The Weekly Notebook

Philippines protest

How Donald Trump is igniting a global protest movement

The global reaction to US President Donald Trump falls broadly into two categories: 1) fear and despair; 2) activism and rebellion.

Trump is a lightning rod for protest around the world. Every time he opens his mouth or engages his social media psychosis, he insults someone somewhere.

He can’t help himself; he’s a prime time TV celebrity and real estate huckster with a crazy strawberry coloured comb-over.

Watching recent TV news bulletins, I’ve seen protesters carrying anti-Trump placards in South Africa, Argentina, Armenia, Lebanon, Libya, Greece, Italy, France, Britain, Ireland, Germany, Russia, India and Canada. They don’t know him at all and he’s never done anything to harm them – yet. But people instinctively go onto the street to berate him. Trump is the personification of their troubles: their real enemies are the global corporations and banks stealing their wealth and leaving communities in unbearable impoverishment.

It was remarkable to see New York Democrats, many of them Jewish, gathered outside Trump Tower this week to oppose the Trump family decision to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. As a consequence, money from rabid Zionist circles will pour into the Trump treasury for the mid-term elections in November.

Trump encourages crawlers

What’s also weird is that the very politicians who are befriending Trump are going to extreme lengths to hide their displeasure of him.

French President Emmanuel Macron is a prime case in point. The young Rothschild banker now ruling the Elysée clearly loathes the barbarian in the Oval Office but treats him like a brother – kissing Trump on both cheeks, warmly holding his hand, planting a tree in the White House grounds, wrapping his arm around his shoulder and smiling his way through official photo shoots. Trump responds by dusting dandruff from the French president’s silk suit.

British Prime Minister Theresa May, the vicar’s daughter, daren’t do anything which may antagonise the American brute so she smiles at his weirdness and privately begs for a trade treaty. She will roll out the red carpet for him – and an audience with Mrs Betty Windsor, aka QE2 – if it will help her stay another week longer in No 10.

Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is smiling and agreeing with every Trump announcement. If Trump wants Turnbull to buy American arms and station American troops, planes, drones and ships in Darwin – Turnbull drops his trousers and agrees.

Canberra politicians bounced Australians into war in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Libya (and secretly supported Australian air force personnel killing people in Yemen) and now they are leading us blindly towards a confrontation with the 1.4 billion people of the People’s Republic of China, Australia’s largest trading partner.

When will a politician publish a manifesto linking peace, disarmament and foreign aid? Imagine what could be created with the $38 billion Australia is spending this year alone on military personnel and equipment

The times they are a’changing

Years ago cannabis was considered a dangerous threat to body and mental health. It was a product of the devil and users were condemned to a life of addiction, sickness, psychosis and purgatory.

Suddenly, it’s all the rage: commercial cannabis growers, consumers and governments hunting for taxation are cashing in.

Nimbin’s 2018 MardiGrass

From the front page of The Nimbin Good Times in Northern NSW I spotted two headline stories:

Weeded Warrior to lead MardiGrass parade. “The Ganja Faerie Queen chosen this year is Nimbin local, Brooke, who is expecting her first child at the end of May. She will lead the MardiGrass parade. A veteran of the Australian Navy, Brooke is a passionate supporter of drug law reform and advocate of cannabis as medicine. Brooke is a co-founder of Weeded Warrior, a support network of military and first responders, raising awareness of the use of alternative therapies in the management of service injuries.”

Miss Cannabis crowned. “Miss Cannabis 2018 Rachelle Thorpe will be appearing at Nimbin MardiGrass and doing interviews and articles internationally. She is the third annual Miss Cannabis. Rachelle said: ‘I currently hold my Certificate I in Reiki Healing and Certificate II in Crystal Healing, and I aspire to qualify for my Masters in these services’.”

Suddenly, cannabis reform (and repression) is being discussed by politicians in Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Hobart, Adelaide, Perth and in overseas parliaments in London, Paris, Brussels, Washington DC and in various US state capitals.

And right on the eve of the royal wedding in London, Meghan Markle’s father has revealed he is a cannabis farmer in California.

At least he’s got a job and an income, unlike the rest of the English royal family into which his estranged, divorced, mixed race daughter is marrying.

One way to survive the media’s royal wedding coverage is to light up a spliff and pass it around.

Election update

When an election result doesn’t suit the West or global corporations, it is darned difficult to find anything about it in the mainstream media.

Here’s a brief account of recent results:

Hezbollah leader Nasrallah

Lebanon: The new ruling party is the pro-Shia Hezbollah (“Party of God”) bloc which won a third of seats. Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s Future Movement slumped to third place. Hariri and his conservative party are subsidised by the Axis of Middle East War, Washington, Riyadh and Tel Aviv.

Hezbollah secretary-general Hassan Nasrallah, a Tehran-trained cleric, said the outcome was “a great moral and political victory for Hezbollah which protects the country. The US and some Persian Gulf States resorted to a smear campaign in a bid to poison public opinion towards Hezbollah. Their efforts, however, ended in failure.”

Iraq: In parliamentary elections, the Shi-ite military and political leader Moqtada al-Sadr and his Sairoon (On the Move) coalition grabbed victory. Al-Sadr, 44, the Tehran-trained cleric, has spent years demanding the withdrawal of America, Australian, European and NATO forces from Iraq. With a parliamentary majority and strong popular support, the Western invaders are under intolerable pressure to pack up and leave.

The Iraqi election result was a massive blow to America’s chief Baghdad place man, prime minister Haider al-Abadi, also an ally of Canberra Liberal politicians Malcolm Turnbull, Marise Payne, Julie Bishop and Tony Abbott.

With the election of Al-Sadr’s ticket, Washington’s “shock and awe” invasion and occupation, now in its 15th year, is in a shambles. So are the war plans of Saudi Arabia, Britain and Israel who encouraged the destruction of the oil-rich republic using the fake Hollywood script of Saddam Hussein’s “Weapons of Mass Destruction”.

Malaysia: The sweeping election victory of former prime

minister Dr Mahathir Mohamed and his treasurer Anwar Ibrahim caught election pundits everywhere by surprise.

All of them thought, some grudgingly, that the ruling, immensely corrupt strongman Najib Razak would win and said so repeatedly.

But the unlikely coalition party, Hope Pact, of former political enemies, Mahathir and Anwar, attracted millions of votes from young and older members of the Malay, Chinese and Indian communities. The “clean slate” offered by the Hope crowd proved to be a more inviting option than the “business as usual” approach of the old crowd of filthy rich relics from the colonial era.

Having inspired an inspirational level of community activism, it is difficult to see how the new crowd in charge of Kuala Lumpur can put the population back in the bottle. After his “Yes We Can” presidential victory Barack Obama managed to do it but he was dealing politically illiterate Americans and he was a brilliant orator. There are no Obamas in Anwar’s Hope team.

Harwin: Liberal fixer

When Don Harwin became an MP in the NSW Legislative Council in 1999 he was regarded as “a breath of fresh air”, a small “l” liberal asset in an increasingly right-wing party of big business.

Billy Bunter
Don Harwin

His inaugural speech set the tone of his reforming outlook. “When we (Liberals) have been stodgy, conservative and reactionary we have failed,” he said.

He complained that governments had neglected their duty to historic buildings and asked: “Are we doing our best to ensure the protection of our State-owned built heritage? Does the Heritage Council have the resources it needs to do its job, including the capacity to analyse critically the claims of government in relation to projects in which it has an interest?”

These days, Harwin is NSW Arts Minister. He belongs to a Cabinet which is flogging off historic buildings to developers at a record speed. Harwin has fled his earlier views; now he’s on the make.

He also told MPs back in 1999 that he was a fierce believer in open government and welcomed court decisions that supported parliament’s requests for the production of Cabinet documents.

“It is a sad state of affairs when a government funds three years of litigation in the High Court to withhold from taxpayers access to information via their parliamentary representatives,” he said.

“There has been an unprecedented attack on public accountability by this [Labor] government. It is a sad state of affairs that the Auditor-General has compared public accountability in this State to that which facilitated ‘WA Inc’.”

Now things have changed dramatically and Harwin has been at the forefront of blocking an all-party Upper House request for Cabinet documents on the transfer of the Powerhouse Museum to Parramatta. He is refusing business details of official negotiations over the Sydney Modern project at the Art Gallery of NSW too.

The Harwin network

In 1999 he thanked the coterie of Liberals who had facilitated his climb into parliament where he rakes in a cool $300,000-a-year. The list included former minister and lobbyist Michael Photios, Premier Gladys Berejiklian, NSW Liberal president Trent Zimmerman, and Senator Marise Payne, Turnbull’s Defence Minister, and partner of NSW Sports Minister and racehorse owner Stuart Ayres.

“I was actively involved in student politics and in the Sydney University Liberal Club,” he told MPs. “One of my first student election campaigns involved helping Belinda Neal get preferences from the Liberals and other groups to defeat the official Labor Club candidate, Anthony Albanese – which may be of passing interest to the Hon. John Della Bosca and the Hon. Carmel Tebbutt.” (Della Bosca, a former NSW Labor general secretary, is married to Ms Neal while Ms Tebbutt is married to Albanese).

A few days ago Arts Minister Harwin reappointed Michael Brand as the director of the deeply troubled AGNSW and ludicrously praised Brand’s bleak career at Sydney’s premier cultural venue.

The historic National Art School

He also selected a new board for the National Art School located in the historic sandstone site of the colonial era jail in Darlinghurst.

Two of Harwin’s appointees are Ross McDiven, husband of a former NSW Liberal Party president Chris McDiven, whom he thanked in his inaugural speech to parliament, and former 60 Minutes reporter Jennifer Byrne.

Harwin’s choice as chair is Carolyn Fletcher, close friend of former Liberal premier Nick Greiner, whom he also lauded to high heaven.

As Harwin once said, “Liberals must be driven by values” … with help from their mates as well.

Differing views of humanity

“What a glorious day. Remember this moment. This is history. President Trump, by recognising history, you have made history. All of us are deeply moved. All of us are deeply grateful. We are in Jerusalem and we are here to stay. Thank you, thank you, President Trump, for having the courage to keep your promises. Thank you, President Trump, and thank you all for making the alliance between America and Israel stronger than ever.”

  • Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel

“The US embassy is now in Jerusalem, which has been Israel’s capital for nearly 70 years. Australia should consider following Trump’s move.”

  • Tweet by Tony Abbott, former Australian prime minister

“Hamas is being deliberately provocative. They’re pushing people to the border, in an area, in that context, in that conflict zone, you’re basically pushing people into circumstances where they are very likely to be shot at.”

  • Malcolm Turnbull, Australian Prime Minister

“At the time when the United States announced they’d be moving their representation to Jerusalem we stated strongly that we did not think that would take us closer to peace, and it hasn’t. It is the right of any nation to defend their border but this is a devastating, one-sided loss of life; we condemn the violence that has occurred.”

  • Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand Prime Minister

“There were two great catastrophes during the 20th century from which the world is still recovering – the mass extermination of European Jews in the Holocaust during World War II and the founding of the Zionist state of Israel in Palestine in 1948 called the Nabka (catastrophe).”

  • A Jewish friend reflecting on today’s news

STOP PRESS: As the Palestinian death toll climbed to 62 with more than 2,000 suffering gunshot wounds, Netanyahu’s son, Yair, posted a social media message saying, “Fuck Turkey”, after Ankara broke diplomatic relations with Tel Aviv.

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