Despite being one of the worst bushfires in Australian history, alarmingly, the Victorian Black Saturday bushfires of 2009, which killed 173 people, destroyed around 2,000 homes and incinerated millions of plants and animals, didn’t serve as a wake-up call.
The deeper we sink into denial, the more we commit ourselves to a reality where our children learn about environmental icons such as the Great Barrier Reef and our magnificent rainforests through history books, instead of being able to experience their wonder for themselves.
Choosing to turn away from this moment to act will be the ultimate betrayal of future generations.
Trump and Bolton offer differing narratives on ‘resignation’
In the end, it appears the President was also happy to see Mr Bolton leave. The men were even unable to agree on the circumstances of his departure.
In the President’s version, he told Mr Bolton his services weren’t required last night before asking for his resignation this morning.
Mr Bolton says he offered to resign last night, but the President said they would discuss it today.
It’s better not to be a “more normal country” if that means being as prone to invasions and coups as the United States, top Russian ministers have said, firing back at bizarre remarks by a new Pentagon chief.
It would be “great” if the West “could get Russia to behave like a more normal country,” Mark Esper, the newly appointed defense secretary, was reported to have claimed while visiting Paris this week.
“Otherwise, we should have been acting like the US, bombing Iraq and Libya in blatant violation of international law… We should have supported coups, violent and anti-constitutional, like the US and its closest allies did in February 2014 [in Ukraine].”
Trumps dream of a Nobel Prize blew up in his face again but in his eagerness to show what a failure he infact is he twittered the promise of a peace accord and it’s failure ought to be sufficient to gain him the recognition he craves. Promise of peace in Iran, Afghanistan Syria and Nth Korea along with their accompanying failures Trump believes should be enough to have him crowned and celebrated as a global Caesar rather than a screwed up Nero. Afterall the blame is not his. (ODT
But little was made of that at the time. The endgame of the talks seemed near, if not the timetable. Only then came Trump’s tweets on Saturday night disclosing that he had invited the Taliban and Ghani to Camp David — but called it off, citing the bombing.
The tweets took many in the administration by surprise; there was no reason for Trump to reveal what had happened, several officials said, especially since he has not given up on the idea of a negotiated settlement.
It would, of course, be foolish to pretend that there is a neat solution to the chaos in Afghanistan, a poverty-stricken country divided on tribal, ethnic, and religious lines, fought over by a bevy of outside powers, and plagued by violence for more than four decades.
There isn’t. But here’s what the hawks don’t tell you: Afghan civilians are already dying in big numbers, not only despite the presence of U.S. forces — 2018 saw Afghan civilian deaths hit a record high — but because of them, too. How many Americans are aware of the fact that in the first six months of this year, the Afghan government and its U.S.-led international allies killed more civilians than the Taliban? Shouldn’t that shock us all?
“It’s easy for the Israeli left to forget how things were before Netanyahu, but the main problem with the Israeli media is not Netanyahu, or the right, or racism, even though these are all big problems. The problem, rather, is that journalists and media all across the spectrum are working for their owners and their owners’ interests, and for commercial and political interests, rather than for the public.
“The names can vary. Today it’s Netanyahu, yesterday it was Sharon, and tomorrow it will be someone else. But this is the most important thing I have to say about it — populist leaders like Trump and Bibi couldn’t stoke so much hatred and fear toward minorities and the media if the media itself was working in the public interest. If the public thought that the media was working for them, Bibi wouldn’t succeed [in his attacks]. You can’t convince the public to hate something they love; you can only convince them to keep hating something they already hate.”
The majority of Welfare Recipients, just like the majority of people in the workplace, just like the majority of people living in your suburb, just like the majority of people sitting next to you at a football match, just like the majority of people next to you on the bus, are decent normal folk just trying to lead a decent normal life.
A small number of people in your workplace, in your suburb, in that footy crowd, on that bus, or on welfare, will seek to take advantage. A small number of people always seek to do that. We’ve all met them, especially in the workplace.
“Mr. Trump’s Blame List is long,” reported Peter Baker for The New York Times. “On top, of course, is Jerome H. Powell, the chair of the Federal Reserve — never mind that Mr. Trump was the one who appointed him. Then there are the Democrats, and not to mention the news media. And on Friday, the president added American businesses to the list, arguing that struggling companies have only themselves to blame and are rationalizing their own mistakes by pointing to, just to name an example, Mr. Trump’s multibillion-dollar tariffs and America’s biggest trade war in generations.”
The inquiry is part of a broader, previously unreported probe into U.S. military expenditures at and around the Trump property in Scotland. According to a letter the panel sent to the Pentagon in June, the military has spent $11 million on fuel at the Prestwick Airport—the closest airport to Trump Turnberry—since October 2017, fuel that would be cheaper if purchased at a U.S. military base. The letter also cites a Guardian report that the airport provided cut-rate rooms and free rounds of golf at Turnberry for U.S. military members.
Taken together, the incidents raise the possibility that the military has helped keep Trump’s Turnberry resort afloat—the property lost $4.5 million in 2017, but revenue went up $3 million in 2018.
According to a Politico report Friday night, the House Oversight Committee has for months been investigating why military spending has been increasing at a Scottish airport near President Donald Trump’s Turnberry resort, and why U.S. military personnel are staying at the Trump property on routine trips. But the Sunday political talk shows mostly failed to cover this news, with only CBS’ Face the Nation mentioning the resort in Scotland as part of the context to a larger pattern of Trump using U.S. government business to boost his resort properties.
The Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu is one of the world players who pushed Trump to breach the 2015 treaty with Iran. Trump then slapped the severest economic sanctions on Iran ever imposed on any country in the absence of war. Trump went around the world menacing other countries into ceasing to buy Iranian petroleum and threatening billions in fines against any company anywhere in the world that invested in or traded with Iran.
Instead, Netanyahu and Trump have pushed Iran straight into the arms of China which is investing $400 billion in the country and which is now taking most of Iran’s oil exports. China seems intent on integrating Iran into its economy even more robustly than it had proposed with Pakistan.
In fact, Brexit is a misnomer in three ways: it is driven by a sense of English – rather than British – malaise. It’s transnational support from the Trump administration suggests the international and domestic agendas that come with the no-deal project. It is not just about “exit”, but comes with a program for domestic change of a radically conservative variety.
While Brexit has spilled over into US politics, Ireland’s supporters in the US Congress could scupper plans for a post-Brexit free trade agreement between the UK and the USA. Such an agreement is a key part of Johnson’s hard-Brexit strategy that underscores the transnational dimension to the politics of Brexit.
Whatever the drivers of Brexit, it is ultimately for the electorates in an increasingly divided UK to decide. It’s quite possible the forthcoming election will not alter the parliamentary arithmetic in any significant way.
But it’s the only way this arithmetic can change and so it must be embraced by a politics-weary electorate throughout the four nations of the UK.
Policies not working for the majority
Clearly, this Coalition Government is serving the big, foreign corporations first and foremost, careless of the welfare of most Australians.
Now, what are the scores again in the cricket?
This is the context for the man who murdered dozens of Muslims in New Zealand.
The Australian man did so in the name of a fascist ideology. If he had joined the Australian government, perhaps he wouldn’t be in jail. He could support the large-scale murder of Muslims in numerous countries, on a bigger scale. If he used the right words, he could applaud the policies responsible for the mass murder of Muslims in Yemen, Egypt, Palestine, and more. Then he wouldn’t be considered an extremist. He could fit into the mainstream Australian political spectrum. If he had developed a political career where he fought to boost our military exports to Saudi Arabia, he might be able to retire and be considered a “moderate”.
Being complicit in the threatened murder of millions of Muslims is just business as usual in Australia. It is part of the normal political spectrum. As our record makes clear, a basic premise of our political mainstream is that Muslim lives do not have any value.
When the slaughter of Muslims in New Zealand exits the front pages, Australian foreign policy will continue on as it has. We will continue to be complicit in the murder of Muslims. It just won’t be news anymore.
Rupert Murdoch’s $7 billion soufflé, a billion-dollar retirement village ruse by Lendlease, Pfizer’s Bottom of the Canal scheme, William Hill’s $55 million black hole. Michael West tenders his Dirty Dozen Top Australian audit fails in evidence to the parliamentary inquiry into the Big Four auditors.
The True Invaders of Planet Earth
Here’s the strange thing, though: in this century, there has been only one true invader on planet Earth and it’s not those desperate Central Americans fleeing poverty, drugs, violence, and hunger (for significant aspects of which the U.S. is actually to blame).
Andrew Bolt’s ageist attack on the young is founded on his conservative fear regressivesaren’t being heard. (ODT)
Is this advice for the minority or majority of us. It seems an increasing majority are practicing this advice without financial advisers and the Morrison government wants it audited with cashless welfare cards and a stricter watch while promoting buy now pay later usuary programs that charge 22% ++ fees (ODT)
When migrants have no vested interest in staying and are merely invited as labor and cheap meat what will that do to enhance the “we” as opposed to the “me” in what is regarded the most successful multicultural nation. Millions of people with no vested interest in the place will come to the great factory in the Pacific to be treated worse than the Australian labor force is now.. (ODT)
If the data were to be publicly available, a world-wide army of data-boffins would trawl through it. Enormous tax avoidance would be unearthed. It would shed light on on the key perpetrators of multinational tax avoidance such as large law firms and the Big Four global accounting firms: EY, Deloitte, PwC and KPMG. Yet these four players, perhaps the most powerful institutions in the world, remain protected from serious scrutiny.
A simple search of the ICIJ’s public interface shows PwC is connected to just six offshore entities in the database, and KPMG 34, whereas an Edward B Turner – to select just one unknown minnow – is connected to 70 entities.
You gotta laugh at not with the man (ODT)
Liberal Treasurer has almost no control over things unless their good things and then it’s all down to the superior ability to control the Beast, household spending, the weather of whatever it’s being compared to in the latest attempt to make it clear that even though the debt has doubled and growth has stalled and we’re fiddling with how we judge success on the unemployment front, the Coalition Treasurer still had everything under control and the fundamentals are just fine.
What are the fundamentals?
They’re anything we can point to and say, “See that’s not so bad, is it?”
It’s not just the government that intentionally “fosters” the suspicion of “other” Murdoch has team of professionals who have built their careers on it and children haven’t been excluded. (ODT)
The Coalition have deliberately fostered suspicion of “others” be they Muslim jihadis, African gangs, second or third generation Lebanese Australians, Chinese university students, Tamil families. Gays asking for equality have “an agenda” that will undermine society. Unemployed people will be drug tested. Indigenous people asking for some say in their own affairs are engaging in bleeding heart “identity politics”. Environmentalists are anti-job ecoterrorists. Anyone who believes climate scientists is a weak as piss bedwetter.
Why do this? Why divide us? Why seek to marginalise people? Why dismiss people?
It must take a certain amount of ego to run for politics but what seems to be lacking is the actual confidence to be able to say we got that wrong.
While it is all fine for preachy politicians or mainstream newspaper contributors to hector students who walk out of class for being unconscientious, take issue with times of protest (by all means protest, but do so outside school hours), and lecture them for lacking experience, it is also not a fitting statement about the state of affairs that led to such angst. The world may be entering its penultimate phase, at least in a climatic sense, but that hardly bothers the short-term parliament where the vested, constipated interest precedes the universal, bleak message. By all means be critical of Thunberg and appreciate the limitations of the rebel. She, at least, has the courage to say no.
It’s Mad Mad World one we can’t it seems just stop and get off (ODT)
The CNN confirmation of Trump lying most often to reporters arrived the same week he unveiled perhaps the most ridiculous and moronic lie of his presidency—or least of the past month. That’s when Trump’s White House took a Sharpie marker to an official government map of the projected course of Hurricane Dorian, and enlarged the path’s possible cone to include Alabama. It was a pathetic and childish attempt to bolster his earlier, reckless assertion that Alabama was ever in danger from the storm, a claim that the National Weather Service aggressively debunked.
Trump lies about everything. Always. And that’s especially true when he grants access to reporters.
The second killed child was identified as Khalid Abu Bakr al-Rabai, 14, shot in the chest east of Gaza City.
Sixty-six others were injured during Friday’s protests, 38 of them by live fire.
“Their serious and complex wounds require months – if not years – of dressing, surgery and physiotherapy,” Doctors Without Borders stated this week.
“Infections prevent recovery, and to make matters worse, many of them are resistant to antibiotics.”
Half of the more than 7,400 Palestinians who have been wounded with live ammunition during the protests have “open fractures, where the bone is broken near the wound,” the world medical charity added.
Patients with bone infections may be isolated during treatment for several weeks, making it a long and difficult road to recovery.
“Treating these infections would be tough anywhere in the world, but in Gaza it is even tougher,” according to Doctors Without Borders. Gaza’s health system is “reeling” from more than a decade of Israeli blockade, as well as Palestinian political division and Egyptian restrictions on Palestinian movement.
Basic services are yet again being treated like a political football with Qatar reportedly halving the amount of fuel it funds to operate Gaza’s sole power plant.
Australia has become a dangerously complacent country, dancing to the reactionary tune of the Murdoch press (Rudd)
Your right to know has been eroded by
1) Attacks on the ABC.
2) By the very business model MSM Private media has adopted to operate on.
Since the turn of the century the the ABC has been a target of constant LNP attack to be diminished as it was seen to be in direct competion with the profit goals and business model adopted by private media like News Corp and now Ch9. News public information,government and corporate accountability were less and less the domain of the media and the ABC was increasingly showing that reality up rather than competing with it. The domain of private media had become a public relations agency and it’s mode of operation an excercise for profit. It’s target client was oviously where the money was concentrated and that was just 1% of private enterprise and its allied associations and political crusaders. Those political parties that supported the mega- industries with the money their associations and donors. In contrast with the ABC the difference was not just striking but magnified and amplified and had to be muted at all costs and with the coming of Tony Abbott it has and continues to be. Now the attacks will begin to be turned on the digital and independant media sources that don’t really have the focused power of distribution and coverage. Furthe the model is no longer just national but global as exemplified by Murdoch media in the English speaking world.(ODT)
Acts of legislation enacted over the last six years of LNP-dominated Governments have eroded press freedom, with its collected effects ranging from cloak-and-dagger secrecy to threats of prison to journalists and whistle-blowers.
After six years of various prime ministers and treasurers, internal warfare and amateur government, Australia has just recorded its worst financial year since the 1990-91 recession. Josh Frydenberg thinks it’s a sign of a good year in the rose garden. As I said, they are consistently good at being bad. Everything points to another financial year of much the same consistency.
They will place all their faith in an extremist neo-liberal orthodoxy of old monetary policy that might give them a Clayton’s surplus and a recession just to top it off.
My thought for the day
The notion that a few privileged individuals can own the vast majority of a countries wealth and the remainder own little is on any level unsustainable, politically, economically or morally. (John Lord)
American’s for Peace = a piece of you!! (ODT)
Fox News has shown that it will mete out virtually no consequences for its employees’ ethical lapses — whether for the Seth Rich conspiracy theories peddled by avowed pro-Trump opinion host Sean Hannity, or its supposedly “hard news” division effectively acting as the communications wing for the Trump administration and the Republican Party.
Running the Government like his Casino (ODT)