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"...another reason I'm intrigued with the hanged of Salem, especially the women, is that a number of them aroused suspicion in the first place because they were financially independent, or sharp-tongued, or kept to themselves. In other words, they were killed off for the same sort of life I live right now but with longer skirts and fewer cable channels." Sarah Vowell, The partly cloudy patriot.


Australia, why hast thou forsaken us?

The second paragraph is my favorite - it is so horrible to be pro-america the dude is afraid to identify himself! Ha!

New York Times, November 16, 2006

Australia Picks Sydney for Center on U.S. Studies

SYDNEY, Australia, Nov. 15 — Australia’s prime minister, John Howard, is so troubled by Australians’ dislike of the United States that his conservative government has contributed $19 million to the establishment of a United States Studies Center, under the umbrella of the American Australian Association.

A prominent Australian, who has played a role in setting up the center but did not wish to be identified, asked, “What other government in the world is helping the United States to sell itself?”

It is hardly news that the United States’ image in the world is tarnished, but Australia would seem to be one of the last places it would need burnishing. On the surface, Australia often seems like another California — beautiful beaches, laid-back lifestyle, even two cities that are parallels to San Francisco (Melbourne) and Los Angeles (Sydney).

The country is predominately Christian, its politics are dominated by two parties, Liberal (Republican) and Labor (Democrat), and rural Australia is more conservative than the big cities. Australian soldiers have fought side by side with Americans in every major war since World War I.

At a gala dinner on Tuesday, the association said the center would be housed at Sydney University, which beat out the University of Melbourne in a stiff competition. In addition to considerable prestige, it is expected to bring in $50 million or more in grants and contributions. Rupert Murdoch and his News Corporation are among the benefactors, along with the Dow Chemical Company, Pratt Industries and Merck.

“Australians must resist and reject the facile, reflexive, unthinking anti-Americanism that has gripped much of Europe,” Mr. Murdoch, an Australian-American, said in his keynote address at the association’s dinner. “Australian sentiment is thankfully nowhere near Europe’s level of hostility, but it could get there. And it mustn’t.”

Mr. Murdoch and others began to pursue the idea of the center after being appalled by the results of an opinion poll of 1,000 randomly selected Australians in March 2005, by the Lowy Institute for International Policy, an international research organization here. The poll found that only 58 percent had a positive view of America, which was 10 percentage points lower than the results for China and behind France, the United Nations and Papua New Guinea.

The respondents were evenly divided over whether America or Islamic fundamentalism presented the greatest threat to the world.

“I am well aware that the Iraq war was and is unpopular among many Australians,” Mr. Murdoch said. “And I am well aware that not every Australian sees the current American administration in a favorable light.” But, he noted, “wars end” and “administrations come and go,” so Australians must think long-term.


At 1:17 AM, Blogger Queen of West Procrastination said...

Rupert Murdoch. Of course.

At 6:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most Australians can differentiate between the American public and the American leadership.
The current US administration (or more correctly, much of its foreign policy) is deeply unpopular in Australia, but as Murdoch said, administrations come and go.
And the Australian leadership is seen as too subservient to the Bush administration (even more so than Blair in the UK - whose closeness to Bush is also unpopular in that country) and putting the interests of US policy ahead of local considerations.


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