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Showing posts from July, 2016

Trump plumbs the depths to show himself as the lowest of the lowest

Can anyone really want to vote for this low-life?    Leave aside, for the moment, whether Trump is a "crook" as Michael Bloomberg described him the other day when speaking at the DNC, but to stoop as low as Trump did, as detailed below in a report in The New York Times (reprinted in The Age newspaper) shows Trump to be what really is - a loud-mouth sleazeball.

"Donald Trump has suggested that the Muslim mother of a US soldier killed in Iraq had let her husband do all the talking at the Democratic National Convention because she was not "allowed" to speak.

Trump's comments, in an interview with ABC News that will air on Sunday, local time, were his most extensive remarks since Khizr Khan delivered one of the most powerful speeches on Thursday at the convention in Philadelphia.

In the speech, Khan spoke about how his 27-year-old son, Humayun Khan, an army captain, sacrificed his life in a car bombing in 2004 in Iraq as he tried to save other troops.

Khan critici…

A "lost" $90 billion

The title of this post may intrigue, but the stat revealed in the piece, below, is startling...

"The global cost of physical inactivity for 2013 has been calculated at $US67.5 billion ($A90 billion), in a world-first study by the University of Sydney.

Key points:

The findings, published in the journal Lancet, include the cost burden of lifestyle diseases on health budgets as well as the cost of premature death relating to physical inactivity.

The burden in developing countries was calculated differently because the consequences of lifestyle diseases is often premature death.

Sydney University senior research fellow Melody Ding said the cost included the healthcare expenses linked to chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.

"These are the diseases associated with physical inactivity," Dr Ding said.

"It also includes the cost of productivity losses when people die prematurely because of physical inactivity."

The study included data from 142 countries, taking…

Australia's own Abu Ghraib and Gitmo - but worse!

Dylan Voller is hooded and strapped to a restraining chair in the footage aired on Four Corners
With praise due to it, Australia's ABC program "Four Corners" on Monday night aired revelations of children (yes, children, as young as 10) being abused, tortured, held in solitary confinement in a particular correction facility in Australia's Northern Territory.
This piece in The Sydney Morning Herald provides the background.
The outrcry has been huge.   The Federal Government has announced a Royal Commission.   
There cannot be any doubt that this is a scandal of monumental proportions.    No better than Gitmo or what was revealed as happening at Abu Ghraib in Iraq.

Waste.....and wanton waste

Food!   We all need it to nourish our bodies.    But then again to put it bluntly, we waste a hell of a lot of it.....

"Americans say they feel bad about the 130 billion pounds of food (PDF) the nation wastes every year. But not badly enough to do anything about it.

More than half the respondents in a new national survey said they are aware of the scale of this $160 billion (PDF) problem. Almost 80 percent said they feel guilty when throwing food away, but 51 percent said it would be difficult to reduce household food waste. And 42 percent said they don’t have enough time to worry about it.

The study, published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE, found that responses from wealthier Americans showed them less willing to be inconvenienced, said Dana Gunders, a food-waste expert at the National Resources Defense Council who wrote the first major report about food waste in 2012. Gunders wasn't involved with the study released on Thursday.

“I’ve always thought it’s a bit of a luxury t…

The witch hunt continues in so-called democratic Turkey

Whilst the EU and the USA have courted Turkey as an ally - for many reasons, not least the use of military bases in the country and the strategic geographic position of Turkey in the Middle East - its President has shown little regard for democratic principles.

With the recent coup, the crackdown on any dissenters, and others, by Erdogan has gathered momentum.    The latest target, and not for the first time, has been journalists. The International New York Times reports.....

"One journalist, who was on vacation, had his home raided in the early morning by the police. Others were called in to their bosses’ offices last week and fired, with little explanation. Dozens of reporters have had their press credentials revoked.

A pro-government newspaper, meanwhile, published a list of names and photographs of journalists suspected of treachery.

The witch-hunt environment that has enveloped Turkey in the wake of a failed military coup extended to the news media on Monday, as the government i…

Mike Moore on Trump....

Let it not be said that Mike Moore holds back on his blog in describing Trump, now candidate for president of the USA....

"Friends:

I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but I gave it to you straight last summer when I told you that Donald Trump would be the Republican nominee for president. And now I have even more awful, depressing news for you: Donald J. Trump is going to win in November. This wretched, ignorant, dangerous part-time clown and full time sociopath is going to be our next president. President Trump. Go ahead and say the words, ‘cause you’ll be saying them for the next four years: “PRESIDENT TRUMP.”

Never in my life have I wanted to be proven wrong more than I do right now.

I can see what you’re doing right now. You’re shaking your head wildly – “No, Mike, this won’t happen!” Unfortunately, you are living in a bubble that comes with an adjoining echo chamber where you and your friends are convinced the American people are not going to elect an idiot for president. …

Much to fear from Trump

With a poll released today revealing that Trump and Clinton are tied in their race to the White House and WikiLeaks, also today, having released a raft of documents which show the party machine having plotted against Bernie Sanders - and what the fallout from that might be can only be be a matter of speculation - a piece "Donald Trump’s Convention Speech Rings Terrifying Historical Alarm Bells" on The Intercept reflects on Trump and his victory speech at the just concluded GOP Convention.     The thought of such a shallow, ignorant and inexperienced person taking office in the White House ought to scare Americans as much as the rest of the world.

"DONALD TRUMP’S SPEECH accepting the Republican nomination for president will probably go down as one of the most frightening pieces of political rhetoric in U.S. history.

Even for people who believe the danger of genuine authoritarianism on the U.S. right is often exaggerated, it’s impossible not to hear in Trump’s speech echoes…

US, UK and Australia complicit in Indonesian mass killings in 1965

Sadly, as the world's media is consumed by reporting on Trump's ascension to become the GOP's presidential candidate and a myriad of other horror events around the world, the finding, below, by a tribunal in The Hague has slipped under the radar from being reported.    

"A non-binding international tribunal at The Hague has found Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States were complicit in facilitating the 1965 mass killings in Indonesia.

An estimated half a million people perished in what was one of the worst massacres of the 20th Century. The killings were triggered by a failed coup that led to the deaths of six army generals, followed by the mass targeting of communists.

The International People's Tribunal at The Hague has now ruled that Indonesia committed crimes against humanity, but the finding is non-binding and carries no legal weight.

The judges found allegations of "cruel and unspeakable murders" and the "unjustifiable imprisonment o…

What about all those H-bombs in Turkey?

It's bad enough to see how things are playing out in Turkey - both before the attempted coup, and since - but The New Yorker raises a very important and critical question.    What about all those NATO nuclear-weapons stored on an American base in Turkey?

"The Incirlik Airbase, in southeast Turkey, houses nato’s largest nuclear-weapons storage facility. On Saturday morning, the American Embassy in Ankara issued an “Emergency Message for U.S. Citizens,” warning that power had been cut to Incirlik and that “local authorities are denying movements on to and off of” the base. Incirlik was forced to rely on backup generators; U.S. Air Force planes stationed there were prohibited from taking off or landing; and the security-threat level was raised to fpcon Delta, the highest state of alert, declared when a terrorist attack has occurred or may be imminent. On Sunday, the base commander, General Bekir Ercan Van, and nine other Turkish officers at Incirlik were detained for allegedly s…