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64 responses to “Saturday Salon”

  1. Paul Norton

    No midnight ramblers this week. Was it the weather?

    Anyway, I’m frist!

  2. tigtog

    *waves at Paul while waiting for morning coffee*

  3. Paul Norton

    *waves back while chewing muesli*

  4. tigtog

    The SCOTUS decision on key parts of DOMA & Prop 8 has been producing much interesting reading the last few days, particularly various analyses of Justice Scalia’s dissent and Justice Kennedy’s majority opinion.

    The swift response to the ruling from federal agencies has been noteworthy – US moves to end Doma discrimination after gay rights breakthrough:

    The US government was scrambling to end discriminatory employment and immigration policies on Thursday as the most sweeping gay rights breakthrough in recent legal history quickly began to make an impact.
    The practical implications of the repeal of Doma are extensive. Marital status is relevant to more than 1,000 federal laws, ranging from personal finance to immigration. Gay couples in states that permit same-sex marriage will be able to file joint tax returns and access federal benefits. The Williams Institute estimates that there are about 114,100 legally married same-sex couples in the US.

    Federal agencies such as the Internal Revenue Service will have to work out how they define marriage, particularly for people who marry in a state that permits same-sex unions but then move to a state that does not.

    Anthony Infanti, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh law school and specialist in tax law for gay people, said that the end of Doma would mean “confusion and chaos” until the government and federal agencies make clear how each will define marriage.

    On a less edifying note, the lengths to which Texas Republicans have gone in their attempts to crush a filibuster by Wendy Davis against regressive anti-abortion legislation that 80% of Texans do no want is a sobering illustration of cynical political manoeuvering.

  5. philip travers

    I don’t know if anyone here or elsewhere,took any notice of a news item generated by Unionists about the state of the copper wires.That is many wires ended up being covered by plastic bags to stop the water getting in. So the unions said the whole copper wire network had to be replaced. The executive bent noses said, not the case,and not much said after that.As I once suggest using horse manure to soften up the soil a bit where lines were buried,and, surprisingly so it was taken up.I feel I am entitled to a decision on the basis of the horse manure usage.It the best of all possible worlds replacing the copper would be due duty for the simple reason,it was once publically owned Network.Voters had no say in its sell off,and many of us feel a continuing contempt towards Telstra,which hasn’t been helped by the executive bent noses.Via Lavatus I mean to say,that plastic isn’t the problem,it maybe the method.That is even this site would know of 3 D printing,and thus the obvious ability to meld or melt plastics into a form under the design constraints.The other bit of information that somehow soaked into the neurons, was a story I read about IBM washing their computer gizzards with a fine surfactant.One of the new type cleaners ,in essence the same manufactured stuff as wiper cleaners for screens.I think!? It seems likely to me either side in that dispute are not taking each other really seriously,and there is also the likelihood that computer manufacturing tools could be adapted to drop very small amounts of new copper on old wires,if it seemed feasible,tested and costed. So I mentioned to Robert Merkel, about the Cadaceus Coil,a coil that was generated by a ASTROPHYSICIST AND RESEARCH PARTNERS. Which if predictions of possibilities are correct,may even be a idea that makes a difference re old copper wires.I have found some other research type,like business leads, possibilities perhaps enhancing copper wire even further.In my paper notes.Sorry once again,for seemingly being very ego centric,its the territory not the outcome.

  6. jules

    Phil reading your posts is like listening to Excision.

  7. Obviously Obtuse

    Puppy I posted about last week is settling in nicely. First weekend of school holidays after a few weeks sorting out school reports (as school report co-ord). The position puts you into (interesting relationships with all sorts of staff), no, that’s all sorts of relationships with interesting staff? Anyway, I collect 40 peoples reports on several hundred students. A bit of agro/exasperation about corrections and deadlines over and done with, (that’s with fellow teachers, not students,) no relationships damaged irreparably.
    6 year old son fell on a branch 6 weeks ago while playing and we have finally had the all clear on his health. He didn’t puncture the skin but managed to rupture his pancreas and had to have a part of it removed. Major surgery, hell in hospital for awhile, but he’ll be right. Perfect time to get a small pup for him to play with as he builds his strength back up.
    My last ramble will be a quote from today’s age book review on Elizabeth Strout’s “The Burgess Boys”. “The 50s are a vulnerable time for men…I feel sympathetic to the bafflement they experience when their wives leave them, even if they didn’t like them much by then anyway.” I find that amusing, striking, and terrifying all at the same time. Enough from me.

  8. zorronsky

    Mark Baker Editor at large The Age also rates a mention with those I
    referred to at 134 open spill thread .
    His numerous articles attacking JG with help, according to Vex News, from his mate a former Slater and Gordon employee, harking back to scuttlebutt from nearly 20 years ago drip with confected outrage.
    His article in today’s Age reeks of insincerity after first putting up Downer as an example of how to really behave as a woman should when so badly treated by the Press.
    Slime personified.

  9. paul walter

    Further to tigtog’s explication I too have followed the SCOTUS this week, also the fierce filibuster of the Texas senator who’s name escapes me, deep in the heart of Texas.
    Truly enthralling, like observing a slo-mo trainwreck and quite disastrous in real life for many “others”, as to the worst decisions.
    This the system the coalition would love imported here.

  10. mindy

    You mean if I hadn’t leapt out of bed at the crack of 9.24am this morning after Ms 7 enquired if we were ever getting up I could have been frist? One day, one day I will remember.

  11. Chris

    tigtog @ 4 – I appluad Davis for her efforts in blocking the bill, but fundamentally feel that fillibusters whether done by the Democrats or Republicans are bad for democracy. Representatives should not be able to stop a vote from occuring. If 80% of the population do feel strongly about the bill, perhaps it will be sufficient motivation for them to actually vote at the next election and elect people who represent their views. With those sorts of numbers, that has to represent a large chunk of the republican base so they should be able to affect the primaries as well.

  12. mindy

    When it comes to protecting the rights of women from the likes of those people voting I say do what you have to do. They can filibuster over there so she did. Davis did nothing wrong and the bastards still tried to cheat.

  13. Chris

    mindy @ 12 – I’m not claiming that Davis did anything wrong at all. The Republicans have been filibustering in the recent past in the US national Senate as well. I just think its not really good for democracy and there has been ongoing discussion by both parties nationally about removing the ability for representatives to use it.

    From tigtog’s link it sounds like the Republicans are also able to use their own technicality to bring the bill back again. Incidentally I was amazed to read that the record length for a filibuster is 43 hours and it occurred in the same state senate as Davis did hers. I’ve no idea how someone manages to stay awake, stand and talk for 43 hours!

  14. paul walter

    That’s the whole problem though, Chris.
    The right resort to global worst practice and eventually the centre and left have to follow to cope with it.
    Isn’t this the story of politics here the last few years?
    Gillard is mocked savagely and premeditatedly on everything BUT policy, she actually thinks government’s job involves this rather than just vandalism of Australian democratic structures for the benefit of grasping oligarchs trying to avoid future scrutiny regardless of the harm they do unregulated, to everyone else?
    In the end, just to survive, the ALP must invest in its only figure capable of dishing out mud as ruthlessly as the coalition, when it is finally prevented completely from doing the job it was put there by the public to do?
    Senator Davis of course knows this new reality intimately, coming from Rick Perry’s Red State Texas, a model for Australia under Abbott.
    This is the same sort of desperation as comes with the Rudd restoration, when manipulated events have reached a point of no return and comes a last desperate roll of the dice to salvage something worthwhile.
    I doubt whether the Senator filibustered for ten hours on her feet with no break of any sort, having her private affairs smeared all over the tabloid msm, out of anything but well-informed desperation on an issue of the deepest principle.

  15. Graham Bell

    Philip Travers @ 5

    Thanks for that touch of reality about the copper cable network.

    Retired employees of the old Post Master General’s Department (PMG), the predecessor of Telecom then Telstra, are laughing their heads of at the antics of politicians, know-it-all decision-makers, so-called experts, executives who never come below altocirrus level, dysinformed commentators …. because nobody ever asks the blokes who actually laid and maintained the copper cable network for their opinions and suggestions, do they? What shall we call it? Arrogant stupidity, perhaps?

    So how about a touch of humility towards retired workers for a change. Who knows? They might even deign to answer silly questions and thereby save many millions of dollars and prevent lost opportunities.

    Go on – be brave – they won’t bite.

  16. philip travers

    Sorry. Jules! I don’t know what you mean! Is it a Rock group!? It takes me such a long time to type and correct,that it really is quite stifling. I don’t really like talking about myself,but often, self is the best reference.Thanks for commenting anyway.

  17. philip travers

    Thanks Graham Bell.I have a brother who worked for the PMG as a postie.A dead brother in law at 57 from being down in the manholes soldering and taking in the soldering lead etc. And I am fully cognisant of the passing years.My mother and a older sister ran a telephone exchange from a rail siding called Grassdale,Victoria. Near a famous Iconic matter of Australia,but as town name…..MERINO. I remember the Victorian Railway internal phone…The Blower.Wind up a few times and then an answer down the line.There are some very sad associations with this length of memory.

  18. alfred venison

    “stay awake, stand and talk for 43 hours!” they can’t even go to the loo for the duration.

  19. Hoa Minh Truong

    The recycled prime minister, Mr. Kevin Rudd who sends an invited signal to people smugglers:
    Mr. Kevin Rudd frightens the conflict between Australia and Indonesia if expel the boats come from Indonesia shore, when they breach the border, then he gives the boats coming without reaction.
    People couldn’t think our prime minister has not understand much the international law, but it seems as his verbal speech after just took the top job in few days.
    We ask prime minister Kevin Rudd: where do the boats come from?. Everyone answer without hesitation: those boats and boat owners come from Indonesia, so the boats turn back to where they come from, that is right and legal. Likely in your property, if you fear the conflict with a bully neighbor and have no action when the strangers from neighbor invade you house without permission, then the numerous strangers accelerate, actually you don’t know who they are. Do you accept that or call police helps?.
    Indonesia has not right to send the asylum seeker by the Indonesia boats, however they flag the green light to the tourist from Middle East stay to make profit and invade to Australia. Therefore, the Australia fears clash to Indonesia as prime minister Kevin Rudd concerns, so our country helps people trafficker made money that paid by the tax payer. The ill concern from 2007, after Mr. Kevin Rudd claimed victory in federal election, that cost tax pay up to $ 5 billion, now he continues to invite more asylum seeker coming.
    In record, Prime Minister John Howard had couple times to send back the boats from Indonesia shore, there was no war. If Indonesia ignore, the Australia can use navy oust the boat back to where they come from as the border protection and showing the independent state and take legal action to the international court.

  20. Graham Bell

    Philip Travers @ 17

    Glad you mentioned the railway telephone network too.

    My main point is that finding a way out of a mess that people, such as gee-whiz CEOs and super-dooper tech-heads, have got themselves into may well involve looking into the past and into how long-obsolete technology worked rather than being obsessed with the latest gadgetry alone …. and may well involve simple solutions rather than complex , outrageously expensive and trouble-plagued ones.

    Of course, that won’t happen. These brilliant minds are too timid to dare look outside the square. Broadband? Nah. Tomfoolery more like it.

  21. drsusancalvin

    Watching Insiders and Barrie “Nostrodamus” Cassidy is bathing in the glow of faultless prognostication. Insufferable!

  22. philip travers

    [election2013 politics on other threads please ~ mods]

  23. jules

    Rock band!!! Thats so old Phil.

    Its someone who makes electronic music on a computer – apparently its called dubstep.

  24. David Irving (no relation)

    av @ 18, you’d want to hope a friendly usher would pass then an empty water carafe …

  25. Graham Bell

    drsusancalvin @ 20

    “Nostodamus” Cassidy? I like it!! L-O-L 🙂

  26. drsusancalvin
  27. terangeree

    Why do TV newsreaders all stand up now? Where did all of their desks go?

  28. faustusnotes

    Does anyone in the hivemind have any opinion of this strange plan for Sydney? It involves a $100 billion Chinese investment in 150 skyscrapers, underground railway, a new port in Glebe and overhead conveyor belts to move the skyscrapers around. It seems like pie in the sky stuff but apparently the investors are experts in rapid city building. It also apparently woudl cost the NSW govt nothing.

    Opinions, anyone? anyone? Bueller?

  29. Graham Bell

    faustusnotes @ 27

    Haven’t seen this specific plan …. but not surprising at all.

    Three Gorges Dams project, MagLev trains, trains across Tibet, more space rides …. the Chinese are on the move …. they are doing things, no longer out of necessity but just because they can do them …. and they want to show the whole world that they can do whatever they set their mind to doing.

    While the fake entrepreneurs and imitation statesmen in The West are obsessed with downsizing and with austerity for anyone but themselves – the Chinese are thinking big and bigger.

    Why wouldn’t they want try out a prototype in one of their tribute nations before they build any in their ancestral homeland?

  30. Helen

    In this ACT r*pe trial, the facts do not appear to be in dispute yet the victim is referred to as “alleged”, the perp’s barrister referred to his “unblemished record” and said “many people would agree his actions were stupid, but said they were not criminal offences” [!!!!???!!].

    The guy has been charged with “two charges of sexual intercourse without consent.” It’s r*pe, people!!

    Oh, and
    “Acting Justice John Nield warned the jury that recent media coverage of broader problems with defence culture were completely and utterly irrelevant to the trial.
    In his opening submissions, Buckley’s barrister Ken Archer said the consumption of alcohol at the dinner, and its effect on the behaviour of those involved, was an important issue.”

    You can bet that if the woman had had previous form with violence and sexual harassment or had been under the influence of alcohol then the defence, media and peanut gallery would have thought that was extraordinarily relevant to the case.

  31. jules

    a.v. if you were referring to the comment above in the election thread about dub … dubstep isn’t dub. It kind of evolved out of dub, but its something else, and what is called dubstep today probably wouldn’t be considered dubstep by 2001 standards. Its kind of silly arguing over genres wrt to techno anyway.

    Its true dub evolved out of reggae, and alot of that was driven by someone called Lee Perry, aka “Scratch”. If they ever put the word techno-shaman in a dictionary his picture will be there.

  32. Katz

    That’s an interesting case Helen.

    It is clear that the alleged victim did not give informed consent.

    However, a crime requires malice aforethought on the part of the defendant. Is it beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant in this case could not have formed the opinion that he had gained consent from the alleged victim?

    On the facts, his failure to identify himself clearly weakens his case. On the other hand, the fact that he appears to have desisted when it became clear that his attentions were not welcome swings the case slightly in his favour.

    The defendant’s barrister cannot be criticised for using the law to have his client acquitted. The adequacy of that law is another question. Nevertheless it is beyond the scope of the participants in this case.

  33. Helen

    Oh of COURSE Katz. Who of us hasn’t wandered into *someone else’s* house and started having intercourse with someone else’s spouse on the loungeroom furniture? Obviously a mistake anyone could have made.

  34. Helen

    Mr Denmore on the Failed Estate:

    Gillard, for all her virtues, was a lousy communicator. But she did give one great speech as PM. This was in January this year at the Press Club where she set out clearly and simply the huge economic challenges facing Australia and the difficult choices the nation faces – a uncompetitive exchange rate, an economy transitioning away from labour-intensive manufacturing to capital-intensive resources, a dearth of infrastructure, and a structural deterioration in the budget alongside a growing call on it by an aging, savings-short population. Those are all strong news stories on their own, each deserved follow-ups and they all have greater relevance to the wider public than the day-to-day scuttlebutt and rumours inside parliament house.

    It’s true that Gillard did herself no favours in that January address by upstaging herself with the announcement of the election date. But even that was not enough for the popular press, who decided the biggest story from the event was her new ‘hipster’ spectacles. In the meantime, the public remained pitifully uninformed of what really may decide their own futures.

    In recent weeks, the respected economist Ross Garnaut made some of the same points as Gillard did in that speech, challenging Australians to face up to choices about how to respond to hard times after two decades of extraordinary prosperity. In a veiled reference to the deceitful campaign against the resources super profits tax by the mining industry (the issue that in my view was the greatest catalyst for Rudd’s 2010 removal), Garnaut also spoke of new barriers to productive change in our political culture, ones that elevate private over public interests and the immediate over the longer term. It seems there is a real story here – one that will affect our kids more than what glasses the PM wears – but who’s telling it?

    Yes, please, journos, don’t give us this rubbish and then complain that we get our news from twitter and the blogosphere.

  35. Katz

    No Helen. Not anyone. Someone.

    The defendant’s barrister is required to convince one person among 12 that it is not beyond reasonable doubt that a particular someone might have thought something like that under the circumstances as established by evidence and cross examination.

  36. GregM

    Helen, the presumption of innocence applies until there has either been a guilty plea, which has not occurred in this case, or until there has been a verdict. Up until then it is “alleged”.

    As Katz has pointed out under our laws the accused is entitled to raise a defence. I don’t like his chances as the law holds that consent given on the basis of mistaken identity is not true consent but it is up to the jury make what they will of whatever evidence he chooses to put to them.

    The judge’s warning to the jury that media coverage of broader problems with defence culture were completely and utterly irrelevant to the trial is completely correct. The jury must decide the case on its facts alone and not through some prism of guilt by association.

    The defence is entitled to raise the accused’s state of mind as part of its case and therefore the accused’s comnsumption of alcohol could be relevant, but its relevance is a matter for the jury to decide.

  37. faustusnotes

    Is “sexual intercourse without consent” the legal term for r*pe, or is it actually a different crime? Is it some kind of crime reserved for sleepwalking-sex or something?

    Isn’t it the case Helen that “alleged” is always used until the sentence is down? e.g. Martin Bryant would have been the “alleged” assailant and his 23 victims the “alleged” victims until the judgment made? If so I don’t think that language should be changed for any one circumstance.

    Surely if you’re drunk enough to walk into the wrong house and mistake someone else for your wife, you’re too drunk to do anything about it? Perhaps this is a point the prosecution will raise …

  38. tigtog

    In actual court I believe that the terms used are “accused” and “complainant”. Instead of getting tied up in ridiculously convoluted sentences which often refer to a person whom both prosecution and defence have already stipulated as having been sexually violated as an “alleged” victim, wouldn’t it be simpler to just use the terms that are used in the indictment which is before the court?

  39. paul burns

    “alleged” is also used so those commenting on a crime don’t get sued for libel or defamation.

  40. Katz

    But in this case the alleged victim isn’t the complainant or plaintiff. The Crown is the complainant.

    In fact in this case it appears that the alleged victim is the sole material witness to the alleged crime.

  41. tigtog

    What I read online in various government guides to Australian courts is that the person who reports the crime is referred to as the complainant. The Crown bringing the case before the court is the prosecution, not the complainant.


  42. Katz

    Tigtog, from one of your refs:


    A person who begins a prosecution against another in the Magistrates’ Court, a plaintiff.

    Person who initiates legal proceedings against another in a civil dispute (c.f. complainant).

    1. The case in question is not in the magistrate’s court.

    2. The case in question is a criminal matter, not a civil matter.

  43. GregM

    Actually, the person laying the complaint, usually a police officer, is the complainant. This is usually the officer who charges the accused with an offence or offences and prepares the brief of evidence for the prosecution (who represent the Crown) in respect of the offence or offences. However in Victorian Court of Appeal cases I note that the terminology in appeals is to refer to the person against whom the offence has been committed as the complainant where they have given evidence at the trial, (though not where the appeal is about a murder or manslaughter conviction where the victim is, obviously, referred to as the deceased).

  44. faustusnotes

    GregM, I don’t know if you want this brought up again, but did you not reveal a few years back on this very hivemind that you have your own impressive personal record in respect of this very issue (sexual assault in the forces)? And thus know very strongly of which you speak …

  45. faustusnotes

    ooops, that came out a bit wrong … I meant “prosecuting sexual assault in the forces”. Sorry if I’m confusing you with someone else …

  46. tigtog

    Katz and GregM, from the federal government online resource sheet about Sexual Assault Laws in Australia:

    Table 1. Key players and their roles in the criminal courts
    Judge/Magistrate: Presides over the criminal trial. Determines the legal guilt or innocence of the defendant, or directs the jury in its role to do so. Determines appropriate punishment for a defendant who is convicted of an offence.
    Jury: Represents the community. Determines the legal guilt or innocence of the defendant. Fulfils the due process right to be judged by one’s peers.
    Defence counsel: Acts as legal representative on behalf of the defendant.
    Prosecution/Crown: Presents the case against the defendant. Acts on behalf of the state.
    Defendant: Individual accused of committing a criminal offence(s).
    Witness: Individual who may have seen, or has other relevant information about, a criminal offence.
    Complainant: Individual against whom the offence was committed.

    Looks like I’m far wronger about “accused” as preferred terminology than I am about “complainant”. In any case, the point of the court terminology is to be as neutral as possible, and the absence of “alleged” in the court terminology is notable, almost certainly because all its clunky and often tautological misuse does is add ambivalence.

  47. GregM

    You must have someone else in mind fn. I have never had anything to do with the armed forces, prosecuting or otherwise. Maybe you are thinbking of MarkL, now Mark50 in Brisbane although I can’t recall him ever discussing the topic of sexual asaults in the armed forces.

    In any event this matter is being tried before the civil courts where the same rules apply to members of the armed forces as anyone else.

  48. Katz

    But Tigtog this:

    Complainant: Individual against whom the offence was committed.

    Is incorrect at a fundamental level. It is up to the court to decide whether any offence has been committed.

    This is as incorrect as calling the defendant “the guilty party”.

    I’m amazed that an official government publication would allow such an incorrect and prejudicial definition.

  49. Tim Macknay

    Looks like I’m far wronger about “accused” as preferred terminology than I am about “complainant”.

    Not really. That information sheet is obviously intended as a general background reference, but isn’t correct in all details and shouldn’t be taken as gospel. I’m not sure I’d go so far to describe it as “court terminology”. The ACT Supreme Court, where this particular trial is taking place, uses the term “accused” in its criminal jurisdiction.

    In any event this matter is being tried before the civil courts where the same rules apply to members of the armed forces as anyone else.

    I think you mean civilian courts. The matter is being tried in a criminal court, not a civil one.


  50. akn


    I’m amazed that an official government publication would allow such an incorrect and prejudicial definition.

    Oh, really?

  51. faustusnotes

    apropos of nothing, except that I recently survived the ordeal and am still recovering, I would just like to say that I think norovirus is as close as a casual observer can get to experiencing scaphism.

    Which definitely does not deserve an entry in the whimsy thread.

  52. desipis

    It seems the Queensland LNP are keen to sell off our democracy. Nice to see we’re on the fast track back to the Bjelke-Petersen days…

  53. akn

    I’m looking forward to a discussion here of the subtleties of contract law. That’d do anyone’s head in.

  54. desipis

    akn, yeah some of the rules are enough to drive you postal. </badlawjoke>

  55. Graham Bell

    desipis @ 52

    Thanks for that worrying link.

    These (what’s the appropriate name for them?) make the Communist Party of the Soviet Union under Leonid Brezhnev look downright respectable.

    Maybe they’ll abolish the secret ballot too – using the excuse that by so doing they will be preventing shyness, saving the whales, restoring hair and keeping the track of the planet Mercury inside the orbit of Venus.

  56. akn

    Desepsis: if I had another life I’d pursue academic studies around English contract law, the beginnings of modernity, individual consciousness and the market. Happily, I don’t have time! But contract law seems to me to be the architecture of Hobbesian individualism; a statement of liberal subjectivity in all its unpleasantness.

  57. GregM

    [email protected]

    In this ACT r*pe trial, the facts do not appear to be in dispute yet the victim is referred to as “alleged”, the perp’s barrister referred to his “unblemished record” and said “many people would agree his actions were stupid, but said they were not criminal offences” [!!!!???!!].

    The guy has been charged with “two charges of sexual intercourse without consent.” It’s r*pe, people!!

    Good news Helen. The jury has spoken.


    You can call it as you have seen it. No need now to append the adjective “alleged”.

  58. Katz

    The jury didn’t buy the drunken mistake story.

    Good result.

  59. Katz

    This may explain the jury’s decision:

    A Canberra court has heard how an Australian Army cadet repeatedly joked about having sex with the wife of one of his colleagues.

    Paul Edward Buckley, 24, is alleged to have entered the woman’s house within the Royal Military College grounds at Duntroon in April last year before sexually assaulting her.

    The defendant’s brief didn’t have a lot to work with.

  60. Chav

    Yeah so, I was wondering how all the LPites who condemned the first Egyptian revolution against the Mubarak regime as leading inevitably towards an Islamic dictatorship feel now the ( Mostly Muslim) masses have overthrown said Islamists? And also surely you now have to do a 180 and support the Islamists of the Muslim Brotherhood now that the sacred shibboleth of the ballot box has been overthrown by the majority on the street? Yours in anticipation…

  61. Brian

    Chav, have a read of Immanuel Wallerstein. I’ll tell you in 40 years time how I feel!

  62. Katz

    Chav in workable democracies unpopular governments are voted out of office. A military coup is the ultimate repudiation of democracy.

    The MB rejected violence and have been on the receiving end of violence. They represent the aspirations of a significant portion of the Egyptian population. The violence they have suffered will no doubt cause them to reconsider their attitude to violence.

    The potential for Egypt to suffer civil was like Syria, Iraq, or Afghanistan, is much enhanced. Who would win? Who knows?

    It’s interesting to note that Syria’s Assad government applauded the overthrow of the Morsi government. I guess there is a fraternity between genocidal military dictatorships. Also worthy of note is that the overthrow of Morsi is a cause that unites Assad, Obama, and Netanyahu. That’s gotta count for something!

    Meanwhile, the US government, desperate to paste a fig leaf over its bankrupt nakedness in the geopolitics of the Islamic world, has declared that the coup was not a coup!

    Here is a question. How many weeks or months must pass without the scheduling of free elections (of the type that elevated Morsi to the presidency) before it becomes clear that there never will be any more free elections in Egypt and it becomes clear that Egypt has returned to military dictatorship bankrolled by the US government?

  63. Katz

    And PS. I for one did not “condemn” the overthrow of Mubarak.

    I did warn that the end of the military dictatorship would not end in success for liberal democracy. Gosh. Correct again.

    But the only path to liberal democracy and the rule of law is for the people to rue their mistakes and to learn from them. Liberal democracy will never be achieved if the military constantly short circuit that learning cycle.

  64. Chav

    ‘The active intervention of the masses in historical events is in fact the most indispensable element of a revolution’.- Leon Trotsky.

    With 17 million people taking to the streets of Egypt, almost half the entire adult population, to demand the resignation of President Morsi and his government, I think we can confidently say this is indeed a genuine revolution.

    This stunning display of direct democracy should have every champion of freedom enthralled.

    Millions of Egyptians have obviously learn’t that the formal democracy of the ballot box offers them little if not nothing in their ongoing struggle for political freedoms and an escape from grinding poverty.

    The current Tamarod (rebellion) movement is an eruption of pent up frustration against Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) for their betrayal of the original aims of the revolution of 2011.

    Not only did Morsi and the MB push through a draft constitution without consultation with the opposition but Morsi was forced to annul a decree granting him sweeping emergency powers reminiscent of those Mubarak enjoyed. His administration has also done next to nothing to alleviate the poverty the majority suffer and even attempted to make a series of cuts to basic food and fuel subsidies.

    Alongside this Morsi’s regime has consistently, in conjunction with the Mubarak era security apparatus, cracked down on democracy activists, unions and strikes.

    So to claim the MB have eschewed violence is wrong. Even before the fall of Mubarak they were able to achieve popularity in part by capitalising on their role in battling the police.

    That Assad of Syria is celebrating Morsi’s overthrow is hardly surprising, three weeks ago Morsi backed the US call for a no-fly zone over Syria and welcomed Egyptians who wished to wage jihad on the Syrian regime!

    As for the claim the Egyptian military will refuse to allow another round of elections, the same claim was made when SCAF seized the reins in 2011 and yet elections there were.

    Both in 2011 and today the military has intervened, not to topple the regime per se, but to head off and contain the growing revolutionary movement. Their motivation in doing is their fear that if the rebellion grows they and their political, economic and military power will be next.

    Its a lesson we would do well to learn as well. If we relied on the ballot box to solve our problems we’d still be wor