The USA:

Josh Cusack writes: Re. “Rundle: Go(l)d becomes the ground of American life” (yesterday, item 4). I always read Guy Rundle’s dispatches from the wacky land of the USofA. However, when he broke down Republican ideology on God and capitalism as “God ordains a society in which every human relationship, save biological family, is a contract, and such a society then acquires collective meaning only by being refracted through God. The more atomised such a society becomes, the more literal the idea of God must be” — I was blown away. I literally went away and got a beer and came back to digest that.

I’ve never read such a neat and poignant encapsulation of how the religious right in the US turn an essentially community-based organisation (the Church) into a vehicle for individualistic market based ideology. This really goes beyond just measuring the pulse of the here and now in the election horse race!!


Martin Gordon writes: Re. Yesterday’s Editorial. The loss of the lives of our soldiers in Afghanistan is always sad, but the refrains of the critics that offer nothing than a Taliban victory, repression of women and ignorance for girls and undoubted demand for asylum claims eventually is tiresome. If you ask people beyond the simplistic question about our involvement in Afghanistan, it is rather hard to find enthusiasts for the Taliban, but our vacating the field leads to that result.

Lenin identified the naïve, well-meaning and selfish as useful fools; Orwell noted that pacifists were effectively Nazis, as their obstruction aided an enemy. In the modern era this is as Hitchens noted translates into de facto support for the likes of the Taliban, Saddam Hussein, Milosevic and Galtieri.

If Crikey wants to provide solutions rather than cynicism we would all be interested to hear, but I don’t hold my breath waiting for something that will be remotely constructive.

Julia Gillard:

Brian Mitchell writes: Re. “Richard Farmer’s chunky bits” (yesterday, item 11). Richard Farmer’s constant nit-picking of Gillard is getting boring. It’s a tradition that every Australian prime minister be made to look daft at Pacific Forum meetings and at APEC and I think voters are fully aware of it.

Is Farmer on the payroll of someone who’d like to see the back end of Gillard, or is his niggling borne from an unrequited love for Rudd and/or an inability that many men of a certain vintage have in accepting a woman as the nation’s leader?

Hugh McCaig writes: Could Richard Farmer try just a little harder to get over his obsession with trying to fault PM Gillard. For heaven’s sake the Pacific Nations’ leaders were in the Cook Islands, and there was a traditional welcoming ceremony.

Our Prime Minister co-operated, and people smiled and were pleased to have the visitors present.