Taking Candy From a Baby - President Trump spoke today with President Putin. From the White House readout … Readout of President Donald J. Trump’s Call with President Vladimir Put...
13 hours ago
He is now 72. Fremantle is where, in 1954, aged nine, he stepped off the ship from London, looking for the sheep he'd been told outnumbered people in Australia 100 to one.
He ended up at a place called Bindoon.
The Catholic institution known at one point as Bindoon Boys Town is now notorious. Based around an imposing stone mansion in the Australian countryside, 49 miles north of Perth, are buildings Walsh and his fellow child migrants were forced to build, barefoot, starting work the day after they arrived.
The Christian Brothers ruled the place with the aim of upholding order and a moral code. Within two days of arriving he says he received his first punishment at the hands of one of the brothers.
"He punched us, he kicked us, smashed us in the face, back-handed us and everything, and he then sat us on his knee to tell us that he doesn't like to hurt children, but we had been bad boys.
"I was sobbing uncontrollably for hours."
His story is deeply distressing. He tells it with a particularly Australian directness. He is furious.
He describes one brother luring him into his room with the promise he could have some sweet molasses - normally fed, not to the boys, but the cows. The man sexually abused him.
He claims another brother raped him, and a third beat him mercilessly after falsely accusing him of having sex with another boy.
"We had no parents, we had no relatives, there was nowhere we could go, these brothers - these paedophiles - must have thought they were in hog heaven."
He has accused the brothers at the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, the first time he has fully disclosed his experiences.
At the time he says: "I was too terrified to report the abuse. I knew no other life.
"I've lived 60 odd years with this hate, I can't have a normal sexual relationship because I don't like to hold people," says Walsh. "My own wife, I couldn't hug."
He was troubled by all the memories.
"I couldn't show any affection. Stuff like that only reminded me of what the brothers would do all the time."
The Australian Royal Commission recently estimated that 7% of the country's Catholic priests were involved in child abuse.
And such is the scope of sexual abuse allegations in the Catholic and Anglican churches in the UK that entire strands of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse are dedicated to them.
At a different time, in another country, it was effectively a death sentence.
Being branded an "enemy of the people" by the likes of Stalin or Mao brought at best suspicion and stigma, at worst hard labour or death.
Now the chilling phrase - which is at least as old as Emperor Nero, who was called "hostis publicus", enemy of the public, by the Senate in AD 68 - is making something of a comeback.
In November, the UK Daily Mail used its entire front page to brand three judges "enemies of the people" following a legal ruling on the Brexit process.
Then on Friday, President Donald Trump deployed the epithet against mainstream US media outlets that he sees as hostile.
"The FAKE NEWS media (failing New York Times, NBC News, ABC, CBS, CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!" he wrote on Twitter. ...
Steve Silberman, an award-winning writer and journalist, wondered whether the remark would prompt Trump supporters to shoot at journalists.
And that might not be a far-fetched concern. Late last year, a Trump supporter opened fire in a pizza restaurant at the centre of a bizarre conspiracy theory about child abuse.
The US president's use of "enemies of the people" raises unavoidable echoes of some of history's most murderous dictators.
Under Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, out-of-favour artists and politicians were designated enemies and many were sent to hard labour camps or killed. Others were stigmatised and denied access to education and employment.
And Chairman Mao, the leader of China who presided over the deaths of millions of people in a famine brought about by his Great Leap Forward, was also known to use the phrase against anyone who opposed him, with terrible consequences. ...
Carl Bernstein, a reporter who helped to bring down Richard Nixon with his reporting on the Watergate scandal, tweeted: "The most dangerous 'enemy of the people' is presidential lying - always. Attacks on press by Donald Trump more treacherous than Nixon's."
On Feb. 6, Germany's most-read newspaper reported that dozens of Arab men, presumed to be refugees, had rampaged through the city of Frankfurt on New Year's Eve. The men were said to have sexually assaulted women as they went through the streets; the newspaper dubbed them the Fressgass “sex mob,” referring to an upmarket shopping street in the city.
Bild's report sparked widespread concern in Germany. The nation has taken in millions of migrants over the past few years, and there had been reports of a similar incidents in Cologne and other cities the previous New Year's Eve.
But police investigating the crime now say that the allegations included in the article are “without foundation.”
According to the Frankfurter Rundschau, the witnesses who spoke to reporters may be investigated themselves. Bild has now deleted the story from its website. The paper's online editor in chief on Tuesday said that the company apologized “for our own work.”
There have been plenty of false stories about refugees and migrants in Germany over the past few years, in large part a reflection of divisive political views on the issue within the country and the increasingly fragmented world of online media. They include the story of the “Allahu akbar”-chanting mob that set Germany’s oldest church alight (quickly proved false), for example, or the refugee who took a selfie with German Chancellor Angela Merkel who was accused of terrorism links (again false).
But most of these stories have been driven by social media or spread by ideological websites like Breitbart.
The truth is Michael Flynn does not matter. We have before us a question that has stood before us, centerstage, for something like a year, brazen and shameless and yet too baffling and incredible to believe: Donald Trump's bizarre and unexplained relationship with Russia and its strongman Vladimir Putin.
It is almost beyond imagining that a National Security Advisor could be forced to resign amidst a counter-intelligence investigation into his communications and ties to a foreign adversary. The National Security Advisor is unique in the national security apparatus. He or she is the organizer, synthesizer and conduit to the President for information from all the various agencies and departments with a role in national security. This person must be able to know everything. The power and trust accorded this person are immeasurable. It is only really comparable to the President. And yet, we are talking about the President. A staffer or appointee can be dismissed. The President is the ultimate constitutional officer. ...
...the circumstantial evidence, the unexplained actions, the unheard of spectacle of a foreign power subverting a US election while the beneficiary of the interference aggressively and openly makes the case for the culprit, the refusal to make even the most elementary forms of disclosure which could clarify the President's financial ties - they are so multifaceted and abundant it is almost impossible to believe they are mere random and chance occurrences with no real set of connections behind them. ...
If you were Vladimir Putin you could not have done more to help the cause of Donald Trump. And if you were Trump, you could not have done more in actions and statements to repay the favor. The only question is whether the trajectory of perfectly interlocked actions were simply chance or tacit. Is it even remotely credible that with everything that led up to it, Michael Flynn initiated and conducted this back channel on his own? Hardly. It's crazy that we're having this conversation about a sitting President. But here we are. It's time. We need to know the answer to this question.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) on the Flynn affair: "I just don't think it's useful to be doing investigation after investigation, particularly of your own party. We'll never even get started with doing the things we need to do, like repealing Obamacare, if we're spending our whole time having Republicans investigate Republicans. I think it makes no sense."
That was the same mindset – an aversion to accountability in exchange for perceived short-term political gain – that produced an explosion of GOP corruption in the mid-aughts. There's little evidence the party learned from that sordid period, and Trump seems likely to reproduce it, except bigger, more garishly, and with more conspicuous gilding. And his congressional enablers seem ready to help out, if only by omission of real oversight.