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Trump’s Administration politicises the law

The subversion of US democracy continues under Trump and his feckless sycophants who demean US influence in the world, treat Allies in bad faith, ignore the welfare of the people, and with authoritarian chaos undermine the law, the Constitution, the Presidency, morality & decency.

In response to this Tweet from Representative Adam Schiff:

Flynn pled guilty to lying to the FBI about his illicit Russian contacts.
His lies do not now become truths.
This dismissal does not exonerate him.
But it does incriminate Bill Barr.
In the worst politicization of the Justice Department in its history.

Twitter

James McDonald,
8 May 2020,
Twitter

While the nation burns: where is the planning for climate crises and catastrophe?

A national state of danger has existed for months and it is only now that the Prime Minister, who cleared out to Hawaii as the disaster built up, announced yesterday a goddam meeting by the Federal Government: “The National Security Committee of Cabinet would meet on Monday to address ‘contingencies’ required for the current fire season “as well as the longer-term response and some issues we have identified to consider amongst premiers after the fires”.

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I do miss my Australian style double-shot latte

Australia’s coffee culture was introduced by Italian migrants, but it then transcended its origins. Twice I’ve gone back to Australia since I came to Italy and nowhere have I ever got a better coffee – in my favourite cafes in Oz, especially in Noosa and Hobart – than a double shot latte, Australian style. The Dutch, for example, make wussy coffee and as for Starbucks – wash your mouth out!

Mind you, I occasionally do find a very good Italian cappuccino, of course, but usually it is made too quickly and unless you specify ‘caldo’, not hot enough, which is why it is so quick [for my Perugian friends, the caffe’ at Porta Pisa isn’t too bad!]. Nobody could equal an Italian double shot macchiato con caffe’ doppio e latte caldo as a different and superior coffee after the time-limited cappuccino [not to be drunk after 11-ish in the morning], but it’s not my preferred Oz coffee.

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Trump’s outing of the whistleblower throws Republicans’ moral credibility into sharp relief

From an international perspective Trump is not only unstable, a sociopath, a venal self-obsessed and emotionally and morally deficient individual, and probably not very bright. He is also lawless.

Non-Americans around the world who care about democracy find this deeply disturbing and threatening to world stability. Evidence given in the House of Representatives impeachment – something that Prime Ministers in other English speaking countries would not survive either as corruption tightens its hold on Western democracy – certainly indicates that Trump is an unworthy and unprincipled incumbent in the White House.

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Australian Government denial of relationship between bushfire crisis and climate crisis is part of a toxic pattern

The LNP’s policy on climate change – that it will do nothing, that it will not acknowledge the science, that it will trivialise the link between the unprecedented burning of Australia and climate change, that it will do an accountancy exercise on emissions rather than upset its corrupt alliance with the coal and gas mafias – is nothing but corrupt and evil.

It is an abrogation of the government’s duty to protect the nation from the real security issues, some of them inflicted on the people, not by some Islamic radicalism that its racist policies have spawned with its official policies of violating the human rights of children and refugees, but by the essential sociopathology of its philosophy across all its portfolios. For you cannot isolate the failure of successive governments on the climate crisis.

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Public interest journalism

I wrote this a couple of years ago in response to a Conversation article, Something is missing from the public interest journalism debate”, December 20, 2017. There has been some minor editing.

Hear! hear!

“Clean information is as important to democracy as clean water is to health. But clean information is not just facts. Facts are apt to mislead and clean information requires journalists who are committed to providing a full picture.”

Conversation

Not enough has been made of the fundamental presumption of democracy that citizens are engaged and that such engagement is a product of the possession of researched information about the elected representatives, their performance in dealing with all the principles of democracy, and that citizens are informed at all stages of the election cycle, not merely when political parties decide it is in their interest to produce policies once an election approaches.

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