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Burn the flag on inauguration day!

Let's welcome our new Commander in Chief by demonstrating how little he knows about the Constitution of the United States. Each incoming president is required on inauguration day to take the oath of office, affirming to "preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution." But Trump proved his ignorance of this document when he recently wrote, "Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag -- if they do, there must be consequences -- perhaps loss of citizenship or a year in jail!" The Supreme Court, however, thinks otherwise.

No "Post-Truth" World

Oscar Wilde said that truth is independent of the facts always. Seldom has a truer truth been aired.

There is no "post-truth" world now dawning.

Truth has always been elusive, managed, hidden, denied.

What is dawning (again, as has happened plenty of times before) is an age of contested truths, independent of the facts, as always.

Climate change is a war against you.

Let's be clear: climate change is not just capitalism's reckless pillaging of the earth; climate change is a war against you.

Climate change is the enrichment of a minority of human beings who care not an iota about their fellow human beings or life on earth.

What use is life on earth when life for the few is just so sweet?

For them, climate change will be an inconvenience at most.

They will have their gated communities, walled cities, fortified borders, automated luxuries, and squillions of dollars.

They play us like pawns, one against the other.

How much freedom to hate do you need?

Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 makes it unlawful for someone to commit a public act that is reasonably likely to “offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate” someone because of their race or ethnicity.

Section 18D of the Racial Discrimination Act contains exemptions which protect freedom of speech. These ensure that artistic works, scientific debate and fair comment on matters of public interest are exempt from section 18C, providing they are said or done reasonably and in good faith.

Peter Dutton's Character Test

Peter Dutton was born and raised in Brisbane. After graduating from the Queensland Police Academy in 1990, Dutton served as a police officer in the Drug Squad, the Sex Offenders Squad and the National Crime Authority. During the nine years he was in the Queensland Police Force, Peter Dutton did not achieve one single thing that was considered worth mentioning in his parliamentary biography, his maiden speech or any other public record.

From 1993 Dutton also served as a company director in his father’s building business.

Syria Update: North Aleppo

SYRIA UPDATE: The situation in the North Aleppo countryside is rapidly escalating. As you may remember, this area is strategically important because the Kurds need to take it in order to connect their territories in Afrin and Kobani, and they need to do that in order to be a viable autonomous region in post-war Syria. The are started off mostly under the control of ISIS, with a small pocket held by the rebels. Turkey opposes the Kurds' efforts because they're afraid that a strong Kurdish presence in Syria will cause problems with Turkey's large Kurdish minority.

Syria Update: Noodly appendages at al-Bab

Sweet Christ. When the SDF decides to move, they can really MOVE. That long noodley appendage was all taken TODAY, completely surrounding an ISIS hardpoint and putting them in striking distance of al-Bab. If would have taken the Turkish-backed FSA weeks to cover that distance.

Trumpism : A neoliberal and revanchist assault

Trump ran the most openly misogynistic, racist and homophobic campaign in U.S. history.

But he and his right-wing establishment support took advantage of fear and anxiety that have gripped a large part of the American population.

Michael Moore is right: rightly or wrongly, millions of white Americans—middle-class and educated, working class and poorly educated—did not exercise their right to vote, or, in a giant “Fuck You” to the liberal establishment, voted for Trump.

Taking it back from Trump

There are a lot of ideas bouncing around about how Donald Trump won the election. Many centre on the somewhat patronising theory that anxious blue-collar voters supported Trump because they feel disenfranchised by the system and want change. To be sure there are many blue collar voters who are rightly anxious. Many of them want meaningful change. Some of them supported Trump.

Syria Update: Aleppo, Raqqa, and Mosul

SYRIA UPDATE: Another week, another massive offensive being launched to retake a major city. Last week the rebels began a major offensive against Aleppo, and today the Kurds began an offensive to capture the area around Raqqa, the capital city of ISIS. There's also the ongoing offensive against Mosul, and we may see offensives against al-Bab and Douma before the year is out.

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