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22 August 2020

The Cost of Allowing Power to Come at all Costs

This article has been copied from Dubbo Photo News, Australia.

USA
WHEN the President is 'unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office', Section 4 of the 25th Amendment of the United States Constitution allows the Vice President and a majority of heads of the executive departments to formally declare the Vice President as Acting President, and divest the President of all authority. Given the subnormal mental capacity of the current President, his incompetence, conflicts of interest, cronyism, and his ignorance of the rule of law, invoking this section of the 25th Amendment would seem the logical and honourable action of American leaders. But of course, they never will. The majority of lawmakers are Republican who will not declare Trump unfit for office and invoke the 25th Amendment. In a world of hyper-partisanship, the lust to hold office overrides the dignity of that office. Trump is obviously unfit for public office. He treats the Presidency as his kingship, and the Republican Party are his enablers. They judge their success on how much Obama era legislation they can dismantle, not the health and wellbeing of their citizenry. 

This hyper-partisanship undermines democracy and is underpinned by point scoring over opposing ideologies. Compliant mainstream media fans the flames, and social media pours on the petrol. Trump is the example again. His childish rants on Twitter are reported by decent media as childish, but reported by the Murdoch empire as doctrine. Right wing websites attack the left-leaning media, and Trump attacks journalists who dare question his credibility, honesty, intelligence, or power. The gullible swallow the claims of the real fake news pedalled by Trump and his cronies. 

The net result is a growing schism between the supporters of the cult of Trump and the rest of the country. The cultists are being emboldened to regress to the power trips of old, where racism and guns ruled, and African-Americans were second class commodities. 

Witness the recent freedom given to heavily armed white people to protest in the Michigan state capital building, and the investigation of the murder of a young black man (who was set upon by two white men whilst innocently jogging in the street) being deliberately hindered by the county district attorney as examples of the divide between the powerful and the powerless. 

These are the bastions of old power demanding relevance in the current day and will be fully tested in six months' time at the election. Trump will take re-election as full permission to continue his divisive behaviour and cronyism. Alternatively, defeat could likely not result in the accepted practice of the peaceful transition of power, with his supporters unwilling to give up the control they have come to expect. And they are armed and dangerous. 

AUSTRALIA
In Australia, we too have a federal government built around a marketer whose lust for power out-shadows his ability. Although he claims his ascension to the Prime Ministership was accidental and he is just an ordinary bloke with no power ambitions, his political path reveals otherwise. 

Long serving Liberal Party and Sutherland Shire local Michael Towke easily won the first ballot for pre-selection to the seat of Cook in 2007. He scored 10 times the number of votes as Scott Morrison, 82 to 8. Then the smear campaign to get Morrison pre-selected started. On the word of several senior Liberals, Murdoch's Daily Telegraph printed four stories suggesting Towke to be a serial liar. The adverse publicity and intervention of the state Liberal executive caused an unprecedented second ballot, which Morrison won. A Lebanese Christian would not get to represent the seat of Cook. 

Tellingly, a defamation case brought by Towke was settled by News Corp just before the commencement of court proceedings, thus avoiding revealing the back-room dealings. Evidencing the power-play of Morrison's backers, Towke said at the time "these guys were prepared to ruin my life". 

Fast forward past his years as Immigration Minister with his Stop the Boats posturing, Morrison projected himself as the reluctant candidate in the leadership spill of 2018. This should not be believed. Against a background of LNP chaos and fronting attacks on Labor's death tax, Morrison campaigned aggressively in spite of the polls giving him little chance of victory. 

Following the 'miracle' result however, the depths of his power lust have come to light. He stands at press conferences berating re-porters Trump style and objecting to their lines of questioning, knowing full well he approved a spending splurge that would embarrass Labor if they had come to power. 

The latest revelations in the sports grant rorting affair points the finger directly at the Prime Minister's Office. He has failed to act on the rorting of parliamentary expenses, preferential infrastructure, and job funding to marginal Coalition seats, and required Barnaby Joyce to submit nothing more than a few text messages to justify his $675,000 in Drought Envoy expenses. 

This is the disconnect between the public image of power and what happens behind closed doors. Power for the sake of power and the satisfaction of vested interests should no longer be tolerated. Beware the power-seeker who refuses transparency, and those who confuse power with leadership. Absolute power corrupts absolutely, and democracy is not a plaything of the wealthy and connected. 

- Greg Smart, Photo News, May 14-20 2020, Dubbo NSW Australia

8 August 2020

Half Cats Found in Canada

A spate of inexplicable cat mutilations is occurring in America. The recent incidences are in Kelowna, a city in the south of Canada’s British Columbia province in the Okanagan Valley, on the eastern shore of Okanagan Lake. There is a warning to cat owners in the downtown Kelowna area to keep their pets inside, as reports circulate of animals being mutilated. More concerned Kelowna citizens have come forward to try and help find out what is going on after several mutilated cats have been discovered over the past few days.


Alexandria O'Neill says one of her four cats was cut in half, discovering the body just outside a neighbour's door on Friday. 

In front of her house, right in front of her vehicle. It was just cut side up and it was just blood and flies. She's like 'that's not your cat is it?' and I was like 'that looks like my cat Misses and then I flipped her over and it was my cat and I just broke down," explains O'Neill. "we are currently waiting for the results of a necropsy that is being completed by investigators with the SPCA to determine the cause of death.
O'Neill says there were no bite marks and no blood, it was a clean cut. O'Neill and her husband were told by a friend that half a cat, the backside, was found at Bankhead Elementary on Wilson Avenue. 
I got into contact and got a picture and confirmed it was the back half of my cat, also a clean cut.
Another cut-in-half cat has been found in a Kelowna park. Ray Peron says his cat, Mouse, went missing Saturday night in the Glen Park Dr. area and then he received a phone call from a stranger saying they had found his cat, at least what was left of her.
I got a call because her collar was still on and the body was left in Glen Matera Park but from her front legs back, her face was there, her shoulders were there, and then there was nothing.
..even the spine was gone. 
He has already buried Mouse and was content to write it off as a coyote killing until he saw the story about another cat that was also found in half and he began to reconsider. "I don't know what a coyote kill looks like but I'm pretty sure when a coyote takes a cat they take it away and eat it somewhere else. They don't leave them around and this was left right in the park.

Residents are advised to keep their pets inside at night.

In the meantime we ask the obvious question. Who takes the spine from these cats and leaves them bloodless?



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