the President of the United States brazenly “colluded” with two foreign powers (to coin a term), publicly encouraging them to attack one of his domestic political opponents—the very thing the Founders most feared, and which they created the mechanism of impeachment to address. Yet the silence from the President’s party thus far has been deafening. Are we going to be a representative democracy ruled by law, or an autocracy led by a despot? Is the modern GOP really willing to burn the entire foundation of our republic to the ground in order to maintain its hold on power? (Rhetorical question. We know by now that they are.)
The modern Republican Party is about to decide just how savagely history will remember it. And if we as a nation allow them to get away with it, we deserve what we get.
via Trump Shoots Man on Fifth Avenue | The Smirking Chimp
Where you have media like Murdoch, 2GB and Ch9 how on earth can you distinguish what’s business, political donation and lobbying. Let’s face it Alan Jones Andrew Bolt are paid lobbyists. (ODT)
via Our political donations and lobbying systems are out of control | Anthony Whealy | Opinion | The Guardian
Something as transformative as the Green New Deal — a democratically achieved Climate Leviathan — will not come about because the Democratic Party or Xi Jinping or the U.N. secretary general suddenly realizes that radical change is necessary, nor simply through ordinary parliamentary and congressional procedure. Major change of this sort could only come from a far more basic form of democracy: people in the streets engaged in actions like school strikes and coal mine blockades. This is the kind of pressure that progressive legislators could then use to push through a mutually agreed-upon Green New Deal capable of building a powerful administrative force that might convince or coerce everyone into preserving the global commons.
via Combatting the Climate Emergency: The Chinese Path or the Green New Deal?
Thirty-seven percent of American citizens are socialist or communist. That’s far more people than voted for either Hillary Clinton (28% of eligible voters) or Donald Trump (27%) in 2016.
The majority is voiceless. A privileged minority rules. The United States is a political apartheid state.
If the Left were allowed on the ballot in this fake democracy, given space in newspapers and on television, invited to join political debates, and if it wasn’t brutally suppressed by the police and FBI, the Left wouldn’t need to wage a revolution in order to take over the country. Leftists could easily win at the ballot box if America were a real democracy.
via Media Censors the Opinions of 37% of Americans. And Now They’re Gloating About It. | The Smirking Chimp
Journalists are under no obligation to uncritically repeat and adopt false information from the Liberal government. Footy is a game, but politics is not. The public need journalists to blow the whistle in the interests of democracy. If they continue to fail to do this, they are forgetting the very reason they exist.
via Playing the ref with a fake tax – » The Australian Independent Media Network
Let’s face it Murdoch’s business model is integrated with where the money and power is and it’s not in the grips of 99% of individual Australians who in the main only say hi to their fellow Australians in passing. News Corp is an instrument ensuring division in diversity not the unity of Multiculturalism we are all so proud of. (ODT)
This year will be an important year for three of the world’s oldest, continuing democracies – the United States, the UK and Australia.
The US will decide, post-Mueller, whether Trump’s presidency is terminal. The UK will decide whether to tear up a half a century of European integration. And Australia faces a general election.
The core objective of course is to avoid a Royal Commission that would lay bare the the way US Citizen Murdoch does business.
via Citizen Murdoch’s critical grip on democracy
This popular belief that nobody really does or can know anything is the perfect soil for an authoritarian leader to take root.
Only if we can trust each other to try to be honest can we hope to rebuild something resembling a truly functioning democracy. Otherwise, sooner or later this country will be seduced by the siren song of yet another strong and authoritative voice.
Humans are finite creatures and any truth we lay claim to will of necessity be partial, multi-faceted, and complex. At our best, we see only part of what is there and articulate only part of what we see. The promise of democracy — when it works — is the possibility of combining all those partially glimpsed and imperfectly reported realities into a still imperfect, but nevertheless better, whole.
via Trump’s Republic of Lies: Once to every nation comes the moment to decide
Mr Trump, as we well know, isn’t particularly partial to “facts”. He didn’t care about them in 1989 when he took out a full page ad in the New York Times calling for the death penalty for a group of innocent teenagers, and he doesn’t care about them now.
Mr Trump knows he’s lying. He doesn’t care. His supporters know he’s lying. They don’t care either.
via Donald Trump isn’t partial to facts — and he can’t be beaten by them – Donald Trump’s America – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
On April 9, 2019, Israel will hold general elections. Israelis will head to the polls to choose their elected leaders and representatives. If they are unhappy with the way things are going, like citizens of democracies around the world, their votes will help shape the ideological and political direction of the government and the institutions it controls.
via Who gets to vote in Israel’s democracy in 2019
When a Corporation controls the State you have Mussolini’s version of heaven (ODT)
Going after Labor leaders is one of Rupert’s favourite pastimes. Rather than hunting lions in Africa or tigers on the Punjab – That’s way too dangerous and way too hard and goes nowhere towards right wing corporate control and exploitation of society.
If there’s one man in the world who might ever possibly build a device to control the weather and freeze us all unless the governments of the world pay him several hundred billion dollars and recognize Fox News’s copyright of the phrase “Fair and Balanced,” it would be Rupert.
via Murdoch strikes at democracy – » The Australian Independent Media Network
leaked audio of Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp—currently under fire for spearheading voter suppression efforts as he also runs for governor of the state—saying that the get-out-the-vote operation of his Democratic challenger “continues to concern us, especially if everybody uses and exercises their right to vote.”
In the 21-minute recording of Kemp’s remarks at a closed-door campaign event in Atlanta on Friday, obtained by Rolling Stone, he expressed concerns about Stacey Abrams’s voter turnout mobilization, which has ramped up in response to Kemp suspending more than 53,000 voting registrations—mostly of black voters—and purging 107,000 more from the rolls.
via Leaked Audio of Georgia Candidate “Tells You Everything You Need to Know About Republicans’ Views on Voting Rights”
Why the ABC is essential
The singling out of ABC journalists tends to confirm that it is not just a matter of correcting errors of fact as the government maintains but, rather, a desire to eliminate dissent, as Waleed Aly writes for Fairfax. Aly contends that the week is one in which the ABC has been recast as an organisation more concerned with keeping the government happy than with the non-negotiability of journalistic independence.
For Ali, “it’s about a civic culture that is slowly falling apart: a political class with fewer civic boundaries, less concerned with the independence of institutions, and a muscular intolerance of dissent.
It’s also a ruling class is happy to cling to power by mounting increasingly legalistic, hair-splitting defences.
But common to all democracies is a free press. Some of these even have a proudly independent national broadcaster free from political interference. And they’ve cut away the dead albatross; the decay corpse of neoliberalism from around their necks leaving them to invest in schools and hospitals not the service delivery of privatised and outsourced health care and educational options. And banks set up not to profit out of need and vulnerability but to supply the funds to develop a civil society.
via Lose our democracy? It’s as easy as ABC. – » The Australian Independent Media Network
When Australian Conservatives conflate Australia with all Australians and then claim disagreeing with their prescribed laws,policies, actions and ideology amounts to being unpatriotic then the most unpatriotic and undemocratic claims are being made by Conservatives themselves.(ODT)
The ongoing fight in Britain is fundamentally not over those few marginal racists who still believe in some Jewish conspiracy to take over the world, but over whether labeling Israel as a colonial-settler state is anti-Semitic, or whether anti-colonial resistance to Israeli settler-colonialism and racist laws constitutes anti-Semitism, or whether questioning the legal and institutional religious, racial and colonial privileges accorded to Israeli Jews over the indigenous Palestinians constitutes anti-Semitism.In naming its state “the Jewish people,” the Zionist movement conflated and conflates its colonial project with all Jews, even when the majority of world Jewry did not support the movement and continues to refuse to live in, and become citizens of, Israel
This is a most perplexing debate for any political observer, as it is Israel that claims to be “the Jewish state,” and that it represents the Jews of the world, even though a majority of them are not Israeli citizens.
Supporters of Israel cannot have it both ways: They cannot claim that the Zionist movement has a right to colonize the land of the Palestinians in the name of Jews, and that the movement has the right to privilege Jews and to oppress and discriminate against the Palestinian people in the name of Jewish people, and that it has the right to pass racist laws in the name of Jews, and that it has a right to name its state “the Jewish people” for whom it speaks, and then after all that advance the claim that those who condemn Israel are condemning Jews.
via Anti-Semitism vs. anti-colonialism | The Electronic Intifada
The narrative needs to change to reflect the democratic reality that governments work for us, writes Noely Neate.
It’s time to remind OUR government that WE are in charge
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
Ms Guthrie cited a forthcoming report by Deloitte Access Economics, commissioned by the ABC, which she said would reveal the broadcaster contributed $1 billion to the national economy last financial year – about a third of which fed into the broader media landscape. In addition to its 4000 employees, the ABC helps to sustain more than 2500 full-time equivalent jobs across the supply chain – such as artists, writers and technicians – Ms Guthrie said, citing the Deloitte research.”Amid the debate over the ABC’s purpose and its funding, we should all remember that there are 2500 jobs outside public broadcasting at risk in any move to curtail our remit and activities,” she warned.
Admonishing the ABC’s critics in government, Ms Guthrie asserted there was a sinister agenda at work involving overtures to the Coalition’s base.Related Article Footage from Liberal Party meeting reveals who voted to sell the ABC “In a complex world it is too easy for the powerful to do their work in dark corners: t so-“Good journalists call that out. Today, I want to channel some of that skill and emphasise real facts in what has become an increasingly febrile debate over the value and future of the ABC.”
Source: ‘We are not your punching bag’: ABC boss Michelle Guthrie hits back at the Liberal Party
Media silence enabled a successful attempt by the Government to withhold information from the New England electorate in order to achieve an outcome favourable to that government. Is there much more worthy of investigation, one has to ask, than the deliberate withholding of information from voters in order to influence the outcome of an election?
via The cost of the media’s abject failure to report Barnaby’s ‘private’ life
Since John Howard came to prominence, and in the time since, especially under Abbott, the practice of politics now repulses people. We have been so let down by leadership that you would be hard-pressed to find 10% of the population who “trust” our politicians.
via Day to Day Politics: At the risk of repeating myself … it’s about our bloody democracy. – » The Australian Independent Media Network
Trump’s refusal to release the response of the Democratic minority on the House Intelligence Committee to the declassified Nunes memo cherry-picking intelligence reports has been decried as a politicization of intelligence. It has been pointed out by legal scholar Laurence Tribe that Congress could in any case override Trump and declassify the Democratic response itself, if the GOP representatives wanted to. So this controversy isn’t about Trump or Nunes. It is about a Republican Party determined not to play fair.
While these analyses is certainly correct, they miss a crucial problem with our declining democracy in the United States: classified documents are inherently undemocratic and should be rare.
via A Crisis of Democracy: Trump’s block of Dem Response to Nunes
– Essentially an offer that says ‘Get Out or We Will Make Your Life a Living Hell, or Worse.’The Platform Provides 3 Choices for Palestinians: Accept Ethnic Cleansing, Bend the Knee to Apartheid or Expect Even More Violence
Source: Israeli Right Wing Faction Announces a Plan for Ethnic Cleansing | Informed Comment
Perhaps the good judges did not review the results of a 2016 public opinion survey, by +972 Magazine’s own Dr. Dahlia Scheindlin, which found that only 45 percent of Jewish Israelis had a favorable opinion of “human rights.” Asked specifically about human rights “organizations,” those favorability numbers dropped to 31 percent — a marked deterioration from a similar survey conducted five years earlier.
Source: Israel’s top court rules human rights aren’t ‘controversial.’ What about the occupation? | +972 Magazine
The future of journalism and democracy lies in news and analysis that reflects the interests of ordinary people, says John Passant.
Source: Rare gems like Mark Colvin and the future of the fourth and fifth estates
It doesn’t take a genius to understand the consequences for democracy if we lose investigative reporters to an army of Perez Hiltons. Should we consider public funding?
Source: Fairfax cuts: the tension between capitalism and the news has reached breaking point | Jeff Sparrow | Opinion | The Guardian
After 10 months of administrative detention, it appears the army no longer views Omar Nazzal as a dangerous threat — just like countless other administrative detainees who sit in prison for months, if not years. Palestinian journalist Omar Nazzal was released from Israeli prison on Monday after 10 months in administrative detention. Upon his release, Nazzal, a member of the General Secretariat of the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate, was welcomed by family members and supporters outside Ofer military prison, near Ramallah. [tmwinpost] Nazzal, 55, was first detained in April at Allenby Bridge while trying to leave the West Bank en route to an…
Source: Israel releases Palestinian journalist after 10 months with no trial | 972 Magazine
Greg Palast’s documentary told how millions of minority votes were discounted through a voter crosscheck program. Now, Palast demands that the DOJ investigate the crosscheck system.
Source: ‘The Best Democracy Money Can Buy’ Claims Donald Trump Stole the Election (Video) – Truthdig
Donald Trump’s tweets yesterday about “the millions of people who voted illegally in 2016” and “serious voter fraud in Virginia, New Hampshire and California” cannot be dismissed as just another Twitter meltdown from the president-elect.
Source: Donald Trump Is the Greatest Threat to American Democracy in Our Lifetime | The Nation
By Loz Lawrey ABC radio grew my mind. I mean it. Each working day, throughout my career in the building industry, I listened exclusively to one of our public broadcaster’s fine radio stations as I toiled at my trade. While my body performed familiar routine activities on this physical plane, my mind travelled the world,…
Source: In praise of our ABC – » The Australian Independent Media Network
Australia’s political duopoly only perpetuates a watered down democracy, which is now little more than a regional office for corporate interests, writes Andrew Chambers.
Source: Technology, democracy and the power of the people
If Donald Trump is elected president of the United States, London’s new mayor would be barred from entering the country because he’s a Muslim.
Source: Who’s in, who’s out: Trump’s version of modern society
The draft law, which passed the first of three votes on Monday, would allow the expulsion of Arab MKs from the Knesset. It is one of several recent steps by the Netanyahu government to limit…
Source: Israel’s Knesset just voted on a very dangerous law | +972 Magazine
This isn’t a choice between ‘Jewish or democratic’ — the only question is whether Israel can still become a true democracy. For some years, the center and left in Israel has committed itself to the…
Source: Stop asking whether Israel is Jewish or democratic | +972 Magazine
Debates used to be a public service. Now they’re akin to the WWE – a blend of fiction and reality, with the candidates and networks all adhering to the same script.
Source: How ratings-driven presidential debates are weakening American democracy