Saturday salon 27/5

1. Margaret Court pipes up

No doubt you remember this from Saturday salon 13/5:

Margaret Court, tennis legend, later Pentecostal Christian minister in 1991 and now a minister at Perth’s Victory Life Church, brought a storm upon her head when she said she would no longer fly Qantas because of Alan Joyce’s advocacy for same-sex marriage.

SBS has the full story. She’s incurred the wrath of Billie Jean King and Martina Navratilova, both openly gay. Navratilova has called for the Margaret Court Arena to be renamed. Current player Casey Dellacqua, whose partner Amanda Judd has had a child, said “enough is enough”.

Court says she has nothing against homosexuals, or Casey Dellacqua personally, it’s just that God ordained that marriage is for a man and a woman, and we must obey.

Malcolm Turnbull has said, Margaret Court can have her opinion, we don’t have to agree, but we can still honour her greatness as a tennis player.

Tennis Australia has said that while it respects Court’s success in the sport, “her personal views are her own, and do not align with Tennis Australia’s values of equality, inclusion and diversity”.

That should be the end of it, except if, as Peter FitzSimons has suggested, sponsors start to pull out.

2. Twiggy comes out

Billionaire Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest and his wife Nicola made the single biggest philanthropic donation by a living person in Australian history on Monday – $400m, to be distributed to causes of the Forrests’ choosing. Turnbull said, along with florid praise:

    $75m would go towards coordinating world cancer institutes, $50m for building stronger communities, $75m for higher education and research, $75m towards “giving every child their best chance”, $50m towards creating equality of opportunity, and $75m towards removing modern slavery from human history.

All good worthy causes, and there is no doubting the sincerity of the Forrests. It’s all very admirable, and I believe Twiggy has already donated about $250 million anonymously. He wants to come out now and set an example others might follow.

Kristina Keneally has blown the whistle:

    Philanthropy from wealthy individuals is many things: generous, inspiring, and selfless. But it is also inherently undemocratic. It vests massive power in the hands of the giver to determine how much money is available and what causes merit support.

    This is not to say philanthropy has no role to play in a democracy. It does. But democracies cannot allow wealthy individuals and successful organisations to use philanthropy as a substitute for paying tax. That’s no longer democracy: it is oligarchy.

She then goes on to detail how much money his companies made and how little tax they paid.

3. Trump watch

Summary of Trump’s foreign tour garnered from Twitter:

    Abject bootlicking of Saudi & Gulf despots, gratuitous insults aimed at actual allies.

News Daily reports on The Donald shoving the man from Montenegro out of the way.

Jared Kushner is also now a person of interest in the FBI probe on dealings with Russia. Phillip Adams talked to Alec MacGillis, reporter from Propublica, about Kushner’s real estate empire and his bad treatment of tenants.

Bruce Shapiro told Adams that Mike Pence may also be in the frame, over General Flynn, from memory. It’s a new form of reality television to keep us entertained.

4. Manchester attack

Turkey has had a series of attacks, threatening to tear the country apart, detailed at Al Jazeera. The latest terrorist attack at Manchester seems closer to home, for a variety of reasons, but partly because there were children, I gather mostly girls, killed and injured just attending a pop concert.

BBC has the story.

The US singer Ariana Grande was due to tour Australia later this year. She was said to be devastated and there must have been a question as to whether the tour would go ahead.

Child psychologists on the radio said that our children will relate the events to themselves. Their advice was to talk to our children and be honest. The ABC program Behind the News is designed for kids and has done a short story. They’ve also put together some resources on how to deal with upsetting news.

It’s also good to contextualise and talk about the positive stuff that goes on. The authorities have been quick in their police response, with now 11 arrests made, so the baddies will be punished. Manchester people were magnificent in helping out, all the emergency responders seemed to do well. Local Muslim leaders came out and condemned the attacks, saying they really get along well with the rest of the community, and there was no obvious back-lash. There were memorial vigils all over the country, including Manchester, in big crowds to express solidarity and thank the emergency responders.

    The evening sun shone over Manchester’s Albert Square tonight, as the city came together to mourn those who lost their lives in Monday’s attack.

    The square was packed with thousands of people, many of them girls around the age of the young people who were killed, who had rushed here from school and work to pay their respects.

The crowd spontaneously sang Don’t Look Back in Anger after a minute’s silence.

Ariana Grande has vowed to return to the “incredibly brave city of Manchester” for a benefit concert to raise money for the victims. She said on Twitter “we won’t let hate win” and “we won’t let this divide us.”

5. Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

Finally, I’ve missed a few anniversaries lately – the Coral Sea Battle, the death of Hitler – but the Beatles Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band 50th anniversary taps into a period when there were strange currents running culturally and politically. Think only of Che Guevara, Bob Dylan, Allen Ginsberg and a little later Woodstock and the Red Brigade. It was a period of my life that had a fair bit of stress. New job, a miscarriage in the first attempt at baby-making with my first wife, and still studying, I think the ninth year in a row I sat for end-of-year exams. Harold Holt was PM, with front-page spreads of him with his nubile nieces, only to disappear into the waves in December that year.

Anyway, the songs have magical music, tunes and lyrics you can hear that tell a story, unlike much that followed, but resonate back into the 1960s where they say that if you can remember those times you weren’t really there.

60 thoughts on “Saturday salon 27/5”

  1. I recall Margaret Court . She played Navratilova several times in the mid 70’s mostly being overwhelmed by the power of Martina. It was apparently OK to play tennis with Navratilova in those days: perhaps she had no idea of Martina’s preferences.
    The two last played together in 1977 and according to Wikipedia, Martina announced her bisexuality in 1980, just three years after their last match. I have doubts that Margaret was completely unaware. For her to come out of the woodwork now, 40 years later and get all indignant about Qantas or its CEO is a bit rich.

  2. Geoff, Margaret Court says she has no problem with gay people, except they shouldn’t marry. Marriage is a sacrament for Catholics, and possibly for other religions too.

    It’s hard to argue that a corporate chief can advocate a position on same sex marriage, but a minister of religion can’t or shouldn’t. I’d rather she didn’t, but she did, and she can’t complain if others disagree with her.

    To me it highlights the folly of having a referendum. A lot of bitterness will out.

    On the tennis, they were both amazing players who dominated their era. Navratilova was 14 years younger, and when she turned professional in 1975, Court would have been 33. Navralitlova’s winning percentage when she was on top was awesome, but so is Court’s overall. They are really different era’s, I think, but no doubt the strength and athleticism of modern players is generally better.

    Former coach Matthew Elliott says practically none of the 1980’s rugby league players would get a gig these days with their level of fitness and skill.

  3. If Ms Court is going to boycott airlines because of their attitude to marriage equality she’ll have to rely on her broomstick – Virgin also agrees that gay people should be allowed to marry.

  4. Philanthropy from wealthy individuals is many things: generous, inspiring, and selfless. But it is also inherently undemocratic. It vests massive power in the hands of the giver to determine how much money is available and what causes merit support.
    This is not to say philanthropy has no role to play in a democracy. It does. But democracies cannot allow wealthy individuals and successful organisations to use philanthropy as a substitute for paying tax. That’s no longer democracy: it is oligarchy.

    Yep. People like gates have the financial muscle to push support into areas like malaria research, an area that is not attractive to big pharma because most of the victims are too poor to make developing a medicine profitable. I am not sure that this is a bad thing.
    I look at charity as “voluntary taxation”. Charity donations are generally tax deductible so you can argue that, to some extent, this tax deduction is taking something away from government revenue and maybe forcing taxes up. On the other hand many charities do things that would otherwise have to be done by the government.
    I think being charitable is part of being civilized. Keep in mind that donations are much bigger than the tax deduction.
    Then there are political donations that are also tax deductible….

  5. An American I know thinks it would be a good thing for Trump to go the full term. Pence is saner and knows how to get things done which means more nasties will actually get through than they would under Trump. This friend says you would have to get to no. 8 on the list of people who automatically step into the President role till the end of the term if the president becomes incapacitated..

  6. John

    I too have a more benign view of public (and anonymous) philanthropy. Your Bill and Melinda Gates example is well chosen.

    There’s room for many organisations and indivuduals to be generous and choose causes, Ms Kenneally. Politicians shouldn’t have a monopoly on large scale spending. Such a monopoly would be more “undemocratic” I think.

    On a modest, local scale, volunteers, charities, churches, clubs and associations do all kinds of valuable deeds. Unpaid volunteers can gain enormous benefit from donating time, effort, expertise to charities. Would you like to disparage them too, Ms Kenneally?

  7. Ms Kenneally can speak for herself, but my impression is that she is not against charities as such, just against rich people who don’t pay their fair share of tax and then have the privilege of supporting causes of their choice.

    A bit over a year ago we had 56,894 charities in Australia, one for every 422 people – it’s a $200 billion a year industry.

    I have mixed feeling about it for reasons mostly stated above. Due to my wife’s erstwhile generosity, when she was earning a bit, and I mean a bit, we get rung up all the time, almost daily if I’m home alone. I feel sorry for the poor sods making the phone calls, and often the causes they support should not have to depend on charity.

  8. Jeremy Corbyn has made a speech on terrorism, pointing out that Theresa may was warned when she was home minister that cutting police numbers could have consequences.

    He also argued against foreign adventurism and said the war on terror just isn’t working.

    The latest poll shows:

    the Conservatives are on 43%, Labour on 38%, the Liberal Democrats are on 10%, while Ukip are way down on 4%. On a uniform swing, far from strengthening her hand, the PM would be back in office with a majority of just two.

    So the bloke deemed a hopeless socialist is doing quite well, and probably would do even better, except that many realise that Brexit is now inevitable and think May would do a better job of it.

  9. If it’s people, rich or otherwise, not paying a fair share of tax, I agree with her.

    I dislike persons very publicly displaying their righteousness, but that irritation I can overlook, if their charitable donation does more good than bad, on balance. And public displays of righteousness are not restricted to philanthropists; no sirree!!

    Years ago, someone commented that many large bequests went to support medical research into “the diseases and afflictions of old men”. Old men, if rich and afflicted (and if writing or changing a will in old age) focussed on their current maladies and were angry about them. It was suggested.

    Well, Melinda and Bill started young. As far as I can see, they haven’t focussed at all on diseases they might fear themselves, and have left decisions on priorities in research to medical professionals, including some Australians.

    I agree that good works should best not have to wait for whims. But I still can’t decry generosity.

    Will I walk past someone selling The Big Issue , or should I stop and donate to the Grateful seller a Brief Lecture on how Governments have failed the Homeless?

    Ms Kenneally, with her experience of politics, government, and indeed power, might advise us: of ways to reduce tax avoidance and tax evasion, of ways to make the mix of taxes fairer, of ways to adjust tax rates to better achieve social goods.

    Alternatively, she could castigate a plutocrat for his past sins of omission. Taxation is a difficult and highly charged topic. Why, even Mr J wrestles with it, and writes that some tax rates discriminate.

  10. John D your remarks about private philanthropy are very accurate. Whilst we always cite the Gates Foundation there are hundreds of philanthropies out there.
    In many case they are not accountable to anyone and can work anywhere they are welcome. They may also compete with other actors, especially the WHO and they may or, may not address priorities under say, the Sustainable Development Goals.
    That’s not to say they should stop, particularly now that the US aid budget has been hit very hard.

    Actually the nature of Aid is changing fairly rapidly. The old “benevolent” top-down approach rooted in the white mans burden is challenged by a more polycentric landscape based approach these days. This involves establishing a deep understanding of the proposed area involved, very deep consultation with stakeholders spawning a plan developed with those stakeholders that meets their identified needs. It’s much more of a bottom-up approach, and much more effective than the historical paradigm.

  11. On philanthropists, one that’s been under the radar somewhat is the Paul Ramsay Foundation. Ramsay never married, made a pile in regional TV and especially privately owned hospitals. He was involved in charity and philanthropy during his life-time, and when he died he left over $3 billion to identifying the root causes of disadvantage and implementing strategic solutions to empower communities.

    I don’t know enough to have a view on whether Twiggy avoided tax, but it seems he did nothing illegal and now is being commendably generous. Whether tax laws should be tightened is another issue.

  12. It’s strange that some folk want Margret Courts name off a stadium because she doesn’t think gay people should marry, so vocal, but have never had a problem with Etihad that’s named after a Company owned by a Country that executes gay people.
    Emirates Melbourne Cup either.

  13. Brian

    I don’t know enough to have a view on whether Twiggy avoided tax, but it seems he did nothing illegal and now is being commendably generous.

    Everyone should avoid as much taxation as possible, that’s legal.
    Otherwise they are being overtaxed which is not.

    We can all choose to donate any after tax surplus to any entity we wish, hopefully having assessed the efficacy of all entities, even Government.
    I recon Twiggy weighed up his options.

  14. Anyone know if there is any truth to the reports that the son of Tim Kaine ( US Vice President if Hillary won ) was arrested, convicted and fined after being an violent antifa idiot at a Trump rally ?
    It’s all over the web but can’t find anything on the MSM.

  15. John, indeed they might. I think everyone thinks May will win, but instead of destroying Corbyn she may save him.

    Jumpy, on Twiggy, delete “avoid” and insert “evade”.

    On Tim Kaine’s son, I Googled, and CNN says he was charged with “fleeing on foot, concealing identity in a public place, and obstructing the legal process by interfering with a peace officer.” Doesn’t sound violent or too serious at all. Google also offered a link to Breitbart News, so the story may be fake.

    You may have a point about Etihad, but I note that Etihad Stadium is going to host a huge concert by Take That with profits being donated to We Love Manchester Emergency Fund.

    Margaret Court has been on The Project with Waleed Aly and claims she was cut off and has been bullied.

    Don’t know about that, but she does have the right to speak.

  16. It’s all over the web but can’t find anything on the MSM.

    So which of the following are not MSM?
    Associated Press, The Washington Examiner, MSN News, CNN, Fox News, (US) ABC News, The Daily Mail – all of which carried the story and were found by searching the interwebs for “Tim Kaine’s son”.

  17. Everyone should avoid as much taxation as possible, that’s legal.

    But is it moral?

    (Think “lifters and leaners”)

  18. There seem to be a lot of leaners in Mr J’s world. But Mr Trotsky may change his attitude.

  19. To be a little less cryptic, I heard an interview with Sir Garfield Barwick during which he was asked to name his greatest achievement while on the High Court. His reply was the Court’s determination that paying tax is not a moral obligation but merely a legal one. (Probably the first step on the way to the bottom of the harbour in my opinion.)
    As a citizen and community member I believe I have a moral obligation to contribute to the costs of civil society.
    Mr J identifies as a libertarian (‘there are only individuals and devil take the hindmost’), so I don’t expect him to be swayed by any argument of mine, but I do think if people are going claim that vulnerable welfare recipients are not ‘paying their way’ they should tar the big end of town with the same brush when it evades avoids paying tax.

  20. I wouldn’t call myself a Libertarian in the strictest sense, there are a few issues I disagree with but it’s probably closer to me than any other label I can find.
    I too, as a citizen and community member I believe I have a moral obligation to contribute to the costs of civil society. But the cost should be as evenly shared on the basis of each individual cost from society plus anything extra each individual chooses to direct according to their individual moral or compassionate compass.
    Each member works just as hard and long.

    After all, if One believes most of humanity are stupid nasty heartless arseholes then what’s the point of Democracy or living ?
    The vast majority of wealthy folk I’ve known ( lower wealthy ) put their wealth down to a combination of educated risk taking, good choices, discipline, long days and lack of bad luck. And they very grateful for it and generous.
    My Houso neighbours, not so much.
    I think you’ll find zoot, if you looked a lot closer, Libertarian doctrine is the most liberal both economically and socially.

  21. Bearing in mind that you are on record as not breaching paywalls because that would be immoral (“theft”), will you respond to my question –
    It is legal to avoid tax, but is it moral?

  22. It is legal to avoid tax, but is it moral?

    Of course.
    You can volunteer to give 100% of your income to Government though if you feel they can direct it more morally than yourself.

    Question for you, does Government have higher morals than the voters ?

  23. Thank you for your honesty Jumpy. To paraphrase, you believe it is moral to “steal” from your fellow citizens even though it is immoral to “steal” from a business. I can agree to disagree.

    Question for you, does Government have higher morals than the voters ?

    I have no idea what that means. Are you asking if governments inherently have higher moral standards than the people who elect them? I would have thought the corrupt behaviour of our incumbents would have answered that for you (in the negative).

  24. I believe that I have a moral obligation to pay taxes. It is part of what is necessary if I want to live in a country that treats its citizens fairly and is a good place to live.

  25. Sorry folks. On Sunday I thought I’d do a quick post on the Lindt Cafe siege. It’s not done yet and will need another night.

  26. The prime responsibility for the Lindt cafe siege deaths rests with the man who took a gun in there and later asked for an ISIS flag to display at a window while he held hostages.

    A shameful act against unarmed citizens.

  27. I believe in taxes – after all, I enjoy services provided by the government that go beyond the amount I actually contribute. I resent the free-loaders who choose to suck the public teat, actually eschewing work, or in archaic parlance, “pull their weight”.

    The morality of tax minimisation is another issue. I have a friend who is, always has been in the 50+ years we have been friends, impeccably honest. Now retired, he has through hard work and astute management amassed a very tidy superannuation account. Although retired, he continued serving his regular clients from his home. His average income from home approaches $130K p.a. However, my friend pays no tax. Nor has he tapped his super account. I question his morality. He points to the very large tax contribution he made during his conventional employment. I still hold my view, believing that he still enjoys public services and that he is very privileged for whatever reason.
    I don’t think the issue will ever resolve itself to all our satisfaction but what might help is if we had more confidence that government managed our tax revenues well.
    If people care to minimise tax by say, philanthropic means I’m OK with that, assuming the benefits are real in some area. At least one can point to the contribution and see the outcome. That’s not so easy with consolidated revenues and has allowed some magnificently poor decisions.

    Finally, since I have verbal diarrhea this morning, here is a link from Giles Parkinson regarding Adani’s fortunes and the Carmichael mine.
    http://reneweconomy.com.au/the-myth-that-adani-coal-is-boom-or-bust-for-queensland-economy-39757/

  28. Thanks Geoff

    I wouldn’t call it “tax minimisation” if he pays no income tax on $130k. That would be illegal.

    Still, he likely pays GST and council rates.

    I accept the obligation of citizens to pay taxes. Regardless of whether they receive direct financial benefits.

    I never understood why Treasurer Costello suddenly halved the capital gains tax, more than ten years ago. Folk who had a transaction coming up, who expected to pay the full rate, couldn’t believe their luck!

    And why should income from superannuation income streams be tax free after retirement age? Surely some income tax could be paid? Make it a lower rate, if you must.

    Cheerio.

  29. zoot

    To paraphrase, you believe it is moral to “steal” from your fellow citizens….

    Is ” paraphrase” your code word for ” make shit up ” ?
    Thou shalt not steal was around long before it was written, it’s an innate part of human morality.
    Asking some other entity to steal and give it you is worse because you corrupted others.

  30. Taxation is not theft.

    No, look, really: more than happy to help out. Just doing my bit to wean you off Trotskyism, “Comrade” J.

  31. Jumpy if you want to “Zinga” someone, and especially Zoot, you need to do better.

    If that’s a problem, stop, please stop sticking your head up and getting it blown off.
    Try and offer considered opinions/responses to the topic. Stop the puerile baiting that does no more than occupy space on the site. I know you can do it- I’ve seen you post quite interesting and diverse stuff. You don’t have to be “right” (correct”) you just need to present a comment that holds even a little substance.
    Speaking for myself, I would not miss the banal sniping where the plain intention is just to irritate someone. Give it a rest, please.

  32. Geoff, I was congratulating zoot on his zinga.
    Please, re-read the conversation, apply your diagnostic condescension machine re-calibrated to both zoot and I equally.
    You will, if you’re honest, you should post the exact comment above with zoots moniker instead of mine.

    Oh, and thanks for the unsolicited advice, everyone loves getting that, I’ll file it with all the rest.

  33. Reposting zoots considered opinions/responses to the topic that wasn’t puerile baiting that does no more than occupy space on the site.

    Jumpy, ask your ESL teacher about the significance of inverted commas.

  34. Thinking about Margret Courts getting roasted on The Project the other day.
    She bravely stated her opinion that marriage should be between a Man and a Woman, the exact view of Waleed Aly that sat there in quiet cowardice as the clowns pilled on.

    Why did he stay quite ?
    Do these panel members ridicule Waleed about his same view ?
    No, why not ?

  35. Ambiguous: My understanding was that in the past capital gains tax was paid on earnings above the inflation rate and that the Costello reforms was a simplification of this system. However, surprise surprise the Costello system meant that people who made just a bit above inflation would pay more tax while those who made a real killing paid less.
    My personal view is that inflation should be taken account of both in calculating tax and making claims. For example, this would mean that interest on term deposits would only be paid to the extent to which the interest exceeds the inflation rate. In the case of loans, interest would only be able to be claimed as an expense to the extent that this interest exceeds the inflation rate.
    My other gripe with the way capital gains tax is calculated is that the effect of capital gains from long term investment is only seen when the long term investment is sold. (Think of a landlord selling a house that has been owned for years. ) A sudden spike in realized capital gains could mean that a large part of the gain would attract the top marginal tax rate even though the average capital gain per yr over the life of the investment may have been quite low.
    At one stage in my life i was working too hard to be actively involved in charitable activities. I resolved this issue by deciding to donate a few weeks earnings to charities. Is this what your friend was doing?

  36. Watched the State of Origin match, and Queensland got smashed 28-4. I always think the Blues are too big, too fast, too strong and too skilful. This time they were.

    Worse still, there was not a Queenslander who played badly. I can’t see us winning the series. Also they are younger, so I think we aren’t going to have as much fun as we’ve had for the last 12 years.

    I thought Anthony Milford might run through them towards the end, but he came off with a head knock after 53 minutes.

  37. John, I like the idea of inflation being taken into account as you suggest. It’s a rip-off and a scandal that it doesn’t apply in capital gains. the idea of applying it to interest income is novel, but logical.

  38. John

    Your view on capital gains taxation are interesting. It seems fair to tax only “real gains”. So take inflation (loss of purchasing power of each $) into account.

    I don’t have a friend who reduced their tax significantly by making a large charitable donation, as far as I’m aware.

  39. Charitable donations are good, ensures (or should ensure) that the charity gets money and gives a certainty of funding not always available from government.

    I am mostly relieved that Trump is stepping away. Basically I think that Paris will function better without him. I also have some hope that the climate sensibles in the US are still a strong voice and will not completely abandon all environmental good practice. I don’t think there will be a domino effect.

    I have not read California’s reaction yet. Going by GDP, California sits at sixth place world-wide. It is a very significant economy and it may have something to say about Trumps decision and what they can do about it.

    Trump’s action effectively surrenders a significant proportion of America’s “leadership” of the world, offering China the role. Trump may even relegate the US to third after India within a few years.

  40. Geoff, I’d agree with you that the Paris accord may be better off without Trump, as the mechanisms for monitoring country performance will be negotiated in the next few years. Better done without Trump.

    Craig Kelly, chair of the LNP backbenchers’ committee for the environment says he’s not denying human agency, but he says the effects of cc have been less than you would expect. The man isn’t looking, or can’t see which way is up.

    The web is full of reaction. I have to work today, but will do something on this tonight and defer Salon for a day.

  41. Good work, zoot.

    I hope more States join up.

    Anyone remember that old saying:
    What would happen if they called a war, and no-one turned up?” ??

    What would happen if the leader of a Federation made a decision, but a whole lot of the States in the Federation ignored the leader and simply got on with the job?

    Now, that would be a big job for the Great Negotiator!

  42. If Trump recognised your logic Ambi he might change his mind. But I think even if he did he has lost cred world-wide and to an extent at least in his own country.
    I’m expecting that a number of other States will join the coalition of the realists.

  43. Covfefe’s withdrawal from Paris did not go down well with some IT gazillionaires. After betting big on the Donald, Elon Musk withdrew himself from the Trump council, now watch Google etc. Apparently Trump is even too much for Disneyland, JP Morgan and others.

    Meanwhile our Apostolic Climate Nuncio to the White house Raises ‘Conceptual Penises’ To Challenge Climate Science. Now hat the scum has risen to the very top it is easier to see it for what it is. Even Josh is predicting big battles within coal-lision. I think Trump may have provided us with a circuit breaker here.

  44. As an afterthought, Geoff.

    I imagine most US States have an Environment Dept.
    So, if the Donald starts winding back or rescinding US EPA regulations, is there scope for States to introduce the same measures. each in their own State?

    Now that would keep “the environment” on the front pages of newspapers, for months or years!

    Imagine the court cases, too…….

  45. I’ve seen some considered opinions that Trump has just handed leadership of the world (along with a few million jobs in renewable energy) to China.
    We live in interesting times.

  46. Wasn’t listening very carefully, but I think a Chinese spokeslady has already said they are happy to take on the mantle of leadership.*

    That could Make America Grate.

    *ABC TV news tonight.

  47. Yeah even the most diehard republicans will be upset that their so-called leader has in just a few months placed his country in second, maybe third place on the map.
    It’s hard to believe…

    Hopefully the coalition of states (WA, CA and others) will make a sufficient difference.

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