The Political Sword and TPS Extra at a Glance

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Who thought Trump couldn’t get worse?
Ad astra, The Political Sword, 17 September 2017

Just when we thought Trump couldn’t possibly get worse, he has. Almost every day he exhibits more grotesque behaviour. It astonishes his colleagues, the media, the US electorate, world leaders, and indeed the entire world. Back in May The Political Sword published America – what have you done?, which described the contemporary chaotic scene in the White House: That was at the time of Trump’s discussion with Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov in the Oval Office, during which he foolishly exchanged vital intelligence with him. Trump subsequently denied this but later admitted that it had occurred, excusing his mistake on the grounds that he was entitled to do so! More…

Hurricanes. Floods. Droughts. Why is it so?
Ad astra, TPS Extra, 15 September 2017

To some, this question is nonsensical. There have been hurricanes, floods and droughts since time immemorial. “It’s just nature at work”. They quote Dorothea Mackellar to ‘prove’ their point. To them, what climate scientists have to say is irrelevant. Yet even some of them may wonder why recently we have had such a spate of exceptional adverse weather events, one after the other. More…

When you’re in a hole, stop digging
2353NM, The Political Sword, 9 September 2017
In the next week or so, we’re all getting a letter from the Australian Bureau of Statistics so we can (if we choose to) ‘advise’ our Parliamentarians how to vote on the issue of same sex marriage. Be still my beating heart! Why do we have to advise the Parliament on how we want them to vote on a particular issue? We don’t on potentially going to war ‘in support’ of the USA against ISIS or North Korea, we don’t on giving business a $65 BILLION tax cut when Australian residents are facing greater economic inequality, and we certainly didn’t when Prime Minister at the time John Howard inserted the ‘man and woman’ clause into the Marriage Act in 2004 More…

Mal’s Coalition cascades into chaos
Ad astra, The Political Sword, 2 September 2017
When we posted ‘How are the “adults” managing our economy?’ on The Political Sword in April it seemed as if Turnbull’s administration of his Coalition couldn’t get any worse. We were wide of the mark! Now he sits apprehensively and indecisively on his house of cards, on tenterhooks lest he lose his balance, praying it doesn't collapse.

That piece was written as the 2017 Budget was being prepared. Scott Morrison was warning us about what we might be in for. Knowing that debt would increase, he tried to butter us up with talk of ‘good debt’ (spending on infrastructure) and ‘bad debt’ (recurrent spending on, for example, welfare). With his credibility in the doldrums, it is doubtful if anyone listened, let alone believed him. More…

Where’s your daddy from?
2353NM, The Political Sword, 27 August 2017

In winter 2017, the latest fashion in Australian Federal politics seems to be having dual citizenship. At the time of writing, there are six members of the current Parliament that have been referred to the High Court to determine, amongst other things, if they were ever validly elected. Potentially, they could have to repay their salary; legislation they voted on may be invalid and so on. More…

Are algorithms ruling your world?
Ad astra, The Political Sword, 20 August 2017

A year or two ago, how many would have known what the word algorithm meant? Now it is a word in common use. It crops up whenever automation or artificial intelligence is mentioned. The term ‘automation’ once conjured up images of robots doing manual tasks; now it encompasses intellectual or cognitive tasks being undertaken automatically. We are told that already the majority of financial transactions are carried out not with pencil and paper and calculators, but via algorithms. More…

Dutton for PM – no thanks
2353NM, The Political Sword, 12 August 2017

If the conservative ideologues get their way, Peter Dutton could be Prime Minister within a few months. If Dutton became Prime Minister, he would be the eighth person to be Prime Minister with double letters in his last name. For the record, if you get asked the question at a trivia night, the others are (in order) Cook, Scullin, Fadden, Rudd, Gillard, Abbott and Turnbull. The history of the last four is well known and in all cases their terms as Prime Minister are remembered more for the politics of gaining or losing power, associated with poor opinion polls, party infighting and a general sense of unease within the community. So; were the first three any better? Apparently not. More…

Inequality amblyopia
Ad astra, The Political Sword, 6 August 2017

Inequality amblyopia is a condition affecting some conservatives, who simply cannot see inequality when looking directly at it. The facts and figures that convince objective observers that there is increasing inequality in our nation, are simply not visible to them. More…

Dog whistling in the park
2353NM, The Political Sword, 30 July 2017

It could be said that Senator Pauline Hanson and the other One Nation senators have ridden the coat tails of racism and bigotry to reach the lofty heights of the Red Chamber on Capital Hill in Canberra. Hanson will tell you that she sincerely holds those views and while it demonstrates her ignorance of how discrimination adversely affects the society we all live in, she and her fellow One Nation members are entitled to their opinion. More…

Is Donald Trump mad?
Ad astra, The Political Sword, 23 July 2017

No, I don’t mean ‘hopping mad’. We know that he is hopping mad with the media and its ‘fake news’, with CNN particularly, and with some of its commentators whom he has chosen to label as intellectually deficient, and unpleasant to the eyes (bleeding from a face lift!).

We know he is hopping mad about the criticism he attracts…. More…