>President Obama is the most popular man in the world.
Elected on a platform of hope and change that included ‘listening’ to the rest of the world and ending America’s ‘bullying’ tactics of George W Bush he carries a special power to help oppressed people all around the world.
Thus, his tardiness in speaking up for real democracy in Iran rather than continuing to support the old men of Iran’s misogynist theocracy is deeply troubling.
More troubling, however, is how quickly he joined the worst of Latin America’s left wing autocrats in denouncing the removal from power of Manuel Zelaya in what has been termed a ‘coup’.
U.S. President Barack Obama said on Monday the coup that ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya was illegal and would set a “terrible precedent” of transition by military force unless it was reversed.
“We believe that the coup was not legal and that President Zelaya remains the president of Honduras, the democratically elected president there,” Obama told reporters after an Oval Office meeting with Colombian President Alvaro Uribe.
Zelaya, in office since 2006, was overthrown in a dawn coup on Sunday after he angered the judiciary, Congress and the army by seeking constitutional changes that would allow presidents to seek re-election beyond a four-year term.
Isn’t it remarkable that the person who was meant to re-establish America’s moral authority in the world would throw his hat in with Chavez, Castro, Morales et al?
So who are they supporting?
In Honduras they have a one term limit for the position of president. The limit was introduced to ensure that the country did not go down the path of other Latin American countries that historically have seen democratically elected leaders usurp power for themselves in the same way that Chavez has in Venezuela.
Zelaya was trying to circumvent the Constitution by ensuring he could get elected for further terms.
It must be understood that Zelaya is a nutjob in the Chavez and Allende category.
His own party took action against him after the country’s highest court had ordered him to stand down. They asked the army to intervene, which they did, and the parliament then replaced Zelaya with a member of his own party.
In fact, what has happened in Honduras is not only not a coup but also not illegal.
So why is Obama supporting anti-democratic forces in South America?
One reason could be pure political pragmatism. He takes the same position as China by not caring who is in power as long as the US can deal with them to advantage.
The other is that he has more sympathy for left wing dictatorships and autocrats than he does for those seeking liberty and freedom.
Whatever the case, history will not be kind to a president that did not stand up for democracy when he had both the moral authority and obligation to do so.
>Steve Fielding is exactly the sort of fellow who drives the left mad.
A strong believer in god, Fielding does not believe in man made global warming which at first blush seems contradictary, as they are both religious positions but makes sense if you compare it to his believing in Christianity but not Islam.
Family First senator Steve Fielding has made up his mind on climate change – the world is not warming now, and humans aren’t changing the climate.
The government and the country’s top scientists have tried to convince Senator Fielding, who holds a crucial vote in the upper house, that global warming is real.
But he’s released a document setting out his position.
“Global temperature isn’t rising,” it says.
On emissions trading, Senator Fielding said he wouldn’t risk job losses on “unconvincing green science”.
The document says it is a “fact” that the evidence does not support the notion that greenhouse gas emissions are causing dangerous global warming.
Senator Fielding later sought to clarify his position, saying he believed in global warming, but he did not think the world was warming now and did not think humans were causing global warming.
“Over the last 15 years, global temperatures haven’t been going up and, therefore, there hasn’t been in the last 15 years a period of global warming,” Senator Fielding told AAP.
“I think that global warming is real, and climate change is real, but on average global temperatures have stayed steady while carbon emissions have increased over the last 15 years.
“Man-made carbon emissions don’t appear to be causing it.”
Because of the numbers in the upper house, Senator Fielding’s verdict means the government will have to rely on the opposition to get its emissions trading scheme (ETS) legislation passed.
I was with Steve Fielding a couple of months ago and politely asked him to defeat the emissions trading scheme, which would allow Australia to avoid having its economy ruined for no good reason.
He responded that he didn’t think he had the power.
Perhaps he sought advice from a higher power and has been rewarded?
>Good on Sarkozy for having the balls to say what too many of today’s multi-culti cowards will not.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy says the Muslim burqa is a sign of subservience for women that undermines their dignity.
For clarity. This is a burqa:
And for the nitwits who think a hijab and a burqa are basically the same thing here’s the difference:
Mr Sarkozy made the comments during a historic address in a special sitting of both houses of the French Parliament at the Palace of Versailles.
For more than a century, French presidents have been banned from speaking directly to Senators and MPs.
The argument has always been that parliament should preserve its independence from the president but Mr Sarkozy changed the rules.
That was controversial enough, but perhaps not as controversial as what he used the address for: stating that the burqa was an affront to women.
“The burqa is not a sign of religion. It is a sign of enslavement. It is a sign of subservience,” he said.
The French leader spoke in favour of a recent call by 65 French MPs to create a parliamentary commission to study a small but growing trend of wearing the full body religious garment in France.
“I want to say officially, it will not be welcome on the territory of the French republic,” he said.
“We cannot accept in our country women imprisoned behind netting; cut off from any social life, deprived of any identity.
“This is not the idea the French republic has of a woman’s dignity.”
Some parliamentarians boycotted Mr Sarkozy’s historic speech, dismissing the President’s address as nothing more than a public relations stunt.
But Mr Sarkozy struck a chord among the French population, who voted overwhelmingly in favour of his centre right UMP party in the recent European elections.
The head of European research at the Global Policy Institute at the London Metropolitan University, Jacques Reland, is a keen observer of French politics.
“I think a lot of people in France feel really ill at ease with the burqa,” he said.
“I am pretty sure that a lot of French people are saying yes, [what Mr Sarkozy said] is the way it should be.”
Sarah Joseph is the editor of Britain’s only Muslim lifestyle magazine, emel.
She says many Muslim women use the burqa as an expression of their faith and are not forced to wear it by anyone else.
“I mean, I colour my hair. I don’t wear [some forms of Islamic dress] myself but I will defend someone’s right to do so or not to do so,” she said.
“If you deny a woman’s right to choose, that is denying them dignity and denying them their freedom, and it won’t create a society of more integrated French citizens, it will create a division in France which will be very unfortunate and deny women their right to participate fully in French society.”
Mr Sarkozy says he is just defending a secular state.
France is home to an estimated five million Muslims. In 2004, the country passed a law forbidding any conspicuous religious symbols from state schools, including veils, which were also banned in government offices.
Charles Johnson at LGF used a very appropriate quote from Christopher Hitchens the other day, “The secular state is the guarantee of religious pluralism. This apparent paradox, again, is the simplest and most elegant of political truths.”
>Do civil libertarians do anything other than undermine standards and decency?
Civil libertarians have criticised a proposal to sack police officers if they are convicted of drink-driving.
Queensland Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson is expected to release a new policy this week following a number of drink-driving offences by off-duty police.
Eight officers have been caught driving over the limit this year.
Queensland Council for Civil Liberties vice-president Terry O’Gorman said dismissing police convicted of drink-driving was harsh and amounted to “double punishment”.
“Drink-driving disqualification periods generally are onerous and in some cases have a harsh flow-on effect on employment and family financial stability if a person as a result of losing a licence can’t work,” he said.
“This is as true for police as it is for the general community.”
Mr O’Gorman said police convicted of drink-driving already faced being taken off the road and given desk jobs, often resulting in less pay.
Officers could also miss out on promotion, he said.
So, officers who are convicted of drink driving could earn less pay and miss out on promotion?
How sad for them.
What about if they use racist language and are convicted?
Or shoplift a Snickers Bar?
Police officers who drink drive have no place in the police force, as they obviously have disdain for the law.
They should be sacked let alone lose pay and promotion.
>Here’s a great video from the Cato Institute giving just 5 reasons why taxing the rich is a crap idea.
The video uses an argument I’ve employed against my left wing, economically illiterate (I know, I know, it’s tautologous) mates. They want to use taxation to reduce a person’s consumption of alcohol or cigarettes but then aren’t able to make the connection that taxing productivity will have exactly the same effect – there’s less of it.
The economy destroying emissions trading scheme currently being debated in Australia works on the same principle. Use the tax system (or a credit system, which is the same thing) to reduce output of CO2.
More tax. Less whatever.
Tax productivity. Less productivity.
It’s not too hard to understand, surely?
>Having a look at events in the US over the last week or so I have some questions.
Why is it racist for the right to attack Sonia Sotomayor but not when the left attacks Alberto Gonzalez?
Why is it OK for the US government to steal General Motors from its shareholders?
The government claims that it is going to turn GM into an efficient, profitable organisation.
Why should anyone believe that when Amtrak and the US Postal Service are such inefficient, low quality, massively expensive organisations?
If the government does manage to turn GM into an efficient, profitable organisation then will it turn its attention to Amtrak and US Postal, as well?
Does anyone understand that socialised health care means East German Trabants for everyone and not Mercedes?
This is the fallacy of ‘quality’ health care. The reason that high quality health care exists is because there are people who are able to pay for it. Rich people. Over time, those health technologies become more efficient and cheaper to bring to market meaning that a larger cross-section of the population has access to it. A one size fits all health system creates the situation where not only do new, life saving health technologies do not come to market as quickly as they should, if ever, but also that care is rationed by faceless government bureaucrats to those that will achieve the best outcome. If you’re an older person then you’ll be given less priority than younger people, as it is in the UK and Canada.
The US is stuffed for a generation thanks to the intervention of government into markets. President Obama’s trillion dollar deficits will only make things worse.
Economic recovery comes about through capital growth.
None of the policies implemented in the US or the UK or Australia will result in one dollar of capital growth.
Why would anyone expect the economy to recover any time soon?