Won’t Take It From You
This business of the asylum seekers that arrive by boat being sent to PNG as a deterrent has quite a few critics. Judging from the Q&A panel that I watched the other night it seems nobody gets the point of the policy which is deter people from handing over their hard earned cash and life savings to people smugglers who will put them on leaky boats to Christmas Island. Now, there are all kinds of critics out to brand this policy xenophobic to not tough enough, but you would be surprised at the people who want to piss into this pot.
A more irritating critique came out of Fiji today.
Mr Kubuabola said Fiji was ”decidedly less-than happy” with the PNG deal, saying Australian politics was affecting Fijian affairs and demanded that Australia consult with the region.
”It is our business. Before this goes any further, we want thorough regional consultation … We demand to have our voices heard.”
Mr Kubuabola said that Australia had used its ”economic muscle” to persuade PNG to accept the deal that would see asylum seekers who arrive by boat sent to the country for processing and successful applicants resettled there. The Rudd government has also flagged that the model could be applied to other countries in the region.
”This was done to solve a domestic political problem and for short-term political gain without proper consideration of the long-term consequences,” Mr Kubuabola said.
”This deal and those mooted with Solomon Islands and Vanuatu clearly threatens our interests by altering the fundamental social fabric of any … country that accepts a deal with Australia.”
Now, this s a bit rich coming from Fiji. Fiji has been having coup d’etats every decade since the 1980s because every time they hold elections, the naturalised Indian population’s vote outnumbers the indigenous Melanesian/Fijian vote. The point being, the Military-led Fijian governments are quite the xenophobic racists themselves because the sole point of these coups has been to oust democratically elected governments.
Let’s also not forget that Fiji, like most nations on this planet is decidedly not a signatory to the UN convention on refugees, meaning they are currently not likely to take anybody seeking asylum.
So now, they’re turning around and saying to Australia, they don’t want Australia to send Asylum seekers to PNG because it is going to disturb a kind pan-Melanesian polity by introducing non-Melanesians. There is no other conclusion to draw but that the Fijian government is xenophobic and not really understanding the issue at all. They’d have a bit more credibility in their complaint if they actually were signatories and took asylum seekers.
I’m okay with just about anybody in the region criticising the ‘PNG solution’, but it’s really hard to take Fiji’s complaints seriously.
Will They Really Ban A-Rod For Life?
I haven’t written much about baseball and the Yankees and what have you for a while, but the ugly business of steroids keeps on coming back to haunt us all. now it is this Biogenesis thing which has squarely framed up A-Rod for a big suspension and possibly even a lifetime ban.
Bud Selig was at the Hall of Fame ceremonies in Cooperstown this week and was said still to be mulling what punishment to deliver Rodriguez. It is conceivable he could ask for permanent banishment, akin to Pete Rose. But the belief is no matter the level of evidence — and it has been portrayed that MLB has substantially more evidence on Rodriguez than it does on Braun — it would be hard to convince an arbitrator, if Rodriguez appeals, that Rodriguez’s first suspension should be for life.
Keep in mind, though, that Selig could ask for life knowing the arbitrator could lower the punishment to a shorter duration — or even find that Rodriguez should not be punished at all.
But as a way to levy a sanction that will not be reduced, there was growing belief around baseball that Selig would request the rest of this season and all of next year.
That could be viewed as just about the death penalty for Rodriguez, at least for his playing career. He turned 38 yesterday. He has yet to play this year. The idea that he would not play this season or next season and come back able to play in 2015 after two hip surgeries seems farfetched.
It’s a messy business. None of this is endearing baseball as a game to the IOC to let it back in, but that is a minor point. This A-Rod and PEDs business just keeps ripping the side out of the reputation of the game itself. All of these kinds of revelations and arguing suspensions in various sports across the last two decades have exhausted my tolerance and patience for the topic itself. At this point it wouldn’t surprise me that anybody was on PEDs. I don’t trust any of it on one side, and I’ve learned not to care that sometimes the champions are chemically enhanced. There’s nothing you can do to unscramble the egg.