It looks like Lady Liberty has left America. Originally a Muslim lady (see Horse 2062), she has had her visa denied because even though she used to be a permanent resident, she still has retained her citizenship from places that the United States has now deemed unacceptable. Stay away you huddled masses yearning to be free, as far as we're concerned, you're all a bunch of possible terrorists and we're going to keep on yelling " America First! America First!" and drown out all other sounds. While we're at it, could the media also just be quiet?
In a weekend which saw protests across the United States, especially at airports, the United States has started to enforce new Presidential Orders which ban people from seven nations from entering the country and which now treats anyone who looks vaguely Islamic as suspicious.
I suppose that we shouldn't be all that shocked when President Donald Trump, who by the way has managed to get a majority disapproval rating in just eight days, has come into office and has started enacting policy which he said that he would. This is a chap who repeated that he would build a wall between the United States and Mexico, which so far has managed to keep out at least one Mexican, President Enrique Peña Nieto, without it even being built.
Apart from everything that he said about Mexico, the horrid things that he said about women, an almost obsessive compulsion to blame China for America's trade position, this was also the same chap who in December 2015, wanted a total ban on Muslims entering the United States.
Although it is most certainly unconstitutional to impose law based purely on religious grounds, thanks to the first amendment, the seven countries which have had travel bans placed upon them are all majority Muslim. Libya, Sudan, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Somalia and Yemen have all been specifically singled out with travel bans; the reason cited is terrorism. This is despite the fact that precisely zero terrorist attacks have been made in the United States by nationals from those countries. In a strange new era where outright lies and rubbish is being presented as "alternative facts" (the term coined by Counselor to the President, Kellyanne Conway), US foreign policy is now being based upon said alternative facts.
Of course being in Australia, we have a "special relationship" with the United States, which for the best part of 70 years has been to do exactly what it tells us; including when it's too our detriment. So far today, I've heard Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull obfuscate with any opinion that he might have had on the subject by saying that America's foreign policy is its business, Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop has welcomed the orders of President Trump and said that Australia is behind America and Treasurer Scott Morrison has come out and said that the immigration policy of the United States proves that Australia's own immigration policies are correct. This unfortunately does leave the question of what is going to happen to the asylum seekers that we've dumped on Manus Island, now that the United States will no longer accept them but I'm guessing that the Australian Federal Government will just have to find somewhere else to put them, like the bottom of the ocean. If they came over here and didn't have the decency to drown on the way, the least that they could do is not complain when we put them in third world conditions.
So far I've heard both Shadow Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong say that she's written to both Julie Bishop and Malcolm Turnbull; as has Leader Of The Opposition Bill Shorten but in an age where emails fly around the place and can easily get deleted and mail can easily be 'misplaced' then who's to know if Julie or Malcolm ever got them. They're very busy people, don't you know?
Turnbull in a press conference said that it wasn't his job "to comment on other countries' foreign policy". That might very well be technically correct but it could have also been said that it wasn't Neville Chamberlain's job to comment on German foreign policy in 1938 either. When you have the so-called 'leader of the free world' starting out his administration in a spirit of open belligerency then I should think that that is very much the job of political leaders to comment. The reason why PM Turnbull doesn't is because we enjoy our "special relationship" with the country with the world's biggest military and want them to like us. Given that we do have in this country a government which prides itself on it's cruelty towards those people seeking asylum, perhaps it's best if we just roll over like the lapdog we are.
Lady Liberty had better get used to the fact that she is now out of favour. Columbia is back in the White House and is looking to redecorate with some of her old Manifest Destiny wallpaper; all with the chant of "America First! America First!" blaring away on the television. Billy Brown from Sydney Town won't say anything though because he likes being friends with the biggest bully in the schoolyard.