Tuesday, October 02, 2001

on australia

I was an afs exchange student to New Zealand in 1987, the year the All Blacks came forth and conquered in the World Rugby Cup and the Australians only came fourth. The rivalry between the two nations was pretty palpable, but I never sensed it was anything more than a friendly rivalry.

No doubt the 50,000 or so New Zealand emigrants who take up permanent residence in Australia annually have weighed their options as living in a nation colonized by criminals, versus living in a nation where there exists a real and growing danger of a sheep revolution, and decided it was better with the criminals. The sheep after all outnumber the humans in New Zealand by about 80 to 1.

The reference to the criminal past of Australia refers, of course, to Australia's pedigree. It's well-known throughout the Commonwealth that Britain colonized Australia with hardened criminals -- people from debtors prisons; i.e., people who couldn't afford the excessive taxes being levied at the time. Given the choice of Australia or prison, many of them foolishly picked Australia.

And as everyone knows, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. I'll bet most Australians STILL don't like to pay taxes. We don't, here in America, as the folks in Boston certainly made clear with that little tea party they threw a couple hundred years ago.

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