Australia steps up in Asia, and in the Philippines

Australian pilot in Orion spy plane (Photo source: AFP via Inquirer)

By Joe America

I personally have tremendous respect for Australia, the government, and for Australians, the people. Australia is a democracy that favors debate over dogmatism. Her people favor reason over religion or emotion. Not that Aussies can’t be of faith, or passionate, or dogmatic. They can. Opinions are often hard and sharply spoken . . . but if the evidence warrants, reason finds new answers to troublesome questions.

Australia has been a partner to Europe and America for a long time. The British Empire established Australia as a penal colony surrounded by a superior moat and World War II sealed a special relationship between Australia and America. Australians also fought with American troops in my war, Viet Nam. They served in Afghanistan and Iraq and are today engaged in Syria.

Australia has tended to follow the American lead in these episodes, but Australia is grown up now. Global events and American hegemony forced a separation from American policies. That started under George W. Bush when he responded to the World Trade Center attack the same way Donald Trump is responding to the refugee problem. By putting America first, and damn the rest of the world.

Australia has long stood independent yet respectful of her heritage in the British Commonwealth, but now seems to be standing taller, standing mature, and standing for her own interests with clarity of principle and purpose. It could not have come at a better time because global events are becoming downright oppressive.

  • Immigration has been fiercely debated since 1901 when regulations followed a “whites only” policy, through the end of racially discriminatory policies in the 1970’s, to once again be at the forefront as Australia struggles to deal with the global flood of Muslim refugees.
  • Global warming is ruthlessly attacking her reefs and bringing waves of heat, fire, and storms to her parched and battered lands.
  • Australia is today engaged in the Middle East and fighting in Syria. Historically, Australia has been willing to commit troops to various wars, not as the lead in battle, but with a meaningful presence.
  • China is pushing her considerable weight into Australia’s domestic policies. Aussie push-back extends to the surrounding seas and the issue of who, specifically, controls routes of commerce. Australia argues pointedly for open seas and skies. Her armed forces cross train with those of other Asian nations affected by China’s aggressive expansion.

Australia can no longer take her lead from Europe and America, and it is a statement worth recording that last week Australia provided two intelligence-gathering aircraft to support Philippine troops doing battle in Marawi.

My personal opinion: Cheers to Australia, and the Australians who are providing that support!

It is good to have allies who share Philippine interests and actually ACT in the interest of Filipinos. It is good to have allies who do not do the daily duck and cover that most Philippine legislators engage in. Australia’s forthright work on the Philippines’ behalf makes the legislative back-sliders who refused to do their constitutional duty to review Martial Law look like extraordinary foolish patriots.

The Philippines can use mature partners. Both the Philippine and American national governments have descended into a bizarre populist swampland that features a lot of erratic thinking and unkind behaviors.

The planet needs mature, sensible leaders who KNOW that climate change is real, and know that immigration is a facet of a smaller, angrier, poverty-stricken world that must be dealt with by reason, respect, and earnest work. And the world needs allies whose leaders recognize that terrorism knows no borders. And that military might in the seas does not equate to right.

Australia by all indications is one of those mature, sensible nations, and she is on a track to become a leader in Asia . . . a dependable ally for the Philippines and other nations.

A tip o’ the San Mig to ye, mates!

Here’s to the rise of Australia in Asia!

 

Comments
144 Responses to “Australia steps up in Asia, and in the Philippines”
  1. edgar lores says:

    *******
    Aussie, Aussie, Aussie!
    Oi! Oi! Oi!
    *****

  2. NHerrera says:

    Thanks Joe for the blog article. I too am a great admirer of the ways the Australians go about the business of running their country.

  3. karlgarcia says:

    I will just repeat what Joe said, “Cheers to Australia and the Australians”.
    I have relatives and friends there as well,so cheers to the Filipino-Australians.
    Of course those here at TSOH:
    Edgar, who is a beacon of light and Bill in Oz who gives us his direct and frank opinions.

    • NHerrera says:

      Hear! Hear!

      A quick google brings out that out of the present Australian population of 24 million, 17 million were born in Australia, with some 7 million originating from 52 countries, the top 15 of which, in population share, are:

      1  United Kingdom
      2  New Zealand
      3  People’s Rep of China
      4  India
      5  Philippines
      6  Vietnam
      7  Italy
      8  South Africa
      9  Malaysia
      10  Germany
      11  Greece
      12  Sri Lanka
      13  United States
      14  South Korea
      15  Hong Kong

      Australia — a land of immigrants, with immigrants, I believe composed of the better kind, not in wealth, but with minds unlike the crucifiers of De Lima. The mix, I believe, including the native Australians makes for a potent resource, aside from the vast land area with vast physical resource.

      I hope edgar, Bill, Cha or some others in TSH can write on why the Australian Leaders and citizens are able to have a good dynamic balance of

      * politics
      * policies
      * communication or public relations

      that redound to the good of the country. Is it the diet of roast lamb or kangaroo? 🙂

      • Australia is another young democracy living on the rush of success. Researching the article was enlightening, even though I have traveled to Australia twice. For example, immigration ideas changed subsequent to World War II when the slogan was “populate or perish”. She had been too easily invaded by Japan and it was a wake-up call. Immigration ideas changed again during the 1970’s as Australia tracked along with human rights developments in the US that saw racial barriers drop and a truer sense of equality written into laws. Now both the US and Australia are dealing with Muslim refugees, and you will recall the spat between Trump and Turnbull was because Trump did not like Obama’s agreement to receive refugees from Australia.

        • Bill In Oz says:

          “Another young democracy”.. Joe I hate to correct but we achieved democracy in the colonies in 1850’s and universal franchise in the 1890’s with women & aboriginals in some colonies having the vote before the Commonwealth of Australia was formed in 1900. So our democracy is roughly 160 years old..

          • I also consider the US to be a young democracy, 1776, so there is nothing to correct.

            • Bill In Oz says:

              I guess Joe my issue is that there were no democracies in the world until the mid 19th Century…Even the USA only gave the vote to white males. Women got the vote in the USA in 1923 ( ? ) and blacks only after the civil rights campaign of the 1950’s & 60’s.

              But I am quibbling..It’s not important

              • Wiki: Athenian democracy developed around the fifth century BC in the Greek city-state (known as a polis) of Athens, comprising the city of Athens and the surrounding territory of Attica, and is the first known democracy in the world. …

                The 1800’s were the time of my grandparents and great grandfather. A blink of an eye ago. That we are still shaping the interpretations of matters such as the vote and racial and gender equality suggests that development is active, and democracy is hardly an “old” or settled form of government.

                But you are right, it is not so important.

      • Bill In Oz says:

        N’Herrera, re your comment
        ” I hope edgar, Bill, Cha or some others in TSH can write on why the Australian Leaders and citizens are able to have a good dynamic balance ”

        Politics here is very direct & rough. I see politicians as our elected servants and I cheerfully, politely treat them that way. When they become arrogant and ‘unlistening’ the politeness goes out the window.

        And we have a political system which does NOT grant power & authority to politicians for extended time periods. Federal parliament has elections at least every three years and frequently after 2 years or less.

        A political party leader who stuffs up will be sacked by his/her own colleagues in parliament. Recent examples are Abbott in 2015 ( after 2 years as PM) Rudd ( after 2 years as PM ) & Gillard ( after 2.5 years as PM ). Further back in time Bob Hawke was sacked by his own ALP colleagues after 8 years in 1990 and John Gorton sacked by his own colleagues in the Liberal Party in 1971 after 3 years as PM.

        A key part in being accountable is having a preferential voting system.To be elected and stay elected a pollie has to get at least “50% of the votes plus 1 ” in his/her electorate.

        I will be blunt : the threat of being sacked helps make politicians listen.

      • Edgar Lores says:

        *******
        1. There are several factors why Oz is the way it is. Bill has mentioned the responsible and responsive politicians working under a short election cycle.

        2. To me, coming from the chaos that is the Philippines, I will add a baker’s dozen plus two of factors without elucidation:

        2.1. The lack of corruption
        2.2. The difference in principles and policies of the two main political parties
        2.3. The responsiveness of the judiciary
        2.4. The well organized local governments
        2.5. The patriotism of the citizenry in observing laws
        2.6. The national principle of fairness, of a “Fair Go”
        2.7. The respect for multiculturalism — everyone is a mate.
        2.8. The care for the disabled
        2.9. The classless society
        2.10. The social welfare net
        2.11. Medicare
        2.12. The national focus on sports
        2.13. The Olympic spirit
        2.14. The advanced use of computers and technology
        2.15. The beer and the shrimps on the barbie
        *****

        • Bill In Oz says:

          Edgar, I read your remark “2.1. The lack of corruption” with a raised eyebrow.. Corruption. has happened here – especially in the police. Traditionally all the states have had laws banning prostitution an brothels. But all our major cities have women working on the street and brothels have always existed since 1788.

          These puritanical laws simply created opportunities for police to be corrupted with payments and other benefits, by brothel owners of working girls.

          In Victoria in the 1970’s, a Royal Commission into police corruption established the connection with compelling evidence. And the state government reluctantly legalised registered brothels in specified areas managed & owned by persons with a AFP ‘no crimes’ clearance.

          In Qld the corruption lead to the Fitzgerald Royal Commission. It lead to a new government being elected which reformed the laws on prostitution and brothels and the jailing the police commissioner and the minister for police who were found guilty of major corruption..

          One way to lesson corruption in the Philippines would be to reform the laws on this area.

          • edgar lores says:

            *******
            Bill in Oz, thanks.

            I am aware that there is some corruption going on — Eddie Obeid, Ian MacDonald, and the MP rorting of expenses — but it is not as endemic and systemic as it is in the Philippines. What we see here are small peanuts. That is why I used the word “lack” rather than “absence.”
            *****

            • Bill In Oz says:

              Ahhh yes, NSW is a state unto itself…. The long reign of Labor there in government allowed. alot of corruption to get entrenched..It is great that Obeid and his mate Ian Mac Donald got jailed.
              ICAC, the NSW crime & corruption commission was formed in the 1990’s precisely to stop & root out such people.

              • edgar lores says:

                *******
                Bill, thanks for noting that Obeid and MacDonald are now in jail. Obeid got 5 years for misconduct in public office and MacDonald 10 years for granting a mining license to a mate.

                MPs rorting expenses are publicly shamed into paying their excessive claims.

                We must emphasize this: Oz does not have a culture of impunity. Until the Philippines is able to rectify the culture, then things will not much improve.
                *****

        • Edgar Lores says:

          *******
          2.16. No gun culture (ex Bill)
          2.17. Being big and isolated, in the middle zone (ex NHerrera)
          2.18. European values in a semi-Asiatic setting (ex NHerrera)
          2.19. Bountiful natural resources (e.g. minerals, natural gas, rare earth elements)
          2.20. (To be continued)
          *****

      • NHerrera says:

        Thanks Bill, edgar, for giving the essential answer to my query with the implied WHY, WHO and HOW of what makes Australia tick like a good clock.

        • NHerrera says:

          SOME RANDOM THOUGHTS ON AUSTRALIA GOING FORWARD

          Criteria:
          – Welfare of country and its people
          – Continue with pride of country and respect it gets from other countries
          – Contribute to the welfare of the world

          My main random thoughts:

          1. Australia is blessed with being in the “middle” — not in physical land size and resources, which are ample — and certainly NOT in thoughts of loss, or present status, of “empire” and influence that afflicts some of the politics of US, Russia, China, UK, Saudi Arabia (because of its oil?)

          2. Associated with the bigness of some of these countries and its past and present glories is the politics that such past and present glories and bigness inspire — such as the thoughts of the right to a big influence or to be a big brother of the world to feed its domestic politics, among others.

          3. Australia’s politics and some other aspects of modern life is also in that comfortable zone of being in that “middle state.” Bill and edgar have sketched the characteristics that make or fortunately evolved into this comfortable zone.

          4. Australia is thus in a relative good position in its present status to think about its strategic future status, mindful of

          * the right selection of its allies and kindred spirit in the US (the temporary Trump notwithstanding), EU and the Commonwealth

          * the right selection and kindred spirit in its Asian neighbors

          (Such selective continued cultivation of allies prevents the other big ones to effectively grab the whole or parts of this big continent of Australia.)

          * the realities that a future of dramatic changes that Climate Change and the future of North Korea, etc, will bring.

          Stay strong, dynamic and comfortable in that middle zone, Australia

      • Cha Coronel Datu says:

        “I hope edgar, Bill, Cha or some others in TSH can write on why the Australian Leaders and citizens are able to have a good dynamic balance of
        * politics
* policies
* communication or public relations
        that redound to the good of the country. Is it the diet of roast lamb or kangaroo?”

        —-

        I don’t think many Australians are actually big fans of kangaroo steak so it must be the roast lamb. Haha.

        Edgar and Bill have covered a lot of ground already on the political and social culture. I might just add some of my own personal observations about Australian values, way of life and character as they contrast with our own as Filipinos.

        Parenting styles and goals, for one are a lot different. Australian children are raised to be able to fend for themselves from an early age. While Filipino children learn to rely on others (the yayas, maids, doting parents etc), Australian kids are trained to make it on their own. Children are introduced to household chores as soon as they are able to stand on their own feet. (I exaggerate.) From the age of 14, they are able and actually encouraged to get part-time jobs which aside from the financial pay-off, teaches them the value of hard work, responsibility and discipline.

        Most Australians are good with their money, it’s rarely spent on frivolity. When my kids were still young and doing the rounds of children’s birthday parties , I was always amused at the very sparse offerings of chicken nuggets, chips (french fries to us) and sausage rolls for the birthday fare. Needless to say, I couldn’t complain especially as it meant I only had to offer the same come my own children’s time and not the fiesta fare offered up in the traditional Filipino celebration. I thought things would change or improve(?) as they grew older but when my son and daughter each turned 18, all they wanted for their celebration was pizza and some booze (which of course was the Australian way). No debutante balls for us to host and spend for. Ho-hum.

        Finally, there is a strong sense of stewardship for both the community and the environment among Australians. A Filipino parent from my son’s primary school days was dumbfounded when one of the Aussie moms gently “reminded” him not to throw his cigarette butt on the school grounds. (I think her real message actually might have been – why the hell are you smoking around school children? ) . More than once I have witnessed someone chasing after the perpetrator of a crime (like snatching off someone’s computer) that they only just witnessed. And people stopping to help a fallen child or elderly person, a lost or injured animal, or to pick up a dangerous obstruction or wayward item on the road are quite common. Oh and they would also not hesitate about walking up to a politician on the street to tell him off over something the latter said or did that they don’t agree with. But they also would not hold back and go out of their way to offer compliments and commendation when public servants or customer service people do a great job.

        There’s actually plenty more to note and admire but to me these are really what’s propelled Australia and Australians to where they are now : a strong sense of responsibility for self, community and the environment, self-assurance and assertiveness, good discipline and a good sense of priorities. All of which, if we really think about it, are the essence of personal maturity.

        • Bill In Oz says:

          Ahhh Cha, tahnk you for this great comment… I felt warm and happy as I read your comments., recognising each in turn that would never have occurred to me to write about. It’s remarkable what we all here just take for granted and so they slip under the radar..

          • Bill In Oz says:

            PS : You are right with your hunch with the smoking in or near a school. Smoking is not allowed.So smoking and throwing butts on the ground goes against lots of things And as the percentage of the population who smoke is now 12%, it’s very much a minority ‘pleasure’ frown on nowadays..

  4. alicia m. kruger says:

    It is an embarrassment JoeAm to the Filipino legislators whose job is to protect the country but they instead turned into political hacks who would indict their own mothers if it would boost their favours even by a single percentage point.

  5. sonny says:

    Am glad to hear about the assist from Australia for the Philippines, via P-3 Orion aircraft recon. In the late ’60’s my brother & I used to work for computer manufacturer for the on-board computers of those recon workhorses. Already a much indirect connect to the Aussies, I admit. Of course, the land under the Southern Cross will always be connected to PH history because of Quezon’s flight to safety during WWII. Now two cousins and 2 nieces call Sydney & Melbourne home. Mabuhay, Australia!! Also, movie STRICTLY BALLROOM, a warm-hearted look inside the Aussie spirit.

    • Right! Thanks for bringing up that refuge for Quezon, and I believe even MacArthur directed the rest of his WWII engagement from Australia.

      • sonny says:

        Joe, the Quezon (PH Commonwealth in exile) flight (Corregidor,Mindanao, Australia, New York) to the Australian haven was a vital link in keeping Filipino and American morale of those times. This must not be erased from the national memory.

      • Bill In Oz says:

        I wrote an article about this in 2016, here
        http://filipinogerman.blogsport.eu/general-mcarthur-leaves/

        Quite a few Filipinos would up fleeing to Australia during the war by US planes out of Del Monte or by ships. A Philippines Red Cross ship sailed with 2-300 wounded from Manila to Sydney unharmed by Japanese forces

      • alicia m. kruger says:

        MacArthur was honoured by the government of Australia with a charming sandstone heritage listed building in the city of Brisbane where he directed the war. It is called MacArthur Chambers, apartments and tourists accommodation but one floor is a museum of the WWII. It is open to the public for a small fee. Vets are always there to explain about the displays to the young!

        • Ahh, thanks for the piece of information, Alicia! The days I was in Brisbane, they were running the Melbourne Stakes horse race and everyone was gadding about all dressed up in hats, most heading to or from the casinos, I think. I never found MacArthur. 🙂

          • alicia m. kruger says:

            Sorry to hear that JoeAm. Australians take their races seriously, hats and all! MacArthur is in corner of Queen and Edward streets just a few meters away from the General Post Office.

    • That’s soooo cool that you got to work on P-3s, sonny!!!

      Right after the A-10 Warthogs and AC-130 Spectres , P-3 Orions are my 3rd favourite planes out there. All work horses indeed, with crews working double shifts consistently.

      Ditto on Australia, though I’ve only been to Perth and Sydney for port calls, but any nation with great tasting beers is OK in my book (I’m not a fan of San Miguel, but when it’s straight from tap, draught, it is actually really really good. 😉 )

      • sonny says:

        LC, those were giddy days for a young chemist, having direct hands & view at how materials for computer circuits came together: circuits for Navy & Air Force hardware (aircraft (P-3, S-3A, AWACS), Minuteman & Nike missiles, Poseidon submarines).

  6. Bill In Oz says:

    Joe re your comment ” Immigration has been fiercely debated since 1901 when regulations followed a “whites only” policy, through the end of racially discriminatory policies in the 1970’s, to once again be at the forefront as Australia struggles to deal with the global flood of Muslim refugees.”

    We are indeed a migrant nation, But it has never ever been an open door migration policy.

    1 : In 1900 the first act of the Commonwealth parliament was a law to restrict migration to people of European background. It was passed with overwhelming support in the parliament and among the population. here was no fierce debate at all. The law was passed also despite British government disapproval. Consensus ruled.
    2 : In the 1940’s the Labor government started a migration program to encourage and assist migration from the UK and from Europe. A couple of hundred thousand of them were refugees from Nazism and communism. That program lasted until the 1970’s under both Labor & Liberal party governments. Again no controversy. Consensus ruled.
    3: In the late 1960’s the Liberal government started opening up migration to non Europeans. In 1973 this was opened up to basically anywhere in the world. But it was ( and is ) an individual ‘application’ based process. If the application was ( is ) not approved,no visa and no entry. Again no controversy. Consensus ruled.
    4: In the mid 1970’s to the early 1980’s thousand of Vietnamese started fleeing Communist Vietnam. At the start a couple of thousand wound up coming to Australia in small boats. The Australian Liberal party government under Malcolm Fraser arranged that such people fleeing Vietnam be temporarily housed and processed on an island off the coast of Malaysia. Over about 8 years 200,000 Vietnamese refugees came here to Australia. Assisted by the government. No controversy. Consensus ruled

    5 : In the early 1990’s people started arriving on small boats from Indonesia without having applied or gaining visas. They were mostly Muslims from Iran, iraq, Lebanon etc. and claimed to be refugees. The Labor government of Paul Keating detained these people in camps around the country while their background & claims were investigated and their health status was assured. There was no controversy. Consensus ruled.

    6 : In 2001 during the Federal election, a large group of almost 500 people on a small unsafe boat were rescued by the MV Tampa. The Tampa captain proposed to diverge from his planned destination of Singapore & bring them to Australia. The Howard government sent troops to take over the MV Tampa. The boat people on board were removed to camps on Nauru with the support and agreement of the Nauru government. The Howard government was returned after this action with a huge majority. Consensus ruled.

    In the year or so afterwards boats attempting the same thing were turned back to Indonesia by the Howard government. Concensus ruled.& the boats stopped coming

    7 : From 2008 – 13 the new Labor government abandoned the established policy of generations. It arranged for all boat people coming to Australia with no application or visa to be housed in the community. Naturally the numbers increased. In 5 years roughly 50,000 people arrived by small boat from Indonesia having bribed the Indonesian police and army to get ‘help’. This policy generated enormous controversy. Only a small tiny minority of activists actually supported the policy. There was no Consensus in the Australian people supporting this Open Borders policy.

    8 :In 2013 the Labor was decisively defeated largely because of it’s open borders boat people policy. The new Abbott Liberal government reinstated a “turn back policy”. Arrivals dropped to zero. Apart from a small & nosy activist group this was supported by the Australian people. Even the Labor party now in opposition adopted this policy. Again Consensus rules.

    A small noisy activistist open borders groups disagrees but frankly, most people do not even listen to them

    • Bill In Oz says:

      A PS There are 96 Filipinos in my local town according to the 2016 census out of 14,500.. Nice !

      • Great summation of Australia’s immigration policies, Bill. Thanks! I’d say the US is right smack somewhere in between Australia (keep at arms length) and Canada (arms wide open). With Trump’s travel ban essentially OK’d, I gotta feeling we’ll come closer to where you guys are re immigration (more responsible, less EU-like, open for everyone).

        • The SC opinion needs a look. I read today that it actually is not favorable to Trump. So ‘essentially approved’ needs verification.

          • For those coming in w/out any sort of connection to the US was the standard, Joe, the travel ban applies. If those coming in have connections, thru family, work, organizations, schools, then i guess benefit of the doubt comes to play.

            Which if you remember was the spirit of the initial roll out, ie. from 7 war torn countries (higher likelihood of terrorists coming in), so in essence the spirit of the initial roll out was passed (at least for now, there will be more to come i think in Oct.),

            effectively over turning the lower courts full on ban of the travel ban. So essentially approved is correct, vis-a-vis the limbo which the circuit courts placed the travel ban, the fact that it will now be enforced, at least to me, means “approved”… it can be reneged in the future, but for now good to go, hence “essentially approved”.

            but the wider issue is immigration reform and I believe this travel ban will open up that debate… ie. the Canada path or the Australian path (not too many, folks! approach). I prefer the Australian approach, it is wiser.

            • Bill In Oz says:

              Lance, a late response to your comment :

              The BBC has run an article on this US SC decision. At the end it invites people who are exlcuded under the new rules to contact the BBC with their story…With a view to the BBC running a campaign against them I suspect.

              http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-40452360

              And frankly this annoys me. There is no recognition here by the BBC that the USA has the sovereign right to determine who enters America…

        • Bill In Oz says:

          The Canadians are having problems with their policy Lance. This is illustrated by an article today in the Guardian about a Syrian Muslim refugee family who were welcomed into Canada about 10 months ago.

          The husband has been charged with major domestic violence against his wife : he beat her for 30 minutes with a hockey stick ! Here he would be charged, convicted, in jail and then deported on release from jail

          ( In fact any non Australian resident can lose permanent residence if they serve more than 12 months in jail for a criminal offense. Lot’s of Kiwis and Brit have been deported to their great chagrin and surprise.)

          But the author of the Guardian article was arguing that even someone convicted of a major crime should be able to stay if they are a refugee….And that may happen in this case when the bastard really does deserve being thrown out of Canada after his time in jail.

          • Canada’s been so proud of it’s multi-culturalism ,

            but I don’t think it fully realizes the types of folks, especially from Syria, Libya, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen, Sudan (of the 7 listed, I’m a lot more comfortable with Iranian refugees/Asylum seekers, since they’ll most likely be secular/non-Sunni/non-Shia & educated), but those leaving these 6 countries are very problematic.

            Like i’ve been saying all along, the militant jihadis aren’t the existential threat to states they can be wiped out, it’s the stuff at home (in individual homes, households) that’ll undermine the state, like wife beatings, under-aged marriages to way old men, ninja outfits, quran memorization at the expense of schooling, etc. Because they’ll surely be welfare recipients, like Israel is being destroyed from within by their own fundamentalist Haredim Jews.

            Best to vet them before setting foot. I’m glad the SC here ruled in favor of this re Trump’s travel ban. I hope this October, they’ll uphold it and that ‘ll precipitate further examination of this asylum /refugee loophole in our lousy immigration policy. The only new immigrants coming in should ideally be skilled/educated , no more hand-outs. and I like your

            booting out of permanent residents clause.

            My fear is that all these refugees Canada let in will migrate southward due to cold weather, I hope they all go to Vancouver instead (or we’ll have to build a wall up in Canada ). But I agree with you, it’s irresponsible to just open your borders. And I hope we can follow Australia’s example, ahhhhh to be an island continent…. I envy you , Bill— you guys already have a wall, it’s just natural and made of water, hence no politics.

  7. So, the land from down under is climbing up the ladder – I hope our People Champ will not fall . . .

    • Bill In Oz says:

      Tancio, I watched a press conference this evening with Pacquiao.. He was not 100%.

      He kept looking at his mobile phone and looked dazed. Hecompletely forgot his opponent’s name ( Horne ). Looks like he has taken too many hits to the head. The old way of describing this is “Punch Drunk”. But he was not drunk at all.

      I suspect he has brain damage from too much boxing. How he can do his job as senator properly is beyond me.

      I read also that his manager thinks he should retire if he does not win this rematch with Horne.

      • josephivo says:

        I think that the dear senator has too many things on his mind, human rights violations, ISIS destabilizing the country, a foreign nation occupying our islands, vital infrastructure needs, education quality…, you name it. Boxing became just a distraction of the real problems.

  8. arlene says:

    Good afternoon everyone. So nice to read about this, a neighboring country so ready to help us.

  9. Mary Grace P. Gonzales says:

    I remember posting in FB (when Du30 was repeatedly stating that we cannot afford to go to war with China as we don’t have the capability to do so) that we have other options aside from war, peaceful options using the ace card from the Hague left for him by PNOY, SC SJ Carpio and team. In the face of China’s usual saber rattling, we have means for war deterrence if only he did not antagonize US, Europe and Australia. These countries in addition to India and Vietnam, have expressed their friendly alliance with us to maintain peace in the WPS.

    Thank you, US…thank you Australia for the helping hand you are extending to us during this Marawi terror attack. Thank you for setting aside and ignoring the foul-mouthed statements of our ill-advised and/or stubborn president. May God bless you.

    • Bill In Oz says:

      Mary, Duterte does not matter in this issue. it is in Australia’s own interest to help a neighbour deal with this ISIS attempted occupation.

      Islamic terrorists killed 88 Australians in the Bali bombings in 2002. – along with about 130 other people. Australians died in 9/11 in New York Only a small number compared to the 2000 others. But they were killed and they were ours.

  10. chemrock says:

    Australia, like Japan, wants to stay relevant to Philippines, and so do US. Whilst Japan is more adventurous in sending warships on a tour in the face of Chinese hostility, Australia choses a non-political event. Japan and Aussie moves are sending messages to China, and that’s what we need. In the aftermath of Chinese usurpation of the WSP, we need more foreign countries to send such messages to China.

    While a clueless admin knows only nothing can be done against China, Justice Carpio has mapped out various things that the country can do, but his unsolicited suggestions are in a Malacanang thrash bin.

    Apart from Carpio’s ways, there are other more aggressive stances that Philippines could have taken years ago, even in Pnoy’s time. Apart from building military relationship with US during Pnoy’s time, which current admin has snuffed, Philippines could have increased association with countries that are at odds with China. These are of course US, Japan, Sorkor, India. Now US plays a gentleman’s role, getting out of the way when told too, but at the same time, put it’s foot in the door by their insistence of their interest to protect freedom of navigation. Sorkor and Japan are no fools, they understood they need to maintain greater visibility in Philippines as the geopolitics shifted. India made some small overtures which Philippines did not follow up. Instead of pulling the Indians in, the admin put out a kill order for the bombays small time money lenders.

    Now it is hoped this move by Aussies is a small step forward of a more proactive stance to push their influence out north. Aussies have played steadfast roles in many conflicts. In WW2 a million Aussies participated in several theatres in the world. Closer home, they fought in Singapore where many perished. Aussies have stood up to be counted many times and we salute them for that.

    • sonny says:

      Chempo, your observations on Philippine behavior (as a nation) seems to reflect a deep crisis of identity in Filipinos – are they a democratic people or a natural vassal-state, always vulnerable to the next strongman. This dichotomy in governance is so pervasive be it in the barangay level right up to national political struggles. The social-political exposure to Spain, America and now the international community of nations, only serve to exacerbate and surface this deep, unresolved rifts in the national character. Western cultures whether archipelagic or land-mass based seem to have “progressed” by exhibiting internal violence drawn to resolution, good or bad. If this is the natural progression of governance, is the Philippines overdue for one or two armed struggles?

      • ” is the Philippines overdue for one or two armed struggles?”

        I forgot who I was talking to awhile back re armed struggle vis-a-vis democracy, sonny. But this was my point re Philippines and democracy. Simply doing EDSA I, II, III, IV, V (like the Rocky movies) is moot, it’s too safe, hence no true changes. Over here, without the luxury of homogeneity that Australia (or even Canada) enjoys, democracy is very violent. There ‘s riots, militias, the 2nd amendment hangs like the sword of Damocles, law suits galore, even civil war.

        As great as Australia and Canada are, I didn’t sense that Jeffersonian sentiment when they talked gov’t. but that above right there is the key to American democracy IMHO.

        • Australia & Canada hover around 90% Whites, while the US is now around 60% Whites—- rounding off here, but you get the point.

          • I think Australia can sustain its 90% due to its smart immigration policy; what Canada has going for it re sustainment of their 90% is the frigid winters, i think (why many non-White Candanians citizens/perm residents come to the US)— but instead of working within that reality, they’ve assumed Merkel’s Germany’s stance of sucking up refugees.

            Homogeneity is a luxury, when you don’t appreciate it, and really delve into multiculturism , unless you have a violent streak, you’ll be up a river w/out a paddle. Australia seems to understand this, where as Canada just wants to populate its frozen lands.

          • sonny says:

            LC, the lesson from the Marcos years bears the importance of the US 2nd amendment. He muzzled opposition from a run-away press and disarmed the populace before they realized the extent of his intent. There is also the lesson from the history of the Moro Wars. The US brought in Indian fighters to the pacification of Mindanao, anticipating the close association between the Moro and his weapon. The thresholds of the Malay in Mindanao are no different from the Malays in Luzon and the Visayas. The “moderators” may be different.

            • Yeah, you’re right , sonny. There is a similar “streak of violence” in the Philippines, re your “thresholds” (and we see it mostly in Mindanao and seldom commenter on here Steve’s description of CAR up north) , but this “violent streak” isn’t harnessed or focused towards Jefferson’s “ Tree of Liberty ” , I think that’s the main difference.

              But the gunsmithing and bladesmithing is right there, even w/out a 2nd Amend. So the Philippines is similar to the US in that regard, just without a road map me thinks, sonny.

              • Here’s the actual letter by the way:

                http://www.let.rug.nl/usa/presidents/thomas-jefferson/letters-of-thomas-jefferson/jefl64.php

                “God forbid we should ever be 20 years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, & always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions it is a lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. We have had 13. states independent 11. years. There has been one rebellion. That comes to one rebellion in a century & a half for each state. What country before ever existed a century & half without a rebellion? & what country can preserve it’s liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon & pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants. It is it’s natural manure.”

              • sonny says:

                This I feel –

                Given: for many countries, Diversity among its populace is the common reality. Diversity implies differentiation. This follows: there is differentiation that leads to division and there’s the differentiation that leads to synthesis and unification. I suggest for now that any diverse country or society must be able to (1) recognize its areas and degrees of diversity, (2) define its differentiations in their diversity, then (3) work by consensus on tolerable syntheses and legislate and execute its methods of unification.

              • Bill In Oz says:

                Lance I reject Jefferson’s statement as self fulfilling prophetic nonsense.

                Jefferson is your “local Here” But he also wrong at times. And this is one of them.

                He was appointed the first US embasader to France while the war against Britain was raging. . He was not actually in America for much of the US war of independence. He was in Paris most of the time.

                But once the peace treaty was signed granting the US it’s freedom, he returned to Virginia. So Jefferson was not there in France in 1789 when the revolution happened in France; nor was he there for the time of terror.

                So frankly he lacked much experience of what actually happens in war, bloody violent war.

                Another ‘imperfection’ of character : He was a slave owner and had his estate in Virginia worked by slaves. Also I note he did not free his slave mistress of decades at Monticello though she bore him a number of children and was part white anyway. She was ‘freed ‘only until after he died as directed by his will.

                Jefferson was a hero but also flawed man.

              • chemrock says:

                Sonny kudos for this –

                “…any diverse country or society must be able to (1) recognize its areas and degrees of diversity, (2) define its differentiations in their diversity, then (3) work by consensus on tolerable syntheses and legislate and execute its methods of unification.”

                Singapore is a crucible of several significant races and religions. We learnt great lessons from the Maria Hertogh riots in 1950 and the 1969 racial riots.

                Maria Hertoght case was religious. Her biological parents were Dutch Catholics but she was raised by a local Muslim woman. Following custody battles the court finally decided she should be returned to her Dutch parents. By then she was 13 years old. The court decision inflamed local Muslims and riots erupted.

                1969 racial riots had its root cause in Malayan politics. Never formally accused, the 2nd Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Razak, father of current Prime Minister, played the racial card and caused riots in Malaya and Singapore.

                We understood long ago that religion and race are very fertile grounds for people with inappropriate agendas to stir. Emotion is the weakness of the masses but a tool for the manipulators. We spend our entire years of independence carefully managing these 2 emotional hotspots and though we have succeeded to a large extend, we know that if we drop our guards, things can go awfully wrong very quickly. The reason we have succeeded is because we have done exactly what you mentioned above.

                For years, race and religion were like taboo subjects in our public discourse. One wrong word can spread a fire of hate easily. We can see this today in social media battles everyday all over the world. It’s very much like the dilawan-dutertard divide. For years, we had unstated OB markers (out-of-bound) to observe. Racial religious riots were our bogeyman.

                Over the years, younger generation is taking the religious and racial peace for granted and rising libertarianism has been pushing back what they feel is government tendency to play the bogeyman card too often. Fortunately,with better education, poverty eradication, and minority races joining the mainstream population, I believe the racial and religious divide has been marginalised and this has allowed for more space in public discourse. One great benefit of the agresiveness of China is in a rise of nationalism in the island state as Singaporeans of Chinese descent appear to counter PRC pushiness. I believe this stand earns the Singapore Chinese the trust of our Malays and Indians. In the same way, Singapore Malays no longer listen to the drum rolls of the Malaysian Malays.

                The state of workable multiculturalism did not come about naturally. It was by concerted and continuous management of the very 3 points Sonny mentioned above. I won’t bore readers here with the various steps taken by our govt, but there have been lots of pragmatic approaches, some legislation and some social engineering. There will always be some who insist some of our steps are totally unacceptable in a democratic society, but just look at the results. I have always thought Singapore offers a microcosm of what can be done to make multiculturalism viable. Of course not every aspect can be replicated everywhere,but it offers a basis for study and tweak to suit local requirements.

              • chemp, good point on Singapore,

                but my personal experience was that a lot of Singaporean synthesis was top-down, as opposed to the more American bottom-up approach, hence all the friction.

                The Mormons who went out West to escape persecution by established Christians in the East (who themselves escaped persecution from England and Europe) are perfect examples. they got the brunt of Indian banditry/rebellion, violence and gov’t excessive enforcement (mainly because of polygamy). They were homogeneous as hell, until in the 20th century they opened up, and now most of the missionaries that knock in my door are Polynesians, Koreans, hell even Filipino Mormons! (I heard more Hispanics are becoming Mormons too, though have not seen any yet) now that’s a bottom up approach.

                Legislatively, there’s multiculturalism in Singapore yes, but (and I was just there a couple of days, so i defer to your experience), Malays, Chinese and Indians still kept apart in social places, like those cafeteria , food stalls i ate in. So maybe on paper there’s a lot of tolerance and discrimination is frowned upon, but I still saw a lot segregation (no biggie, it’s the same here too), but my point was the top-down vs. bottom-up comparison here.

              • chemrock says:

                I agree with you bottom up is best as it’s more natural. This will take a hundred years to evolve. And it could go either way — good or bad. But top down just laying some ground rules work wonders, that’s my perspective as a Singaporean. And some specifics you really need legislation.

                As to your experience in your recent visit, I would bet my last dollar your vision was badly tainted by your inability to discern foreigners. Every 3 people you see on the street, 1 is a foreigner. We are much like Kuwait now. So racial congregations are natural. You get Filipinos in Orchard Road area, Indians in Serangoon Road area,etc.

                And as for meals, it’s natural to be at different tables because our food are so different. It’s in the schools, in the army, in office, in the social spheres you see the closer interaction. You can see this too in social media discourse amongst Singaporeans.

              • sonny says:

                Thank you, chempo.

                I’m a great admirer of law & order of Singapore, although I know little of her sociology. My history of Singapore is comprised of her beginnings, i.e. the 100 kingdoms of the Strait of Malacca and the geo-political events of the Malay race around the Great Malay Archipelago.
                Thus I appreciate your summary of the events that contributed to the making of modern Singapore; I will make those events as entry points to a better understanding of the premier Malaccan state.

              • <>

                it goes more towards a Tree of Impunity, of amoral familism or amoral clanism (c) Edgar.

                Hierarchic status is probably more important to a Filipino than freedom for the entire country, which is why so often, countrymen were sold in exchange for power. The first datus to deal with the Spanish, the pro-US groups, Japanese collaborators – everything is about power.

              • chemp, we went to pick up on girls (lots of Filipinas, the professional Filipinas in Singapore) in Orchard; the unskilled Filipinas hung out in a different part of town (i was told, but they showed up in Orchard too, and a Filipina i was with pointed them out, with her nose up, which was ironic, the irony i’m sure she didn’t pick up on),

                I believe that Serangoon Rd. (first i heard of this) is where unskilled Filipinas hung out, since they ‘d have Indian boyfriends, or looking for one (who usually had a husband and family back in the Philippines—- love the one you’re with type of deal i suppose).

                But the food stalls i’m talking about was way off the tourist or foreign path, it was local as can be. But you’re right it could simply be a food thing, Indians eating indian food, Malays theirs and Chinese their food, hence the segregation.

                Though your comment “Every 3 people you see on the street, 1 is a foreigner. “ is interesting. Are these just temporary workers, or do they get to be citizens (like in Canada these days). I wonder how that affects the country’s dynamics, ie. the nation just reach some sort of homeostasis with the 3 ethnicities, doesn’t that 1 in 3 affect things in Singapore— if so, how?

            • Bill In Oz says:

              Sonny I suggest that his attempted disarming the populace as one of the few good things he tried to do. Why ? Because restricting weapon ownership reduces murders and suicides. That is the experience here in Oz since 1996 when gun control legislation was brought in.

              Why do I say ‘attempted disarming ‘? Because military weapons flowed into the Philippines anyway. US weapons supplied by the USA to the armies it supported in Vietnam or Laos or Cambodia. Shipped via Thailand to Sabah. And smuggled into the Philippines from Sabah to the Moros with the connivance of the Muslim Sabah government, as ‘revenge’ for the Philippines attempting to claim Sabah as it’s territory.

              Meanwhile 40 years later in the Philippines incidents where people are killed with guns remain common.

              The 2Nd amendment of the US is a major problem for the USA. The same ‘ideological’ thinking has damaged the Philippines even more.

              • Agreed on Jefferson’s war viginity, Bill. Ben Franklin was the same. Both flawed I’m sure as were all the founding fathers. But personal faults aside, that sentiment still holds true and proven again and again thru out American history. Hence the dynamics here.

                Like I said Australia and Canada enjoy a 90% White majority (Canada’s around high 80s, but I’m rounding given liberal sentiments to label themselves as “others” in polls). Homogeneity plays a big part in national stability , especially once some sort of consensus is established (ie. Joe’s young democracy maturing & sonny’s methods of unification).

                As for the 2nd Amend. only time will tell I supposed, Bill, when another WWII/WWI event happens and either EU or Australia, or Canada having given up their arms, and the US will again have to save everyone again. That too is part of Jefferson’s idea to always be familiar with violence , hence everytime he wrote to nephews, friend’s kids, and young colleagues, to always walk instead of ride and know the land, and always be armed.

                Lethargy was his biggest enemy, in thought and in action, in essentially all this letters he always covered that. Yes, he was a war virgin, but as Commander in Chief, without seeing violence first hand, he has a pretty good track record forecasting events, from Louisiana Purchase to quelching the Barbary Pirates (for Europe, as well as the young US).

                Australia is lucky to be an island continent, kudos on its immigration policy sustaining that 90% White demographics (Hajnal line down under) , but this dis-armanent success vis-a-vis 2nd amend. only time will tell, EU has disarmed its society, when another threat looms, like Russia, what will happen? Theirs is not an island continent, don’t have that luxury, of playing we’re so civil.

                I don’t know if that Australia gun law is complete, covers all of Australia, but Canada if you go out the cities, is pretty much the US except the coast they all have guns in the country, so like the US these are simply urban sentiments surfacing, North America is still very much a gun culture.

              • “Homogeneity provides a big part in national stability.” Do you have documentation of that conclusion, or is it an opinion?

                It is a fascinating idea, that nations should all adopt the Japanese and ISIS models of racial, cultural, or religious homogeneity. I personally think it is a cruel model for a world that is overburdened with people and air-borne carbon and shrinking by the day . . . UNLESS it is viewed as a way to ruthlessly cull the planet of excess bodies from starving lands by cutting them off from life-preserving food and water and shelter. Then kill away.

                I personally prefer a model of racial and religious blindness in government, and cultural awareness. I think America is a better model, and the stresses of fitting people together, if worked out through democratic and peaceful processes, is natural and beneficial. We can learn a lot about ourselves, and experience the joys of learning about other peoples. If we are too stupid to do what needs to be done – – – like feed people or control climate control – – – then I favor a non-discriminatory wiping out of the entire human race.

              • Incidentally, the federalism discussion in the Philippines is in effect debating this model and those opposed say the nation will end up with a few wealthy states and a lot of poverty-stricken beggar states.

              • Edgar Lores says:

                *******
                Homogeneity does provide stability within society. But it also promotes stagnation, an inbred culture. What mankind should be aiming at is stability within heterogeneity.
                *****

              • Bill In Oz says:

                Bugger ! I have confused Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson.. So scratch that part of my comment above !

              • But you’re right Jefferson never soldiered.

              • here’s a comparative map, population density:

                Canada is around 35 Million;

                Australia is around 25 Million.

                USA is around 320 Million.

              • To complete the set:

                New Zealand is around 5 Million.

                With 70% White …

                most similar to US demographics, but the least populated of all Anglosphere. With 25% Maori , so unlike the US, Canada and Australia, they haven’t killed off their natives… I wonder what their gun laws are—- you familiar with New Zealand culture , Bill?

              • “Homogeneity provides a big part in national stability.” Do you have documentation of that conclusion, or is it an opinion?

                I guess there’s two ways to interpret homogeneity here, Joe—- and I’ve hinted to both, 1) racial/cultural/linguistic (ala Iceland) and 2) sonny’s synthesis & methods of unification (ala the US).

                ‘big part’ is my opinion, I’ve not read actual studies on this, but as opposed to ‘small part’, i’d favor to assume ‘big part’, for the basic reasons of sonny’s synthesis & methods of unification. I agree with you that the US model is far superior to the European, Canadian & Australian—- i don’t think those English-speaking nations could synthesize and unify at 60% White population, the US though has a history of synthesizing and unifying, but it’s unknown what will happen when the percentage dips below 50% —- but like you i’m optimistic, just a bit more realist as oppose to idealistic (as you are when it comes to multi-culturalism).

                We’ll see if Canada and Australia can do this once they break 100 Million in population, but the Australian outback and Canadian frozen north, won’t allow such population growth. Hence their stability, and why everything is honky-dory isn’t in their superior system or intellect, or wisdom, but in 1) namely both country’s 90% White … whether they’ll evolve a 2) remains to be seen, but they need to get above 100 Million first, Joe.

                the UK is around 65 Million, and they’re already reeling from EU’s massive migration and an impending refugee crisis they are successfully keeping at bay (in France). So i agree with you on the American model (ours is best), but just be responsible about immigration (like Australia, don’t be so fast to shed American identity, as seems to be happening in the EU).

                The 2nd Amendment’s part in all this is pure conjecture on my part. I’ve not read much of any solid stuff correlating 2nd Amendment with immigration, but we both know from history that violence plays a big part in our melting pot narrative.

              • I appreciate the elaboration and can’t find much to argue about (damn!). I do know that Canada welcomes Filipinos, and many who go there eventually become citizens. Those so inclined can find their way into professional jobs. Others shiver around the fire. 🙂

              • Specifically, re Filipinos in Canada I read the influx is going straight to Edmonton and Calgary, due to the oil/gas boom there of late.

              • NHerrera says:

                @Lance, @sonny, @Joe, @Bill:

                Enjoyed reading the thread which treats of the US, Canada, Australia; the proportion of whites in the country; the associated immigration; the synthesis and unification methods.

                I just want to inject the concept of exponential growth of knowledge we have already experienced in our lifetime and what another few decades will bring. After all, I presume, we still reasonably believe now that the origins of Homo (genus) Sapiens (thinking species) that compose all present humans came from the Africa — the different Homo Sapiens that now inhabit the earth being formed in tens or hundreds of millennia from the climate they were forced to lived with in parts of the planet, in their migration over land that connected most of the earth but now separated by waters. We are all one people. The scientific development may soon convinced most of us — and through schools — that Lance and NH are one and the same saved for an accident of living in a different climate for millennia.

                (Oh, how I love homogenization — how I love the looks of a Euro-African-Asian lady.)

              • Bill In Oz says:

                @Joe, Australia is a multicultural society. The census last year totalled Australia’s population at 24 million with 7 million migrants.

                As regards migration does not discriminate in it’s migration decisions on grounds of race, ethnic background or gender. It has not done so since 1973. But it does retain the right which is part of our sovereignity, to decide who will be offered residence or even allowed to visit.

                At the moment applications to migrate here are done via point system which takes into account, health, age, English language ability, crime record, work skills and qualifications etc. This has had the result that migrants who do come here fit in normally far far better. And frankly that promotes national harmony.

                In addition there is a separate refugee program with roughly 20,000 people a year. (With an additional special intake of 12,000 refugees from Syria in the past year.) Refugee applicants are interviewed off shore and are checked for health, security, criminal history etc.

                Refugees who come here are assisted with free flights, accommodation, health, schooling, language lasses etc. They receive social security payments and are registered as job seekers with the various employment agencies.

                While formally there is no discrimination on the basis of religion, I suspect that in recent years a lower proportion of Muslims have been accepted to come to Australia as refugees. Why ?
                Because in Syria, Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Lebanon, Afghanistan, etc. there are religious non Muslim minorities who are in far greater need of protection : Bahais, Copts, Yazidis, Syriac Christians etc. Our government has made a policy decision that such minorities face a real imminent threat of being killed, impoverished and destroyed in the course of the various conflicts in majority Muslim countries. by Muslims of various ‘stripes’. This also helps prevent the entry of potential Islamic terrorists.A major problem which now faces such countries with far less stricter entry procedures like France, Belgium,Italy, the UK and maybe Canada.

              • I agree, NH. But something weird happened when Sapiens went up north to Europe, when they met Neanderthals. I’m not sure if other Sapiens on their way to Siberia/China, or to Australia met other homonids, but to Europe they cross pollinated with Neanderthals.

                Maybe that’s the DNA connection to individualism vs. collectivism, or maybe the Neanderthal DNA was moot, and all this can be explained by culture and geography, ie. the many islands and mountainous terrain of Greece.

                But I do believe in American exceptionalism borne out of Greco-Roman and Judeo-Christian traditions not found any where else. Our gun culture is very Roman and Greek. But i do agree with Bill in that Philippines shares its culture of violence with the US. And in this NH and Lance are definitely brethren, hell even higher than Anglosphere connection (since the other 4 English-speaking countries seems to have forgotten violence).

              • “Because in Syria, Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Lebanon, Afghanistan, etc. there are religious non Muslim minorities who are in far greater need of protection : Bahais, Copts, Yazidis, Syriac Christians etc. Our government has made a policy decision that such minorities face a real imminent threat of being killed, impoverished and destroyed in the course of the various conflicts in majority Muslim countries. by Muslims of various ‘stripes’. “

                This is awesome, Bill! instead of the measly travel ban by Trump, they should’ve had more courage to actually do the above. Kudos again to Australia! didn’t know you guys were doing this. Again awesome.

                Like i’ve said again and again, our mid-east policy should’ve followed whatever the interests of these minorities over there, we would’ve had a more consistent policy (more humanitarian), instead of siding with Saudi Arabia, then Iran, then Qatar, then Saudi Arabia again. what crap!

              • Bill In Oz says:

                Hey, Lance, that news about non Muslim refugees is sort on on the quiet. It is not a formally adopted policy as that might offend the politically correct, activist ‘open borders’, no discrimination, human rights mob.

                It’s just a de fact result sort of thing. And just as good. And no figures are ever handed out anyway, as all refugees famillies & relatives need ‘total’ protection from any adverse consequences back wherever they came from…

                Softly, softly, catchee monkee !

              • chemrock says:

                Bill

                The softie softie approach is great.

                I always wondered why some companies put out job advertisements like :

                Wanted — Chinese, can do this and that.
                OR Male, can do this and that

                and get sued or chastised for being racist or male chauvinist.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Vast knowledge gained here.
                Thanks again guys! 👍🏻

              • karlgarcia says:

                I can understand why it is an unofficial policy( Hush, the Refugee council mght read this).🙂
                The refugee council accused the Australian government of cherry picking Syrian refugees.

                http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-03-31/australia-cherry-picking-syrian-refugees-says-refugee-council/7289918

              • Bill In Oz says:

                You got it karl !

                But Dutton, the minister for migration does not give these ‘refugee activists’ the time of day.

                Nor do I by the way.

                I say, Australia chooses ho comes here. Nobody has right to come here unless they are Australian citizens. No If’s; No But’s; No Maybes !

                By the way, a number of Muslim terrorists ‘associates’ were weeded out of the Muslim refugee applicants from Syria. Maybe they got into Canada instead ?

                We’ve had about 8-9 Muslim terrorist incidents affecting Australia & Australians.People have died shot or blown up by terrorists. None of the perpetrators were Bahais, or Copts, or Yazidis or Syriac Christians.

                But the Refugee Council hierarchy reflects the fact that many recent refugees are Muslims who come from Muslim countries. “naturally” these people want more of their own family, relatives and faith mates to come her.

              • I think there is a legitimate ‘but’ on closed immigration if Australia determined it would be in her interest to supplant the US as a leader in Asia, or be more diversified on investments than just China. It is hard to be isolationist and respected as a regional leader, or develop robust trading and defense relationships.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Thanks for the additional input Bill.

              • Bill In Oz says:

                Joe, the diversification of investment sources happened ages ago. India, UK, USA, Japan, NZ, are all major investment sources as well as China.

                Curiously the only major foreign investments knocked back recently were Chinese. One was an investment that would have handed over controlling interests in the Kidman stock & station empire (- with lots of dessert cattle land close to a major defence facility ! The Chinese company involved was a Chinese one associated with the Communist party.

                The second one blocked was an attempted Chinese company takeover of an electronics company that provided software & gear to the defence industry here.

              • Good to know. Maybe I’m wrong on this.

                Side note: in the news today, US and Australia are conducting a joint training exercise. 30,000 troops involved. Big.

              • NHerrera says:

                @Bill In Oz says:
                June 29, 2017 at 4:06 pm

                Smart move by Australia on the two Chinese investment items you described. Good to know that Australia does not have (or probably some but less influence?) the Gloria Macapagal Arroyo types of NBN-ZTE Contract notoriety here. Investment Si, but not investment that clobber or worse gobbles the host! Was there no cry of investment discrimination on these two items there?

              • karlgarcia says:

                We almost leased 1/10 of our agricultural lands to China during Arroyo’s time.

              • NHerrera says:

                Thanks for that info, Chief (Librarian). I did not know that.

              • Bill,

                re hide the monkey game , though i’m totally for this policy, and even go so far as actually justifying it as policy, ie. during the Arab Spring, had we given weight to non-Muslim minorities interests there, our hedging would have been for the ousted dictators, and not against them—- ex. Mubarak? How will his ousting be for Coptics? Bad. Hence keep Mubarak! Qaddafi? How will Eastern Libya fair without him, and the socialist/seculars? Bad. Keep Qaddafi! Assad? How will Christian and other non-Muslim, even Shias fair without him? Bad. Then keep Assad! easy peezy.

                Instead all that bs on human rights became the priority, like i said good intentions get the best of us, especially when we don’t see the wider picture.

                but your softly softly game (this is not an American expression , hence new to me by the way ) strikes me as opposite of your description awhile back of parliamentary democracy as “too much democracy”, Bill.

                Granted the most arkane bills and policies get passed and adopted here all the time, but stuff like immigration, entitlements, these days health care, when there’s interest , ie. thru lobby groups and now social media, things of interest don’t really get hidden over here. So whats the process there facilitating this, and square this with your “too much democracy”—- or is your “too much democracy” still holds but its the 90% White that’s making this possible, ie. a certain amount of homogeneity is being consciously (or subconsciously) applied, birds of a feather flock together sentiment, or the closest like feather in this case non-Muslims.

                Again, i have no problem with the policy, the catchee monkee is just creating a dissonance for me with your “too much democracy” claim of awhile back re parliaments. Thanks, Bill.

      • Bill In Oz says:

        Sonny, being married to my lovely Filipina, it’s interesting watching the process of ‘identification’ that happens here between Filipinos, as we go about our day to day activities here.
        What with there being people from so many countries of SEA. it can be difficult for me to work out where a stranger we meet comes from : Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Cambodia, Vietnam Burma, etc..

        But my lady seems to have some sort of radar which allows here to pick out fellow Filipinos very easily. And always once ‘identified’ Filipinos welcome each other and make time to chat.

        It seems there is a distinct national character there which emerges when Filipinos travel overseas !

        • sonny says:

          Expatriation very defintely gives a sense of being a foreigner, a fish out of water feeling. I would venture to say this is almost the rule. This same feeling heightens one’s sense of recognition when encountering another person who shares a common nationality. Maybe this is more true for Filipinos.

          • Bill In Oz says:

            Thank you Sonny for finding and replying to this comment. It felt a bit orphaned for a while all by itself… 🙂

            By the way,it was only after I first traveled overseas, I discovered just how ‘Australian ‘ I am and the joy of meeting a fellow Australian in some remote and exotic location.

            • I don’t know if only Americans do this, sonny, but my experience re being outside of America is different, most Americans i’ve met (Dept. of State folks are infamous of this) tend to make it a point not to associate with other Americans. Now former military ex-pats (like in the Philippines) they tend to be open, but i’d say for the most part Americans don’t like seeing other Americans abroad.

              • sonny says:

                I’ve sometimes wondered about that, LC. Although not dallying too much on the thought probably because of my exposure to New England Jesuits (Irish, German stock) at the Ateneo.

              • True for me, although Americans about town do tend to gather in a little clique, not unlike other ethnicities.

              • sonny says:

                My five years in Minnesota culture exposed me to what I consider the best of white-American ethnicity: Scandinavian, Irish, German, Polish, Czech, Finn, Italian, Dutch, all living, working, worshipping, playing side-by-side. I think facing and dealing with Mother Nature’s extremes does this to you, one learns over the generations to do one’s part dealing with common unavoidable circumstances in order to survive, thrive and prevail.

                @NH
                PS – one of the prettiest creatures I met was a Norwegian-Ilocano. Imagine a cross-bred lady named Lisa Johnson-Libatique, blue-eyed, demure and balingkinitan. 🙂

              • sonny says:

                🙂 PPS – I like Teutonic, too.

            • sonny says:

              That makes two of us and counting, Bill. This fish out of water feeling overcame me while waiting for a public bus at street corner in downtown Minneapolis. 95% of the city is Nordic, Slavic, Yankee White! Talk of sticking out like a sore thumb. 🙂

  11. Bill In Oz says:

    @Lance, You asked about New Zealand. I am not an expert on NZ so if there is a Liwi amongst us he or she will know far more than me.

    However I do know that New Zealand is also still mostly European. The English concluded a treaty with the Maoris in the 1870’s ( The Treaty of Waitangi ) which offered Moaris protection of their lands and society in exchange for recognising British sovereignity…

    Maoris are about 15% of the population.There is also a big population of Pacific Islanders that has migrated to NZ : Tonga, Fiji, Samoa, Kiribatis etc. Though these groups look the same as Maoris there are some major cultural differences.

    Many Kiwis have come to Australia to live as there is an agreement that our citizens can move freely and work in each other’s countries. Many of the Kiwis here are in fact Pacific Islanders who migrated to NZ, became citizens and them moved to Australia as per that agreement., because of better working conditions.

    NZ has also been welcoming of Chinese migration for the past 20 years – especially cashed up business migrants. And quite a few of these after becoming NZ citizens have moved here to Oz.

    Is NZ a ‘unified’ country ? Yes indeed. Go online and search for the Bledisloe Cup. It is a Rugby series held every 4 years between NZ & Australia. Watch a bit of the games. You’ll see a united NZ team of all races & packed out crowd of all races, barracking loud and passionately for NZ

  12. Bill In Oz says:

    @Lance:Science says that homo sapiens migrating out of Africa mated with Neanderthals..Not often but enough…Blue eyes and fair skin ( and maybe blond or red hair ) are adaptions to the cold inherited from Neanderthals

    But in Tibet, Australia, PNG and the Melanesian peoples of the Pacific Islands, there is genetic evidence that they mated with the “Denisovans”. The Denisonvans were another species of humans that evolved in Asia related to the Neanderthals but different. The Tibetans have inherited their capacity to live in high, cold low oxygen locations from the Denisovans. Like the Neanderthals they are now extinct as a separate species but their unique genes live on in humans in these countries.

    • I totally accept us all as of one species, the fact that we all are able to mate and reproduce is enough for me. But what i don’t like with these liberal universities and “liberal” education is the attempts at ignoring human bio-diversity, as they focus on how we are all equal propaganda instead—- kinda the dogma of multi-culturalism.

      The Neanderthal connection I think they just recently connected DNA to possible behaviour, even that sort of study is frowned upon, but where you see red/blonde hair is coincidentally where you see the most individualism vs. collectivist behaviour.

      Now Denisonvans is all new to me. Thanks! I can see Sherpas benefitting from such genetic exposure. Though Tibetans and aboriginals from PNG/Australia/Melanesia look way different from Tibetans, which begs the question aside from Neanderthals, Denisonvans, where there others?

      the PNG/Australia/Melanesia aboriginals I believe is the closest on earth to a bilineal heirarchy, all others are just different degrees of patrilineal traditions. I’m still on the fence as to all these traditions, individualism/collectivism, patrilineal/bilineal (no real matrilineals on earth, except in myths), whether it’s nature or nurture, but since the nature angle is consciously being squelch it seems (for fear of bad interpretation i’m sure), not too much readings.

      Very interesting though.

      • Bill In Oz says:

        Lance I have reached the limit of my own knowledge on the Denisovan aspect of human ancestry..It is the cutting edge of the human ancestry science.

        But there are big differences between dark skinned and pale skinned people as regards Vitamin D.

        Vitamin D is an essential ‘hormone. It is made in/on the skin from Cholesterol using energy from the sun’s light. White people living in cold regions with long Winters have a far better capacity to produce Vitamin D than dark skinned people. It’s thought this was inherited from mating with Neanderthals.

        In high latitudes parts of the world darker skinned people without this genetic extra capacity to produce Vitamin D are especially liable to be Vitamin D deficient. with a range of associated health problems And for them Supplementation with Vitamin D3 is really health promoting, This is true for my Lady here in SA during Winter. She supplements with VD3 capsules.

        Also as we age the capacity to produce Vitamin D in the skin declines So I too take VD3 capsules. And this applies to people universally even in warmer tropical areas.

    • karlgarcia says:

      Lance,Bill,
      This discussions about genomes,DNA, reminded me of an article I wrote for Irineo.
      I was inspired to do a writeup about the Filipino-mix because of a long discussion about the Filipino genome in the comments here at TSOH.

      http://filipinogerman.blogsport.eu/the-filipino-mix-ips-and-region/

      PS.
      About Neanderthals mating with Homo-Sapiens.
      Here is the wiki article.
      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archaic_human_admixture_with_modern_humans

  13. Bill In Oz says:

    The Kidman cattle empire was eventually bought by Gina Reinheart.. A modern day ‘billionaireess’ with a minority stake held by Chinese investors. The area subject to defence considerations was not part of the. deal. Her goal is to develop a live cattle export trade with China so I guess she really needs the chinese connections to make it work.

    PS : YesJoe there is a major military exercise happening with USA & Australian troops in the Northern Territory. Not much publicity about it though. Maybe the training involved is classified ?

    • NHerrera says:

      Everything is hunky-dory now between the two T’s — Trump and Turnbull then. Of course, since Trump even gifted Turnbull with a Trump-Branded necktie. But seriously, the long history of friendship and security alliance between the two countries rules, as it must be.

      • Bill In Oz says:

        Actually I doubt that. Turnbull is far more of a small ‘l’ liberal than Trump. Quite a few of the very ‘conservative’ folk in his Liberal party are unhappy with him.

        Under his predecessor Abbot, ( 2013-2915 ) they had far more influence & power. But Abbott alienated popular supprt by being sooooo bloody minded conservative. He was heading for an electoral wipe out. So Turnbul challenged Abbot for the leadership and won and so became PM.

        It is a good example of the inherent centrist minded approach of most of the Australian people. Consensus is wanted and expected. Extremism from either end does not gain major support.

        I suspect that Trump is mostly viewed as a slightly odd and unpredictable. But then the USA is often seen by Australians as slightly odd in a funny, peculiar way, not a dangerous way.

  14. NHerrera says:

    Australia is in another international news. This time about Australian Cardinal George Pell, a senior adviser to Pope Francis and the Vatican treasurer. Pell is taking leave from the Vatican to fight historical sexual assault charges in his home country of Australia.

    I am confident the Australian Justice System will be fair in resolving this, one way or another.

    • Bill In Oz says:

      Yes, N’Herrera, I did not want to bring it up. As an ex-Catholic, I have my own biases ob the subject of the Catholic church.

      I cannot say confidently whatwill happen here with this Pell case. He is now old and rapidly aging. BUt when young he was a fit and strong man.He was a player for one of the major ALF football teams before he joined the priesthood.. And I think it was just after he was ordained that he was posted to the Balarat diocese 100 Ks North West of Melbourne.

      I gather that all the accusations date from this time he was at Balarat. Unfortunately at this time there were pedophile priests abusing boys and girls at Catholic schools in the diocese. I think 1 is still serving a jail sentence and the other died shortly after being convicted. Unfortunately bishop Ron Mulkerns knew and did not stop these priests abusing. He simply moved them about from parish to parish as complaints arrived.

      A Google search yielded hundreds of links

      https://www.google.com.au/search?q=bishop+Mulkearns&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b&gfe_rd=cr&ei=OPJUWZGDB8Lr8AfiubzoDA

      Pell was there then but says he knew nothing and did nothing. He denies ever being a pedophile. However men have come forward to state that he did attempt sexual acts with them. But the men saying this are all elderly and greatly affected by life time addictions to alcohol & drugs. So I do not know if they are reliable witnesses to the truth. That the courts will decide in the fullness of time.

      Meanwhile in the post Vatican II period Pell emerged as a conservative priest who supported John Paul’s conservative catholic reaction to Vatican II . He went on to become archbishop of Melbourne by Pope John Paul, the Polish pope. His job was to put down the ‘radical’ Catholics in the archdiocese. having done that he was ‘transferred’ to Sydney as it’s archbishop and promoted to Cardinal by Benedict. ( BTW no other archbishop has ever been transferred from one diocese to another here; it is really unusual. The Sydney Catholic community were shocked.) There he did the same job as in Melbourne : put down the ‘radical’ Catholics in the archdiocese and reestablish the Conservative church there.

      This made Pell a lot of enemies among existing Catholics and among ex-Catholics and among left wing progressive elements in Australia. Thus for many it was a bit of a relief when he was ‘promoted’ upstairs to Rome. But now he will be back again in Melbourne fighting against these pedophile criminal charges.

      And I have no idea if he is guilty or innocent or how the trial will progress. I imagine if it comes to a jury trial, all catholics ( current or ex ) would be excluded to avoid any personal bias. Which means he will probably be tried before a jury of non Catholics.

      Interesting times we live in !!

  15. Bill In Oz says:

    @Joe, The ABC has just posted this report about the USA/ Australia joint training month long training exercises. It’s worth the read even though late I think.:

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-29/wargames-with-america-begin-with-assurance-us-alliance-important/8665114

    • NHerrera says:

      I do not know how others in TSH reads this but it is comforting to me. Allow me to note some excerpts from the link (re-phrased somewhat in parts and some words highlighted):

      * US Admiral Harry Harris assures that the Australian-US alliance “matters more today than ever before”, as wargames simulating the invasion of the country from the north officially get underway.

      * Over the next month, more than 30,000 US and Australian personnel will conduct their biggest ever joint exercises off the coast of Queensland and the Northern Territory.

      * Asked how he thought China would view the exercises, US Admiral Harris said the size of the deployment was intended as a signal. “I’m pleased about the message it sends to our friends, allies, partners and potential adversaries,” Harries told reporters after the official opening ceremony.

      • Bill In Oz says:

        N’Herrera Joe Kar. here is a very thoughtful and interesting article written by Tony Abbott, Australian prime minister from 2013-2015.

        He is writing about building, acquiring submarines for the Australian navy. He suggests that it is time Australia investigated the nuclear sub option for our navy.

        Abbott is still a member of Parliament in the Liberal party. He is very conservative politician in Australian terms. But he is not ‘dumb’. He is intelligent & informed.His article is worth the read I think especially here in the context of this post..

        https://quadrant.org.au/opinion/qed/2017/06/case-nuclear-navy/

        • karlgarcia says:

          Thanks for this Bill.

          I am following the plans for a small submarine program for the Philippines.

          For Australia, this is very doable, as far as the Philippines is concerned,
          I believe it is nice to dream big, but we should start small or else, we would not start at all.

          I remember being admonished in a defense forum by its lead moderator that small (fleet of small ships) can not stop China.
          That made me not go back to the forum.(I was too sensitive?)

          • Bill In Oz says:

            Karl, the ‘external’ threat for the Philippines is probably best met by a strong alliance with the USA. Then training of Filipino personnel can also take place so that over time as the national budget allows the acquisition of equipment and vessels.

            • karlgarcia says:

              Yes Bill, I agree.

            • sonny says:

              Karl, forgive the pun – we really missed the boat on this aspect of national defense. And I totally agree with Bill: “the ‘external’ threat for the PH is probably best met by a strong alliance with the USA.” Like you, I consider myself a close follower of things naval ever since I became conscious of PH national defense (1952): my dad was Army, 2 uncles and a cousin were Navy; it’s been 65 years …

              • sonny says:

                PS. In my generation, my other cousin retired from US submarine duty, after 20 yrs in the US Navy (15 yrs submarine). I don’t doubt, there are many more young Fil-Americans today who are doing same naval duties, some Annapolis grads.

        • NHerrera says:

          Tony Abbott frames the essential variables to be considered, especially the possible irretrievable lost time-opportunity because of a decade of time needed from plan to operating a modern submarine. He asks very relevant questions. He makes sense to me.

          Wiki tells of his having BA degrees in Economics, Law, Philosophy, Politics — that, and with varied experience in government, makes for a potent background to make an assessment of the country’s need for the right kind of sub at the right time considering the gestation period involved.

          • Bill In Oz says:

            Yes he does.
            Abbott was also a Rhodes scholar at Oxford. A three year post graduate scholarship & living expenses awarded after rigorous selection from among hundreds of applicants on merit in academic results and sporting prowess…..

            The political problem with Abbott is that almost anything he now says is poison as he is considered politically incorrect per se.

            Why because he is a conservative and he is a conservative Catholic in the political tradition of “The Movement” ( later National Civic Council, NCC) run by Bob Santamaria from the 1930’s to the 1990’s. He is also a mate of Cardinal Pell’s. As a minister in Liberal governments he has tried to prevent medicare assistance for contraception and medically recommended abortions.

            As PM he awarded the Duke of Edinburgh ( the Queen’s husband) a knighthood on Australia day 2013. Nobody in Australia has been. awarded a knighthood in Australia since the early 1970’s. Effectively they were abolished and seen as British and not Australian. But he reinstated them and justified the decision as “A captain’s pick”.

            Well he got sacked as ‘captain’ & PM, that same year by his own party

            • NHerrera says:

              Interesting. That background of conservatism, among others, is like oil to his submarine-idea “water.” Let us hope some forward looking rational politician with political charm or clout will see the gem in his submarine ideas — mindful of Abbott’s concern of lost opportunity, a decade or two hence.

              • Bill In Oz says:

                N’Herera, I hope that happens too.

                For me this issue is “local’ as the plan is to build the subs in South Australia where we live. Building subs that are better and more effective at doing their designed job, because they have nuclear power, would be wonderful.

                But there is also a loud and effective extremist ‘green’ lobby here which loathes nuclear power as evil incarnate.

                No doubt you have noticed also the extremists at the other end of the spectrum among the commentators after Abbot’s article. The Quadrant tends to be their electronic media meeting place. And so they want bought off the shelf subs from somewhere, anywhere but Australia because they would be cheaper and so the tax burden is lesened.

  16. Bill In Oz says:

    Well Horne has stepped out in Brisbane. As I said the other day, I think he has had too many hits to the head. Maybe he’ll retire have time for his senate job now.

  17. Bill In Oz says:

    This new article on Migration to Australia and the health aspects, may interest some readers here.

    https://theconversation.com/migrants-are-healthier-than-the-average-australian-so-they-cant-be-a-burden-on-the-health-system-79753

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