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Obama - the angel of the War On Terror

Early last year the Prime Minister of Australia told the world that U.S. Democratic Presidential Candidate Obama's policy on Iraq would be good for terrorism.  "I think that would just encourage those who wanted completely to destabilise and destroy Iraq, and create chaos and victory for the terrorists to hang on and hope for Obama victory,"  Howard told the Nine Network.  He went on to say that whover was running al Qaeda in iraq should be praying for Obama to win.

Reading Obama's speech on accepting the Democratic nomination, I am praying for the man to win. He appears to realise that creating global flashpoints, fronts on which to be seen as fighting the problem, is not stopping the global splattering of death and destruction.  It's a pity our own Prime Minister was not able to perceive such a fact

When (and please let it be when) Obama becomes President, hopefully the paper trail that belies John Howard's appalling participation in U.S. foreign policy may come into the spotlight, and put the incarcerations that Australia has carried out on behalf of Bush and Cheney's War On Terror into place as petty politics designed to support a philosophy of creating carnage for cash.

Below you'll find the part of Obama's speech for which I'm cheering.  Others will have others, and I hope they place their thoughts here too.  For me, though, the upshot that the global upheaval created by Cheney's "business practices" is about to end (pleasepleaseplease) is a cause for celebration.  The end of the Halliburton Empire is nigh, and coalitions of state and corporate interests look like becoming less motivated by the monetisation of bloodshed and more by the profitability of peace.  Hopefully the lines between corporate and state warfare interests will never again become so blurred.  Pigs will fly, once we perfect cloning, so maybe the concept of monetising peace isn't far around the corner.


[Extract from Obama's speech, from the Guardian via Jack H Smit's Project Safecom]

"For while Senator McCain was turning his sights to Iraq just days after 9/11, I stood up and opposed this war, knowing that it would distract us from the real threats we face. When John McCain said we could just "muddle through" in Afghanistan, I argued for more resources and more troops to finish the fight against the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11, and made clear that we must take out Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants if we have them in our sights. You know, John McCain likes to say that he'll follow bin Laden to the Gates of Hell - but he won't even follow him to the cave where he lives.

And today, as my call for a time frame to remove our troops from Iraq has been echoed by the Iraqi government and even the Bush administration, even after we learned that Iraq has a $79bn surplus while we're wallowing in deficits, John McCain stands alone in his stubborn refusal to end a misguided war.

That's not the judgment we need. That won't keep America safe. We need a president who can face the threats of the future, not keep grasping at the ideas of the past.

You don't defeat a terrorist network that operates in 80 countries by occupying Iraq. You don't protect Israel and deter Iran just by talking tough in Washington. You can't truly stand up for Georgia when you've strained our oldest alliances. If John McCain wants to follow George Bush with more tough talk and bad strategy, that is his choice - but it is not the change we need.

We are the party of Roosevelt. We are the party of Kennedy. So don't tell me that Democrats won't defend this country. Don't tell me that Democrats won't keep us safe. The Bush-McCain foreign policy has squandered the legacy that generations of Americans - Democrats and Republicans - have built, and we are here to restore that legacy.

As commander-in-chief, I will never hesitate to defend this nation, but I will only send our troops into harm's way with a clear mission and a sacred commitment to give them the equipment they need in battle and the care and benefits they deserve when they come home.

I will end this war in Iraq responsibly, and finish the fight against al-Qaida and the Taliban in Afghanistan. I will rebuild our military to meet future conflicts. But I will also renew the tough, direct diplomacy that can prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and curb Russian aggression. I will build new partnerships to defeat the threats of the 21st century: terrorism and nuclear proliferation; poverty and genocide; climate change and disease. And I will restore our moral standing, so that America is once again that last, best hope for all who are called to the cause of freedom, who long for lives of peace and who yearn for a better future."


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Stupid personal attacks again...

"John McCain's presidential campaign blasted The New York Times for an "unprecedented attack" on his wife, as both Republican and Democratic teams exchanged barbs over voter fraud allegations ahead of the November 4 election."

Why does the NY Times do that?

That sort of stupid thing is sooooooo counterproductive. Very cheering to the more stupid of McCain's opponents, but bound to win him sympathy with anyone not living in a 'bachelor' loft in Gramercy or San Fran.

Foolish to speculate on voter fraud before election

Ian MacDougall: "He sets out the basic Republican game trick plan. Not a pretty sight."

The trouble with voter fraud accusations is, they can cut both ways:

"John McCain and Barack Obama's campaigns swapped accusations of rampant and widespread voter fraud today as legal battles over who ought be allowed to cast a ballot ensnared the race to the White House.

"An estimated nine million new voters have registered for the hotly contested November 4 election, and the Obama campaign says Democratic registrations are outpacing Republican ones by four to one."

"The McCain campaign contends that an untold number of those registration forms are false and warned that illegally cast ballots could alter the results of the election and undermine the public's faith in democracy."

It was foolish to start down that track...

Awkward, isn't it? The documented record?

Graeme Watson: "Eliot Ramsey, you seem determined to avoid facing the despicable tactics of the Republicans."

Really? Show them to me and watch what happens.

Meanwhile, have any of them hinted at killing Senator Obama? Apart from Fidel, that is? You know, as opposed to those actually suggesting someone kill George W?

No need to defend Castro. History will be his witness.

Graeme Watson: "Castro was commenting on an element in US society which the Republican candidates have been appealing to."

Ironic, given the lingering suspicion that the last Democratic president to be assassinated was done so with more than just a bit of assistance from Fidel himself, and certainly given that Lee Harvey Oswald openly supported Fidel Castro.

And with respect to  that "element in US society which the Republican candidates have been appealing to", what are we to make of the fact, then, that the last two assassination attempts on US Presidents were made on Republican presidents?

Were the would-be assassins then the "element in US society which the anti-Republican candidates have been appealing to"?

Obviously, the answer is 'Yes', given the facts and the sort of logic being expounded by the unelected, white President of Cuba.

It's more than likely that if some crackpot has a go at Barack Obama, it will be some good ol' boy Southern Democrat along the lines of thos who admired the younger George Wallace. Or another Commie like Lee Oswald.

Fidel was so blatantly blowing a dog whistle to get Barack murdered, perhaps as payback for Barack's suggestion earlier this year that it's time for Fidel and Raul to take their retirement in Libya or Syria or wherever, and hold elections in Cuba. I mean, it's been over a half century now...

As the old fart gets more drunk and senile, he gets more blatant...

Andrew OConnell: "And "Meanwhile, left wing "intellectuals" have called for the assassination of George W Bush."?

See the links provided at October 13, 2008 - 2:48pm "Meanwhile, left wing "intellectuals" have called for the assassination of George W Bush."



Eliot Ramsey, you seem determined to avoid facing the despicable tactics of the Republicans. I'll leave you to your own devices as I see no point in discussing issues with you.

Others might enjoy a couple of bits of fun.

This from Andy Borowitz.

And a speech that Robyn Crane thinks should be given.

Logical inference?

No, a bizarre, tortured and incomprehensible inference.  And "Meanwhile, left wing "intellectuals" have called for the assassination of George W Bush."? 

One of the two culprits mentioned is Charlie Brooker - a reviewer for the Guardian (think of a dyspeptic Ian Warden) - who was writing a satirical television review in 2004, hardly a recent call to arms for the rabid forces of left wing revolution.  There's almost always a strong disconnect between Eliot's logic and reality, with a heavy dosage of strawman disingenuousness, but this one is really taking some swallowing.

Fair's fair

Richard:  "Are you trying to get us all as confused as you, Eliot?  Is Castro the first to raise the possibility of an Obama assiassination?"

Richard:  "Are you sure you're not stretching the "logical inference" just a teensy bit, Eliot?"

This stuff is pathetic Richard. I was pleased to see you and others speak out recently against the grubby, mindless, dribbling antisemitism that has become part and parcel of this site. No doubt, since, you have become aware of how much courage that takes, if you didn't already know. But if you are going to take the cheapest of cheap shots at Eliot every time he posts, then the least you can do is lift the "10 posts a day"  rule in his case.

Richard:  He has plenty, left, so no worries there, Geoff..   I smelled  a wild goose chase, so didn't  think it  unreasonable to test a little. Fair enough?

Maybe let's not provoke assassinations at all? Just an idea?

Graeme Watson: "Fortunately, the tactics don't appear to have worked electorally.As to inciting other responses - who can say?"

No disrespect, but why is it any less reprehensible for left wing "intellectuals" to call for the assassination of a white president, than for idiot racists and Communist dictators to start waffling on about assassination attempts on Barack Obama?

Granted, Fidel is senile, but how blatant a dog whistle would the old fart have to blow exactly?


Eliot Ramsey, another extract from the article about Castro you cited earlier:

Mr Castro's comments came as a war of words with racial undertones marked the US White House race after civil rights icon John Lewis accused Republican candidate John McCain of sowing "hatred" against Senator Obama, who is developing a commanding lead in opinion polls.

Castro was commenting on an element in US society which the Republican candidates have been appealing to. I provided an example of the response from some in the public.  You seem more concerned by the observations of Castro than by the reprehensible tactics being employed by the Republicans. Aren't your priorities a little skewed?

The latest example.

Richard, somewhat more relevant is the behaviour at rallies for the McCain/Palin ticket stirred up by the despicable character attacks by the aforementioned candidates - Palin has been particularly "noteworthy" in this regard. Here is the latest example ( includes video).

 Curious George faced a tough crowd Saturday.

A supporter of Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin outraged Democratic protesters at a rally by flaunting a toy they called racist.

The man held a stuffed monkey he named "Little Hussein." The toy was a Curious George doll and wore an Obama "Change" sign like a turban.

"Little Hussein wanted to see truth and good Americans," the man said and laughed while holding the toy aloft so the Obama supporters across the street could see it.


A news blogger said the man would not have "pulled his stunt at Palin's rally" if the Alaskan governor hadn't already dehumanized Obama by calling him "someone who doesn't think like us."

Rallies for McCain and Palin were marred by inflammatory speech from audience members last week, who shouted "kill him" and "terrorist" when Obama was mentioned.

Fortunately, the tactics don't appear to have worked electorally.As to inciting other responses - who can say?


Fidel. Stupid old white guy....

Richard:  "Are you sure you're not stretching the "logical inference" just a teensy bit, Eliot?"

I think Fidel is himself just nervous about the thought of an elected black president in a country with a large Afro-American population.

For example, Cuba....

It's a miracle that Fidel Castro hasn't been assassinated

Richard:  "Is Castro the first to raise the possibility of an Obama assassination?"

He's the first national "leader" to hint at it, as far as I am aware. 

And certainly the first to suggest, by logical inference, that Ronald Regan was an Afro-American. For me, that was the big news.

I do know that Senator Obama's secret service detail was beefed up some months ago when some other crazy, perhaps not even connected with the Cuban junta, began burbling assassination threats.

Personally, you have to acknowledge that it's a miracle that Fidel Castro hasn't been assassinated.

Quite apart from the Kennedy boys and the Mafia trying to get him, Fidel and his family have made a lot of enemies over the years and years they have been in power.

Richard:  Are you sure you're not stretching the "logical inference" just a teensy bit, Eliot?


Now senile, Fidel Castro thinks Ronald Regan was black.

Fidel Castro, who was supported openly by Lee Harvey Oswald, has hinted at an assassination attempt on Barack Obama.

"Former Cuban president Fidel Castro says American society is marked by "profound racism" and it is a "pure miracle" that US presidential hopeful Barack Obama has not been assassinated.

"Profound racism exists in the United States," Mr Castro wrote in a commentary that appeared on the website Cubadebate as he weighed in on the US presidential race ahead of the November 4 election.

"Millions of whites cannot reconcile in their minds with the idea that a black man with his wife and children would move into the White House, which is called just like that, White," he wrote.

The most recent assassination attempts on American presidents were directed against Ronald Regan and Gerald Ford.

Poor old fart thinks Regan and Ford where black, I guess.

Fidel Castro, over his five decades as unelected dictator of Cuba, reputedly mudered scores of political opponents until he became senile in recent years, being replaced as life dictator by his alcoholic brother, also a noted murderer.

Meanwhile, left wing "intellectuals" have called for the assassination of George W Bush.

George W Bush is white.

Richard:  Are you trying to get us all as confused as you, Eliot?  Is Castro the first to raise the possibility of an Obama assiassination?

Resist the urge to rant

Ian MacDougall: "Eliot, you are quite right. Only a fool would write off McCain+Palin, even if they are behind in the polls."

A particularly dumb approach is attacking her religiosity in what is far and away the most religious of the developed nations. As it is, Obama is ahead nine per cent in the polls since the liquidity crisis became big news.

If he holds his nerve, he should win. So, leave Palin alone except on policy specifics, I say. Either way, though, it takes just one crazy to do something really stupid...

Even the women are off Palin

Boys, you need to grow up.  Palin is a clown and terrifies even the republican women.

Is a Palindrone

...  a monotonous noise that sounds equally incomprehensible when played either forwards or backwards?

Marilyn, subconsciously I wonder how many women thought that Palin was winking at their husbands?

Beyond palindrome

Was just reading the Naomi Wolf article Eliot refers to and its SMH Wolf also mentioned the problem McCain has witsister, the  Anne Davies report on the veep debate. h cancer and therefore the increased likelihood of Palin's manicured finger actually on the "nucular" Button later on.

Eliot's assessment of Palin, the female Dubya, seems right in some respects and indeed not a bit threatening, considering the antics of the last eight years.

Sheep in Woolf's clothing

Alan Curran: "Marilyn Shepherd, I watched the debate and Palin is no fool. She handled herself very well."

She was a litle 'try hard' on Iran, making a show of pronouncing Ahmadinejad's name as if she's been saying it since the second grade, but she did surprisingly well, yes. Almost disturbingly well.

Contrast that with Joe Biden falling into the trap of saying that Ahmadinejad, as President of Iran, isn't critically important to Iranian security - in the very week that Congress showed the world that the President of the United States isn't so critically important to running the economy. Or anything.

Also, am I mistaken, but did he very nearly reach over and kiss her on the cheek at the handshake after the debate? I bloody nearly had a heart attack at that moment.

Palin's value is her symbolism. It's very potent.

That's why Naomi Woolf refers to her detractors as being "frantic" because the more public exposure, and the more she is attacked, the more Palin's symbolic value amongst white working families increases.

She's there precisely to draw the sort of fire her more stupid opponents let loose at her.

She's a spoiler, and I bet Obama's going to step very carefully around her. I wouldn't mind betting that a President Obama might, just might, have to run against the first ever female Presidential candidate in 2012.

Her opponents should listen carefully to what Woolf is saying and not be so woolly and herd-like in their thinking.

Naomi Woolf on Sarah Palin

Marilyn Shepherd: "And Eliot, Palin has hit the ground in a flaming shower of shit, mate, because she is a fool."

The selection of Sarah Palin as John McCain's running mate hit the United States like an electric storm. To her legions of lipstick-waving fans on the right, Palin is a down-to-earth, God-fearing "hockey mom" whose moose hunting, evangelical faith, and even chaotic family life, are all evidence that she is a real, typical American.

To her equally frantic detractors on the left - and increasingly in the centre - she is a frightening harbinger of a theocratic America, a mafia-style executrix of state business who lies about the connection of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to Iraq, mocks Barack Obama for his opposition to torturing prisoners, and defies subpoenas. Think of her as George Bush II, but in designer pumps.

Both groups are reacting to genuine evidence. Her supporters are responding to a potent set of symbols, and her detractors to an even more potent set of facts.

- Naomi Wolf.

Only a total fool would write off Sarah Palin at this point.

The accomplished masters of the dirty tricks campaign

Eliot, you are quite right. Only a fool would write off McCain+Palin, even if they are behind in the polls.

According to Johann Hari:

Beyond this, there could be a 4 November surprise: the Republicans may try to steal the election. Again. They loudly claim to be concerned about voter fraud, even though a New York University study recently found that it "is more likely an individual will be struck by lightning than that he will impersonate another voter at the polls". But in the name of this paltry risk, they are effectively stripping millions of people – overwhelmingly black and Democrats – of their vote.

He sets out the basic Republican game trick plan. Not a pretty sight.

Larry King, my hero


For all the ranting about the so-called lunatic Amhedinijad here is the full transcript of an interview with Larry King published by the glorious newspaper Haaretz.

And Eliot, Palin has hit the ground in a flaming shower of shit, mate, because she is a fool.

Clinton didn't have to lower himself to degrade or denigrate her; she managed all by herself.

Larry and Moe

Marilyn Shepherd, I watched the debate and Palin is no fool. She handled herself very well.

Biden waffled on like Rudd (but no Mandarin). The only difference was that Biden had a better suit.

McHappy Clowns

Justin Obodie: "How could anyone take this clown and his party seriously?"

I dunno. But, hey, people take Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro seriously, don't they?

John Pratt: "If the world could vote for the leader of the "free world"."

Most of the world's people cannot even vote for their own leaders let alone America's. Perhaps the Economist website will give them a chance to practise?

If the world could vote for the leader of the "free world".

The World is voting for an Obama victory.

From The Economist website.

McCain 12 votes Obama 7995 votes.

Says something about global opinion of Bush and his Republicans.

Have fun have a vote yourself.


"Lipstick on a chicken"

Lipstick on a chicken

McCain retires from campaign to help sort out financial crisis. Last week he said the fundamentals were sound, now he is going to save the world.

How could anyone take this clown and his party seriously?

Slap a pig, and it'll fly

Paul Morrella: "The more they hammer Palin, the stronger she becomes. An impossible situation."

Something which Bill Clinton understands...

"Former US President Bill Clinton says he understands why Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is popular in the American heartland: because people relate to her."


Vote here

A light hearted look at the Presidential campaign.

McCain is insane

Open your mind

Ernest William: "Do you claim that some land governed by Russia is really Jewish?"

No, I'm saying that some of the people in Russia are Jewish and that anti-Jewish pogroms were a feature of Tsarist Russian political life, as they were under Stalin, and that the rehabilitation of political anti-Semitism will again become an increasingly common feature of anti-Western political movements including the new-right movements growing in Russia.

This is because such movements are essentially backward looking, tribalistic, nationalistic and fearful of the "threat" of Western, increasingly global civilisation, a feature of which is emancipated Jews.

Or otherwise, they are failed messianic movements like Marxism which, while being hostile to Western liberal, pluralist cultural values, have no direct role themselves anymore to play in political life. So, such rump marxisant movements will attach themselves to Islamist and other anti-Western movements, aping their rhetoric including their anti-Semitism.

This is why you get histrionic anti-Jewish ravings from political fringe-dwellers who claim to be "Leftist" but who essentially support outright fascistic nationalist movements like Hizbolla or Islamist reactionary-tribalistic cults like Hamas.

As for who are the "real" anti-Semites, you may be interested in a bit of research;

A 15-nation global attitudes survey released June 22 by The Pew Global Attitudes Project reported these findings amongst others:

"Majorities in the United States, France, Britain and Russia -- but not in Germany or Spain -- expressed favorable views of Muslims. Majorities of Indonesians and Jordanians -- but not Egyptians, Pakistanis or Turks -- expressed favorable views of Christians."

“Hostility toward Muslims is much lower in Great Britain, the United States and Canada than in other Western countries surveyed.”....

"In every Muslim country surveyed, overwhelming or near unanimous majorities expressed negative views toward Jews. The figure reached 99 percent in Jordan, 98 percent in Egypt and 94 percent in Pakistan. Twenty-eight percent of Jordanians and 22 percent of Egyptians volunteered that "Jews" were to blame for bad relations between Muslims and the West, although Jews were not mentioned in the question."

Well, you did ask about where "real" anti-Semitism is growing? So, according to even your broad definition of anti-Semitism, it's growing most in the Middle East and directed against Jews while nothing much comparable is happening in the West, certainly not in the political mainstream.

This is entirely consistent with the hypothesis I was advancing.

Anti-Semitism, specifically anti-Jewish hostility, is growing on the extremist margins of political society in the West and it is rampant in the political mainstream in the Islamic world.

But I expect it will also surface as an important political force in Russia, along with the irredentist imperialist factions driving Putin and Medvedev.

If you want a serious discussion about this, it would be welcome.

But why?

G'day Eliot, thank you for that comprehensive explanation of anti-Jewish or negative attitudes to the Jewish people. I still wonder why that should be such an important issue, in verying degrees, almost all over the world.

I personally felt anti-American/British when (a) US General MacArthur decided to give up almost half of Australia to the Japanese and (b) equally with Churchill when he said that Australia will be lost but we will take it back later.   

I have no doubt how I would feel if say, the Muslims as a race/religion moved into Rockhampton and, with superior military power, slowly expanded towards taking over the rest of Queensland.

Since no one will tell me why, then I can only assume that the highest anti-Jewish feelings are in the Middle East because the Americans have total support for Israel as a nuclear nation and, even with their false appearance of wanting a peaceful settlement, I believe the turmoil suits the American destablilising policies. 

I can also believe that the Muslims are trying to neutralise the Israeli WMD power by infiltrating Pakistan (also aided by the US/UK to have the capability for WMD's) which is supposed to neutralise India.

This is real scary business these 21st century Americans are playing with. One day they may realise that they do not have the right to decide who can exist and how.  The Bush administation has taken on an attitude of not caring who wins these wars as long as the Military/Corporate can make enormous profit from the taxpayers of America.

In the meantime, the Rudd Labor government have maintained their undertaking to the UN to oppose nuclear proliferation by refusing uranium for India without a safe method of ensuring none is used for WMD's.

And for this decent, neutral and costly decision they have been roundly criticised.

Peace in our world needs a  United Nations with the industrial and military power of the US.  They already have the manpower, something that America is extending too much.

I would like to continue to have serious discussion on these matters, Eliot. I am afraid that after the devastation of nations after WW 2, the attitude seems to be that "a country is only entitled to that which it can defend"?

Cheers Ern G.

That's life in the spin game

Ernest William: "I also believe that Ms. Palin will be the most dangerous person in the world if she is elected purely because she is female, as the American media claims."

If this is the case, Dems have nobody to blame, except themselves.

Obama doesn't have many policies at all - or none that anyone can certainly speak about with any authority. He relied solely on his star drawing appeal, and indeed, a mostly very helpful media - which includes queen Oprah, now muted.

I believe all democratic politics are now international. Certainly it's been the way since Blair blatantly ripped-off the Clinton campaign style, way back when. Reading the NYT and guys like Krugman, I think they took a somewhat Rudd approach to campaign style - Krugman is certainly a fan. Any person with a somewhat basic understanding of American and Australian politics would notice the similarities almost immediately. The problem for the Dems is that others were not only watching, they were surely paying close attention.

Obama in my mind is almost finished - I personally can't see how he'll dig himself out of the mess. The things the Dems were happy with last year is now exactly what's being turned against them. The more the media preach for Obama, the more they hurt him. The more they try not to preach, the more he is ignored by the voters. The more they hammer Palin, the stronger she becomes. An impossible situation.

Obama needs policy, and he needs it like yesterday. The problems for him is that he just hasn't got any. The scenario was never planned for. He was meant to be a "safe pair of hands" and all that, not a radical reformer. That's their campaign.

The things you complain about are the things that Obama brought to the table. Those things will ensure McCain now wins by a reasonable margin. At least forty one percent of people will now vote for McCain no matter what. End game is very, very close.

The fight that can never be won

Ernest William: "You and Paul fascinate me in that, in my day, your parents would have soundly smack your bum".

"You say, patronisingly that you are trying to "help" me to understand - I am willing to learn WHY you argue that the Jewish people are mistreated".

One problem: I didn't. Not on this thread anyway, if any thread at all.

Though, since you bring it up:

I don't think people here hate "Jews" - I doubt it's that thought out or even very deep, I think they hate the fact that Israel is seen as an American supporter, and vice versa. It goes against the grain of their preceived "fairness" and the like - most of what goes on here is basic seventies socialist nirvana day dreaming.

They've fought in the Middle East all of my life, and they'll still be fighting there when it comes to an end. Some things are just meant to be. If it was fighting between neighbors, you'd advise them to bulid a very big fence between one another - and ignore each other. Seems to me that's what a hell of a lot of these people are already trying to do.

A new start

Ernest William: "I also believe that Ms. Palin will be the most dangerous person in the world if she is elected purely because she is female, as the American media claims."

She presently has more experience than Obama. Seriously, she does.

The Republicans have not changed their policies, but the fact that they are claiming means they are aware of their liabilities in an ever-distrusting world.

Bush is gone and his "doctrine" will go with him. That's the nature of changing Presidents.

There is no better mask for an evil heart than a pretty face.

There isn't any reason to think she's "evil". I understand that blind team support prevents you from seeing it any other way - and for that there isn't a cure. Personally, I think she's different, and will be good for politics. We need more people like this. The political persuasion of such people isn't important.

Experience you say, Paul

G'day Paul,

Firstly, let me congratulate you for using - "I understand" and "I think".  To me that is an example of a person who is sincere but who also accepts that the policy of treating people as mushrooms only builds resentment.

Regarding Sarah Palin, at first, according to the American media, she was unheard of in hometown America let alone all of Australia, until she burst upon the scene in August 2008!

Despite a reported 80% of Alaska being directly governed by the Federal Authorities, this is some of Sarah's "experience" from Wikipedia:

"She was on the Wasilla, Alaska, city council from 1992 to 1996 and mayor from 1996 to 2002. After an unsuccessful campaign for lieutenant governor of Alaska in 2002, she chaired the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission from 2003 to 2004. She was elected governor of Alaska in November 2006, becoming the first woman and the youngest person to hold the position in Alaska.

On August 29, 2008, Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain announced that he had chosen Sarah Palin as his running mate. She was nominated at the 2008 Republican National Convention in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Palin is the first woman and the first Alaskan to run on the Republican party's presidential ticket."

In the scheme of things, that is not an experience that should be considered as a standard required by the 300 million people of the world's largest economy, albeit a shaky one due to Bush's lack of duty of care.

Barack Obama has had 8 years in the Illinios State Senate and three years in the most powerful Senate in the world.  Eleven years of peak politics.

There is surely no comparison.

The media build up of this person was predictable since it took the wind out of Obama's sails and she has become news - not all flattering either.

I hope that the ladies of our forum feel as I do regarding the US media claiming that she has captured the support of the "white women of America".  That is surely an insult to the intelligence and impartiality of all American women. 

The media is noted for creating and exploiting the feelings of people, but in the US where voting is not compulsory, that is a dangerous lack of care, not only for the Americans, but also the rest of the western world.

In a strange way, and as a person of Senator McCain's age, I feel sorry for him because, not only has his running mate become the spearhead of the Republicans, but is either hiding or covering up for his perceived lack of charisma.  And I think it shows.

Cheers Ern G.

Hitchens on the Pakistan-Afghan war

Christopher Hitchens has a very fine and informative article on the above topic. Definitely worth a read and a thought.

"both Left and Right"

Well said, Alan Curran. And, if I may say so, something different from your more usual mantra which appears to be "Labor bad, Liberal good".

I don't agree with you that "punters will only fall for it (fraudulent advertising), once - look at "Woolworths: the fresh food people" ,eg, to put a lie to that.  People have actually forgotten what fresh food tastes like: they don't know the difference....tho' the profusion of sauces for sale should give them a hint that the food that they are buying is tasteless.

Many of us have concern for our children and grandchildren.  Money is gobbled up quickly, particularly if it used to give them a standard of living, and an expectation of a standard of living, which is not commensurate with their willingness to work.  Boots to boots.

Values are, ultimately, all that you can pass on.

When spin goes bad

Ernest William "While I discern something like old English humour in Alan Curran, you and Eliot must have so much time on your hands that you are either very wealthy or being employed by the "powers that be". Is that an unfair question, Richard"?

You're on the tilt. I could easily write your next post for you. I put you on the tilt by making you address your own prejudices. This will be helpful for you in the future.

Poorly attempted character assassination and appeals to authority are end game. You'd almost get a job with the Obama campaign (we need those laughing symbols). Staying on message isn't the worst option for you - though it's an inexperienced option. The reason: your message is poorly tuned. It's designed to elicit emotional reactions. The problem, though, is you've no control over what those reactions will be.

I do enjoy your flattery, false, or otherwise. I've never been one to take a step away from a compliment. I'd keep it up if I was a part of central control. It works.

Your message is way too negative. Rather than appeals to the past, you need to tune your appeals to the future. Even one positive post a day would help in regards to your defence of the Australian Government. Though, what this has to do with Sarah Palin is anyone's guess. Again, you're making the mistake of mixing messages. You're turning something into a negative. In this case the Australian Government.

I'm not trying to hurt you. I'm trying to help you. More than you'd ever know.

Good heavens Paul

 I have always had the opinion that the media elects governments, no matter what type of government it is, as long as there is some sort of vote.

I also believe that Ms. Palin will be the most dangerous person in the world if she is elected purely because she is female, as the American media claims.

The Republicans have not changed their policies but, the fact that they are claiming means they are aware of their liabilities in an ever-distrusting world.

There is no better mask for an evil heart than a pretty face.

Staring you in the face

Richard:  "I ask to clarify, Marilyn.  I agree with Geoff Pahoff more every day. I have never encountered a group of people spoken of in such a way as the Jewish people are rfrequently spoken of on Webdiary."

The rehabilitation of political anti-Semitism as an acceptable political rhetoric is the principle enterprise of anti-Western political movements today. This is because (a) emancipated Jewry and Western liberal democracy are seen as synonymous, and (b) "anti-Zionism" provides an all-encompassing, largely abstract and globally available symbolic rhetorical focus for channeling fear and loathing.

This is because Marxism has failed and there's nothing else back on which anti-Western demogogues can fall.

My bet: Pogroms will make a come-back in today's irredentist-Tsarist Russia.

Why do we ask?

G'day Eliot. Thank you for keeping this subject alive.  You say:

"This is because (a) emancipated Jewry and Western liberal democracy are seen as synonymous, and (b) "anti-Zionism" provides an all-encompassing, largely abstract and globally available symbolic rhetorical focus for channeling fear and loathing."

What did you say, rhetorically speaking? And: does (a) mean that any non-liberal political party is anti-Jewish? Liberal meaning careless or laissez faire?

"This is because Marxism has failed and there's nothing else back on which anti-Western demogogues can fall."

While I don't fully understand Marxism, are you saying that it is not Western and anyone anti-Western is anti Jewish? Why is that?

And "My bet: Pogroms will make a come-back in today's irredentist-Tsarist Russia."

Do you claim that some land governed by Russia is really Jewish?

And WHY would Russia feel disposed to do such a thing. WHY?

You say that you are horrified at being referred to as "old mate" which is an affectionate expression that is part of the Western vernacular!

You and Paul fascinate me in that, in my day, your parents would have soundly smack your bum.

You say, patronisingly that you are trying to "help" me to understand - I am willing to learn WHY you argue that the Jewish people are mistreated.

At least Geoff was so convinced of his principles that he gave me many examples which destroyed a vicious criticism of Jewish people and war.

Cheers Ern G.


ER: My bet: Pogroms will make a come-back in today's irredentist-Tsarist Russia

You win, digger. Apart from Vladimir and the Boys’ war on the “Blacks” of Chechnya and the Caucasus, there’s been a long worldwide Pogrom on dinkum Semitic people – Arabs, Jews, Assyrians, Kurds, Samaritans, even …SHUDDER!… the Persians and Turken next door. And all their cross breeds. And for a long time.

Now why would that be, ER?

Clue: the answer may lie in the vitality of whitebread McCain’/Palin’ pollin’ amongst the real gone "Reagan Democrat" honkeys.

Now push the Semitic button, kiddies, and win me a huge bet.

Dr Jack Woodforde, OAM

With frustrated respect.

Eliot, what did you say?

Was it that "being anti-jewish is not kosher"?

If you want to communicate, your obligation is to the person/s to whom you address your sermon. Is that fair in fascism?

Yes Richard, the calculated diversions of certain people only confirm to me that I could never have been a politician.

Richard: With equally frustrated respect, Ernest, I can't understand your current (and unusual) disrespect of Jewish people,

Frustrating disrespect

Some of the editorial footnotes here seem to be getting a bit cryptic. The bald "I can't understand [Ernest's] disrespect for Jewish people" is a bit like the old Are you still bashing your wife  question. Surely any such accusation needs to be accompanied by evidence of perceived disrespect, Richard?

Somewhere else someone who wants to present anyone who disagrees with any aspect of his view of the world as a promoter of Marxism equates criticism of Zionism as an attack on democratic principles. That shows disrespect for all sorts of things, including democracy itself. Not to mention common sense.

Bollocks Richard

Most of the world is obsessed with the poor little Jewish victim. I talk about the vicious regime of the Israeli government.

Do you little people see the difference? There has been millions of people killed in wars all over the world since the holocaust, yet all we hear about incessantly is the psuedo religion judaism as an excuse to torture, steal, imprison and attack neighbouring countries in in the Middle East as punishment for the atrocities committed by Europe and even Australia against jewish people, people who had committed no act of atrocity or crime against us.

I would have no problem with those who survived the holocaust being compensated, or taking revenge against Germany but it doesn't happen. They have changed their history books to claim basically that they are allowed to have Palestine because of the holocaust and that is arrant nonsense as many Israeli's openly say.

I have no problem at all with Jewish people in general, just the behaviour in the specific.

Ditto with people like the Taliban, Bin Laden and his mob, Bush and the neocons - they are all extremists and as vile as each other.

Hope that is clear enough Richard and you and Geoff in your naivety need to find out more.

Think Sabra and Shatila, think legalised torture, the demolition of 19,000 Palestinian homes, a 60 year illegal occupation.

Then do what I do and read the Israel press, it is more open about much of the disgusting behaviour than the toady morons in the "west".

I do not have to follow the leader and abuse Palestinians who are only fighting for survival.

Show me the money

Ernest William: "You should complain to them but, if you continue to joust with me, try to lower yourself to my level so that I can see where you are coming from."

I'm not trying to hurt you. I'm tryng to help you.

Life and love

Ernest William: "Your reply, for which I thank you, clearly demonstrates that you have no idea of the grass roots of any industry".

I thank you for your thank you. I doubted that you had it in you.

Your attitude is that of a person convinced of their superiority and I wonder why you even bother to engage me at all.

My attitude is that I really like workers. Call me the workers friend.

Do I strike a chord? Or is it because of the cheek that someone below your standard dares to question your dictates with statements like "you know"?

This is called an appeal to emotion. Your central controller has a lot to learn. If he's nice, he may get the chance, to meet Sarah Palin.

Do I strike a chord?

Only a bad one. And I'm really trying to like you.

What's the obsession with Jewish people?

Richard, why do you keep asking about the jewish people having a hard time? There is simply no real historical record of the jewish "people" until the zionist political party took over the old testament and tried to call it an historical book.

And do not dare come back at me about the holocaust. There have been many experiences just as bad over many centuries, but no-one else continually complains and demands compensation.

Norman Finkelstein's mother said when he wrote his book about the holocaust industry "if so many people are paid compensation who did Hitler kill?" She and Norman's father had both survived death camps.

3 million Vietnamese, 3 million Cambodians, millions of Afghans, millions of Polish Catholics, 1.5 million Armenians.

I flatly refuse to think of those who claim the religion of judaism as more punished than anyone else.

Richard: I ask to clarify, Marilyn. I agree with Geoff Pahoff more every day. I have never encountered a group of people spoken of in such a way as the Jewish people are frequently spoken of on Webdiary.

Sincere questions


I have consistently tried to obtain sincere answers to these questions:

1.  Have the Jewish people been unfairly treated and are they still being so in the 21st century?

2.  If so, why?

I ask these questions because I know that there has been, since WW 2, a massive exposure of the Nazi caused Holocaust which is portrayed as only the Jewish people.

I have also been aware that when I subscribed to Have your Say in the Canberra times the discussion on anything Jewish was forbidden.

If so - why so?

No typo

Just my word for lilly livered Liberals who bomb innocent people to bits.

Good at that

Marilyn Shepherd, now that's what Labor are good at among other things, name calling (did you think that one up all on your own?) or thinking up funny names for people.

They are also good at dealing with developers especially in the Wollongong area or any local council where they hold power. As for running things like hospitals, education and transport, that seems to be beyond them. Now Rudd and and his cronies are bombing people in Iraq and Afghanistan but not a word from you.

Richard:  Alan, you're repeating yourself... again.   Stil waiting for that piece.

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