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All politics are local

It’s the eve of (eve before?) the federal elections here in Australia, and it is dawning on me that I may have to live in a country with a misogynist head of state for another two years. This doesn’t sit well with me, but it one of many reasons that I am upset (a simple list of the Liberal Party’s stances on all issues will do that to you if you are me). In Norway it also seems like we are headed for a conservative/libertarian government. I mean for Gods’ sake, suddenly Norway and Australia will be more aligned with the Rs in the US?

But those are issues that are neither here nor there. It won’t change Australia or Norway fundamentally, even if I am strongly opposed to it. What I am upset about is the blatant (or shall we use Justice Brennan’s words in XL Petroleum v Caltex Oil and say ‘contumelious’) disregard for their fellow human beings’ plight and suffering. I am tired of being enraged, I am becoming depressed. (Though all the “pro-life” hypocrites who will fight to the death to end abortions but give zero fucks about war and refugees can fuck off. They do not care about life. They care about sex.)

Syria? Civil war? 100 000+ people dead and a possible international intervention?

Oh the response is “how will this affect President Obama and the Democrats in the midterms?”, “why does Putin and Obama hate each other?” which of course leads to similar intellectually lazy attempts at making “cold war” metaphors; ”how much is it going to cost?”, “why should I the taxpayer pay for Muslims who don’t get along!!! BOO I’m the only person who pays taxes ever!” and “that is really sad that people are dying, but there is nothing anyone can do”.

 Refugees and asylum seekers in Australia?

Create a strawman to make the artificial case that any discontent felt in the minds of voters can be redirected towards people who are fleeing their homes and their countries! “Why is it OUR job to take care of the boat people?”, “too many of the asylum seekers are Muslim, ew”, “because we have to take of the boat people everything is too expensive in Australia”. I’m getting really fucking sick of hearing the term ‘boat people’, period. I suggest a tax on the usage of the term. It would fix budget deficits instantly! Maybe within less than a day. Here is a good rebuke of the racist wedge issue: [Al Jazeera] (and the comment section is an excellent example of the latent and aforementioned blatant racism.) What bothers me perhaps most of all is the completely disingenuous nature both candidates for PM has taken on this issue, allowing it to poison the collective mind of the electorate while knowing full well the actual numbers.

Refugees from Syria?

In Norway the reactions have been either “what ev” or the old [and by now way too] trite response of “why do WE have to take care of Muslims, pooo life is so hard for us Norwegians who have to care for Muslims who are despots and don’t speak our language and blah blah blah”. Yes, it actually starts to sound like blah blah blah after a while.

To quote Jon Stewart this week (he was addressing the neo-con architects of the Iraq War who are all over the news this week complaining about how the intervention in Syria is not happening fast or big enough, but it still applies):

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I am sure there are many out there who are not acting like privileged, entitled assholes with zero compassion for their fellow human beings just because those people are not of the same nationality as them, but with these, let’s face it, racist parties gaining control in my country of origin and residence, as well as the loud voices in the media and social media complaining and whining with complete disregard for the difficult situation facing these people. I am led to believe the momentum is going the wrong way. I weep for humanity, but mostly for the innocent people cowering in their homes or displaced, fearing death, torture, bombs or just for their loved ones.

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