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Julian Assange as Neuroses

Julian Assange continues to ripple and roam as a cipher through the political and media scape of the world. Detained in Belmarsh maximum security prison, the sort of stately abode only reserved for the most dangerous of criminals, many with indeterminate sentences, he electrifies and concerns.

The US political classes continue to simmer with an obsession that has gone feral. Some moderation can be found in the efforts of Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky), who is seeking a bartering solution. “I think he should be given immunity from prosecution in exchange for coming to the United States and testifying.” The question of causing harm or otherwise was less significant than what Assange had to offer in terms of information “probably pertinent to the hacking of the Democratic emails”.

It is precisely the issue of harm that obsessives on the Hill fantasize about. Their rage is that of Caliban before the mirror, and rather than taking issue with US foreign policy, see Assange as an imitator. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, speaks of WikiLeaks and its “destructive role by directly interfering in democratic elections and referendums around the world, most troubling of which is WikiLeaks’ collaboration with Russia to directly interfere in the United States presidential election in 2016.”

But Assange’s formalised incarceration has enabled some scrutiny to be cast over the indictment in question. Dell Cameron from Gizmodo is constructively quizzical, suggesting a few holes in the US case against the publisher. “Assange indicated that he had been trying to crack the password by stating that he had ‘no luck so far’.” This raises two questions: Did he even venture to do so? If so, can that very fact be proven?

Cameron goes on to do an admirable job of demonstrating how much of a journalist Assange actually was in engaging Chelsea Manning. Far from being a freak cavalier with convention, the conduct squared with the more risqué tradition of investigative reporting. The “acquisition and transmission of classified information” is standard bread and butter stuff for the fourth estate. “If you have material you believe is newsworthy, please visit our SecureDrop page to learn more about how to safely transmit it to Gizmodo. We’d be happy to receive it.”

Others are not so confident and continue to struggle with the label of Assange as journalist, nail bitten that he has been awarded a title that somehow treads on holy ground. Only some will be admitted; the rest can be dismissed and banged up, deemed the unwashed.

One is Peter Greste, a particularly troublesome case given the work he did for Al Jazeera that landed him, for a time, in an Egyptian prison. “As someone who has been imprisoned by a foreign government for publishing material that it didn’t like, I have a certain sympathy with Assange. But my support stops there.”

As happens with practitioners, his admission to the world of establishment academe softens both cortex and conviction. From the summit of UNESCO chair in journalism and communication at the University of Queensland, he lords: “To be clear, Julian Assange is not a journalist, and WikiLeaks is not a news organisation. There is an argument to be had about the libertarian ideal of radical transparency that underpins its ethos but that is a separate issue altogether from press freedom.”

Greste falls for the prosecution effort to play the hacker card, tagged to conspiracy. This stands to reason: the organisation and its publisher are to be refused entry into the pantheon of journalism. Perhaps this stands to reason, given how WikiLeaks has demonstrated with devastating effect that the journalist, as a term, has been rented into vacuity. Greste also tut tuts Assange for not “sorting through the hundreds of thousands of files to seek out the most important or relevant and protect the innocent”. Again, that hoary old chestnut, ignoring the inordinate lengths that WikiLeaks has gone to protect those who have, in fact, disclosed the secrets while blowing the cover on the less savoury elements of power.

As one goes through Greste’s views, a feeling of engaging a dinosaur awaiting the museum comes through. He is incapable of understanding the digital upending that WikiLeaks has encouraged. The “digital revolution has confused the definitions of what journalism is and its role in a democracy.” In attempting to treat Assange and the outfit as exceptional, he dangerously endorses wide ranging efforts that can just as easily justify the incarceration and punishment of journalists of all shades. Greste can confidently split hairs.

The feeble nonsense that passes for intellectual comment on the fourth estate can be gathered in the following remark from journalist hacks turned academic hacks (one, Kathy Kiely, holds the Lee Hills Chair of Free Press Studies at the University of Missouri-Columbia, which must be a source of much mirth): “But granting Assange journalist status is beyond problematic: It’s likely to draw more attacks on press freedom such as the Georgia lawmakers’ thinly disguised attempt to sanction and ostracize journalists whose work they don’t like.”

Too hard a basket, is the Assange case. Don’t call him a journalist, because doing so might incite retribution, which is the sort of twisted rationale produced by pro-establishment airings. The only standard retribution that should follow in such cases is a swift removal of their “chairs” in journalism, upon which they have become very firmly affixed too. The moulded establishment has a habit of doing away with independence, and Assange’s seizure has merely reaffirmed it.

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70 comments

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  1. Joseph Carli

    The rise and rise of social media as a “journalistic medium” has shown on too many occasions that the “investigative amateur” is so much more superior than the “experienced professional” in exposing a story…sadly, in doing so it has also in many cases shown the journalist cognescenti as the equivalence of the “emperor with no clothes”!

  2. Jack Cade

    The world’s greatest
    Interfered in other people’s affairs shits itself st the idea that someone might do the same to the US. And to our shame, we go along with their paranoia.
    Someone on YouTube posited that the US antipathy toward Huawei is because the CIA can’t crack the 5G system and so it order its catamite /epiphyte states to resist the technology. Meanwhile China is using ‘softly softly…’ to catchee, while the US still relies on brutality. And we and the UK go along with them. All of our military spending is done to slot into the US war machine.
    Any self-respecting country would laud Assange for exposing the axis of evil that we are part of; but no journalist will dare do what Wikileaks did, not now, which is what the US intends to be the case.

  3. Diannaart

    I respect Peter Greste, cannot begin to imagine his suffering when imprisoned … but … Assange achieved revelations for the public interest in different ways to Greste’s more traditional journalism. Shining a light doesn’t require the same torch.

    There’s nothing to prevent anyone from working through the WikiLeaks documents, in fact, that they are complete gives them a certain genuine edge lacking in edited work.

    As for Assange locked away in high security … the only thing he needs to be separated from is the Internet, FFS.

  4. Brad Golding

    Sorry, no way I can agree with Greste. Sounds like he is more concerned with protecting his job than standing up for what is right. Or is there more to him than meets the eye I wonder?

    Just in case they have not come across it, I have forwarded this article to George Galloway and Adam Garrie as I am sure they will be interested, who, like me, are both strong supporters of Julian.

  5. paul walter

    Thoughtful piece, thoughtful comments.

    I keep coming across comments and articles on this subject, given my own cognitive dissonances, it is like likely the reading has not extended to hard conservative commentaries on tabloid TV and in second rate newspapers….Greste is as far as I want to go when it comes to myopia.

    I’ve read stuff by Prof. Stuart Rees and John Pilger who are passionate respecters of human rights, also Dr. Kampmark who has written what has become a series of commentaries on Assange of the sort put up by AIM most often but also elsewhere.

    A twitter comment from Lenore Taylor, one of the best of her tribe, saying he wasn’t a journalist, was contradicted somewhat in the form of an award from European journalism for Assange the following day.

    Dr Rod Tiffin has written a long piece and admits the case against Assange is shallow, even though doing his best to be as unsympathetic as he can.
    So many, cannot recall them all and in one case someone blocked because editors have considered the subject matter likely biased and personalised.

    I won’t add more for now…most people know my views and I also know the doubts of some at places like this- it is a touchy subject for many because so much is only partially known or is accidentally or deliberately obscured.

    Ido beleive Asang eis the wrong person to be trial, better they went for people like Madelaine Albright of various brits american andswedes and aussies as to this mess.

  6. paul walter

    typos last para, apologies.

  7. Jack Cade

    Brad Golding.
    I am a fan of The History Boys. They have opened my eyes to many things in recent weeks, from the truth about Venezuela and Duterte, to the punitve demands the US made on Britain for the WW2 Liberty Ships and Truman’s ideas to smash the British Empire. Okay, it’s a perspective we’d rather not consider out here in the world of freedom and democracy, but just glance at the editorials in the American press, like The Australian, the Telegraph, The Courier-Mail, and wonder why we have an alopecic bible-bashing speaker-in-tongues as PM, and the Americans have a mandarin-hued moron as president, both with the support of a malign Murdoch. We, like the old comedy catch-phrase – ‘know nottink’.

  8. paul walter

    Jack Cade, it’s like Kampmark has revealed…all symptomatic of a deep Western neurosis

  9. paul walter

    Sadly IA seem to have taken down my link..shouldnt the truth come first?

  10. Jack Cade

    I subscribe to IA. That article tells us what we already know, that ‘freedom and democracy’ is actually the LAST thing they want us to have. One of the LW YouTube channels (the Young Turks, I think) had vision of what it says were riots in Ecuador about its president accepting US bribes and trashing Ecuador’s reputation. No mention in our msm.
    The other day the Guardian ran an article. by Greg Jericho about the persistent lying in the election campaign. I sent a comment saying that, seeing that all the lying is accepted, why did a Labor candidate have to withdraw from the race for telling the truth about Israel and the treatment of Palestinians? I pointed out that I was not anti-Jew, far from it, but that the Palestinians were Semites too. After a couple of responses the post was pulled, and a follow up post saying that the ‘world’s greatest liberal newspaper’ was obviously. It was also pulled. So far as the msm is concerned, there is nowhere to go.

  11. paul walter

    Jack Cade, what you perfectly described, is only the latest in a long series of capitulations by the ALP on critical issues.

    Consider the threat made by an Adani boss the other day as to the investor-state mechanism invoked if Adani is challenged on environmental grounds as community interest. How can Adani get away with it unless it is law? We know who introduced this series of FTA’s and kindred laws, but who supported the articles with only cosmetic alterations and voted down attempts at public scrutiny of the treaties before they were passed?

  12. Diannaart

    Stuff we might know after the election, if Labor wins:

    How much Labor supports coal/Adani.

    Whether Assange will be left to the USA – most likely.

    A federal ICAC?

    And so much more.

  13. Jack Cade

    Disnnaart
    Don’t hold your breath. As George Galloway says about UK politics and US politics, our major parties are cheeks of the same arse. See what happened when former Labor ministers retired and joined the other side, like Richo. It’s judt a job, not a belief.

  14. mark delmege

    I think Assange (and Wikileaks) covers the field quite well … as journalist reporter and opinion maker. An historical person of some significance.
    Such people, sadly, are often eliminated by the powerful (with the acquiescence of the ‘acceptable’ journalists reporters and opinion makers)

  15. Jack Cade

    Far from championing issues like Assange and other really important issues, the world’s greatest liberal newspaper – formerly known as the Guardian – today carries a piece claiming that the Prime Minister of Australia, widely considered by thinking people to be a ‘cuneiform’, is actually a really good bloke.
    As my grandkids say – FFS…

  16. Diannaart

    Jack Cade

    I am not holding my breath at all. Merely pointing out possibilities for the clarity of some truths that may rise to the surface of the human swamp.

    We need to be vigilant and observant, lest these truth bubbles disappear.

  17. Alcibiades

    JC,
    By the newly minted, only four days old, Guardians new Chief Political Correspondent & longtime writer for Murdochs Australian … absolute drivel. Murpharoo, given Morrison knifed her idol, Turnbull, refused to write it ?

  18. Jack Cade

    Alcibiades.
    Yep. Murphy seems almost credible in her
    reportage lately. She’s obviously over the dismissal of the ‘leather jackets’ (I bought one in anticipation of an antipoden ‘Gilets Jaunes’ ( not really, I bought a Trumble lookalike from an Op shop for $5.), but deep inside KM was a journo that the Guardian pretends it favours. To be fair, Van Badham, Amy Remeikas and Greg Jericho have fitted the bill, but as the Political Editor, KM was Murdoch-lite when the specs-twirler was pretending to be a statesman.

  19. Alcibiades

    Murphy seems almost credible … indeed. Not sure about Murdoch-lite, not when every second article was a thinly veiled Coalition press release, or a recurring ‘Kill Bill’ piece, or some rubbish mirroring Murdoch, including multiple embedded links/references to Murdochs, the UnAustralian, or lastly a ‘2 Minute Hate’ on Abbott to make Malcolm look good by comparison.

    Ah, the endlessly regurgitated phrases, such as, navigating the cross currents. FFS!

  20. Kaye Lee

    “Scott Morrison: ‘master of the middle’ may pull Coalition out of a muddle”???? Seriously????

  21. Jack Cade

    Kaye.
    The assertion was pure Murdoch. I do not expect – corection, I used NOT to expect – such stuff from the Guardian, but like a three-week-old kitten, my eyes have been opened. There is NO left-leaning newspaper in this wide brown land. Hardly even a MOR journal
    Now that Nine has castrated Fairfax.

  22. Jack Cade

    I’ve been reading the Guardian for many years, principally via the Guardian Weekly. I have never heard of this woman, and certainly never read, any of this woman’s columns. I will continue never failing to miss her writings. He

  23. Diannaart

    Alcibiades

    Many thanks for informative link, which I intend to keep handy; many, too many Assange detractors. Plus, Assange himself is a very easy target.

    Et tu? Guardian?

  24. Jack Cade

    George Galloway just said ‘It turns out that George Orwell’s ‘1984’ was a manual, not just a novel.’
    Can’t put it more eloquently than that. He went on to point out that he – George Galloway – was the only person to be expelled from the mother of all parliaments for speaking out against Iraq, whilst what he terms a war criminal – Tony Blair – has made 100 million pounds out of it and can’t keep up with the requests for appearances。
    Galloway finished by saying ‘Never trust liberals, small ‘l’ liberals, they are just lipstick on the pig of neoconservatism.’

  25. paul walter

    Jack Cade, Diannart, Freeman is the London edition “fashionista”, but writes lots of opinionated middle class stuff for their London wannabee demographic, which seems a lot more “lobbied” than the Oz version.

    This sinks her to Michael Weiss’s level

    https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/04/julian-assange-got-what-he-deserved/587008/https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/04/julian-assange-got-what-he-deserved/587008/

    You may ask who plagiarised who, given the structure of both articles.

    But either way, it is stuff blatant enough to shame even the late Joseph Goebells.

    From a different trajectory comes John Pilger, for a corrective.

    https://consortiumnews.com/2019/04/12/assange-arrest-a-warning-from-history/

    Also vitriolic, but more accurate, one feels..

  26. Diannaart

    Paul Walter

    Only skimmed the first couple of paras of Freeman … life is too short and I don’t have energy to spare.

    Already on Pilger’s newslist.

    Found Johnstone’s a good guide to survival online in general, not just handy hints to slam dunk Assange detractors.

  27. paul walter

    Thanks, Diannaart.

    What saddens me is that there are so many things supposed broadsheet people could have written about, like the genocide in Yemen where the UN tells us close to twenty million people are being starved to death through the armed to the teeth Saudi Arabian assault on an already pitifully poor, divided country.

    Brits Yanks and Oz have armed these creatures, yet comment remains almost nonexistent.

    Why? How can it be?

  28. Jack Cade

    Today the airwaves are full of memories of Columbine.
    Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen and the Palestinians have HUNDREDS of Columbines…

  29. paul walter

    The American posse gun culture probably is worthy of comment, how many thousands murdered there by aggressive nutters with assault rifles? Poor Diannaart knows of this type.

    Palestine, Afghanistan, Libya, Egypt, Syria and Iraq and the rest are saucers full of secrets tapped by very few. Assange was someone who found the tip of the iceberg and if what he, Manning, Snowden and others have found is the norm rather than the exception, what horror stories must have been suppressed.

    Yet, the best they can do is kick well-intentioned dissidents when down. Tell me, what do I miss in all this?

  30. mark delmege

    I hope the readers here and those who comment do visit https://wikileaks.org.
    You might be surprised what you learn.

  31. paul walter

    I suppose people will be pleased to know that he has even been denied access to his lawyers.

    If it is a precedent now, how long before it becomes the norm?

  32. Jack Cade

    Paul, it’s the norm now.
    Anybody who expects justice under the law, in a court, is a mug.
    I’ve been reading about the case of Rubin Hurricane Carter, whose treatment by the judiciary in the USA was viciously racist. Condemned because he was an African-American with a white car. Despite eyewitnesses saying he wasn’t one of the killers, a white jury accepted the evidence of two men who were committing robberies nearby but were promised immunity by the police.
    Assange has no chance of justice. All
    He did was print the truth – which has never been denied. As Galloway said, 1984 is a manual, not a story.
    For what it’s worth, I’m not convinced Carter was innocent, but that’s not the point. The State is all-powerful and only pretends we have any rights.

  33. Alcibiades

    JC,
    Look into the actions taken against the AIM, the American Indian Movement in the ’70’s. FBI agents infiltrated & also covertly bugged the legal defence teams. Protected Legal priviledge ? Ha! They fed it all to the prosecution … US Justice.

  34. Diannaart

    Chelsea Manning was not charged with anything more serious than garden variety computer espionage and improper storage of classified documents.

    Yet many Assange detractors claim the WikiLeaks publications cost lives.

    A brief google results in a plethora of articles, given the inherent bias of such articles just sorting chaff from yet more chaff is too much, for yours truly, to fathom.

    However, if lives were lost as a direct result of Wikileaks, would not the USA be charging Assange with manslaughter or similar? Something more specific than “computer hacking”?

    Or, is US waiting until Assange is extradited before revealing list of charges?

    Any thoughts?

  35. Kaye Lee

    Diannaart,

    I think I heard that, if he is extradited, he can only be charged with the specifics of the extradition order. If they want to pile on more charges, they have to do it before the extradition…..I think.

  36. Alcibiades

    You can guarantee if lives were lost re wikileaks publication of classified docs & media the US Military & Intelligence agencies would be running 24 hour news briefings on shows with friendly ‘hosts’ let alone what now passes for their Free Press. Didn’t ever happen. Endless unsubstantiated inference & rhetoric, yet, bubkiss.

    Once he’s under US jurisdiction they can and will charge him with whatever they please. Throw him in super-max in solitary confinement & deniably torture him howsoever they choose. Such niceties mean nothing to a nation & Legal system that has abrogated uncounted treaties & agreements since inception.

  37. Kaye Lee

    Alcibiades,

    The extradition treaty between the UK and the US says “Extradition shall not be granted if the offense for which extradition is
    requested is a political offense.”

    Espionage and treason are considered core “political offences”, which is why the US request is limited to the charge of computer fraud.

    Though I do accept that the US does not always play by the rules.

  38. Jack Cade

    The US is the ultimate rogue state. Makes and breaks treaties with no compunction; uses and abuses, floods the airwaves with fictitious WMD-type allegations and ignores laws it doesn’t like, abc us followed by the rats like Howard and Blair, and now May and Morrison. All of the problems we now have with Islam can be traced back to the US activities, post-Vietnam. The Pentsgon needs a bogeyman to maintain its greed for armaments. In fact, in a world where language grow and words change, in US parlance, DEFENCE really means ATTACK.

  39. Diannaart

    Thanks Kaye Lee

    I agree, Alcibiades, your POV dovetails with mine.

    If Assange is extradited, charged and incarcerated, predict a complete change of federal government, led by someone with a social conscience, would be required before any chance of reprieve.

  40. Alcibiades

    Kaye,
    Extradition shall not be granted if …

    And once extradition has been granted & Assange is in the custody of the US, even as soon as boarding a rendition aircraft (sovereign territory) parked on a taxiway at any of the joint RAF/US airbases in the UK ?

    Even if, and that is a bigly if, the UK government wished to do anything other than bleat feebly, what could they actually do in response ? Complain to the UN ? Lodge a protest with the International Criminal Court(ICC), which the US never recognised, denies any jurisdiction over anything anywhere related to the US, & currently denies visas, & threatens its staff & judges personally ? Maybe complain to the EU Court of Human Rights ?

    Can see Trump sarcastically tweeting on that circa 3am, in all CAPS …

    @JC
    To maintain & sustain a minimum of a permanent strategy of ‘Tension’, in order to maximise profits & control, to put nicely.

    @Diannaart,
    A new prez,not already vetted & pre-selected, to run in one of the two factions essentially comprising a virtual single party ? All Hope & Change along the lines of the former Drone King & Nobel Prize winner ?

  41. Jack Cade

    Fans of ‘Spooks’ know just how much the US thinks of ‘laws’ and justice.

  42. Alcibiades

    An incomplete mere snapshot:

    The US has always broken its treaties, pacts and promises

    Just like the promises of a Mafia don, it’s all just business.

    Freedom, democracy, human rights ?

    The US is one of the countries to have ratified the fewest number of international human rights treaties—of the 18 agreements passed by the UN, America has only ratified five.

  43. mark delmege

    A little there above on GUCCIFER 2.0 but its mostly about how Seth Rich hacked hmmm downloaded the data from the DNC that was passed onto Assange via Craig Murray. Rich was killed – if you remember – and did what he did because he didn’t like what the Clinton team did to Sanders. You know the one and same Clinton team that dreamed up the Russiagate charade.

  44. Jack Cade

    According to Reporters Without Borders (RSF) the UK ranks 40th in terms of press freedom. The USA is ranked 43. All the Scandinavian countries are the best, with Norway top of the list. Australia ranks somewhere in the high 30s。Or so the Independent reports. I think RSF is being too kind to the US and the UK.
    My personal view is that the Independent is notably more liberal than the Guardian, and
    The Australian is about as unfettered as Pravda.

  45. randalstella

    Since the release by Wikileaks of the footage of Americans routinely murdering defenceless Iraqis, Assange’s political conduct has intrigued against the rotten Democratic Party for the even worse corporate criminals of the Republican Party. So much of the older, established leadership of the Democrats is heavily corrupted by corporate sponsorship. But, as Assange must surely know, the Republicans are far worse, more closely associated with the American armaments industry and its profit in mayhem.
    In domestic politics this is support for the NRA, an organisation which would be prohibited in any society governed by concern for safety of its citizens. The NRA are strongly supported by the atrocious Rand Paul – repeatedly cited as an ally worth having by the leftoids for Assange.
    Leftoids for Assange are, after all, leftoids for mass-murderer Putin. When he is not murdering journalists and political opponents, this loathsome creature has people in jail – whose character and politics deserve personal support. They will not get anywhere near the publicity of Assange.

    By now Assange is a danger most to progressive politics. But he should never have been arrested for exposing episodes of the American war machine. His lack of political judgement is revealed in his support for the psychotic Trump, as if that would be safer for truth, and a reform to American mass murder. This is not an error merely on a close call, but an entirely blinkered and reactionary politics, that he has sustained beyond any doubt of a mere slip. Normalised American corruption has been sneered at, to support the most extreme criminality. Assange has a liking for playing ruthless power politics. Can he now complain that it is being played back on him?

    That does not change at all the oppressive injustice of his arrest. Free the twerp. Free Putin’s useful turd. Let’s hear his political opinions less oblique, less filtered, directly from him, in debate. Up against facts. No lawyers present.

    I am concerned that when Tweedledum takes over Government here, Assange’s case will be further undermined by the new boy’s keenness to show himself as the next Ozzie lickspittle. The Adani Labor Party are a heartbeat away from Prime Minister Albanese, Murdoch’s champion for Freedom and the American way.

    Does Assange have the wit to know where his damaging enemies are? His behaviour suggests not. He offers plenty of excuses for letting him rot – in the hands of the politics he supports. But there are two courageous and honourable people we know of to consider, against whom Assange’s case will be a case against them. Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden. That Assange has been likened to them shows a delusional inattention to facts. Yet, the fair truth is enough reason to demand Assange’s release. Manning and Snowden put honest faces to that truth. Assange now has to hope for the next President to be someone whose politics and policies he has actively intrigued against.
    The notion that Rand Paul could be a saviour for human rights shares Assange’s political judgement. It is sheer leftoid fantasy; that is, the advertising of extreme reaction as if liberty. Assange does not seem to have learned the difference between a bedroom boy’s hacking games and brute reality. He should now be able to ponder that, yet does he have the mind for it?

    I want Assange released right now, free to offer his opinion, so that some of the deluded may find out just who they have been idolising. The rest of the leftoids are not just fact-aversive, but the enemies of the truth.
    Probably a psychological thing.
    Like free speech for Putin.

  46. Andreas Bimba

    The journalistic profession has some good members but not many. Journalism, especially good investigative journalism is vitally important for a healthy democracy but it has been allowed to slowly die and we must find a way to build it up again but without the involvement and further domination by the peddlers of greed, neoliberalism and global oligarchy.

    I regard the demonization campaign against the Australian automotive industry where I once worked and against manufacturing in general in this country as a failure of the journalistic profession to make any real effort to understand the complex reality and instead take the lazy option of going with the flow of lies and half truths from the various vested interests centred in the financial, mining, bulk agricultural and retail sectors and their neoliberal propagandists in sections of the bureaucracy and academia, that wanted this part of our economy actively destroyed. I was proud of Toyota’s manufacturing operations in Altona in Melbourne’s West and knew there was a huge disconnect between my reality and the false reality of the mainstream mass media, the political class and others. This along with the failure to adequately address the threat of global warming set me on my personal crusade to do my bit to expose the deep rot in our system.

    Another journalism failure is the endorsement by most of the neoliberal scam of the last forty years with just a light chatter of concerns raised now and then.

    Another is the piss weak effort to explain the severity and urgency of global warming, where after 30 years most of the general population have only a vague appreciation of our predicament. How many of us know at least 90% of the world’s REMAINING reef building corals and most of their associated complex eco systems will die even if we stay just under the IPCC 1.5C global warming limit which itself is going to be extremely difficult to meet globally?

    Another journalism failure is the ignoring for 30 years of that worthy successor to Keynesian economic theory, Modern Monetary Theory or MMT. Those journalists that specialise in economics, finance or business that relentlessly peddle the mainstream neoliberal narrative even though this is intellectually bankrupt and imposes severe and totally avoidable consequences on all of us such as high real levels of unemployment and underemployment, government austerity, sociopathic social support systems, decaying or inadequate infrastructure and an inability to adequately and urgently confront serious challenges like global warming for example.

    Another failure of journalism is to inform the general population of the extent that our democracies and political apparatus has been hijacked or corrupted by outside forces primarily centred in the kleptocracy. Most are complicit, ignorant or resigned to their inability to adequately reveal the whole truth.

    ………..

    I too have a lot of respect for Peter Greste and would need to read his entire article before reaching any conclusions. I also have a lot of respect for that fine journalist, publisher, activist and hacker – Julian Assange.

    We must all fight like cut cats to assist Julian to regain his freedom and for journalism to retain its independence, safety from unjust harassment and respect by the public.

    The decrepit current leadership of the United States of America and of its agencies are going to face a little fight that may lead to a more just transition. This must occur regardless.

  47. Andreas Bimba

    Further to my list of failures of the profession of journalism or of the mainstream mass media in general.

    ………..

    Another journalism failure is the very high level of community ignorance and dislike held towards the Australian Greens. Relentlessly demonised but based on what? The Greens elected representatives behave impeccably, work extremely hard and do achieve a great deal. The Greens published policies are by far the most detailed, well thought out and based on sound principles. Most other parties adopt a small target approach and provide minimal details on their policies.

    Another journalism failure is the demonization and media campaign against the trade union movement and indeed against the entire working class that has suffered the most in the 40+ year neoliberal period. Most Australians still define their roots as being working class so the success of this campaign from the point of view of the kleptocracy is remarkable.

    Another journalism failure is the demonization and media campaigns against or relentless denigration of protestors and activists for many worthy causes such as environmentalists, animal rights activists, anti war protestors, civil and human rights protestors and activists and many more.

    Another failure of journalism is the demonization and media campaigns against asylum seekers arriving by boat and with the false narrative of strong borders and with keeping us ‘safe’.

    Another failure of journalism is the demonization and media campaigns against Muslims where the extremism of some of those that identify themselves as Muslims is exposed but that of others such as the hard right are often under reported. The whole issue of terrorism has been carefully exploited to remove civil liberties, to enable mass surveillance of everyone, to transform the police into paramilitary forces that routinely intimidate and attack legitimate protestors and to justify many wars.

    Other demonization or media campaigns that have been successful with manipulating public opinion are the campaign against professional firefighters vs volunteer firefighters around the time of the 2016 federal elections; the demonization or media campaigns against those allegedly soft on crime such as many judges and civil rights advocates and socially liberal politicians; the demonization or media campaigns against leftists such as communists, socialists and social democrats; perhaps worst of all is the denigration of climate scientists and the massive media campaign and political lobbying directed towards global warming denial.

    Another journalism failure or mainstream media betrayal is with building up the public image of the Liberal and National parties to appear that they care about Australians when the reality is they have been, in the main, the political agents of the kleptocracy and for other vested interests that give them money or support. This is indeed a political scam and a gross corruption of our very fragile democracy.

    Others could add many more examples.

    We are being manupulated all the time and are being herded like sheep wherever those that control the mainstram media and most professional journalists want.

    We must fight these hard right and nominally progressive establishment media barons and not let their lies and manipulation hide under the label of free speech.

    Uncle Rupert, Kerry Stokes, Alan Jones and other hard right propagandists and destroyers of our fragile democracy should be unemployed or in jail.

  48. Josephus

    Yes Andreas thanks for your list. At least the few independent newspapers save the sanity of those of us who dream of emigrating to NZ or Scandinavia. At least we are not tortured, left in jail for years or even worse for criticising. Instead we are only arrested if we walk on to mining land for example without permission, then fined ten times more than used to be case before this quasi fascist government changed the law.

    We are like the frog that sits in heating water. Will Labor have the guts to respect human rights? Look at their record on coal mines or on refugee camps. Where is their protest when asylum seekers with limited visas are not allowed to work, even do voluntary work ? Why doesn’t Labor respect human rights?

    Less pernicious they may be than the ex policeman with multiple houses and a penchant for admitting pretty French au pairs in for his mates, pollies who charge us for pursuing their sex lives, etc. But Labor has to take a moral stand, not just compete in the bribes stakes. Besides, in Europe children are stopping cities in their desperation with respect to sea rise etc.

    Comedians, write more satirical acts, tour the country, enact those satires in the main streets of towns big and small, crowd fund if need be. Remember how Voltaire’s satires helped prepare the end of a tyranny.

  49. Andreas Bimba

    Thanks Josephus, a Labor victory especially in a landslide would be great but the minor parties and independents must continue to try to break the stranglehold of the duopoly that has failed us in so many ways. At some point the minor parties snd independents could insist on proportional representation voting reform be put to the people in a referendum for example.

    A Greens federal government would be best of all but the majority of the electorate have very little idea of the bigger picture and continue to vote for their own destruction.

    For that reason our democracy is failing and removing the influence of the hard right, that uses the mainstream mass media for social engineering and propaganda, is an essential first step.

  50. Jack Cade

    I had an interesting discussion at work today, about the ABC voting compass. A colleague did the test this morning and came out right of centre, I come out as s classic Green (but will never vote for them), the third man in out discussion did not comment but I suspect he is an ALP voter. All three of us agreed that a senate controlled by reasonable Centrists would be preferable, if they could be found. I had no time at all for Xenophon, but his colleagues in both houses have been reasonable and sensible, and all three of us suggested that we would be prepared to give our first senate vote to them.
    In all human activities, we are left or right. Every issue has more passion one way than the other; even advocates of the death penalty would plump for different means. So nothing is black and white – something the Greens appear not to understand.

  51. Andreas Bimba

    Jack, why would you never vote for the Greens?

  52. Jack Cade

    Andreas.
    Thank you for your question.
    There is an English expression ‘Cutting off your nose to spite your face.’
    That is the Australian Greens. They preferred to risk a vile Abbott government rather than s flawed Rudd:Gillard government. And we paid the price. They are simply natural Liberals who like a bit of greenery surrounding their bijou home units.
    In the words of the great Aussie sage Norman Gunston – ‘This I believe.’

  53. corvus boreus

    I can choose to never vote Greens because they voted against the ETS back in 2009.
    I can also choose to never vote Labor because they have sometimes aligned with the Coalition to pass dubious and sometimes repressive legislation (as well as repeatedly rejecting an ICAC).
    That leaves the choice of voting for fringe-dwelling microparties and independents, or voting informal.

    Or, I can accept that mistakes are sometimes made and principles often compromised for political pragmatism, and that the values and qualities of individuals within political parties can vary greatly, especially when factionalism comes into play.
    Then, when I no longer view political parties as homogenous entities defined by their worst actions, I can get off my lazy arse to not only research policy specifics, but also the pedigrees and resumes of the pre-selected candidates proffered by the parties.
    Simply voting brand Green can net you anything from a sensible environmentalist to a rabid socio-political ideologue, just as voting brand Labor can yield a relatively progressive representative or a bigoted fundamentalist conservative from the ranks of the SDA.

    Personally, my next senate bedsheet will have strategic numbers placed in the boxes of selected individuals offered by both the ALP and GRNs, as well as a few from certain microparties and indi blocs.

  54. Jack Cade

    I have said, often, that the makeup of the lower house under the Gillard government offered us the template for good governance. I have voted ALP in every election since 1972, but not because they were perfect. The people who pulled the Dismissal still occupied the opposition benches – unrepentant – and they and their ilk , worse in fact, are still there.
    I have seen the activities of the factions in the ALP at work, and the electorate is not their concern. A personal friend – a state Liberal
    MP, as it happened, was destroyed by outright lies by the ALP machine, lies that I knew were lies. And I cancelled my ALP
    Membership because of it. In the last state election the ALP de-listed a long-standing ALP member with a right faction heavy, and the member ran as an Indi and retained seat. I have posted before that her how-to-vote cards were being handed out by ALP members in my – adjacent -electorate,
    So I am not s starry-eyed leftist. Give me a parliament filled with Windsors, Oakeshotts and Macks and I’d be content. But in this quite ordinary of all possible political worlds, a still-flawed ALP gets my vote. I don’t consider the Greens to be a real party. They are riven as much as the Liberals.
    I might add that my attitude to the Greens is shared by many people who also claim that the ABC compass puts them in the Green zone.

  55. corvus boreus

    Jack Cade,
    I see that, despite your recount of factional shenanigans and espousal of the virtues of some indis, you still seem to view your vote in terms of party brands rather than representative candidates.
    Sorry I wasted my words.

  56. Jack Cade

    No, Crow. I wasted mine.

  57. corvus boreus

    Jack,
    ‘The flawed ALP still gets my vote’.
    Was I wrong in taking this to mean that you would automatically vote for the ALP in both upper and lower houses, rather than further scrutinising the actual candidates offered before allocating your preferential numbering?

  58. Jack Cade

    Crow, they are the best of a bad bunch. Here in SA I have no credible Indi to vote for – most of them are extremists or rejected Liberal candidates. I have no doubt that there are plenty of decent, honourable Indis around, but none of them in SA.
    I did vote Green once, in the Senate. I think I may have voted Xenophony once, in the SA upper house, but quickly realised that he was all wind and piss and voted with the Libs whenever his vote actually counted.)
    The Indi that retained her SA seat despite being disendorsed by the ALP is the hardest-working MP you could imagine. She is unaligned, which was her problem. Almost everyone you speak to can recount some good stuff she’s done, even for schools outside her electorate. She’s recognised by pupils of all ages by her given name. You can’t get better endorsement than that. Of course, you could say that Joyce could make the same claim, but he’s a different kettle of fish – s stinking one.
    As I said, even people who I know are ALP members admitted that they voted for her, and one I spoke to at a polling booth – who was handing out ALP cards – said ‘Ive just voted up the road. I live on the boundary. I voted for Frances (the Indi).’
    She wasn’t good enough for the ALP, but the electorate reckons she’s okay.

  59. corvus boreus

    test

  60. Lambert Simnel

    Xenophon.

    A weak, treacherous and cowardly man.

  61. Lambert Simnel

    corvus boreus, they weren’t voting against the ETS as an idea, but against a deceptive papier-mache phony that deliberately refused to face the real issue.

    In order to be ETS it had to actually BE, ETS.

    In the end, just another example of who really runs the country. Probably the next example will be Adani, despite whoever is voted in.

  62. Jack Cade

    Lambert.
    He is a complete tosser, a phoney who used stunts and nebulous ‘campaigns’ to convince the lumpen-proletariat to vote for him.
    Including me, I’m sorry to say。
    Nevertheless he appears to have recruited quite well. Storer is pulling out, which is a pity, but all of the successful Xenostunt people seem to have morals and integrity.

  63. corvus boreus

    Jack,
    ‘Best (aka least worst) of a bad bunch’.

    Definitely usually so for most people where they live, at least on the House of Reps ticket.
    That is a game we get to play with a limited deck, and most of the cards are jokers.
    I live in Cowper NSW, an electoral division that has been cunt-gnat since federation.
    This election might actually be interesting though, because the current cuntremember for Cowper is retiring, and the novice nature of the new empty suit gives the aspirant Oakeshotte a shot at the title.
    T’would be nice to have a member who was more tree than cun.

    More limitations to the truth in your statement when it comes to the Senate,
    Full disclosure; I am a big one for voting below the line on the big-sheet ballot, and try to be both informed and strategic about how I apportion my attempts to land a vote onto a decent senator.
    I certainly do not wish enrich the layers of benthos and scum that already exists in the upper house of Federal Parliament.
    With both ALP and Greens, I check the qualificative pedigrees and performance histories of the different wanna-be polititians (as far as limitations of google and stalking laws will allow) as an attempt to avoid casting my vote towards anything undesirable.
    There is actually surprising variety within the contents of the different branded packs, once you take the care to look.

  64. Lambert Simnel

    More than the basket himself.

  65. paul walter

    It seems that 94% of people (so far) polled at that this MSNBC poll do NOT think Assage should be prosecuted.

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