Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Economy

NATION: Turnbull government a dead parrot as power-crazed Trump cuts loose

*Cartoon: Martyn Turner, used with permission: https://www.facebook.com/martynturnercartoons/ . http://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/martyn-turner

It’s been a shocker of a holiday for a Turnbull government which slunk off to lick its wounds after being routed by its own ludicrous 2016 energy policy debacle – only to be rocked by MPs’ travel scandals and the debacle of the Centrelink Robo-debt-clawback debt extortion scheme which may, it seems clear this week, have a ninety per cent error rate.

It doesn’t help when The Australian National Audit Office reports that the Department of Immigration and Border Protection spent $2.2 billion without permission. Nor when Scott Morrison trumpets he’s “putting Australia first”, but has to go to London to announce he’s helped us grow a $500 billion gross public debt; outspending Labor two to one.

But, look over here, Scomo’s got a beaut new trade deal up his sleeve, says The Herald Sun. Just as soon as the Brexit dust settles, he’ll be laying the foundations for a new trade agreement. Perhaps there will be stuff for backpackers who can also take in the washing in a transitioning economy based on services more than digging up coal and iron ore.

Much clearer, is the proposed mid-year export of George Brandis to London to get him out of harm’s way and to become Australian High Commissioner. It is being treated as an “open secret” at DFAT. Lord Alexander Downer who expected, at least, another term on the grounds that he is born to rule and that Daddy was Commissioner before me will have to be dragged kicking and scheming from the Australia House mansion by the usurper. At least with Crown backing, the Colossus of toads’ deposing of Downer should be less fraught than his demotion of a previous solicitor general.

Demotion is something the Coalition knows intimately, after its shock election result and its decline in opinion polls. As the Chinese Year of the Rooster dawns, Malcolm Turnbull and his government are already feather dusters.

Rude shocks continue. The Coalition of capons pulls its head out of the sand, only to be eye-gouged by newly proclaimed US Vandal-king, Donald the Red, a power-drunk, politically illiterate knuckle-headed tyrant eager to show he’s king of the playground at home and top dog on the world stage by abuse of his presidential executive powers.

Trump, the campaign blowhard, was meant to morph into a Republican pussy-cat. That was the Coalition plan; its reality-denying rationale for inaction and inertia secured by yet another Julie Bishop charm offensive – now exposed as woefully inadequate.

Instead, Trump is rushing to honour his threats including tearing up the TPP, banning Syrian refugees, closing the border to all Muslims and leaving Australia no “great and powerful friend” to cosy up to at the arse-licking end of the world.

… deep within the Coalition’s virtual sinkhole …

The deal to re-settle, in the US, refugees from Manus and Nauru, struck under Obama, is also dead in the water, Labor argues, but, world leaders in Direct Action, trickle-down, the NBN, scrapping a carbon tax and other modes of reality denial, the government remains confident, the PM announces Saturday, deep within the Coalition’s virtual sinkhole, it has found a loophole “deep within” the President’s anti-Muslim executive order.

The loop-hole, said to have been inserted by a cutting edge PMC allows a case-by-case exemption to allow the US to “conform to pre-existing agreements” provided Trump understands any of it or has read his own executive order.

Heroically, Turnbull phones Trump Sunday, on the number he got from Greg Norman, to probe the inner incoherence of the nuanced and profound understanding that has characterised The Donald’s diktats so far.

Doing a typically magnificent job as back-up, Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce adds his own natty touch of policy incoherence and disunity. He tells 2GB listeners – the radio station that governs Australia – that it would not be the end of the world if the deal did not go ahead.

Finding his own loophole meanwhile, Loghman Sawari flies from Manus to Fiji, to seek asylum on the grounds of his certain persecution should he return to PNG. The 21 year old Iranian is the first to seek protection from Australia’s punitive offshore detention regime which has meant years of suffering beatings, bullying, imprisonment, illness, suicide attempts and being threatened by a PNG official. He fears that Trump will tear up the resettlement in the US plan.

Border Supremo, Generalissimo Peter Dutton has yet to comment – and won’t because operational secrecy trumps open and transparent government. Just imagine how the people-smugglers’ business model would benefit once people realised they could smuggle themselves DIY-style. Expect refugee advocates to be blamed for what is yet another indictment of offshore detention and evidence that Turnbull’s US resettlement plan is a cruel and dangerous hoax.

The ANZUS hoax is still intact. Trump hasn’t torn up the ANZUS Treaty yet, but given its nebulous wording only “to consult” he doesn’t have to. Turnbull’s wait and see tactics mean his government is flat-footed; floundering. Blind Freddy can see he’d be mad to expect any favours from a US President whose anti-Muslim ban is creating chaos around the world. He books a call for 9:00 am Sunday (5:00 pm Saturday in Washington) anyway.

Australia does receive from the US State Department a culturally sensitive Happy Australia Day message which claims that the US has “no better friend than Australia”.

If only the reverse were true. The message coincides with Invasion Day rallies involving hundreds of thousands of Australians in major centres throughout Australia which are generally reduced in the media to reports of “clashes” rather than for any statement they seek to make.

“… crawl under a rock and hide a little bit

Barnaby Joyce helpfully adds “protesters should crawl under a rock and hide a little bit”, as he does his best to promote ignorance and intolerance from the top – doing his own bit, as always, to disgrace and dishonour the Coalition in the eyes of increasing numbers of Australians who would vote this mob out tomorrow if they could.

His government in free-fall in opinion polls – 46% to Labor’s 54% in Essential’s poll this week, Mal the Vaccillator, the PM of convenience, whose total surrender to the right has neither quelled rebellion, nor inspired followers, is in deep trouble. Adding to his fix, an outbreak of Trumpophilia – with some MPs already Trump-struck.

Scott Morrison vows to “put Australia first” while right wing nut jobs get out their dog-whistles and Barnyard Barnaby descends to rocks and stones. Never to be outdone in delusions of grandeur, Pauline Hanson is reported to believe she has a serious chance of winning government in the Queensland state election. Or hold the balance of power.

Or something very big, important, something just “yuge” whenever her Svengali, micromanager and political aspirant himself, James Ashby, gets around to providing that talking point.

Beastie-Boy Cory Bernardi and George Christensen, geed up by Trump’s public humping of democracy and all decorum threaten to come out publicly as anti-Halal 10 February at anti-Islamic Q Society’s fund raiser while sniper Abbott’s latest gibe is that the PM ought to stop talking about agility and show some. Somehow, Abbott’s taunt gets a result.

Rocked by rorting revelations, so serious Pythagorean numerologist Sussan Ley’s inquiry must be kept secret, and with no policy agenda for 2017’s parliamentary year, the Coalition digs deep within its existential absurdity to find its own, inner, dead parrot.

Monty Python’s dead parrot sketch is reworked as a live TPP no-one else can see – an invisible friend with benefits. Frantic for distraction, the PM pretends that Trump has not killed off the TPP. Behold! It is reborn; our Free Trade saviour. Bill Shorten must die for his “cowardly” and “gutless” lack of faith and his heresy in refusing the communion of holy free trade – and his allegiance to populist, protectionist, powers of darkness.

Novel? It is politics as usual in the asylum; a mad theatre of the absurd run by the inmates, largely for their own benefit with a few indulgent words of praise from captains of industry bankers and the odd media mogul.

… stay in bed with property developers …

A couple of Liberal shills are called in to attest to the TPP resurrection. There was still “a lot to be gained” from the TPP and “we intend to pursue that”, Mad Dog Scott Morrison, our Federal Treasurer and revenue problem denialist says mid-week from a UK where he has discovered the secret to housing affordability – as you do – is to stay in bed with property developers, an amazing breakthrough he and his PM call “increasing supply”.

Trade Minister Steve Ciobo, who recently revealed that he can’t tell a trade deal from a Grand Final, chimes in with a catchy “12 minus one” arrangement, a sort of reverse baker’s dozen, rather like leaving the US out of its own stag night.

Japan, on the other hand, still raw after being dudded over Abbott’s submarine building deal, sneers. The TPP is “meaningless without the US”. Pursuing the TPP is a “pointless waste of time” agrees Shorten.

But Labor becomes the whipping boy. For days Shorten is howled down, publicly flogged for being a “cowardly” wimp and a free trade heretic and not upholding a TPP that has expired – a TPP that never was. An alternative factual TPP. What’s going on?

Turnbull’s farcical TPP diversion is a desperate bid to wedge Bill Shorten as anti-trade or for being weak- and in yet another echo of Tony Abbott’s character assassination – just for being Bill Shorten – a slur in itself now, thanks to Murdoch media and Abbott’s Royal Commission show trial which have both helped demonise the Labor leader.

This week, Turnbull taunts Bill Shorten over the dead parrot of the TPP which anyone but gutless Bill, weak Bill – can tell is not dead but just resting, shagged out after a long squawk. Labor’s honesty is heresy, treason and no cojones combined, in the PM’s hysterical denunciation.

OK, it might be clinically dead – but it will prove a phoenix rising from the ashes of Trump’s trade treaty bonfire. Or Trump could change his mind. Or a re-jigged TPP will lead us to a fair bit of eternal prosperity for the time being.

… no-one dare mention the truth …

In a post-truth Trump universe of alternative facts, no-one dare mention the truth. The TPP, like all other so-called “free trade agreements” is about trade protection. It is chock-a-block with lists of free trade exempt items such as digital goods and medicines. It seeks to increase copyright protection over these goods. Extend trademarks.

Australians would continue to pay more for these under the TPP. Leaked documents from the largely secret treaty, a lawyers’ picnic that was seven years in the making reveal that the TPP would extend US copyright laws over Australian businesses, hindering innovation and adding compliance costs, according to intellectual property experts.

In brief, one big lie inhabits another. Shorten is demonised for not valuing a dead TPP. It’s a bizarre contortionist performance from a frantic PM who is scaling new heights of absurdity in his will to convince us, against all evidence, that the dead parrot sings. How can he keep a straight face? Yet his resurrection dream is even sillier.

Not only is the TPP alive and well, with a quick re-jig and a few shanghaied new crew members from China, Indonesia, or wherever, we’ll be in easy street, rich beyond belief by rivers of free trade wealth trickling down from fat cat exporters. Pity no-one apart from Turnbull seems to see his point. Or would ever believe a Coalition promises.

Unlike Turnbull, however, Donald Trump seems to be keeping his pledges. Or his threats to tear up everything Obama achieved, everything progressive or enlightened or wise. So much to undo. So little time.

Certainly he is backing out of the TPP as promised as soon as he takes office. Most see this as the kiss of death. The US is a whopping 40% of the TPP which is less about trade than enabling big pharma, big tobacco and other US corporate interests to dictate to Australia and other nations how local politics best protects US investments. With a TPP, for example, plain packaging of cigarettes would fail. The investor state dispute settlement (ISDS) clause gives corporations power over its signatories; all sovereign states.

The other aim of the late, lamented TPP was strategic. It would balance China’s growing regional political and economic power. Act as a bulwark against the rise of the (not-so) Pacific Panda with its military installations in disputed territories and its muscular global diplomacy. Yet that TPP is not the make-believe TPP which our government wants resurrected.

To hear Turnbull or Ciobo spruik it, the TPP’s not about strategy or investment it’s all about trade, and not just trade but free trade, Amen. Look at all the deals that will go West if we walk away from the TPP at this stage. It’s bunkum.

benefits of the TPP … negligible.

In 2010, our own Productivity Commission found the benefits of the TPP to be negligible. No-one in government admits that TPP nations are already our trading partners. As for economic benefits, we didn’t need a TPP to have a resources boom from our trade with China.

Shorten ought to get real, Turnbull jeers. Any fool can see that the TPP is still alive. A quick ring around the neighbours and we’ll top up the numbers. Give the TPP skeleton the kiss of life. Put Humpty Dumpty together again. Get the gang show back on the road.

Of course, he’s got a lot to deal with – there’s a rift between the nervous nellies of the back bench who fear electoral annihilation through sheer incompetence and own goals of a cabinet you could drive a panzer tank division through. Or drag a Trump tower. Sideways. But his latest outrageous display is insane. Of course, there’s a lot on his disordered mind.

Factor in a damaging rorting crisis with the recycling of World’s best Greg Hunt, a fan of the US Health system, as Health Minister and a perfect, scrap-Medicare patsy. Blend in a complete absence of any plan or policy to speak of beyond tax cuts for the rich. Add a dash of Narcissus Trump who doesn’t give a toss for all our diplomatic grovelling, fawning and our mindless US-Alliance fetishising.

All he cares about is the size of his inauguration crowd and throwing his weight around.

Presto! Desperation is bound to break out. You might almost feel sorry for a PM who once had to say that he and The Donald were peas in a pod with their business backgrounds and their late entry politics – even if neither of these is true. Alternative facts, rule, OK?

We have come to expect the unexpected from a government with no real plan and less demonstrated competence – beyond a genius for turning crisis into catastrophe. Yet, as the year of the Rooster dawns, everywhere is chaos and cock-up. Trump-mania afflicts his crew, the new US president turns out to be mad, bad and dangerous to know, a monster intent on proving he’s boss at all costs. No wonder Captain Mal is showing a bit of strain.

But who would have thought he’d reprise the Monty Python dead parrot sketch in his madness- his manic quest to wedge Bill Shorten on the TPP; an ex-treaty, an agreement which even Shinzo Abe, never the sharpest knife in the sushi kitchen, can tell you is deceased.

Or could it be that the dead parrot represents the Turnbull government itself that is deceased, DOA at the beginning of 2017 parliamentary year; all over bar the squawking?

*David Tyler (AKA Urban Wronski) was born in England, raised in New Zealand and an Australian resident since 1979. Urban Wronski grew up conflicted about his own national identity and continues to be deeply mistrustful of all nationalism, chauvinism, flags, politicians and everything else which divides and obscures our common humanity. He has always been enchanted by nature and by the extraordinary brilliance of ordinary men and women and the genius, the power and the poetry that is their vernacular. Wronski is now a fulltime freelance writer who lives with his partner and editor Shay and their chooks, near the Grampians in rural Victoria and he counts himself the luckiest man alive. A former teacher of all ages and stages, from Tertiary to Primary, for nearly forty years, he enjoyed contesting the corporatisation of schooling to follow his own natural instinct for undifferentiated affection, approval and compassion for the young.

• Urban Wronski Update in Comments: Has Turnbull achieved another coup? Anti-Muslim travel ban by executive order loophole update: During a twenty minute phone call to President Trump at 9:00 am yesterday, the ABC breathlessly reports, Malcolm Turnbull achieved a breakthrough in Australia’s deal to re-settle, in the US, refugees currently suffering the torture of abuse and neglect in our offshore indefinite detention gulags on Manus and Nauru Island. On RN breakfast, Monday morning Fran Kelly wonders aloud if this will be Malcolm Turnbull’s coup. (Risky phrase, Fran, risky.) …

The Conversation: Trump gives Turnbull refugee deal green light but government provides no detail

Andrew Wilkie: Asylum seekers, rule of law and morality trashed as Turnbull kowtows to Trump …

Author Credits: [show_post_categories parent="no" parentcategory="writers" show = "category" hyperlink="yes"]
37 Comments

37 Comments

  1. Leonard Colquhoun

    June 16, 2017 at 2:47 pm

    Another, and very widely reported, example of why PM Turnbull is a dud (almost, you could say) for any public office: this year’s puerile gaffe at the Canberra Midwinter Ball.

    (You all know or have easy access to the details.)

    As long-time press-pack insider Laurie Oakes puts it, “the so-called off-the-record rule has always been more honoured in the breach than the observance and Turnbull should have known that.

    “If he didn’t, he’s a bigger dill than anyone imagined. But if he did know it, why deliver a speech he did not want to become public?”

    And if this PM is unaware that the Canberra media scavengers are culturally hostile to conservative parties, then surely “he’s [an even] bigger dill than anyone imagined [possible]”.

    Thoroughly agree with Oakes’ suggestion about this frock-up observing Chatham House rules is nonsense-on-a-stick for gullibles, and that this pretence should end.

    Link – http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/opinion/laurie-oakes/malcolm-turnbull-must-have-known-his-donald-trump-skit-would-go-viral/news-story/2b3318429c29c8f58cbfdbcdab2627bb

  2. phill Parsons

    February 10, 2017 at 9:29 am

    Trumble in the political tumbrel looses his cool and abandons his undertaking to lift the standard of the parliament. He is driven by envy and likes to put his feet under tables of the rich and famous. The more I think about his Wednesday rant the more I think he was talking about himself.

  3. Chris

    February 3, 2017 at 12:01 pm

  4. Chris

    February 3, 2017 at 11:51 am

    Can you bank on Trump, can you bank on Malcontent, can you bank on any Banker?
    http://cecaust.com.au/releases/2015_10_07_Turnbull_Goldman_Sachs.html

  5. David

    February 2, 2017 at 3:17 pm

    Steve Bannon Donald Trump’s go to advisor claims to be the Thomas Cromwell-at-the-court-of-King-Trump – I’m not sure he thought this through all that well. Or maybe he doesn’t know that Thomas Crowell was executed for High Treason on the order of Henry VIII.

    Cromwell died without having had a trial after members of court had told the King of his alleged treason. King Henry was like President Trump prone to making arbitrary decisions and unpredictable acts for which he later refused to accept responsibility – sounding familiar?

    I think I hear a song coming on: Bye-Bye-Bannon-Bye-Bye, we can but live in hope

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/11/18/steve-bannon-claims-to-be-the-thomas-cromwell-in-the-court-of-do/

  6. Robin Charles Halton

    February 1, 2017 at 11:33 pm

    I also question the unusual if not absurd arrangement that PM Turnbull had with the US with the transfer of 1250 refugees from PNG!

    Trump does not want Muslim immigration into the US , he has clearly demonstrated that regardless of any criticism of his method!

    Dumb all right, dumb than dumb Australia needs to get on with the job dump the offshore detention centers, they are costing the increasingly angry taxpayer too much to continue, vet the refugees and bring them to Australia, no ifs and buts and no strings attached.

    Turnbull now he has received his shock wake up call from Donald.

    Turnbull needs to honor his up to 12500 Syrian refugee intake as I am quite sure once his term in government is finished and the Western alliances continue to enter the new world order with a Trump presidency there wont be much room for outsiders to make it to our shore and expect residency.

    We are entering chaotic and hostile times, neither can we cant lose sight of the US as a powerful ally but we cannot afford to remain complacent “she’ll be right mate.

    The Australian population needs to be prepared, up skill our youth with education and life skills, keep the lid on non essential spending and get our house in order to provide for our own needs as a priority, food, energy and security.

    I am amazed how 1250 refugees held in detention while stupid politics prevails resulting in a US President treating our PM like a silly little boy!

  7. mark

    February 1, 2017 at 10:20 pm

    #28 John, I wasn’t crediting Trump with anything. Between my last comment and this one, he’s already joined the blood soaked club, which wasn’t a surprise. The comment was more about the hysterics we’ve seen from the media vs the blind eye often turned for the last fellow. I don’t doubt Trump will be a monster, but unless you followed less than mainstream outlets like The Intercept you’d think we’d gone from Bambi to Hitler in one foul swoop.

  8. Leonard Colquhoun

    February 1, 2017 at 9:30 pm

    Pretty sure that nonsense hyperbole like “detention gulags on Manus and Nauru Island” will put more uncommitted people off than it brings on board.

    While the facts & figures, images & scenes of the Soviet gulags are far less familiar than the more widely known ones of the Holocaust, the dissing both of the people of Nauru and of the millions of the dead of Siberia is disgustingly cynical.

  9. John Hawkins

    February 1, 2017 at 8:52 pm

    Having just watched the Seven Nightly News Turnbull is finished.

    According to Trump Turnbull has lied in public to his own people and those poor people on Manus and Naru over his conversation with Trump.

    Trump has sunk his ship.

    Can he have been that stupid?

    Anybody with any political savvy could have guessed that someone who is famous just for being famous is to be treated with a modicum of circumspection.

    Malcom another Godwin Gretch moment?

    Doubtless Uncle Erich will claim the credit.

    The dealmaker has well and truly done over the man from Down Under.

    Malcom how could you have been so gullible?

    The only way out.

    As a result of President Trump’s lies prevarication and inability to keep his word I as the leader of an honourable government will close the camps and allow those in them to settle here amongst us in Australia.

  10. john hayward

    January 31, 2017 at 11:31 pm

    #14, Mark. Before raining any comparative moral credit on Trump, shouldn’t one ascertain that drones aren’t part of his crash program to wipe out ISIS, along with his announced intent to target the families of ISIS members?

    If Donald has any scruples about anything, where is he hiding them?

    John Hayward

  11. TGC

    January 31, 2017 at 10:23 pm

    #17 “That’s our Donald. Best ignore the sod…”
    If you did that #17- what would you do for the rest of your life?

  12. John Biggs

    January 31, 2017 at 1:31 pm

    22 I won’t argue about Hilary too being on that spectrum.

  13. Chris

    January 31, 2017 at 11:52 am

    Good to see Erica Betz with a spade at Kingston about to dig a hole in a highway, is there a promotion on to put him where he belongs?
    At the bottom or below on a Senate ticket.
    Not one word yet on Turnbull, Hanson, Benardi and Abbott and their support for “go back to where you came from”
    Otto would be pleased !

  14. Tim Thorne

    January 31, 2017 at 11:18 am

    #22: The issue is the charge of hypocrisy against those who point out the wrongs of Trump’s policies and actions.

    If there is a decrease in the use of drones to kill people, that will be welcome. That can be judged after a matter of months rather than days.

    Meanwhile the victims of US foreign policy couldn’t give a damn about who is in the White House. There hasn’t been an administration in living memory that didn’t cause suffering in the world outside the US.

    We might, just might, be able to be effective by pointing out what Trump does wrong. We sure as hell won’t change anything the Clintons did.

  15. Lynne Newington

    January 31, 2017 at 8:31 am

    Gaddafi sodomised by a bayonet?
    Thank God that isn’t hanging over our head.

  16. Simon Warriner

    January 30, 2017 at 11:45 pm

    re 9, 17. That description could equally well be applied to Hillary Clinton! Throw in her response to Gaddafi being sodomised with a bayonet and she is a psychopath to boot. Add her responses to the victims of her philandering prick of a husband and her long term relationship with very suss mates the Podestra brothers and I submit Trumps narcissistic tendencies begin to look like the marginally better deal, unless you are a believer in the binary nature of politics. And lets not forget the screwing of Bernie Sanders revealed in the leaked emails that have been so well and truly ignored by all mainstream media who were so so so into Putin rigging the election. Really. The idiocy of that whole thing is truly amazing.

    re 18, a rather weak attempt at twisting the argument away from the issue, Tim. Lets see your evidence that Trump is continuing the policy first, because as far as I am aware the Tuesday kill sessions Obama was guilty of have finished.

  17. TGC

    January 30, 2017 at 10:09 pm

    One of the rewards coming from the Trump presidency will be that ‘the usual (TT) suspects’ will be able to look forward in anger for the -at least- next four years.
    ‘That’s Entertainment’ -as Hollywood may have said.

  18. Chris

    January 30, 2017 at 5:30 pm

    Lets all send a get well card to Erica Betz , he must be ill or has lost his voice, or is Abbott his spokesman?
    It would be like asking George for a comment …..lets look in my Dairy.
    BS.

  19. Lynne Newington

    January 30, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    As I mentioned some time ago there have been many eclesiaticastics now gone underground who would be quietly applauding Trump and his “decrees”, one blaming Christians for allowing Islam to “conquer” Europe and another calling on their country to discriminate in favour of those of Catholic countries.
    But what has never been given any media attention was the extortion and sexual offences committed against these wretched souls for favours in seeking documents related to refugee status.

  20. Tim Thorne

    January 30, 2017 at 11:55 am

    Many of us have consistently spoken out against Obama’s use of drones.

    Is it not worse, however, to continue these tactics and to add a discriminatory migration policy on top of them?

    Or do commenters at #14.& #15 have evidence that Trump has ordered the use of attacks by military drones to cease?

    There are degrees of wrong, none of which is right.

  21. John Biggs

    January 30, 2017 at 11:36 am

    #9 Thank for that article on Trump and Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Peter (BTW it’s “John” the other is irrelevant these days).

    Mayo Clinic definition: “Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for admiration and a lack of empathy for others. But behind this mask of ultraconfidence lies a fragile self-esteem that’s vulnerable to the slightest criticism.” That’s our Donald. Best ignore the sod, if everyone did it might drive him sane.

  22. Robin Charles Halton

    January 30, 2017 at 10:09 am

    People on the terror watch list ” Should be kicked out of Australia or thrown in jail” says Jacqui Lambie.

    A renewed call for deportation of all immigrants who support Sharia law and any immigrants who appear on ASIO’s offical terror watch list which is believed to be 190 persons.

    Her call on Federal Attorney General George Brandis to release details as governments must stop the cover up, political correctness and release full disclosure of those on our official terror watch list.

    Lambie said the AG was sitting on ASIO figures which were strongly supported by the US President Donald Trump’s immigration ban on some Islamic people.

    Senator George Brandis’s office has been contacted for comment!

  23. Simon Warriner

    January 29, 2017 at 11:29 pm

    re 14, thank you Mark. You saved me the trouble of pointing that hot spot of rank hypocrisy out. One example among so, so many.

    Sorting the left / right bias in all this is as simple as identifying the difference between peas and corn in the excrement on the trouser leg of the pj’s on the incontinent, dribbling, incoherent sufferer of senile dementia that is US politics in its entirety, the whole stinking, corrupt mess.

  24. mark

    January 29, 2017 at 8:49 pm

    I would have thought blacklisting people was a step up from droning them. I also note our halfwitted media asking Turnbull about condemning Trump’s policy. If he never condemned Obama reigning extrajudicial terror from the sky, why would he condemn this?

  25. john hayward

    January 29, 2017 at 8:36 pm

    #2, John Hawkins. Stay away from black sarcasm. As Phill Parsons reminded us at #5, Trump offsider Turnbull is so severely irony deficient that he actually chided Shorten for being protectionist.

    John Hayward

  26. john hayward

    January 29, 2017 at 8:11 pm

    #11, Mark. If there are that many good people in this country, what has seemingly prevented any of them from surfacing in the Turnbull government?

    John Hayward

  27. Mark Worley

    January 29, 2017 at 7:40 pm

    It’s hard to find the right words. It’s almost impossible to find the right emotion.

    Sure, there’s the obvious anger, split almost equally between the man and those who enable/d him. And trust me, it is pure, bubbling fury that keeps me and those I love awake at night.

    And there’s the sadness, for those who are caught in his game of hate.

    I’m the lottery winner: white, male, dual Western passports. Every door is wide open for me.

    But I now have friends and former colleagues who will be barred from The Land of the Free because they are brown or black and don’t pray the same way as the man who literally prides himself on being able to ride a gold elevator to his home.

    This IS about religion. And race. And class.

    This IS about lies. I have to ask every friend who either voted for him, or is on the fence, to research every message he spreads. The conclusion is redundant unless you arrive there by yourself.
    As much as anyone, I have to move past being surprised by this guy.

    The one thing I continue to struggle with is the concept of what lies at the center of his universe.

    We set goals to raise our kids to be Good. Yes, we want to provide them with material things, but surely at our core is a desire to raise children to be respectful to others, to want to help those less fortunate. To FEEL.

    Those are not just Christian values, they are human values.

    And he lacks them.

    The emotion I feel now is calm – this is going to be a long fight.

    But he’s not going to win.

    There are simply far too many good people in this country, and across the world, to allow it.

  28. Tim Thorne

    January 29, 2017 at 7:35 pm

    Trump’s idea of getting Mexico to pay for his wall by imposing tariffs on imports will only push up the retail price of those things which come from Mexico, which include TV sets and other household electrical goods. So those who really will be paying will be American consumers, out of the wages they will be supposedly earning from the jobs which he will magically conjure up.

    Does anyone think that the US can unilaterally reverse the movement of capital to cheap labour countries? The only way that could happen would be through massive cuts to domestic wage levels, effectively moving the USA (or parts of it) into the third world.

    How would the Trump voters like them apples?

  29. Peter Bright

    January 29, 2017 at 5:43 pm

    To David Tyler, John Hawkins and Professor Biggs with their comments #1, #2 and #3 above: I refer you to these incisive observations …

    http://www.filmsforaction.org/articles/coping-with-narcissistic-personality-disorder-in-the-white-house/

  30. John Hawkins

    January 29, 2017 at 5:21 pm

    My mistake … should be to Adelaide and back.

    Now that is a wall.

  31. Lynne Newington

    January 29, 2017 at 3:54 pm

    Tony Abbott has gone very quiet……

  32. Robin Charles Halton

    January 29, 2017 at 3:49 pm

    “Get used to it”, that is what Trump is saying to
    those citizens and refugees from Libya, Sudan, Somalia, Yeman, Syria, Iraq and Iran which equates to 130 Million persons, ” We dont really want you coming here”

    Black listing applies to many Muslims coming to the US over a 90 day period.

    Trump said he would stop Muslims, at least he will make them think twice before entering the US, that is the crux of the matter by his use of deterrent dialogue.

    No pussy footing around as unfair as it may seem to some even as the ruling has been overturned by the US court system the message from Trump is resounding!

  33. phill Parsons

    January 29, 2017 at 3:37 pm

    Turnbull criticizes Shorten for being protectionist which is exactly what Trump is.

    Morrison goes to London to tell Downer time is up because we have a problem like we did with you and Hockey.

    More public teat for George who may not go quietly but then again he may do so with Labor’s alternative AG, Dreyfus, on the case. Where is Zola to expose the AG’s diary notes and show how hollow his claims are.

    Hanson does not have to take government, only capture enough seat to hold the balance of power. Queensland voters have shown their disaffection before and they remain so in the regions.

    Unable to give coherence to their anger or break from the mold they have been poured into Australia’s older voters will vote for a return to the verities and none of those truths are yet seen as Green.

    Right across the world people are harking back to a time that will not return under the current system of wealth distribution where those with the money have the power to ensure those without are blamed for the decisions those with the money have made and continue to do so.

  34. john hayward

    January 29, 2017 at 2:42 pm

    While all the attention is going to berserkers such as Trump, Duterte, and Abbott, Malcolm has been quietly kicking goals as a stealth reactionary – locking up refugees, extorting from Centrelink clients, sending out hard-right colleagues such as Cory and George disguised as autonomous drones, and generally gouging the powerless.

    His new High Court Chief Justice, a Howard appointee who has signalled her commitment to oligarchic solidarity, could prove another clandestine triumph for the starboard outrigger of politics.

    John Hayward

  35. John Biggs

    January 29, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    Thank you again Urban for lifting the lid right off the Trump and our despicable politcians who cosy up to him. He is obviously a megalomaniac of pathological proportions. Which makes the current protests exactly what he wants: See how powerful I am? The whole world is reacting to whatever I do. Before it was to what I said. Now I can really show ’em.

    So the more we jump up and down about what a nasty bastard he is, the happier he becomes.

  36. John Hawkins

    January 29, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    This wall business is most interesting.

    The distance is roughly from Sydney to Adelaide that is a hell of a lot of concrete foundations and bricks then how high – each extra brick in height will cost billions.

    Then it has to be policed say three 8 hr shifts for every 24 hr day plus weekends and holidays all year round otherwise people tend to climb over.

    Would it not be better and cheaper along the length to lay a movement triggered minefield with rapid fire machine guns for extra protection?

    You could also try mustard gas.

    Then the whole project is self policing and only the cleverest and best will get through and survive the assault course.

    The US has lots of mines in stock, anti Tank, anti personnel it would give boys back from NATO something practical to do in border protection.

    Cheaper than a wall and probably more effective.

  37. Urban Wronski (David Tyler)

    January 29, 2017 at 11:42 am

    Has Turnbull achieved another coup? Anti-Muslim travel ban by executive order loophole update:

    During a twenty minute phone call to President Trump at 9:00 am yesterday, the ABC breathlessly reports, Malcolm Turnbull achieved a breakthrough in Australia’s deal to re-settle, in the US, refugees currently suffering the torture of abuse and neglect in our offshore indefinite detention gulags on Manus and Nauru Island.

    On RN breakfast, Monday morning Fran Kelly wonders aloud if this will be Malcolm Turnbull’s coup. (Risky phrase, Fran, risky.)

    Julie Bubbles our celebrity Foreign Minister has been on ABC to tell listeners it was “a warm conversation” even though she was not party to it. She’s talking up an agreement vibe.

    Other media outlets have been more guarded but expect the PM to spin heroic toughness. Our “special relationship” – which still looks like appeasement and fawning, obsequious toadying and grovelling– could also get a spin.

    A coup? The deal will still go ahead? We the Coalition be able to stay tough on border protection by doing a bit of people-trafficking after all?

    A word of caution. What was said between US President and Australian Prime Minister remains undisclosed. Anti-immigration Trump is making no comment on the deal of course. No numbers have been mentioned and no time frame.

    Latika Bourke reports in Fairfax Monday that the PM will not say how many of our 1600 people detained on Manus Island and Nauru would be destined for the US, but predicted a “substantial” number would be eligible.

    While our PM says he is “confident” Trump will allow the deal, other commentators are much less upbeat. Latika Bourke quotes on prominent US think tank.

    “I don’t expect any Republicans will defend it; I can’t see a lot of Democrats defending it either. My sense is that when the word gets out on this, it’ll be dead on arrival,” Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Centre for Immigration Studies.

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