Monday, 6 July 2015

Capital dilemma

A few months from now a US District Judge will confirm the death sentence for the younger of the two Boston marathon bombers, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. His execution by lethal injection won’t be imminent but he’ll be on death row.
That should be a problem for Tony Abbott and Julie Bishop and Tanya Plibersek and Ben Quilty and all those who raged against Indonesia for executing Australian drug smugglers. Unless they make clear their unequivocal opposition to Tsarnaev’s possible execution they’ll simply confirm the double standard that infects much of the debate in Australia about capital punishment.
Tsarnaev is an evil person. He shattered many lives. He should never breathe free air again. But if he is executed why shouldn’t others be? And those others, inevitably, will include Australian nationals. Currently some 17 Australians world-wide are at risk of receiving the death penalty. The moment a sentence is confirmed we’ll waggle our collective fingers at the horror of it all.
But those being waggled at will have the perfect out: ‘Where was your outrage when others were killed?’ And there’ll be no meaningful answer unless and until we wean ourselves of the absurd notion that capital punishment matters only when Australians are its victims.   

What were they thinking? #2

It's official. The Australian economy will collapse if same-sex marriage is legalised. China will turn its back on our iron ore. There'll be no more coal ships to Japan. Indonesia will look anywhere but Australia for its live cattle imports. Across Asia there'll be such moral outrage at Australian 'decadence' that usually hard-headed traders will take their business elsewhere.
Or so says Barnaby Joyce. It's absolute hooey. He, for one, should know that trade makes strange bedfellows. What they do in the sack is utterly irrelevant.