Skip to main content


Showing posts from June, 2016

The world post Brexit

Among reports out of the UK that millions have already signed a petition to have another referendum  - Brexit Mark II? - an op-ed piece "Brexit is Only the Latest Proof of the Insularity and Failure of Western Establishment Institutions" by Glenn Greenwald on The Intercept addresses some of the issues which arise from the vote a couple of days ago.

"The decision by UK voters to leave the EU is such a glaring repudiation of the wisdom and relevance of elite political and media institutions that – for once – their failures have become a prominent part of the storyline. Media reaction to the Brexit vote falls into two general categories: (1) earnest, candid attempts to understand what motivated voters to make this choice, even if that means indicting one’s own establishment circles, and (2) petulant, self-serving, simple-minded attacks on disobedient pro-leave voters for being primitive, xenophobic bigots (and stupid to boot), all to evade any reckoning with their own respo…

The sharp divide

An arial photo over Cape Town showing a clear demarcation between the living condition of the rich and the poor.

No wonder there is unrest, everywhere, when the disenfranchised, see the rich get richer and they remain static if not go backwards......

Brexit: The UK's Arab Spring?

The analysis will go on for a long time now, but the repercussions from the Brexit vote will be endless and widespread.      

Well known commentator in The Independent, Patrick Coburn, in "Brexit voters have more in common with Arab Spring protesters than they would like to think" reflects on what the Brits have done to / for themselves......

“In the little moment that remains to us between crisis and catastrophe, we may as well drink a glass of champagne,” said Paul Claudel, the French poet, dramatist and ambassador to the United States in the wake of some calamitous episode in the 1930s. As the British vote to leave the European Union, it feels as if we have reached just such “a little moment”, occurring as it does in a situation that was already dire and likely to get a great deal worse. 

A referendum is by its nature divisive and is justified by explaining that it will produce a democratic decision that everybody can accept. But it is in the very nature of a referendum cam…

65 million "lost" souls.....

Refugees have been much in the news lately, principally because of the significant numbers making their way to Europe from the Middle East and Africa and the large number of rescues and drownings of those crossing the Mediterranean trying to reach Greece.   

The number of refugees world wide is a staggering 65 million - according to the UN.

"More people are on the run than ever before in recorded history, the United Nations said in a report released Monday.

They include those fleeing marauders in South Sudan, drug gangs in Central America, and the Islamic State in the Iraqi cities of Mosul and Falluja. While most are displaced within their own countries, an unprecedented number are seeking political asylum in the world’s rich countries. Nearly 100,000 are children who have attempted the journey alone.

All told, the number of people displaced by conflict is estimated to exceed 65 million, more than the population of Britain.

The new figures, part of the United Nations refugee agency’s …

The headline captures it all

We all now know that our Donald (aka Trump) has decided to effectively boycott, if not ban, The Washington Post from his news conferences.

Perhaps it was out of pique or pay-back, but the newspaper encapsulated one aspect of Trump in an article about him....

     " Trump’s top example of foreign experience: A Scottish golf course losing millions"

Victory for the NRA, the GOP and gun manufacturers

Oh, when will the Americans wake up to themselves?     In the wake of the Orlando massacre last week - the latest in a string of killings using assault weapons - yet again the US Senate has failed to pass legislation which provides at least some limitation on gaining access to guns.     Pathetic!

"It was another great day for mass murderers – and a fine display of the self-serving hypocrisy of American politicians who mouth words of concern, but consistently refuse to act to curb gun violence.

The timing was exquisite – just hours before the US Senate revealed itself to be a pathetic instrument of a gun lobby untroubled by this country's extraordinary rate of mass killings, lawyers for weapons manufacturers told a Connecticut Court that, ahem, attempts to regulate firearms should be left to the legislature.

A divided US Senate blocked rival election-year plans to curb guns, eight days after the horror of Orlando's mass shooting.

The lobby's core creed, that there should b…

The ongoing tragedy of Fallujah

The consequences of the original "Shock and Awe" attack on Iraq back in 2003, continues in all manner of ways.     Fallujah has significantly figured in the ongoing tragedy in Iraq.   The latest, as reported by The Wall Street Journal.....

A displaced Iraqi family outside Fallujah on Friday, after Iraqi government forces evacuated civilians from the city amid the battle against Islamic State militants
"Iraq’s success in uprooting Islamic State militants from Fallujah has fed a humanitarian crisis with some of the more than 80,000 people who fled the city going without shelter and sufficient water amid 115-degree temperatures and sandstorms, aid agencies said Monday.

In four makeshift tent cities housing the displaced, there is only sporadic electricity and a shortage of latrines, the agencies said. At the Habaniya camp west of Fallujah, health care workers said they are treating about 1,200 people a day suffering from malnutrition and other ailments.

“The conditions we are…

Worthy of support

Yes, there are many demands and calls on us to support this or the other thing.    
That said, if you value independent news - away from the Murdoch media or the few other news outlets still around - then give a thought to supporting Information Clearing House.      

You will find articles there which are to be found nowhere else.     But in order to "run" even a basic news outlet such as Information Clearing House, costs money.     That's where you and I come in!

Go over to Information Clearing House, here, to make a donation, however modest.    It will be genuinely appreciated and keep a vital outlet for news and views alive.   ICH is deserving of support.......

Maureen Dowd (of the NYT) on "Trump in the Dumps".

Maureen Dowd is a weekly columnist for The New York Times.  She writes bluntly and is often acerbic.   In her latest column she reflects on Donald Trump....

"Washington — HE won’t pivot. So I have to.

Having seen Donald Trump as a braggadocious but benign celebrity in New York for decades, I did not regard him as the apotheosis of evil. He seemed more like a toon, a cocky huckster swanning around Gotham with a statuesque woman on his arm and skyscrapers stamped with his brand. I certainly never would have predicted that the Trump name would be uttered in the same breath as Hitler, Mussolini and scary menace, even on such pop culture staples as “The Bachelorette.”

Trump jumped into the race with an eruption of bigotry, ranting about Mexican rapists and a Muslim ban. But privately, he assured people that these were merely opening bids in the negotiation; that he was really the same pragmatic New Yorker he had always been; that he would be a flexible, wheeling-and-dealing president, no…

Vale Jo Cox

A tragedy of major proportions - on every conceivable level - sees the brutal slaying of British MP, Jo Cox.     What is our world coming to?

A related and relevant commentary can be found in Crikey (behind a paywall) the online Australian publication.....

"A man — later described with those inevitable words “loner” and “kept to himself” — kills a pro-EU British Labour MP, allegedly yelling “Britain first” as he stabs and shoots her repeatedly. The focus is immediately on his mental health — after all, he has a well-recorded history of mental health problems.

If he’d shouted “Allahu Akbar” or claimed allegiance to Islamic State, however, we’d be seeing very different coverage of the murder of Jo Cox — of the latest IS atrocity, inevitably “striking at the very heart of rural England”. The media aren’t quite as ready to talk about terrorism when it’s a white man involved in acts of political violence. For many in the media, white men, despite being the primary perpetrators of violenc…

America's madness for gun ownership

One can only despair.........

"On Friday, Tennessee representative Andy Holt unveiled plans for an upcoming fundraiser at his family farm later this month. The event, according to an invitation posted on the politician's blog, will feature a roasted hog, a petting zoo, live music and "hay rides for the kids".

"Oh, did I mention we're giving away an AR-15 as the door prize!" the invitation adds."

"Hours later, as Saturday night spilled into Sunday morning, Omar Mateen walked into Pulse nightclub in Orlando with a Sig Sauer MCX assault rifle - a weapon similar to the AR-15 - and began shooting club-goers. When the bodies were tallied, 49 people were dead, dozens more were injured and one of central Florida's most popular gay nightclubs had become the setting for the worst mass shooting in modern American history.

Instead of cancelling his gun giveaway, as some critics called for, Mr Holt had another idea.

"That's right…. I'm now giv…

Guns in the USA: A sorry reflection on the GOP and Congress

Another day, another round of shootings in America.  A fleeting degree of introspection...and then "life" will go back to "normal,  the rampant and irresponsible NRA having got its way in preventing any sort of curb on the ready availability of guns.   A commentary in The Age an apt headline - "Orlando shooting: For Republicans, it's easier to ban Muslims than guns" - says it all!

"In December last year Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik armed themselves with AR-15s - the same type of weapon used to kill 50 people in Orlando - and murdered 14 people at a Christmas party in San Bernardino, California, in what was soon classified as a terrorist attack. 

Over 40,000 Americans are dying each year partly because the they live in a society in which it is more politically viable to propose banning Muslims than regulate gun sales.

The following day Republicans in Congress blocked a bill that would have banned people who were on the terrorist watch l…

Sheeting home blame.....

A Bernie Sanders legacy?

One has to assume, certainly at the present time, that it is unlikely that US presidential candidate Bernie Sanders will make it to the White House.    But about the policies Sanders has espoused and the following they have garnered?    The take on that by at least one writer in The New Yorker in "How California made Bernie Sanders a better Candidate".....

"This morning, just before endorsing Clinton for President, Barack Obama met with Sanders to try to persuade the Vermonter to abandon the race and support Clinton’s candidacy. In trying to find common ground, Obama surely drew on the similarities between his and Sanders’s Presidential campaigns: the swell of young voters, the tenacious optimism. The stories that are already being told about the Sanders campaign are about young people for whom socialism is now a source of inspiration rather than fear, and about the Democratic Party, which Sanders has raged against for decades, now coming to the left to meet him.

But anot…

Float like a butterfly

Credited to Mike Luckovich

Trump and Clinton: Skewed comparisons

What is it about politicians that they are so quick to forget thinks previously said or positions held?    Stupidity is one adjective which immediately comes to mind.

FAIR in "Media Trumpwash Clinton’s Reckless Foreign Record" takes up the criticism Hilary Clinton has made of Trump - and reminds us that Clinton's record is far from pure or all that wonderful - just the contrary!   

"Hillary Clinton's support for regime change in countries like Iraq, Libya, Syria and Honduras is seldom recalled when comparing her foreign policy to Donald Trump's. (photo: David J. Marshall/US Army)

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave a much-anticipated “foreign policy” speech (6/2/16) in which she took presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump to task for what she called his “dangerously incoherent” foreign policy stances. The speech was widely met with praise from the pundit class

Almost all of the praise was premised on two assumptions: A) Trump presents a horrific…