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Byron Shire
June 20, 2024

Thus Spake Mungo: Crunch Tuesday

Latest News

Murwillumbah Hospital celebrates 120 years

A community campaign for a hospital in Murwillumbah led, in 1899, to two committees and a Board of Trustees being formed, and the selection of a 15-acre site. The hospital itself opened in May 1904.

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Two crunch Tuesdays for Australia and the US coming up: not just the Melbourne Cup, vital as that is for the nation’s well-being.

November 4 (Tuesday in the US, Wednesday in Australia) will determine whether the United States of America regains its sanity, or embarks on another quadrennium of demented Trumpery.

And frankly I am not optimistic. Four years ago I thought it absurd that enough Americans could be hauled from their caves to risk the almighty gamble; not only with their own immediate future but that of their compatriots, their allies, the entire world – that they were so fed up with the admittedly flawed, but still workable system that had served them for two-and-a-half centuries.

I thought that simple self-interest would prevail, that the mindless slogans about building walls, draining swamps and throwing opponents into jail would be seen as the bluff and bluster it was, and that whatever the limits of Hillary Clinton’s appeal, she would at least be a safer pair of hands in troubled economic times than the mendacious wheeler-dealer.

I thought that the revelations about his personal behaviour – his financial chicanery, his refusal to come clean about his taxes, and finally his boasts about grabbing pussies would surely make him unacceptable to a conservative republic.

And if nothing else had ended the farce, I thought that he had offended, denigrated and outraged so many Americans – particularly women, blacks and Latinos – that he could never secure even the minority vote that would deliver him the electoral college.

I am shy to the point of despair, because having jumped off the cliff once and survived, there is no good reason for the lemmings not to repeat the plunge

But of course I was wrong, as were the vast majority of other observers. And having been bitten once, I am shy to the point of despair, because having jumped off the cliff once and survived, there is no good reason for the lemmings not to repeat the plunge.

Joe Biden may have many splendid qualities, but he is not an inspirational leader. And while simply being not Trump is a rational response to an unhinged braggadocio, it can hardly be regarded as a killer policy. From where I sit, admittedly many thousands of kilometres away on the other side of the Pacific, I do not detect any real momentum for change.

And the opinion polls are not helping. Because of the American system of voluntary voting, they are unreliable at the best of times, and in an election with unprecedented, massive early polling they are even less useful than normal.

And even if they are right, so what? Under the electoral college system, a majority of votes is no guarantee of electing a president, as we saw in 2016 and in many earlier elections. If Trump can manoeuvre his way through the federal labyrinth, he will not worry about how small the numbers are when he arrives back in the White House.

Even if all the votes are counted promptly, and the results appear to be clear, Trump and his goon squad have foreshadowed delays, protests, appeals, whatever it takes to obstruct the wishes of the people

But at least it will all be over this week, won’t it? Well, probably not. Even if all the votes are counted promptly, and the results appear to be clear, Trump and his goon squad have foreshadowed delays, protests, appeals, whatever it takes to obstruct the wishes of the people.

He may or may not enlist the aid of a Supreme Court dominated by his chosen reactionaries, but he will certainly maintain his rage through rallies; mass demonstrations of civil disobedience in the name of his sacred mission to keep the socialist radicals out of power.

So any win for Joe Biden, whether large or small, will be considered illegitimate and contested, leaving America riven and tormented. But a win for Trump could be even more horrendous: re-elected, he could abandon any pretence of restraint and become an apocalyptic megalomaniac capable of unleashing Armageddon, just to show that he could. Whatever the results, there will be riots in the streets. Actually there already are.

Of course, those are the worst possibilities. It is conceivable that even if Trump refuses to concede defeat, those around him will blink and accept reality, and call the serious nurses in white coats to escort their former leader to a sedated retirement in a padded cell somewhere far from the madding crowds in Washington.

The Republicans could revert to being the GOP, a conservative political organisation, rather than a war party fuelled by partisan bloodlust at the behest of a belligerent dictator

The Republicans could revert to being the GOP, a conservative political organisation, rather than a war party fuelled by partisan bloodlust at the behest of a belligerent dictator. The evangelical right could admit the possibility of a separation of church and state. The warriors of the National Rifle Association could lay down their arms. Well, they could, but I’m not holding my breath. And come what may, America is not going to be great again any time soon. So perhaps it is time to turn to a somewhat less catastrophic election, the result in Queensland.

Labor’s win was not a surprise, but securing a five per cent swing was certainly an unexpected bonus. There had been speculation that it would be very close – that Anastacia Palaszczuk may be forced back into minority government. Instead, regional Queensland held firm, and even the marginals in Townsville and Cairns could not be swayed.

The premier was rewarded for her resolute defiance on the borders and freedom fighter Scott Morrison’s incursion into the sunshine state was clearly counterproductive

The premier was rewarded for her resolute defiance on the borders and freedom fighter Scott Morrison’s incursion into the sunshine state was clearly counterproductive. And the opposition LNP remained determinedly divided. 12 years after merging, the disunited party still hasn’t worked out what it represents, or whom.

But the big story of the election was the collapse of the mad right. The One Nation vote plummeted, and Clive Palmer’s millions were spent in vain – not only did he not win a seat, but his scare campaign failed to dent Labor. For once, Queenslanders did not go bananas.

Indeed, they showed exemplary judgment, endorsing incumbency and rejecting insanity. But this, unfortunately, will be the choice facing Americans this week. Donald J Trump enjoys the power of office, but for the handicap of senile dementia. We are about to find out which is more important, not just to a fractured electorate, but to the country which, for all its manifest faults, is still the last, best hope of the world. Now back to the Melbourne Cup.

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  1. ‘And I say to myself what a wonderful world.’ Well, the world is a wonder;
    it’s the 2 legged ones who are a stain. Antics that once would never be
    tolerated – misuse of power, wrought-riddled parliaments, the Want &
    Demand bullying begs belief. I’m off to have a chat with the rock wallaby
    in the back yard. Hey… we have our own language. It’s our way.

  2. Antics in The Land of the Free, Home of The Megalomaniac not so different on occasion to what goes on here in our parts. In NSW we have the administration run by ‘Honest Gladys’ that reels from one shenanigan to the next. At Federal level we have ScamMOfromMarketings presiding over one disaster or scandal after another. And whenever they put under the pump for explanations it all ‘Fakenews’ ( like in tRumpLand ) or I don’t accept the premise of your question – the nothing ever to see here bollocks that is standard response. The Quiet Australians / Morrisons’ Mushrooms, happy to stay comatosed with a tax cut here or a frank credit and negative gear there come election time.

  3. I thought Biden did really well in the debate when he said he was going to close down the oil industry ..apparently there were record searches on google … can I change my vote

  4. Queen Annastacia winning the QLD State Election, chalk up another loss for the conservative forces – .QLD, NZ, ACT, NT, Eden-Monaro, it 0 – 5 against the conservative. Just gotta get the job done in Canberra next year and send ScamMOfromMarketings packing.

  5. Eachway Albo / eachway Biden /
    Mr Biden do you support the New Green Deal
    Simple question ? Answer NO . After previously
    Stating that he will dismantle the oil and gas industries all recorded . If he happens to win
    He will not see out his first term , and hand over the
    Presidency to Ms Harris who has approval ratings
    Of just 3% . Hey Mungo you suggested that Trump
    Is capable of unleashing Armageddon/ well to the
    Contrary Mungo quite the opposite , all the foreign diplomacy he has shown with other
    Trigger happy leaders , firstly with North Korea
    Inwhich Obarma could never achieve , come to think of it what are Obarmas achievements?
    Obamagate ? and marched the Troops into Syria
    And those Kurds poor buggers !! Anyways back to Trump , 4 nations in the Middle East who have been at odds with the Jews for decades now a realistic
    Chance of Peace !! You wont hear about this on the ABC hell No !! Come to think of it not one Positive
    Thing has the Impartial ABC had to say about Trumps achievements expect anything different NO.. Trail by Media this US election is and at the top of the pile is the National Broadcaster .all over there at the taxpayer’s expense with CNN what a team !! Oh yeah i forgot Mungo , Biden and Ms Clinton are up to you know what ! With allegations
    So clean those two !! And do i like Trump not really !
    Its just hilarious watching the Double standards
    From the Left ..

    • Barrow: “up to you know what?” .. What?
      Robot: No, electric cars do not use oil – a simple check with Tesla will confirm. However, they have plenty of plastic, but no comparison with a gas guzzler

      • I takee the point about electric cars, was only guessing. However tesla is big into trucks as well, maybe nothing there either. The point I was making was about industry really. And how would a jumbo jet take off without fuel, or a cruise liner or freighter? The environmentalists answer is we do without them. Surely politics is compromise, to start with, and the hope of science in the future, not the end of the world now.

  6. When, exactly was it that America was great ? I do mean apart from the Walt Disney ,Hollywood version of history that in some circles passes for reality. I think it was P.T.Barnum who espoused the view “you will never go broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public ” Trump will romp in , we all can see now, that content doesn’t matter a damn, it’s spin and presentation, in television and politics, that determine popularity.
    God save us from those Christians, G”)

  7. The only hope for the US is that the events of this last year will energise enough people to get involved and support those trying to fix the place. Many state Governors, Senators and former leaders have had the courage to speak out. Thank goodness the FBI thwarted the evil plans of the violent wielders of semi automatic weapons.

    Impacts of the record fires and hurricanes, can only be lessened by better planning decisions. The civil violence and distrust will take decades to heal. Thousands more will die from COVID before it is ‘controlled’. Health workers are already exhausted.

    It will be the end of the US as a powerful nation if they return a President, who has been indifferent to the suffering and deaths of so many of its people.

  8. Actually, even a fully battery powered car has moving metal parts which means usually oil as lubrication. It is possible to use silicon but that has to be mined as well, usually from beaches.

  9. Trump can win but the future of American democracy (what is left of it) is at stake. Are the Yanks prepared to throw it all down the drain? This election will define the American people. The election result will say more about them than the candidates. The Trumper has shown himself to be a narcissistic compulsive liar, a racist, misogynist, bully, tax-avoiding failed businessman, nepotist and cheat. He has sought to divide his country along racial, social and economic lines and brought chaos, uncertainty and violence. He has shown no sympathy or responsibility for the more than 200,000 Americans who have died from COVID-19, and the many more who will die as a result of his inept and erratic decision making. He has caused uncertainty among his allies, weakened NATO, the WHO and the United Nations.
    Rather than being sympathetic, I hope to see Trump soon make a move from the White House to the Big House for an extended stay. There is a good chance he will be arrested when he leaves the White House. That is why he wants a Civil War if he loses. Voter repression amongst the poor, blacks and Hispanics and gerrymandering is rampant in Republican run states. Surely we can all recall the Supreme Court case re Wisconsin where the court produced real emails showing how the Republicans rigged the electoral maps and even kept them secret!! They would not even let members of the GOP see the rigged maps let alone the voters. It is amazing that governors in each state run their own elections instead of one body like ours.BAH!

  10. Thanks Mungo. I always enjoy your articles and the follow up light relief from reality supplied by Barrow. Always nice to finish with a laugh.

  11. Come on Barrow. If cuddling up to the great Trumpeting moron who’s
    suggesting there’s no harm in all the deaths caused by a president in
    ‘name only’ is your thing [Mental as anything] you have the right to state
    that your overseas gas-man’s a good bloke. 200,000 plus deaths. The
    extreme ‘loudness is on par with Aussie’s quiet slugs.’ Gives means,
    take, & death, is the new short-term living. My ‘people’ are over there.
    Do you understand what the “Trump’ does to the US First Nation ? No,
    you’d not want to know. You’d heave your guts up.

  12. Well… at least Albo’s had the guts to say what he thinks of the coming US
    election. Trump – now trying to cut off counting in 1 day is an impossible
    situation. Still, Trump has his lawyers who he expects to stand by him – so
    anything’s possible. We live in a world of fraud & flawed leaders. The USSR
    looks more lawful than America. Thanks, Albo. Morrison opinion? Who knows.

  13. On political comment & common sense regarding public opinion & beliefs
    while putting brains ‘back into parliamentary debates’ & avoiding ‘The
    Career Mob’ we now have [Salesmen] go ahead & read “What Is To Be Done:
    Political Engagement and Saving the Planet” by Barry Jones – published by

    • Barrow my man, I know it hard for you to take, another election defeat coming your way. Lets see and do a rollcall of affairs this year….Eden-Monaro By-election, NT, ACT, NZ, QLD and now US of the A…..that’s 0-6 against you Barrow old son. You must be running out of tissues will all your crying.

  14. As of today 5.11.20 just witnessed the once Safe NYC being torn apart by the Lord Mayors And the Governors peaceful supporters Yes democrate supporters. Ordinary citizens Trump supporters attacked for just having A alternative view on who should be President !! This is also happening in other DemocratRun Cities… and this is what you support Phillip ??

  15. No – not ABC… American Broadcasting Commission & my relatives.
    Trump wants the counting to stop right now! That’s liberty’ for you.
    “Home of the brave, land of the free”. Bull-shite. It’s getting closer to
    OZ every day. For hell’s sake give us Biden & Harris any day.

  16. I disagree Mungo that Trump has senile dementia. He is a despicable showman but his strategies are undeniably clever. Evil, ruthless but childlike and clever.

    I don’t think it is just his minders writing the script or helping him out with a microphone inside his shirt as for George W Bush. His comments in rallies and elsewhere are calculated. He has trained himself to turn a part truth into a spin that works for him so he can do it automatically.

    It is scary that this same mantle is on others like GOP national chair Roanna McDaniels,

  17. Trump’s an un-hitched liar & practically everyone knows it. Unbalanced –
    badly unbalanced, & quite dangerous. He has helped stir hatred & mistrust
    for years. That’s how he gets his kicks. How he ever became president just
    goes to show that the position can be bought & sold at will. I pray it will not
    ever become that kind of game-plan here in OZ.

  18. And now we have the misfit Jo Hockey saying it is ‘hard to believe that
    the democrat vote of 93% for Washington DC’ wasn’t a ‘fraud’ claim.
    Well, Herr Hockey, go check the records. The 3 before the current 93%
    read for the Democrats in DC are =2016 – 91% / 2012 – 91% / 2008 –
    92%. Hockey’s made a fool of himself & all Australians.

    • The Hock, the cigar smokin’ failed Treasurer somehow lands a job as Australia’s Ambassador to The U.S of the A. You know the country must be desperate for talent if the Hock manages to land the gig. But then again a bit “leaning” by the Hock is all part of the script. It seems he trying to reinvent himself now as an ‘expert’ on US voting results. The Hock is another tRump foolboy and he has my permission to stay over in The U.S of the A indefinitely.

  19. Republicans storm Detroit Centre demanding election counting
    to be stopped. Look, if anyone wants unbiased answers forget
    the Murdoch channels & newspapers & stick to the truth from
    ‘People for the American Way’ & ‘Environmental Defense Fund,
    Sam Parry.’

  20. Hey Joachim you are right across most things
    Political !! Knowone breaks your great wall
    Of China without you knowing !!
    Victoria 7th straight day no new covid
    Cases ! So peaceful protesters emerge
    On Parliament house for a little bit more
    Freedom, after all we are a democracy
    Are we not ? Well maybe not in Victoria !
    400 arrests ! What ever happened to Freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of
    Association in Victoria? Well who knows !
    How many BLM protests in Victoria
    In the last 9 months ? How many arrests?
    4 people … ever so silent on Victoria are you
    Not Joachim ? Iam bias on some things
    No doubt !! However Joachim you are the ABC
    The Guardian, CNN , BBC all rolled into one !!
    Incidentally Stefanie you speak of Sir Joh
    As a dictator !! Joh would not even get a gig
    In the Andrews Government.. and again Stefanie
    The ABC’s saturation coverage of the BLM
    Protests in Victoria!! But nothing on what happened
    In Victoria yesterday !! And Congrats to the NZ
    Prime Minister for her Re – election were to be held now it also the Qld Premier’s Re – election
    The people have voted and do respect the
    Democratic process in elections . Quite the opposite for you Stefanie and Joachim for who
    Is running our Country ATM ..

    • Yo Barrow old son, is that you crying again. Barrow old son in case you missed it the Covid hasn’t just miraculously disappeared, no matter how often your Mentor tRump says so. The Covid still exists and there is no vaccine yet. So,’Freedom’, you whining. ‘Freedom’ is not some ‘open slather’ construct that you are trying to push. Freedom means taking responsibility, responsibility for actions taken by self and responsibility for actions that affect one’s fellow citizens – maybe it all too hard for you to grasp my man. All through these Covid times so many instances of irresponsible actions but hey that’s ‘Freedom’, yeah. And Barrow my man, we all know who is REALLY running the country. Your man ScamMOfromMarketings is merely the public face of affairs, the puppet of the Rupert, the hard right rump of The Liberal and National parties, the rent seekers like The Fossil Fuel Industry who collectively all have their hands right up the backside of your ScamMO.

  21. That’s the problem, Barrow. No-one is ‘running the country because it has
    been left to run itself.’ Our elected so called leaders are too busy looking
    after themselves & the mates [Murdoch express] to give a thought to the
    aged – unemployed – homeless – sick etc etc. Ah…Get it clear, Joe Hockey
    wouldn’t get a gig in Victoria or anywhere else. That’s why he was sent to
    the USA. Shake-the-sphere ‘Out, out damn spot!’ As well, Sky News –
    owned by Murdoch, is being blamed for Trump loosing the election. Looks
    as if your lot – Jones & Cret did Trump in. Read the Republican news. Wake
    up… the world needs Joe Biden & Kamala Harris.

  22. Our solar panels are affordable because they are mostly made in China or Japan, a few here. And they are only still about 40% efficient. Nasa has more efficient models not yet affordable. What annoys me is the talk of it as free energy. The panels still have to be manufactured and eventually recycled.
    As for the US, Albanese weighs into the the debate before counting starts, that’s not statesmanship. And for everything Trump has been called, from sexist to fascist, over four years, now a bad loser, next? Humourless? Few point out he’s a fighter, right up there with Churchill, not wandering the wings in his jammies and slippers taking advice from tthe grown-ups, a fully fledged contender. The Left won’t desist till he’s dead. That’s the kultur, in favour of civilisation.

  23. Wake up Stefanie !! The world needs Biden & Harris ? She called biden a Racist? Are you listening to what iam saying ? Biden also suggested that
    If you Vote for Trump ! You ain’t Black !
    Yep the world needs those two Stefanie…
    Mark my words ..Trump did not March the
    American’s into war did he ? Obama did .
    Lets just see if Biden & Harris refrain from War ..
    The Scrutiny starts now .. as the ABC suggested
    For Trump ..from this day forward mark my words ..

  24. Keep it up, Barrow. Trump’s a lout. That’s why the women leave.
    Harris has his number & I hope will drag him off to court seeing
    as how she’s a woman of the law.

    • Wouldn’t it be grand to see the Kamala in court as the lead prosecutor as tRump faces his moment of truth. tRump will have to do better than Rudey Giuly, the emerging movie star, as a defence attorney. We know that tRump likes to “grab ’em by the pussy” and we’ve seen ‘movie star’ Rudey Giuly doing some grabbing of his own piece of kit. They both gonna have to grab onto a miracle to protect tRump from the courts.

  25. Get your blinkers of Joachim.
    Conveniently because it suits the narrative
    Go google Biden’s creepy comments .lots of them .
    And then his lies about the so called green deal.
    Nothing to see here Joachim.. !!
    There’s Bias !! And then there’s You Joachim..
    Talk about in Denial ! Sounds familiar..?

    • Barrow, I feel sorry for you old son, denying reality. I know, it hard for you, if only it was Fake News, that your man Agent Orange lost the election. That tRump lost to in his words, “the worst presedential candidate ever”, doesn’t help, does it….more tissues please to soak up your water works.


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