The good sense of the American People

by Sal on January 27, 2006

in Politics

Two polls today show some welcome news about the sense of the American public. The first is a poll taken by the New York Times in regards to wiretapping and monitoring of emails, phone calls, etc. The poll found that 53% of the American People approved of the practice against terrorists (the NYTimes called it a “striking finding”). The NY Times/CBS however, try to say that the people are against it (50% against) if the word “terrorist” is dropped from the question. This gives them their headline “Poll Shows Ambivalence on Wiretaps.” This is absurd, as the premise of the question is all wrong. The President is only monitoring terrorists, and those receiving phone calls from terrorists.

In another poll, 57% of the American Public support war in Iran if it comes to that. I’m glad the American People still have the will to go to war, even with public sentiment against Iraq (if only because of the scandal of the reporting on Iraq). I’m glad to see the American People recognize the need to face this threat, as it is a dangerous one, and we need to be vigilant about it.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous January 30, 2006 at 12:25 am

A perfect example of why you Yanks (wanks) are the laughing stock of the rest of the world.

You have laws that allow all these wiretaps, but your president decides he will do it outside of the law and without any checks and balances. Then he tells you he’s only doing it to terrorists (Believe me, but because he does it with no legal oversight, you’ll never know if he’s telling the truth. No other country democratic country would stand for this for one minute. This from the president who stole his first election. The rest of the world knows about all the underhand steps taken to block out as many potential democrat vosters in Florida. If you name is similar to a convicted felon we’ll put you on the unable to vote list, then you have to prove your right to vote if you ever discover it. A Supreme Court decision – republican dominated, that said the vote stands because this is the law… but the law only applies to Florida, because if we said the law applied in all states then we’d have to run the election again and he might not win. Forget that all the faulty voting machines were sent to Democrat strongholds, forget the outright lies spun by Rove for his second election. Forget that the rest of the world considers your president a fuckwit. Before you get all high and mighty, the rest of the world does count. America only has as much clout as it has because it is the biggest bully left, but only for so long.

I don’t support any US party and am more right wing of centre, vote for out equive of republicans, but like many am horrified by the outright corruption etc on your republican party. A president who justifies war on Iraq because of WMD, then can’t find them then says we had to invade because he was a dictator and a bad person. Lots of other places to invade first on that logic…Burma, Zimbabwe, Sauid Arabia (oh, that dictators a friend). Oh, with the exception of the friendly dictator, the other’s don’t have oil, or any other excuse to go to war.

Wake up America, you have an uneducated buffoon, who is the biggest danger to peace since Stalin. Now I know, if this is published I will be called a commo, abused etc etc, but that doesn’t worry me because that’s the standard response of right wing fanatics since Hilter and Mussolini.


Sal January 30, 2006 at 7:32 am

It’s “Commi” not “Commo”. I am not going to insult you or call you names in any way. The problem with your post is that it is riddled with innacuracies and downright lies. I will rather take your post, point by point, and rebuff your arguments.

Wiretaps: President Bush is not conducting wiretaps outside the law, but rather inside of the law. The courts have ruled consistantly in the United States that when Congress gives the President the authority to conduct a war, the President has the legal authority to conduct wiretaps and other forms of spying. During the cold war, much spying was done on the Soviet Union without warrants, by both Democrats and Republicans (from Kennedy through Reagan through President George H.W. Bush). The Constitution of the United States (on which most of the Democracy in the modern world has roots) gives the President the power to wage war in article II by making him Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. The courts have consistantly affirmed that the President has this supreme authority which cannot be overridden by the courts or congress.

There is much case law allowing for this exception:

In United States vs. Butekno (1974), a case against a man who had been convicted of espionage based on a warrantless wiretap, “In sum, we hold that, in the circumstances of this case, prior judicial authorization was not required since the district court found that the surveillances of Ivanov were “conducted and maintained solely for the purpose of gathering foreign intelligence information.””

In United States vs. Buck (1977): “Foreign security wiretaps are a recognized exception to the general warrant requirement….”

U.S. v. Duggan (1984):
“The President had the inherent power to conduct warrantless electronic surveillance to collect foreign intelligence information, and that such surveillances constituted an exception to the warrant requirement of the Fourth Amendment.”

Finally, FISA itself in 2002:
“The Truong court, as did all the other courts to have decided the issue, held that the President did have inherent authority to conduct warrantless searches to obtain foreign intelligence information.”

In the cases of these searches, the Foreign Intelligence Committees and leadership of both the house and Senate were informed of the program. There is legal oversight, just not in every instance and not requiring a warrant. As far as other countries, France has a prosecutor “Judge” who when investigating terrorist cases can issue subopenas and wiretaps at will, MI-6 has no warrant requirement, but reports to Parliament, and virtually every other country does not require a warrant for foreign intelligence purposes.

Your accusation that President Bush stole the election of 2000 is completely basless. An investigation was done on irregularities, and no evidence was found on the Republican side. Truth be told, some evidence was found on the Democratic side with dead people voting, suppression of the military vote, and other such irregularities (but no proof, so we’ll leave it there). As a matter of fact, a normal election occured in Florida, and it was extremely close. As far as faulty voting machines, there were actually a higher percentage of misvotes in Republican districts than in Democratic ones! Gore then took the election to court, where it does not belong. (According to the Constitution, it should have gone to the Florida Legislature). The Florida Circuit Court and Court of Appeals both ruled in Bush’s favor. Only the Florida Supreme Court, in a horribly-written and poorly-reasoned legal opinion, ruled in favor of Gore. When the case went to the Supreme Court, 7 out of 9 (thats right, 7, including 2 Democrats) ruled that the Florida Supreme Court was off-base. Since there was no more time under the Constitution, the vote was certified and Bush became President. It is interesting to note that the media went back to count the votes following the election, in order to try to determine “who the real winner is”. In 9 out of 10 ballot counts, Bush came up the winner. Only in one case, where all votes were given to Gore what the vote was not clear, did Gore win. So to say that Bush stole the election is totally ficticious and based soley on liberal propaganda without a single basis in fact.

Iraq: Yes, Bush was wrong on the WMD’s, but so was the rest of the world. The collective Intelligence Agencies of the UN, France, Britain, Germany, and Russia all said that Sadaam Hussein had WMDs. Bush decided to act based on this intelligence. Bush didn’t lie about it, he had faulty intelligence. He made the decision based on the best information he had. As far as Oil, the U.S. has not received a SINGLE benefit of oil from Iraq, because we are not conquerers, we are liberators. In the words of an Iraqi woman on election day, “ANYONE WHO DOESN’T APPRECIATE WHAT AMERICANS HAVE DONE — WHAT PRESIDENT BUSH HAS DONE — LET THEM GO TO HELL!”

The Iraqi people are grateful for America, and the liberation of their country. Just like we liberated France, Germany, the entirty of Eastern Europe, etc., we continue to liberate. True, the rest of the world does matter. But the attitude of people like you will not sway America from doing what is right. If not for America, the world would be under the rule of Nazi Germany. If not for America, the world would be under Communist rule. And a generation from now, we will say that if not for America, the world would forever fear of Terrorism.

Thanks for the post. It illustrates the difference between fact and propaganda.


Mike January 30, 2006 at 3:59 pm

I don’t think such rantings deserve an intelligent response. The chap certainly doesn’t deserve my time, but I would like to make an observation. He claims to vote for the equivalent of American republicans in his home country, presumably Australia. Though the veracity of this statement is doubtful (the guy is obviously a lib), it shows him to be nothing more than a hypocrite.

In voting for the Australian version of a Republican, John Howard, he voted for one of America’s biggest cheerleaders in the war on terror, Iraq included. If his assertions have any logical consistency, he himself would have voted for a “fuckwit” as well.

Of course I don’t believe this to be the case. I simply believe he cut and pasted talking points from various “sources” and failed to harmonize them into a coherent reply.


Anonymous January 31, 2006 at 7:48 pm

We’ll always disagree on the outcome of your election. Obviously republicans will ridicule anyone who disagree’s with their view. The most viscous party in creation when it comes to dissent. The comment about the election should have been decided in Florida obviously suited the republicans, but the reality on the ground saw the in a republican controlled state there was no way the dems were going to get a fair hearing (even though the state supemes did vote in favour of gore). Harris declared in favour of Bush before any discussion of challenges was entered and before the necessary legal steps had been concluded. (and she was rewarded for it)

As for the assention the the president has the right to carry out these taps.. You have quoted precedence, however there is compelling contrary precidence and dissent in the Supreme’s on this one.

I like the Amreica has not received a single benefit. Bush’s original thinking was that by seizing Iraq and installing a tame government, the total available oil would increase, however the resistance was substantially greater than anticipated and oil revenue’s have dropped significantly. And what about the obscene benefits to Halliburton… Arms length bullshit!

Even members of the Iraqi government who are favoured by the US have expressed anger at the US actions since the invasion, and many Iraqi’s are very anti the invasion in the first place. Sorry, that one woman does not speak for all Iraq. We have a large Iraqi refugee population in Australia and the signifcant majority appear to be firmly against the invasion.

The countries you mantion as having faulty intelligence, with the exception of Russia all relied on the (now known to be deliberately mis stated) data provided by the US. Germany and France did NOT believe there was conclusive evidence and even suggested the intelligence might be faulty. You only have to look at Bush’s speech’s to see him using already discredited intelligence (Iraq trying to buy Uranium in Africa).Poor sod that dared to point out that fact – his CIA wife get’s outed.

Nice to see that you accept the finding of the local Florida courts, but the moment the Florida Supreme’s disagree it was a faulty decision. You also didn’t address the fact the the US Supremes decision made a statement of law that they then limited to Florida only, as applying it nationwide would have invalidated the election.

Yes, I did vote for Howard. His economic policies are the very best (our economy is one of the strongest in the world (US stagnant under Bush)with falling unemployment (The US is rising under Bush), vast budget surplusses (US growing deficit under Bush). That doesn’t mean I have to support him in everything. I believe he was conned by Bush, as were many leaders on the need or desireability for war in Iraq. I suppoted Afghanistan, supported the British in the Faulklands and supported GB Senior in the first Gulf war, pitty he had a case of premature ejaculation.. the world was behind him at that time, so I’m not a pacifist. I’m hardly a lib, would never vote for any other party in Oz, though I do believe in some social responsibility – we manage to help those who cannot help themselves with great budget surplusses. I have spent a lot of time in the US and see what your free country does to anyone in the bottom strata, and don’t dare say anyone can make it in the US..

Now I would have voted for Clinton if in the US. OK he screwed around but he did run a great economy, and his humanitarian work since stepping down has been outstanding. (GWB snorted coke, abused alcohol.. and screwed the economy where’s the greatest sin) Commo/Commi, both words are used in the Australian language.


Sal January 31, 2006 at 10:47 pm

I’m not trying to insult you, anonymous, but the problem with your posts are that they just are devoid of fact and are filled with propaganda. You speak of republicans being vicious with dissent, but again you are the one who labelled us Nazis. Again, I’ll deal with your topics one by one:

My point in the first article that the ONLY people in the state that ever agreed to the Gore campaign’s claims were the Florida Supreme Court. All Katherine Harris did was follow the law in certifying the results by the date mandated by state law. Harris had an obligation to certify the election results by a certain date, and it was not her role to allow challenges accept under certain conditions, which were not met.

As far as the Florida courts, I don’t accept their finding any more than I accept the Supreme Court’s finding of Flordia, because it did not belong in the courts to begin with! The U.S. Constitution, which trumps state law in this case, is clear that the Legislature is the supreme authority in presidential elections. The courts had no right to get involved under the law.

This may surprise you, but I actually agree in principle to what you said on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision. I agree with the conclusion that the Florida court’s decision was bogus, but reject the reasoning of the majority opinion. I subscribe more to Renquist’s concurring opinion of Bush v. Gore, which recognized the surpremicy of the legislature in that matter under Artcile II.

You state that there is compelling presidence, even from the Supreme Court, yet you do not cite it. In my research I have not found any governing case law that has found wiretaps without a warrantfor national foreign security purposes (even within the U.S.) to be unconstitutional. If you can cite case law to the contrary, I’ll be glad to look at it.

Again, a total lack of basis in fact. There were NO foreign intelligence sources questioning whether or not Sadaam had WMDs. In fact, the U.S. got MUCH of its intelligence from France and Germany, not the other way around. Even the Uranium story came from Britain (which, by the way, they still stand by as being accurate). Joe Wilson has been thoroughly discredited, and the report he gave to the CIA was a complete opposite of what he wrote in the NY Times.

I disagree wtih you. Many Iraqi’s have voiced support for the toppling of Sadaam, and are grateful for democratic elections. The high turnout is evidence of this.

Your claims on economics are laughable. Howard has done a great job, but Bush has as well. The unemployment rate is down to 4.9%, the economy is growing at a fast clip, with 4.2% in 2004, 3.5% in 2005, where Australia’s growth was 2.5. Yes, the U.S. deficits are a problem, and the high spending of Bush is something to be concerned about. But Clinton could not manage an economy, the reforms of the 90s were related to the economic reforms of the new Republican Congress in ’94, as well as the dot-com bubble, which artificially inflated the economy through 2000.

Please try to back up your statements with facts rather than supposition and propaganda.


Anonymous January 31, 2006 at 11:32 pm

Funny how your ‘facts’ are different than those accepted worldwide, and even some within your own country. No good labelling them liberal lies. What says that republican lies (fact) are any better than liberal ones.

Look at the underlying stats. the US economy is not doing as good as you say. Again, funny how the republican stats differ.

The rest of the world watched in amaxzement at the supposed ‘fact’ spouted by Rove’s groups during your last election. We are actually proud of the fact that an Australian owned media group (yes he’s still an Australian as well) managed to have such an impact on the outcome of the election, even if the news they broadcast was completely managed for one end, his political agenda – talking about Rupert Murdoch here. Strange thing though, everywhere else in the world, the reports were torn to pieces and exposed for what they were, political agenda.

Strange how your facts on WMD differ from statements by other governments. germany MAY have raised the point intiially, but it was the US who took it and turned what was well prior to the invasion a discredited suggestion, into an excuse for the war.

Joe wilson appears discredited in the right wind press only. The fact is he wrote an accurate statement discrediting the Bush govt’s assertions and he and his family were attacked in revenge.

No matter how you gloss it, that is a fact. How Rove got away with not being indicted is amazing, but offer up one sacrificial lamb… Now of course your right wing commentators refuse to acknowledge this… How is it Fox start their biggest lies..”some people say”

The only difference is I (and most of the world) can recognize a bullying and corrupt organisation for what it is.

I am right wing, but not so fixed in dogma as to not evaluate and take on differing views and have some social conscience.

You accuse me of using propoganda. Your statements about Clinton’s good years being due to a republican Congress, are just that – propaganda. Funny how everyone claims responsibility for good times.

You state the consitution… Funny how it is only the republican supporters that insist that. Several courts thought otherwise! So courts are Ok as long as they tow the republican line.

Shouldn’t be a problem in future with Bush stacking the courts so hard right as to be scary.

Guess capital punishment will become compulsory for anything above a misdemeanor. America, land of the free and the only civilised (?) country to have government sponsored murder. America, a signatory to the UN charter on childrens rights that ignores it and executes minors. The country with a president who had a running contest with his brother as to how many perople they could execute, the man who laughed at a woman begging mercy. Yes her crimes were heinous, but over here in the land of the TRULY FREE we don’t murder our citizens. (Sadam’s being tried for that… funny his countries laws gave him the right to do it) America, a country and I’m picking you by your ultra right stance that imposes a punishment that has been shown worldwide to have no effect on crime rates, even to increase the murder rate.

You know many Iraqi’s that are grateful. That’s just the thing, there are many that are, but possibly just as many or more that aren’t But then you would label any that aren’t grateful as terrorists. High voter turnout. Under Saddam it was almost 100%, so were they more grateful to Saddam. Stupid I know, he was an evil man who deserved to face judgement by his maker. perhaps if GB 1 had stood by those in Iraq who wanted to overthrow Saddam after DS, then the problem would not be what it is. Him being deposed from within with the world’s unqualified support would have sent a far stronger message and far less of the problems we face. Problem with the republican machine, there is no room for any other view. None of your replies have addressed the fact that the Burmese regime is possibly even more loathsome than saddam, forced child soldiers and sex slaves, murdering democratic protestors. North Korea definitely has WMD and someone crazier that GWB in charge – no invasion. The problem is that Bush decided to invade Iraq then set about generating a set of ‘facts’ to justify, ignoring the fact that the same standard applied elsewhere had more justification than in Iraq.

I could go on, but anything I say will be attacked with ‘fact’ that is written by and for the hard right wing.


Sal February 1, 2006 at 6:58 am

You know, I don’t mind a civil debate between people with different ideas. I have several close friends that I work with who are liberal, and we have fun bantering our differing views back and forth. But what you do, anonymous, is hurl insults, and make blind assertions without anything to back them up. I highly doubt that you are “Right of Center”, as your political statements on this entire post have been completely liberal. Supprot Clinton? He was one of the most left-wing presidents of modern American history!

Why can’t you liberals keep a civil tone? Your assertion that “facts accepted worldwide” is just false. Again, you have not cited one study, one report, or anything to back up your assertions.

What stats are you referring to? You keep referring to the “underlying stats”, but don’t cite anything.

FACT: U.S. GDP rose 3.5% in 2005
FACT: US Unemployment at 5.1%

FACT: Aus GDP Rose 2.7% in 2005
FACT: AUS unemployment at 5.2%

FACT: EU GDP Rose 1.7% in 2005
FACT: EU unemployment at 9.4%

U.S. also has higher GDP than any other nation, including the combined EU.

Source: World Factbook,

As far as the 90s economy, what did Clinton do that actually helped the economy? The economy was helped mainly by tax cuts and that Republicans made in 1995, specifically the Capital Gains tax cut which spurred investment into the stock market which was one of the main sources of economic growth in the mid to late 90s. If you can name me one program that Clinton proposed or supported that helped the economy, I’ll be glad to listen.

Point me to some evidence to the contrary. Don’t just show tell me that my facts are wrong, cite numbers, cite sources.

Your attacks on Fox News are rather pathetic.. People turned to Fox in droves because the other networks consistantly put forth a liberal agenda (i.e. Dan Rather on CBS trying to tie Bush to phoney documents regarding his national guard service)..

It was not discredited until after the war. In fact, some theorize and there is some evidence that he moved his WMD’s to Syria. Regardless of that, there is no evidence that the idea was discredited before the war. The U.N. Security Council was unanimous in the fact that Iraq had WMD’s, and the majority of the Security council voted to authorize the U.N. to use force (only France and Russia’s veto of the resolution. ) As a matter of fact, it now appears that their opposition may have stemmed from economic reasons, as both countries had ties to the Oil for Food scandal.

Joe Wilson
How can you be sure Joe Wilson’s statement is accurate? The British Government, our source for the statement on Uranium in Africa, still stands by their intelligence! And a bi-partisan (yes, that includes an equal number of Democrats and Republicans) as reported in the liberal Washington Post, ( show that there is plenty of evidence that Joe Wilson lied.

I state the Constitution because Conservatives belive that it is our governing document and should be used to keep the government in check. However, the judiciary has been problematic and has been, for the past 30 years, “Making” law, making up its own law with no basis in the Constitution. So yes, courts and I may disagree, but that is no surprise since it is the Judiciary in this country that has run amuk. Courts are only OK when they use the law and the Constitution as a guide. An idealogue judge who made all his decisions based on right-wing politics would be just as dangerous as the current judiciary where many judges rule based on left-wing politics. What Bush is doing is appointing judges who base their rulings on the text of the Constitution, not some vague feelings. Scalia, Thomas, Roberts and Alito are examples of that.

High voter turnout under Sadaam? That was just propaganda by Sadaam! No electorate in the world has near 100% turnout (he claimed 100%, by the way, not near 100%). And how is it an election when only one person is on the ballot, and you are shot if you do not vote for that one person? Look, America is in Iraq rebuilding schools and hospitals, setting up an infrastructure, trying to make life better for the Iraqi’s.

As far as North Korea, I don’t disagree with you. Just because the U.S. military is not in there now, doesn’t mean we won’t be at some point. Bush ID’d Iraq, Iran and North Korea as all being dangerous early on. North Korea is a dangerous country and needs to be dealt with. However, for the national security of the U.S., at the time it appeared that Sadaam was a greater danger due to his sympathies to terrorists. If he did have WMDs and he passed some to terrorists, the U.S. could have had an attack worse than 9/11.

Capital Punishment
As far as Capital Punishment is concerned, I’m not going to debate with you on it, because it’s an issue that I am not sure about from a moral standpoint, and I’m still undecided on it. But from a legal standpoint, there is currently nothing that prevents it in the Constitution. My problem is not with people deciding to ban the death penalty (democracy at work) but rather rogue courts who decide that they will make up a whatever they want regarding capital punishment and find that the Constitution prohibits it, when nothing in the Constitution points to that.

Now, the next time you post, I ask two things of you:

1) Try to be more civil. We can have a good debate without the insults and name-calling.

2) Try to back up your assertions with some evidence.


Mike February 1, 2006 at 9:16 am

I really don’t see th point of continued dialogue with someone who simply makes it up as he goes along. Facts are dismissed as “right wing” because world opinion doesn’t accept those facts (another mere assertion by the way). Those who utter a disagreement are allegedly stifling dissent. Conservatives are accused of a mean spirited tone while the left can hurl the Nazi insult. I could go on and on but anon’s drivel speaks for itself.

Liberal opinion is welcome on this site but please be factual. Iwanski is a liberal reader but he is welcome because he is respectful and doesn’t make up the facts. It appears he is the exception to the rule. Parroting Michael Moore’s cut and paste jobs is not debate.


Anonymous February 3, 2006 at 6:59 pm

Now I’m being accused of name calling. I’m accused of being a liberal as if it’s some contagious disease. Accused of making up facts as I go along. I’m simply quoting from world media, both left and right wing. And just because it’s not the republican media does not mean it’s wrong. Sorry guys you don’t have a lock on being right. The recent case of desicration of bodies in Afghanistan was exposed live by our SBS (PBS?) which is about as left wing as it goes, but we saw it, and no amount of whitewash from Murcdoch’s chanels changes the fact it happened at it was wrong. My biggest concern is that as with Abbu G (Yes that really happened and it really was wrong) the ordinary soldier, who was wrong gets to take the full force of blame while the Stipe’s who were ultimately responsible get off almost scot free, but that’s not a US only issue.

What shits me most is as I’ve alluded, the vicious rght wing press and commentators. In your own country Sheehan is accused by the right of being a commie… For christs sake she’s a mother who lost a son. She sincerely believes as do the majority of the world, (sorry that is a fact too and while it does not agree with right wing America’s view, you are not right on this one) that Iraq was the wrong invasion at the wrong time for the wrong reasons. She’d sounds from interviews that she loves America, loves being American and supports the soldiers 100%, just not the politicians who never have their sons at risk. (Bush/Vietnam???)OK she’s made some questionable actions.. being seen alongside the likes of Chavez…DUMB, but accept she is a grieving mother and I can state from all too painful family experience the loss of one’s closest can have a devastating effect and can cause questionable decisions. (I got to see my own mother totally lose touch with reality and commit suicide). Don’t insult her by calling her a commie. Accept she is a person with just as much right to her views as you or I, and if we don’t accept her views at least we should respect her right, and her genuine belief in them.

You say that people flocked to Fox because they were upset/sick of at the left wing media – WRONG. They flocked because Murdoch is the master at selling and controlling views on the news. We saw Murdoch long before you guys. He is a master at manipulation and knowing the buttons and buz words that allow non thinking people to easily take what he states as gospel. We have seen him in Australia, directly tampering with journalistic accuracy, deliberately mis-reporting events to suit his own agenda. Teh favourite bi-line ‘Some people say’ Never has one of his chanels been able to show who ‘some people’ are. In fact they have been exposed here as making up the statement that followed themselves with no fact behind it. This was the guy arrogant enough to demand in Senate hearings here that he be allowed to own a huge slice of both air and print media (We have cross media ownership limits to prevent anyone being able to hijack the media)simply because he wanted it and had the money. We have seen respected journalists demoted and fired for accurate reporting that did not fit Murdochs personal and political views.

You state the Britain stands by the uranium story. Why then has Blair publicly admitted it ‘may’ have been incorrect – never expect a politician to say I screwed up.

Now, on to the economy. There has been a slight improvement in the unemployment rate in the US, but this has been balanced by a significant shift to casual work, so the people that are reported as employed are in reality only partly so. The number on the basic wage is also exceedingly high, and while the Australian basic wage is above the poverty level, I’m sorry guys but the US basic is substantially below it. I have spent years in the US as CEO of the international div of a significant US company. I have seen for myself the results of being at the bottom of the heap. I have also seen and experienced the benefits of being in the higher paid echelons.

On the media,I recently saw an republican lobyist report on those on the bottom of the US socio-economic heap and he accused them and the media of outright lies. ‘Poor people in the US have bigger houses than mid income in Europe’. The whole report was a travesty of taking bald statements such as that then asserting it as fact and attributing a benefit to the US poor. In this case, yes in most European cities the house size is significantly smaller (They have many millions in much less space), but it ignored the standard of housing, etc.

Now, once again for those who decline to listen, I am very right wing, however have some balance and do not believe that being right wing means I have to subscribe to everything Howard, or God forbid GWB say I should. I believe in strong laws, however unlike many fellow right wing, don’t believe in wasting our money on putting non-dangerous people in goals. In my MBA some years back I completed a thesis on the costs of justice and suggested electronic tracking systems, so that non-violent, or non sexual offenders could be kept in society, contributing instead of being a drain on society ($75k p/a over here)Have them pay back and make resitution to society and keep us from having to support their families with no income. Yes it is possible to be VERY pro law and to balance that with the pragmatism to minimise the cost to society. Our taxes pay for the crims in jail, and I don’t care if its a luxury jail or a hell hole, it still costs us. Keep them out paying us back for their crime.

To explain my reasoning on capital punishment, for which I take note of your positive comments. Some many years back I was in the publishing industry at the time that a writer investigated and wrote a book on the murders of a husband and wife, a murder for which a man was tried, found guilty and sentenced to life. Those at the right of the spectrum (and I confess to wondering myself) called for re-introduction fo the death penalty for such a heinous crime. Turned out the guy was innocent, and if the majority of the country had had their way would have been dead. The majority can be VERY wrong. In this case it was a case of the police thought he was guilty so planted evidence to implicate and concealed evidence if innocence. This from a police force considered beyond reproach. In my research since, I can find strong evidence from all over the world, including the US, that the death penaly does not reduce violent crime, and in fact makes it more likely.

Going to the comparison of the US to Australia, I still stand behind my statements on the economy and our multi billion surplusses. While doing this we also manage to maintain the necessary service, education and (perhaps a little too much) welfare. We had the resources and teh systems in place to have our military and medical teams in Aceh within 48 hours of the Tsunami – the only hold up was the Indonesioan permissions. I’m sorry guys, but the response to Katrina was woeful – I hope the someone over there is eventually held responsible, but sorry I believe it starts at Bush and goes all the way down. Not that I know any other president would have done much better with the structure in place.

Now I’ve been slammed for not trotting out all the stats. Quite frankly, while I’m taking time out of my day to write this, I do not have the time to go back to my original research or pull out the news files (I read approx 2 hours of news from all spectrums per day) I have a company to run and 16 hour days are long enough. I look forward to any response, however I believe we’re going to have to agree to disagree on many things. Cheers from a very sunny Oz.


Sal February 5, 2006 at 12:50 pm

Anonymous, I’m not sure what is happening to your coments. I am receiving them via email, but they are not showing up on the blog. We are not trying to censor you, in fact we only delete comments when

1) They have absolutely no relevance to the issue at hand.

2) The comments are of such poor taste that they serve no useful purpose in a debate.

I may not agree with much of what you say, and I do feel that most of your opinions are based on dubious fact, but free speech is important to me and I would never censor anyone over it.

Unfortunately, I don’t have time right now for a sufficient response, but suffice to say, the media outlets are not good sources of news and statistics. The entire news media packages materials to suit their own agenda. That’s why primary source information is far superior to the AP, reuters, CNN, PBS, and yes, even Fox News (which I still feel is the most balanced of any of the networks.)

Try looking online at primary sources and researching the articles that the news media presents as fact. You’ll find out that the stories are often twisted to suit a template.


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