On Monday night, ABC’s 4 Corners did a Julian Assange update. Here are my four takeaways:
(1) In almost an hour of reporting, the ABC’s Michael Brissenden barely glossed the crucial stories Assange has published: American interference in the internal affairs of dozens of countries (including invading many of them), US phone-tapping of world leaders, how and why the Democratic Party subverted Bernie Sanders in 2016, multiple financial outrages of global corporations and high-rollers.
America’s men of privilege and power (let’s call them MOPPs) have always defended the Constitutional rights they declared for themselves, and fought like hell to keep any other rights from creeping in – specifically, “social” rights like the right to health, a home, an education, a fair share of nature, and the right of non-MOPPs to invent new rules. Australia, having never dared enumerate our citizens’ rights, will protect Christianity from “narks”, if our Pentacostal PM has his way.
In America today, three mega-billionaires – Bill Gates (Microsoft), Jeff Bezos (Amazon) and Warren Buffett (an “investor”) – combined, have more than the collective wealth of the poorest-half of Americans. Those three guys’ net worth is $248.5 billion, compared to $245 billion for the bottom 160 million of the United States.
This is the kind of society USA-groupies like Morrison, Frydenberg & Co want in Australia.
The explosion of new ideas and ways of living that happened in the late 1960s and early 70s — known as the counter-culture — was not a frivolous indulgence in sex drugs and rock’n’roll, nor was it a failed attempt to redefine everything about our culture: it was a semi-successful attempt, and what we must do to save our species from self-extinction is complete the revolution.
Since Rupert Murdoch will die soon, surely, I’m posting here the first of several brief encounters I’ve had with him and his Empire over the last half-century. This is about bringing Rolling Stone magazine to Australia, when it mattered.
Millions of Trumpsters hate “political correctness” itself, meaning progressive reviewing of past and present injustices, more than they hate immigrants, or the other subsets of the community whom they see as benefiting from liberal social policies.
She spent the first 30 years of her adult life chasing after justice and equality for all, and particularly for people who were like her, black and female. She didn’t retreat or apologise on matters of principle.
The president at last admitted that the USA assumes the right to pillage resources from all over the planet while distracting everyone with bullshit about bringing us democracy freedom and prosperity. Everybody knows this but here it was on TV, straight from the horse’s arse.
Jim and Kim drank gallons of Johnny Walker Black Label while hatching new plots to whack the “mole” Angleton was certain was somewhere inside his team until, in 1963, Philby himself vanished and re-emerged living in Moscow. Angleton was shattered, unable to comprehend such treachery.
The current Congress might grant Trump powers never before given to a President, for example, to suspend the 2020 presidential elections, if enough people were in the streets protesting and enough right-wing open-carry armed thugs turned out to confront them
In practical terms, the Koch agenda is to remove all constraints on what individuals and businesses can do, which is what Charles Koch calls “libertarianism” (not to be confused with the anti-elite libertarianism promoted in the sixties by Sydney intellectuals such as Germaine Greer and John Anderson). They are shoveling billions into the US political system to build their dream society, the sole principle of which is unmitigated selfishness.
Let’s acknowledge everyone who went to war, as well as people who had the courage to not go on principle, and those who fought from the 1950s through to today against joining the many American wars on poor nations seeking independence from, well, rich Americans.