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