Category: Uncategorized

Michael Cohen recorded Trump discussing payments to Playboy model

Federal investigators have an audio recording in which then-presidential candidate Donald Trump and his personal attorney Michael Cohen discussed in late 2016 making payments for the story of Playboy centrefold Karen McDougal, who allegedly had an extramarital affair with Trump, according to two people familiar with the tape.

via Michael Cohen recorded Trump discussing payments to Playboy model

Arabic was an official language in Israel for 70 years, 2 months, and 5 days | +972 Magazine

Israeli Border Police officers guard the entrance to Damascus Gate in Jerusalem's Old City, September 21, 2016. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

This is not an acceptance of reality it’s the official denial of Democracy, the Constitutional recognition and Institutionalization of a Theocracy.(ODT)

The other message, the inverse, meant for Palestinians, is: this is not your land; this country does not belong to you, irrespective of whether you are an Israeli citizen living in the home of your great-grandparents or a refugee yearning to return to the land of your grandparents; your culture, language, and history are at best tolerated — this is not their home, this is not your homeland.

The Jewish Nation-State Law states, implicitly and explicitly, that Israel belongs not to all of its citizens, over 20 percent of whom are not Jewish. Instead, it declares that Israel belongs to the Jewish people, some half of whom are not Israeli citizens.

For all of those reasons nobody should be able to feign surprise at the Jewish Nation-State law. The principles it elevates to constitutional status have been around as long as the country it defines. That it sits squarely on a predictable trajectory, however, does not minimize its danger.

via Arabic was an official language in Israel for 70 years, 2 months, and 5 days | +972 Magazine

Israel’s Nation-State Law: ‘Apartheid is a process’ | +972 Magazine

Israeli soldiers watch Palestinian women walk towards Qalandiya checkpoint, West Bank, August 20, 2010. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Separation of Power the esscence of Democracy has officially been wiped from Israel’s Constitution. Every Institution every law will be viewed oficially through the prism of Jewishness. So your a Christian you can’t live here, work here, marry her or do medicine if we choose not to let you. Your officially a Goy not a Gentile! Your Coloured your mother was a Shiksa. 20% of Israeli’s have been officially downgraded  (ODT)

“I think we are seeing an escalation that did not begin with the new Basic Law, but rather is a result of the contradiction between the fundamental identities of the state as Jewish and democratic. What we are seeing now is Jewish identity encroaching more and more on the social and political life of Israel’s citizens, while the ‘democratic’ identity of the state is experiencing a regression.”

via Israel’s Nation-State Law: ‘Apartheid is a process’ | +972 Magazine

EU leads criticism after Israel passes Jewish ‘nation state’ law | World news | The Guardian

Israelis hold placards in protest against the legislation

The Netanyahu and the State of Israel Shame the Jewish People Creating an Apartheid State. My Mother is on the Wall of the Righteous and today would be a Second Class Citizen in Israel

Legislation stipulates only Jews have right of self-determination in the country

In a moment of ironic timing, the legislation was passed just hours before Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, welcomed a visit by Hungary’s far-right leader, Viktor Orbán, who Israeli critics have accused of praising Nazi-era antisemitic collaborators.

via EU leads criticism after Israel passes Jewish ‘nation state’ law | World news | The Guardian

Waleed Aly obliterates Malcolm Turnbull in report on so-called African gangs

Malcolm Turnbull Has Turned : Racist In Desparation for a Vote (ODT)

The Project‘s Waleed Aly has launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, writing off his recent comments about Sudanese gangs as a last-ditch votes grab before Super Saturday byelections next weekend.

Adding that while the Sudanese community is clearly over-represented in the crime stats, Aly said that what’s more interesting is that “Australian-born Victorians were responsible for 71.7 per cent of the crime committed last year”.

“According to Victoria’s Crime Statistics Agency, crime has actually dropped 9 per cent in the last year in Victoria,” he said. “Sudanese Victorians make up 0.1 per cent of the population and account for just 1 per cent of all crimes committed last year.”

“This week the Prime Minister said something interesting,” Aly started, cutting to a video of Turnbull in a 3AW interview earlier this week.

“There is real concern about Sudanese gangs,” Turnbull says in the video. “You have to be walking around with your hands over your ears in Melbourne not to hear it.”

via Waleed Aly obliterates Malcolm Turnbull in report on so-called African gangs

In Helsinki, Trump Shows He Is Indeed Guilty of Collusion – Mother Jones

Since being elected president, Donald Trump has vociferously claimed he engaged in “no collusion” with Vladimir Putin’s attack on the 2016 US election and that the investigation of any interactions between him and his associates and Russians was a “witch hunt” or a “rigged witch hunt.” Yet his historic Helsinki summit with Putin—and particularly the unsettling joint press conference they held—provided a clear indication that Trump is indeed guilty of one form of collusion: colluding with Putin to cover up Moscow’s criminal assault on American democracy

 In Helsinki, Trump Shows He Is Indeed Guilty of Collusion – Mother Jones

Plus

Sean O’Grady Trump is so easily manipulated he has virtually become Russia’s agent

 

 

 

‘I don’t see any reason why’ Russia would meddle, Trump says after Putin meeting

 

US President Donald Trump has publicly dismissed his own intelligence reports on Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election, saying he preferred to believe Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “extremely strong and powerful” denial.

In a surprise twist to the pair’s much-anticipated meeting in Helsinki, the US President said, after hearing Putin’s side of the story, that he didn’t see any reason to believe Russia had interfered – despite his own spy chief, director of national intelligence Dan Coats, telling him the opposite

via ‘I don’t see any reason why’ Russia would meddle, Trump says after Putin meeting

How government inaction fuelled Australia’s renewable energy boom – Politics – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Wind farm

Like many other countries, Australian business and consumers have left their political leaders behind, opting for renewables backed up by gas, hydro and, to a smaller but growing extent, batteries.

via How government inaction fuelled Australia’s renewable energy boom – Politics – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

EXCLUSIVE: The curious case of Kevin Rudd, Newscorp, ABC and the contract

I believe Rudd in this instance. News Corp wants to see Sky as Fox News is in the USA, So does the IPA and the Conservatives in the LNP government. Australia is fast becoming embarassment to itself allowing all our current public institutions to become politicized by the appointment of heads as in Treasury recently. Murdoch and the IPA are the voices of Corporate lobbyists. They make mistakes at times and regret the Royal Commission into Banks but are calling to socialize the energy sector.

How obvious is this. Abbott destroyed the NBN, tried to do the same to the ABC and wants to kneecap Renewables and News Corp and the IPA have been behind this American business model and Dream all the way currently ranking us the worst in the world on Climate inaction (ODT)

In October last year, he suggested the Coalition government was deliberately hamstringing the NBN at the behest of Rupert Murdoch, who he said wanted less competition for his cable television network.

Then in November, Rudd used the Saturday Paper to call for no less than a Royal Commission into what he called the News Corporation “cancer” and its impact on democracy — in spite of the fact, as writer Karen Middleton pointed out, that the company had backed his rise.

via EXCLUSIVE: The curious case of Kevin Rudd, Newscorp, ABC and the contract

Cherry-picked charity to pocket at least $22.5 million in taxpayer funding for reef

Will the Charities Commissioner have reason to investigate this operation for it’s politicization?(ODT)

More than $22 million in taxpayer funds will be paid directly to a private foundation hand-picked by the Turnbull government to dispense Australia’s largest single Great Barrier Reef funding package, raising fresh questions over the controversial deal.

It has also emerged that the foundation will pocket interest earned on the record-large funding windfall, despite previous claims the interest would be directed back into projects to help rescue the natural wonder.

via Cherry-picked charity to pocket at least $22.5 million in taxpayer funding for reef

Russia probe: Robert Mueller’s offers Trump a choice – take on Putin or be branded a coward

There are three reasons why it will be difficult for Trump to confront Putin in any meaningful way in Helsinki.

First, he seems to share a mystical affinity with the strongman who rules his nation with apparent impunity.

Second, Trump was the beneficiary of Russia’s meddling. Accepting the existence of election interference

Third, interpersonal conflict doesn’t come naturally to Trump. This may be surprising given his penchant for starting fights. But Trump’s stoushes are usually initiated via media interviews or tweets; rarely does he confront a fellow leader face-to-face. This week Trump bagged German leader Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Theresa May behind their back, only to turn docile when they got in the same room.

The indictment issued against 12 Russian intelligence officers on Friday, local time, offers Trump a simple choice for the Helsinki summit: to aggressively rebuke Putin – both in rhetoric and policy terms – or to look a coward and a dupe in front of the whole world.

via Russia probe: Robert Mueller’s offers Trump a choice – take on Putin or be branded a coward

With 5 Powers fighting in Syria, who will come out on top? Netanyahu, Putin, or Trump?

Five countries are currently fighting in Syria. Russia, Iran, the United States, and Turkey have stationed troops. Israel regularly drops bombs and fires missiles.

President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin will discuss Syria at their Helsinki summit July 16. The Trump administration is pressuring Russia to reduce the Iranian role in Syria, but will not likely succeed, according to Professor Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma.

“Iran is there to stay,” he told me. “Russia is not going to kick Iran out.”

via With 5 Powers fighting in Syria, who will come out on top? Netanyahu, Putin, or Trump?

Benjamin Netanyahu Is Cozying Up to Europe’s Worst Authoritarians

 

 

 

“Europe needs to decide whether it wants to live and prosper, or it will disappear.” Those words belong not to former White House senior adviser Steve Bannon or the chairwoman of the ultranationalist Alternative for Germany, Frauke Petry, but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who shared them with his Hungarian counterpart, Viktor Orban, in Budapest last year. As Noa Landau argues in Haaretz, this was not merely a prescient glimpse of Israel’s “systematic warming” to the Visegrád Four but an abandonment of the governing principles upon which it claims to pride itself.

via Benjamin Netanyahu Is Cozying Up to Europe’s Worst Authoritarians

Global Climate Movement Celebrates as Ireland Set to Become First Country to Fully Divest From Fossil Fuels

Divest sign

Climate activists across the globe celebrated Thursday after the lower house of the Irish legislature passed a divestment bill with support from all parties, effectively ensuring that Ireland will become the first nation in the world to fully divest public money from the fossil fuel industry.

via Global Climate Movement Celebrates as Ireland Set to Become First Country to Fully Divest From Fossil Fuels

Coal Will Rise Again, Claims Perplexingly Ambitious Australian Article – New Matilda

Murdoch Media fails Journalistic Standards Yet Again: Does anybody care?

Follow Irelands lead and Divest from a failing Industry. Abbott doesn’t care about your hip pocket at all when he says the government we must invest in coal (ODT)

More than ever we need our journalists to be frank and fearless, to check their sources and to speak truth to power. The latest article by The Australian proves them to be more of a propaganda wing for big polluters rather than serious journalists.

via Coal Will Rise Again, Claims Perplexingly Ambitious Australian Article – New Matilda

On Disruption: An insider’s view of the collapse of journalism

essay On Disruption lays out for the reader a useful insider’s view of how the news industry and journalism are struggling to cope with the changes wrought by digital technologies and collapsing business models.

If you have any interest in understanding how the news establishment sees itself and its prospects for surviving the crisis of profitability and trust it is worth reading this pamphlet.

via On Disruption: An insider’s view of the collapse of journalism

Damien Mantach’s father writes to Liberal Party asking for debt over $1.5m theft to be forgiven – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Damien Mantach stands in front of a blue Liberal Party banner

Imagine the outcry if he were a Trade Unionist who owed $14,000 (ODT)

The father of jailed Liberal Party director Damien Mantach, who stole nearly $1.5 million from the organisation, has pleaded with the party to forgive his son’s debt, saying it would be “vindictive” to force him to repay the cash.

via Damien Mantach’s father writes to Liberal Party asking for debt over $1.5m theft to be forgiven – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Former Liberal staffers ‘parachuted’ into top Treasury positions, says Labor | Australia news | The Guardian

Chris Bowen

America’s Trumpland  Politics is arriving in Australia. Public Agencies are being politicized in the manner of the USA (ODT)

Chris Bowen says the government is politicising commonwealth agencies
Chris Bowen has objected to the appointment of former Liberal staffers to the Treasury and the Productivity Commission. Photograph: Joel Carrett/AAP

Labor has raised concerns about the Turnbull government’s decision to appoint former political staffers to key bureaucratic roles in proximity to the federal election expected either later this year, or in the first half of 2019.

via Former Liberal staffers ‘parachuted’ into top Treasury positions, says Labor | Australia news | The Guardian

Just because you are Aboriginal doesn’t make you right – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Mark Latham might think Jacinta Price has “impeccable credentials for speaking on indigenous issues”. Some think Tony Abbott does too.

Every time I hear Alice Springs councillor and political hopeful Jacinta Price speak, I cringe.

Ms Price has announced her ambition to contest the NT seat of Lingiari in the next federal election as a CLP candidate, a move welcomed by Mark Latham and Warren Mundine who both sing her praises.

via Just because you are Aboriginal doesn’t make you right – » The Australian Independent Media Network

‘Dark Money’: New Documentary Offers Up-Close and ‘Harrowing Portrait’ of How Secret Corporate Cash Is Destroying American Democracy

dark money

 

After Citizens United, says director Kimberly Reed, “you could just see political power slipping out of the hands of the average citizen and into the hands of a handful of super-rich people.”

via ‘Dark Money’: New Documentary Offers Up-Close and ‘Harrowing Portrait’ of How Secret Corporate Cash Is Destroying American Democracy

A state that belongs to only some of its citizens | +972 Magazine

A Jewish Israeli man holding an Israeli flag confronts a Palestinian woman holding a kaffiyeh on the sidelines of the ultra-nationalist "Jerusalem Day" march, May 13, 2018. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

According to the proposed ‘Jewish Nation-State Law,’ Israel does not belong to Israeli citizens, more than 20 percent of whom are not Jewish. Instead, it is the state of the Jewish people, roughly half of whom are not even Israeli.

via A state that belongs to only some of its citizens | +972 Magazine

When to trust (and not to trust) peer reviewed science

Reason and reliability

All in all, we should feel confident that important science is solid (and peripheral science unvalidated) due to peer review, transparency, scrutiny and reproduction of results in science publication. Nevertheless in some fields where reproduction is rare or impossible – long term studies depending on complex statistical data – it is likely that scientific debate will continue.

But even in these fields, the endless scrutiny by other researchers, together with the proudly guarded reputations of authors and journals, means that even if it will never be perfect, the scientific method remains more reliable than all the others.

via When to trust (and not to trust) peer reviewed science

‘Deeply sorry’: Western Australia police chief apologises to Indigenous people | Australia news | The Guardian

Bolt kept quoting W.A police for quite the opposite police attitudes and admissions against the Indigenous Australians guess Bolt will remain silent on this admission. (ODT)

The Western Australian police commissioner has issued a historic apology to the state’s Indigenous people, saying he took ownership for “past wrongful actions that have caused immeasurable suffering” and fuelled a sense of mistrust towards the force.

via ‘Deeply sorry’: Western Australia police chief apologises to Indigenous people | Australia news | The Guardian

Australia, Solomon Islands, PNG sign undersea cable deal amid criticism from China – Politics – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Clear blue waters and cloudy skies above the shoreline of Bonege Beach.

Tony Abbott Closed Radio Australia and opened the door to China in the region. Now the LNP are trying to correct that threatening an economic backlash. A rolling stone gathers moss and it started with Abbott the Pillock of the Pacific the Europhile (ODT)

The security pact, known as Biketawa Plus, is being considered by members of the Pacific Islands Forum and builds on the Biketawa Declaration signed in 2000 that has guided the forum’s collective response to crises such as natural disasters and civil unrest.

The Global Times warned it would be a “strategic mistake” if the new security agreement was aimed at China.

“Instead of being overly cautious about China’s rise, Australia and New Zealand should avoid misleading the region on China’s role, and other regional countries should be clear about the consequences of being misled,” its editorial said.

“The region will only suffer more losses from containing China.”

The New Zealand Government has also copped criticism after it released its Strategic Defence Policy Statement last week which said China was challenging the existing international rules-based order.

At a press conference in Beijing on Monday China Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying urged New Zealand to “correct its wrong words and deeds and contribute more to the mutual trust and cooperation between our two countries”.

via Australia, Solomon Islands, PNG sign undersea cable deal amid criticism from China – Politics – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Trump jokes about UK ‘turmoil’ while Australia stresses strong friendship

Self Interest is fast becoming the Cabal that controls governments and tries to carve up the world, By no means has Johnson resigned to the bacbench to be corraled like Tony Abbott. (ODT}

“Boris Johnson’s a friend of mine, he’s been very, very nice to me, very supportive and maybe I’ll speak to him when I get over there,” Trump said. “I like Boris Johnson, I’ve always liked him.”

Johnson previously said in a leaked audio recording that he wished Trump was overseeing the Brexit negotiations. His departure from Cabinet was followed by the resignation of junior, low-profile ministers late on Monday night and two MPs from party roles on Tuesday.

via Trump jokes about UK ‘turmoil’ while Australia stresses strong friendship

South Carolina forces universities to violate free speech rights | The Electronic Intifada

Israel’s interferance with the domestic laws of the USA and it’s constitution (ODT)

South Carolina passed a law this week codifying a discredited definition of anti-Semitism that conflates criticism of Israel and Zionism with anti-Jewish bigotry.

“The law will inevitably violate students’ First Amendment rights if enforced to restrict or punish campus speech critical of Israel,” Dima Khalidi, director of the civil rights group Palestine Legal, told The Electronic Intifada.

Students now face increased scrutiny, investigations, censorship and possible punishment for their activities advocating for Palestinian rights on South Carolina campuses, Palestine Legal has warned.

The anti-Semitism definition, which has been pushed by Israel lobby groups in the US and Europe, is sometimes referred to as the “State Department Definition” because a version of it was adopted by the US State Department.

The measure was added as a rider on South Carolina’s 2018-2019 budget bill, which makes the law valid for only one year.

It will require state-funded institutions to use the definition when investigating alleged incidents of anti-Semitism on campuses.

via South Carolina forces universities to violate free speech rights | The Electronic Intifada

Israel Pressures Trump over Saudi Nuclear Ambitions

Under the cover of darkness 2 aggressors plot with willing dupes the Saudis who need an alternative energy source (ODT)

This is not the first suggestion of nuclear cooperation between Tel Aviv and Riyadh. In May, it was reported that Western security agencies believed that Israel is selling nuclear information to Saudi Arabia in an attempt to bolster it as a viable opposition to Iran.

via Israel Pressures Trump over Saudi Nuclear Ambitions

The Gaza siege isn’t about security. It’s collective punishment, pure and simple | +972 Magazine

A truck is seen at the Israeli army controlled Kerem Shalom crossing, the only commercial crossing where goods can enter and exit Gaza, March 22, 2018. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

Israel shut down Gaza’s ability to conduct trade because of flaming balloons and kites that Palestinians have been floating over the border. There is no security justification, just collective punishment.

via The Gaza siege isn’t about security. It’s collective punishment, pure and simple | +972 Magazine

Renewable Energy By The Numbers Around The World – Nasdaq.com

Milos Muller for Getty Images

12.1% Global Renewable Energy Production and Accelerating.(ODT)

The worldwide investment in renewable energy touched $279.8 billion in 2017, taking cumulative investment since 2004 to $2.9 trillion. Globally, the percentage of electricity generated by renewables was at 12.1% in 2017. This reduced carbon dioxide emissions of about 1.8 gigatons as per the UNEP report.

via Renewable Energy By The Numbers Around The World – Nasdaq.com

China: Australia on front line of ‘geopolitical contest,’ says Steve Bannon

When the US and Bannon are Australia’s greatest threats. 1) Following the US model of enslaving citizens and diminishing the value of labor 2) Hanging on the coattails of Trump’s global unpredictability. (ODT)

Australia, you didn’t know it, but you’ve been at the very forefront of Donald Trump’s project. “I think Australia is in a fight for the ages” that will decide whether the nations of the West can keep their sovereignty against Chinese intrusion, says Trump’s former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, now a coach and adviser to populist movements worldwide.

“Australia is at the forefront of the geopolitical contest of our time,” he tells me in his first interview with an Australian media outlet. He goes so far as to say that “what’s playing out in Australia is more important than what’s happening in the US and other places”.

via China: Australia on front line of ‘geopolitical contest,’ says Steve Bannon

Meet Australia’s professional full-time part-timers

The need to unionize against the modern slavery of piece work and piece jobs without benefits. (ODT)

The growth in secondary jobs has not just been confined to professionals. The economy experienced its strongest secondary jobs surge since June 2014 last year – driving the number of people with two jobs to 891,000, up from 779,000 in 2010.

More than 50,000 were added between March and September 2017 alone, according to Tuesday’s figures, which for the first time showed the volatile growth in secondary jobs by industry on a quarterly basis

via Meet Australia’s professional full-time part-timers

Supreme Court nominee would shield Trump from Russia probe: Democrats

Senate Democrats trying to rally opposition to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh are portraying him as a potential threat to the Russia investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said that of the 25 names on President Donald Trump’s list of possible high court nominees, “he chose the candidate who he thought would best protect him from the Mueller investigation.

via Supreme Court nominee would shield Trump from Russia probe: Democrats

The World According to Trump

I wrote at the time, and still believe, that Trump was right to meet with Kim. But if the president really trusts the handshake promise of a murderous dictator to give up the nuclear weapons he sees as an airtight insurance policy, then the president is a fool.

Trump is giving power to Russia and China while taking it away from the United States and the Atlantic alliance. Some greatness.

via The World According to Trump

Donald Trump’s personal driver for 25 years sues for unpaid overtime

Donald Trump’s personal driver for more than 25 years says the billionaire real estate developer didn’t pay him overtime and raised his salary only twice in 15 years, clawing back the second raise by cutting off his health benefits.

Noel Cintron, who is listed in public records as a registered Republican, sued the Trump Organization for about 3,300 hours of overtime that he says he worked in the past six years. He’s not allowed to sue for overtime prior to that due to the statute of limitations.

via Donald Trump’s personal driver for 25 years sues for unpaid overtime

Gina Rinehart: Barnaby Joyce linked to court case | Daily Telegraph

She has also subpoenaed a mysterious foundation, CEF, which received $4 million from Hancock Prospecting in the year to June 2015, and the conservative Institute of Public Affairs think tank, which received $4.5 million from Hancock Prospecting.

The Institute did not declare Hancock Prospecting’s donation in its annual report, and after receiving the funds awarded Mrs Rinehart life membership.
Gina Rinehart wants all Australians to have a tax cut

Justice Julie Ward said the life membership raised the question of whether the donation was made “in order for some benefit to be conferred”, adding she wasn’t sure whether the life membership was “a valuable commodity or not … other than for self-congratulatory purposes”.

via Gina Rinehart: Barnaby Joyce linked to court case | Daily Telegraph

Defense Contractor’s Use of Vacant Office Building to House Children Underscores ‘Perverse Secrecy’ of Trump Immigration Policy

GUNS for HIRE (ODT)

An investigation sparked by reports from concerned neighbors who suspected that immigrant children were being housed in a vacant office building in Phoenix, illustrated the secrecy surrounding the care of children by the U.S. government and defense contractors that have been hired to help enforce the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy.

via Defense Contractor’s Use of Vacant Office Building to House Children Underscores ‘Perverse Secrecy’ of Trump Immigration Policy

America the Failed State

The ruling elites abjectly serve corporate power to exploit and impoverish the citizenry. Democratic institutions, including the courts, are mechanisms of corporate repression. Financial fraud and corporate crime are carried out with impunity. The decay is exacerbated by the state’s indiscriminate use of violence abroad and at home, where rogue law enforcement agencies harass and arrest citizens and the undocumented and often kill the unarmed. A depressed and enraged population, trapped by chronic unemployment and underemployment, is overdosing on opioids and beset by rising suicide rates. It engages in acts of nihilistic violence, including mass shootings. Hate groups proliferate. The savagery, mayhem and grotesque distortions familiar to those on the outer reaches of empire increasingly characterize American existence. And presiding over it all is the American version of Ubu Roi, playwright Alfred Jarry’s gluttonous, idiotic, vulgar, narcissistic and infantile king, who turned politics into burlesque.

via America the Failed State

Trump’s Ever More Powerful Weapons Against Journalism

“No U.S. president in recent memory has shown greater contempt for the press than Trump in his first months in office,” reads Freedom House’s 2017 report. “He has repeatedly ridiculed reporters. … Such comments suggest a hostility toward the fundamental principles and purposes of press freedom, especially the news media’s role in holding governments to account for their words and actions—as opposed to the government holding the media to account.”

via Trump’s Ever More Powerful Weapons Against Journalism

Fox News has now given Trump over $15 million in free advertising by airing his rallies

Fox aired the rally for an hour and 14 minutes, bringing the network’s total airtime given to Trump rallies to 7 hours and 47 minutes since April 28. According to iQ media, a media monitoring service, the advertising value of Trump’s Montana rally was $1,902,542.65. Since April 28, Fox News has gifted Trump $15,174,430.00 in free advertising by airing his rallies.

via Fox News has now given Trump over $15 million in free advertising by airing his rallies

A man raped me, another tried to. They were not animals. They were men | Amy Remeikis | Opinion | The Guardian

Illustration of a hand reaching over a woman walking along a street

They are MEN Andrew Bolt just everyday MEN (ODT)

And when I talked about it, again, the questions came. Why were you out walking so late? How were you walking? What were you wearing? Did you smile at him?

And again they meant: “What did you do wrong, so we can avoid the same mistake?” What action did you take, so this won’t happen to me? How do I help my loved one stay safe? How can I stay safe?

I wrote as much in my victim impact statement to the court, asking the judge why must the conversation immediately turn to my actions, instead of the most obvious one – why are men attacking women in the street? In their homes? In parks, and on public transport, and in taxis and on doctor’s examining tables?

A friend told me it’s because he thought they were not men. That they were animals. “How do you even begin to reason with an animal like that?”

But he’s wrong. They are men.

They are sons and brothers, and fathers and boyfriends and husbands and friends and co-workers and the guys around you in the cafe.

We know they are, because the few who face the justice system get character references about how they are good guys, who are good sons and brothers and fathers and boyfriends and husbands and friends and co-workers who made a mistake.

via A man raped me, another tried to. They were not animals. They were men | Amy Remeikis | Opinion | The Guardian

What the statistics say about Sweden, immigration and crime | PolitiFact

President Donald Trump smiles as he prepares to speak at his "Make America Great Again Rally" at Orlando-Melbourne International Airport in Melbourne, Fla., Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017. (AP)

Correcting Bolt’s BS is a full time task because there is so much of it (ODT)

Asylum applications in 2016 dropped to about 29,000.

Sweden used to grant permanent residence permits to individuals granted asylum. The legislative changes in mid 2016 began restricting residence authorization by granting temporary permits and putting more requirements in place for permanent permits.

What about claims linking new arrivals and crime?

“In general, crime statistics have gone down the last (few) years, and no there is no evidence to suggest that new waves of immigration has lead to increased crime,” Selin said.

Generally, there’s a certain over-representation of people with immigrant background in crime statistics, but that tends to be closely related to high levels of unemployment, poverty, exclusion, low language and other skills, Selin said. “Swedes with these characteristics are also overrepresented in crime statistics,” he said.

If we look specifically at sex offences, which the Fox News segment highlighted, there were 18,100 sex offenses reported to the police in 2015, down 11 percent from 2014, according to the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention.

via What the statistics say about Sweden, immigration and crime | PolitiFact

Outgoing Defence Chief: China has breached its neighbours’ trust

Blaming China for Abbott’s inexcusable dumping of the Pacific Islands. How easliy forgotten. Abbott dropped the ball and the ADF did too. Breach of trust. (ODT)

Defence chief Mark Binskin says Beijing’s broken promise not to militarise the South China Sea means it has squandered the trust of its neighbours and undermined its aspirations to regional leadership.

In his final interview before he hands over command of the 80,000-strong Australian Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Binskin also urged countries such as China that are moving into the South Pacific: “Don’t destabilise the region.”

via Outgoing Defence Chief: China has breached its neighbours’ trust

USA: Five corrupt “Justices”

USA: Five corrupt

Ever since the United States Supreme Court appointed George W. Bush president during the coup of 2000, a majority of its members have been on an unabashed mission to replace democracy with plutocracy and individual freedom with corporate fascism.

And they still were not done. Since the Citizens United ruling, these five corrupt “justices” have continued their crusade to regress the United States Constitution back to the days when only white male landowners could vote. To accomplish this, they have:

1. Gutted the Voting Rights Act that protects the right of African-Americans to vote;

2. Allowed states to “purge” voter registration rolls, even though such purges disproportionately affect racial minorities and the poor;

3. Defined political corruption so narrowly that it is now almost impossible to prosecute;

4. Supported gerrymandering by permitting states to create election districts designed to dilute the votes of racial minorities and/or to give political advantage to the party in power;

5. And, as I was writing this article, the Court, in the case of Janus vs. AFSCME (and in another 5-4 decision) ruled that non-union, public sector employees do not have to pay union dues, even though the union still must represent them.

And for those who would argue that my arguments about the true intent of these rulings are nothing more than hyperbole, I give you this tweet from Donald Trump after the Janus ruling. “Big loss for the coffers of the Democrats!”

via USA: Five corrupt “Justices”

Two Views of the Putin/Trump Summit

Two Views of the Putin/Trump Summit. 62595.jpeg

A successful summit will require Trump to reject this neoconservative doctrine. If Trump can pull this off with Bolton sitting by him, Trump’s critics will look very silly. Do Bolton and the Deep State have a way of baking failure into the summit that will ensure the continuation of Russia’s enemy status, thereby sustaining the enormous budget and power of the US military/security complex? Is Trump a superman who can overcome this powerful vested interest about which President Eisenhower warned Americans in 1961? How much stronger is this complex more than half a century later after being nourished by decades of Cold War and War on Terror?

Assad and no doubt Iran are convinced that negotiations with Washington are a waste of time. Assad has concluded that “the problem with US presidents is that they are hostage to lobbyists. They can tell you what you want to hear, but they do the opposite. That’s the problem, and it’s getting worse and worse. Trump is a stark example. That’s why when talking to the Americans, discussing something with them does not settle anything. There will not be any results. It’s a simple waste of time.”

via Two Views of the Putin/Trump Summit