Thursday 18th of August 2022

Gus Leonisky's blog

dreaming of a fixerator……..

Decades of exceptionalism, ideological obsessions and a deep-rooted sense of superiority is catching up with the United States.

The world needs to appreciate the rapid shifts in the global order arising from the US’ toxic domestic situation, and how its political elite distracts people from its decline with an aggressive foreign policy anchored in outdated doctrines

US President Joe Biden visited Asia last week and triggered panic across the region when he spoke out of turn and unproductively about war with China.

betting the world at poker….

The Chinese special administrative region of Macau, known as the world’s largest casino city, has been put on lockdown for the first time in more than two years following a new Covid outbreak.

According to the city government’s statement on July 9, operations of “all industries and commercial companies and venues in Macau” will remain suspended from Monday until July 18, except for those “deemed essential to the community and to the day-to-day lives of the members of the public.”

Police patrols have been deployed to ensure public compliance with the new measures.

in the national interest……..

Many G20 diplomats are more concerned with their own national interests than punishing Russia with economic sanctions for attacking Ukraine, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has said. He claimed the West was being accused of double standards and had failed to win a “battle of narratives” in relation to Ukraine.

“The global battle of narratives is in full swing and, for now, we are not winning,” Borrell remarked on Sunday in a blog post describing his participation in last week’s meeting of G20 foreign ministers in Indonesia. The solution, he said, is to “engage further to refute Russian lies and war propaganda.”

how fortunate we were to survive the cold war……….

‘Would it not be wondrous for this whole nation to be destroyed like a beautiful flower?’ General Anami trying to persuade the Japanese leadership not to surrender after Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

‘[Payne’s book is an] extended reminder of just how fortunate we probably were to survive the Cold War. He rubs our noses in the unarguable fact that nuclear deterrence is all theory, and much of it is not very convincing theory at that… When we consider the Soviet/Russian and U.S. strategic nuclear postures as complex somewhat interdependent systems, especially in their full political, military, human, social, and technological contexts, it is hard to resist the judgment that we are fortunate to be here today. Complex systems have ‘normal accident’ rates.’ Colin Gray, leading scholar of nuclear strategy. 

 

naked in a prison bare cell…….

Beware privileged people who have learned to speak with confidence yet appear blind to the benefits of social class. Beware powerful people who claim that democratic governments, in the US, UK, Australia, administer justice always according to some time-honoured principle about rules of law.

Beware a society in which men socialised by privileged education and employment remain socially distant from ordinary citizens with few resources. Beware assumptions derived from life in protected institutions, law, academia, or government, which foster hostility towards someone they do not understand, or who, heaven forbid, disputes the fairness of society’s customs and rules.

 

By Stuart Rees

 

uber aberrations……..

Thousands of leaked files have revealed how far ride-share company Uber went in lobbying world political leaders to help boost its growth.

Dubbed The Uber Files, the leak shows how Uber received extensive help from politicians such as French President Emmanuel Macron and former EU commissioner Neelie Kroes to relax labour and taxi laws, and to avoid justice.

The documents include more than 124,000 records, 83,000 emails and 1000 other files involving conversations, spanning 2013 to 2017 and nearly 30 countries.

job for the boys?…….

“I am here today at the committee’s request,” West said. “I have never spoken publicly about this matter for the sake of my family and their privacy I have been trying to move on from what has been a very disappointing episode in my life.”

West said she started as deputy secretary, trade and international, within Investment NSW in October 2020 and applied for the senior trade and investment commissioner role for the Americas at the encouragement of Brown.

She was advised that she was the successful candidate in August last year but Brown later told her that she had been advised by the government that the positions would be “political appointments, and not public sector appointments” and the recruitment process was halted.

Brown said she was also told that her existing job would be terminated.

a shitty mediatic invention…….

Everyone loves a redemption arc. The British media is no exception. It makes a habit of rescuing people from the pits of history: the liars, the cheaters, the war criminals. If these figures have something to offer the establishment — a condemnation of the Left; a bolster to the Right — the press that represents its interests will sponge away their crimes and bring them, renewed, back to their seat at the table.

an anti-kremlin coalition was born — this is going to be ugly……...

 

Ukraine has a million-strong army poised to retake South, ministry says

President Zelensky gave the order to retake the areas, Ukraine’s defense minister told The Times

As ordered by the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, a million-strong fighting force has been amassed in the country to recapture its southern areas, which have previously been taken by Russian forces, defense minister Alexey Reznikov has told The Times. 

“We understand that, politically, it’s very necessary for our country. The president has given the order to the supreme military chief to draw up plans,” he said in an interview published on Sunday. 

a "correct understanding"…...

China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi has told Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong that the Albanese government must form a "correct understanding" of China as a partner, not a threat, according to a Chinese government summary of their first meeting in Bali.

the US is trying to rob the bear…….

What explains America’s hyper-ideological response to the Ukraine crisis? Less than a year before Vladimir Putin launched his invasion, Washington had wrapped up two decades of lousy regime-change wars, waged in the name of planting “freedom” in that region’s inhospitable soil. There was, or seemed to be, broad agreement that liberal moralism in foreign policy stood discredited: It had destabilized whole swaths of the Middle East and North Africa and bogged down America and its allies in the region’s bloody and intricate enmities—and to what end?

Yet now, a few months later, the United States and its NATO allies are once again on an escalatory path, handing billions of dollars’ worth of sophisticated weaponry to Kyiv, deploying covert operatives to assist the Ukrainians, and mounting massive (if so far useless) economic sanctions against Russia.

 

of jewish impressions…….

It is customary in our political circles to link cultural modernism (and its negative social consequences) to Jewish influence. While there are strong grounds for this stance, things are sometimes more complicated than this narrative would suggest. Take, for instance, the group of painters who made up the French Impressionist movement of the late nineteenth century.

Considered to be the first avant-garde movement of the Modernist period, Impressionism served as a springboard for many artistic movements of the twentieth century, including Symbolism, Fauvism, and Cubism. Yet among the leaders of the Impressionist movement were artists, like Cezanne, Renoir and Degas, who were notable for their antipathy to Jews.

the emperor of bullshit has finally deigned to remove himself from the landscape…….

“It doesn’t change our relationship with the United Kingdom,” said Deputy PM Richard Marles of Boris Johnson’s inevitable and belated political demise.

He’s wrong.

Of course Johnson’s ousting will change our relationship, just as Australia changing prime ministers either subtly or unsubtly change our relationships with other nations.

Cue the change in relationship with Donald Trump as we moved from Malcolm Turnbull to Scott Morrison, a kindred spirit. Or with France from Scott Morrison to Anthony Albanese – no explanation required.

 

BY Michael Pascoe

 

that sinking feeling: morally and historically wrong…...

Is Albo auditioning for membership of NATO? His Labor government may be more competent than the Coalition on foreign affairs but little has changed on government secrecy, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese even stepping up weapons traffic to Ukraine while keeping mum on coal.

“Today we are announcing an additional $100 million in military-technical assistance. In total, we have already provided $390 million,” Albanese said this week on his tour to meet President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi. “We are also additionally providing 14 armoured personnel carriers and 20 “Bushmaster” – armoured vehicles. Thus, the total number of “Bushmasters” was 60″.

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