Politics Schmolitics

The United States of America…

  • is armed to the teeth with nukes,
  • disrespects international law,
  • invades and wages war on foreign countries based on abject lies,
  • savagely ignores human rights,
  • has virtually buried habeas corpus,
  • supports institutionalised torture,
  • and finally, the USA has banned Vegemite!

This kind of behaviour tends to bring out the yobbos bagging Yanks mentality, even among ever-tolerant Aussie GNOME conspirators. So, as we were giving stick for the latest round of inhumane acts by the USA, we pondered how thoroughly confusing our political system would be to the average American. Here’s a quick guide to Australian politics, specifically for Americans planning to apply for refugee status in the near future…

  • Republicans are, for the most part, young and progressive.
  • Liberals are conservative.
  • We don’t use “liberal” as a pejorative term.
  • To be doubly confusing, we have a “Labor” party, not a “Labour” party.
  • Red is progressive, blue is conservative.
  • We put numbers in the little boxes.
  • Failing to vote is an exception to the rule.
  • A “Free Trade Agreement” means freely trading your dignity for… free.
  • Democrats once held the balance of power, but are now a miserable, ineffectual wreck. (Hold on a second…)

Let us know what we’ve missed in the comments, please.

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26 Responses to Politics Schmolitics

  1. Dalibor Topic says:

    You forgot Rupert! :)

  2. dotwaffle says:

    Found this on Facebook, thought you might appreciate it ;)

    To the citizens of the United States of America, in the light of your failure to elect a competent President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective today.

    Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths and other territories.

    Except Utah, which she does not fancy.

    Your new Prime Minister (The Right Honourable Tony Blair MP, for the 97.85% of you who have until now been unaware that there is a world outside your borders) will appoint a Minister for America without the need for further elections.

    The House of Representatives and the Senate will be disbanded.

    A questionnaire will be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed. To aid in the transition to a British Crown Dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:

    1. You should look up “revocation” in the Oxford English Dictionary. Then look up “aluminium.” Check the pronunciation guide. You will be amazed at just how wrongly you have been pronouncing it.

    The letter ‘U’ will be reinstated in words such as ‘favour’ and ‘neighbour’; skipping the letter ‘U’ is nothing more than laziness on your part. Likewise, you will learn to spell ‘doughnut’ without skipping half the letters.

    You will end your love affair with the letter ‘Z’ (pronounced ‘zed’ not ‘zee’) and the suffix “ize” will be replaced by the suffix “ise.”

    You will learn that the suffix ‘burgh’ is pronounced ‘burra’ e.g. Edinburgh. You are welcome to re-spell Pittsburgh as ‘Pittsberg’ if you can’t cope with correct pronunciation.

    Generally, you should raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels. Look up “vocabulary.” Using the same thirty seven words interspersed with filler noises such as “uhh”, “like”, and “you know” is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication.

    Look up “interspersed.”

    There will be no more ‘bleeps’ in the Jerry Springer show. If you’re not old enough to cope with bad language then you shouldn’t have chat shows. When you learn to develop your vocabulary, then you won’t have to use bad language as often.

    2. There is no such thing as “US English.” We will let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take account of the reinstated letter ‘u’ and the elimination of “-ize.”

    3. You should learn to distinguish the English and Australian accents. It really isn’t that hard. English accents are not limited to cockney, upper-class twit or Mancunian (Daphne in Frasier).

    You will also have to learn how to understand regional accents — Scottish dramas such as “Taggart” will no longer be broadcast with subtitles.

    While we’re talking about regions, you must learn that there is no such place as Devonshire in England. The name of the county is “Devon.” If you persist in calling it Devonshire, all American States will become “shires” e.g. Texasshire, Floridashire, Louisianashire.

    4. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as the good guys. Hollywood will be required to cast English actors to play English characters.

    British sit-coms such as “Men Behaving Badly” or “Red Dwarf” will not be re-cast and watered down for a wishy-washy American audience who can’t cope with the humour of occasional political incorrectness. Popular British films such as the Italian Job and the Wicker Man should never be remade.

    5. You should relearn your original national anthem, “God Save The Queen”, but only after fully carrying out task 1. We would not want you to get confused and give up half way through.

    6. You should stop playing American “football.” There are other types of football such as Rugby, Aussie Rules & Gaelic football. However proper football – which will no longer be known as soccer, is the best known, most loved and most popular. What you refer to as American “football” is not a very good game.

    The 2.15% of you who are aware that there is a world outside your borders may have noticed that no one else plays “American” football. You will no longer be allowed to play it, and should instead play proper football.

    Initially, it would be best if you played with the girls. It is a difficult game. Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which is similar to American “football”, but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like nancies).

    We are hoping to get together at least a US Rugby sevens side by 2007.

    You should stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the ‘World Series’ for a game which is not played outside of North America. Since only 2.15% of you are aware that there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable. Instead of baseball, you will be allowed to play a girls’ game called “rounders,” which is baseball without fancy team strip, oversized gloves, collector cards or hotdogs.

    7. You will no longer be allowed to own or carry guns. You will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous in public than a vegetable peeler. Because we don’t believe you are sensible enough to handle potentially dangerous items, you will require a permit if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.

    8. The 4th of July is no longer a public holiday. The 2nd of November will be a new national holiday, but only in Britain. It will be called “Indecisive Day.”

    9. All American cars are hereby banned. They are crap, and it is for your own good. When we show you German cars, you will understand what we mean.

    All road intersections will be replaced with roundabouts. You will start driving on the left with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion tables. Roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.

    10. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call ‘French fries’ are not real chips. Fries aren’t even French, they are Belgian though 97.85% of you (including the guy who discovered fries while in Europe) are not aware of a country called Belgium. Those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called “crisps.” Real chips are thick cut and fried in animal fat. The traditional accompaniment to chips is beer which should be served warm and flat.

    Waitresses will be trained to be more aggressive with customers.

    11. As a sign of penance 5 grams of sea salt per cup will be added to all tea made within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, this quantity to be doubled for tea made within the city of Boston itself.

    12. The cold tasteless stuff you insist on calling “beer” is not actually beer at all, it is lager . From November 1st only proper British Bitter will be referred to as “beer,” and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as “Lager.” The substances formerly known as “American Beer” will henceforth be referred to as “Near-Frozen Gnat’s Urine,” with the exception of the product of the American Budweiser company whose product will be referred to as “Weak Near-Frozen Gnat’s Urine.” This will allow true Budweiser (as manufactured for the last 1000 years in the Czech Republic) to be sold without risk of confusion.

    13. From the 10th of November the UK will harmonise petrol (or “gasoline,” as you will be permitted to keep calling it until the 1st of April) prices with the former USA. The UK will harmonise its prices to those of the former USA and the Former USA will, in return, adopt UK petrol prices (roughly $6/US gallon — get used to it).

    14. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you’re not adult enough to be independent. Guns should only be handled by adults. If you’re not adult enough to sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist, then you’re not grown up enough to handle a gun.

    15. Please tell us who killed JFK. It’s been driving us crazy.

    16. Tax collectors from Her Majesty’s Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all revenues due (backdated to 1776).

    Thank you for your co-operation.

  3. plaes says:

    I hope we could move the Gnome Summit to more appropriate location after this incident :)

  4. JJMacey says:

    Vegimite is really Dynamite. Ever taste it? I have.

    No wonder we banned it!

    The Ozzies should ban V-8 Juice. That is just re-cycled oil from large block Ford engines.

    Ford needs the money. So, everyone — drink to “your health”!

  5. Alan Horkan says:

    “I if I had one piece of advice it would be wear sunscreen.”

    Also
    > Failing to vote is an exception to the rule.

    the implication that turnout is _required by law_ may not be clear but my understanding is that all kinds of excuses are accepted so long as some effort is made.

  6. You forgot to mention that not *all* Americans are bad. It’s just slightly more than half of them.

    They have too much debt too.

  7. Mark Gordon says:

    Apparently there are some skeptics regarding the Vegemite ban:

    http://www.souzouzone.jp/blog/2006/10/substance_abuse.php

    My theory is that the border guard has a personal grudge against Australians.

  8. Travis Reitter says:

    I’m still not convinced that mandatory voting is a good thing.

    Is it really better to have disinterested, most likely uninformed people voting, or not?

    Similarly, if I don’t feel well-informed or don’t care much about something, I intentionally don’t vote, to give more power to people who do care/are informed (eg, I didn’t bother voting for members of the student body at school). But I do my research for the ones that count (local, state, national elections).

  9. jdub says:

    Travis: Previously, on eighty-eight miles per hour… Compulsory Voting

  10. Kaylen says:

    It’s an outrage that vegemite is banned. Please consider signing my petition at http://www.savevegemite.com and help get our favourite Aussie icon unbanned.
    WE ARE NOT HAPPY LITTLE VEGEMITES!!!!

  11. LuckyStroika says:

    Interesting comments. I’ve spent a long time living abroad and have found that no matter where you go, nationalism is one of the most conclusive benchmarks of ignorance and fear.

    I’m losing respect for you, Jeff.

  12. jdub says:

    Apparently my disappointment at the USA’s Vegemite ban puts me in the “nationalism, ignorance and fear” category… Sign me up for one of those! Beaujolais!

  13. Shermozle says:

    Liberal not a pejorative term? It is around my house. Though I’ve tended to use the term Tory for clarity.

  14. Ralesk says:

    “Labor”? I thought the u-spelling was ‘in’ in Australia.

  15. Gabriel Hurley says:

    ‘Course, John Howard supports the whole War on Terror thing too.

  16. Paul says:

    Sorry for my country’s idiocy. This is a bug, a regression from project “Clinton.” The bug is in src/Bush/. The file brain.c is missing. There is a patch available, but it won’t be included until the next release, in 2008.

    Status: Committed
    Fix committed
    Progress: Good

  17. an american says:

    An American here. It IS humorous about the banning, but no one mentioned that it DOES contain a substance which is restricted in food products in this country.

    The rest of the ‘bits’ you mentioned are biased, somewhat ill-informed and more to the point EXTREMELY annoying to read when I’m going to the ubuntu site for L.I.N.U.X information…not to find something political that rips on my country.
    The USA isn’t perfect, but um….at least we didn’t go using nerve gas on the minority political party in our country. (Guess which government did that?) Oh wait….that’d be Iraq….and next time…find out WHO the insurgents in that country are and actually come from. Guess…they’re mostly NOT iraqi’s.

    Sign me,
    Tired of the political crap I keep reading on the “Planet Ubuntu”.

  18. I DO CARE says:

    “Oh wait….that’d be Iraq”

    Yes Saddam, put there by the USA, using weapons sold to him by the USA, did that.

    You were saying?

    On another note: there are millions of people being murdered (the 4th holocast, or is the 5th already? I can’t keep track anymore) in Darfur.

    But somehow I don’t hear any political leader lying about weapons of mass destruction to ‘help’ those people out.

    Then again, there is no oil in Darfur.

    “Tired of the political crap I keep reading”

    People dying is political? People being oppressed by US supported dictators is political? People being tortured is political? A country destabilizing the world as we know it, is political? People being oppressed by the sexual preference, skin or religion is political?

    Just because something ain’t nor consumable, doesn’t mean it is _political_. Just calling it that, proves the whole point: you people are brainwashed nationalistic consumer-monkeys.

    You people don’t care about anything that matters. You’re too busy being nothing.

  19. ERRATA says:

    Just because something ain’t ENTERTAINMENT nor consumable, doesn’t mean it is _political_. Just calling it that, proves the whole point: you people are brainwashed nationalistic consumer-monkeys.

    You people don’t care about anything that matters. You’re too busy being nothing.

  20. C says:

    I reckon everywhere is shit currently. I’ll happily “donate” Tony Blair to the US, and there are large numbers of Australians in London who are hoping to stay away from Howard for as long as possible.

  21. jdub says:

    an american: Planet sites are — in most cases — primarily about personal expression of the people involved, rather than being solely about the project in question.

  22. an american says:

    quoting:”Just because something ain’t nor consumable, doesn’t mean it is _political_. Just calling it that, proves the whole point: you people are brainwashed nationalistic consumer-monkeys.

    You people don’t care about anything that matters. You’re too busy being nothing.”

    -end quoting

    How DARE I defend my country! Oh my goodness, you’re so right and I’m so…busy with nothing.
    I guess I should just jump up on the propaganda wagon with the other insurgents and just wipe the U.S. from the map.
    -please please let the sarcasm meter be high here.

    And yet another reason why this bothers me so much. I did not spit on another man’s opinion, rather I disagreed. You, however spit upon me. How is it the open minded liberal opposition think all is well unless you disagree with them? Then its flamethrowers and insults.

    jdub, my entire point was that its directly linked and entirely a part of the ubuntu site. My statement was that I do not wish to be broadsided by political statements in an arena I’m not expecting them from. If this is the case, I shall refrain from those sections, or perhaps switch to a distro that deals with the DISTRO.
    If I want politics, digg, salon or a myriad other sites and blog places are available.

    This is my opinion. Notice how flame free I am? -grin.

  23. jdub says:

    an american: Note that you’re quoting someone else.

    I’m sorry you do not understand the nature and function of Planet sites. Planet Ubuntu was not ever meant to be specifically about the project alone: It is a window into the world, work and lives of Ubuntu members.

    If you can’t handle the personal perspectives of people involved in Ubuntu, don’t read Planet Ubuntu.

    Also, please find a funny bone before posting comments on my blog.

  24. no one in particular says:
  25. Mister R says:

    Opinions. Facts. The problem is the lack of trust. When the strongest country in the world is the one we distrust most, it strikes us with fear.

    There I said it: we are all afraid of the US. We can’t follow its logic and we do not know who to hold responsible.

    I usually say people get the leaders they deserve in a democracy. The problem is the USA influences much more of the world than just their own voters.

    The only way the rest of the world can get a say, are like the outburst you can find here.

    Next time you vote, think about that. Your bombs do leave your country. Please vote FOR US.

    And if you want to save your own soul, instead of our soul, get some news channel not owned by Mr Murdoch. You have heard more lies than truths of about your own government.

    Finally, understand, that in our opinion, these things couldn’t not happen in the liberal and free west. That we would turn into a dictatorship, with controlled media and lack of basic human rights. But that _is_ what the US is now: an aggressive authoritarian country. It’s like the new Germany.

    But how it ever got to this point is not much alike it was in 1930′s. It seems identity, welfare and politics don’t match.

    “open minded liberal opposition”. There was a time when the republicans were in favor of human rights and free media too you know. The opinions here are not liberal in any sense. They are just the basic values of which ‘the west’ was built. Unfortunately, America, the previous center of those values, is no longer part of this club. There is nothing liberal or social or left-winged or right-winged about this all.

    How we differ about how we want to deal with drugs, abortion or taxes has got nothing to do with it. We used to agree on democracy, free speech and human rights. None of which apply to the US at this moment.

    Please free your country. Do it for yourself, do it for your children, do it for your allies. Or else it’s gonna end in a bloody way: America is way too powerful considering the lack of moral judgment. And we will fight you, and restore the western values if it comes to that. Even us, pacifistic cowardly Europeans.

    I don’t blame you if you don’t understand anything that is being said about the US outside of the US. Your media is controlled, your politicians are corrupt and most of you are just struggling to get by financially.

    But please don’t dismiss it as political nonsense.
    I am what I am because of what we are. Either everything is politics or nothing is. But dismiss concerns and ideals with politics. There are still people who believe that there is more to life than the right of the strongest dictator.

    Your Sincerely,
    Your Allies.

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