It seems like Australia is becoming more and more like the US every day.

Like the US, Australians will soon be able to have their telecommunications tapped by the secret services for any reason, any time, without any kind of permission or notification. Like the US, this is being forced through the parliament without much time or opportunity for the lawmakers to peruse the legislation, or consult or raise questions about how or when or why this is happening. Even this website could become evidence. Big Brother is most definitely watching…

At least the Europeans are starting to put some pressure on the draconian measures imposed on them by the US immigration stupidity. It’s a case of petty tit for tat, but I guess once US businesses start losing out on opportunities in Europe, then they’ll put pressure on their government to do something about it.

That is if there’s a US left. News today about how the Chinese are threatening to unleash the power of their holdings of US currency if the US forces them to appreciate the value of the yuan. That could cause a crash in the value of the US dollar – and could jeopardize my holiday to Vietnam and Cambodia at the end of the year (not to mention the work reunion in Las Vegas next year!). Bastards!

Mr. Bush is getting more and more unpopular day by day, as we know. This was an amusing footnote to the recent bridge tragedy in the US. “Nope” to a photo opportunity for the president? Good on ya, son!

So which is better, Australia or the US? Possibly Australia, but I only think so because of the way the US economy looks likely to have big troubles over the next few years. Australia’s ‘haves’ are likely to weather the storm better than most Americans for now. A US collapse will be bad for all of us though.

Japan also has vast holdings of US currency, and would also (unwillingly and regretfully) dump it in the wake of a China-triggered collapse. Perhaps they are already diversifying their reserves in case…

Maybe we’ll see more American teachers arrive over the next year or so – looking for a safe haven to ride out the storm!