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The perils of democracy

Neo-liberal economics has torn our society apart. We are no longer a community – we are individuals each trying to accumulate and protect as much of the pie as we can and bugger those who don’t have the skills or resources to join the gravy train.

We have become unbelievably selfish. We have lost all sense of responsibility in our pursuit of personal wealth. We admire rich people and don’t really care about their ethics. We don’t feel an obligation to contribute – get away with whatever you can is the new ethic. Empathy is so weak. Responsibility is always someone else’s.

Why pay tax when you can pay an accountant?

Pay more for electricity? No effing way! F*ck the environment. F*ck anti-job Green lawfare

Donald Trump and Pauline Hanson will find us jobs.

Some of us ask about their plan to do that but sadly, we are in the minority.

I try to understand rather than blaming but I have come to the conclusion that, when half the population have an IQ of less than 100, and they are being manipulated by false information to make decisions that have a huge impact on the life of my family, this cannot continue. I do not want Jacqui Lambie and Malcolm Roberts making decisions for me.

I don’t blame the people who believe what they are told. I blame the people who deliver the spin.

Politicians and media should understand what they have done – created a climate where Donald Trump could be elected POTUS and Pauline Hanson could have the balance of power in Australia.

Democracy cannot operate successfully when people in power, both political and media, lie.

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  1. Freethinker

    Kaye, there is nothing new, history repeat itself. This is human nature and you can see it in different forms in history books.
    Greed is the main cause, the one that make the people in the top more rich and powerful and the rest divided, weak and unable to join forces to get out of the problem.
    Yes those in the top voted by the majority are going to made decisions for you as long as you are chained to the system that they have created.
    Only those free of debt, not affected by the consumerism and are able to live a simple life will be not affected by the present and future situation.

  2. Garth

    It’s all getting a bit much for me, KL. I watched the events in the US unfold today with The Young Turks live stream. I watched as the results rolled in and the life was sucked out of each of the panel, and anger took its place. I’ve been angry too, for 3 years but it’s bloody exhausting. I just despair at where our whole world is heading. What hell will trump (and his enablers) manage to wreak with the presidency, plus the house and senate. It’s not my bloody country and it scares the hell out of me!

  3. Miriam English

    So true, Kaye. I was speaking to a very intelligent guy today who subscribed to the most awful conspiracy theories. Truly terrible stuff spewed out by the right-wing fabrication machine. Conspiracy theories on everything.

    I kicked myself afterward. In my eagerness to escape from his fevered pitch of all this appalling crap I neglected to ask him where he gets it from. It’s weird. I’ve heard similar stuff from a lot of otherwise intelligent people recently. I must start asking them what has been infecting their brains. It is worrying.

  4. Neil Hogan

    “Rupert Murdoch claims victory as the USA changes from a Broadsheet to a Tabloid!!”

    (*_~)

  5. Kaye Lee

    And so the toadying starts…

    If Malcolm follows I will truly puke.

    oops too late

    Malcolm TurnbullVerified account ‏@TurnbullMalcolm

    The Aus Gvt congratulates President Elect Trump. With our shared, enduring national interests, our relationship will continue to be strong.

  6. Freethinker

    Marine Le Pen’s far-right Front National has welcomed the results, Viktor Orbán, the hardline nationalist leader of Hungary, said Trump’s victory was great news. “Democracy is still alive,” the Dutch MP Geert Wilders expressed his jubilation after early wins for Trump, Nigel Farage happy as well is Rodrigo Duterte. Najib Razak, Malaysia PM also is very pleased.
    What a team!!!

  7. Kaye Lee

    Holy shit Freethinker. He truly is empowering the loons to gather together. Anyone who gets Geert Wilders endorsement should be viewed as a fundamentalist fanatic.

  8. david1

    Putin is probably doing handstands and cartwheels all around the Kremlin…’retribution is mine’ said a well known Christian figure….Putin no Christian will take that with both hands, beware America the puppet President will do as he is told. there will be a price to be paid for the assistance of the despot Russian..

  9. Denis Bright in Brisbane

    Keep up those fighting words Kaye.

    From another Century with some good You Tube Versions:

    When I was a lad I served a term
    As office boy to an attorney’s firm
    I cleaned the windows and I swept the floor
    And I polished up the handle of the big front door
    He polished up the handle of the big front door
    I polished up that handle so carefully
    That now I am the Ruler of the Queen’s Navy
    He polished up that handle so carefully
    That now he is the Ruler of the Queen’s Navy

    As office boy I made such a mark
    That they gave me the post of a junior clerk
    I served the writs with a smile so bland
    And I copied all the letters in a big round hand
    He copied all the letters in a big round hand
    I copied all the letters in a hand so free
    That now I am the Ruler of the Queen’s Navy
    He copied all the letters in a hand so free
    That now he is the Ruler of the Queen’s Navy

    In serving writs I made such a name
    That an articled clerk I soon became
    I wore clean collars and a brand-new suit
    For the Pass Examination at the Institute
    For the Pass Examination at the Institute
    And that Pass Examination did so well for me
    That now I am the Ruler of the Queen’s Navy
    That Pass Examination did so well for he
    That now he is the Ruler of the Queen’s Navy

    Of legal knowledge I acquired such a grip
    That they took me into the partnership
    And that junior partnership I ween
    Was the only ship that I ever had seen
    Was the only ship that he ever had seen
    But that kind of ship so suited me
    That now I am the Ruler of the Queen’s Navy
    But that kind of ship so suited he
    That now he is the Ruler of the Queen’s Navy

    I grew so rich that I was sent
    By a pocket borough into Parliament
    I always voted at my party’s call
    And I never thought of thinking for myself at all
    No, he never thought of thinking for himself at all
    I thought so little, they rewarded me
    By making me the Ruler of the Queen’s Navy
    He thought so little, they rewarded he
    By making him the Ruler of the Queen’s Navy

    Now, landsmen all, whoever you may be
    If you want to rise to the top of the tree
    If your soul isn’t fettered to an office stool
    Be careful to be guided by this golden rule
    Be careful to be guided by this golden rule
    Stick close to your desks and never go to sea
    And you all may be Rulers of the Queen’s Navy
    Stick close to your desks and never go to sea
    And you all may be Rulers of the Queen’s Navy

  10. cornlegend

    Kaye Lee,
    I backed Trump at 7/1 a few months ago after watching a video an American friend posted me .
    It was about a bunch of Obama warriors, mature age now unemployed former union members, African American,Hispanic, White, almost the full Heinz 57 varieties
    They stood in a decaying town, the factories gutted and smashed,the stores boarded up and abandoned The City Council broke, the streets lined with 90% abandoned and overgrown homes, sort of Mad Max like. the town crumbling, returning to nature, the younger generation given up or gone or high or addicted.
    No homes, no jobs, no f*cking hope
    Some saw it futile voting this time
    And one acted like the spokesperson for the group.

    “Why not vote Trump, he can’t make it worse can he ?”

    So I put my bet on Trump.
    now I don’t like it, but if I were in their shoes, and seen all their past hopes dashed would I have voted different to them?
    Dunno

  11. Kaye Lee

    Perspective from an Aussie friend living in the US with his American wife…

    When he tried to ask wife’s family in Pennsylvania why they were voting for Trump he was told it wasn’t his or the rest of the world’s business and that he (and we) should just butt out with our opinions.

    How can one respond to that? They really have no idea of consequences.

    I advised him not to jeopardise his marriage by responding and to let the scoreboard do the talking.

    I await with baited breath Trump’s attempt to make the Mexican government pay to “Build The Wall” and the response of his gun-carrying supporters when they realise he can’t do any of the crazy things he said he would do.

    cornie,

    I certainly understand poverty, unemployment and despair. What I don’t understand is what they think Trump will do about it. I would have thought Bernie Sanders offered them more.

  12. Wayne Turner

    “I don’t blame the people who believe what they are told” – Sadly I do. They choose to be ignorant and gullible. I’m NOT a genius by any stretch of the imagination,but I can see the BS tlhe MSM and especially the right wing media pulls.It’s called using my brain.The people in power that “bash powerless minorities” are certainly NOT the solution,they are the problem – People need to blame these buckpassing puppets.The suckers need to stop falling for it.But,the morons won’t.You can’t reason with stupid.

  13. Kaye Lee

    Wayne,

    I dislike using IQ and shouldn’t have…it’s spurious. But the very fact that you question…that you inform yourself…that you take the time to share your opinion, shows you are not in the category who uncritically accept what they are told and who then close themselves off from information, certain that they know who and what is to blame, relieving themselves of the responsibility of looking for real problems and solutions.

  14. cornlegend

    Kaye Lee.
    ” I would have thought Bernie Sanders offered them more”
    He did,so did the tooth fairy.
    It was always going to be a 2 horse race
    I don’t care what his finalvote was, I couldn’t stomach any more , but it makes you wonder if there aren’t 30 to 40 million shit scared voters in the 50 million or so he got.
    The logic seemed “we got to here with this lot, can it get worse”
    The doco I mentioned, they were decent working class at their wits end and it seemed, scared shitless
    They didn’t seem to care about Left, Right ,Centre, neo liberal etc
    They were on about survival and I guess if they think a leaky liferaft like Trump is better than drowning, grab on
    I really don’t know or understand
    I think I would need to stand in their shoes to understand and I don’t want that

  15. Wayne Turner

    Of course I also blame the tellers of BS too.In fact I blame the tellers and no-thinking believers.

  16. Douglas Pye

    …….. and as the Band softly plays Annie Laurie ……….. the Puppeteers take a noggin prior to sleep, sound in the knowledge that …… $$$ BIG MONEY $$$ … still dominates the Table ….. Inequality still carries the day ! … whilst the Populace will be much more distracted than it would have been had They orchestrated a H.C. win ……… Indeed … Bankers Delight !!

    It’s not my Nature to be so Sarcastic … but tonight ! …

  17. Matters Not

    Against all the ‘odds’, broadly defined, Trump won. As did the Brexit movement. And I suspect the full effects of ‘Hansonism’ are also yet to be realised at both the State and Federal levels.

    While it’s easy to sit back and ‘tut tut’ about the apparent irrationality of such outcomes and the likely (certain) failure of the promised ‘solutions’, (Let’s face it, the past isn’t going to be recreated – so many ‘jobs’ are gone never to be resurrected – the robots are here – and so on.) But maybe we should try to understand the ‘why’? Maybe we should entertain the notion that the democratic process is in fact actually working as it’s intended. You know, a system where the citizens actually ‘decide’ – based on what they ‘believe to be in their own interests.

    I stress what they believe ‘to be in their own interests’.

    If I were a coal miner and had been for 20 years, I don’t think I want to know about the solar power future. Actual as it may be.

  18. Kaye Lee

    “if they think a leaky life raft like Trump is better than drowning, grab on”

    I don’t see any form of a life raft. Did they explain how Trump will create jobs?

    ” If I were a coal miner and had been for 20 years, I don’t think I want to know about the solar power future.”

    There are some things about our lives where change is thrust upon us. A good government will foresee the industry changes before they are enforced and work with stakeholders to prepare and facilitate transition…..or they can just keep saying coal is good for humanity and give these people false hope about jobs that will never eventuate.

    We get back to truth or spin.

  19. Miriam English

    One very smart fellow I met today said it well:
    it restores hope for America’s democratic process, but destroys all hope for the American people.

  20. Matters Not

    KL, a couple of points.

    I don’t see any form of a life raft.

    You don’t, and I don’t, but they do and that’s why (perhaps) they voted as they did. I think it’s called democracy?

    As for:

    some things about our lives where change is thrust upon us.

    Agree. But in a democracy, you have the theoretical power to both effect and affect the direction of such change(s). Must we just accept the thrust of change – lie back and simply think of England?

    This election can be seen as a triumph of democracy. An overthrow of the establishment? Which it clearly was. Nevertheless, the result looks less than promising.

  21. david1

    Matters Not do you honestly believe the Democratic process is working as it should be intended? Working by lies, crap, promises that will never be fulfilled, abuse, hiding of ones business activities, praising the despot dictators in the world who murder at will? Who have cosied up to Trump and will demand a day of reckoning?
    By God I thought better of you.

  22. Jexpat

    Well, we might have expected a right winger like cornpone to come out with a Bernie Sanders slight.

    Very telling.

    These sorts never learn, and will attempt to rationalise anything.

    Memo to Labor folks: if you don’t want to repeat this sort of debale- yet again, you’ll need to exorcise the sorts of demons that infested the Clinton Campaign from your own party.

  23. Matters Not

    do you honestly believe the Democratic process is working as it should be intended?

    David, at its most basic level, ‘democracy’ is about citizens exercising their right to vote (sort of). They did that today. (Albeit with some ‘structural limitations.)

    As to how it is ‘working’ – theoretically and practically – I do have some serious reservations.

    That citizens ‘decide’ free from outside considerations is a real stretch. That most of the US MSM were against Trump (Fox was an exception) is evidenced. Look deeper! Not at the outcome which is a disaster. And then look at the causes. The motivations. And so on.

  24. tet02

    Apparently the Canadian immigration website crashed. I wonder if all the Americans fleeing to Canada and Mexico can claim refugee status.

  25. Jexpat

    tet02:

    It’s been up for many hours since that report.

    It also “went down” for a brief bit after Bush II’s much narrower win in 2004.

  26. Nato

    There are a lot of similarities between Trump and Hanson’s supporters, but I would suggest that there is one key difference

    “No matter who you vote for, you get a politician” Not in the USA 2016

  27. Jexpat

    Matters Not:

    +1

    In the coming days and weeks, we’ll have the opportunity to pursue that further.

    In the meantime, I’ll note that we’ve also seen some in the US decry the jury system when the result in criminal cases- elements of which crimes have to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, don’t meet their expectations.

  28. Matters Not

    Yes Jexpat, we should only have ‘truthful’ outcomes.

    Which can be found in the drawer, second from the ..

    I suspect the US judicial system will be fractured. As for Roe V Wade. ..

    Confined to the dustbin … ?

  29. Kaye Lee

    Clutching a glass of Champagne on the forecourt of Parliament House, Ms Hanson said: “Why I am celebrating is that I can see that people are now around the world saying we’ve had enough of the establishment, we’re sick and tired of the elites, give power back to the people to have their own democracy. And I think Donald Trump will bring that to America.

    “I can see in Donald Trump a lot of me, what I stand for in Australia, and I think it’s great.”

    How long till we start burning the books?

  30. Peter F

    Kaye, while I am horrified by the individual tossed up by America to ‘lead the world’, I see this as a direct result of the right wing’s mad economic policies around the world, with power being given to multi- national companies etc.

    If some great ‘messiah’ arrived on the horizon in Australian politics, how would the dismissed auto industry workers vote in the next election? We have already seen an attempt by Palmer, and many were fooled for a while. There will be another, and this election in the US will encourage someone to ‘rescue’ us.

    Meanwhile, all the loonies are claiming that their policies are what is needed and that ‘bleeding hearts’ have had their day.

  31. Kaye Lee

    Trump has filed for bankruptcy 6 times – 5 of them to do with casinos. How many creditors has he left decimated in his wake?

    He is about to face another court case for ripping off students at “Trump University”.

    For the life of me, I cannot understand how anyone thinks this man who has spent his whole life ripping people off and using intimidation is all of a sudden going to altruistically devote himself to public service.

  32. Freethinker

    Apparently for some now it is hope for Australia
    Cory Bernardi and George Christensen celebrate results.
    Bernardi added his voice to calls for the Labor leader, Bill Shorten, to resign if Trump is elected.

  33. John Brame

    When was America great anyway, please explain.

  34. Matters Not

    What’s the problem, the US Dow hit a new high and London bounced as well.

    It’s a strange, strange world we live in Master Jack.

  35. Kaye Lee

    Comment from a Trump supporter….

    Were gonna Make America Great Again Mr. Smartypants! Get ready! All of us you and Odumbo mocked are taking over and there is gonna be hell to pay for the likes of you, i.e. return to Biblical Marriage, ending the War on Coal, restoring respect to the police, and getting tough on ISIS. Weaklings like Obama had their chance and failed.

  36. Freethinker

    Sound like One Nation supporter

  37. John Brame

    The Trump supporter could be right when he sayes ‘Hell to pay’….as this latest article on climate change suggests. ‘Climate change may be escalating so fast it could be ‘game over’, scientists warn
    New research suggests the Earth’s climate could be more sensitive to greenhouse gases than thought, raising the spectre of an ‘apocalyptic side of bad’ temperature rise of more than 7C within a lifetime

  38. Kaye Lee

    Donald Trump’s election effectively puts an end to the gun control legislation proposed by Democrats. Under Barack Obama, gun companies have enjoyed record breaking sales and share price growth driven by fears that he would tighten rules on sales following a series of mass shootings.

    Smith & Wesson’s shares were down 10.21% and shares of Sturm Ruger were down 12.29% in early morning trading.

  39. Kaye Lee

    John, Trump is a disaster for climate change

    Trump called global warming a Chinese hoax. He couldn’t have been blunter about this.

    Trump has said, straight up, he wants to scrap all the major regulations that President Obama painstakingly put in place to reduce US carbon dioxide emissions, including the Clean Power Plan. With Republicans now controlling Congress, they could pass a bill preventing the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating CO2.

    Trump has also hinted he wants to get rid of the EPA entirely. “What they do is a disgrace,” he has said. Again, if Congress agrees, he’d have the power to scrap other regulations on mercury pollution, on smog, on coal ash, and more.

    Trump has said he wants to repeal all federal spending on clean energy, including R&D for wind, solar, nuclear power, and electric vehicles. Doable with Congress.

    Trump has said he wants to pull the United States out of the Paris climate deal. There’s nothing stopping him. (Technically, the US can’t officially withdraw for four years, but for all practical purposes, the Trump administration could ignore it.)

    Lux Research estimated that Trump’s policies would lead to an extra 3.4 billion tons of CO2 emitted compared with Clinton’s proposals.

    http://www.vox.com/2016/11/9/13571318/donald-trump-disaster-climate

  40. Matters Not

    Look at the volumes traded. Today 168,437,109 while the average daily volume (3 months) is 87,378,813. Dow up 256 06 or 1.4%. All’s right with the world.

    But maybe not.

  41. helvityni

    Maybe a better educated population will choose better, or so I thought. Last week my American friend, living in Oz, was dead scared about the possibility of Trump winning. He almost cried: they are ALL behind him, not just the rednecks…

    I did not believe him, I was wrong….

  42. Zathras

    In a democracy it only takes two morons to outvote a genius.

    In the end it’s always been about self-interest and short-term gain and we all get the governments we deserve.

    We’ve had our own leaders that could “talk the talk” during elections but end up as duds.

  43. Ricardo29

    I hate the idea that this emboldens the neo fascists everywhere, including Australia. Labor is going to have to work much harder at policies that reflect the sort of changes such people expect without the worst of the liberals ideas.Explaining those policies is also going to get so much harder with the MSM dominated by Murdoch. Now, more than ever, we need the ABC but i think we will have to defend it.

  44. Keith

    Its a double whammy really with the Republicans now having control of all areas of the US Federal government.
    Trump had suggested that climate science agencies would be closed, and the EPA be neutered.
    Republicans generally do not believe in anthropogenic climate change. We don’t have four years to waste.

  45. Rezblah

    I thought this might happen the second Bernie sanders was shot down by his own party, whose complete abandonment of the people and ideals they used to stand for has finally come back to hit them in the face. The arrogance and idiotic denial that lead to them believing they would get away with ‘business as usual’ candidate Hilary C simply beggars belief.

    I’m not that concerned with trump tbh, the position of president is mostly decorative anyway, he can bluster and baboon away to his hearts content while the real power brokers roll on unimpeded. It’s the kissingers, rumsfelds and cheyneys we should worry about, and America has just given the keys to the kingdom to the GOP – both houses. Gee that really stuck it right up the establishment didn’t it. Go figure.

    Well now they can freely trickle down over all of us and make all their neoliberal / fascist / corptocracy wet dreams come true on the never ending effort to establish exactly what the bare minimum is that people will put up with before they put a pitch fork up you.

    Way to stick it to the man America, hope that works out well for you all

  46. randalstella

    Why did they vote for him? It cannot be anything that reasoning and evidence will persuade against.
    The policies are disastrous – what there are of them. Very clearly. There is no point arguing on them.

    Just as clearly he is a liar. It is not true that the voters were duped on specifics. He made crazy comments (e.g. the wall) and he would either stick with them, or he would deny them in the next breath. On any beneficial specifics he is entirely unreliable. Those who support him are not being just gullible or gormless. It is worse.

    Generally he is ultra-reactionary, like a brawling child. It is the generality that must appeal – as there are no particulars to cling to, that make any sense at all. He induced a mind-set, a mentality, that could overlook the many inconsistencies and contradictions. Indeed what endeared must have to do with the wild and unsustainable comments – including the ones he would not hold to. He pandered to prejudices by indulging his own.

    Just earlier under another another blog here I tried to draw attention to the gross asymmetry between the demands on any candidate seen as at all progressive, relatively, and a reactionary. The former can be easily kept on the defensive by any issues of integrity. The latter effectively glories in the display of dishonesty and corruption. The former might be dogged with moral issues, while the latter presents immorality as a strength. One is set up to come across as weak and evasive; the other displays as opportunist and strongly willful.

    Furthermore, if you are a woman you have to appear very reactionary. It is doubly handicapping if you are a woman and appear at all progressively intelligent and capable. Be Thatcher. Don’t be Clinton, or Gillard.

    But all this has a context. It was summed up by the journo who met Trump in private, as he confided that his whole campaign was cranked on immigration and Muslims/Mexicans. Immigration decided Brexit. It decided yesterday’s unmitigated disaster.

    Who could defy it? It has sabotaged politics for the foreseeable future. Right when we need action on global warming, we get Trump, Farage, Howard-Abbott (aka Turnbull).
    It is a curse with the power of a god. I wonder, what for?

  47. Ill fares the land

    We have indeed entered an even more scary world this morning.

    On Kaye’s comment’s, I could not agree more. One of the real triumphs of neo-liberalism has been the rise of “personal selfishness” to new and dangerous highs. I guess this selfishness is a little bit innate, but I grew up in an era when there was some kind of appreciation of “the greater good”; of decent and respectful public behaviours (by and large) and more importantly, some level of manners and courtesy. OK, that is perhaps the “rose-coloured glasses” version, but it was, to a degree true. But decent and mannered, even cultured behaviours require some level of self-discipline and that has been totally lost.

    What we now have is a society comprising rude, self-centred, narcissistic and greedy people. Kids won’t stand on the bus for a pensioner (“why should I?”); drivers are so rude and aggressive on the roads, we know the examples – and most of us don’t think we are like that , which is indeed a part of our massive delusion..

    Even if neo-liberal ideas were abandoned tomorrow (they won’t be because they suit the people who now have the true control over our society (the wealthy and in particular, media barons), the selfishness and sense of entitlement will remain. Don’t imagine that dolts like Rinehart and Packer don’t have direct access to the Parliament – they have only one vote, but that is irrelevant – they have a staggering degree of influence over politics. But what will remain is the “era of the selfish”. How else can buffoons like Hockey and Scomo so effectively demonise the poor and get many to believe that we would all be better off if we stopped looking after those who are bludging – hey, even taking advantage of our generosity! This makes austerity measures popular because it gives the new selfish entitled someone to blame – Hitler did it brilliantly; Hanson does it effectively as well (Surprisingly so for someone of such limited intellect) and Trump is the latest

    Unfortunately, that selfishness is crucial to business – they want us to feel that we are better than our neighbours – so they can sell us bigger houses, bigger cars, ever larger SUV’s (noticed how even the faux SUV’s – the RAV4 and X-Trail for example, are all getting bigger); more conspicuous consumption; more exotic holidays (to Antarctica or the Galapagos – Machu Pichu is old hat now – no bragging rights there); bigger solar panel systems than your neighbours (trust me; this is a big part of middle-aged male chest-puffing and posturing); ever more trendy hipster cafes – on the list goes. But this selfish clamour for more, more and ever more is fuelled by marketers who exploit our insecurities and convince us that a bigger car or house makes us special and reinforces our belief that we are indeed unique.

    On Trump, my conclusion is simple – he reminds me of the character “Negan” in “The Walking Dead”. Negan is a vile depot – he rules with absolute brutality and carries a baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire. That is Trump – he will govern for all Americans – or at least those that accept his absolute authority and “kiss his ass”. Everyone else will be his enemy and will be brutalised and destroyed if possible. An inner circle that includes morons and extremists like Giuliani and Gingrich will only reinforce Trump’s brutality. He is used to being the only boss in his world and people do it his way or they are out.

  48. michael lacey

    20% of people are out of work in the United States and 47% of the population are on food stamps; Globalisation and free trade agreements have been pursued with gusto; the hollowing out of the middle class has continued unabated; the banks were bailed out and the working Americans left to fend for themselves; no infrastructure programs ever alleviated the problem, but we always found a war to keep the profits up. This all continued under Obama’s watch of 8 years, people have had enough of the talk. Will Trump be any better well maybe maybe not. Just because people didn’t vote the way you wanted go and have a cold shower!

  49. Freethinker

    michael lacey, perhaps the problem is not who will be president, the problem is on the congress. Republicans and Democrats are not the solution for the people that you have mentioned.

  50. Wayne

    Love the last line

    “Democracy cannot operate successfully when people in power, both political and media, lie.”

    THERE WILL BE NO CARBON TAX UNDER A LABOR GOVERNMENT I LEAD

    LYING WORKED FINE WITH Gillard, and now you complain.

    Socialists only want democracy when they win the vote, if things don’t go their way it’s because the system is rigged or broken.

  51. Miriam English

    Wayne. Weird how right-wingers highlight the occasional lie from left-wing politicians, while giving a free pass to the continual gushing of lies from right-wing politicians. How does that work, exactly?

    Yes, Gillard lied on a few occasions. She was a politician. They lie.

    But look at the right-wing of politics — packed with the biggest bunch of compulsive and continuous liars I’ve ever seen… even if you exclude Abbott whose constant and reflexive lying is so pathological it is an utter embarrassment, they are still truly awful. Howard, called by his own party “that lying little rodent” even looks almost good by comparison.

  52. randalstella

    Just above, in my invisible ink:

    “Just earlier under another another blog here I tried to draw attention to the gross asymmetry between the demands on any candidate seen as at all progressive, relatively, and a reactionary. The former can be easily kept on the defensive by any issues of integrity. The latter effectively glories in the display of dishonesty and corruption. The former might be dogged with moral issues, while the latter presents immorality as a strength. One is set up to come across as weak and evasive; the other displays as opportunist and strongly willful.”

    We know why the vast corporate powers and their Media push this imbalance to a ridiculous toppling point – but how do the public keep falling for it? For example, the blithering nonsense that the Libs are better ‘economic managers’. They are economic destroyers of the national interest. Any attention at all would show that. Anything beyond those cretinous TV Breakfast Shows – the ABC’s scared little guys included.

    The plebiscite has become the greatest threat to the planet. What can be done about it? This is the issue – far more central than the malign clowns the culture industry keeps throwing up as candidates. They are interchangeable. Irrational, reactive voting among the populace does not change. Except to get worse.
    The refugee/ immigrant problem – the consequence of reactionary economic and foreign policy – is the current trigger. But is arguing the case on this – with facts and evidence – going to make any difference?

  53. Kaye Lee

    I disagree about Gillard lying about the carbon tax (and I cannot believe that we are still having this conversation six years later).

    Gillard made it very clear that she would put a price on carbon during her term in office. To form a minority government, she agreed to do that in the form of an ETS with a temporary fixed price, during which time trade exposed industries would be heavily compensated, before moving to a floating price. This decision was what economists worldwide have indicated is by far the most cost effective way to reduce emissions by changing behaviour. All income earners were compensated by increasing the income tax threshold by $12,200, immediately saving low income earners far more than the carbon price would cost them. Welfare recipients also received compensation with most pensioners better off.

    The Labor Party should be ashamed of their inability to nip the misinformation in the bud.

    To form minority government every time the Liberal Party must sign an agreement with the Nationals in which they make demands. Pretty much all of those are harmful to the country, and have hamstrung Turnbull, making him look an ineffective leader who has traded away everything he ever stood for.

    Abbott is a self-confessed “weathervane” who does what the dinosaurs and vested interests tell him to – he scrapped the income from the carbon tax but kept the compensation – and instead of the polluters paying us, we pay them. It appears Malcolm is also now in the power of the flat earth uber Christian xenophobes.

  54. randalstella

    But you do know that Wayne has gone off, shouting abuse about ‘socialists’?
    Argument makes no difference to the people who vote Governments in or out. At this stage, it seems it never will.
    So, what can be done?
    It is a cheating, spoiling system. You have to cheat. You have to play reaction at a break. You have to seem reactionary. Otherwise the better interests of the planet are disenfranchised forever.

  55. Kaye Lee

    I keep deluding myself that we just have to keep informing the public but I am starting to agree with you randalstella – they don’t want information or truth – they want scapegoats and people to blame and vilify. And sadly, a group of politicians has risen to the surface, like scum on a pond, that is more than willing to ignite and exploit irrational fear, to pour fuel on fires, to downright lie, just to win power.

    The only practical solution I can see is to have multi-party government where there isn’t a winner takes all and no one party has sole executive power.

  56. randalstella

    I agree. Multi-Member electorates at least, for a start.
    But watch the Laborites jump up and down about that.
    The entrenched are not likely to bring changes overthrowing current entrenchment. As you of course know.

    And of course you do know that we are very largely talking to ourselves here – for all the valuable collation and argument that you personally provide.
    People in the US have just voted to die in a ditch outside the hospital they cannot enter because of the scrapping of ‘ObamaCare’. They must be taken to have known that. Their candidate kept telling them as much. They hung on his every word – and cheered and screamed support.

  57. cornlegend

    Julia Gillard did not win the election. It was a hung Parliament. It was a condition of forming a Government with Independents that carbon pricing/pollution reduction would be implemented

    Gillard said
    “There will be no carbon tax under a government I lead, but let me be clear: I will be putting a price on carbon and I will move to an emissions trading scheme.”

    This is what she announced, but not as far as those in the opposition and hysterical commentariat were concerned.”

  58. Freethinker

    I agree with your cornlegend and further more not only was waht the ALP voted but also the Greens and some independents representing the majority of the electorate.

    It is interesting that Gillard was mentioned but not other politician that we well know………Abbott come to my mind……..

  59. Miriam English

    Thank you Cornie, for giving the whole quote instead of the selective version right-wingers love so much. I’d actually forgotten the second half, to my shame.

  60. Kaye Lee

    “And of course you do know that we are very largely talking to ourselves here”

    I do realise that but I still consider it of value. I personally learn a great deal here and hope that others do too. I discuss what I learn with family, friends, colleagues etc. There has to be some value in truth surely?

    Sooner or later people must surely see that the people they have elected are incapable of fixing their concerns. The economy has deteriorated significantly under the Abbott/Turnbull government. Jobs continue to be lost but they seem incapable of planning for the future except with empty slogans and buzz words.

    Trump will not be able to build his wall. He will not be able to discriminate against Muslims – it is against the Constitution. And if the US walks away from action on climate change they will face an enormous global backlash. Trump wants huge tariffs? Well they better be completely self-sufficient then. And as others have pointed out, the U.S. debt to China is $1.185 trillion, as of August 2016.

    One thing that worries me is, having let the hounds off the leash in both Australia and the US, what happens when those angry white men (and women) realise that Trump and Hanson can’t do the crazy things they promised.

  61. david1

    @Randalstella….your ‘But watch the Laborites jump up and down about that’, begs the question, why did you single out Labor?.

  62. randalstella

    “Sooner or later people must see that the people they have elected are incapable of fixing their problems.”
    Unfortunately I see no such process under way. They dd not vote on evidence and thereby seem almost impervious to it.

    For a nano-second the topic was the impasse into which plebiscites have fallen – where the fate of nations and the world is hostage to irrational temperaments. It is not getting any better. And the need for it to improve could not be more pressing.

    It does not matter what people say here about policy – whether true or not, whether reasoned or merely partisan – the electorate includes a crucial sector who do not care about argument or facts, and by the evidence might react against reasoning.
    The issue confronting progressive thought is how to deal with this.

    I have zero interest in partisan reactions.

  63. Kaye Lee

    randalstella,

    It is so hard for me to answer that because I am such a maths person. I know I turn people off when I keep quoting numbers from budgets etc. It is my interest area, not necessarily others.

    So I have to understand how to communicate with the angry people – but every time I have tried on conservative sites, I end up banned because they want affirmation not information. It’s like a gang mentality where you pledge allegiance and is shown by many political party members of different persuasions.. I have been accused of doing the same thing but I don’t feel compelled to agree with anyone. I like the truth and I like viable suggestions. I am certainly on the progressive side and I cannot understand how anyone can not be – individuals or community, hierarchy or egalitarianism? Depends if you give a shit what happens beyond your own nest I suppose.

  64. Athena

    The politicians and media do know what they have done, and they don’t care. People like Murdoch want even more money. Both major parties (both here and in the US) bow down to wealthy, powerful party donors. The right are just much better than the left at playing the gullible.

  65. cornlegend

    Never thought I would agree with Pauline Hanson on anything but good luck to her on this and for having a go

    Pauline Hanson Calls For Release Of ‘Australian Hero’ Julian Assange
    Pauline Hanson has called for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange to be pardoned so he can be released from hiding after publishing secret military files.

    The One Nation Senator urged Donald Trump to consider granting the ‘political prisoner’ and ‘Australian hero’ a presidential pardon.

    ‘I hope that in light of his great service towards freedom and truth President Elect Donald Trump will consider granting Mr Assange a full presidential pardon,’ Senator Hanson wrote in a statement on Thursday.

  66. Athena

    “Clutching a glass of Champagne on the forecourt of Parliament House, Ms Hanson said: “Why I am celebrating is that I can see that people are now around the world saying we’ve had enough of the establishment, we’re sick and tired of the elites, give power back to the people to have their own democracy. And I think Donald Trump will bring that to America.”

    @ Kaye Lee

    Ironically the people have had their democracy for years. They just haven’t voted in their own best interests. They blame the establishment but never admit that they voted for it in the first place.

  67. Freethinker

    I think that you are very optimistic cornlegend, this is what Trump said about the other guy: “Snowden is a spy who has caused great damage in the US. A spy in the old days, when our country was respected and strong, would be executed,”

    Julian will be on his list as well.

  68. Freethinker

    “Why I am celebrating is that I can see that people are now around the world saying we’ve had enough of the establishment, we’re sick and tired of the elites, give power back to the people to have their own democracy. And I think Donald Trump will bring that to America.”

    I think that Pauline have selective reading, 200 000 more people voted for Clinton than Trump.

  69. cornlegend

    Freethinker
    “Julian will be on his list as well.”
    I think you are probably correct but at least Hanson spoke out.
    I don’t hear too much noise from any others
    Stranger more surprising things happen.
    We have President elect Trump :-{

  70. david1

    Assange has done enough to trash what reputation he may have had buy his absurd release of tens of thousands of emails which as far as the election went, did diddly squat…except damage the FBI and in particular its Director. He is fortunate, the Director that is Trump will probably pat him on the back, thank him for trying to trash Clinton and send him back to his office. Assange is not Trumps type, he is a self centered wrecker, too much like Trump and that will never do

  71. cornlegend

    Assange was the darling of the Left with the early Iraq releases and the millions of Wikileaks documents but go into a tizzy and a hot flush when Hilary Clinton was mentioned.
    Accusations of Putin spy ,Trump stooge the whole works have flown since he dared release.
    It was in fact Wikileaks staff assisting release
    “We are the WikiLeaks staff, including Sarah Harrison. Over the last months we have published over 25,000 emails from the DNC, over 30,000 emails from Hillary Clinton, over 50,000 emails from Clinton campaign Chairman John Podesta and many chapters of the secret controversial Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA).

    The Clinton campaign unsuccessfully tried to claim that our publications are inaccurate. WikiLeaks’ decade-long pristine record for authentication remains. As Julian said: “Our key publications this round have even been proven through the cryptographic signatures of the companies they passed through, such as Google. It is not every day you can mathematically prove that your publications are perfect but this day is one of them.”

    We have been very excited to see all the great citizen journalism taking place here at Reddit on these publications, especially on the DNC email archive and the Podesta emails.

    Recently, the White House, in an effort to silence its most critical publisher during an election period, pressured for our editor Julian Assange’s publications to be stopped. The government of Ecuador then issued a statement saying that it had “temporarily” severed Mr. Assange’s internet link over the US election. As of the 10th his internet connection has not been restored. There has been no explanation, which is concerning.

    WikiLeaks has the necessary contingency plans in place to keep publishing. WikiLeaks staff, continue to monitor the situation closely.”

    don’t like the message, shoot the messenger

  72. randalstella

    Assange exposes himself by his support for the extreme-right in US politics, including the pimp’s shit about to enter the office once held by Jefferson, Lincoln and FDR.
    The only motive linking the Hanson bitch with Assange is politics: for example they both would love the prosecution of Clinton.
    If Clinton could be charged and subject to process, why cannot the aging boy get out of that embassy and face the processes of the law?
    It would be great publicity. You can bet Hillary Clinton won’t be hiding in anyone’s spare embassy room.

    In the longterm he might be able also to throw himself on the mercy of the excrescence he pushed for President, and the mad vicious bastard who might be Attorney-General, Rudy Giuliani .
    If it is conviction politics, he should apply it to his own case.

    But before he leaves he should clean his room.

  73. cornlegend

    John Pilger: ‘The truth is… there was no one to vote for’ (Going Underground US election special)

  74. randalstella

    Pilger has said as much about Aust. politics.
    (He’s hardly any friend of the Labor Party.)

    But in the US there was the vote called ‘Keep Trump Out’.
    It gained 200,000 more votes than Trump – and lost.
    Neutrality would be the most abysmal perfidy when there is such danger.

    But it was not even neutrality. On any and all indices Clinton was a vastly superior candidate. She was so much the superior it was a dark absurdity. Assange and Pilger ran condemning campaigns against her. They need to be seen for their disregard(?) of the alternative.
    Can it be called disregard? In the course of it effectively they pumped the reputation of murdering gangster ex-KBG operative Putin.
    It is who you associate with that determines how you smell.
    I repeat, Assange is a serial supporter of fascistic US politicians.

    Sooner or later the egotistical brat is going to have to leave that broom cupboard he’s hiding in. Who has he to call on as support?
    It will have to be the alliance of the ideologues and the gormless. Yet again.

  75. cornlegend

    can it be called journalism, printing facts without fear or favour .
    Too much the opinion piece writer or the alleged journalist making themselves the story .
    Sometimes truth hurts

  76. randalstella

    It has to attest to the magic of boyo Assange that he has you citing approvingly the opinion of the Greens candidate.
    What vote did she get? Was it 1%? If that were Australia you would be carping on about it. Wouldn’t you?

    Whether what they allege is based in accurate facts is a matter for dispute. That they effectively supported Trump is beyond dispute.
    Again Assange plumps for the most destructive alternative.
    His inconvenience rates very low on the scale of persecution. And he has access to Media shared by very few others. It’s time to end the internal exile; using that world Media he is very able to exploit.

  77. Miriam English

    Cornie, I totally agree with you.

    randalstella, calm down. Assange isn’t cheering for either side. He is a true journalist. He just presents the facts. Yes, I think Hillary was a vastly superior candidate than Trump, but a homeless wino would be a superior candidate to Trump. However, the truth is what it is. The Democrats shot themselves in the foot by lies and sneaky dealing, destroying the people’s choice: Bernie. You can’t blame Julian Assange for presenting the truth. You have been hoodwinked by lies, randalstella.

  78. david1

    If Assange is ‘presenting the facts’ and ‘presenting the truth’. Why wasn’t he inundating the US with the truth and facts about Trump, he would have been able to keep it up for months..

  79. cornlegend

    Randallstella,
    “you citing approvingly the opinion of the Greens ” bullshit, I pointed out what she said
    reporting facts.
    Something journalists should try more often.

    Now you got me started, The Green and her 1% could well have cost Clinton the job, and rumours abound she endorsed Trump.
    Time and again they complain about MSM, Murdoch et al being biased {quite rightly}
    Assange and Pilger lay out the facts and you want to eat them alive.
    The same ones lauding Pilgers Utopia }plus what seems like forever good journalism} and Wikileaks Iraq war leaks are notwgoing into hot flushes because they did what we asked for
    Print the facts

    “Again Assange plumps for the most destructive alternative.”
    No if Hillary hadn’t been up to no good, he would have had bugger all to leak .
    What do you want, the facts or MSM clones.
    Or the truth when it suits your argument ?

  80. Kaye Lee

    I have no problem about printing the facts and exposing the corruption but I would suggest that the timing was deliberate which begs a few questions.

  81. cornlegend

    David1
    Wikileaks has shit leaked to them, and they release
    As Assange said
    ““We do have some information about the Republican campaign,” Assange said. “I mean, it’s from a point of view of an investigative journalist organization like WikiLeaks, the problem with the Trump campaign is it’s actually hard for us to publish much more controversial material than what comes out of Donald Trump’s mouth every second day, I mean, that’s a very strange reality for most of the media to be in.”

  82. randalstella

    Miriam,

    Do you know the difference between allegations and facts?
    Evidently not. A bit like Trump supporters.

    I made not one observation on determination of facts. Clinton will definitely front up to any allegations in proper process. She will take them on. Will Assange?

    Assange is a repeat supporter of extreme right US politicians. That’s how he has the support of Hanson.

    The ‘people’s choice’ is Trump. He’s the triumphant candidate – that Assange claimed the American ‘Establishment’ would not allow to win. Such is the quality of Assange’s allegations. The interview published between Pilger and Assange is wide and wild with such speculation

    The campaign to ‘jail Hillary Clinton’ is an obscenity set for prosecution by the loopy Right that now have control of each arm of US constitutional politics. These people will be the destroyers of the world, if they can.

    If you want to support that gutlessness go ahead. But they hardly need you.

    It is not hard to see how the organised Right, representing less than 1% of the population’s interests, can beat all else.

  83. cornlegend

    It carried a top secret NSA classification marking. … and Snowden intentionally leaked documents and they want to throw him in Gitmo to rot
    Hillary had 65 emails deemed “Secret” and 22 deemed “Top Secret” plus more floating around in emails in places where she shouldn’t have
    and they say Assange is a bastard
    I’m missing something

  84. cornlegend

    From Wikileaks
    ” Over the last months we have published over 25,000 emails from the DNC, over 30,000 emails from Hillary Clinton, over 50,000 emails from Clinton campaign Chairman John Podesta and many chapters of the secret controversial Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA).

    The Clinton campaign unsuccessfully tried to claim that our publications are inaccurate. WikiLeaks’ decade-long pristine record for authentication remains. As Julian said: “Our key publications this round have even been proven through the cryptographic signatures of the companies they passed through, such as Google. It is not every day you can mathematically prove that your publications are perfect but this day is one of them.”

    We have been very excited to see all the great citizen journalism taking place here at Reddit on these publications, especially on the DNC email archive and the Podesta emails.

    Recently, the White House, in an effort to silence its most critical publisher during an election period, pressured for our editor Julian Assange’s publications to be stopped. The government of Ecuador then issued a statement saying that it had “temporarily” severed Mr. Assange’s internet link over the US election. As of the 10th his internet connection has not been restored. There has been no explanation, which is concerning.

    WikiLeaks has the necessary contingency plans in place to keep publishing. WikiLeaks staff, continue to monitor the situation closely.

  85. randalstella

    corn,
    You cited approvingly the opinion of Jill Stein. It is there in black and white. You cited it in support of your line on the martyr Assange.
    But I got you quickly back on form: some allegation that the Greens supported Trump and dudded Clinton. That’s far more like what we expect.
    That ” rumours abound” is not fact. Do you understand that?

    What is the point of paraphrasing and quoting references to possible allegations? It does not have the substance of argument on evidence.
    Fact: Assange is a promoter of extreme Right-wing US politicians. Why? Please consider.

    People need to understand that if I prefer someone to an alternative, I am not claiming that my choice, however eminently clear and superior, is perfect, or anywhere near untainted. I am declaring a choice between what is available. It does not mean that serious allegations with substance should not be proceeded with. Do any of you here understand that? It’s a pretty basic point.
    It’s like hoping Shorten is the next Aust. PM – and hoping the banks will not support the enormously destructive Adani mine, a Labor pledge. That kind of predicament is all too common to political choices these days. There seems to be a lack of comprehension on this hereabouts. As if one must take sides absolutely for one’s choice. That is not really very rational.
    But I will declare absolutely against irredeemable arseholes. It is a catastrophe that Clinton lost the election, to the monster Trump. Would Assange agree with me? I don’t think so. Therefore he’s no ally of mine. And I have to question his motives. There seems to be some good and some bad in Julian. I really do not like the bad.
    Also I will not take kindly to anyone trying to browbeat me, say with internet references – that are used to avoid who he supports in elections. The time that Wikileaks ran Senate candidates in Aust. also came up with some dubious bods and policies; of the so-called ‘libertarian’ kind.

    It is sad that Assange is inevitably and obtusely to be mentioned in the same breath as Edward Snowden. Or the poor little creature Manning. If I prayed, I’d pray for her. Living in hell.
    With the installation of the fascist Trump, the State Dept. might now be able to destroy the world.

    It shows the profound weakness of Obama that he did nothing effective to ameliorate these circumstances – although he would have wished dearly to have intervened. I feel for him too. He seems an honourable man – out of his depth in the political morass. As it turns out, since Tuesday, his superb eloquence now sounds feeble, the voice of the weakened. That’s grossly unfair; and that’s politics. The politics that the public vote for. Which returns to the very brief discussion during the week: what to do about the populist reaction that treats all this as merely game of emotions?

  86. cornlegend

    “You cited approvingly”
    no, I cited.
    Don’t add approvingly, don’t make shit up
    “That ” rumours abound” is not fact. Do you understand that?”
    Yes, are you having some problems?
    I said rumours abound
    If I could verify it I would have done so
    And really Randallstella, you don’t honestly expect me to read all the rest of your rant?

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