Friday 18th of August 2017

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by Gus Leonisky on Fri, 2017-08-18 03:14


The president repeated the point he made in a controversial press conference on Tuesday, that protesters who want to take down monuments to Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and “Stonewall” Jackson today may demand the removal of George Washington or Thomas Jefferson tomorrow.

The country’s first president and the author of the Declaration of Independence were both slave-owners. A pastor in Chicago, Illinois has already asked the city authorities to change the name of a park currently named after Washington, as well as another that bears the name of Andrew Jackson, the seventh US president.

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As mentioned before, the US has hypocritically supported the Thugs and Nazis in Ukraine. 

There is no room for neo-Nazis and extremism in our societies. When the USA sponsored thugs and Neo-Nazis in Ukraine, everyone (in the West) applauded because this was tearing Ukraine away from the "nasty" Russia. Yes the Ukrainian government is supported by Nazis in that country and all is sweet as far as we're concerned. Even a seat at NATO is on offer... We (the USA) are even selling weapons to Ukraine to fight those horrible ethnic Russians in Ukraine who would not have a bar of the Neo-Nazis. At this stage the moral compass of the USA is spinnnnnnning like a mad top...

Trying to erase history is mad... see World War two never happened...


by Gus Leonisky on Fri, 2017-08-18 02:54

Deputy leader of the Nationals Fiona Nash is the latest politician to be ensnared by the citizenship fiasco, revealing she is a British citizen by descent.

Key points:


The revelation comes just days after the leader of her party, Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, revealed he was a citizen of New Zealand.

Senator Nash said she had sought advice of the UK Home Office on her citizenship status after Mr Joyce's statement on Monday.

"By Monday evening, I was advised that a caseworker at the UK Home Office was of the view that, on the basis of the limited facts that I had provided, I was a British citizen by descent through my Scottish-born father," she said.

Senator Nash said her mother was born in Australia and was an Australian citizen, but her father was born in Scotland in 1927.

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by Gus Leonisky on Thu, 2017-08-17 19:29


US allies Germany, France, Japan, and South Korea are among countries which trust Vladimir Putin more than Donald Trump in handling foreign affairs, a new Pew poll shows.

“In many countries he [Putin] is more trusted than American President Donald Trump,” according to a statement from the Pew Research Center on Wednesday. 

At least 36 countries from across the world took part in the survey.

The poll showed that at least seven EU countries trust Russian President Vladimir Putin more than US President Donald Trump. Greeks appear to have highest confidence in Putin (31 percent higher than their confidence in Trump), followed by Germany (with a +14-percent differential), and Hungary (+5 percent). Putin is also more trusted in France, Sweden, Italy, and Spain than his US counterpart.

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Meanwhile at the media gas works:



The allegation that the mainstream media disseminates  “fake news” about the Trump administration often can seem overwrought, even a kind of caricature. Yet the nearly universal media response to President Trump’s news conference at which he addressed the Charlottesville violence can only reinforce it. One day this response [will] make a rich subject for future historians analyzing it as earlier historians probed witch-burnings, pogroms, and other outbreaks of mass hysteria. They likely will focus on the spectacle of sophisticated, experienced, well credentialed people—Chuck Todd, Jake Tapper, Joe Scarborough, to name three of dozens—responding to Trump’s comments on the tragic weekend as if they were, say, undergraduate social justice warriors at Middlebury College.

First, the transmission of facts, which might be the essential point of journalism. Trump approached the Trump Tower podium Tuesday afternoon hoping to talk about infrastructure. The media wanted to talk about Charlottesville (ignoring, not surprisingly, Chicago, where nine people were murdered over the weekend).

The meat of Trump’s answer can be broken down into parts. First, he praised the young woman who was murdered, called the driver who ran her over a disgrace to his country, wasn’t certain of the semantics whether he should be accused of terrorism or murder.

Second, he asked a reporter for a definition of the alt-right, a term probably as imprecise as “socialist”—and perhaps a reasonable way of expressing uncertainty about the actual center of gravity of a seemingly elastic group that includes such disparate ideological figures as Trump’s own American nationalist aide Steve Bannon, the white nationalist Richard Spencer, and the neo-Nazis Spencer has invited into his tent. Third, he reaffirmed the statement he made on Saturday, condemning in the strongest possible terms bigotry and violence.

Then he fatefully threw out the red meat, denouncing what he called the “alt left,”  or “Antifa,” which showed up in Charlottesville, without a permit, intending, as was evident to anyone paying attention to the group’s past actions, on physically attacking those attending the alt-right demonstration. He reiterated his previous statement that there was “blame on both sides.”  He repeated his disdain for “neo-Nazis and white nationalists,” saying they should be “condemned totally.” Then he noted that some people had come simply to protest the taking down of the Robert E. Lee statue, erected over a hundred years ago.

So how did the media report this message, in which he singled out for condemnation white nationalists and neo-Nazis, lamented the violence on both sides, and posited that many people involved were “fine people” demonstrating for relatively normal things—that is, for the maintenance of a statue, or protesting against the alt-right’s bigotry?

It was hard to miss. Headline after headline streaming on the news chyrons on CNN and MSNBC asserted that Trump had defended Nazis, while the transcript (and a video) shows plainly and unambiguously he had done nothing of the sort. Commentators on the two major cable channels were hysterical, some guests labeling Trump a white supremacist, wondering why Jared and Ivanka or the minority members of his administration had not abandoned him. A New York Times story records the “chills”  experienced by Chuck Todd upon hearing Trump, the shock of Jake Tapper.

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The USA is a country presently eating its own past. Up until the civil war, most of the presidents were racists and official racism in the US did not stop after this war. This is the US history. Taking down the statues of all the "heroes" of the opposition (the Confederates) in the civil war over slavery is akin to the French demolishing the Louvre or the German destroying the Reichstag. Americans are getting beyond the Nazi sentiment, they are getting stupid.


by Gus Leonisky on Thu, 2017-08-17 16:04



An emotional Attorney-General George Brandis has been given a standing ovation in Parliament for slamming One Nation leader Pauline Hanson's decision to wear a burka into the Senate.

Key points:

  • Pauline Hanson said she wore burka in attempt to highlight security risks
  • George Brandis criticises Senator Hanson for attacking the Islamic faith
  • Labor and Greens senators gave Senator Brandis a standing ovation for his response


Senator Hanson caused audible gasps of shock when she wore the full Islamic dress into Question Time, calling for the dress to be banned in Australia.


Liberal senator from Tasmania Jonathon Duniam was heard saying, "oh, what on earth", before Senate president Stephen Parry said Senator Hanson had been identified before entering the chamber.

Senator Brandis was close to tears while criticising Senator Hanson for attacking the Islamic faith and undermining relations with the Muslim community.

"To ridicule that community, to drive it into a corner, to mock its religious garments is an appalling thing to do," he said.

"I would ask you to reflect on that."

Senator Brandis ruled out banning the burka.

Labor and Greens senators stood and applauded Senator Brandis after his answer to Senator Hanson.

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by Gus Leonisky on Thu, 2017-08-17 13:52


Several leading members of Donald Trump's Republican Party and key ally Britain have sharply rebuked the United States President after he insisted that white nationalists and protesters opposed to them were both to blame for deadly violence in the Virginia city of Charlottesville over the weekend.

Key points:

  • Former presidents join current Republican politicians in rebuking President
  • President told "your words are dividing Americans, not healing them"
  • Mr Trump had said "there is blame on both sides" for fatal violence in Charlottesville


Mr Trump's remarks yesterday, a more vehement reprisal of what had been widely seen as his inadequate initial response to the bloodshed around a white nationalist rally, reignited a storm of criticism and strained ties with his own party.

Republican former presidents George HW Bush and George W Bush were among those from Mr Trump's own party to speak out after the President's comments.

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by Gus Leonisky on Thu, 2017-08-17 12:37

Countries such as the US, the UK, New Zealand and Canada already recognise same-sex marriages. They also have bills of rights which accord some recognition to the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. Australia does not yet recognise same-sex marriages – not even those marriages recognised in their countries of origin. Neither does Australia have a bill of rights with the result that the federal protection of rights such as freedom of religion is more piecemeal than in other countries. In Australia, the tendency has been to treat the freedom of religion on contested questions as an exemption to sex discrimination laws. This results in freedom of religion being treated as a second order right. But in international law, it is a first order “non-derogable” right.

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by Gus Leonisky on Thu, 2017-08-17 12:04


Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell issued a statement that did not mention Mr Trump by name but said "messages of hate and bigotry" from white supremacists, the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazi groups should not be welcome anywhere in the US.

"We can have no tolerance for an ideology of racial hatred. There are no good neo-Nazis, and those who espouse their views are not supporters of American ideals and freedoms," he said.

"We all have a responsibility to stand against hate and violence, wherever it raises its evil head."

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I agree. There is no room for neo-Nazis and extremism in our societies. But then I have a bit of reservation on this niggling subject. When the USA sponsored thugs and Neo-Nazis in Ukraine, everyone (in the West) applauded because this was tearing Ukraine away from the "nasty" Russia. Yes the Ukrainian government is supported by Nazis in that country and all is sweet as far as we're concerned. Even a seat at NATO is on offer... We (the USA) are even selling weapons to Ukraine to fight those horrible ethnic Russians in Ukraine who would not have a bar of the Neo-Nazis. At this stage the moral compass of the USA is spinnnnnnning like a mad top...


See also:

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by Gus Leonisky on Thu, 2017-08-17 11:50

Christine Forster has publicly demolished the case against same-sex marriage put by her brother, Tony Abbott, rejecting his view the marriage law should stay the same to defeat “political correctness” and protect religious freedom.

Forster said it was “simplistic and inaccurate” to label people who support same-sex marriage a “politically correct minority”, in an opinion piece for the Australian on Thursday.

Forster, a Liberal councillor for the City of Sydney who is engaged to her partner of the same sex, said that many marriage equality advocates “come from the conservative side of politics and on all other issues are derided as reprehensible dinosaurs by those who embrace political correctness”.

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by Gus Leonisky on Thu, 2017-08-17 11:48

Pope Francis, whose repeated promises of zero tolerance have been criticised by victims who say the Vatican needs to do much more, called sexual abuse “an absolute monstrosity, a terrible sin that contradicts everything that the Church teaches”.

The foreword was published on Wednesday by the German daily Bild.

The pope said the fate of abused children weighed on his soul, especially those who had taken their own lives.

“We will counter those priests who betrayed their calling with the most strenuous measures. This also applies to the bishops and cardinals who protected these priests – as happened repeatedly in the past,” he wrote.

Church sexual abuse broke into the open in the United States with reports of cases in Louisiana in 1984, and exploded in 2002, when journalists in Boston found that bishops had systematically moved abusers to new posts instead of defrocking them.

Thousands of cases have come to light around the world as investigations have encouraged long-silent victims to go public, shattering the Church’s reputation. More than $2 billion has been paid in compensation.

Pope Francis’ efforts against sexual abuse since his election in 2013 have sputtered.Critics say he has not done enough to hold to account those bishops who mishandled cases of abuse or covered it up, and a Vatican commission formed in 2014 to advise him on rooting it out has been hit by internal dissent.

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by Gus Leonisky on Thu, 2017-08-17 08:02

From Dr Simon Longstaff, AO FCPA 


For example, during the more violent phases of the Inquisition, the punishment of an innocent person was judged to be a regrettable "'lesser evil" than that of a multitude falling into the error of heresy and suffering eternal damnation. It was believed that God would "spot the error" and make all good for the innocent in the next life. In other words, today's suffering of the innocent should be deplored and prevented, but, seen in the context of eternity, souls (rather than bodies) must be saved.

In the debate about the "seal of the confessional," we are witnessing a clash between two world views - one based on the primacy of civic power and a conviction of the need to prevent, expose and punish the wicked of this world. The other view is based on the old Augustinian belief that the laws and institutions of the "City of Man" are ultimately subordinate to those of the "City of God" - the latter being eternal and ultimately just.

I think that society's first duty is to protect the living. Sexually abusing children (and the vulnerable more generally) is an especially heinous crime as it robs the victims of innocence - not just of body, but of self. It involves what Hannah Arendt has called, in another context, a "scarification of the soul." Therefore, we should insist that where our children are at risk of preventable harm, every citizen should meet their obligation to offer protection.

Personally, I do not believe in hell, nor in a God that punishes for an eternity. Nor do I think that popes and priests have an exclusive capacity to offer God's forgiveness. 

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