Israeli Lawmaker: Supremacy of ‘Jewish Race’ Explains Support for Netanyahu

When Education has nothing to do with it but it’s simply God’s will. When Education was the only source of Jewish Social Mobility and Usary not a sin  the Capitalist system worked for a tight knit community. This egoism doesn’t really do it.  (ODT)

A lawmaker from the ruling Likud party said Wednesday that the “Jewish race” is the smartest in the world and possessing of the “highest human capital,” which is why, he said, the Israeli public did not buy into the allegations of wrongdoing by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, reports The Time Of Israel.

“What can you do? We were blessed by God… and I will continue to say that at every opportunity,” he said. “I don’t have to be ashamed about the Jewish people being the Chosen People; the smartest, most special people in the world.”

READ: The State of Israel must ‘be run only by Jews’, says Likud MP

via Israeli Lawmaker: Supremacy of ‘Jewish Race’ Explains Support for Netanyahu

Pew’s scientific polling demonstrates, the vast majority of Americans don’t like and don’t approve of Trump

Kim Jong-un: The story of the boy dictator who bested the US president | World news | The Guardian

North Korea’s Kim Jong-un

The young ruler took a radically different path to his father, one that earned him the opportunity to outsmart Donald Trump
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and US president Donald Trump shake hands at the conclusion of their meeting in Singapore.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and US president Donald Trump shake hands at the conclusion of their meeting in Singapore. Photograph: Susan Walsh/AP

Kim Jong-un was never destined to rule North Korea. It was never preordained he would be the one to accelerate the isolated nation’s nuclear weapons program, and force the US president, Donald Trump, to sit down for a meeting of equals.
Donald Trump shrugs off Kim’s human rights record: ‘He’s a tough guy’
Read more

But through a combination of ruthless ambition and luck, Kim achieved what no other leader of North Korea has, recognition as the head of a nuclear power and international statesman. The boy dictator went head-to-head with Trump and won.

via Kim Jong-un: The story of the boy dictator who bested the US president | World news | The Guardian

Angelina Jolie: UN special envoy tours Mosul

Angelina Jolie visits Mosul and cries. However what happened in other sites like Falluja

” LNP Senator Jim Molan’s name rings alarm bells for many thousands of people. He is known colloquially as “The Butcher of Fallujah” for his time leading the Coalition assault in Iraq against that and several other Sunni cities, including Najaf and Samarra.”  Jim Molan: Australia’s newest Senator has blood on his hands?

via Angelina Jolie: UN special envoy tours Mosul

They know it is wrong but, if it works, who cares? – » The Australian Independent Media Network

In 2011, opposition immigration spokesman, Scott Morrison, urged the shadow cabinet to capitalise on the electorate’s growing concerns about “Muslim immigration”, “Muslims in Australia” and the “inability” of Muslim migrants to integrate, telling the shadow cabinet meeting on December 1 at the Ryde Civic Centre that the Coalition should ramp up its questioning of “multiculturalism”.

Fierravanti-Wells says the various waves of immigrants since the early days of European settlement have all been “targeted” – from the Chinese, Irish and Germans, through the postwar cohort of Italians and Greeks, the Vietnamese and Lebanese in the 1970s and, more recently, Muslim groups – but we should not let their positive contribution to Australia be forgotten due to the actions of “a few rotten apples in our community”.

Perhaps she needs to have a word to Peter Dutton who suggested that the former prime minister Malcolm Fraser should not have let people of “Lebanese-Muslim” background into Australia back in the 70s – citing as evidence a handful of individuals of Lebanese descent who have been charged with terrorism offences.

Dutton also infamously claimed that Victorians are “scared to go out to restaurants” because of “African gang violence”.

via They know it is wrong but, if it works, who cares? – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Killing The ABC: The IPA’s Agenda To Dismantle Australia – » The Australian Independent Media Network

We’ve let them do so much that is wrong since 2013. They’ve managed to make Australians condone torture and abuse being carried out in our name in offshore gulags.

History will not treat us kindly.

They have already reduced the ABC to a shell of its former self.

The lack of funding and resources is evident, yet still our ABC struggles on, for us.

Please, good people.

We can’t let these goombahs get away with this murder.

Save our ABC.

via Killing The ABC: The IPA’s Agenda To Dismantle Australia – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Lenders eye pay day through automatic loan machines

In a multimillion-dollar windfall for pay-day lenders, automatic loan machines are popping up in suburban shopping centres, allowing some of Australia’s most disadvantaged communities to take out loans worth thousands of dollars with their bank cards.

Many short-term credit contracts can have an annual interest rate of 60 per cent, compared with up to 25 per cent for credit card cash advance. CashNgo charges a 20 per cent fee and 4 per cent monthly interest.

via Lenders eye pay day through automatic loan machines

In Quoting Bible on Tearing Children from Parents, Sessions Echoes Israeli Practices

“More than 40% of the minors arrested were taken from home in the middle of the night, after being woken up.In some cases, the arrest is carried out quietly: soldiers knock on the door, wait for it to be opened, ask a few questions, tell the parents to wake up their son, and allow him to get dressed.”

It continues, after noting the terror this procedure strikes in the hearts of these ordinary Palestinians,

“With rare exceptions, the soldiers handcuff the minors as soon as they arrest them, or immediately after leaving the home. The reports indicate that in about 80% of the cases, the soldiers also blindfold the minors. In this state, the minors are then transported . . . Many of the minors reported that during transit, soldiers swore at them,
threatened them and even beat them.”

The Israeli army takes away the children, sometimes in the dark of night, without informing the parents of the minors.

via In Quoting Bible on Tearing Children from Parents, Sessions Echoes Israeli Practices

The long siege of Julian Assange

GREAT IDEAS in publishing are rare, but in 2006 Julian Assange came up with one.

Assange reasoned that the key structure that generated bad governance was conspiracy. To fight the conspiracies behind corrupt governments, he advocated a strategy to expose the conspirators and the conspiracies through a systematic use of leaks.

His subversive proposal was to build a website for whistleblowers where they could upload their information in safety and from where it could be collectively analysed by citizen journalists. The name he gave his whistleblower-enabling website was WikiLeaks.

via The long siege of Julian Assange

Howard backs Turnbull’s fortunes as Liberal party votes to privatise ABC | Australia news | The Guardian

Former Australian prime minister John Howard

Howard continued the theme of unity that has flowed through Liberal party leadership speeches at its 60th national council – which also voted overwhelmingly on Saturday to privatise the ABC as conservative anger at the public broadcaster continues to be a political flashpoint.In a non-binding motion put forward by the Young Liberal Movement, members called for the full privatisation of the ABC, “except for services into regional areas that are not commercially viable”.

Source: Howard backs Turnbull’s fortunes as Liberal party votes to privatise ABC | Australia news | The Guardian

Rewarding incompetence – yet another scathing report about Dutton’s department – » The Australian Independent Media Network

“A consolidation of Australia’s border services has the potential to generate significant savings by removing duplication, better integrating and improving operational systems and practices, reducing staff, as well as consolidating back office functions and rationalising property. Savings could also come from greater efficiency in visa processing.”

However these benefits have not materialised.

A review published by the Australian National Audit Office last week into The Integration of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service highlighted significant and persistent departmental failings and no discernible benefit from the merger.

The report stated that the department “is not achieving commitments made to government in relation to additional revenue, and is not in a position to provide the government with assurance that the claimed benefits of integration have been achieved.”

Despite many previous criticisms and recommendations, “The department’s record keeping continues to be poor.”

“The audit found that the department did not maintain adequate records of the integration process. This finding repeats the outcomes of a substantial number of audits and reviews going back to 2005. The department’s own assessment is that its records and information management is in a critically poor state. The problems and their solutions are known to the department, and it has an action plan to address them, although numerous previous attempts to do so have not been successful.”

via Rewarding incompetence – yet another scathing report about Dutton’s department – » The Australian Independent Media Network

The Chomsky Challenge for Americans

 

“Americans might want to learn how to take Chomsky’s challenge—imagine ourselves in others’ situation—before it’s too late to imagine anything at all.”

An early challenge to Uncle Sam’s purported right to manage postwar world affairs from the banks of the Potomac came in 1950. Korean forces, joined by Chinese troops, pushed back against the United States’ invasion of North Korea. Washington responded with a merciless bombing campaign that flattened all of North Korea’s cities and towns. U.S. Air Force Gen. Curtis LeMay boasted that “we burned down every town in North Korea” and proudly guessed that Uncle Sam’s gruesome air campaign, replete with napalm and chemical weapons, murdered 20 percent of North Korea’s population. This and more was recounted without a hint of shame—with pride, in fact—in the leading public U.S. military journals of the time. As Noam Chomsky, the world’s leading intellectual, explained five years ago, the U.S. was not content just to demolish the country’s urban zones:

via The Chomsky Challenge for Americans

Trump and family sued by New York attorney general over alleged charity violations | US news | The Guardian

Fraud

In addition to Trump, the lawsuit names his children Donald Jr, Ivanka and Eric.

Suit brought by Barbara Underwood says Trump Foundation is ‘little more than an empty shell’ and seeks $2.8m in restitution

via Trump and family sued by New York attorney general over alleged charity violations | US news | The Guardian

Int’l Criminal Court must investigate Top Israeli Officials for Gaza War Crimes: HRW

 

New York (Human Rights Watch) – Israeli forces’ repeated use of lethal force in the Gaza Strip since March 30, 2018, against Palestinian demonstrators who posed no imminent threat to life may amount to war crimes, Human Rights Watch said today. Israeli forces have killed more than 100 protesters in Gaza and wounded thousands with live ammunition.

The United Nations General Assembly should support a resolution that calls for exploring measures to guarantee the protection of Palestinians in Gaza, and a UN inquiry mandated to investigate all violations and abuses should identify Israeli officials responsible for issuing unlawful open-fire orders. The killings also highlight the need for the International Criminal Court to open a formal investigation into the situation in Palestine. Third countries should impose targeted sanctions against officials responsible for ongoing serious human rights violations.

via Int’l Criminal Court must investigate Top Israeli Officials for Gaza War Crimes: HRW

120 Nations Condemn Israel for Gaza Shootings, including Russia, China & France & 11 other European States

In a blow to the Trump administration and the government of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, the United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly adopted, by 120 votes in favor, a resolution introduced by Algeria and Turkey condemning Israel for deploying excessive force against Palestinians at rallies near the border of Gaza.

After a thorough investigation, Human Rights Watch concluded that there are credible grounds for charging Israeli officials with war crimes at the International Criminal Court over the tactic of sniping at unarmed civilians who posed no immediate danger to Israeli troops (while over 100 Palestinians were killed and thousands injured by live ammunition since March, no Israeli troops appear to have been so much as injured).

The resolution was backed by 12 European states, including France, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, Ireland, Norway, Finland, Portugal, and Greece. 16 European countries abstained, but none voted against the resolution.

via 120 Nations Condemn Israel for Gaza Shootings, including Russia, China & France & 11 other European States

The law should not be a plaything of the government – » The Australian Independent Media Network

we had the saga of George Brandis’ refusing to fulfil a freedom of information request for his diary to see if he met with community legal aid stakeholders before making controversial cuts to the sector in the Coalition’s 2014 budget despite a Productivity Commission report that found it needed a huge boost in funds to meet growing demand.

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal subsequently ruled Senator Brandis should process the request.  He again refused, taking it to the Federal Court who also ruled he must hand it over.  Eventually, after 1039 days and over $50,000 of public money wasted, Brandis finally handed over a heavily redacted copy of his diary.

Michaelia Cash is waging a similar battle to avoid answering questions regarding tipping off the media about an AFP raid on union headquarters.  The Federal Court has issued a subpoena requiring her to give evidence but she has instructed her lawyers to fight it.

via The law should not be a plaything of the government – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Inside the AEF, the climate denial group hosting Tony Abbott as guest speaker | Environment | The Guardian

Tony Abbott

The AEF’s YouTube channel has just 11 subscribers and has posted only one video, from December 2016.

In May 2017, the AEF lent its logo to a letter to US President Donald Trump to offer “enthusiastic support” for his commitments to withdraw from the UN Paris climate agreement. But between July 2017 and February 2018, there was virtually nothing posted on its website.

Much of that website, including the “Climate News” section, is content from former Institute of Public Affairs fellow Alan Moran and postings that variously dismiss human-caused climate change and renewable energy, in particular wind power.
Advertisement

Ridd has been a director at the AEF since 2005. That’s a neat segue into the AEF’s history.

In late 2004, the Institute of Public Affairs – by then already pushing out climate science misinformation – held its “Eureka forum” to work out how to push back against “environmental fundamentalism” that, it claimed, was “denying farmers, foresters, fishermen, prospectors, miners, beekeepers, 4WD enthusiasts and others access rights, property rights, water rights”.

via Inside the AEF, the climate denial group hosting Tony Abbott as guest speaker | Environment | The Guardian

Court ruling a resounding defeat for the Liberal Party

Forget the spin, this was a resounding defeat for the Liberal Party and its president, Michael Kroger.

After launching adventurous legal action, the Liberal Party and Kroger had wanted to seize complete control of a $70 million investment fund, the Cormack Foundation.

via Court ruling a resounding defeat for the Liberal Party

Top 8 Ways Iran Deal was Way Better than Trump’s North Korea Commitment

“Inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the global nuclear watchdog, continuously monitor Iran’s declared nuclear sites and also verify that no fissile material is moved covertly to a secret location to build a bomb. Iran also agreed to implement the Additional Protocol to their IAEA Safeguards Agreement, which allows inspectors to access any site anywhere in the country they deem suspicious. Until 2031, Iran will have 24 days to comply with any IAEA access request. If it refuses, an eight-member Joint Commission – including Iran – will rule on the issue. It can decide on punitive steps, including the reimposition of sanctions. A majority vote by the commission suffices.”

via Top 8 Ways Iran Deal was Way Better than Trump’s North Korea Commitment

After Bragging About Vanquished North Korean Threat, Trump Declares Nation’s “Biggest Enemy” Is Journalism He Doesn’t Like

“Free Press America” is Trump’s “greatest enemy” except for Fox News of course also according to Donald Trump himself. Have you heard of “fake news”? It’s been his most useful idea to date. (ODT)

After triumphantly boasting in a tweet on Friday that North Korea is “no longer a nuclear threat” following just a few hours of vague discussions, an absolutely “bonkers” video presentation, and several photo ops with Kim Jong Un, President Donald Trump declared that the “biggest enemy” of the United States is now “fake news”—otherwise known as journalism Trump doesn’t like.”They are fighting hard to downplay the deal with North Korea,” Trump tweeted, apparently referring to journalists who have highlighted the fact that the “deal” reached with North Korea is thin on substance, non-binding, and just the first step in a long diplomatic process.”Our country’s biggest enemy is the Fake News so easily promulgated by fools!” Trump added.

Source: After Bragging About Vanquished North Korean Threat, Trump Declares Nation’s “Biggest Enemy” Is Journalism He Doesn’t Like

What’s causing unusual bullet wounds among Gaza protesters? | +972 Magazine

 

Israeli snipers seen on the border with Gaza during the Great March of Return, March 30, 2018. (IDF Spokesperson)

An amazing article about what’s fair when shooting and wounding thousands of unarmed persons and getting away with it yet not supplying definitive answers because that information will not ever be revealed. WTF (ODT)

The use of sniper rifles against closer targets increases accuracy and decreases the chances of wounding an unintended target, but it also leads to far more severe wounds due to the greater speed and force of the bullet. It therefore appears that the IDF’s use of sniper rifles during the Great Return March protests, along with bullets intended to be even more deadly and at a range shorter than the munitions are intended, which led to the large number of severe wounds among Palestinian demonstrators.

via What’s causing unusual bullet wounds among Gaza protesters? | +972 Magazine

‘They destroyed everything’: Israel’s decades-long war against the Jahalin Bedouin | +972 Magazine

 

OXYMORON = Israeli Empathy

Just outside the Palestinian town of Eizariya in the occupied West Bank, on the side of a busy highway, sits a set of small trash-strewn plots. Bent remnants of metal pipes protrude from piles of crumpled cans and broken bottles. Shredded plastic bags flap in the wind as cars rush by. Garbage trucks unload their toxic cargo at the Abu Dis dump just 500 meters away. The smell of burning rubbish makes the air sharp.

This area is known as Jahalin West, where the Israeli government plans to forcibly transfer the 181 residents of Khan al-Ahmar, a Palestinian Bedouin hamlet facing imminent demolition.

via ‘They destroyed everything’: Israel’s decades-long war against the Jahalin Bedouin | +972 Magazine

Antarctic ice loss triples in decade sparking fears of serious trouble

 

Antarctica’s ice sheet is melting at a rapidly increasing rate, now pouring more than 200 billion tonnes of ice into the ocean annually and raising sea levels half a millimetre every year, a team of 80 scientists has reported.

The rate of melting has tripled in the past decade, the study concluded. If the acceleration continues, some of scientists’ worst fears about rising oceans could be realised, leaving low-lying cities and communities with less time to prepare than they had hoped.

via Antarctic ice loss triples in decade sparking fears of serious trouble

EDITORIAL EXCERPT: The Racist Centre for Western Civilisation

Conservatives are up in arms after the Australian National University (ANU) announced last Friday it would not proceed with a Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation-sponsored degree.

ANU Vice Chancellor Professor Brian Schmidt told ABC 7.30 last week that the University broke off negotiations after six months because it was concerned the Ramsay Centre wanted too much control over the potential course:

… the centre was asking for a level of influence in our staffing and curriculum unprecedented with any other donor we’ve ever dealt with.

And so, it is that that undermines the academic autonomy of the university, and it is that which caused us to decide to withdraw from negotiations.

Luckily, Professor Schmidt sensed, just in the nick of time, that extreme rightwing politicians were seeking to use his institution as a cat’s paw to seed an ugly and outmoded ideology into the minds of our young people.

Abbott tried the same with Dr bjorn Lomborg and is now proving he’s a one dimensional thinker (ODT)

via EDITORIAL EXCERPT: The Racist Centre for Western Civilisation

Day to Day Politics: ‘Electricity Bill’ was electrifying with a very bright spark. – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Speaking to a captive audience of roughly evenly divided people who had firm opinions about him when they walked in I wondered how many might have changed their view after hearing him talk about basic wages, unemployment, apprenticeships, housing affordability, negative gearing, aged care, and power bills, and using economic fairness to make his points. Then he turned on the Turnbull Government’s association with big business and the big banks.

“This is more fair dinkum to me than half the rubbish we carry on with in Parliament,” he uttered as the curtain fell on a very revealing Q&A.

via Day to Day Politics: ‘Electricity Bill’ was electrifying with a very bright spark. – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Racoon’s Minnesota building climb comes to relieving end

Raccoon high-rise saga comes to an end

Cool News; Is your glass 20% empty or 80% full? Rocky is asking the question? (ODT)

A raccoon that became an internet sensation by scaling a 25-storey office tower in downtown St Paul was safely trapped on Wednesday and released back into the wild.

The raccoon looked a bit bedraggled but healthy after it was caught before dawn atop the UBS Plaza. Technicians took the caged raccoon down a freight elevator to a truck, according to Wildlife Management Services, which provides animal control services for St Paul.

via Racoon’s Minnesota building climb comes to relieving end

Trust Trump to snatch comedy from the jaws of victory

It’s a slightly mad thing to think, but as a local journalist said to me: “It takes a mad man to do what Trump has done.” This attempt to build a new, permanent relationship with North Korea, based largely on the word of a dictator, is an unorthodox gamble, but it might pay off. It exploits well the needs and vanities of its main players.

It’s important to remember that North Korea has only come to the table because it has decided it is ready and willing. Its nuclear programme has reached a point where it feels secure enough to play it as a bargaining chip, and so it was Kim Jong-un – desperate for investment in his isolated kingdom – who invited Mr Trump to meet, not the other way around. Mr Trump’s radical move was to accept.

via Trust Trump to snatch comedy from the jaws of victory

If Obama had met with Kim Jong Un, the Republican Party would have had a Cow

 

The depths of hypocrisy of the Republican Party in supporting Trump’s meeting with the North Korean dictator in Singapore are hard to plumb. This is a party whose leading members adopted the Ostrich Foreign Policy Principle for decades. If you don’t like a country’s government or political and economic system, pretend it does not exist.

There was that time when Sen. Ted Cruz and other Republicans lambasted Obama for visiting Cuba while there were still political prisoners in that country. So the principle is, no talks with leaders who have prisoners of conscience in their jails? Trump has broken that principle every which way from Sunday. Sen. John McCain even compared Obama’s handshake with Castro to the Hitler-Chamberlain meeting. Seriously. That’s what he said.

via If Obama had met with Kim Jong Un, the Republican Party would have had a Cow

After What Trump did to Iran and Canada, why Should N Korea trust Talks with Him?

 

The Iran deal in particular was closely negotiated over the course of years. Iran gave up 90% of its nuclear enrichment program in return for an end to economic sanctions. While the other member states of the UN Security Council did lift UNSC sanctions, the Republican-controlled Congress not only did not lift unilateral US sanctions but actually slapped more on.

Or take Canada. As I wrote on Friday:

Trump also repeatedly insists that the US runs a large trade deficit with Canada, importing more goods from that country than it sells to its northern neighbor. Those in the US who make that argument are typically counting third party goods imported into the US through Canada, which Ottawa considers an unfair accounting. The fact is that the US-Canada trade is almost equal, and if you count both goods and services, it is the US that runs the surplus.

After What Trump did to Iran and Canada, why Should N Korea trust Talks with Him?

The Kim Trump Summit

Kim-Trump Summit: A step in the right direction?. 62536.jpeg

Recent history has taught us two things – that the United States of America and its sickening clique of yapping chihuahuas are serial warmongers – one look at the countries they have interfered in leaves no doubt; the second being that a Treaty, for Washington at least, is meaningless.

So whatever President Trump says to Leader Kim Jong-un’s face, let time tell whether his platitudes are sincere or just another round of empty lies. One thing the USA and its yapping chihuahuas are good at – very good – is appearing credible and trustworthy, claiming the moral high ground and using the media to deride anything different as dark, dangerous and threatening.

But let us take a close look at their track record.

 

via The Kim Trump Summit

US-North Korea summit agreement is most revealing for what it leaves out

 

My take-home message from the omission of CVID from the joint statement is confirmation that North Korea under Kim Jong-un is never going to willingly denuclearise.

In “working toward complete denuclearisation,” North Korea may agree to a nuclear weapons and ballistic missile testing moratorium, decommission obsolete nuclear facilities, or even promise to freeze production of new nuclear weapons, without ever having to compromise its nuclear weapons capability.

via US-North Korea summit agreement is most revealing for what it leaves out

The end of civilisation? | The Monthly

Above is yet another example of Tony Abbott’s approach to ‘expert respectability’ $500,000 for ‘no advice’ in 2 years. Perception is all that counts. (ODT)

It was, declared The Australian’s resident theologian Greg Sheridan, “a pivotal moment in modern Australian history”. Was Sheridan referring to the arrival of the First Fleet, perhaps? The end of transportation? The celebration of federation? The landing at Gallipoli? The victory in the Coral Sea?

No, none of the above – something far more important: the Australian National University’s decision to end negotiations to establish a partnership with the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation. According to Sheridan, the university’s decision means that intellectual freedom at our universities is now imperilled.

This is hyperbole beyond the wildest imagination of even Gerard Henderson, but it shows just how seriously our national newspaper and its right-wing commentariat is fighting its culture wars. What was originally a minor controversy in academia has been blown up into a crisis of apocalyptic proportions. The Monthly

Western Civilization IS being taught at ANU, however, donor bribery such as the Ramsay Centre’s attempt isn’t being given the privilege to run its own tertiary course under the auspices of the ANU.  The Ramsay Centre is trying to buy interloper rights to their own specifications taking them outside the bounds of what it is the ANU represents. Tony Abbott is on the board of the Ramsay Centre trying to do what he did with Dr Bjorn Lomborg’s Copenhagen Center (which has nothing to do with Denmark)  to try to bribe Australian Universities to take on board and give legitimacy to his personal political bias on anti- Climate Change. All he was trying to do is provide respectability for a failing argument that was already being debated anyway. He failed and here he is repeating the same stunt. (ODT)

When one of his carefully selected directors, Tony Abbott, said the Ramsay Centre would be not only about Western civilisation but in favour of it and would have a say over curriculum design and staff appointments, he was merely following the script.

But of course the influence was supposed to be covert, not trumpeted in Quadrant – the idea was that the proposed centre could be justified within the umbrella of academic independence and autonomy, when in fact it could not. The Monthly

The end of civilisation? | The Monthly

The Sixth Extinction & The Third Book – » The Australian Independent Media Network

 

What is particularly concerning about this event is that it is unlike the past five extinction waves which were caused by natural phenomena like asteroid impacts and volcanic eruptions. The Sixth Extinction has been caused by the actions of Mankind. 99% of flora and fauna species currently identified as threatened with extinction have been linked to activities like land clearing, habitat destruction, air and water pollution, and warming induced by human activity.

via The Sixth Extinction & The Third Book – » The Australian Independent Media Network

We have forgotten what is important let alone how to fight for it – » The Australian Independent Media Network

The result of this headlong pursuit of continuous growth is a concentration of wealth in the hands of a few while the vast majority are mired in poverty. At the same time, environmental degradation in the pursuit of profit, and the waste produced by billions of consumers, is destroying the planet.Neoliberalism purports to reward individual effort, completely ignoring the fact that we don’t all start from the same place.

Source: We have forgotten what is important let alone how to fight for it – » The Australian Independent Media Network

John Kelly: White House ‘A Miserable Place To Work’ | Crooks and Liars

John Kelly: White House 'A Miserable Place To Work'

Donald Trump’s chaotic behavior is taking a toll on his Chief of Staff and everybody else that comes into contact with him at the White House.

Trump’s one governing principle is to attack and criticize every country, leader, political rival, investigator, cabinet member and media outlet he comes in contact with who does not continually kiss his ring. And he revels in the wake he leaves behind him.

NY Times reports:

via John Kelly: White House ‘A Miserable Place To Work’ | Crooks and Liars

Scapegoating Iran

 

Mr. Fish / Truthdig

NEW YORK—Seventeen years of war in the Middle East and what do we have to show for it? Iraq after our 2003 invasion and occupation is no longer a unified country. Its once modern infrastructure is largely destroyed, and the nation has fractured into warring enclaves. We have lost the war in Afghanistan. The Taliban is resurgent and has a presence in over 70 percent of the country. Libya is a failed state. Yemen after three years of relentless airstrikes and a blockade is enduring one of the world’s worst humanitarian disasters. The 500 “moderate” rebels we funded and armed in Syria at a cost of $500 million are in retreat after instigating a lawless reign of terror. The military adventurism has cost a staggering $5.6 trillion as our infrastructure crumbles, austerity guts basic services and half the population of the United States lives at or near poverty levels. The endless wars in the Middle East are the biggest strategic blunder in American history and herald the death of the empire.

via Scapegoating Iran

In the war against Iran, the IDF Spokesperson sides with jihadists | +972 Magazine

With Adraee’s video, Israel not only joins the Sunni axis, it aligns itself with the anti-Shiite incitement of violent Sunni jihadist groups — from Bin Laden to ISIS. In Great Britain, Adraee’s video would have rewarded him with a visit by the security services for incitement and belonging to a terrorist group.

More than anything, however, Adraee’s video must serve as a reminder that Israel’s regime of occupation and siege is based not only on wickedness and hatred, but also stupidity, arrogance, and ignorance.

via In the war against Iran, the IDF Spokesperson sides with jihadists | +972 Magazine

Amid Gaza Health Crisis, Israeli Army Shoots Medical Workers in Demonstrations

Israel’s cry “what else can we do” rings hollow when they shoot medics and use dum dum bullets to cause maximum harm. (ODT)

These shootings take place during an overall health crisis in Gaza, worsened by its decade-long closure by Israel.

via Amid Gaza Health Crisis, Israeli Army Shoots Medical Workers in Demonstrations

The Merchants of Venality – » The Australian Independent Media Network

venality

So let’s finish by describing the venality of our political system. For all political parties, winning is all that counts. With it comes power, privileges, influence, prestige, and of course, money!

Time and again we have seen our leaders propose measures that serve their aims, or promote their entrenched ideologies, rather than the common good. Whenever a leader looks generous, whenever a politician offers something that seems too good to be true, you can be sure it is. Look behind the show of generosity and goodwill and you will see what’s in it for them. You’ll always find the reward they expect. Political parties are open to bribery – they are venal. They accept donations that are nothing more than bribes to gain an advantage, no matter whom it disadvantages.

The vengeful Tony Abbott habitually exhibited venality. He instituted inquiries and a Royal Commission hoping to nail Julia Gillard, Bill Shorten, and the unions. The courts have thrown out all charges arising out of these witch-hunts. Millions were wasted. Abbott failed ingloriously. His successor is not much better. His most recent venality is the deliberate timing of the upcoming by-elections to advantage the Coalition and disadvantage Labor.

Politicians are merchants of venality, and everyone knows they are, even the millennials, as this Deloitte study shows.

via The Merchants of Venality – » The Australian Independent Media Network

The Ramsay Twist: Australian University Funding and Western Civilisation – » The Australian Independent Media Network

The problem the Ramsay Centre  was a donor in disguise . It wanted full  control of the educational and research program. Very different from other donors.

Abbott is an old dog too but with no new ideas.  $500,000 wind farm experts provided no advice in two years

Lest we forget

 “It was the Abbott government’s original idea for the University of Western Australia to host a think tank created by the “sceptical environmentalist” Bjorn Lomborg, according to leaked talking points. The government will provide $4 million over four years to bring Dr Lomborg’s Copenhagen Consensus Center methodology to Australia at a new centre within the University of Western Australia (UWA) business school.”

The Age

” (ODT)

Abbott starts laying his own booby traps. “The key to understanding the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation is that it’s not merely about Western civilisation but in favour of it.” This made it “distinctive”. “This is an important national project.” The only thing to fear here was the dictum of John O’Sullivan, current international editor of Quadrant: “every organisation that’s not explicitly right-wing, over time becomes left-wing.”

In the schemes of negotiation, this did not play well. Australia’s national university was essentially being told that autonomy over the program – selection of staff, selection of students, and the program itself – would not be exercised by autonomous academics and officials within it, but by those without. Take the cash, but accept the strings. ANU Vice-Chancellor Brian Schmidt subsequently claimed that “academic autonomy” was at risk, terminating the conversation.

A group of academics at the University of Sydney, having gotten wind of negotiations being conducted between the Centre and their own Vice-Chancellor Michael Spence, claimed any collaboration with the Ramsay Centre “a violation of our crucial role in promoting a society of diversity, inclusiveness and mutual respect”. Their open letter deemed the enterprise to be promoting a “conservative, culturally essentialist, and Eurocentric vision” mired in “chauvinistic, Western essentialism.” Besides, subjects on western civilisation were already being studied “intensively” at the institution.

via The Ramsay Twist: Australian University Funding and Western Civilisation – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Isn’t it time Australia brought Julian Assange home?

What does all this mean? Over two years have passed without any further comment about the WGAD’s findings by the Turnbull Government. Now the Government is paying lip service to the existence and role of the WGAD – as it must as a conscientious member of the United Nations – but refusing publicly to accept or even acknowledge its findings in relation to Mr Assange’s detention, let alone in any way trying to address them.

Given our Government’s demonstrated capacity, when it puts its mind to it, to effect the early release of Australian citizens from curial processes and prisons in other countries – and given that the foundational proceedings against Assange by Sweden have now evaporated – it surely has an obligation to act on the findings of the WGAD and negotiate the safe repatriation of Mr Assange from England back to Australia.

via Isn’t it time Australia brought Julian Assange home?