Re: Shame on Australia

From: Miriam English (
Date: Thu Aug 30 2001 - 23:38:01 MDT

Yes, I just had a very heated argument with a friend on this subject last
night (what makes it more absurd is that he is an immigrant himself so he
ought to have more sympathy). I guess he is not totally to blame for his
selfish views though -- our government of dickheads has been capitalising
on xenophobia to wage a propaganda war lately. They say we are under threat
of millions of people flooding here to the good life, so they lock them up
in concentration camps when they get here or turn them away at the door. [sigh]

What I don't understand is how 400 people can be equated with millions. It
becomes even more depressing when you consider that study after study shows
that immigrants work much harder than us slack and pampered locals to make
Oz a more wealthy country. (I wonder if it has anything to do with them
being islamic. Many of the more uncharitable christians seem to have an
irrational irreconcilable hate for islamic people.)

Sure Oz is not as big as it looks -- it has about the land area of
continental USA but 95% of people (about the population of NYC I think)
live in a thin strip around the edge. The interior is mostly desert. But
surely we can help people in desperate need and earn good karma points in
sharing some of our good fortune.

All-round a major bummer. Poor bastards are being used as political
footballs. I feel really sorry for them. They have sunk all their money in
a desperate attempt to flee an insane system, only to run into a wall
erected by another stupid bunch of assholes. It scares me that they will be
sent back to a nasty end in jail or death... if they don't get wasted at sea.


         - Miriam

At 08:52 PM 30/08/2001 -0700, Olga Bourlin wrote:
>(BTW, I did not compose what's on the subject line - that was imported
>from the source - "as is.")
>What a surprise to find an editorial in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer
>about the Land of Oz. You guys must be following the Clinton
>administration's example (when the USA refused entry to Haitians,
>preferring to rescue Cubans, instead).
>In view of the discussions we've been having lately about strange visitors
>from other lands ... look! up on the horizon! - it's a boat! - it's a
>barge! ... it's TALIBAN!
>(Yet, I don't mean to make light of this, as this is truly sad.)
>Shame on Australia
>Friday, August 31, 2001
>Since two years after the sinking of the Titanic in 1912, ships have been
>required by international law to rescue passengers from sinking vessels.
>Arne Rinnan, captain of the Norwegian cargo ship Tampa, did just that when
>he was alerted by the Australian Coast Guard that an Indonesian ferry
>carrying 438 people was sinking in international waters.
>The captain rescued passengers and asked permission to off-load them,
>required under the Convention on Refugees, in the nearest port, which is
>in Australia. He says his ship is unseaworthy with so many people aboard.
>But the passengers were refugees fleeing Afghanistan's Taliban regime;
>400,000 have fled in the past year. Australia, a big country with a tiny
>population, refused permission to dock and sent troops aboard to prevent
>it. Strife-torn Indonesia also said no.
>Australia should be ashamed of itself. This unconscionable replay of "Ship
>of Fools" is both cruel and dangerous. It sends the unacceptable message
>to ship captains that it's best not to get involved rescuing people from
>sinking ships.

Q. What is the similarity between an elephant and a grape?
A. They are both purple... except for the elephant.
Virtual Reality Association

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