On marriage equality and religious freedoms

David Whittaker writes:  Re. “Will marriage equality lead to defunded private schools?“(Thursday)

Shame on you Crikey. Your headline filled me the misplaced hope that perhaps SSM and the acceptance thereof might be the thin end of the wedge and we would begin to see the defunding of so called private schools. Not to be it seems, still a long way to go to get some equity into the mess that is school funding in this country.

On Israel and Donald Trump

Joe Boswell writes:  Re. “Trump’s Jerusalem shock tactic serves no obvious purpose” (Thursday)

Your headline is wrong. This is classic Trump, consistent with methods he has used for years. His declaration is viciously divisive, guaranteed to please his base both on its own and because it outrages almost everyone else. As President he has never paused for a second before betraying America’s traditional allies and friends; he uses their dismay, anger and condemnation to burnish his outsider credentials. But that is just a bonus. The point here is to get violent reactions from Muslim states and organisations, the more extreme and deadly the better.  Whatever the reaction, he will exploit it for further attacks on and discrimination against Muslims generally. Attacking Muslims is always wildly popular with his base, but it might be possible over time to stoke up such an air of threat and crisis it will ensure his second term.

It all helps prepare the ground for tossing aside the Mueller investigation, crushing any impeachment attempts and any other actions needed to secure the next election against any horrible outbreaks of democracy. Other benefits include a higher stock market as arms companies prosper with increased arms sales and jobs and more prominence for the military. With the Republican Party completely locked in and determined to follow Trump without hesitation  there is no downside or risk in any of this for him.