-- Scotland voted Thursday not to secede from its union with England, Wales and Northern Ireland. By a comparison I am probably not equipped to make, the Scots seemed both enthusiastic and civil in their electoral proceedings, as if they could honestly honor the disagreement of others. Maybe Americans who had political opinions could take a lesson from the Scots.
-- The police-state fervor seemed to gain ground Thursday when the Australians sicced 800 officers on residents based on a rumor that there was a Islamic State plot afoot to behead Australians and put it on the Internet for propaganda purposes:
800 officers employed.
15 people detained:
Two of the 15 people whom police had detained Thursday have been charged. Nine were freed before the day was over, and the rest released on Friday....Prime minister Tony Abbott described the raids as "a show of strength," not overkill. The Aussies "thwarted a plot" that might occur. For some reason, I thought the Aussies might not fall for that politically efficacious ploy. Silly me.
Hundreds of Muslims in the Sydney suburb of Lakemba protested the raids on Thursday night, with speakers accusing the government of exploiting public fear in a bid to get contentious counterterrorism laws through Parliament. (emphasis added).
Samier Dandan said police need to reveal
their evidence that led to counter-terrorism
800 officers; untold man-hours of work; 'thwarting' the terrorist that is part and parcel of every mind; and two suspects who might -- just might -- be guilty of something, if only thinking. The bang for the judicial buck seems dubious at best. The bang for the political buck is more compelling, however corrupt.
Perhaps as a means of proving that governmental action were crucial,
"Chatter" suggests "extremists" "could" be plotting ... so beef up security and trim the rights package.Security is being upgraded at the Australian parliament following "chatter" suggesting extremists could target it for attack.PM Tony Abbot said Australian Federal Police would assume responsibility for security at the site in Canberra.
The move came a day after major anti-terrorism raids took place in Sydney.
And isn't it nice to hear that France has joined the United States in its air strikes against IS in Iraq? It's dicey, of course, pretending that "boots on the ground" aren't in the offing, but the U.S. is manfully employed trying to thread that needle.
-- The p.r. has been pretty unrelenting and today, the Chinese e-commerce firm Alibaba finally goes on sale at the New York Stock Exchange. I read the other day that Chinese investors looking to protect/enhance their money were not buying Chinese real estate. They preferred Manhattan, which is largely for sale.
It's a good rule of thumb, I think: Any time there is a sense of wealth and entitlement (stock market, economy, next-door neighbor), it pays to look around and see who's getting screwed and whether it's worth it to be party to that screwing.