As he spoke from the sunny steps of the U.S. Capitol during his inauguration, Joe Biden acknowledged that this will be “a time of testing.” He enumerated the crises we face—“an attack on democracy and on truth, a raging virus, growing inequality, the sting of systemic racism, a climate in crisis, America’s role in the world.” He vowed to “repair our alliances and engage with the world once again.”
Any residual argument for Scotland to stay within the United Kingdom meets its counter-argument in Boris Johnson. Westminster politics has always been the preserve of a remote enclave, on average massively richer and more privileged than those they claim to represent, especially in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. But now that they’re dominated by a prehensile ogre grabbing all that his donors will give him while queues at the foodbanks lengthen, why should anyone north of the border consent to be ruled by his insouciant decree?
In the months leading up to the assembly elections in West Bengal, I began to realise that there was every chance that the state where I live, once a left stronghold, would soon be under the rule of the Bharatiya Janata party (BJP). The realisation came from talking to ordinary, working-class Bengalis. K, a man in his late 30s who had come to work for us, said tersely but firmly that he’d be voting BJP. The reason? “You need to throw out parties in power from time to time. It’s good for them.” He was invoking the Kerala model – in Kerala, voters periodically alternate between putting one of the two main parties in power. Electorates in all states – in fact, the whole country – would probably go Kerala’s way if they had a viable opposition to turn to.
When the Federal Government, brandishing its latest dog whistle, announced on Friday (30 April) that any Australian citizens attempting to flee India’s raging pandemic outbreak would face $66,000 fines and five-year gaol terms, both Australians and the international community reacted with disbelief.
1) Have you ever been reluctantly drawn into one of those political discussions that just seem to flare up randomly in the office, on the train home, during a dinner party or at half time at the footy or the local pub? You know, the sort that takes you by surprise. After many years of experience, I learned that by giving them five minutes of listening time, which ones were worth engaging in and those that weren’t worth the pain. The ones that usually end with a loud. “What would you know anyhow?”
The NSW Liberals and Nationals have snuck through floodplain harvesting legislation that allows upstream irrigators to take up to five times (500 %) their licensed water allotments, potentially devastating the already fragile Murray Darling system. Callum Foote reports.
Health experts are urging the Morrison government to accelerate its delivery of doses to East Timor amid a deepening crisis there that has led China’s vaccine diplomacy to reach Australia’s doorstep.
As Dr Binoy Kampmark noted, “Then there was the issue of the previous policies Canberra had adopted to countries suffering from galloping COVID-19 figures. A baffled Sharma wondered, ‘Why is it that India has copped this ban and no people who have come from America?’ Former race discrimination commissioner Tim Soutphommasane seconds the suspicions. ‘We didn’t see differential treatment being extended to countries such as the United States, the UK, and any other European country even though the rates of infection were very high and the danger of its arrivals from those countries was very high’.” This article was originally published on The Big Smoke.
It is a given that a Coalition government will, rightly or wrongly, promote their credentials on national security. Who could forget Tony Abbott’s ludicrous promise to shirtfront Vladimir Putin. The tough talk might appeal to some but this political posturing has real-life consequences for people.
Karl Marx’s final years of life are often overlooked as a period of intellectual and physical decline. But his thought remained vibrant to the end, as he addressed political questions that are still relevant to us today.
By almost any measure, Joe Biden’s first 100 days have been hugely successful. Getting millions of Americans inoculated against COVID-19 and beginning to revive the economy are central to that success.
The ‘mortality penalty’ that the US pays every year is equivalent to the number of Americans who died of Covid in 2020
As Black Crystal Mason faces a five-year sentence for voting by mistake, white Bruce Bartman got only probation after voting as his dead mother and registering as his dead mother-in-law.
On April 19, 26-year-old Mario Gonzalez, a father living in Oakland, California, died after what Alameda police originally called a “medical emergency.” Gonzalez, according to police, had suffered this emergency after a “scuffle” with police, who were attempting to arrest Gonzalez for not being able to produce identification. On April 27, the City of Alameda posted an hour-long video of the events from one of the police officers’ body cameras. As with most of these tragic stories, what the police initially told Gonzalez’s family does not line up with what is on the video.
What began as a massive general strike on April 28 is quickly becoming an open challenge to Colombia’s authoritarian neoliberal order.
The use of the word ‘apartheid’ in its legal meaning can sometimes, but not always, generate considerable power and attention. The related crime against humanity of persecution never seems to attract the same interest. Our finding in 2020 that the Myanmar authorities were committing the crime against humanity of apartheid against ethnic Rohingya received considerable coverage of the facts of their mistreatment, though less about the crime itself. Our new findings that Israeli authorities were committing the crime against humanity of persecution against Palestinians received limited attention. But our finding that they were also committing the crime of apartheid has received an extraordinary amount of attention — both support and criticism. But in researching the law for both crimes, it has become clear that in terms of justice, they are ‘forgotten’ crimes against humanity, and are rarely prosecuted.
Rather than rely solely on the US, Australia should bolster its own defence capabilities. At the same time, it should collaborate more with regional partners across Southeast Asia and beyond, particularly Indonesia, Japan, India and South Korea, to deter further belligerence and mitigate the risk of tensions escalating into open war.
Pharmaceutical giant CSL is one of Australia’s greatest corporate success stories, although its profits were forged on the sacrifice of the many thousands of Australians who gave their blood for free. In the 1980s, blood products manufactured by CSL infected thousands of Australians with Hepatitis C and HIV/Aids. Before the true extent of the medical disaster became clear, and just months before CSL’s privatisation, the then Labor government granted Commonwealth Serum Laboratories an indemnity from legal action arising from the contaminated blood. In this first part, Elizabeth Minter investigates CSL’s role. Part 2 will look at the role of the Red Cross.
Government should focus on ‘disaster mitigation rather than clean-up’ as climate change events increase, industry experts say
Time to choose Fox has engaged in a deliberate strategy to make its brand inseparable from Carlson’s. The network should pay a price for that. Advertisers who support the network are now indirectly — and at times directly — supporting Carlson’s vile rhetoric. Media buyers should remember that when Fox tries to pitch them on ads at the upfronts later this month. If they continue to support Carlson, they own the results.
A new ABC News/ Ipsos poll finds that 64% of Americans are optimistic about the next twelve months. It is the first time we have felt that way about ourselves since before George W. Bush crashed the economy by deregulating everything.
Ami Ayalon, former Knesset member, and former head of Shin Bet and Israel’s naval forces, is also convinced that Israel’s political system “integrates apartheid and is not commensurate with Judaism” though he is careful with territorial applications. The West Bank, he warned, is no democracy, marked as it is by “two different legal systems, one for the Jews and one for the Palestinians.” Such assessments can hardly be dismissed as blood libels and anti-Semitic fancies.
An angry white man was caught on video attacking Black Lives Matter protesters in Texas over the weekend.
The secret prosecution and imprisonment of a former intelligence officer was “unprecedented”, reminiscent of authoritarian regimes and should never be repeated, Australia’s national security laws watchdog has been told.
Our current Environment Minister, Sussan Ley (number four to try the job), has just reannounced, for the umpteenth time, our commitment to capturing blue carbon greenhouse gases in mangroves, marshes and seagrasses. It’s a worthwhile endeavour, as it was when Julie Bishop made the same announcement in 2017. These systems are not just valuable because of the carbon they capture, they are valuable for a whole multitude of reasons around fisheries, around coastal protection, around supporting our marine biodiversity. But they are under threat. Since European settlement in Australia, we’ve lost about 25% of our sea grasses, 50% of our tidal marshes, somewhere between 50% and 70% of our mangroves, and that loss is continuing.
what’s the scam Google: What’s the Scam? by Michael West | May 1, 2021 Google Australia raked in $5.2bn revenue last year and paid the Tax Office … drumroll … zero income tax. What’s the scam? The scam used to be that Google simply pretended its income from selling services in Australia to Australians really belonged overseas so it invoiced straight from Singapore. No revenue here, ergo no tax. Now the scam is how they define revenue. They claim their revenue is $1.4bn but, buried in a footnote is the admission that gross revenue last year was actually $5.2bn. GST mysteriously plunged from $114m to $43m and “service fees” to foreign associates stomped in at an heroic $3.8bn. They actually paid $133m in tax in 2019. That’s $133m more than Rupert Murdoch’s News Australia Holdings paid in six years. But they’re back to their dodgy old ways – paying no tax again. Although they recorded a tax charge of $53m – this is what they claim they paid, their cashflow statement shows income tax received (not paid) of $22m last year. They got a tax benefit. That’s the scam.
“If a person loses their legs in a motorbike accident and they are 64, they’re entitled to NDIS benefits. If they do when they’re 65, they’re not,” Mr Moss told The Age and the Herald.
How applicable then is the noun ‘disarray’ when summing up the Morrison Government?
Netflix Australia has produced a brilliant fantasy. Suspend disbelief now! Netflix claims it made a loss in Australia last year, in the year of Covid when we were locked down watching too much Netflix. You can watch this latest Netflix fantasy for just $41, the price of its financial statements from the corporate regulator ASIC. What’s the scam? Netflix’s 2020 fantasy accounts show revenue in Australia of just $20.5m. If you assume their 12m subscribers here pay a basic rate of $10 a month, that’s $1.4bn in revenue. So what happened to this $1.4bn? Netflix and its co-conspirator EY are “doing a Google”, that is, the caper Google used to rely on to pay zero tax before it was forced to resort to another scam. They just book their income here to an associate offshore and the minuscule amount of income they book here is “service” fees from Netflix in the Netherlands and the US. Tax seeped in at just $581k. They claim they actually turned cashflow negative in the year of Covid.
Perhaps most blindingly, Exterminate All the Brutes vibrantly illustrates the role of culture in perpetuating myths of supremacy. Movies, yes; Peck has plenty to say about the images we’ve been served up for virtually all of cinema’s history. But also photographs, and stories, and speeches, and songs, and phrases like “brutes” and “savage,” even the tying of darkness to something brutish and bad and uncivilized. What we see, say, and hear, the pictures we look at and the casual phrases we throw around — they all make it possible for us to accept what seems like it ought to be unacceptable. If a culture is made up of the things that people create to make sense of the world around them, then the opposite is also true: Culture tells people what they ought to believe, and if you tell people long enough that their genetics entitle them to rule over and to “civilize” others, they’ll believe it.
Former White House adviser Stephen Miller said on Sunday that he is suing the Biden administration to prevent Black people from having an unfair advantage over other races.
Author and director of the Center on National Security at Fordham Law Karen J. Greenberg summed up the background recently, writing: In his second term, [former President Barack] Obama did try to put some limits and restrictions on lethal strikes by [remotely piloted aircraft], establishing procedures and criteria for them and limiting the grounds for their use. President Trump promptly watered down those stricter guidelines, while expanding the number of drone strikes launched from Afghanistan to Somalia, soon dwarfing Obama’s numbers. According to the British-based Bureau for Investigative Journalism, Obama carried out a total of 1,878 drone strikes in his eight years in office. In his first two years as president, Trump launched 2,243 drone strikes. The document’s release follows a fall court order saying the Trump administration could no longer keep the rules secret or deny their existence.
There are so many paradoxes to America’s current state of political dysfunction that no one could possibly list them all. The party that has embraced the task of trying to save democracy at the last moment, however awkwardly and incompletely — and however poisoned by its own internal contradictions — won, but very nearly lost. The party that has gone about 94 percent of the way into white nationalism and primitive fascism lost, primarily because of its contaminated figurehead — but could not possibly have come so close to winning without him. As for the massive question of whether liberal democracy can be saved, let’s put a pin in that one, as we say these days. As Pankaj Mishra points out repeatedly in his recent collection of essays, “Bland Fanatics,” Western-style liberalism had a perhaps-fatal flaw built into it from the beginning: Its expansion of human rights and representative democracy and the “free market” and whatever other noble and purportedly universal principles were always dependent on exploiting less powerful nations elsewhere in the world, first to extract raw materials and human capital, and then to serve as captive export markets.
The only question, then, is whether or not that makes any sense to the centrist Democrats like West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin or the two senators from Arizona, Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly. Sadly, there is a fair chance that other than the hardcore Trumpers who will believe anything they’re told, these Democratic senators will be the only people in America to whom it does. They must be persuaded that now is the time, while the Republicans are ideologically spent and the economy is set to blast off, to do something real and meaningful for the American people. These occasions don’t come very often. It would be a crime if the Democrats let this chance slip from their grasp.
FauxMo quotes “We believe in the everlasting punishment of the wicked (in the sense of eternal torment) who wilfully reject and despise the love of God“ “Liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without faith.” “Freedom has never worked without deeply ingrained moral beliefs.” * * * * * “When the government puts its imprimatur on a particular religion, it conveys a message of exclusion to all those who do not adhere to the favored beliefs. A government cannot be premised on the belief that all persons are created equal when it asserts that God prefers some.” (Harry Blackmun, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States 1970 -1994). This article was originally published on Grumpy Geezer.
My thought for the day Commitment to the use of critical reason, factual evidence, and scientific methods of inquiry, rather than faith and mysticism, is the best way of providing solutions to human problems. PS: George Christensen is to retire at the next election. That’s a weight off my mind.
Horrified barely scratches the surface of how I felt the day I learnt what is defined as genocide. After being directed to the United Nations 1948 Genocide Convention website. My heart sank reading Article II. (Excerpt from the Article II of UN Website) In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: Killing members of the group; Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.
Professor Mary-Louise McLaws, an infectious diseases expert at the University of New South Wales and member of the WHO’s COVID-19 team, said a Guardian analysis of data showed India had fewer cases per capita than either the United States or the United Kingdom during their COVID-19 peaks. She said the data suggested the ban for India was likely an “act out of fear” and said it should be reversed “to ensure there is no misconception the ban is in any way racist”. While other countries have suffered horrific virus surges, Australia’s response hasn’t been to put up an impenetrable wall. Here’s a quick look at what we’ve done instead.
Israel has effectively made the establishment of a separate Palestinian state impossible. It’s clear what’s needed now: a single, democratic state with full rights for all people.
Source: The One-State Solution
Ultra-Orthodox Jews hold funeral for pilgrim who died in Israel In a race against time, several funerals were held in Israel before sundown Friday for some of the 45 people killed at a stampede at a religious festival. Among them was a memorial for Rabbi Eliezer Mordechai Goldberg, as burials do not take place during the Jewish Sabbath. The festival was attended by tens of thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews in… Euronews The New Daily The New Daily @TheNewDailyAU Share Twitter Facebook Reddit Pinterest Email Families have begun funerals for victims crushed to death at a Jewish festival in Israel as the prime minister described the tragedy as one of the country’s “worst disasters”.
That is 100 percent true. Before this moment in history, it would have been impossible to imagine that one of the world’s largest corporations — AT&T, owner of HBO, with a current market cap of $220 billion — would have funded and broadcast a film like this. The fact that it somehow squeezed through the cracks and onto our TVs and laptop screens demonstrates that something profound about the world is changing. Decades, centuries of people fighting and dying were required both to widen the cracks and mold someone like Peck, the right human at the right time, to step through. “Exterminate All the Brutes” is a sprawling disquisition — four episodes, each an hour long — into the invention and consequences of 500 years of “white” supremacy, presented via a high-gloss pastiche of old footage, newly filmed dramatizations, and clips from Hollywood movies. “White” needs scare quotes because the film makes clear that whiteness is not something that exists in reality — like, say, the moon — that is right there whether we believe in it or not. Instead, it’s something imaginary that we’ve somehow all agreed on, like pieces of paper having value.
Clearly jarred by the power and the depth of the protests against systemic racism and against police brutality that erupted in the wake of George Floyd’s murder by Minneapolis Police last year, right-wing, Republican-controlled state legislatures are passing laws specifically targeting dissent. At the same time, chillingly, many of these laws include provisions legalizing violence against protestors, granting immunity to people who drive their cars into crowds.
The U.S. is facing sustained calls to end its opposition of a proposal to temporarily lift intellectual property rules for Covid-19 vaccines and related technology as soaring coronavirus cases ravage India and new reporting spotlights a debate within the Biden administration over whether to support the patent suspension effort to help tackle the global pandemic or prioritize Big Pharma’s interests.
Extremist Israelis marched in Jerusalem last week chanting “Death to Arabs.” It’s part of a deeply worrying trend of rising far-right Zionism in a country that was already saturated in it.
You know who’s not canceled? The endless parade of conservative pundits and politicians complaining about “cancel culture.” You know who is canceled? George Floyd is canceled. Breonna Taylor is canceled. Ma’Khia Bryant is canceled. Andrew Brown Jr. is canceled. They are the true victims in America’s longest-running culture war. Anyone who tells you different is just gaslighting. You want “cancel culture”? America is plagued with cancel culture. And no one is more American than conservatives, as they never cease reminding you.