President Trump is giving his daily press conference and on a split screen a man constantly interrupts to point out his lies, his misrepresentations, his illogicality and his perversions.
As is my custom I write early in the morning because in the silence my mind is at its most receptive. This morning however, before I begin I find myself in need of some think time.
“What to write about?” I ask myself. “Do I just continue on voicing my views at the injustices of the world or could I take another path? Why not reinforce your views with those of others. Just freelance and let your mind go where it will. You can always scrap it if turns out crap.”
I accept the challenge and my mind is directed to my “to read” folder where I have forgotten the purpose of putting things there, but whatever the purpose, it must have been important at the time.
1 So my mouse finds its way into my “to read” bin and like a lucky dip the first piece it comes up with is by former US Secretary of Labour in the Clinton administration; Robert Reich. A man short in stature but big in logic, truth and analysis. In this piece he is talking about his least favourite politician, the President of the USA.
I find myself married to his opinions. He is relentless in his attacks on Trump.
2 Trump has claimed that Obama left behind “bad, broken tests” … for a virus that didn’t yet exist.
The Huffington Post also quoted the President saying:
“I feel about vaccines like I feel about tests: this is going to go away without a vaccine.
“Eventually it’s going to go away. The question is will we need a vaccine?”
It is time that those with the capacity to change laws that might prevent the mass murder of people and refuse to do so were made to account. After all they are as guilty or as mad, whatever the case, as the perpetrator himself.
3 To follow that up, the Huffington Post reported that President Trump abruptly ended his coronavirus press briefing on Monday 11 May after getting visibly angry with two female reporters, one of obvious Asian appearance. This brought out the racism in Trump.
4 With Trump and his Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo saying anything and everything to blame China for a laboratory origin for the coronavirus I came across this piece (“The Discussion Is Basically Over”: Why Scientists Believe the Wuhan-Lab Coronavirus Origin Theory Is Highly Unlikely) by Joe Pompeo in Vanity Fair. Of Trump’s reasoning he says it “makes for great propaganda – but uses dubious science.” It’s a great read.
I am convinced conservatives believe that the effect of lying diminishes over time and forget that they leave behind a residue of broken trust.
5 In this piece by Paddy Manning in The Monthly, Manning accuses the government of using the pandemic to target old foes:
“We’re well past the stage where any of this could be excused as an oversight, an unintended consequence of the rushed pandemic response. By now it’s obvious: this is a deliberate strategy. Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the rest of the Coalition’s culture warriors are not wasting this crisis, that’s for sure.“
Current experience would suggest that the Australian people need to take more care when electing its leaders.
6 No, I’m not yet finished with COVID-19.
According to Rod Myer of The New Daily it is ripping a great hole in the finances of News Corp with a $1.5b loss for the March quarter.
So much so that the media giant has called in consultants to its Australian operations to advise on how it can shrink costs and jobs.
“The move, reported in Nine Newspapers, comes after Rupert Murdoch’s flagship called out a poor performance in its Australian operations since July.
“Stories published on Google and Facebook in turn drive a lot of readers back to companies like News and Nine,” says [media analyst Peter] Cox
“If those visits are cut, then I assume advertising revenues would fall because advertising revenue depends on the level of traffic on media sites.”
7 Former LNP Opposition Leader John Hewson wrote an exceptional piece for The Guardian titled “Coronavirus is a dress rehearsal for what awaits us if governments continue to ignore science.” Hewson warns that:
“The coronavirus pandemic should be seen as a dress rehearsal for what awaits us if we continue to ignore the laws of science, the physical world and the demands of several catastrophic threats such as climate change.”
Instead of being proactive we tend to wait for disaster. Even in politics.
8 Former US President, Barack Obama always lowers my political blood pressure. His quiet calm dignity, appearance and reasonableness of argument are qualities of leadership that you would want leaders and especially politicians to have. This piece by the ABC’s North American correspondent James Glenday speaks of the Obama’s critique of Trump’s mis-handling of the coronavirus crisis:
“Former US president Barack Obama has attacked the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, describing it as an “absolute chaotic disaster.”
Mr Obama added that the pandemic would have been difficult for any administration but the Trump White House had approached it with a “what’s in it for me?” attitude.
What we’re fighting against is these long-term trends in which being selfish, being tribal, being divided, and seeing others as an enemy — that has become a stronger impulse in American life.”
The rise of narcissism and inequality and the demise of compassion illustrate the state of the world.
In the interests of length I have omitted Angus Taylor’s alleged Cayman Island company, Peter Dutton failing to register one of his companies, and George Christensen summoning the Chinese Ambassador before a Senate Committee.
My thought for the day
“1500 – That’s the forecasted number of extra deaths by suicide per year over the next five years as a result of the economic and social impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, according to modelling by Sydney University’s Brain and Mind Centre” (via The Monthly).
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