Archive for February, 2017

The thing I don’t get…

February 23, 2017

The thing I don’t get about the “go back to where you came from crowd” is the apparent fear of and anger towards anyone who is different: different looking, sounding, with different habits, customs, language, religion or food.

I was in the supermarket today and two men were conversing in what may have been a sub-continental language – you know, any language of India, Pakistan or Sri Lanka. There are dozens if not hundreds of languages in that part of the world.

The two men were talking to each other, not to other shoppers nor were they seeking assistance from a member of staff. So why shouldn’t they be conversing in a language of their choice, one they probably grew up with? Conversing in a non-English language doesn’t mean they don’t know English, it doesn’t say anything about whether they are good citizens, caring people or useful members of society. It doesn’t even tell me whether or not they were born in Australia or are Australian citizens. All of these things make no difference to me. They were two people having a conversation in a supermarket. That is no threat to anyone.

Here is a small sample of English words that have Hindi or Urdu origins:

avatar, bandanna, bangle, bungalow, chutney, dinghy, gymkhana, juggernaut, jungle, khaki, karma, loot, mogul, pyjamas, shampoo, thug, typhoon, veranda, yoga.

So before you have a go at someone speaking a language you don’t know perhaps you could close your mouth, open your mind and realise that the way you do things is neither the only way or the best way. Or you could expand your mind by learning another language.

 

 

Isolationism-Getting What You Want?

February 5, 2017

Isolationism: “A policy or doctrine of trying to isolate one’s country from the affairs of other nations by declining to enter into alliances, foreign economic commitments, international agreements, and generally attempting to make one’s economy entirely self-reliant; seeking to devote the entire efforts of one’s country to its own advancement, both diplomatically and economically, while remaining in a state of peace by avoiding foreign entanglements and responsibilities.”

“Make America Great Again” is the slogan that underpins the policies and rhetoric of the new administration of President Donald Trump. It is the statement that garnered considerable support among many voters who ensured a Trump victory.  The message of campaign rallies and promises included making the US economy much more self reliant through the return of industry and jobs to US, an intention to decline to enter into foreign economic commitments and international agreements such as the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and UN undertakings on the acceptance and treatment of refugees.

Trump has a direct non apologies approach to making America Great Again. He is not politically correct. He loudly dismisses any opposition both domestic and foreign. Among his supporters this shows his strength as a leader. Both during the campaign and first few weeks of governing Trump has promised; to take on China by reducing American imports from there; charge a 20% tariff on imports from Mexico; to use those proceeds to build a wall to exclude illegal immigrants from Mexico; repudiation of the TPP agreement; exclusion of travelers and immigrants based on their citizenship of a small number of countries.

Trump wants absolute control over America’s economy, borders and relations with other countries. As does almost every other country on earth. Perhaps America is big enough and prosperous enough to get its way and follow its own path. The only thing America cannot control is the response of other countries.