Notes on Trump 32 – liberal implosion escalates all the way

A college professor is facing felony charges after shooting himself on a Nevada campus last month in what police say he claimed was a protest of President Donald Trump,the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

Sociology professor Mark J. Bird, 69, was found with a self-inflicted gunshot wound outside a bathroom at the College of Southern Nevada, where he has taught since 1993. He was charged with discharging a gun within a prohibited structure, carrying a concealed weapon without a permit and possessing a dangerous weapon on school property, according to the Review-Journal.

A student saw a wounded Bird stumble out of the bathroom after 8 a.m. on Aug. 28, before collapsing, according to a police report obtained by the Review-Journal. As witnesses worked to calm Bird and stop the bleeding, he said he had shot himself in protest of Trump.

Inside the bathroom, campus police found a $100 bill taped to a mirror with a note reading, “For the janitor,” the report said. On the floor were a .22-caliber handgun and a spent shell casing.

(Pseudo) Lefty Boot Camp

This clip from the ABC’s recently axed, ‘Tonightly with Tom Ballard’ show, is further indication that a wider range of people, including a fairly smug ABC TV comedy show, are fed up with the pseudo-left. The critique is solid and works well as satire. Of course, it has nothing much to offer as an alternative beyond getting ‘out there’ – but still very good to see.

The comedian doing the routine is Jazz Twemlow.

Confound their politics – the Australian Republican Movement

With thanks to Quadrant and the author for permission to publish this excellent essay here. Originally published in Quadrant, May 1998.

This article appeared at a time when the Constitutional Convention to debate Australia becoming a republic had been convened (in February 1998) and when the NEITHER! campaign, which is referred to in the article, had earlier challenged Australia’s ‘two party dictatorship’.

It holds good as a critique of the Republican Movement in Australia, which has lost much ground since 1998, especially among young people.


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Albert Langer Confound their politics Quadrant May 1998_1

Albert Langer Confound their politics Quadrant May 1998_2Albert Langer Confound their politics Quadrant May 1998_3Albert Langer Confound their politics Quadrant May 1998_4Albert Langer Confound their politics Quadrant May 1998_5Albert Langer Confound their politics Quadrant May 1998_6Albert Langer Confound their politics Quadrant May 1998_7Albert Langer Confound their politics Quadrant May 1998_8


Notes on Trump 31

NYT’s anonymous op-ed from a “senior official” who supports the GOP resistance looks genuine and actually significant unlike most Trump news.

Reason has a plausible perspective.

They link to Gallup confirming significant decline in support for both parties to a little over one quarter each, with significant increase in independents to over 40%.

My own take on the significance of the “deep state” oped is that it confirms collapse of the GOP. With this sort of “unsung hero” singing praises to themselves it is unclear that the globalist rump could even manage a split, so Trumpists will remain dominant.

I haven’t got time to look at the latest Woodward book with similar theme but it seems plausible that the oped writer would have been a major source for the same theme in that book and will shortly be dramatically resigning. Reactions to that should give a better picture of the real significance.

Notes on Trump 30 – Alternative Math

Ok I give up. I was so struck by this video that I looked up the studio:

It is as subtle as a brick, but clearly plays from a teacher perspective to both sides of the current culture wars.

The parents are a liberal’s stereo type of Trumpist science denying authoritarian beleivers in “alternative facts” supported by a school board that is a Trumpist stereotype of politically correct authoritarian libtards.

I was fascinated at the first cultural intervention I have seen that sends them both up and highlights what they have in common.

But maybe that is just me.

I now suspect that it was intended purely to send up the Trumpists and was completely oblivious to also appealing to Trumpist stereotypes about the politically correct.

Could liberal film makers really be THAT oblivious? In Texas??

What do others make of it (and of the web commentary)?

The Prague Spring 1968 – it is right to rebel!

Czech 1968

“Discarding all its fig-leaves, its so-called ‘Marxism-Leninism’, ‘internationalism’, etc., the Soviet revisionist leading clique has brazenly resorted to direct armed aggression and intervention and is trying to create puppets with the help of guns. It is exactly what Hitler did in the past in his aggression against Czechoslovakia and the U.S. imperialism of today is doing in its aggression against Vietnam. The Soviet revisionist clique of renegades has long since degenerated into a gang of social-imperialists and social-fascists”.                                            – Premier Zhou En Lai, August 1968

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Fifty years ago this month a dramatic people’s uprising in Czechoslovakia took place., in support of democratic reforms. It was made all the more dramatic because of the attempt by the Soviet Union’s ‘Red Army’ to suppress the pro-democracy movement.

Estimates vary but up to 500,000 Soviet and Warsaw Pact troops invaded Czechoslovakia to thwart the efforts by the Czech Communist Party government, led by Alexander Dubcek, to introduce reforms such as abolition of censorship and multi-party competitive elections.

The uprising by the Czech people was part of the great global disruption that happened in the landmark year, 1968.

Those of us on the left in Australia, who were building a movement in solidarity with the Vietnamese against US and allied aggression, supported the Czech rebellion. In the Czech workers and students, we saw the struggles of peoples everywhere fighting for freedom from imperialist aggression – and we saw ourselves, our own struggle for greater freedom.

Of all the governments around the world, none was as vehement as the Chinese Communist Party in its condemnation of the invasion. The Chinese government was highly critical of Dubcek’s revisionism too, in part because it did not go far enough in urging and organizing people’s struggle against the invaders.

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At the time, as a 17 year old, I found the invasion confusing, initially. There was appeal in the conspiratorial line spread by pro-Soviet revisionists that it was all a CIA plot to destabilize socialism. Conspiracy theories are alluring in that way: if something happens that you cannot make sense of, the conspiracy theory is always there to make sense of it for you. The problem is that it is usually wrong as it is plucked out of thin air.

Eventually, when I went to university, I met an impressive Marxist-Leninist named Dave Muller who I looked up to enormously. He patiently explained to me how the Soviet Union had abandoned socialism long ago and was now basically state capitalist and social-imperialist. I looked further into this – did some reading and arguing – and was even able to persuade my father that the Soviet Union had ‘gone bad’.

The bottom line for me at that time, as someone not well versed in theory, was that people were rising up – as we were, as the Vietnamese were, as the South Africans were, as the black Americans were – against unjust regimes and seeking something better. Czechoslovakia pushed a few of us already on the left in the Maoist direction. Including me.

Expressing the Chinese party line, Premier Zhou En Lai’s speech, made in August 1968, is worth reading in full. It is worth noting too how today’s pseudo-left takes the opposite view to the one we took back then on the elementary question of international solidarity and support for people’s struggle against unjust and oppressive regimes. The Arab Spring was seen by the pseudo-left as a CIA plot, as the Czech uprising was.

The speech in full:

“A few days ago, the Soviet revisionist leading clique and its followers brazenly dispatched massive armed forces to launch a surprise attack on Czechoslvakia and swiftly occupied it, with the Czechoslovak revisionist leading clique openly calling on the people not to resist, thus perpetrating towering crimes against the Czechoslovak people.

“This is the most barefaced and most typical specimen of fascist power politics played by the Soviet revisionist clique of renegades and scabs against its so-called allies. It marks the total bankruptcy of Soviet modern revisionism.

“The Chinese Government and people strongly condemn the Soviet revisionist leading clique and its followers for their crime of aggression- the armed occupation of Czechoslovakia- and firmly support the Czechoslovak people in their heroic struggle of resistance to Soviet military occupation.

“Over a period of time, modern revisionism with the Soviet revisionist leading clique as its center has been beset with internal contradictions and riddled with crises. The aim of the Soviet revisionist leading clique in brazenly invading and occupying Czechoslovakia is to prevent the Czechoslovak revisionist leading clique from directly hiring itself out to the Western countries headed by U.S. imperialism and to prevent this state of affairs from giving rise to uncontrollable chain reactions. This is an inevitable result of the great-power chauvinism and national egoism practised by the Soviet revisionist clique, and of the Khrushchev revisionism the Soviet revisionist clique of renegades has practised over the years.

“Discarding all its fig-leaves, its so-called ‘Marxism-Leninism’, ‘internationalism’, etc., the Soviet revisionist leading clique has brazenly resorted to direct armed aggression and intervention and is trying to create puppets with the help of guns. It is exactly what Hitler did in the past in his aggression against Czechoslovakia and the U.S. imperialism of today is doing in its aggression against Vietnam. The Soviet revisionist clique of renegades has long since degenerated into a gang of social-imperialists and social-fascists.

“The Soviet revisionist leading clique has all along pursued the counter revolutionary policy of U.S.-Soviet collaboration for world domination. Since the Glassboro talks, not to mention anything earlier, U.S. imperialism and Soviet revisionism have struck a series of dirty deals on such important questions as Vietnam, the Middle East and the prevention of nuclear proliferation. The present Czechoslovak incident is no exception. It is a result of the sharpening contradictions in the scramble for and division of spheres of influence by U.S. imperialism and Soviet revisionism in Eastern Europe; it is, moreover, a result of the U.S.-Soviet collusion in vain attempt to redivide the world. The aggression by Soviet revisionism was carried out with the tacit understanding of U.S. imperialism. Since U.S. imperialism has acquiesced in the invasion and occupation of Czechoslovakia by Soviet revisionism, how is it possible for Soviet revisionism to oppose the forcible occupation of south Vietnam by U.S. imperialism? In fact, Soviet revisionism has long become the No. 1 accomplice of U.S. imperilaim in its aggression against Vietnam and the rest of the world. That a big nation should have so wilfully trampled a small nation underfoot serves as a most profound lesson for those harbouring illusions about U.S. imperialism and Soviet revisionism.

“The armed aggression by Soviet revisionism has brought calamity to the Czechoslovak people, but it has also educated them, enabling them to realize gradually that revisionism is the root cause of this calamity. This is likewise a very good lesson for the people of the Soviet Union, the other East European countries and the rest of the world.”


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Idiot Questions

I am delighted to see that there is no plausible category for “Australian politics” at this blog.

While trying to figure out US politicking my eyes just glaze over completely when it comes to Australia.

But I did have to take a quick peek today as a standard test for dementia is to ask “Who is the Prime Minister of Australia”.

Last time I was asked I replied that his excellency the Governor-General had not seen fit to consult me on such matters, which confused the questioner.

The question is not quite as bizarre as the standard request for confirmation of identity by date of birth – the only truthful answer being “I was far too young to know”.

But the assumptions behind this question do reflect a total ignorance of both Australia’s constitutional arrangements well illustrated in current reports, so I have selected the English revolution as a category.

Unlike America there is no fixed office like the President who residents could reasonably be expected to be aware of.

The Prime Minister is not mentioned in the Constitution and is simply the person commissioned to form a government on the basis that they can persuade parliament to provide funds for the operations of government.

As far as I can make out that person is or will be Scott Morrisson, at least briefly, because after winning by 45 votes to 40 against Peter Dutton for leadership of the Liberal party his opponents within that party pledged support.

That margin is small enough it could well have been affected by Malcolm Turnbull’s endorsement of the opposition party’s claim that Dutton might not be eligible because of some technical ineligibility to sit in Parliament.

Turnbull said.

“I cannot underline too much how important it is that anyone who seeks to be prime minister of Australia is eligible to be a member of parliament.”

All the reports I have seen missed a central fact.

Every Minister is only required to become a member of Parliament within 3 months.

The threat implicitly being made by Turnbull was that enough opponents of Dutton would join with the opposition to refer the matter to the High Court and that in the (unlikely) event of Dutton being removed from Parliament by the court, his marginal seat would be lost at the by election and the one seat majority would be gone so there would be an immediate general election even if a safe seat was found for Dutton as new party leader.

That threat was credible as “enough” would be just a couple and merely joining with the opposition to refer Dutton would do major damage.

But why on earth did the opposition make that threat credible?

Tactically I would have thought the Liberals would do worse and the ALP would do better if Dutton had defeated Morrison.

My best guess is that they have not just lost the plot on politics, but even on politicking.

That guess may be influenced by over exposure to how absurd things have got with responses to Trump in the USA and Brexit Britain.

But all one can do in the current bzarre parallel universe is make half baked guesses.