1. JFK assassination theories revive
Seems Trump is keen to release all the JFK assassination files, but on CIA and FBI advice they have been redacted and some withheld.
The fact that the CIA and the FBI are doing this gives conspiracy theories more energy. The BBC gives some details of the new material, which basically confirm that something strange was going on.
Here we have an outline of the key theories.
I know that when I last had my head into it I was convinced there was a second gunman, but I’ve forgotten the detail, I think two people hit and the trajectory of the bullet.
2. Trump – Americans were warned
Speaking of Trump, Phillip Adams recorded an amazing interview with David Cay Johnston, investigative journalist and author of The Making of Donald Trump.
This review in the Financial Times is concise:
- In Johnston’s telling, Trump is a shallow huckster who cheats his employees and customers, lies the way other people draw breath, seeks revenge as “the guiding principle of his life”, and consorts with hoodlums — among them: Joseph Cinque, known as “Joey No Socks”, a convicted felon,and Felix Sater, a convicted stock swindler who was also imprisoned after jamming the stem of a margarita glass into another man’s face.
The FT is right, Johnston himself has a healthy estimation of his own abilities, but he is willing to risk Trump’s habit of destroying people who criticize him. He told Adams Trump was basically a crook, a cash extractor rather than a builder, Trump Tower was probably funded by the Russians. Johnston thinks fear will prevent Republicans from impeaching and the Democrats just don’t have the numbers. Johnston notes:
- “Trump’s success with voters tells an important story about the deep trouble America is in.”
3. Mueller’s long game
There is a feeling that Paul Manafort’s indictment may be just the first move in Robert Mueller’s long game and that Manafort’s former aide George Papadopoulos could cause Donald Trump the most grief. Manafort is accused of money laundering and conspiracy against the US, separate from the Trump campaign. Papadopoulos was active with the Russians while working with the Trump campaign.
The AFR says Jared Kushner may be the one implicated by Papadopoulos’s evidence.
However, Bruce Wolpe says Make no mistake, Donald Trump is at his zenith.
Trump is ruthlessly pursuing his agenda:
- In 2017, Mr Trump has consolidated his control over the party, and those who oppose him have capitulated.
It is telling that Mr Trump’s most vocal Republican critics are retiring and leaving the field. Trump’s hardline strategist, Steve Bannon, is waging a political cleansing war on conservatives who are not Trump partisans.
David Cay Johnston says he’s even less fit than he looks, and when he was walking with Macron and suddenly stopped, it was because he actually needed to stop. His health may be the only chance he will go away. To me, he looks like a stroke or heart attack waiting to happen, but I don’t have any medical skills, I’ve just seen it happen in a large number of people.
4. Uluru – don’t walk to the top
Uluru will be closed to climbers from October 26, 2019 to coincide with the 34th anniversary of the return of Uluru to traditional owners. That gives tourist operators two years notice.
36 people have died climbing the rock since records began in the 1950s. Apparently traditional owners have always said that when the percentage of visitors climbing the rock fell below 20% they would look at closing it. On last count the number was down to 16%.
Here as a bonus are some photos from my post of our trip:
This is one of Len’s artistic shots of Uluru:
Here’s one of mine from the base walk:
Len and I on different days took photos of the sunrise on Kata Tjuta with a zoom lens from over 40 km away at Uluru. This is Len’s:
And the reverse, without zoom:
Finally, the lookout opening into the inner sanctum of Kata Tjuta:
I’d love to do a full post on Uluru.
What changed Shorten’s mind was the case of Senate President Stephen Parry, a Tasmanian Liberal, whose case was as good as identical to Fiona Nash’s, but he decided to stay stumm to see what happened with the High Court. Shorten says something has to be done to restore public confidence in the parliament. Of course an audit could only give an opinion, but it would settle things down and identify likely problem cases which could then be referred to the High Court.
Richard Di Natale has been saying that from the outset. Laura Tingle says an audit is now pretty much inevitable, everyone can see it apparently except Malcolm Turnbull and his bunch.
The issue got a particular edge when Turnbull and Matthias Cormann piled into Parry for not telling anyone. This annoyed Parry because he had spoken to at least one cabinet minister, who advised him to just hang in there. After all Nash and Joyce had held onto their positions, and Turnbull assured everyone that the Court would find in their favour.
I suspect the minister Parry consulted was Peter Dutton, who is the only one I’ve heard defending Parry.
There is now more questioning as to whether some of these dopes should pay back their salaries. The default assumption is that they should, unless they get an exemption from the Special Minister of State, which so far they have, but that must be wearing thin.
Complete farce came with questioning Josh Frydenberg, but I’m sorry, Malcolm, that’s what happens. It is at least conceivable that the Hungarians have changed the law.
That report says Parry told Mitch Fifield, which shows what a dope he really is.
Xenophon said the other day, we need to change the constitution, also so that nurses and teachers don’t have to resign to run for parliament.
Amen to that!
6. Law, human dignity and Manus Island
Amy Maguire, Senior Lecturer in International Law and Human Rights, University of Newcastle and Georgia Monaghan, Research Assistant, University of Newcastle give an outline of the legal issues involved in Australia’s stubborn and entrenched position on Manus Island asylum seekers.
The situation is serious. The detention centre has closed, the alternative is not ready, and asylum seekers don’t feel safe in the community.
I believe only 50 so far have gone to the US, and we just don’t know how many more they will take.
Meanwhile Dr Nick Martin tells of how his medical decisions about asylum seekers were repeatedly ignored by administrators on Nauru.
I believe Australia should offer them all asylum from their treatment on Manus and Nauru. Then there should be a royal commission to uncover the perpetrators, who should then be punished, including ministers of the crown.
We’d still have to clean up our own backyard with respect to First Nations Peoples. Only then could we lay claim to being a civilized country.