July 31st, 2005

"Recently, top officials of the Bush Administration have changed the way that they are talking about terrorism. They have stopped talking about a war on terrorism. Thinking it too narrowly defined, Administration officials now speak of a struggle against global extremism. Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld describes America’s policies as a global struggle against the enemies of freedom, the enemies of civilization."

It was President Bush who called the illegal war in Iraq the war on terror.

"A war between good and evil, Bush called it. A war to save the world."

In recent days, the global war on terror which had been conveniently shortened to GWOT in bureaucrat-speak has been shelved in favour of the global struggle against violent extremism or G-SAVE"

What will HoWARd say?
Will he parrot Bush?
Will he shift the rhetoric from war using soldiers, sailors, airmen and airwomen?
Will war be replaced with negotiations? Using diplomats, mediators and conflict resolution counselors?

Our selectively deaf PM

July 28th, 2005

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and General George Casey are saying that US troops could be home as early as springtime in America. Does that mean that our troops can be home for Easter as well?
HoWARd is very silent on the issue of a season for our troops to be out of Iraq.
Is this because it suits him to keep us alert and alarmed. Considering instead a national security summit to keep us all from feeling un-safe?
You bet.
HoWARd craves power. Even the dim glow from his proximity to Bush’s radiance is too seductive to extinguish.
It suits HoWARd to continue to milk the popularity of troops to stay in Iraq "until the job is done"

"In the poll of 1403 people, 61% agreed with the statement that "Australian troops should stay until the job is done", while 35% agreed that the troops "should be brought home immediately".

Carers do it tough under Coalition-of-the-Willing HoWARd

July 25th, 2005

“Creating Choice: Employment and the cost of caring”, launched by the Taskforce on Care Costs (TOCC) on 24 February 2005 in Sydney, calls on the Government to improve financial support for carers to give them real choice about working and caring, and thus improve flow on effects for business and the national economy. The report shows more than one in four workers with caring responsibilities have already reduced their working hours due to the high cost of care, and 25 per cent have considered leaving the workforce altogether. Juliet Bourke, Chair of TOCC said

“Forcing people to chose between work and care is not good for workers, their dependents, business or the national economy”.

The report observed that the Government has identified increasing levels of workforce participation as a key strategy for Australia’s future economic prosperity. Bourke said:

“Enabling carers to work to their optimal level will help achieve the Government’s objective of increasing workforce participation. It will increase taxation contributions, reduce government outlays and minimise skill wastage. This is a win-win situation”.

The report observed that the Government’s current financial support for workers with caring responsibilities is minimal, behind international best practice and narrowly focused (ie primarily on young children). TOCC’s survey found that a focus on children neglects the 20% of workers who care for elders and people with a disability. Bourke said

“We encourage the Government to be proactive about supporting workers with caring responsibilities.”

TOCC recommends that the Government:

1. Immediately draft legislation (for consultation) to implement its promised 30% rebate for care costs;
2. Extend the child-care rebate to cover elder and disability care costs;
3. Extend the 30% rebate to a more meaningful level (ie closer to a dollar for dollar rebate) and remove the proposed $4000 cap; 4. Introduce reforms to assist the cost of care in combination with a strategy to improve the accessibility and quality of care;
5. By June 2006 release a public report identifying the steps it has taken to implement the Taskforce’s recommendations.

I hope that HoWARd et al considers this data as he pushes through industrial relations reform with his compliant Senate.


Image from here

Oh my.

July 24th, 2005

Don’t be in or near London’s public transport system.
Don’t be young.
Don’t be male.
Stay pale or get pale.
Don’t wear out-of-season clothes.
Don’t behave suspiciously.
Don’t run down an escalator
Don’t ignore plain clothes police chasing you and warning you to stop.
Don’t get shot in the head five times at point-blank range.
Don’t be a victim of the Police’s simple nervous system shut-down objective.

"We are now satisfied that he was not connected with the incidents of Thursday 21st July 2005." police said.

UK police officer targets his weapon during a house raid in south London (Reuters)

Meanwhile in Iraq…

July 19th, 2005

Unfortunately HoWARd is ours.
Less and less agree with Bush.
And once again we have a backslapping double-act.
When HoWARd goes to Washington it’s hard to see where his rhetoric ends and Bush’s starts.
I favour Blair and his calendar.