The Powers That Be Don’t Want You To Know.
Making him a laughingstock and an object of mockery takes that power away from him. See also what bluehill linked to above for a similar phenomenon.
My boss made an “alternative facts” joke with me the other day. It’s hugely popular.
@TheMightyTrowel: You may start to see a flight from the US of top academic talent. It didn’t happen after 9/11 because people, even Muslims, didn’t really lose faith in the US to get back on track. The attitude is different now. This isn’t being interpreted internally as the US having been weakened, this is being interpreted as the US having fundamentally changed into a lesser nation, one that is no longer interested or capable of leading the world. Academic freedom will come under heavy assault, between the UC Berkeley threat and the appointment of Fallwell Jr to chair the academic task force. We’re expecting heavy cuts to grant opportunities. We’re expecting direct funding to be cut as well (student financial aid, etc.) There’s nothing positive to grab onto just to try and steady the ship.
@? Martin: That’s my reading of the situation as well.
@Mnemosyne: I just responded to you in the prev, nearly dead thread :)
@amk @mnemosyne Trump’s ego is pretty fragile. There should be a protest where everyone just tells jokes about him. Actually Samantha Bee is hosting an alternative WH correspondents show. Can’t wait for that.
Somebody let Andrea Mitchell know that although Australians have fought and died along side Americans in every major conflict since WW1 (not WW2), we are fully aware that we aren’t “real” allies like Israel and Russia.
I’m kinda reminded of the time that Ann Coulter on TV insisted to a Canadian, that Canada had fought with the US in Vietnam and he was completely wrong on the subject.
It couldn’t be helped, after all those Commonwealth countries do all look alike.
Villago Delenda Est
Mrs. Greenspan has a very low tumbrel number. Her role in getting the shitgibbon elected will never be forgotten, or forgiven.
@? Martin: don’t worry about the task force. It’s as toothless as a blue ribbon panel. He’s not Higher Ed Czar. The “regulations” that they’ll be targeting are probably aimed at Obama’s regulations that crippled the for profit college industry.
ETA: and student lending.
@fuckwit: Funny you should mention that one, I’m in the middle of re-reading that book (a collection of essays that opens with that excellent title piece). In the essay Was Democracy Just a Moment?, Kaplan writes, “Democracies do not always make societies more civil — but they do mercilessly expose the health of the societies in which they operate.” As America continues getting hollowed out from within, two generations of stagnating wages, increasing inequality, and accelerating dumbassification, Kaplan is looking eerily prescient.
One of the perks of being in Korea is that at least our nuclear-armed madman is the other side of the northern border.
@Viva BrisVegas: You and your goddamned winged keels. Actually, when Dennis won it back in Perth was probably the last great Cup race.
I still think Twenty20 cricket is just home run derby.
@Heywood J.: I read it years ago. It was written in 1994! Amazing.
Also, is your last name Blowme?
The youngs call it T20 these days. And it is a tediously crude excuse for a game of cricket.
@TheMightyTrowel: Taking a job in Australia 5 years ago is looking like a better and better idea every damn day
I agree. How do I go about doing that?
@John Revolta: well first you need to get into quantam physics…
Thing I have not seen is that there were respectable (Reuters, for example) news reports that new Trump administration was OK with the Australian refugee agreement before the phone call. Then el Trumpo goes berserk on the phone, starts lying about it and BSing.
There are only very bad and worse explanations for this BS.
How good or not good Australia is on refugee policy has to take lower priority for me right now, and probably next four years…
Does Australia still mandate that all citizens vote in elections?
If so, do you think that makes a difference to the health of Australian democracy?
Steve Clemons is reporting that several Secret Service manager level staff were forced to resign tonight and were escorted out of the EEOB.
At first it seemed there were only one or two but now there might be more than a few. Wonder what this is all about.
Sarah, Proud and Tall
Yes, voting us compulsory.
My impression is that it keeps Australian politics quite near the centre. The two major parties are not that different – certainly when compared to their US equivalents – and elections are basically fought over the five or six percent of the population who might change their votes at any particular election – the dreaded swing voter.
Actual locals may have a different view.
Conway just fabricated a massacre.
@socraticsilence: Alternative history.
I’m pretty sure those Secret Service managers were asked to do something illegal/unethical, and refused. Purging the ranks, removing the uncooperative ones, is pretty much part of the standard playbook for an incoming authoritarian regime.
@Mj_Oregon: They probably don’t want to get between Dead Trump Walking and the next bullet, explosion, poison dart.
Yeah, they’re definitely not paying the SS enough for this shit. Yet another government institution that is gonna to tested to the breaking point.
@TenguPhule: Gotta say, I’m with Mj_oregon. We’ll find out, and it’ll be that they were unwilling to do something opprobrious, not merely that they didn’t wanna take a bullet for Cheeto Bandito. B/c professionalism.
Or at least, I hope. B/c the alternative is even worse.
@bluehill: Tell me more, how can I subscribe to your newsletter?
@oldster: Yeah, and “mandate” is a bit OTT. To start, voters are free to “spoil” their ballots (like refuse to vote) but in that case they’ve still voted.* Not being arsed to vote incurs a fine. I think it’s relatively trivial, srsly < the penalty for not having health insurance ppl in the US won't bother for some stupid reason could incur.
@Sarah, Proud and Tall: * is that correct?
Comment to you @OP, I’ve gotta also say, none of my Aussie friends think there’s “not much difference between the parties.” Yes, they vote Labour.
@Amir Khalid: As I live and breathe! What have you doing with yourself??
@SectionH: re difference between the parties in Australia: One considers racist white people its base and also hates women, gays and the 21st century, the other considers racist white people its base but is generally ok (if a tad uncomfortable) with gays, women and modern technology/science.
There’s a difference between the parties, but it’s that shit sandwich on white bread vs. shit sandwich with lettuce on rye problem.
@Amir Khalid: Very late “Wonderful to see you posting again” comment.
@Mj_Oregon: I guess he wants to bring in his own people. Though Secret Service didn’t exactly cover themselves in glory during Obama’s Presidency.
@TheMightyTrowel: Srsly? That sounds like a summary a Wilmer Bro would give an Aussie about Dems and Repugs here.
eta: Ok racist white ppl. True. But please don’t give me the no difference shit.
Which party is all-in on the same kinds of shit the R’s are in the US?
Sarah, Proud and Tall
Clarifying. Not much difference in many respects perhaps. Labor and liberal policies on the economy, immigration, international affairs, Medicare – pretty damn similar. On things like labour relations, worker rights, welfare, social ideas very different.
I’d take a Labor victory every time, but the differences between the two major parties are much less than the difference between them and the minor parties of the left and right.
Villago Delenda Est
@fuckwit: The Pentagon knows this.
The Clown-in-Chief, not so much.
Villago Delenda Est
@Amir Khalid: /wave Amir
@Sarah, Proud and Tall: Chiming in to agree with you. ALP all the way for the big parties, but they’re so bound up in white australia nonsense it’s hard to parse as a foreign reared lefty. I live in a swingy electorate so we support the local labor party, but nationally my sympathies and volunteer time sit with the greens.
Sarah, Proud and Tall
Informal voting is not that high, it seems to me. The figures I managed to google suggest over 90% of eligible voters are enrolled and only about 9% of them didn’t vote in the last election, which was considered a bad turnout.
@Sarah, Proud and Tall: Thanks. I have some friends in Tazzie who are a bit political, and who also pay attention to US politics, so we’re all hanging in there.
My dumbass Q was about spoiling one’s ballot?
Sarah, Proud and Tall
I think the 9% figure is didn’t vote at all plus voted but did not cast a valid vote. See here. What the breakdown between the two is, I have no idea.
The donkey vote is also high enough to swing some individual elections, particularly in the Senate.
@Sarah, Proud and Tall: Thanks, I think.
Yes, voting is compulsory in Australia. It makes a big difference. Parties don’t have to concentrate on GOTV , rather they have to concentrate on persuading voters to support them based on policies.
It also reduces the mad extremism of US politics. Conservatives and radicals can concentrate on crafting a message to pick up where both tendencies think their ‘centre’ lies, rather than spending money on crafting BS nightmares to get people to the polls.
Until the US solves the problem of its low participation in electoral,politics a Trump is always possible.
The alternative is low rates of participation and high rates of alienation form democratic participation. Bad for the US, but now a nightmare for the world.
Whenever the US has said – “Hey, watch this!” we’ve been the ones holding their beer. Perhaps we need to think about being enablers.
jake the antisoshul soshulist
Wonder if I was killed in the Bowling Green Massacre?
The Moar You Know
Still rather live there than here. Want out of this country so fucking badly, the writing is on the wall and it’s not going to be pretty.
J R in WV
I would say keeping President Obama alive is exactly covering themselves with glory, actually. Not like there weren’t threats, guns fired, etc. They kept all that on the down low – as they should have. And his family, out in the world, safe from the fascists and nazis at all times.
All part of Trump’s plan to drive intelligent people out of the country and make the rednecks more dominant. Make America Stupid Again.
@TheMightyTrowel: For gawds sake, the White Australia policy ended in 1973. If you want to bash Australia over its history, at least get the facts right.