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Dearie me, what a week. Barnaby Joyce finally fell on his sword, America hid behind a gun and one pizza empire got surprisingly smutty.
Hello and welcome to this week’s Current Affairs Wrap. We’ve had gun control on everyone’s lips in the states, Tony Abbott’s lips on Barnaby Joyce’s arse back home and a new and interesting way to order your pizza.
The fallout from the recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida, has continued to gain traction this week. Whilst the US is, unfortunately, no stranger to mass school shootings, the February 14th massacre that saw 17 people killed seems to have created a much-needed increase in discourse on one of the most divisive topics in the US – gun control.
US President Donald Trump has taken a stance directly from the NRA playbook, calling again for the arming of teachers to address the ongoing risk of school shootings. Trump argues that having armed teachers on campus would act as a deterrent as they would be able to “immediately fire back if a savage sicko came to a school with bad intentions,” tweeting “a ‘gun free’ school is a magnet for bad people. ATTACKS WOULD END!”
Unsurprisingly, the NRA is in support of the idea. Wayne LaPierre, the head of the NRA, pulled out the NRA’s favourite slogan, saying “To stop a bad guy with a gun, it takes a good guy with a gun.”
Problem is, of course, there was a “good guy with a gun” at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14th. An armed Deputy from the Sheriff’s department was on duty as the school resource officer when the shooting commenced. Rather than rush in with his gun drawn, Scot Peterson remained outside the building while the massacre unfolded.
Peterson’s apparent unwillingness or inability to take matters into his own hands has seen him resign from his position after being suspended by the Broward County Sheriff, Scott Israel. Trump labelled Peterson as either a “coward” or pointed to the fact that he “didn’t react properly under pressure.” So clearly not a “good guy with a gun”. This didn’t stop Trump from again reinforcing his view that teachers should be armed, saying “If a teacher had been carrying a concealed firearm at the Florida school, the teacher would have shot the hell out of him before he knew what happened.”
….immediately fire back if a savage sicko came to a school with bad intentions. Highly trained teachers would also serve as a deterrent to the cowards that do this. Far more assets at much less cost than guards. A “gun free” school is a magnet for bad people. ATTACKS WOULD END!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 22, 2018
While all of this was going on, the US State Department announced late this week that the planned relocation of the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem has been brought forward and will now occur in May to coincide with the 70th birthday of the Jewish state.
The announcement has been heavily condemned by Palestine who claim the eastern sector of Jerusalem as the capital of their own state. The Palestinian Liberation Organisation has called the announcement a “provocation to all Arabs” before predicting the result of the move will be “the destruction of the two-state option.”
The date itself has been just as polarising. The 14th of May, the anniversary of Israel’s declared independence in 1948, is not looked at as a celebration by the Palestinian people who call the day “Nakba” meaning their “day of catastrophe.”
It’s fair to say that the potential consequences to Trump’s cowboy diplomacy could be far reaching in one of the most unstable regions of the world.
After a dramatic week, the fallout from “BarnabyGate” has concluded with the Deputy PM and leader of the National Party, Barnaby Joyce, resigning from both positions on Friday.
Earlier in the week Joyce faced accusations of sexual harassment following a complaint received by his party which appeared to be the straw that broke the camel’s back. Joyce has told the media that he will be remaining in Parliament and will sit on the back bench.
PM Turnbull has described it as “the ‘right decision’ for Joyce and his party”, saying, “I think he’s taken the right decision and the judgment he’s made in resigning is the right one for himself and his family… we thank him for his service and look forward to working with his successor.”
That successor is likely to be from a small list including Michael McCormack, David Gillespie and Matt Canavan, with McCormack appearing to be the front runner. Whilst Turnbull may be celebrating the end to another internal crisis, the result is another influential enemy on the backbench.
Also on The Big Smoke
- AusPol winners and losers: George, don’t bring your gun to town
- No flies on Barnaby: What to do with the leader of the (g)nats?
- Current Affairs Wrap: America lashes out, Malcolm loves Barnaby again, The core problem of Apple’s building
Former PM, Tony Abbott, has ramped up his attacks on the Government this week, finishing with a very public show of support for Joyce and a big swipe at the Government, saying “While he could have handled personal issues better, part of the problem has been poor management at the most senior levels of government.”
So it wasn’t Barnaby’s fault that he cheated on his wife with a staffer, got the staffer pregnant, left his wife and kids whilst still asking his wife to maintain public appearances lest it hurt his career? No, it was the management of the coalition. That’s an impressive level of managerial control over one’s…members.
Abbott also took the opportunity to take credit for Joyce’s career as well as the entire Liberal Party, saying “But for my efforts there wouldn’t be a government, but for my efforts in 2010 and 2013, Turnbull wouldn’t be Prime Minister and his ministers wouldn’t be in office. So I think they should listen with a degree of respect… Ever since I brought the previous maverick onto the frontbench in opposition, Barnaby has been a strong performer.”
Tom Tucker from TV’s Family Guy could well have been describing Abbott when he described director Oliver Stone as “a dangerously insane human being.”
Needless to say, the Abbott and
Costello Joyce show from the backbench will keep everyone on their toes. It has all the makings of an ’80s buddy cop movie.
Whilst Joyce is drowning, not waving, central Queensland has been just drowning following some serious storm activity this week. Moranbah, 200 kilometres south-west of Mackay, was pounded by wind gusts in excess of 100 kilometres per hour which ripped roofs from homes and sent debris flying through the town. Some local residents have described the storm as worse for them than Cyclone Debbie was in 2017.
The south-east hasn’t escaped, with heavy rains and flooding predicted throughout the weekend, keeping the SES run off their feet.
The state and federal governments have set up a disaster package for the region as the damage bill heads towards $1 million.
Wacky and wonderful
Domino’s Pizza has been left red faced this week following the announcement of a non-affiliated Domino’s themed accessory.
Adult Entertainment company, CamSoda, has set the world on fire with the release of their new vibrator, the “RubGrub”. The interactive vibrator detects when the user has an orgasm and proceeds to automatically order pizza from Domino’s.
I can’t describe it better than CamSoda VP, Daryn Parker, who said:
“Masturbation, while ultimately enjoyable, can be a strenuous physical activity during which an individual exerts a lot of energy and burns many calories. Inevitably, once someone has climaxed, they feel lethargic and hungry. Now, in order to enjoy your Saturday night, all you need is your RubGrub device. Get off and get stuffed, all with the click of a button.”
The affiliation doesn’t appear to be official, however, with Dominos saying “This is news to us. We have not worked with this company, nor have we authorised them to use our name in conjunction with their toy.”
Although I don’t think they’ll be in a hurry to get an injunction.
That’s it from me, TBSers, have a cracking week!