Tag: Informed Comment

No, the Nazis Were Not Socialists

The idea that the Nazis were socialists is transparently absurd. Unfortunately, it’s also an idea that prominent figures on the Right like Sen. Rand Paul have taken up. So let’s all say it together now: no, the Nazis were not socialists. They were, in fact, committed anti-socialists.

No, the Nazis Were Not Socialists

Less than 8 Weeks to Save our Democracy from a Grotesque, Bigoted, illiterate Game Show Host and Real Estate Grifter

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In 2016, thanks largely to the antiquated, nonsensical design of its creaky electoral system, the U.S. presidency was awarded to a candidate who lost the election by nearly 3 million votes to his opponent. This elderly man, a functionally illiterate game show host and petty real estate grifter with an unbroken, lifelong trail of stiffed creditors, unpaid workers, disastrous bankruptcies, acrimonious divorces and criminal allegations, oozes at every moment a grotesque, seething and conspiracy-laced resentment against women, minorities, immigrants and what he nearly always calls “the Democrat Party.” He pours this toxic ensemble into a cocktail shaker with empty embarrassing braggadocio, adding in equal portions of a genuinely bottomless ability to lie shamelessly and an all-around lack of even the most rudimentary ability to head the executive branch of the most powerful country in the world. The resulting concoction has been force-fed to us for nearly four years now. It is the worst drink I’ve ever had.

Less than 8 Weeks to Save our Democracy from a Grotesque, Bigoted, illiterate Game Show Host and Real Estate Grifter

New forms of terrorism inspired by conspiracy theories may emerge after pandemic, warns EU counter-terror chief | The Independent | Independent

Two men at the Unite for Freedom protest in Trafalgar Square on 29 August 2020

New forms of terrorism rooted in conspiracy theories could emerge after the coronavirus pandemic, the EU’s terror chief has warned.

New forms of terrorism inspired by conspiracy theories may emerge after pandemic, warns EU counter-terror chief | The Independent | Independent

Morrison Promises Free Rides For All Once Unicorn Is Genetically Engineered! – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Ok, I’ve realised that it’s not even worth commenting any more. I mean there are only three sorts of people in the world: Those who are already aware that Morrison is all about the announcement and the details can be worked out later, but they almost certainly won’t be because the devil is in the detail and he definitely doesn’t want to go round releasing the devil. Those who believe Scotty and, incidentally, are buying shares in my unicorn which is a certainty for the Melbourne Cup because unicorns can fly, and finally, Those with a vested interest in seeing Morrison succeed.

Morrison Promises Free Rides For All Once Unicorn Is Genetically Engineered! – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Cardinal George Pell and the Victims of Child Sexual Abuse in Victoria. – CounterPunch.org

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Pell’s offending against the surviving boy (Witness J) goes back to the 1990s. At his trial at the end of 2018, the judge advised the jury that, if they believed the victim, they must convict. After they did, a suppression order restricted reporting on Pell. But his intimidatory, bullying manners are recorded. While his defence before the High Court stressed the unreasonableness of his alleged behaviour in the busy Sunday sacristy, it is possible that such normalities could have been outweighed by his “staggering arrogance” and ‘sense of impunity’. The times are different, in Australia as in Ireland. The quest for justice is strengthened by the Commission’s findings.

via Cardinal George Pell and the Victims of Child Sexual Abuse in Victoria. – CounterPunch.org

Scrap submarines project before it’s too late says former public service boss – Michael West

LNP Economic Management

In addition to some very serious problems with progress with the SEA 1000 program, there are some more fundamental questions to be addressed in the longer term. The first of these is whether the Attack class will embody the technologies required to be successful in its operations in the mid-2030s and beyond. In other words, will it be fit for purpose? An associated question is around the submarine’s cost effectiveness. The escalating cost of this acquisition means that the opportunity cost is also going up. With the submarines being designed mainly for joint operations with the US Navy, there are also significant risks in the future around whether a continuing US presence can be assumed.

via Scrap submarines project before it’s too late says former public service boss – Michael West

Surprise: Trump himself is the Deep State

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Just as we had gotten used to the fact that the president is, in effect, under congressional indictment, just as we had settled into a more or less stable stalemate over when (and if) the Senate will hold an impeachment trial, the president shook the snow globe again, by ordering the assassination of foreign military officials and threatening the destruction of Iran’s cultural sites. Nothing better than the promise of new war crimes to take the world’s attention away from a little thing like extorting a U.S. ally to help oneself get reelected.

via Surprise: Trump himself is the Deep State

The Real Reason Trump Assassinated Qassem Soleimani

Kashmiri Shiite Muslims protest following a U.S. airstrike that killed Iranian Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

With the release by JustSecurity.org of unredacted emails on the Ukraine scandal showing that Trump personally (and illegally) withheld congressionally mandated military aid to an ally, the Republican defense of the president is collapsing. Some GOP senators such as Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski seem to be weakening on calling witnesses and subpoenaing records for the Senate trial, and the Democrats only need four Republican senators to ensure a proper proceeding, which would certainly put Trump’s presidency in peril.

It is extremely suspicious that Trump has abruptly begun trafficking in the sanguinary merchandise of all-out war just at this moment when his throne is on the brink of toppling.

via The Real Reason Trump Assassinated Qassem Soleimani

Return of Coalition Government threatens Australian values

It’s a principle of stability in a parliamentary democracy that, while you may be elected by a slim majority, you must govern for everyone. If you start rewarding those who gave you power at the expense of everyone else, you invite disorder on the state.

via Return of Coalition Government threatens Australian values

As Ilhan Omar Said, Trump Is a Fascist — and His Rallies Prove It | The Smirking Chimp

In this media-fabricated ecosystem, agency can only find its purpose and meaning in the coordinates of hate and anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies. Under Trump, reality has become a toxic melodrama played out through a relentless display of hypermasculinity, ultranationalism and a culture of utter cruelty that accelerates the death of the unwanted.

White nationalism is now being delivered nationally via emotional taunts parading as spectacle, entertainment and manufactured drama. The making of politics as theater opens up a new connection between contemporary fascist politics and a fascist past. Ilhan Omar was right in calling Trump a fascist.

via As Ilhan Omar Said, Trump Is a Fascist — and His Rallies Prove It | The Smirking Chimp

Q&A: Alastair Campbell compares Donald Trump to Hitler | Australia news | The Guardian

Alastair Campbell and Tony Jones

Tony Blair’s former campaign director likens US president’s administration to Third Reich and warns ‘seeds of fascism are being sown’

via Q&A: Alastair Campbell compares Donald Trump to Hitler | Australia news | The Guardian

Sanders Highlights American Struggles in Fierce SOTU Response

“Trump said tonight, ‘We are born free, and we will stay free.’ Well, I say to President Trump: People are not truly free when they can’t afford to go to the doctor when they are sick. They are not truly free when they cannot afford to buy the prescription drugs they so desperately need. People are not truly free when they are exhausted because they are working longer and longer hours for lower wages.” Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders quickly delved into all the things Trump got wrong about the economy, infrastructure, health care, immigration and more in his own response delivered online.

The nearly 30-minute speech was watched by tens of thousands on YouTube alone, where commenters filled the page with comments such as “Bernie 2020” and “Feel the Bern” and expressed their support for progressive policies supported by the Vermont senator such as “Medicare-for-all” and the “Green New Deal.”

Here are some of the highlights of his speech, followed by the full video below:

 

Sanders Highlights American Struggles in Fierce SOTU Response

Crucifying Julian Assange

Julian Assange’s sanctuary in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London has been transformed into a little shop of horrors. He has been largely cut off from communicating with the outside world for the last seven months. His Ecuadorian citizenship, granted to him as an asylum seeker, is in the process of being revoked. His health is failing. He is being denied medical care. His efforts for legal redress have been crippled by the gag rules, including Ecuadorian orders that he cannot make public his conditions inside the embassy in fighting revocation of his Ecuadorian citizenship.

via Crucifying Julian Assange

Scott Morrison Tells Us That The Bell Hasn’t Rung… – » The Australian Independent Media Network

It was strangely ironic when Scottie told us last Saturday, “we will stand up for what we believe until the bell rings – the bell hasn’t rung.”

It was ironic because I’d been thinking that if the current government was a boxing match, the referee would surely have stopped the fight. I mean, when you have one boxer staggering around, not sure who he’s fighting, it’s clearly time to get the doctors to check him…

Although, on that basis, Abbott would have been gone years ago.

The Liberals have lost one of their safest seats, but they conclude it was only because they removed Turnbull as PM and they did that when he called a spill after Peter Dutton was counting the numbers and threatening to challenge. Then, after losing, Dutton’s backers assured everybody that they had the numbers. However, owing to the Finance Minister’s inability to count, the Treasurer slipped by and emerged victorious. Turnbull then did as he promised and left Parliament, leaving an unwinnable by-election because the Liberals only held it by a margin of 17%, so you’d hardly expect that not to be down to Turnbull’s personal following. No, that’s the explanation and we don’t need to consider changing any policies because Wentworth is out of step because they’re all well-off and not like the rest of Australia. No, we don’t need to change any policies…

Scott Morrison Tells Us That The Bell Hasn’t Rung… – » The Australian Independent Media Network

If Saudis don’t stop Bombing, Yemen could be Worst Famine in a Century

Yemen is a country of some 29 million persons, but over a third of them are at risk of starvation if Saudi and UAE bombing campaigns continue. Lise Grand, the United Nations coordinator for Yemen, has warned that the world has only 3 months to halt the slide toward catastrophe.

She seems to think that an immediate armistice must be called in the war to avoid this dire outcome. The Trump administration provides logistical and other help to the Saudi and UAE belligerents, and so the United States is embroiled in any human rights disaster there.

The Zaydi Shiite Houthi militia took control of the most populous parts of Yemen in 2014. Although the Zaydis are closer to Sunnism than other Shiites (such as the Twelvers of Iraq and Iran), the Wahhabis of Saudi Arabia hate them with a passion and have been trying for three decades to convert them to Wahhabism with their oil wealth. The Houthi revivalist movement arose in part as a reaction against that Wahhabi missionary drive and search for Saudi hegemony in Yemen.

The Saudis accuse the Houthis of being puppets of Iran, but that is a vast exaggeration. They are a largely indigenous movement.

via If Saudis don’t stop Bombing, Yemen could be Worst Famine in a Century

Noam Chomsky: Facebook and Google Pose a Manifest Danger

Facebook and the rest, those are commercial institutions. Their constituency is basically advertisers, and they would like to establish the kinds of controls over their consumers that will be beneficial to [a] business model that enabled them to get advertising. That has very serious distorting effects. And we know that they provide massive information to the corporate system, which they use in their own efforts to try to shape and control behavior and opinion. All of these are dangerous developments. The power of these private corporations to direct people in particular [is] a serious problem which requires considerable thought and attention.

via Noam Chomsky: Facebook and Google Pose a Manifest Danger

25 million reasons to smile – and plan well

It has, however, been recklessly neglected by successive governments. Serial failure to have a long-term planning and development strategy has fuelled the ‘‘growing pains’’ that have become central to Australian politics in the past few years, particularly traffic congestion and a lack of housing options – in terms of supply and design – in capital cities.

25 million reasons to smile – and plan well

Let’s put the hype aside, jobs growth shifts from extraordinary to ordinary

But while we’re deflating the government’s triumphalism, its critics also need taking down a peg. They like to remind us that the official unemployment rate understates the true extent of worklessness. Specifically, it fails to take account of under-employment – people with part-time jobs who’d like to work more hours.

All that’s true. But when you correct the unemployment rate (for May) of 5.4 per cent by adding the underemployment rate of 8.5 per cent to give a broader measure of labour “underutilisation” of 13.9 per cent (as, admittedly, the bureau encourages you to do), you’ve gone from understating the problem to overstating it.

via Let’s put the hype aside, jobs growth shifts from extraordinary to ordinary

Global Warming Is Getting Worse, Fast

 

 

1)Global surface temperatures during the three years from 2014 to 2016 – each hotter than the last – boosted the total level of global warming since 1900 by 25%, according to new research.

2)A separate study has confirmed that heat extremes, too, have outpaced the global average. Maximum temperatures during the hottest heat waves have in the last 30 years risen three times faster – especially in crowded cities that are home to more than 10 million – than average temperatures as a whole.

3)And a third study warns that unless the world’s nations start to reduce carbon emissions, then within the next 17 or 18 years, planetary temperatures will be at least 1.5°C above the world average for most of human history.

And 35 to 41 years from now, these temperatures will have climbed 2°C above the level that held before the Industrial Revolution, and the arrival of fossil fuels as a global energy source.

via Global Warming Is Getting Worse, Fast

Carl Bernstein: Fox News and Republicans are “abetting a criminal cover-up” for the Trump team

Image result for Images of Carl Bernstein

 Watergate Reporter

CARL BERNSTEIN: They are abetting a cover-up. Not just Fox News of whom it might be expected — particularly Hannity and some of the commentators — there are some real reporters at Fox I think that feel very uncomfortable about this abetting a cover-up which is what this network is doing at Fox at this moment. But the Republican Party is in danger of abetting a criminal cover-up, and this is going to have real consequences.

Carl Bernstein: Fox News and Republicans are “abetting a criminal cover-up” for the Trump team

Enabling Genocide

The world is not bifurcated into good and evil. The United States too is guilty for the killings at Srebrenica. The refusal to examine and accept our responsibility in this act of genocide means there will be more genocides, as we see with Myanmar’s assault on the Rohingya Muslims and the Saudi campaign against Yemen. We should have learned the central lesson of the Holocaust a long time ago: When you have the capacity to stop genocide and you do not, you are culpable.

via Enabling Genocide

Day to Day Politics: Labor (nationally) the big winner in Queensland – » The Australian Independent Media Network

“James Ashby, Pauline Hanson’s right-hand man, driver of the Battler’s Bus and guest on the Nine panel, sought to calm the former senator, who was found by the High Court to hold dual Australian-British citizenship, however much he had denied it.

“You’ve done an exceptional job,” said Ashby. “This is a much better result than your Senate campaign.”

“Well, quite. Roberts spent his brief and strange career in the Senate having got precisely 77 personal votes.”

via Day to Day Politics: Labor (nationally) the big winner in Queensland – » The Australian Independent Media Network

German Politicians think Trump is dangerously close to Neo-Nazis, and they Should know | Informed Comment

By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) | – – The nation of Germany gazed with helpless horror at Trump’s disastrous …

Source: German Politicians think Trump is dangerously close to Neo-Nazis, and they Should know | Informed Comment

The neoliberalism of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan has run its course

You can see it overseas in the electoral popularity of Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn, and the anti-establishment revolts in the Brexit vote and the election of Donald Trump.

Source: The neoliberalism of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan has run its course

Cashless Cards And Rising Crime: An Intervention That Keeps On Giving – New Matilda

Facing electoral annihilation and media pressure, the Howard Government launched an unprecedented assault on Aboriginal rights and communities. A decade on, Senator Rachel Siewert says the federal government is still hiding behind its failures. I’ll never forget the day the Government announced the Northern Territory Intervention. It was a decade ago and I had beenMore

Source: Cashless Cards And Rising Crime: An Intervention That Keeps On Giving – New Matilda

Head of U.S. Special Ops says that America’s government is in “unbelievable turmoil” – Salon.com

Army Gen. Raymond “Tony” Thomas didn’t offer specifics but said he wants the government as “stable as possible”

Source: Head of U.S. Special Ops says that America’s government is in “unbelievable turmoil” – Salon.com

For the sake of our children and our planet, we must demand better – » The Australian Independent Media Network

In 2012, former judge and anti-corruption campaigner, Tony Fitzgerald, wrote an article titled The body politic is rotten in which he espoused the view that “ethics, tolerance and civility are intrinsic elements of democratic society and that the politicians’ mutual contempt and aggressive, “end justifies the means” amorality erodes respect for authority and public institutions…

Source: For the sake of our children and our planet, we must demand better – » The Australian Independent Media Network

When shooting a teen in the back is a ‘professional error’ | +972 Magazine

An IDF brigade commander shot a Palestinian teen who threw a rock at his jeep, while the boy was running away, and then left him bleeding on the road. Initially, the colonel claimed his life was in danger. With each subsequent interrogation, the story changed. The military police determined the incident was a ‘professional error’ –  bad aim – and closed the case despite evidence that tells a very different story. By John Brown* and Noam Rotem On July 3, 2015, Col. Yisrael Shomer, then-commander of the IDF’s Binyamin Brigade, was driving towards the Qalandiya checkpoint in the West Bank.…

Source: When shooting a teen in the back is a ‘professional error’ | +972 Magazine

Who owns the world? Tracing half the corporate giants’ shares to 30 owners

Today the world is dominated by 30 financial corporations that hold more than half the shareholdings of its corporate giants. And they follow the logic of finance capital – the logic of money.

Source: Who owns the world? Tracing half the corporate giants’ shares to 30 owners