Why no boat people via PNG? Why from Indonesia?

The northernmost tip of Australia is 5 km from Papua New Guinea. Instead, boat people take off from Indonesia in leaky boats too unseaworthy to get to where they are going, much less be turn backed, to land on Christmas Island which is an offshore territory. A strong swimmer could get to the State of Queensland from Papua New Guinea on a good day. A decent paddle boat would do the job.

If the PNG authorities tolerated people smuggling, their relationship with Australia would be jeopardised. On the other hand, there is plenty of votes at the ballot box in Indonesia from sticking it to Australia. Little wonder that a substantial part of the Pacific solution to illegal maritime arrivals by boat people is bribing Indonesian authorities to crack down on people smuggling.

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.@Greens policy would have meant many more drownings of boat people

Source: THE RIGHT WAY FORWARD ON REFUGEES HUMANE, EFFECTIVE, LEGAL The Greens’ plan for a genuine regional response and safer pathways.

The most recent policy of the Australian Greens drops the above ideas about an open border but has other weird things like a skilled refugee visa. Very odd for a social justice policy. Obviously all well-founded fears of persecution are not created equal. The university educated deserve more protection. Good luck assessing a claim for asylum within 30 days, much less an identity check.

Most demanding part of #Citizenship7 High Court judgement

Renouncing your citizenship could include a trip back to the old country of your parents or grandparents that you have never ever visited. Have do you decide if it is too dangerous? DFAT travel warnings, individual threats of harm or just the level of bribes you have to pay to get anything done.

.@sarahinthesen8 @SenatorMRoberts and beneficiaries living better than kings of 200 years ago; dumb and dumber alert

You probably enjoy a better life than John D. Rockefeller did 100 years ago. Rockefeller lived in a big draughty house with lots of servants. Cars were primitive as was medicine. No refrigerators, washing machines or other domestic appliances we take for granted. Running water, much less safe tap water were brand new inventions at best. He lived a long life. The odds of getting to the age of 15 when he was born were probably better than 50%.

People forget how horrible the good old days before the Industrial Revolution really were.

The great increase in life expectancy of all classes of people should never be underrated.

What victory at Gallipoli could have stopped #AnzacDay #Anzacday2017

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But for victory at Gallipoli, the Anzacs would have been the first Sergeant at Arms of a war crimes trial. By marching victorious into Constantinople, the Anzacs may have been able to prevent the purging of the Ottoman archives of evidence of complicity of specific individuals.

On May 24, 1915, the Allied Powers jointly issued a statement explicitly charging for the first time ever another government of committing `a crime against humanity’. The Allied Governments announce publicly that they will hold personally responsible all members of the Ottoman Government, as well as those of their agents who are implicated in the Armenian massacres.

Ottoman military and high-ranking politicians were transferred to the Crown Colony of Malta on board of the SS Princess Ena and the SS HMS Benbow by the British forces, starting in 1919. These war criminals were eventually returned to Constantinople in 1921 in exchange for 22 British hostages held by the government in Ankara.

Australian and New Zealand participation in the invasion of the Ottoman Empire as a by-product set the legal and moral infrastructure for the Nuremberg trials: governments would hold others to account for crimes against humanity and genocide.

#AnzacDay: why did we fight?

Australia and New Zealand were filled with first and second generation migrants happy to rally to defend their mother country:

  • 12 per cent of the population of New Zealand volunteered to fight; and
  • 13 per cent of the male population of Australia volunteered to fight in World War 1.

The people and governments of New Zealand and Australia of that time were British to their boot straps. The Union Jack was in their flags for a reason.

Our specific quarrel with the Ottoman Empire was it joined Germany and others to be at war with the UK, Australia and New Zealand.

Removing the Ottoman Empire from that war would have strengthened Russia. A stronger Russia would have weakened Germany and its allies and brought the war to an earlier end.

The governments of Australian and New Zealand fell over themselves to declare war and pledge troops in 1914.

World War 1 started in the middle of an Australian election campaign in 1914.

In the September 1914 election, both opposition leader Andrew Fisher and Prime Minister Joseph Cook stressed Australia’s unflinching loyalty to Britain, and Australia’s readiness to take its place with the allied countries. Labor Party leader Fisher’s campaign pledge was to:

stand beside the mother country to help and defend her to the last man and the last shilling.

Labor defeated the incumbent government to win majorities in both houses. Billy Hughes and his nationalist party won the 1917 election in a landslide.

New Zealanders had even a better chance to reflect on the war-making choices of their leaders in 1914. Our election was in December of 1914. The passions of the moment had some chance to calm, and the fighting has started for real.

The will of the people  at the December 1914  Parliamentary elections was a 90 per cent vote for the war parties. New Zealanders could have voted for the Labour MPs, several of whom were later imprisoned for their anti-conscription activities or for refusing military service.

In New Zealand, after that wartime election, the Prime Minister was an Irish Protestant who formed a coalition with an Irish Catholic as his deputy.

Do you know of a superior mechanism to elections for measuring the will of the people? Are elections inadequate to the task of deciding if the people support a war and that support of the public is based on well-founded reasons?

The reasons for New Zealand and Australia fighting are the just cause of fighting militarism and territorial conquest, empire solidarity, regional security interests such as the growing number of neighbouring German colonies, and long-term national security. A victorious Germany would have imposed a harsh peace.

New Zealand and Australian national security is premised on having a great and powerful friend. That was initially Britain. When the USA arrived in 1941 as a better great and powerful friend, the British were dropped like a stone.

Australian global warming policies are well near optimal

The UN Climate Panel Report found that the cost of not doing something is less than 2% of GDP in about 2070. The cost of doing something will likely be higher than 6% of GDP.