Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Happenings around the world

The French voted against ratifying the constitution for a more united Europe (wikipedia article). I can't say I agree with them, but it is their own country, so I don't think my opinion really counts for all that much. I have to say that I do think the whole united Europe is something I think should be worked towards. I think the desire to join has hastened improvements in some of the former Warsaw pact nations. I think greater interaction and freer exchanges will help prevent conflict. I think the important lesson to take from the French result is that a lot of the European integration has been happening because the governments want it to, and the people do not necessarily agree with everything that's happening. I'd like to think that most Europeans think that the EU is a good thing, but I can also understand that some may feel that it's being imposed not something that they're asking for. Depending on how other referendums go, I think perhaps the best course of action is to perhaps let things stay the way they are for a bit, before making further changes.

Schapelle Corby was found guilty of importing drugs to Bali. The Australian media has been all over this, not only with a kind of presumption of innocence, but almost taking it to the point of being an axiom. I don't think it's a big enough deal to warrant live coverage of the verdict, or some of the outcry that has arisen among some of the press that the government ask the Indonesian government for a pardon. I think the best way to encourage other countries to establish a proper justice system is to respect those countries who do have a system in place and in let it run it's course. If the trail had of been a farce, or in any way unfair or impartial, sure complain, do something, but if she got a fair trial, as seems to be the case, then respect the result. If an Indonesian got caught smuggling drugs into Australia was tried and found guilty, I think a lot of Australians would be upset if we let them go just because the Indonesian government asked us to, and rightly so. The best was to establish respect for the rule of law is to respect the rule of law when others apply it.

Today is World No Tobacco Day. I'm a bit ambivalent about this one. Sure smoking's bad for you, everyone knows that. But if someone wants to kill themselves slowly, so long as I don't have to smell the stuff, I can't exactly stop them. As Lord Vetinari would say, freedom includes the freedom to accept the consequences. I don't think anyone in western countries can reasonably claim not to be aware of the consequences, so who am I to force them to change their minds.

The other day I had a bit of a browse around the channel nine website. It's quizzes were pathetic, the content insipid, the link that said 'send your friend a cosmo babe' went to a picture of a guy. And if you wanted to watch any of the videos they had, you had to have internet explorer. I suppose I should expect too much when they're aligned so much with Microsoft that the URL is ninemsn.com.au. Bunch of punk bitches the lot of them.

No comments: