We had a fantastic time in Australia. In the days to come I will post pictures of our all-too-quick two weeks travelling to Melbourne, Sydney, and the Great Barrier Reef.
While we were there, Sydney was awash in preparations for the APEC Summit next week. The conservative Howard government is pulling out all of the stops (i.e., doing its best to stomp out freedom of expression in the name of security while Bush is in town) to make sure the meeting is a success. Leading up to Bush's visit, poll numbers indicate that 69% of Australians have an unfavorable view of the U.S. because of Bush's foreign policy. In fact, it appears that Prime Minister Howard's close relationship with Bush is going to cost him the upcoming general election.
Thankfully for us during our visit, Australians are extremely friendly and extremely polite.
It was nice to come home to the continued implosion of the GOP. Since they have already sacked our treasury, mismanaged everything they touch, and botched every aspect of Iraq and most parts of the "war on terrorism" they deserve every bit of trouble that comes their way. While I fervently hope that the US can produce some kind of good in the world during the remainder of the Bush administration, I am doubtful. And even if something good does happen, it won't be enough to redeem the disastrous Bush-Cheney-Rice-Rumsfeld-Tenet-Gonzales carnival of horrors that the world (and the planet) has had to suffer through for far too long.