Saturday, April 14, 2007

Howard's HIV plan. Positive?

reality-based educator left a comment on a previous post "Tired Government Syndrome":
Howard now wants to ban HIV+ people from emigrating to Australia. Asking for thoughts.

No problem RBE, except where to begin. Bare in mind John Howard spent 30 years trying to gain power, and after a decade it is seriously slipping away from him. We can track Howard’s grip on power to his cynical use of populist clap trap.

At the moment Howard and his Murdoch buddies are failing to land a blow on Labor’s Kevin Rudd, so it seems we go I to panic mode; role out the scary monsters early to try and claw back fear based support.

But the fact is, regardless of anything Howard might say, Australian Immigration already screens immigration candidates on health related issue; as do most developed countries. The US, Britain, Canada would all be likely to refuse HIV positive applicants.

The real reason is not the possible spread of the disease, but the potential economic burden on national health systems. Howard is merely using his normal tactic of identifying a weak link, a misunderstood situation, and driving the public perceptions and prejudices.

The tactic normally works to galvanize a lightweight swing back to his government. He did it with boat people, he did it with the unemployed, he did it with Australian indigenous people, he is doing it to young unwed mothers. The weak and disposed aren’t hard to pick.

I believe it is called; win at any cost! But while this distraction is going on, Howard is ramping up deployment in Afghanistan. Oddly with the disclaimer that this is our most dangerous mission because our enemy does not respect life! We fuck me, I thought it was war. But it seems we are sending a bunch of caring soldiers who will kill people to prove they respect life.

A Murdoch rag, The Australian, ran the following, warm explanation for Howard’s latest moves:

Howard wrote to Pakistan's military dictator, President Pervez Musharraf, in February. The tone of the letter was emollient and friendly, but it bore a heavy message. Howard likes Musharraf. They talk about cricket and the Commonwealth. There is a kind of Sam Browne belt quality to their relationship.

Howard admires the way Musharraf turned Pakistan around after the 9/11 al-Qa'ida terror attacks and made it into an ally of the West in the war on terror.

The Australian reported, in the same edition:

Howard has written to Pakistan's military dictator, imploring him to do more to stop the flow of Taliban forces into southern Afghanistan in an effort to reduce the threat to Australian troops being sent to the region.

All I can say is that if bullshit was music John Howard would be a one man military band!


Praguetwin said...

Sounds like desperation to me. I think he is going down, as he should.

reality-based educator said...

The use of a scapegoat issue that will have no real practical change to policy reminds me of when Bush came out for a gay marriage amendment in '04.

Desperate indeed.

I hope the sonuvabitch loses.

Cartledge said...

The real piss-off is that it still being run as straight news story, despite the reality.

reality-based educator said...

Howard wants to ban guns?

Cartledge said...

Howard did that a decade ago, and it was one of the very few actions I applaud him for.
I did cut the mass shootings in Australia, but there are still too many guns about, even after the massive destruction of arms.
There is only so much that can be legislated. But at least there a fewer automatic weapons floating around the country.
We lived through a massacre as bad as your current one. Australians weep with you at the stupid destruction of life.

reality-based educator said...

It's the availability of the automatic weapons that drive me crazy. This guy had clips with 15 bullets in them. If he'd been walking around w/ an old .38 having to pull the trigger back each time he shot, the death toll would have been much, much lower.

But the NRA and the gun advocates keep arguing "slippery slope..."

Cartledge said...

RBE, I really didn't want to get started on this. I shake with rage when this shit happens. But you got me started so I did the rage.

reality-based educator said...


Robin said...

Sorry? Shit RBE, you guys are the only ones getting me going on things I care about!