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PREACHERS AND PULPITS March 31, 2008

Posted by wmmbb in Social Environment, US Politics.
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We have seen much about the statements of Reverend Jeremiah Wright who was Obama’s pastor, but nothing about those religious leaders of mega-churchs that endorse McCain. In the case of Wright it was necessary to troll through hours of video to turn up the controversial bits, which the media hands dutifully did. The extremists say things straight out and nobody, least of all the media, bats an eyelid, let alone replaying them over and over on cable television.
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MOVING ON March 30, 2008

Posted by wmmbb in Australian Politics.
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The dogs bark but the caravan moves on. Rudd has moved to a meeting with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. I have to admit that when I saw the picture, I did not have a clue who he was. No doubt Ambassador to the UN, Robert Hill, and his staff, were heavily involved in the Prime Minister’s visit to the United Nations in New York. I do not remember former prime minister, Howard ever visiting the UN on a trip to the US.
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RUDD AND BUSH March 29, 2008

Posted by wmmbb in Australian Politics, US Politics.
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When our leaders sit down to negotiate on our behalf it comes down to the personal qualities, especially interpersonal skills, regardless of the expert support staff. In this sense, Rudd will be tested on his 17 day jaunt overseas, and inevitably bring a different personality, background and agenda to the table.
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FRIDAY NIGHT DOG BLOG – FREEDOM AND RESTRAINT March 28, 2008

Posted by wmmbb in DOG BLOG -.
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Sasha has continued to enjoy her moments of freedom, and Dexter remains remarkably tolerant of staying on the lead. I am tempted at times to let him off, but the status quo is the best outcome.
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“RED ZONE” March 28, 2008

Posted by wmmbb in Iraq.
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It was not unreasonable to suppose, especially following the demonstration by Hezbollah of what kaytusha rockets could do, that if things deteriorated in Baghdad the Green Zone would come under attack. Now that seems to be happening, and to be taking place in a sustained way. Perhaps, after the lying has run its course, this event might be seen as a turning point in the occupation.
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TURN OF THE WHEEL March 27, 2008

Posted by wmmbb in South Asia.
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They might not be the brightest jewels in the shop window, but who would have thought sixty years ago that Jaguar and Land Rover would be owned by an Indian Company. I wonder whether Tata have made a wise buy, but I suppose they know what they are doing, and they would not be doing it for symbolic reasons.
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QUESTION OF MALE SUICIDE March 27, 2008

Posted by wmmbb in Peace, Social Environment.
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On Unleased at ABC Online, writer Bob Ellis considers the increasing number of male suicides in Australia:

Two of the greatest plays, Hamlet and Death of a Salesman, are about thoughts of suicide, and one of the greatest films, It’s A Wonderful Life, and one of the finer songs, Waltzing Matilda.

. . . One Australian dairy farmer suicides every four days, Bob Katter revealed in anguish in parliament last month, some of them friends of his. Each interest rate rise makes such men more desperate. Even selling the farm won’t get them out of it; the drought and the ARB have seen to that. A gun in the mouth, a pulled trigger, seems a better alternative. This may well be so.

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WAR DECLARED? March 26, 2008

Posted by wmmbb in South West Asia.
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According to this article in Japan Focus by John McGlynn (via Empire Burlesque), the American Government unilaterally declared financial “shock and awe” on Iran from 20 March using UN sanctions and provisions of the Patriot Act.

Surely, if the financial “shock and awe” is so effective, what need is there for military sanctions, which are not off the table? Apparently, since the resignation of Fallon, another aircraft carrier, the USS Lincoln, has entered the Persian Gulf ahead of schedule.Might not an over-indebted US be subject to international financial blowback?
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THE RACE QUESTION March 25, 2008

Posted by wmmbb in US Politics.
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African-Americans as or 1 July 2006 was 13.4% of the total population of the United States. Obviously, and overall portion does not give a picture as to how the population is distributed. They, unlike the Indigenous Australians, are large enough in numbers to have political representation both despite and because of the simple plurality combined with districting as it applies, for instance, to the House of Representatives. Obama is one of the few African-American politicians ever to be a US Senator, so he is already an exception, before becoming the first in a realistic way to run for the presidency by being potentially the flag carrier of one of the two major parties.
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TALKING OF PALESTINE March 24, 2008

Posted by wmmbb in Israel-Palestine.
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I think that R Cheney believes “he owns the world“, and since he and those around him own the world it is a case of do as I say, and not as I do. It is an odd thing to claim ownership of the world and to be the most indebted nation in human history. It is a case, perhaps sad, perhaps not, of the mouth opening and closing, when the mind has not caught up with reality. The sound and fury that signifies nothing, awaits the awakening. You may choose to remember that G Bush and R Cheney are the criminals, so defined by the US prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials, responsible for the invasion of Iraq.
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EASTER PROVOCATION March 23, 2008

Posted by wmmbb in Peace, Philosophy.
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As we might all appreciate relations with the Muslim World are sensitive, and it is not simply that Islam, as it seems to be true of all religions, has its share of extremists who gain greater visibility not simply by their actions but by the real cause of grievance that underlies them. Of course, it is possible to be drawn into a futile contention wrong do not justify wrongs in their turn, which simply leads to an escalation of violence and unnecessary suffering, often for many undeserving or innocent people. Iraq and Palestine serve as examples.
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FRDAY NIGHT DOG BLOG – STAYING ON THEIR FEET March 22, 2008

Posted by wmmbb in DOG BLOG -.
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This week’s dog blog might never had happened, had things turned out differently. I could have done more damage to myself than I did. On Sunday when I was trying to get a better angle for a more interesting photo, my shoes slipped on the ground and I hit my back against this rock. The thread on the shoes of my shoes had worn away and I keep on wearing them.
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THE 1930 BANK CRISIS March 21, 2008

Posted by wmmbb in Social Environment.
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The nature of things, I suppose, is that we are likely for fall for general assumptions, which sometimes turn out to be incorrect, and we desire simple explanations we can understand. Take the example of the Stock Market Crash of 1929, which I had believed had started the Great Depression. I knew that Milton Friedman had studied the flow of money, but I did not know what Paul Krugman lucidly points out in The New York Times:

We chose to forget what happened in the 1930s — and having refused to learn from history, we’re repeating it.

Contrary to popular belief, the stock market crash of 1929 wasn’t the defining moment of the Great Depression. What turned an ordinary recession into a civilization-threatening slump was the wave of bank runs that swept across America in 1930 and 1931.

This banking crisis of the 1930s showed that unregulated, unsupervised financial markets can all too easily suffer catastrophic failure.

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BUSH OR BIN LADEN? March 20, 2008

Posted by wmmbb in Middle East, Peace, US Politics.
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The occasion of the fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq has brought the two putative politicians out to seek the limelight where there respective qualities are on show.

Of the two, G Bush is perhaps less putative than O bin Laden since he remains, to everyone’s continuing surprise, the president of the United States, despite ones suspects the intention of those who framed the Constitution, and his sentiments and allegations are available freely and in full, however one might have cause to doubt their connection with reality. In a world constructed on bliss, spin and marketing, a leader is a dealer in dreams. There is a strong case for incandescent and effervescent happiness. R Reagan set the model.
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OBAMA IN PHILADELPHIA March 19, 2008

Posted by wmmbb in US Politics.
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Strange, but not a surprise, to discover that candidate Obama seems to have been caught in the race question that seems to have dogged the United States of America since its inception. Obama is forced to speak out from his association with his local pastor and on the occasion of the Pennsylvania primary and in Philadelphia – the city of brotherly love. I doubt whether the television stations will be able to show it without interruptions for commercials. Here is the video and the speech:


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MELTING GLACIERS March 19, 2008

Posted by wmmbb in Natural Environment.
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Speigel Online reports that the United Nations Environmental Programme has released a report that says that the worlds glaciers are melting at an increasing rate.. Measurements of glacier shrinkage began one hundred years ago, and there is comprehensive data since 1980 of thirty selected glaciers from around the world.
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TIBET AND THE OLYMPIC GAMES March 19, 2008

Posted by wmmbb in South West Asia.
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On Sunday, ABC News Online reported that the Dalai Lama had suggested that the Chinese were engaged in “cultural genocide”, meaning that Tibetan culture was being squeezed by the continued migration of Han Chinese. Monks had taken to the streets to mark the 49th anniversary of Chinese rule. The monks have played a crucial role in this protest, as they did in Burma, and in both cases they have been met with repressive State power.
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“GOD DAMN AMERICA” March 18, 2008

Posted by wmmbb in Humankind/Planet Earth, US Politics.
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The comments by Reverend Jeremiah Wright have raised an emotional response, as if the people making decisions in the US Government can do no wrong and are thereby not accountable. There is an implication in responsible government that those that govern will be responsible to the governed, and they conduct their policies with regard to accepted ethical standards.
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LOCAL ACCOUNTABILITY March 17, 2008

Posted by wmmbb in Australian Politics.
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So what does accountability mean in Liberal Democracy?Take the comparatively trivial case of Wollongong City Council whose elected councillors were sacked when ICAC (The Independent Commission Against Corruption) found that there corrupt relationships between Council employees and property developers ( or, is there more to it than that?).
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MARX’S ANNIVERSARY March 16, 2008

Posted by wmmbb in Philosophy.
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Nick Amies forDeutsche Wella highlights the fact that Karl Marx died 125 years ago. The question then is, how relevant are his ideas today. And the answer, according to DW, is that remain relevant, perhaps surprisingly so. So lets consider what is the basis of the contention.
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