Daily Archives: November 5, 2008
The papers here have been keeping an eye on the imminent executions of the mad bombers. If ever any people deserved execution it is that lot, assuming that is that capital punishment is a good idea, as they also believe in China and Texas, and many other places. I don’t think capital punishment is a good idea. I think I would rather see the deluded murderous fanatics who think it’s OK to kill people because you disagree with them or don’t like their swimming costumes serving out their days working in a morgue or cleaning up minefields somewhere; I certainly don’t think that granting them the martyrdom they allegedly crave does much good at all.
And anyone reading in Indonesia: I am sure most of you don’t believe for a moment that amazing twaddle about the Bali bombing being a CIA operation, or the Australian government paying for the execution. That belongs in the same place as the moon being made of green cheese, or my television set being populated by little men who are conspiring against me. In other words, like so much else some people say, it is totally and utterly barking insane. The world is bad enough without spreading or believing crap like that.
And just as bad are our own Islamophobes who think something like one third of the population of the globe share the madness of the bombers, and are out to get us. That too is insane. Utterly insane. Read on that link what a colleague who was in Bali at the time of the bombings has to say.
So let’s focus on the many sane Indonesians, for example these people, or this Indonesian blog which came my way via Jim Belshaw a little while ago. Now even though Love Ely is protected by Copyscape, I am sure he won’t mind a quote and a stolen picture…
On November 10th, 2008, thousands of bloggers will write about the various challenges faced by the 11 million people who have no country to call home and the 40 million more who have been displaced because of war, conflict and natural disasters. It’s hoped the world of blogosphere will unite to raise their voices on behalf of millions voiceless refugees. To ask the world to face the atrocities to humanity. To increase the awareness of human rights. Participating is easy and for more information please visit Bloggers Unite. There, you will find various badges and even source material for write a post.
I am going to join in with that. Why don’t you?
Sunday 9 November update
The executions have now occurred. I have nothing to add. But read a very thoughtful essay by Yawning Bread (Au Waipang) in Singapore: “Bali bombers and the death penalty”.
Of course here in Oz it is already Wednesday, and we wait with almost as much anticipation as folk in the USA seem to be doing. Good to see such a turnout, and I hope their really weird electoral system, which strikes me as being very dodgy in some states, copes. I am so glad we use pencil and paper, vote in absolute privacy – no-one is allowed to look over your shoulder – and even that we have compulsory voting, because then “turn-out” is not a factor. I am also glad we end up with the government we vote for here, because in the USA that isn’t guaranteed because they don’t actually trust the people, it seems, despite their commitment to democracy, and so have that bizarre thing called the Electoral College mixed into the process. Yes, I do know how it works, but damned if I can see the point. (This map is good.) And I will be very surprised if it upends the popular vote in this election, I have to say – but stranger things could happen.
All in all, every time there is a US election I am glad we have the Westminster system in Australia, even with the Queen! I am quite prepared for Australia maybe becoming a republic, even though I really don’t think that will happen all that quickly. But when we do, for heaven’s sake let’s keep the best of what we have because it’s far better than that eccentric US model…
But I will follow it all with much interest nonetheless.
Of course should Obama be elected – and pray God he is – we will have some interesting times here in Oz thinking through trade issues, but we are probably better placed with a Rudd government for that than we would have been with Howard Mark 10… (or George Who?)
For what it’s worth, I don’t believe George Who didn’t know what the G20 is… He may be dumb, as some allege, but he isn’t that dumb… Strange story that though. The Kirribilli House speaker phone may need to be placed at a more discreet distance from the sitting room, that’s all I can say.