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Monday Message Board

July 28th, 2014

It’s time for another Monday Message Board. Post comments on any topic. Civil discussion and no coarse language please. Side discussions and idees fixes to the sandpits, please.

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  1. Donald Oats
    July 28th, 2014 at 16:14 | #1

    Is the new work for the dole a state sanctioned form of indentured labour? The way I see it, if there is community work crying out to be done, then the government should be paying people the going rate for that work, training them first if necessary.

    It is a cheat to use the dole as if it were a salary, for that is most emphatically not the purpose of it. Furthermore, filling up dole recipients’ time with too much work related activity actually reduces the time and energy they have to properly search for work they are best able to do in their current circumstances. There are studies that examine this and find work-for-the-dole schemes actually delay the dole recipients’ return to official work (statistically speaking).

  2. Tim Macknay
    July 28th, 2014 at 16:17 | #2

    The latest in Chinse ‘direct action’.

  3. Tim Macknay
    July 28th, 2014 at 16:18 | #3

    Er. ‘Chinese’. #%&@.

  4. Ivor
    July 28th, 2014 at 17:09 | #4

    All the anti-Russian jingoism the West is inflaming, points to America’s long running project of expansionism.

    We would not have hard evidence of this were it not for Wikileaks.

    According to cables (2010):

    —————————————-

    NATO’S ENLARGEMENT AND STRATEGIC CONCEPT

    —————————————-

    12. (C) Levitte said that France was very pleased with the selection of Madeleine Albright to chair the “Group of 12,” which will launch the process of reviewing NATO’s Strategic Concept. Bruno Racine will be the French participant on the panel, and Levitte stressed that there is already strong agreement between France and the United States on the basis of exchanges that he has had with NSA General Jim Jones. Levitte noted that Paris agreed with Jones on suppressing the Membership Action Plan (MAP), which had become an obstacle rather than an incentive. A/S Gordon responded that we must not change the process in a way that would be interpreted as suggesting an end to NATO enlargement and eliminating MAP might do that. Levitte agreed and added that French President Sarkozy was “convinced” that Ukraine would one day be a member of NATO, but that there was no point in rushing the process and antagonizing Russia, particularly if the Ukrainian public was largely against membership. The Bucharest summit declaration was very clear that NATO has an open door and Ukraine and Georgia have a vocation in NATO (even if Georgia remains very unstable at the moment). Levitte added that Paris was very pleased with the ceremony on September 9 transferring the Allied Command Transformation (ACT) to French General Stephane Abrial.

    ——————————–

    See: http://www.theguardian.com/world/us-embassy-cables-documents/225319

    All this is echos the anti-German jingoism that led to the First World War.

  5. J-D
    July 28th, 2014 at 18:18 | #5

    @Ivor

    I don’t see any anti-Russian jingoism in the text you quote. The only reference to Russia in the text you quote is ‘… there was no point in rushing the process and antagonizing Russia …’ That doesn’t look like any kind of jingoism to me.

    I also don’t see that the First World War was caused by anti-German jingoism. How could anti-German jingoism have prompted Austria-Hungary to declare war on Serbia?

  6. Megan
    July 28th, 2014 at 19:54 | #6

    @Donald Oats

    According to Fairfax:

    Workers must be willing to move … overseas to where they are needed, according to key members of the Business Council of Australia.

    That would make them “economic refugees” if they were taking the initiative themselves, and indentured labour if they are forced to do it to keep employers happy and rich.

    Back to your main point: Yes, if there is work that needs to be done and unemployed people capable of doing it, it shouldn’t require a genius to put the two together at a decent wage. But there is a dogmatic ideological force behind it of course – so it won’t happen until we get our democracy back.

  7. kevin1
    July 28th, 2014 at 21:48 | #7

    Watching the ABC doco “the United States of Amnesia” about Gore Vidal last night, I wished for more unbridled intellectuals, with their memorable aphorisms, debunking of sacred cows and egregious, undisciplined, to hell with it lack of restraint. Of course they don’t provide balanced and cautious measurement and policy calibration, but they are the yeast for creative thought. A smart audience can take some responsibility for distilling the wisdom and junking the rest.

    For self-protection, the professional talking heads have to work within boundaries, so perhaps it is only the more autonomous or self-employed writer or intellectual polymaths who can let it all hang out: Barry Jones, Philip Adams, Clive Hamilton, our host, can generate challenging questions and integrate knowledge from diverse sources (two sides of the same coin) and create a pole of broad attraction. Personally I found his novels unreadable but his essays hit the spot.

    Vidal was part of the US N.E. aristocracy (part if the Gore dynasty) and ran in 1960 with JFK but considered him a hopeless and unsuccessful President. Can I give you some of his unflinching contrarianism: “Watching the disaster of his administration…in 1000 days he invades Cuba unsuccessfully and ends by heating up the war in Vietnam…the thing about myths and legends, should we allow reality to intrude?… As a critic I am sort of split, because on the one hand I know it’s not true and on the other hand…it ought to be true…I liked him tremendously and I hang his picture in my library not as an icon…but never again to be taken in by anybody’s charm.”

    I was reminded in the doco that he rejected the conspiracy theory of an American power elite, supporting C Wright Mills’ idea that there was a broad elite commonality of interest; “they all think alike, otherwise they would not be in those jobs.”

    How many of today’s sobersides in the media would be game enough to say “Ronald Reagan’s library just burned down, both books were destroyed, but the real horror was that he had not finished colouring them in.” Does anyone know what T Abbott’s reading habits are? Is the media too scared to ask for fear of embarrassing the fool? What does the real Tony Abbott do to nourish his soul (and he will tell you he has one), or is exercising enough?

    “All along, the most useful and creative people in the US from the very beginning (are) the men (sic) who have said No and many men have begun to say No again and when the chorus gets loud enough, the people will march.” Sounds like a good rule for radicals. Perhaps a showman but one with a political purpose, not a self-preening poseur. Damn the Overton window and those who enforce it.

  8. alfred venison
    July 28th, 2014 at 22:03 | #8

    @J-D
    its not a perfect fit, and i think what upsets him is in the article rather than the quote, but:-

    as now it was a time of arms race.

    as now there was a country with a view of itself as surrounded.

    surrounded then, by countries touted as a cordial association of states with common interests – now, by cordially associated states with “common values”.

    then, as now, there were extremist non-state actors, initially funded & controlled by nation states, but increasingly under no effective control by national governments, and who’s outrages, assassinations, and mass murders could bring heavily armed highly strung states into war with other states.

    then as now how long do you think you can threaten a cornered country’s perceived vital interests before it stops being restrained. how far is it “safe” to go. how far does a new-con want to go, beyond “safe”? they clash now over “common values” – democracy, human rights – so they don’t have to openly fight about “common interests”, like vertically integrated control of cheap energy, which is basically imo what the whole ukraine proxy war is about. -a.v.

  9. Megan
    July 28th, 2014 at 22:34 | #9

    @alfred venison

    Apologies if you’ve already referred to this aspect of the situation, but this seems to be part of what you are referring to (from rt business):

    Ukraine’s parliament has rejected allowing EU and US companies to buy up to 49% of oil and gas company Naftogaz, and also said they were against liquidating the national energy monopoly . Kiev rejected splitting the company in two, a measure encouraged by the West in order for Naftogaz to comply with Europe’s third energy package, which doesn’t allow one single company to both produce and transport oil and gas. The bill proposed creating two new joint stock companies in order to conform to the package, “Ukraine’s Main Gas Transmission” and “Ukraine’s Underground Storages.” The proposal sought to meet the requirements of EU legislation and strengthen Ukraine’s energy independence.

    The US-puppet government split before they could get this through. It looks like the split was primarily over the slaughter in the east. Yats quit after the split because he couldn’t get the privatization through, apparently.

    The prize is control of the gas pipes. If you became the controller of the gas-flow between Russia and Europe you control the buyer and the seller – you “own” the market.

  10. Megan
    July 28th, 2014 at 22:49 | #10

    Extract from the bill “s.2277” – “Russian Aggression Prevention Act of 2014”:

    Directs DOD to assess the capabilities and needs of the Ukrainian armed forces. Authorizes the President, upon completion of such assessment, to provide specified military assistance to Ukraine.

    Expresses the sense of Congress that the President should: (1) provide Ukraine with information about Russian military and intelligence capabilities on Ukraine’s eastern border and within Ukraine’s territorial borders, including Crimea; and (2) ensure that such intelligence information is protected from further disclosure.

    Provides major non-NATO ally status for Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova (during the period in which each of such countries meets specified criteria) for purposes of the transfer or possible transfer of defense articles or defense services.

    Directs the President to increase: (1) U.S. Armed Forces interactions with the armed forces of Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia; and (2) U.S and NATO security assistance to such states.

    Amends the Natural Gas Act to apply the expedited application and approval process for natural gas exports to World Trade Organization members.

    Urges the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Trade and Development Agency, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the World Bank Group, and the European Bank for Reconstruction to promote assistance to Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova in order to exploit natural gas and oil reserves and to develop alternative energy sources.

    In short, the US could send its military directly into Ukraine.

  11. Ivor
    July 28th, 2014 at 23:04 | #11

    @J-D

    Jingoism?

    Read the newspaper – watch SkyNews – listen to UK’s Cameron.

    NATO expansionism? – read the Wikileaks cable.

    Only a fool would read the cable for jingoism, and monitor the media for US expansionist strategy.

  12. rog
    July 28th, 2014 at 23:09 | #12

    @kevin1 a timely doco, timely in that what was once an exaggerated opinion was shown to be fact

    Vidal response to Buckley

    https://geneticmail.com/scott/library/text/vidalesquire69.html

  13. kevin1
    July 28th, 2014 at 23:32 | #13

    @rog

    Thanks for the reference, though I haven’t read all of it. I usually just chase the core of it You’re a crypto-Nazi, But you’re a queer. The rest is literary and personal excrescence to me, of no interest. But as is so often, the backdrop is the main game for which these 2 guys were the proxies, the Chicago police riot, which Mailer wrote about in Armies of the Night, with Mayor Daley flexing his muscles. A friend of mine who was a student in US at the time came back to Aus soon after and told me today her friends said she had become very serious. Heady times. I have just read The War Lovers by Evan Thomas about Teddy Roosevelt his close ally Cabot Lodge and WR Hearst egging them onto war over Cuba in 1897, and then the Philippines. But no role for indigenous leaders in these supposed “anti-colonial” interventions, being the start of American exceptionalism, and its foil the Anti-Imperialist League. Since jingoism is mentioned above, apparently the phrase was from an English music hall ballad of 1870 when the Brits were engaged with Turkey “We don’t want to fight/but by jingo if we do/we’ve got the men/we’ve got the money too.”

  14. Ivor
    July 28th, 2014 at 23:36 | #14

    @J-D

    You obviously do not know much about the First World war.

    The cause was not the declaration of war by Austria-Hungary. The German Chancellor probably best indicated the caused of the First World War in 1899 when he told the Reichstag:

    We do not want to interfere with any other country, but we do not wish that any other country should interfere with us (the allusion was to the Samoa affair), should violate our rights or push us aside either in political or commercial questions …. Germany cannot stand aside while other nations divide the world among them …. We must be strong enough to be secure against surprises not only on land, but also at sea. We must build a fleet strong enough to exclude all possibility of attack being made on us

    [https://www.marxists.org/archive/rothstein/1911/german-menace/ch08.htm]

    In the preparation for war – the then Rupert Murdoch was Lord Northcliffe who owned 51% of The Times from 1908.

    Lord Northcliffe, for instance, owns the Daily Mail, the
    Daily Mirror, the Daily Graphic, the Daily Express, the
    Evening News, the Daily Times, and. the Weekly Dis-
    patch.

    This is what Lord Northcliffe said several years
    ago in an interview in the Paris Matin: “We detest the
    Germans cordially. I will never allow the least thing
    to be printed in my journal which might wound France,
    but I would not let anything be printed which might be
    agreeable to Germany.”

    There you see the journalist
    at his worst. Northcliffe is found in every one of the
    world’s capitals. He lives in Washington, New York,
    Chicago, San Francisco. You cannot get rid of him.
    You cannot silence him. You must reckon with him.
    He has matches, and you jeopardize civilization when
    you pile up the gunpowder around him.

    [http://archive.org/stream/jstor-20667556/20667556_djvu.txt]

    Northcliffe deliberately inflamed anti-German sentiment by using such foul jingoistic devices as commissioning William Le Queux to compile a fictional story on a supposed invasion of England. The propaganda scare serial “The Invasion of 1910: With a full account of the siege of London” was published in the in 1906.

    See: http://www.amazon.com/The-Invasion-1910-Account-England/dp/1482617854

  15. Ivor
    July 28th, 2014 at 23:37 | #15

    @J-D

    You obviously do not know much about the First World war.

    The cause was not the declaration of war by Austria-Hungary. The German Chancellor probably best indicated the caused of the First World War in 1899 when he told the Reichstag:

    We do not want to interfere with any other country, but we do not wish that any other country should interfere with us (the allusion was to the Samoa affair), should violate our rights or push us aside either in political or commercial questions …. Germany cannot stand aside while other nations divide the world among them …. We must be strong enough to be secure against surprises not only on land, but also at sea. We must build a fleet strong enough to exclude all possibility of attack being made on us

    [marxists.org/archive/rothstein/1911/german-menace/ch08.htm]

    In the preparation for war – the then Rupert Murdoch was Lord Northcliffe who owned 51% of The Times from 1908.

    Lord Northcliffe, for instance, owns the Daily Mail, the
    Daily Mirror, the Daily Graphic, the Daily Express, the
    Evening News, the Daily Times, and. the Weekly Dis-
    patch.

    This is what Lord Northcliffe said several years
    ago in an interview in the Paris Matin: “We detest the
    Germans cordially. I will never allow the least thing
    to be printed in my journal which might wound France,
    but I would not let anything be printed which might be
    agreeable to Germany.”

    There you see the journalist
    at his worst. Northcliffe is found in every one of the
    world’s capitals. He lives in Washington, New York,
    Chicago, San Francisco. You cannot get rid of him.
    You cannot silence him. You must reckon with him.
    He has matches, and you jeopardize civilization when
    you pile up the gunpowder around him.

    [archive.org/stream/jstor-20667556/20667556_djvu.txt]

    Northcliffe deliberately inflamed anti-German sentiment by using such foul jingoistic devices as commissioning William Le Queux to compile a fictional story on a supposed invasion of England. The propaganda scare serial “The Invasion of 1910: With a full account of the siege of London” was published in the in 1906.

    See: amazon.com/The-Invasion-1910-Account-England/dp/1482617854

  16. Megan
    July 29th, 2014 at 00:31 | #16

    @kevin1

    The mention of Cabot Lodge struck me in light of this part of your earlier comment:

    …the conspiracy theory of an American power elite, supporting C Wright Mills’ idea that there was a broad elite commonality of interest..

    I’ve been reading Malcolm Fraser’s “Dangerous Allies”. In a nutshell, the assassination of Diem and Nhu in Vietnam, which led to the escalation of the war and the deaths of millions, was orchestrated by a renegade group. The assassination was set in motion by a cable “…largely drafted by Hilsman to the new and inexperienced American Ambassador in Saigon, Henry Cabot Lodge…” (pg 128).

    This renegade group deceived Kennedy and his senior advisors, apparently in order to get the war they wanted.

    When they were trying to backpedal and undo the momentum toward a coup, Hilsman wrote to Cabot Lodge “…I have the feeling that more and more of the town is coming around to our view (i.e. that Diem must be removed by a coup) and that if you in Saigon and we in the Department stick to our guns the rest will come around. As Mike [Forrestal] will tell you, a determined group here will back you all the way…”.

    We have also had it now for about 30 years with the neo-cons. I’m fairly comfortable describing what we have as “an American power elite”.

  17. Megan
    July 29th, 2014 at 00:58 | #17

    The US-backed Kiev regime is shelling the MH17 crash site, preventing the Australian investigators from gaining safe access. The Russian-backed separatists have been providing all assistance to the investigators (who are based in the “rebel held” city of Donetsk, by the way) and have taken them as close as they safely can.

    Why doesn’t the US demand that Kiev stop shelling the area?

    That’s a rhetorical question, by the way.

  18. J-D
    July 29th, 2014 at 06:54 | #18

    @alfred venison

    If you look at any two periods of history you will find points of similarity; you will also find points of dissimilarity. Ivor’s statements were a lot more specific than just ‘there are similarities between the present and the period leading up to the First World War’. Nothing in your comment justifies Ivor’s mysterious suggestion that the text he cited exemplified anti-Russian jingoism, and nothing in your comment justifies Ivor’s suggestion that the First World War was a result of anti-German jingoism.

  19. J-D
    July 29th, 2014 at 06:56 | #19

    @Ivor

    I know that NATO has admitted several new members and may admit more.

    So what? Is there some reason that it shouldn’t?

  20. Ivor
    July 29th, 2014 at 08:13 | #20

    J-D :
    @Ivor
    I know that NATO has admitted several new members and may admit more.
    So what? Is there some reason that it shouldn’t?

    Huh?

    NATO (via America) gave an undertaking it would not expand as part of the “Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany” [Two plus Four Treaty].

    Alliances like this lead to deep geopolitical tensions and, in the past, world war.

    America says one thing but does another.

    So, that is your “what?”.

  21. Ivor
    July 29th, 2014 at 08:20 | #21

    @J-D

    J-D :

    and nothing in your comment justifies Ivor’s suggestion that the First World War was a result of anti-German jingoism.

    You are playing a silly game.

    No-one said that “the First World War was a result of anti-German jingoism.”.

    Certainly anti-German jingoism led up to the First World war, but the war was the result of much more.

    If you cannot quote people properly, why are you even trying? It is an old trick to rewrite other peoples’ text into something different and then criticise the changed version.

  22. Ivor
    July 29th, 2014 at 08:21 | #22

    @J-D

    J-D :

    and nothing in your comment justifies Ivor’s suggestion that the First World War was a result of anti-German jingoism.

    You are playing a silly game.

    No-one said that “the First World War was a result of anti-German jingoism.”.

    Certainly anti-German jingoism led up to the First World war, but the war was the result of much more.

    If you cannot quote people properly, why are you even trying? It is an old trick to rewrite other peoples’ text into something different and then criticise the changed version.

  23. alfred venison
    July 29th, 2014 at 08:21 | #23

    what Ivor provides at #14 seems like the start of a pretty good explanation. have you read the article? -a.v.

  24. Troy Prideaux
    July 29th, 2014 at 08:46 | #24

    @Megan
    Surely the most plausible reason would be that they (the Ukrainians) realise that this is a limited window where the Russians and rebels are on the back foot (re: International PR) and it’s the most likely chance they’ll get to mount an offensive without significant retaliation from the rebels combined with semi overt Russian assistance/engagement. Whether that’s a morally acceptable justification is debatable.

  25. kevin1
    July 29th, 2014 at 09:50 | #25

    @Megan

    This is another Cabot Lodge of course, and that’s the point of family dynasties. I think when I studied this CWM stuff, it was a big deal because to admit that their society was controlled by a largely closed elite was to undermine the American dream as well as their moral superiority over communism, and such an idea had to be traduced. He put this idea out soon after President Eisenhower made his speech about the military industrial complex, yet the US remained in a state of torpor, medicated to the head by the Cold War, and to the senses by the consumer society. CWM’s point, by implication anyway, was that targeting the bad guys who gave the orders was irrelevant, because there wasn’t a chain of command, but a sustained consensus about how power should be exercised, and it didn’t entail asking the people.

    Re the neo-cons, they were a bunch of specific people of Republican origin who are off the stage AFAIK. I don’t know who the replacements are for Rove, Cheney, Wolfowitz, and whether they give the same sort of advice.

  26. sunshine
    July 29th, 2014 at 11:13 | #26

    Operation Bring Them Home seems to be floundering. Don’t they know who we are ? Haven’t they seen the Commonwealth Games medal tally board ? Andrew Bolt is pushing hard to send armed Australian soldiers in ,saying that the US has neglected its world policing role so we should take the lead .He said the bodies are still lying there being eaten by animals . There has been a few anti-Russian/Putin news paper cartoons in the exact style of WW 1,2 propaganda too.We could act as a trigger .Looks like Abbott has a pretty good poll bounce from all this. Labor is too scared to distinguish itself on it ,although not quite as scared on the Gaza issue.

  27. Megan
    July 29th, 2014 at 12:46 | #27

    @kevin1

    Yes, it was the name “Cabot Lodge” that caught my eye, I knew they weren’t the same person. But “dynasty” is a good word for it.

    I might be casting a much wider net in my capture of “neo-cons” than the narrow group who once described themselves that way, but appear to have now disowned the label.

    Just by way of example: “Victoria Nuland”. I consider her a neo-con, but others (perhaps including herself) might not.

  28. Tim Macknay
    July 29th, 2014 at 15:02 | #28

    Looks like Abbott has a pretty good poll bounce from all this.

    Yairs. His net approval rating is all the way up to minus 17. Huzzah!

  29. J-D
    July 29th, 2014 at 18:33 | #29

    @Ivor

    The German Chancellor told the German Reichstag that international problems were all the fault of other countries and not at all the fault of Germany? In the immortal words of Mandy Rice-Davies: ‘He would, wouldn’t he?’ Everybody said the First World War was somebody else’s fault; that’s what people nearly always say about any war.

    Jingoism seems to sprout everywhere. For precisely that reason, although it’s part of the general background to wars in general, it’s not the specific explanation for any specific war.

    (Austria-Hungary’s declaration of war on Serbia was not the cause of the First World War, it was the outbreak of the First World War. That’s when the war began, and anti-German jingoism in the UK was not the cause. Even if anti-German jingoism in the UK was a factor in the UK declaration of war on Germany on 4 August 1914, by that time Austria-Hungary, Belgium, France, Germany, Russia, and Serbia were already at war, and not because of anti-German jingoism in the UK.)

  30. J-D
    July 29th, 2014 at 18:36 | #30

    @Ivor

    I can find online the full English text of the Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany. I cannot find in it any reference to NATO of any kind.

  31. Ivor
    July 29th, 2014 at 20:20 | #31

    J-D:
    @Ivor
    I cannot find in it any reference to NATO of any kind.

    Don’t be so childish. The treaty impacted on all future military aspirations and deployments after the withdrawal of Warsaw Pact assets.

  32. Megan
    July 29th, 2014 at 21:13 | #32

    As previously advised, nothing more like this, please

  33. J-D
    July 29th, 2014 at 21:54 | #33

    @Ivor

    That is not the same thing as incorporating any guarantee about the US vetoing future admissions to NATO.

    I find online that some people insist that the US did make such an undertaking at the time the treaty was adopted, while other people insist that the US made no such undertaking. Made or not, it wasn’t incorporated into the treaty.

    Regardless of whether the US did in fact make such an undertaking, I am curious to know whether you think there would have been a good reason for the US to make such an undertaking.

  34. Megan
    July 29th, 2014 at 22:05 | #34

    Perhaps if I rephrase it?

    People might look for similarities between the front covers of current issues of: “TIME”, “Der Spiegel”, “The Economist”, “Veja”, “Macleans”, “Le Nouvel Observateur” and “Newsweek” and ponder the strength of the evidentiary basis for the sentiments expressed thereon.

    As I understand the injunction – there was an exception to discussion of media coverage.

  35. Megan
    July 29th, 2014 at 22:50 | #35

    Quoting again from Malcolm Fraser’s Dangerous Allies (pg 184):

    …The inclusion of Ukraine and Georgia in expansion plans has caused particular consternation in Moscow, with President Putin telling NATO leaders at their 2008 conference that the ‘appearance of a powerful military bloc on our borders will be taken by Russia as a direct threat to the security of out country’.

    As Putin’s comments above indicate, the foundation of a major strategic mistake was being laid during the 1990s. Mary Elise Sarotte, professor of history and international relations at the University of Southern California, describes in detail the diplomatic moves that were made at that time and the efforts to satisfy both Germany and Russia. In the negotiations Gorbachev made mistakes and did not get written agreements to his central proposition that NATO should not move east. …

  36. Megan
    July 30th, 2014 at 01:03 | #36

    JQ, could you please expressly describe what it is that I am not to do anymore?

    nothing more like this

    I am keen to continue to discuss issues without falling foul of the rules of the site.

    I have been defamed by other commenters here from time to time. I can handle that, but one of the reasons we have such a concept of “defamation” in our law is because of the damage it can do to a person’s standing in their community – without any factual basis.

    It works because one person publicly labels another and the label sticks, even without justification. Any attempt to prove or argue innocence of the label is either ignored or treated as the protestations of someone already found guilty.

    You set guidelines for further discussion of a certain aeronautical incident and I thought I had adhered to them.

  37. Ivor
    July 30th, 2014 at 01:15 | #37

    @J-D

    For some reason you are making a whole lot of stuff up.

    No one suggests there is a veto.

    If you think that relations between countries should be on the basis of mutual understanding and peaceful coexistence then obviously a the US should have made that statement in the context of a dramatic withdrawal by Warsaw Pact.

    It seems they said this but acted differently expecting their acolytes around the world to say;

    It-wasn’t-in-the-treaty

    But this is the practice of Americans and the world is a very sore place as a result.

  38. John Quiggin
    July 30th, 2014 at 05:53 | #38

    @Megan

    To keep the rules simple, please don’t post anything regarding MH17.

  39. alfred venison
    July 30th, 2014 at 08:04 | #39

    this is about ukraine & representations of the civil war there in the media. the author is a professor at princeton. http://www.thenation.com/article/180466/silence-american-hawks-about-kievs-atrocities -a.v.

  40. Tony Lynch
    July 30th, 2014 at 09:45 | #40

    Sorry, John. But why is that the rule? Might it be explained?

  41. Troy Prideaux
    July 30th, 2014 at 10:27 | #41

    Tony Lynch :
    Sorry, John. But why is that the rule? Might it be explained?

    Tony – Page 3 of July 14 Sandpit.

  42. Tim Macknay
    July 30th, 2014 at 11:54 | #42

    An interesting analysis of how the current US-Russia standoff came about.

  43. Troy Prideaux
    July 30th, 2014 at 13:16 | #43

    @Tim Macknay
    Was indeed an interesting read. Thanks for sharing.

  44. July 30th, 2014 at 18:21 | #44

    Have we had our first case of anti-environmentalist terrorism?

  45. July 30th, 2014 at 20:06 | #45

    @desipis
    This was a shock.

  46. Megan
    July 30th, 2014 at 23:05 | #46

    @Troy Prideaux

    I’m familiar with that page, how do you think reference to it answers Tony’s question?

  47. J-D
    July 31st, 2014 at 08:30 | #47

    @Ivor

    I didn’t make up the terms of the North Atlantic Treaty, the text of which is accessible on line. Article 10 requires the unanimous consent of the parties for any invitation to become a new party; the word ‘veto’ is not used, but the effect is the same. The US has, under the terms of the treaty, the same veto on new parties that every party has.

    As I wrote before, from what I can see online some people say that the US gave an undertaking about NATO not expanding while some people say that’s not so. I don’t have conclusive evidence of whose position is more accurate, and knowing which side you’ve taken isn’t decisive.

    If there is a sequence of reasoning that begins with the observation that the Warsaw Pact made a withdrawal (this was, I agree, an effect of the German Final Settlement) and the statement of principle that relations between countries should be on the basis of mutual understanding and peaceful coexistence, and that leads to the conclusion that the US should have made a commitment against NATO expansion, that sequence of reasoning needs additional stages to complete it and I don’t see how to fill them in.

  48. kevin1
    July 31st, 2014 at 14:27 | #48

    The ABC Foreign Correspondent segment A Gangster goes to War the other day exposed one of the lowlife war tourists fighting in Syria. I don’t have a clear view of that conflict but adventurers with guns and doubtful motives seem to be ubiquitous in that part of the world. If the arms manufacturers (I presume based in “sophisticated” industrial countries) had been under tighter control, the fuel would be lacking for so much local madness. Yes, useless pieties I know.

    Antony Loewenstein’s Guardian article today “Western liberations are grotesque experiments – just look at Libya” doesn’t let us forget that the mess of “nationbuilding” in Iraq and Afghanistan did not prevent broad left and right intervention in North African countries. This was because the incumbent dictators had no supporters in the West and R2P, the responsibility to protect, sounds a worthy ideal. The results look bad, but not only has the political caravan (or military juggernaut) largely moved on, but shrinking media resources also mean much attention, and opportunity for reflection, is not happening. Loewenstein sees these as “grotesque experiments on helpless civilians”, and therefore colonialism in another guise.

    Now we will see how “grownup” Abbott and Bishop really are, in prioritising cross-cutting objectives in a dynamic and dangerous situation over which they have little control.

  49. Megan
    July 31st, 2014 at 18:08 | #49

    I loathe News Ltd and never buy it or click on links, but as with most people I can’t avoid seeing it in shops etc.. almost every day.

    Queenslanders may have seen the front page of the Spurious Tale today about a plot by Supreme Court Judges to bring down the new (controversially appointed) Chief Justice.

    Justices McMurdo, Daubney and Boddice have issued a press release describing the statements in the story and editorial as “completely false”.

    So News Ltd publishes lies, can you believe it?

  50. Megan
    July 31st, 2014 at 20:18 | #50

    @kevin1

    For the sake of consistency, I would apply this:

    exposed one of the lowlife war tourists fighting in Syria

    equally to the many thousands of foreigners, especially including Australians, who go to fight in or on behalf of Israel.

    To argue against one is to argue against the other (incidentally I agree with your point and believe it applies equally to all).

  51. J-D
    July 31st, 2014 at 20:55 | #51

    As a small donor to the erection some years ago in Canberra of a memorial to the Australians who went to Spain to fight for the Loyalist Republicans in the Civil War, I can’t accept as a general principle that it’s wrong to go to another country to fight in a war there. Whether it’s right to fight in a war depends on many factors, but not on which country you yourself happen to come from.

  52. kevin1
    July 31st, 2014 at 21:00 | #52

    @Megan

    For someone like me who supports radical change, I start from the position that 99%, maybe more, of people don’t see the world the way I do! This is not trivial because if you are action-oriented (rather than just happy to ventilate your anger and die being “right” in your own mind, a disgraceful indulgence), then you need a methodical longterm process (strategy), starting from the realistic position of “now”.

    So, if trying to change their views (since we can’t exterminate them), there’s a need to understand them and look at the differences and similarities in an exact way ie. measure, as much as is possible, what is relevant. This gives a basis for trying to understand the people who will have to be won over. The alternative way is unscientific and hit or miss, and probably undemocratic, so it is flawed from the start.

    Arabs (mainly Lebanese and Palestinians) in Australian society are from the lower sociological class and “outsiders” in Aust society (see the book “Australia’s Immigration Revolution’), and I suspect in Denmark and other destination countries also – they come from a downtrodden society. Foreign Jews who identify as Israelis are much less so. I think (others can correct me if I’m wrong) that overseas Jews are expected to do compulsory military service in Israel for a year, with some non-combatant option. Like bourgeois people everywhere, I suspect they believe they are high minded compared to the foreign jihadis. But is their practice different?

    So I’m not going to rank ordinally Jews and Israeli expat combatants (to demonstrate what?) but just say they are different in origin and worldview. Both fatally flawed.

  53. Tim Macknay
    August 1st, 2014 at 13:40 | #53

    Alcoa’s Port Henry aluminium smelter is closing, which is likely to reduce Victoria’s electricity consumption by around 10%. Predictably, Tony Abbott has blamed the carbon tax, despite Alcoa expressly stating the the now-repealed carbon price was not a factor in the closure.

  54. John Quiggin
  55. Tim Macknay
    August 1st, 2014 at 14:41 | #55

    Heh!

  56. Pete Moran
    August 1st, 2014 at 16:37 | #56

    Anyone seen this from Sen Leyonhjelm? Looks like he may have a regular column, JQ?

    http://www.theland.com.au/blogs/agribuzz-with-david-leyonhjelm/price-takers-not-rulemakers/2706825.aspx?storypage=0

    “Being a price taker should not be an excuse for claiming victim status”.

    Showed it to my dairy-farming inlaws who were horrified. The True Libertarian doesn’t believe in political economy.

  57. Megan
    August 1st, 2014 at 22:40 | #57

    Israel has killed about 90 Palestinians after breaking the “ceasefire”, as they always do.

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