The Florida Loon strikes again — aka the Orange Zombie craves more brains….

NO!

You’ve got that, people?

Unless you are such masochists as to want a rerun of this:

Make Trump History!

Postscript

Interesting American reaction to Trump’s speech.

Afterthought 17th November

But then that might be what Trump hopes rather than what will be… Here is another view on the event as damp squib….

Donald Trump held a humiliating event at Mar-A-Lago to announce he is running for President in 2024. The event was so weird and bad that people in the audience tried to escape but were blocked by security. MeidasTouch host Ben Meiselas reports.

One side matter that has Aussies scratching their heads is the presence of Australian billionaire Gina Rinehart, who is a sad groupie from way back. Did she try too escape, I wonder?

Full marks also to 15-year-old Melbourne news anchor (Channel 6 — which possibly comes from his bedroom) Leo Puglisi, the first I know of to spot her in the “crowd”. Well done, Leo. And the guy with the mo behind Gina is the quite definitely bonkers Pillow Guy, Mike Lindell — one of the greatest laughing stocks in the MAGA Menagerie!

Music will resume shortly…

Meanwhile some great things relating to yesterday’s post have come my way. First, a 2020 interview with Mike McClelland about that powerful song about Trumpism “Letter to America”. Not dark yet — but getting there has resonance again, sadly.

Vlad Vexler, a Russian-born and Oxford-educated political philosopher in London said some very perceptive things about the way the world was going in 2018. About it he says:

This is a little audio except from a 2018 talk on democracy. I mention the 2016 US election, Clinton and Trump.

Some brief reassurances –

– Crisis is NOT an unnatural state for democracy.

– The history of democracy shows us that they are both fragile and robust. They don’t just melt when existentially challenged.

– As difficult as it is, we have to admit that our democracies are entering a different era.

– We need to understand this new era, and live in it, truthfully and hopefully.

And here is another take from Vlad:

CHAPTERS 00:00 Predictions for 2030 in democracy, climate, culture wars

00:20 Canadian Prepper video on the world in 2030

01:28 Extreme right will embrace climate science; eco fascism (PREDICTION 1)

03:27 Tip for preppers on how to talk about the climate crisis

04:34 Prepping community and climate advocacy community should talk

05:52 Democratic decline in 2030 (PREDICTION 2)

07:45 Wokeism, cancel culture, political correctness will decline by 2030 (PREDICTION 3)

09:04 How Wokeism obstructs real politics

I am not entirely happy about his take on “wokeism” — I would rather not reward those who trot out this cliche de jour! In some ways I consider myself “woke” as an alternative to “zombified” — though I also deplore judgementalism or purism/puritanism.

Only on some matters, mind! I can also be conservative on some matters. It’s known as being able to walk and chew gum at the same time.

I had a bit of a rant a few days back when I was slapped with accusations of being a “useful idiot” and a “Murdoch/Clive Palmer shill” because I walked and chewed gum on a friend’s site, having there respectfully said that while I deplored what the police here in NSW had done in raiding a camp containing a small group of now notorious but in their way effective practitioners of “direct action” on the climate crisis, I also rejected their tactics as self-dramatising, drawing attention to the spectacle of their action rather than the actual climate crisis, and ultimately counter-productive as most people regarded them as total ratbags. Also their actions succeeded only too well in disrupting not only people’s lives, but (and I did not make this specific point) had unintended consequences such as preventing such things as urgent medical supplies being delivered on time.

In March for example I said on Facebook:

Where I stand on climate change is crystal clear from what I share here and in blog post after blog post! No-one can have any doubts about that, And yes, I do support the School Strike days.

But this? I am FAR from comfortable. Dramatic, no doubt.

How do they justify all the other outcomes of their actions? What vital imports, including foodstuffs, medical supplies and heaven knows what else are “collateral damage” in protests which, my gut tells me, recruit more previously uncommitted people to the exact opposite of what the protesters apparently want? Not to mention the disruption to so many simply doing legitimate jobs.

I am ambivalent about protests like this, always have been. For example no way do I think gluing myself to a footpath would affect world policies on the climate crisis… It may just make heaps or people angry with the “dickheads” thinking it is a good idea.

The kind of incident I am referring to is reported here.

Protesters block the Princes Highway at Sylvania. 

My friend in his June post had — based on knowing the people concerned — testified to their good intentions, good character and clearly sympathised with them. Fair enough. I accept that.

The recent events concerning the group and the over-zealous police response are discussed here. It was these events I alluded to on my friend’s post. On Facebook I wrote:

I can support points made in this while not supporting particular tactics on climate change, which I still believe are deeply counter-productive. The focus shifts to the protesters and their dramatic actions, and in my view away from the actual climate crisis.

Their actions alienate me, and I am and have been all this century a very loud advocate of real action on climate change.

Most people I know are simply pissed off by all the drama. Their view that those advocating climate action are all ratbags tends to be confirmed by such actions, along too often with a concomitant scepticism about the need for action. I base all that on actually talking to people.

Recently I expressed such reservations on a friend’s FB post — the friend being someone I have known who is a supporter of the protesters. I respect his viewpoint and the point he made about the characters of those organising the protest — points I accept.

I did not appreciate some goon who knows nothing about me commenting thus: “Oh good. Tone trolling. Definitely not a useful idiot for the people trying to prevent action on climate change. Definitely not a Clive Palmer stooge who got taken in by Murdoch’s pervasive propaganda. You, sir are a proud free thinker ™.”

That is a splendid example of the crap that passes for comment on social media. Calling me “a Clive Palmer stooge” is however one of the funniest things I have ever read about myself. Me who consistently refers to the FAKE UAP! Who kept calling Craig Kelly Clive’s sock puppet! And so on….

But the omniscient commenter had no way of knowing that aside from their chutzpah in casting me in the role that suited them!

OK, rant done. But here for reference is the exact wording of the comment that got me going…

 Oh good. Tone trolling. Definitely not a useful idiot for the people trying to prevent action on climate change.

Definitely not a Clive Palmer stooge who got taken in by Murdoch’s pervasive propaganda. You, sir are a proud free thinker ™.

I promise music next time!

Reflections post-election, starting with Scomo’s tears

And I must start by thanking whatever gods that be for the FACT Australia has been witnessing a swift, smooth and PEACEFUL transfer of power. Not even the USA can boast that! Especially the USA since the Orange Sickness struck it!

I thank also our predecessors who have made for us from British roots and our own tradition an electoral system that deserves to be the envy of the world for its integrity and practicability.

I am going to do a different take on this.

I have annoyed some by not in the past going out of my way to demonise ScoMo. For example I have never spelled that with a U. Nor have I got overexcited about his religion.

Now it so happens that I have been in this church in Sutherland, or rather in the Assemblies of God church that preceded it. Ir was not called Horizon then and was much smaller and poorer, but the idea was the same. It was 1964 or 1965 I think, and I was still an Elder at Sutherland Presbyterian Church. Yes, another life. Fellow Elder and friend Robert Kennelly had been invited to preach there. He was aiming to become a Presbyterian minister, which eventually he did — but in the Presbyterian Reformed Church — which began in Sutherland just as I left the church.

From our point of view at the time the Pentecostals were more than a bit weird and theologically suss. But Bob accepted and I went along as moral support and to give him feedback on his sermon. Bob remains in my memory, along with Gwenda his wife, an esteeemed friend, as do Greg and Helen Fox who became key members of the PRC. Helen in fact later taught Latin at Sydney Girls High where I renewed acquaintance in the late 90s and early 2000s. A lovely and funny lady.

I was amused to discover where ScoMo’s church is. And it isn’t Hillsong by the way, though ScoMo’s connection with the Houstons was unwise.

Looking back at what I saw in the 60s and what I see in this story one thing does strike me. This church may be many things, some not so good, some no doubt fulfilling to its community. But I would call this a painfully naive kind of Christianity, and I suspect that is an issue with ScoMo. I also suspect, though he may not even be aware of it or would deny it vehemently, that aside from a certain emotional piety there is no great connection between the way he has acted as salesman and politician and anything profound in the religion. Heretical of me, but let me refer to another notably religious Prime Minister — Kevin Rudd. Again flawed (aren’t we all?) but his religion is far more sophisticated and intellectually and philosophically deeper than ScoMo’s.

OK, but to this story. Morrison’s behaviour here is well within what is normal in such a church as this, his emotions genuine — it must have been traumatic to come unstuck as much as he has in the 24 hours before this talk — and so I am not going to judge or criticise him. But it is also naive, Plucking Bible texts completely out of context because the wording seems to suit is common practice in many low church circles, not just in Pentecostalism. In my opinion it is a most undesirable way to use the Bible. As Cam Williamson, a wise Presbyterian minister at Sutherland in the 50s and early 60s used to say, a text without a context is a pretext.

But the truth is he looks and sounds like a broken man here. I am sure he will recover very quickly though.

And while ScoMo is many things, one rarely noted — and of course I may be completely wrong — is that he is, for 2022, incredibly naive and out of touch! Take his master work in his advertising days. Crass as!

Not that he was necessarily directly involved — though I suspect he would at least have approved them– the childish run of attack ads that characterised the Liberal Party campaign will go down in history as among the worst ever.

Amazingly irritating!

Idiotic and offensive

After the event the ABC’s great show Media Watch analysed the campaign’s media performances. The last minute or two introduce two of the most painfully idiotic takes you will ever see from — of course — the sheltered workshop called Sky After Dark.

Those final thoughts are the subject of some excellent analysis in yesterday’s Sydney Morning Herald.

The narrative according to a chorus of hardline Coalition MPs and columnists goes like this: the Morrison government positioned itself as “Labor-lite” – experimenting “with the poison of leftism”, according to South Australian Liberal Alex Antic – because it caved in on net-zero emissions, racked up budget deficits, abandoned “freedom” during the pandemic and shirked on fighting culture wars.

This shameless Marxist posture, say the critics, not only failed to placate voters in the Liberals’ traditional seats, those folks having long metamorphosed into Maoists and not for the turning, but alienated the party from “the Quiet Australians” and blue-collar battlers the party ought to regard as its real base.

In this construction, the battlers are less concerned about climate change than they are focused on cost-of-living pressures and whether their kids are being indoctrinated into radical doctrines at school. They seem curiously unconcerned about a minimum wage rise, however.

What really happened has been captured in some great cartoons, not least Cathy Wilcox:

AUSTRALIA HAS MOVED ON!

Turning from the madness of war to signs of hope or beauty

The plot is old, the tale too often told but do we ever learn?

There are sparks now and then:

Talks are set to continue between Ukraine and Russia today with officials on both sides offering cautious optimism despite little evidence that Russian president Vladimir Putin’s position has changed.

Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podoliak confirmed talks will take place with Russia on Monday via video link.

“Again. Negotiations go non-stop in the format of video conferences. Working groups are constantly functioning. A large number of issues require constant attention. On Monday, March 14, a negotiating session will be held to sum up the preliminary results…” Podoliak said in a Twitter post on Sunday.

“Russia is starting to talk constructively,” Podolyak later added over Telegram, noting that Russia “is much more sensitive to Ukraine’s position”.

In a video message, the senior advisor said Ukraine’s proposals are “very tough” and concern “above all the withdrawal of troops, the cessation of hostilities”.

“I think we will reach some concrete results, literally, in a few days,” he added.

But the horror goes on.

And I for one am of the same opinion as one of the world’s great advocates of human rights, Australian/UK barrister Geoffrey Robertson QC, as outlined in the Sydney Morning Herald on Monday. As I said on Facebook:

The amazing Geoffrey Robertson QC, human rights lawyer extraordinaire, staunch advocate of Julian Assange, honest as the day is long:

“Putin will not be put on trial in the Hague any time soon. Russia’s superpower veto at the Security Council will see to that. But it is important to recognise the overwhelming case against him and to have him treated as an international criminal.”

Yesterday

We have seen footage in previous posts here of what was less than a year ago, what the insanity of powers is seeking to destroy.

As a friend, Rosemary, said, alluding to a song with a Russian heritage from 1968: “‘Those were the days my friend we thought would never end. We’d sing and and dance for ever and a day. We’d live the life we choose. We’d fight and never lose……..’ Can only hope that the sentiments of that Mary Hopkins song of the 60s can come again to Ukraine.”

But there are always those who find or create beauty even in the worst circumstances. Inexpressibly sad and also inspiring!

And I found hope in something beautiful in a land closer to Australia, about which in recent times things have not always been as they should. There — China — the Winter Paralympics have just concluded and from that comes this utterly beautiful thing — a song whose words we all need today, and vision that should lift up our hearts.

When I am down and, oh my soul, so weary
When troubles come and my heart burdened be
Then, I am still and wait here in the silence
Until You come and sit awhile with me.

It’s one of the most widely-recorded songs of the 21st century. Its gentle melody and inspirational words have struck a chord in people’s hearts around the world. The song is “You Raise Me Up”, and it features in the closing ceremony of the Beijing Winter Paralympics. Performed in sign language by hearing-impaired dancers and sung by blind musician Jiang Can, the song is the perfect finale to the Winter Paralympics, an occasion when human beings have once again demonstrated their indomitable will when confronted with adversity.

Against the march of folly

Once upon a time:

Klavdiievo-Tarasove (Ukrainian: Клавдієво-Тарасове) is an urban-type settlement in Borodianka Raion (district) of Kiev Oblast (province) in northern Ukraine.

Comment from 1 year ago on YouTube: “I’m Jamaican and my daughter goes to school in Kharkiv Ukraine, i was there for approximately 3 months in 2019, I’m fairly well travelled and it’s fair to say that Ukraine is one of the best places I’ve been to in terms of how welcoming the people were, we are black people and are usually subjected to racism but I never once experienced that, I got the total opposite, my baby is still in medical school there. Thanks Ukraine.”