It’s not over until the fat lady sings
Growing hardship is all but assured in 2023, and it will provide even more fertile ground for dangerous demagogues.
It’s not over until the fat lady sings
Growing hardship is all but assured in 2023, and it will provide even more fertile ground for dangerous demagogues.
William J. Ripple et al. writing in BioScience warn that we are deep into a climate emergency, which they call “code red on planet earth.”
They point to the increased frequency and severity of weather-related disasters, producing “untold human suffering.” Human-driven global heating, especially in the Arctic, which is warming four times faster than the world average, has disrupted the stability of the jet stream. It sometimes jumps far north, and sometimes like a moebius strip it folds back on itself, producing deadly heat waves in unlikely places like Vancouver and drawing the monsoons up to flood Pakistan in biblical proportions. Europe, they point out, was set aflame this summer, while Australia (which was set aflame earlier) faced destruct
So is it speculative to talk about a future Russian collapse? Yes. Is there evidence it is imminent? No. But in many ways that’s the problem: when authoritarian regimes implode, they tend to do so very quickly, and with little warning.
Hence in the Russian case, it’s important to consider all possible eventualities, even if they might appear implausible at the moment.
And, if nothing else, it’s always better to be pleasantly surprised than blindsided by events we inconveniently decided not to foresee.
Source: Could Russia collapse?
It is 187 days since Russia invaded Ukraine, ostensibly to “liberate” the eastern Donbas regions. Alan Austin assesses the cost of lives — so far.Russia may defeat Ukraine — but at incalculable human cost
Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine has prompted a fierce debate over realism as an approach to thinking about foreign policy. Historian Daniel Bessner tells Jacobin what socialists can learn from realism and what they should reject.
Melbourne was recently again crowned the most liveable city in Australia and 10th in the world, beating Sydney (13th in the world) and well ahead of everywhere else. Ironically, after the couple of years we’ve had, I think I finally understand why.
Bernie Sanders is closer to what Americans need than any other politician, surely? Robert Reich is not always with us.
Liz Cheney’s courage and integrity are closer to Paul Wellstone’s than to almost any current politician I can think of. All of America needs her to run for president in 2024. Do we need her to win as well?
The verdict is that, for me, the current Coalition Government is the single worst government in living memory, possibly in our history of representative government.
From the top to the bottom they shred convention, they outsource our governing functions to multinationals, they have starved our elderly in Aged Care, they keep the unemployed poverty stricken, they are fanning the flames of conflict with China, they have destroyed our social fabric, and they run kangaroo courts. They have devalued our Australian identity by flouting international standards of behaviour, and by trying to be the Trumpian nightmare of the Pacific. There’s not a lot to like.
Scott Morrison does not deserve another term.
Anthony Albanese has taken on the role of Biden in this Election 2022, allowing the Trumpish Rumplestiltskin Morrison whose been electioneering for these last 3 years to reveal who he really is. Imagine if he was debating Tanya Plibersek or Penny Wong the true Morrison would stand out in greater relief.
Scott Morrison is widely disliked, and his conservative government is divided, incompetent, and mired in corruption. Despite this, the Labor opposition’s platform is one of the most timid and conservative in memory.
It’s not over, because it’s never over. But there is at least the hope of a pause. After less than a fortnight in which nearly 250 people have been killed, both Hamas and Israel agreed late on Thursday to hold their fire, each crafting a victory story to tell the world and themselves.
For all their flaws, the media does serve a purpose: they are the primary sources with access to the politicians. The media reports their actual words, and while the media does spin the facts, the ability of intelligent people to see the spin, bias and other shtfckery is our power. The media provides the primary evidence, on which we use our analytical scalpel to get at a far closer approximation to the truth than these propagandists will ever profer.More Than Meets The Eye: The Media and Politics – » The Australian Independent Media Network
Mug punters are usually classified as people that frequently wager more than they can afford, Initially they may revel in the satisfaction of beating the odds, usually the odds catch up and the punter loses the lot. Morrison was, in a previous life, the head of both the New Zealand and Australian Tourism Commissions. He was ‘let go’ prior to the expiry of his contract in both countries. They reckon things happen in threes. What do you think?The mug punter – » The Australian Independent Media Network
The Path to an American HitlerThe soul of America is like the character Two Face in the Batman movie series
The argument that has been screamed – and often backed by weapons – is that liberty, and the economy, is more important than death. Trump and his supporters (which is probably too gentle a term) think of Trump as the embodiment of the economy, liberty and freedom. He was the WWE Superstar that asked you to believe that his Presidency was real. He asked you to believe that all of his Administration were good guys — then the next week were the bad guys. Every WWE week promised new battles, new heroes, new villains. There was no-one he couldn’t defeat. Kim Jong-un. Stormy Daniels. The first WWE President in history promised us that he would never die. And now he might. That is, of course, if you believe. Because now, as you know, opinion is fact.Trump and the death of belief
My beautiful but astonishingly pooey two-year-old has handled himself through this pandemic with more grace than Melbourne’s largest newspaper. And the Victorian Liberal Party. Both of whom should feel grateful I’ve listed them as distinct entities.These creeps are going to make the next few weeks harder than they need to be | The Shot
“Trump speaks with complete transparency; he says, “We want the oil. This is the American political reality since at least the end of the Second World War: ‘We want to get rid of so-and-so. We want to provide a service in return for money.’ This is the American political reality. What do we want more than a transparent enemy?”
Democracy is under attack, authoritarianism is on the rise, dissidents are being locked up without trial, journalists are declared enemies of the state, corruption is rampant and champions of freedom are harder to find.
The international watchdog Freedom House has now recorded 13 straight years of declining global freedom. It isn’t just countries like Russia and China, but now that historical beacon of democracy the United States is also in retreat.
It wasn’t supposed to be this way. The latter half of the 20th century was boom time for democracy, which accelerated after the end of the Cold War 30 years ago. Yet, countries that embraced democracy are now winding back those reforms.
It implies that the jury did not comply with the Judge’s directions and the law. In all trials across this nation, juries are warned and directed they must only consider the evidence before the court.
Without the vast majority of us being present at that trial, we can be sure the learned Judge Kidd gave that direction.
“Pell could well be an innocent man who is being made to pay for the sins of his church and made to pay after an astonishing campaign of media vilification.”
Jury’s capacity to discharge their sworn duty to judge only on the evidence presented during trial. In their anonymity, they cannot respond; they are barred by law from responding to Andrew Bolt about their jury room deliberations.
No one else can usurp the jury’s role, only a Court of Appeal can do that.
“I think Malcolm is the kind of person that should have been prime minister of Australia: urbane, highly intellectual, successful, broad, visionary, clever, articulate, funny, charming, everything that a modern leader and a modern prime minister should be.
“And I found it very disappointing that too many of my colleagues didn’t see in Malcolm what I saw and still see in Malcolm.”
The St Kilda rally isn’t an aberration. It is the natural conclusion of the moral and intellectual collapse of Australian conservatism.
Scott Morrison deserves some praise. It’s not often a half-hearted condemnation of neo-Nazis deserves plaudits, but achievement is relative – among Australian conservatives, unequivocal criticism of the far right now puts you well ahead of the pack. That’s about the lowest bar that you can set, but rather than stepping over it, much of the commentariat takes it as an invitation to a limbo contest. The same people always claiming that “everything is racist now” seem to have decided that nothing is, not even Roman salutes.
This is why Scott Morrison can attack the gestures on display on the weekend, but he can’t attack the sentiments: because they’re shared by people on his front bench. “I have repeatedly asked of the crime-plagued Sudanese in particular: who let them in?” asked Andrew Bolt, and that’s the loudest voice on the Australian right.
It’s true that not every local conservative is like this. But the exceptions are marginal, or powerless, or paralysed, or can’t seem to wrest the megaphone away from the bigoted.
The left-wing caricature of the right-wing is that their ideas are just a series of shoddy disguises for sexism, racism and homophobia, that conservatism is the natural home of “homophobic, anti-women, climate-change deniers”, to quote the federal minister for women, Kelly O’Dwyer.
Who can say, here, that this wrong, when so many are determined to prove it? Where else, in the English-speaking world, is still having controversies over Sambo drawings in the 21st century? If recent years are anything to go by, the difference between the right and the far-right in Australia isn’t some ideological gulf. Too often, it’s what people are willing to say after they’ve had two beers.
The Truth About Israel, Boycotts, and BDS
Mehdi Hasan — 3:06 a.m.
Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib are the first House members to support the BDS movement. Mehdi Hasan debunks some of the controversies surrounding BDS.
via The Intercept
In this war on truth, Trump has several important allies. One is the shameful silence of Republican politicians who don’t challenge his misstatements for fear of giving offense to his true-believing base. Another is a media environment far more cluttered and chaotic than in past decades, making it easier for people to find stories that fit their preconceived ideas and screen out those they prefer not to believe.
As alarming as his record is, though, it would be a serious mistake to think of Trump as the only or even the principal enemy of truth and truth-tellers. There is a large army out there churning out false information, using technology that lets them spread their messages to a mass audience with minimal effort and expense. But the largest threat to truth, I fear, is not from the liars and truth twisters, but from deep in our collective and individual human nature. It’s the same threat I glimpsed all those years ago at George Wallace’s rallies in Maryland and on that factory floor in China: the tendency to believe comfortable lies instead of uncomfortable truths and to trust our own assumptions instead of looking at the evidence.
Murdoch Media: We don’t care about the facts we have opinion on our side (ODT)
“When there is absolutely no curse or verbal abuse from Serena then giving her a game penalty is insane. You can’t do that. It is impossible.”
“She’s right [Serena Williams] when she says the men say 10 times worse and don’t even get a warning.”
It was comments from relatively new national security adviser John Bolton that gave the North Koreans an excuse to pull out.
A mis-timed reference to the ‘Libya model’ of denuclearisation in 2003 was interpreted as a US threat to topple Mr Kim, Gaddafi style.
Mr Trump then doubled down, suggesting total decimation would befall North Korea if a deal was not made, and Vice-President Mike Pence weighed in saying North Korea “may end like Libya”.
It was a return to “fire and fury”.
Top aide to Mr Kim, Choe Son-hui described the Vice-President’s remarks as “ignorant and stupid”.
Now let me add that there is nothing wrong with opinions (we all have them) so long as there is a diversity of them. But the fact is we don’t have a diversity and we would be a much better society if we took the risk of thinking for ourselves unhindered by the unadulterated crap served up by a media who controls a large percentage of news in our major cities. We can also add self-interest groups and lobbyists.
The less-informed voters unfortunately greatly outnumber the more politically aware and therefore are the obvious victims of mainstream media deception where everything is reduced to simplistic slogans.
Unlike Andrew Bolt who has to write for an average age of 13 to suit the demographic of the publication he writes for, I as do the other writers for The AIMN, seem to attract people of a higher level of thinking with a greater sensitivity for the things that matter.
So with all that said I hope I have explained that the origin of my writing stems from a long-held interest in social justice and inequality: of those who are deprived of a decent education, as I was, the environment and an urgent desire to repair and improve the standard of governance our politicians deliver.
None of the things I believe in can be changed without a change in government. The AIMN is a blog that can influence that possibility. John Lord
Old Dog Thought: It ought to be said that money and the power of distribution of opinion differentiates John Lord from Andrew Bolt more so than their audience. news Corp provides Andrew Bolt with a bigger net
Only two countries had improved views of President Trump compared to his predecessor: Russia and Israel. Only two nations had relatively unchanged views of U.S. favorability: Israel and Poland. Not surprisingly, the countries with the sharpest declines in confidence in the president and in American government are those that are our closest allies.
One winner in the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, John Agre, told Times Higher Education that “Trump could play a villain in a Batman movie – everything he does is wicked or selfish.” The professor at Johns Hopkins University added that it was a particular concern that Trump “flaunts his ignorance” to appeal to Americans who are happy to dismiss the opinions of scientists.
If we don’t trust elites or institutions, can we trust ourselves?
Late last year my partner and I were travelling overseas for work. One night, with an early train booked for the next morning, we were out, and feeling lazy. We decided to take an Uber back to the apartment we were renting. I pulled out my phone, which told me I had received a message from a friend: “You kids still in Paris? Mass shootings happening in the 10th. Stay safe.” We were in Paris, and we were about to head back to just near the 10th arrondissement, where we were staying.
This type of federal budget is rare. The Turnbull government sought and adopted best practice. You can’t argue with that.
Pity poor, persecuted Cardinal George Pell. Australia’s premier primate, a prince of the church and a grandee of the Vatican, the personal representative of the supreme pontiff, has become the helpless and hapless victim of a lynch mob – an army of hatred and rage among his enemies.
Source: Pell and damnation | The Monthly