Belgium: Syria, Daesh, western empire
An English ‘expert’ was on Radio National the other day talking about how ‘we’ can stop terrorists blowing people up in ‘our’ cities.
For him, ‘we’ is the US/Israel/UK/EU/Canadian/Australian intelligence and military communities, who believe they belong to the best culture. The one that over the past few centuries developed rigorous science, which in turn made industrial production – machines – then electronics and computers.
It also developed various election and representation systems, allegedly enabling citizens to participate in planning and management of their own societies. So therefore these blokes reckon they should spread these modern inventions and institutions to every other part of the globe. While teaching them about democracy, free trade, Christianity, and eating bad food, they tend to pillage the resources of the environments and people they impose themselves on.
These self-appointed masters of the world also believe that people who resist their mission are suffering from illusionary thought, false consciousness, or similar defects, which requires that they be cowed, imprisoned, dispossessed, and killed – to make the better world the masters have in mind.
The expert and all his fellow bloviators are wrong. The way to stop ‘terrorists’ is (a) don’t invade their countries and pillage their resources in the first place, and don’t dismiss their way of life (it’s evolving just like ours did). But in much of the world ‘we’ already made this mistake, so (b) stop giving or selling them weapons and give back the lands you took by force. Help the people you invaded build new ideas and plumbing, or just stop ‘helping’ them at all.
Sanders, Trump, Clinton, the rest
Bernie Sanders, the sensible social democrat, keeps winning the votes of over 80 per cent of young Democrats in primary elections across the United States, and is still a real chance to win the party’s nomination for president. According to the latest Bloomberg poll, he is ahead of Hillary Clinton among likely Democratic Party voters, and he would beat Republicans Trump, Cruz or Kasich in a hypothetical presidential election by a bigger margin than Clinton would.
The Washington political elite and the Wall Street financial mavens continue to wish Bernie would go away, and their media continue to ignore his existence – because Bernie really would change the rules governing the US economy, making him scarier to them than Trump is.
Trump continues to believe he’s been a brilliant real estate and gambling entrepreneur when, in fact, he made his small fortune by inheriting a large one.
Turnbullshit – why this election and why now?
Back here in Canberra, Turnbull and Co are frothing at the mouth about corruption in and by the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU), which does have a record of rough behaviour – but that’s not why the coalition is dumping on them.
Knocking off Abbott got Turnbull to first base. To get to second, he needs to lead the coalition to an election victory to up his cred among his parliamentary mates. Third base would be getting control of the senate, which requires kicking out the pesky micro-partiers.
A home run would be if he could do all that now rather than in November when the next election is scheduled, or in 2020 when Ricky Muir, Jacqui Lambie, Glenn Lazarus et al finish their six-year terms.
The only way Turnbull can do all that is by forcing a double dissolution, meaning all senators and all representatives are up for election within the next few months, and that requires that an important government bill be voted down twice by the senate.
Thus Turnbull needs the senate to vote against his bill to jack up the Australian Building and Construction Commission (the bash-the-CFMEU mob) quick smart so he can go to the polls on July 2.
In this election, new rules will make it impossible for tiny parties like Ricky’s Motor Enthusiasts to get back in. This means the micro-partiers will have to vote with the coalition to expand the ABCC’s union-bashing powers, and thus stop the double D and give themselves three more years in the senate. Or they can vote against the bill, which all the crossbenchers dislike for various reasons, and put themselves out of work in three months.
The Greens got shit for helping Turnbull pass the new election rules, but the fact is they would never get election reform that helps them from Labor, because they compete for the same voters. Turnbull’s reforms are marginally helpful to the Greens.
Phillip Frazer writes about Australian and American stuff and agrees with Ambrose Bierce that politics is ‘a strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles’. More at coorabellridge.com.