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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
A top military official dubiously declares that a Palestinian teen shot in the head by Israeli soldiers actually just had a bicycle accident. Welcome to a new era of Palestinian dehumanization.
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.
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.
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.
“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.”
Christopher Wright and Daniel Nyberg | (The Conversation) | – – While businesses have been principal agents in increasing greenhouse …
Political theatre only works where the audience suspends its disbelief.
By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) | – – The nation of Germany gazed with helpless horror at Trump’s disastrous …
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.
Julian Assange has been vindicated because the Swedish case against him was corrupt.
Trump’s actions point to a serious crisis now brewing in American democracy.
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
Army Gen. Raymond “Tony” Thomas didn’t offer specifics but said he wants the government as “stable as possible”
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…
The Syrian civil war is the deadliest conflict the 21st century has witnessed thus far.
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.…
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.
By James Moylan The 3.6 million dollar study testing the sewage in our capital cities for illegal drugs is simply more disinformation and bullshit. Let’s revisit the results from this study and consider them rationally. The study indicates that in Australia the use of alcohol is equivalent to 1.2 drinks PER PERSON per day. Yet…
Any debate about free speech in our society is really about free speech for the ruling class.
In case you did not suspect that Malcolm Turnbull’s explosion of piss and wind on Section 18C yesterday was entirely self-serving, this morning on Radio National Breakfast news, Liberal Senator James Paterson confirmed that the exercise was part of a suite of measures designed to win back votes from Pauline Hanson’s One Nation. Oh look!…
Our silence as a nation is destroyed – and innocent men, women and children slaughtered – is deafening, writes Michael Brull. Yemen is being destroyed. Perhaps half a million children face severe malnutrition. Almost seven million people are on the brink of famine. This is happening with Western support. The Australian government quietly announced itsMore
The “free market” has nothing to do with keeping prices down through competition as our Liberal politicians would have us believe. It has nothing to do with Friedman’s idealistic vision of benefit for all. It is about maximising profit for businesses. Maximise income, minimise costs, and avoid taxation. If there was limitless supply then perhaps…
Our analysis of 500 articles on Breitbart London shows its attempt to subvert the postwar liberal consensus – and with it the protections offered to minorities
It is clear that the president and his advisers despise Sweden and Germany for sheltering more than their fair share of refugees since the crisis began.
It is profits, not security, that is driving America’s military build-up in the Pacific – and we could all pay the price.
Last week was a tough one for Malcolm Trumble, President of Australia. But this week will be even worse, with the PM now facing three critical problems. On the right, Senator Cory Bernardi is about to quit the Liberal Party. On the left, moderate MPs are pushing for a parliamentary vote on same-sex marriage, forcing the PM to block a change that he himself supports. And hanging over his head are the government’s awful polling numbers from this morning’s first Newspoll of the year.
Doc Martin reviews the advice being given to reporters facing Donald Trump’s shock doctrine tactics.
Speaking via video conference from Russia, the NSA whistleblower explains how past U.S. covert actions have led to a lack of accountability today.
Anti-Trumpists need to reflect that until real politics return to people’s lives, the enemy is not Trump, it is ourselves.
“This isn’t simply a matter of Republican versus Democratic.”
Large numbers of Americans have come to accept this propaganda as a baseline for what they call reality.
“First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin” – Leonard Cohen Fearsome terror attacks led or inspired by the Islamic State group have now become an occurrence almost every other day – in the past days, Berlin, Baghdad, Istanbul – and will almost certainly continue throughout 2017 and beyond. Ever since the establishment of the Caliphate in June 2014 they have also been a permanent reality among the people under the control of the Islamic State.
As the government scrambles to claw back money from the old, the sick, the pregnant, and the unemployed, they put no such austerity on their own spending. In the 2014 budget from hell, Tony Abbott promised to cut off free flights for about 100 former politicians. But while legislation was passed by the House of…