Wednesday 18th of January 2017

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by Gus Leonisky on Wed, 2017-01-18 08:33

A rising number of Democratic lawmakers have said they plan to boycott President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration at the US Capitol on 20 January. 

More than 50 House Democrats are refusing to watch as Mr Trump is sworn in as the 45th US president amidst a feud between the newly elected president and the civil rights activist and congressman, John Lewis.

Why is there a boycott?

Mr Lewis, a revered member of the 1960s struggle, sparked controversy on Friday when he called Mr Trump's victory illegitimate because of Russia's alleged interference in the election.

The president-elect hit back on Twitter, attacking the Georgia lawmaker as "all talk, talk, talk - no action or results", which prompted a wave of outrage from people saying if anyone embodied action, it was the 76-year-old.

Dozens of members of Congress have announced they will skip the event.

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by Gus Leonisky on Tue, 2017-01-17 16:11

President-elect Donald Trump may want to make a deal with Russia, award-winning journalist John Pilger told RT, adding that the “US intelligence and national security monolith is pointed towards war.”

“It seems that he [Donald Trump] wants to make a deal with Russia, it makes sense from everyone’s point of view,” Pilger told RT’s Rory Suchet during a lengthy interview. “There is a great pressure on him not to do it”.

The US president now has “enormous military power,” noted Pilger. Trump is currently under pressure from fellow Republicans calling for tougher sanctions against Russia and those standing for softening rhetoric towards Moscow.

“The US’ biggest business is war. Lockheed Martin and all other major armament companies have a great halt on the US administration, on the US Congress. The so-called intelligence community and national security monolith is pointed towards war.”

The ultimate ambition of ‘Washington Hawks’ is regime change in Russia – “to dismember the Russian Federation,” according to the veteran journalist. He reminded about interventions US conducted since the end of the WWII against numerous nations.

“If Trump is going to drawback from that, that’s very good news. The US usually only attack defenseless countries. They rarely attack countries that can stand up for themselves.”

That’s why “this reckless provocation” on the western borders with Russia and in the Asia Pacific against China is “slightly unusual,” as it’s taking things up to “another level of risks and provocation,” he added.

Pilger was referring to the NATO deployment in Eastern Europe. Earlier in January, some 2,800 pieces of military hardware and 4,000 troops arrived at the German port of Bremerhaven to be transferred to various NATO bases.

“NATO is a war-making machine, it’s an American operation. Why is it doing this? I think there is a real strategic extremism in the US.” And the “prize in this operation” is Russia, he concluded, adding that such a prize was almost won in the times of Boris Yeltsin (1991-1999), the first Russian president to serve after the fall of the Soviet Union.

“And what really has been upsetting in the US is that Russia is again independent, and that’s intolerable.”

Pilger called outgoing US leader Barack Obama “one of the most violent presidents.”

“He initiated a worldwide terrorist campaign with hellfire [air-to-surface] missiles being fired by drones at so-called terrorists certainly at weddings and funerals,” Pilger said, referring to numerous incidents when US missiles targeted civilians during their campaign in the Middle East.

The European Parliament “came up with good liberal initiatives” long ago, but now it has merely become an “echo chamber of the US,” according to Pilger.

“Much of Europe has … become a place of financial extremism, central banks that trash small members like Greece,”he added.

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by Gus Leonisky on Tue, 2017-01-17 15:19

Former prime minister and cricket fanatic Bob Hawke has admitted an overloaded fixture list has made him less enthused with the game than he once was.

Mr Hawke joined the Grandstand commentary team during the coverage of the third Test between Australia and Pakistan at the SCG and spoke to commentators Jim Maxwell and Simon Katich about the current state of Australian cricket.

The 87-year-old said he preferred a time before Twenty20 cricket in which Shield and Test cricket were the only shows in town.

"I've got to be honest with you, I'm less passionate about cricket now than I was," he said.

"There's too much cricket. I've always been in favour of players getting well paid. No-one is more in favour of players getting well paid than me but I think money has taken over the game to a large extent.

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Who cares about what Bob thinks? 

The new format of cricket allows us to see former test player still in their prime hitting a few balls with a popularity unequalled. The seriousness of test attrition with the weather playing a role in the result can be more boring than watching grass grow on the wicket. Bob is as relevant as a retiree on a cruise ship.

by Gus Leonisky on Tue, 2017-01-17 15:03

This Saturday, on January 21, I'll be marking Donald Trump's first day in office by marching in Sydney to stand up against the hatred and bigotry he represents.

The Women's March on Washington was organised — predominantly on Facebook — for the day after inauguration day to protest against Mr Trump's politics and the threat he poses to the safety and autonomy of the politically vulnerable: women, religious minorities, racial minorities, LGBTI communities and people with disabilities.

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Sure... but did you consider marching against Obama selling weapons to the Saudis, weapons that have created far more distress in Yemen than in the street of Chicago? Far more distress than Donald could engenger to women around planet Earth and Venus in ten lifetimes? Or for having destroyed Libya? Or for having tried to destroy Syria? (yes I know we blame the Ruskies for this one, when Obama was squarely at the core of the "revolution")... Or marched against Obama for having been the only one who spent his entire presidency AT WAR — against anyone who did not bend the knees to the US juggernaut? Would you have marched against Hillary had she made the decision to bomb Damascus as advised by her supporters in the "elite" establishment?


Please march. March on and on... but please don't stop at Mr Trump... March even if you feet bleed...


by Gus Leonisky on Tue, 2017-01-17 14:38

Far too many seek by violence to shred the garment of our co-belonging, to obscure from recognition that our lives are bound up with that of shell-shocked children in Aleppo, Iraq, and Afghanistan or lead-poisoned children in Detroit for that matter.

There is a cost to all we cherish when we assent to those who tell us that most damning of lies — perhaps it is the only lie — that my life can be secured at your expense, especially if you are darker than I am or pray to God by a name not my own. To believe that lie is to pretend that you and I do not inhabit the same planet, that we do not make our annual sojourn around the same star, that my fate and my well-being is not utterly inseparable from yours.

Perhaps then this should be our central and irrevocable New Year's resolution: in this and every coming year, I resolve that I will so live my life that I will refuse everything within and everything without that tempts me to imagine that I can fashion the trajectory of my life without thinking also of yours regardless of who you are, whether you vote red or blue, whether you are gay or straight, whether you are a Christian or a Muslim or an atheist.

I am an earthling and so are you. We spin through the vastness of space together. Might this not be the most important resolution we can make? There is still time.

John J. Thatamanil is Associate Professor of Theology and World Religions at Union Theological Seminary in New York. He is the author of The Immanent Divine: God, Creation, and the Human Predicament.

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Noble sentiments which do nothing to apportion the origin of trauma such as Aleppo and others. We should know where the problem comes from but we’re not prepared to say, nor investigate because we cannot face the possibility that our mob is involved in the shit. So John J. Thatamanil goes around the problem and gloss over the reality that crap exists and does not come from god nor the devil but from simple difference of opinion as well as from religious extremism — in a natural construct. John J. Thatamanil's book summary tells us:

"While traditional Christian thought and spirituality have always affirmed the divine presence in human life, Thatamanil argues we have much to learn from non-dualistic Hindu thought, especially that of the eighth-century thinker Sankara, and from the Christian panentheism of Paul Tillich. Thatamanil compares their diagnoses and prognoses of the human predicament in light of their doctrine of God or Ultimate Reality. What emerges is a new theology of God and human beings, with a richer and more radical conception of divine immanence, a reconceived divine transcendence, and a keener sense of how the dynamic and active Spirit at work in us anchors real hope and deep joy.

Using key insights from Christian and Hindu thought Thatamanil vindicates comparative theology, expands the vocabulary about the ineffable God, and arrives at a new construal of the problems and prospects of the human condition."

The human condition has nothing to do with god. We are evolved monkeys (apes) with animal characteristics at all level, including our self-inflated sense of intelligence. We try to rob each others, even by making “value deals” through economic and through belief manipulations which leave many of us poor and profit only a few of us — those sneaky enough to climb to the top of the pile. It’s the pecking order — human style. It’s part of our nature. Our relationship codes are designed to socially dampen the worse traits in most of us, but due to natural vagaries and narrow-minded education in many cultural frameworks, some of humanities become renegades, thieves, sociopaths, terrorists and propagandists — and not just in Muslim communities. Our Neoliberal social constructs are actually more deceptive, though more comfortable than these uptight religious constructs. No matter how we become saints in our own eyes, we are vulnerable to others' misdemeanours and our own inflation which places our arse at the level of god. The ineffable god is a fabulous invention to give us the right to be “righteous” in a complex context. It does not sort out the problems our masters, rulers and those our own stupidity engender. 

I would propose that "the human condition" is not problematic but we turn it into a problem by not accepting its earthly evolutionary origins — and don't work more realistic ways to manage the condition which is quite fantastic for monkeys. We are a species in progress.

The complexity of our societal structures lead to many lies which are full of deception, including the belief that we are right and others are wrong. Yes we should weep for the kids in war torn countries, but we should also decry the originators of these bloody wars which eventually engender guilty parties on all sides. Religious wars during the Renaissance DID happen for reasons that were far more than just beliefs but also territorial dominance and the relevance of ownership of "souls". Imagine the Catholics losing to Luther — unthinkable — all this glory and cash being a waste of energy… Whether the Cath or the Luther were right or not, both were fighting tooth and nail for existence in the mind of people. The same is presently happening with the Shia and the Sunnis — a battle in which the Western idiots have taken the most hideous side for profit (oil).

"the trajectory of my life without thinking also of yours regardless of who you are, whether you vote red or blue, whether you are gay or straight, whether you are a Christian or a Muslim or an atheist…

Is there no limit on this regardlessness, as someone else will try to kill you, rob you or bury you? At what point do you draw the bridge? No matter how saintly you are, was or will be, there will always be some morons ready to believe that you owe them your life, or have to be subservient, especially if you are a woman. And if you don't have enemies, you governments will manufacture some so you become docile in fear.

Transcendence is a big deceptive word for earthlings. It means their head is full of lovely shit while the pickpockets are busy.
by Gus Leonisky on Tue, 2017-01-17 09:12

The president-elect promised to draw up a trade deal with the UK “quickly” after Brexit and said he could understand why voters chose to leave in last year’s referendum. “You look at the European Union and it’s Germany. Basically a vehicle for Germany. That’s why I thought the UK was so smart in getting out,” he told Gove.

Gove, the first senior Conservative to meet Trump, spent an hour chatting to the president-elect in what he called his “glitzy, golden man cave” in Trump Tower, New York, for an interview with the Times.

Trump stressed his fondness for the UK and said other countries could follow its lead and leave the EU, something Gove predicted during the referendum campaign. “I believe others will leave. I do think keeping it together is not gonna be as easy as a lot of people think,” said Trump.

Asked whether he would press ahead with a trade deal with the UK that would come into force after Brexit, Trump told the former justice secretary: “Absolutely, very quickly. I’m a big fan of the UK. We’re gonna work very hard to get it done quickly and done properly. Good for both sides.”

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Time for Europe to grow up and be responsible beyond the skirts of the USA. Time for Europe to trade back with Russia with less hypocrisy and more grown-up respectful diplomacy. Time for the naked monkeys on this small planet to embrace peace and honesty. Ahah...

Anyone who has read my old pertinent comments on this site would know that Brexit should have happened way before, because the UK has always been a double agent on behalf of the USA, implanted in Europe. The UK should never been part of the EU and should have been expelled a long time ago. 

by Gus Leonisky on Tue, 2017-01-17 07:25

London’s default setting since 1945 has been to be as close to Washington as humanly possible. That’s what the manual, handed to every diplomat and every new occupant of No 10, demands. Sure enough, Theresa May is following it – dispatching her joint chiefs of staff, rather than the UK ambassador, to Trump Tower to beg for an early meeting between the two leaders, amid all the familiarly needy, unrequited talk of a “special relationship”.

This is certainly what you’d expect of a British prime minister if a normal American president were about to take over on 20 January. But May has not sufficiently absorbed that Trump is an aberration, and therefore the usual rules should not automatically apply. (Angela Merkel has been much more wary.)

Theresa May is repeating the same mistake so fatefully made by Tony Blair in 2001


Instead, May is repeating the same mistake so fatefully made by Tony Blair in 2001. He thought he should be as close to George W Bush as he’d been to Bill Clinton, failing to appreciate that the two men were entirely different, that Bush was surrounded by ideological obsessives who were bent on war with Iraq from the very start. May is being similarly undiscriminating. In her post-Brexit longing for friends and trading partners, she is getting ready to cosy up to a man who makes Bush look like Abraham Lincoln. It may prove to be her costliest error.

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What a lot of codswallop from Jonathan Freedland... Blair was ALSO AN INSTIGATOR of the war on Iraq. He was not "fooled" nor "taken" by G W Bush. BLAIR AND OUR OWN HOWARD WERE PART OF THE CONSPIRACY.

Theresa May is as loony as Donald Trump. Possibly loonier and with a god in tow... AND BOTH KNOW (not) WHAT THEY ARE DOING. Presently throwing little bombs everywhere, SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED TO CONFUSE the press and the public. 

NORMALITY has never been a word to use for the world leaders. Obama was no "normal" president. He may have looked this way but he certainly was not. What we have to come to learn is that most leaders are psychopath and sociopath on the inside, while appearing decent on the outside. With Donald, we can wonder what's inside since the outside is all over the place. He could hit us with a stroke of genius at any time, or a most stupid move, but with far less chances  of the same shit that we had to endure from all the US presidents since Adams.



by Gus Leonisky on Tue, 2017-01-17 06:52

Anyone who follows media coverage of Russia will know that the ability to read Putin’s mind is something most journalists and analysts on that beat claim to possess. It’s truly fascinating to watch. Endless articles have been published wherein the author claims to know exactly what the mysterious and impenetrable Putin wants, feels, or thinks about the topic at hand.

It’s also not the first time journalists have attempted to explain Putin using 19th century writers and philosophers. As Robinson noted on his blog, last year it was Ivan Ilyin — and next year it will probably be someone else who holds the true key to understanding Putin’s soul.

Jimenez describes Putin as a “dangerous product” of the Russian soul as conceptualized by Dostoyevsky. He will stop at nothing to build his empire and is supported by the Russian people who are “seeking proof” of their “superiority among the family of nations.” Interestingly, he neglects to mention that there is another country, whose foreign policy is literally (and proudly) built on a belief in its superiority and exceptionalism.

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by Gus Leonisky on Mon, 2017-01-16 22:35

The closing arguments for the Obama years are arriving, and they aren’t helping the outgoing president. A case in point is a new book published this week, one that acknowledges “Obama’s supporters have experienced [his presidency] as a continuous disappointment.”

Those supporters, and others, must have noticed that “for most of Obama’s term, wage gains were largely confined to the rich.” Or that “The administration’s planning in Libya clearly failed” or “It is certain that the actual outcome [of Obama’s Syria policy] was disastrous.”

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