A plea for a farewell to (semi-automatic) arms

“One can reach a point of humiliation where violence is the only outlet.” Arthur Koestler 1905-1983. “It is very strange, and very melancholy, that the paucity of human pleasures should persuade us ever to call hunting one of them.” Dr Samuel Johnson 1709-1784 Those are two sides of the argument for gun control: that there … Continue reading A plea for a farewell to (semi-automatic) arms

From sea to shining sea, America hopes Obama works second-term magic

Election day started well. As I was waiting for the light to change on Market Street in the city, Mark Munro, a Channel Nine cameraman, waved to me from the window of his car and said: “Hi, Tom, I heard he’s about to win Florida. Is that true?” And I replied: “I hope so. I’m … Continue reading From sea to shining sea, America hopes Obama works second-term magic

Democrats hope Jersey bromance will push Obama over the line

It’s official: Halloween has been postponed in New Jersey. Although you’d think it was highly unlikely that trick-and-treaters dressed in ghost and goblin and skeletal costumes would be traipsing around in knee-deep flood waters, the Governor of the Garden State, Chris Christie, interrupted his conversations and walking tours with President Obama to declare in an … Continue reading Democrats hope Jersey bromance will push Obama over the line

Nixon revisited, as Obama and Romney go neck and neck

“No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people.” That quote has been attributed to one of my favourite writers, HL Mencken, and I used to think it was a harsh assessment. Then Richard Nixon was re-elected as president of the United States in 1972 in a landslide against the liberal Senator … Continue reading Nixon revisited, as Obama and Romney go neck and neck

Counter-puncher Obama wins the second round as Romney puts down Candy

It was the moment that Barack Obama won the second debate against Mitt Romney in Long Island. The President had answered a question from a member of the audience about who denied  enhanced security – and why -- at the US embassy in Libya when the ambassador and three of his staff were killed in … Continue reading Counter-puncher Obama wins the second round as Romney puts down Candy

Obama’s sister: My big brother is a class act

“You can kid the world, but not your sister.” That’s a quote from the famous Canadian writer, Charlotte Gray, and it can easily apply to the maternal half-sister of President Barack Obama, Maya Soetoro-Ng. So the president may not be able to kid her, but fortunately they are very close, and they are both really … Continue reading Obama’s sister: My big brother is a class act

Clint Eastwood chairs the Republican convention

As a Democrat Abroad, I’m worried about the US presidential election. I still think Barack Obama will be re-elected president, but the Republicans have finally started running a smart campaign. The Republican National Convention in Tampa last week developed a strategy that might work. First of all, the Republican hierarchy proved that Mitt Romney was … Continue reading Clint Eastwood chairs the Republican convention

The Republicans may have built it, but will the voters come?

I’m having a severe case of déjà vu all over again. My original vu was Thursday, September 1, 2005, and the news about a hurricane called Katrina heading for New Orleans was all over the US bulletins coming in via satellite to Sydney that night. I was preparing the rundown for the Sunday Program on … Continue reading The Republicans may have built it, but will the voters come?