Politics


So aside from my very bad pun (my dad found it quite clever!), Barack Obama presents the world with a last bastion of hope for the US’ last 8 years of ‘failure’. Now some of my friends will be reading this, and will be wondering – hey, isn’t Nam a right wing, rascist, white conservative wannabe? – and the answer is: No, he is not. Now I’m just simply an idealist pragmatist – if that makes sense. But aside from that, once the hysteria of having a black president dies down, reality will set.

This election was different in the last few months. We’ve seen several things on both campaign’s agenda, including the War in Iraq. It is amazing to note the effects of these campaigns: Pensylvania is a swinging state, primarily Roman Catholic, and abortion was a big issue in 2004. This year, none of those civil liberties issues were a dominant factor in this year’s election; the economy was the final push in determining the President elect.

So what effect does that have for Australia? Now some radical republicans, including my African American friend ADL (yes, he really is black – no offense) believes that Obama’s heading in a isolationist direction. Now the last time they had that, there were two world wars. That may be an extreme way of looking at things, but it certainly has its effects on Australia’s economy. I have no doubts that Australia can pull itself through this recession, Australia always does, but Obama will have to worry about the current housing problems and high unemployment in some parts of the US – part of his election promises. That leaves Australia out, and to be honest, we’re not a big player, a good friend nonetheless.

Now I find it somewhat bewildering at how Australians have not come to realise this reality, that we will not enjoy the boost we had to our economy in the last 8 years during the Bush administration, and I doubt that the AUD will reach 97 USD any time soon. But we must remember, that although he is a black US president, he is a president nonetheless, and it does have an effect on our economy. Now as an idealist, I love the idea of having a black president, and being Vietnamese, that’s not too far from having an Asian president (fingers crossed). But just remember, to analyse the dramatic effect that the US has on Australia – and anyone who says that we can rely on China is a fool, the US provides the world direction.

DISCLAIMER: If you have not already realised, this is a serious post.

I don’t know much about US politics, or well, politics in general, but it seems to me that Obama is a man who has the ability to inspire hope and change within a nation, and even the world. Regardless of your what you think of him, his policies or the nation he appears to be headed to lead, you have got to respect that. I know I do.

Good evening once again, comrades.

A while ago I found a neat little site called “The Political Compass”, and today I thought I’d share it with you.

The main point of interest about this site is the relatively short political test that you can take, which asks about your opinions on various political, social and economic questions. From your answers, it calculates for you a “political compass”, which shows you where you lie on the economic scale (left-wing or right-wing) and the social scale (libertarian or authoritarian). For example, here’s mine:

Note that your position on the political compass can also be stated in numbers, with your economic position first followed by your social position. For example, mine, shown above, is (-6.2, +0.3).

As you can see, there’s more to it that simply Communism on the far Left and Fascism on the far Right (in fact, it is a myth that Communism and Fascism are opposites – Fascism is actually the opposite of Anarchism, while Communism is the opposite of neo-liberalism). There’s more to politics than the way the economy is managed – there are also social factors, which are taken into account in this graph.

Of course, this test is far from 100% accurate. In fact, it probably only gives you a very rough idea of where you lie politically as you aren’t questioned very extensively. So please don’t take this too seriously – I posted this more as a fun thing with a bit of politics mixed in.

There is also some analysis of how the political compass works, and there are some graphs that show the position of some famous politicians on the other pages of the site. I encourage you to check these out too.

If you’re interested/bored, visit the site at http://politicalcompass.org/. Click on “Take the test” on the left to take the test.

– Ruob.

Below is a list of quotes that appear when you die in the single-player campaign of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.


"In war, truth is the first casualty" -
Aeschylus
"Incoming fire has the right of way." - Unknown
"Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind."
- John F. Kennedy
"War does not determine who is right - only who is left" - Burtrand
Russell
"A ship without Marines is like a garment without buttons." - Admiral
David D. Porter, USN
"The press is our chief ideological weapon." - Nikita Khrushchev
"Whether you like it or not, history is on our side. We will bury
you!" - Nikita Khrushchev
"If the enemy is in range, so are you."    - Infantry Journal
"So long as there are men, there will be wars."      - Albert Einstein
"Aim towards the Enemy." - Instruction printed on US Rocket Launcher
"I think the human race needs to think about killing. How much evil must
we do to do good?" - Robert McNamara
"Any military commander who is honest will admit he makes mistakes in the
application of military power."   -
Robert McNamara
"You can make a throne of bayonets, but you cant sit on it for long."
- Boris Yeltsin
"The deadliest weapon in the world is a Marine and his rifle!" -
General John J. Pershing
"Concentrated power has always been the enemy of liberty." - Ronald
Reagan
"Whoever stands by a just cause cannot possibly be called a
terrorist." - Yassar Arafat
"Nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result."
- Winston Churchill
"War is delightful to those who have not yet experienced it." -
Erasmus
"Friendly fire - isn't." - Unknown
"Diplomats are just as essential in starting a war as soldiers are for
finishing it." - Will Rogers
"I think that technologies are morally neutral until we apply them. It's
only when we use them for good or evil that they become good or evil." -
William Gibson
"All that is necessary for evil to succeed is for good men to do
nothing." - Edmund Burke
"Older men declare war. But it is the youth that must fight and die."
- Herbert Hoover
"The commander in the field is always right and the rear echelon is wrong,
unless proved otherwise." - Colin Powell
"Freedom is not free, but the U.S. Marine Corps will pay most of your
share." - Ned Dolan
"I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War
IV will be fought with sticks and stones."     -
Albert Einstein
"The truth of the matter is that you always know the right thing to do.
The hard part is doing it." - Norman Schwarzkopf
“If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a
hundred battles.” - Sun Tzu
"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's
character, give him power." - Abraham Lincoln
"If we can't persuade nations with comparable values of the merits of our
cause, we'd better reexamine our reasoning." - Robert McNamara
"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of
patriots and tyrants." - Thomas Jefferson
"If the wings are traveling faster than the fuselage, it's probably a
helicopter -- and therefore, unsafe." - Unknown
"Five second fuses only last three seconds." - Infantry Journal
"If your attack is going too well, you're walking into an ambush." -
Infantry Journal
"No battle plan survives contact with the enemy." - Colin Powell
"When the pin is pulled, Mr. Grenade is not our friend." - U.S. Army
Training Notice
"A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on." -
John F. Kennedy
"A leader leads by example, not by force." - Sun Tzu
"If you can't remember, the claymore is pointed toward you." -
Unknown
"There are only two kinds of people that understand Marines: Marines and
the enemy. Everyone else has a second-hand opinion." - General William
Thornson
"The more marines I have around, the better I like it." - General
Clark, U.S. Army
"Never forget that your weapon was made by the lowest bidder." -
Unknown
"Keep looking below surface appearances. Don't shrink from doing so just
because you might not like what you find." - Colin Powell
"Try to look unimportant; they may be low on ammo." - Infantry
Journal
"The world will not accept dictatorship or domination." - Mikhail
Gorbachev
"Tyrants have always some slight shade of virtue; they support the laws
before destroying them." - Voltaire
"Heroes may not be braver than anyone else. They're just brave five
minutes longer." - Ronald Reagan
"In the end, it was luck. We were *this* close to nuclear war, and luck
prevented it." - Robert McNamara
"Some people live an entire lifetime and wonder if they have ever made a
difference in the world, but the Marines don't have that problem." -
Ronald Reagan
"It is generally inadvisable to eject directly over the area you just
bombed." - U.S. Air Force Marshal
"We sleep safely in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to
visit violence on those who would harm us." - George Orwell
"If at first you don't succeed, call an air strike." - Unknown
"Tracers work both ways." - U.S. Army Ordinance
"Teamwork is essential, it gives them other people to shoot at." -
Unknown
"The real and lasting victories are those of peace, and not of war."
- Ralph Waldo Emmerson
"We're in a world in which the possiblity of terrorism, married up with technology,
could make us very, very sorry we didn't act." - Condoleeza Rice
"All warfare is based on deception." - Sun Tzu
"The indefinite combination of human fallibility and nuclear weapons will
lead to the destruction of nations." - Robert McNamara
"In war, you win or lose, live or die - and the difference is just an
eyelash." - General Douglas MacArthur
"You cant say civilization dont advance - for in every war, they kill you
in a new way." - Will Rogers
"They'll be no learning period with nuclear weapons. Make one mistake and
you're going to destroy nations." - Robert McNamara
"It doesn't take a hero to order men into battle. It takes a hero to be
one of those men who goes into battle." - General Norman Schwarzkopf
"Any soldier worth his salt should be anti-war. And still, there are
things worth fighting for." - General Norman Schwarzkopf
"It is fatal to enter any war without the will to win it." - General
Douglas MacArthur
"Let your plans be as dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move,
fall like a thunderbolt." - Sun Tzu
"Anyone, who truly wants to go to war, has truly never been there
before!" - Larry Reeves
"Whoever said the pen is mightier than the sword obviously never
encountered automatic weapons." - General Douglas MacArthur
"Whoever does not miss the Soviet Union has no heart. Whoever wants it
back has no brain." - Vladimir Putin
"My first wish is to see this plague of mankind, war, banished from the
earth." - George Washington
"Cluster bombing from B-52s are very, very, accurate. The bombs are
guaranteed to always hit the ground." - USAF Ammo Troop
"If a man has done his best, what else is there?" - General George S.
Patton
"The bursting radius of a hand-grenade is always one foot greater than
your jumping range." - Unknown
"The tyrant always talks as if he's preserving the best interests of his
people when he actually acts to undermine them." - Ramman Kenoun
"Every tyrant who has lived has believed in freedom - for himself." -
Elbert Hubbard

Dear Readers,

Here are my thoughts,
I recently decided to read an article about the execution of Saddam Hussein.  In reading this article, I discovered that this event had been blamed for 7 copycat deaths, apparently all suicides, from children 15 years old or younger.  One 9-year old in America apparently did it as an experiment.
Does anyone else think that this is a good thing?
Think me heartless if you will, but is the world not full of idiots?  How many people buy from infomercials, think that in cutting themselves, they help emotional pain, or say, emulate the execution of an Iraqi dictator as AN EXPERIMENT!!  I mean, honestly, this kid saw the damn broadcast, and he saw that he died, how many more outcomes did this kid think there could possibly be?  It is people like this that create street gangs and trailer parks (no offence meant).  Call me snobbish and uptight, but overpopulation is a serious problem, and all the governments like to bitch about the lack of resources, yet they allow people who, 500 years ago would have been driven out of town, to have 11 kids, AND PAY THEM FOR IT!! We do not need a baby bonus, that simply breeds bogans.  What we need is a better education system.  As a product of the public education in our fine state, i feel privileged to have met some of the diverse people that populate it, and it is through meeting many of these people that I get inspiration to write articles like this one.

I’ve been doing some writing recently on BigThink (excellent site for the intellectually and philosophically inclined).  I have recently come to the conclusion that the world is quite severely overpopulated.  The world (on average) doubles it’s population every 42 years. This trend has continued for the last few hundred years.  Think about this, Man’s tendency to commit acts of violence against others.  From the very dawn of human civilisation, we have kept killing each other.  In response, we began to breed more and more to make up for this death.  We then reached a point after World War I where we decided to create rules of killing and control, to ensure that this death never occurred again.  Think about it, did any part of the world complain about overpopulation until the 70’s?  No! Because, we were quite successfully killing each other off until the point where we decided that war was a bad thing.  Now that we have restrictions on war, also due to the great advances in technology and medicine, the human lifespan has increased from four decades to nearly eight.  this doubling of the human lifespan, as well as the increase in birth rates due to the imagined prosperity, have now caused overpopulation.  Did you know that there is actually a worldwide food shortage? To the point where biofuels are now no longer viable because of the drain that they would put on the world food market.  The president of Greenpeace has now placed his faith in nuclear power, is this not a sign of severe trouble approaching?

Enough.

Harvey

Ok, horrible puns aside, Tina Fey does do a brilliant Sarah Palin. Now no one has been ever (in my opinion) to impersonate a politician as well as Tina does – the resemblence is uncanny. Not only are they visually similar, Fey recites what Palin says verbatim – with a few things added in for comedic value. But no doubt Palin’s “appearance” on Saturday Night Live has damaged the Republican nominee John McCain’s campaign for the oval office. Unlike Barack Obama when he first appeared on the show when SNL producers failed to find anybody who resembled the US senator.

Guess which one is which

Guess which one is which

So why is it that the ‘hot’, hockey mum from Alaska is suffering from this political portrayal by SNL favourite, Tina Fey. Is it because Palin herself did not appear on the show? Because McCain recieved praise for his performance portraying… himself, when he appeared on the show. So it is only logical that because the Alaskan governer did not appear on the show, it would be detrimental to the Republican campaign.

But my friends I will try and enlighten you to the gruesome truth. McCain is probably not going to live to see his children’s graduation, let alone the next Senate budget proposal, and if elected, Palin is sure to take office. Now, while I don’t mind hot mum’s who are highly religious and has a teenage daughter who is five months pregnant so technically making the hot mum a hot grandmother soon and now making Palin out of bounds, there is something about this hockey mum which I find… somewhat unsettling.

Now trust me, I have no qualms whatsoever about a woman taking office who believes that Dinosaurs ruled the earth in their enterprise like ships some 4000 odd years ago. I don’t mind having a lady who believes that it’s wrong to have sex before marriage but let her pregnant daughter escape a firing squad, hold the access codes to the world’s largest arsenal. And, there is absolutely, without a shadow of a doubt, no problem with her becoming President if McCain accidentally choked on a nacho, just because she is from ALASKA!

Now I’m not sure what it’s like in Alaska. But if it’s anything like Tasmania, I do not want such a person becoming the President of the all powerful US of A. I do not wish to see three eyed creatures who have training wheels as lower limbs and tentacles as arms. That may just be a generalisation based on my experience with Tasmanians, but it is a scary nonetheless.

So the next time you’re watching the election updates on fox, think about it carefully. Do YOU really want a woman like that becoming the VP, and potentially POTUS?

PS: I apologise for my digression into a somewhat long rant about Sarah Palin, but as you can see, I (heart) Matt Damon. And if he says that you shouldn’t vote for her, hey, he must be right.

– SOME OF THIS RELATES TO MY OLD BLOG, NOT THE ART OF TEENAGE STALKING –

“When any government, or any church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, This you may not read, this you must not see, this you are forbidden to know, the end result is tyranny and oppression no matter how holy the motives.”
– Robert A. Heinlein

I’ve been banned.  Anyone with the free Australian government Integard internet filter is now unable to view this blog, recieving only a page citing “Illegal Activities”.  The NetAlert system is designed to provide families with a means to protect their children from the “dangers of the internet”.  What is the greater danger, one dissenting voice or a government which is working to eliminate the freedom of speech?  If a parent wishes to prevent their child from accessing certain websites, that is their decision to make.  When the government advocates the banning of certain websites, that is tantamount to censorship.

But this doesn’t stop at free government filters.  Stephen Conroy, Rudd’s Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy has announced that this filter is to be forced upon all Australians.  Only those who contact their ISP company and ask for the filter to be removed will be permitted the most fundamental and vital freedom of speech.

“Of all the strange “crimes” that human beings have legislated of nothing, “blasphemy” is the most amazing – with “obscenity” and “indecent exposure” fighting it out for the second and third place.”
– Robert A. Heinlein

But it still doesn’t stop.  If my next post called for you to fight the opression of the government, the Australian Communications and Media Authority, under the Broadcasting Act of 1992, is permitted to shut down my blog.  If I started a porn website on an Australian server, I would recieve a “Takedown Notice” and be arrested if I chose to defend my liberty.  Australia’s internet censorship laws are the strictest in the western world.

And don’t think it’s just the internet.  The government restricts all forms of media.  The Classification Board, previously the Office of Film and Literature Classification, which, along with the ACMA, reviews all media prior to it’s commercial release, is able to refuse to classify any media, effectively banning it.  It is a crime to release any media which has not been classified by the Classifications Board.  This is a country where our freedom of speech is maintained as a right, as we are led to believe, but by permission from the government, who review all media before it is released.

“If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.”
– General of the Armies George Washington, First President of the United States

We aren’t even allowed to protest this affront to human rights.  In Victoria, under the Unlawful Assemblies and Processions Act, a magistrate may declare any public gathering to be unlawful.  If all people assembled have not left the area and dispersed within 15 minutes, anyone who remains may be imprisoned for up to one month, three months for repeat offenses.  Furthermore, the magistrate is permitted to appoint his own army of thugs as “Special Constables” to assist in the oppression of free speech.  Both the police and special constables are permitted to use deadly force to remove any dissenters if deemed necessary.

“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
– Voltaire

I’m sure that many of you are shocked by this point, as I was when I first learnt of the degree of censorship present in our society.  I don’t know which is more terrifying: the fact that we have this affront to freedom taking place or the fact that it is happening right under our noses, yet few are those who know of it.  You are now among those few.  Please, spread word of this injustice to all whom you know, in order that one day we may overcome it.
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
– First Ammendment to the Constitution of the United States of America

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