Duterte is difficult to retract jack-in-the-box

Is Rodrigo Duterte the Filipino Trump? Brash. Vulgar. Homicidal. And now allied to America’s traditional foes?


Or is it that America’s monotone rhetoric of free trade, and its supposed benefits, has worn too thin, at home as much as in its colonial outposts?

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Coalition lost in post-Trump era?

How will the Australian Coalition MPs who take their cues from the American Republicans orient themselves now?


Sane people all over the world have recognised the moral and political bankruptcy of the Republican Party.

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Clinton murder threats: forest for the trees


In some respects the threats to imprison or even kill Hillary Clinton emanating from the Trump camp are bitterly ironic.

Much though any civilised Western observer should be horrified by such threats, they are the logical outcome of a power granted to the President in 2001. The power to order the assassination of anyone anywhere.

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Trump denunciation a farcical cover for unexplored money trail?


Republicans turning their backs on Trump for grotesque sexism is a bullshit cover story to disguise some unreported shadow-play, most likely about big money interests. Or so I propose.
The sudden outbreak of conscience and principle in the Republican agglomeration of reactionary sentiments just doesn’t ring true.

Nothing new is revealed about Trump in the apparently just-discovered open mic tape. What he said is hardly out of character for a man who has made his vulgarity a badge of honour.

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The political economy of our census fiasco

The root cause for the dramatic failure of the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ (ABS) first online census is bipartisan Australian economic vandalism. What I mean is the pursuit by the major parties of economic policies that work to the detriment of the nation by serving foreign interests.

How that explains the cascade of technical failures which shut down the ABS census website requires taking a more strategic view of the fiasco than that offered by technology commentators.


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Shorten cannot win against Turnbull

How lack of political talent and the rise of hand-held online chatter levelled Australian politics, and exposes the Labor fraud under Shorten of presenting itself as a desirable alternative to the Coalition.


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Vertigo and nausea in Canberra


Whether Malcolm Turnbull will be a better Prime Minister for Australia than the outgoing Tony Abbott is highly questionable, given the constraints of Byzantine Coalition infighting and allegiances tied to murky patronage. But he is the worst sort of news for Bill Shorten’s Australian Labor Party.

Right now there is no one who more closely resembles Abbott in style and popularity than Shorten. The latter is secure only because he’s irrelevant; the Australian public is not focused on a potentially better leader of an opposition that is little more than a cut-rate Liberal party these days.

Why and how did Abbott become arguably Australia’s most despised and unpopular PM?

Within his own party he had long been known as an ‘attack dog’, apparently savouring his reputation as a rabid beast, and ruling his party like it was a street gang in which the most psychotic streetfighter is always the leader.

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Wrath of Trumpenstein


Freakshow carnival barker Donald Trump has no intention of running for the presidency, and has no chance of gaining the Republican nomination.

This far out, even seasoned commentators are loath to pick the pony, but when I try to filter out spectacle from some constants, I think Clinton probably has the best chance. Much though I would welcome a Sanders presidency, I doubt the Democrat party machine would allow that to happen. The Republican clowns opposing Clinton seem less likely than Mitt Romney to stand a chance against an experienced Machiavellian, particularly if she can avoid damaging revelations, and maintain tight discipline in her team of political operatives.

I like spectacle as much as the next guy. Some of the finest journalistic writing flows from big tent campaigns, which are in themselves creative of odd circumstances and revealing moments. However, these can only really occur if the candidates believe in something more than winning.

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The original sin doctrine


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A recent revival in the innate-bad-guy-white-male-privilege argument makes me roll my eyes and shake my head. The way you’d expect a middle aged white man to react. And yet my reasons are not those outlined in the naïve and under-educated essay that may have started all of this fatuous petulance: Peggy McIntosh’s 1988 essay ‘White Privilege and Male Privilege: A Personal Account of Coming to See Correspondences through Work in Women’s Studies’.

The project proposed in that paper couldn’t have been better organised if the Koch brothers had spent a billion dollars funding it: keeping the natural allies against a self-destructive plutocracy forever divided against themselves, thus maintaining exactly what McIntosh decried: white male privilege. But even then only as an élite white male privilege, with most of the people who identify with this broad-brush description gaining not much of the privilege, but plenty of motivation to stand with those who do when the alternative is being crudely dismissed as ‘sinful’ solely by dint of penis and pink skin. This is is no more complex an argument than the the ridiculous Christian original sin doctrine, re-packaged by some shallow thinkers as an intellectually void but inexplicably fashionably coprophilia: throwing shit at people to see how much of it sticks.

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