Category: Informed Comment

The State of Joe Biden’s Union: The Return to Democratic Capitalism | The Smirking Chimp

Chalmer’s Value-Based Capitalism seems to be in the footsteps of Biden’s America. Will we ever truley be able to walk and talk for ourselves. Or do both nations really reflect whats best for their peoples

Biden’s larger achievement has been to change the economic paradigm that has reigned since Reagan. He is teaching America a lesson we once knew but have since forgotten: that the “free market” does not exist. It is designed. It either advances public purposes or it serves the monied interests. Biden’s democratic capitalism is neither socialism nor “big government.” It is, rather, a return to an era when government organized the market for the greater good.

Source: The State of Joe Biden’s Union: The Return to Democratic Capitalism | The Smirking Chimp

Know your place – » The Australian Independent Media Network

“Know your place” is a phrase used in the past by members of the Liberal Party when they observed, in their view, members of the Labor Party acting above their station.

The lessons of the last election should have left an indelible scar on those involved in the Luddite politics of the past decade. Have they not understood that the people, in their judgement, said they had had enough of their rancid unempathetic behaviour? Yet they go on unmoved as if nothing transpired while trying to give the Leader with a public image of a racist bigot a personality transplant. Queensland excepted.

But the attacks led by the Opposition leader Peter Dutton could have a fatal effect on the proposal. He knows that history tells us that without the support of the opposition, the referendum won’t pass. That is unless the people vote as they did in the election and decide to confirm their thoughts of May 21 2022, with a resounding yes vote that shatters conservative negativity for decades to come.

Source: Know your place – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Peter Dutton linked the end of the cashless debit card to crime in Alice Springs. What are the facts? – ABC News

Peter Dutton speaking

LNP POLITICS BEFORE FACTS

But what evidence is there that Labor’s decision to abolish the card has played a role in rising crime in Alice Springs?

Official crime data compiled by the Northern Territory government, meanwhile, shows that almost all types of criminal offences were on the rise before Labor’s cashless debit card changes.

Source: Peter Dutton linked the end of the cashless debit card to crime in Alice Springs. What are the facts? – ABC News

Barnaby Joyce says Labor hasn’t released the wording to enshrine the Voice to Parliament in the constitution. Is that correct? – ABC News

Barnaby Joyce, wearing a blue suit, with a picture frame saying "ill-informed"

The verdict Mr Joyce is ill-informed.

Source: Barnaby Joyce says Labor hasn’t released the wording to enshrine the Voice to Parliament in the constitution. Is that correct? – ABC News

When culture war games trend lethal – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Signs at a rally to protect trans people in Texas

Some of the idiot balls in Australia are made local. Kmart is in trouble for deciding that Australia Day merchandise doesn’t sell well enough to justify stocking it, a version of the American “woke companies” gambit. The “threat” of the anodyne Voice to Parliament is created out of thin air by the Murdoch Dog Line. This furphy is manufactured as part of the illusory anglosphere “Critical Race Theory” threat. Any effort to teach a more balanced history of our colonial nations is met with stonewalling rage. So fragile are the white bastions of our greatness that stories of the pain inflicted in their creation would apparently destroy everything.

The damage that will be done to Australia’s First Nations people over the course of this referendum by the drastic mischaracterisations in the Murdoch media is substantial. The marriage equality “debate” was brutal for LGBTQI+ Australians, beset by slander. As Noel Pearson pointed out, Australia likes Aboriginal people much less than we like the gay people we know in our families, social and work spaces.

The exception to that calculus is trans people. There are so few that many older Australians have never met someone who is gender diverse. This has made them a very useful target of disinformation and dehumanisation.

Source: When culture war games trend lethal – » The Australian Independent Media Network

The year ahead – » The Australian Independent Media Network

My thought for the day

The real enemy of neo-conservative politics in Australia is not Labor or democratic socialism. It is simply what Australians affectionally call “a fair go.” (John Lord )

Source: The year ahead – » The Australian Independent Media Network

The Biggest Story You’ve Never Heard About Today’s Federal Debt | The Smirking Chimp

Not only is the story false, but it leaves out the bigger and more important story behind today’s federal debt: the switch by America’s wealthy over the last half century from paying taxes to the government to lending the government money.

This back story needs to be told if Americans are to understand what’s really happened and what needs to be done about it. Republicans won’t tell it, so Democrats (starting with Joe Biden) must.

Source: The Biggest Story You’ve Never Heard About Today’s Federal Debt | The Smirking Chimp

Australia’s renewed commitment to neighbourliness is saving lives

The Albanese Government has acted promptly to begin the process of restoring Australia’s reputation in the region, as Alan Austin reports.

Source: Australia’s renewed commitment to neighbourliness is saving lives

Should Trump Get Back His Giant Megaphones? | The Smirking Chimp

 

Antitrust laws were enacted more than a century ago to protect our democracy from being undermined by giant corporations. Yet this what Twitter and Meta are now doing. In my view, we should reduce the size and reach of these huge corporate megaphones by using antitrust laws to break them up.

Source: Should Trump Get Back His Giant Megaphones? | The Smirking Chimp

Forgotten subscriptions costing billions – Michael West

Its your pocket that’s being picked

Who doesn’t want an extra hundred bucks in their pocket each month, right? Yet Australians are on average throwing away at least that much by paying for subscriptions they’ve either forgotten about or no longer use.

Source: Forgotten subscriptions costing billions – Michael West

When Fox Entered the Hen House | The Smirking Chimp

wit

Murdoch was caught red-handed illegally corrupting UK media. Let off by the Tories he fled the UK for America to do the same there, He’s trie and continues to do so in Australia for 47 years. But for the ABC, he has become the least trusted media maggot in the country. However, trusted news and information aren’t his primary business. Rating numbers are. Influence for the moneyed is. Cash and making it flow from the top down the business model. Win or lose doesn’t matter dependence does. Now, Ch9 has joined him in that chase along with Kerry Stokes. All vying to be lifes narrators to the masses for the wealthy and powerful

Fox News is after me again.

This is nothing new. Former Fox host Bill O’Reilly once accused me of being a communist (this was before O’Reilly was ousted after it was reported that he and Fox News paid five women $13 million to settle various sexual misconduct lawsuits).

Source: When Fox Entered the Hen House | The Smirking Chimp

Distracted by hate, we are robbed – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Stack of Australian currency

We are at a crossroads. The Ultra High Net Worth Individual (UHNWI) class is creating a new international feudal order, assisted by the professional enabler class including politicians in pursuit of their money. One of those enabling mechanisms is the media. In Australia, News Corp serves as the strongest weapon in the creation of their desired world.

Source: Distracted by hate, we are robbed – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Rex Hex: PM’s office backflips, refuses to release Albo’s diaries – Michael West

What's the scam?

Now an explanation is needed

After telling Rex Patrick his PM’s Diary FOI request would be processed for $1,344, and after Rex paid the deposit, the Prime Minister’s Office has backflipped and is now refusing to process the request for 29 pages on the grounds that doing so “would substantially and unreasonable interfere with the performance of the [Prime] Minister’s functions”. What’s the scam?

Source: Rex Hex: PM’s office backflips, refuses to release Albo’s diaries – Michael West

Nuclear Submarine Doubts: US Lawmakers and AUKUS – » The Australian Independent Media Network

The policymaking apparatus behind the AUKUS security pact was shoddy from the start. It has raised questions about the extent US power will subordinate Australia further in future conflicts; it has brought into question Australia’s own sovereignty; and it has also raised the spectre of regional nuclear proliferation via the use of otherwise closely guarded propulsion technology.

Source: Nuclear Submarine Doubts: US Lawmakers and AUKUS – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Billionaires Gobbled up 2/3s of New Wealth at $2.7 bn/ day, as 800 million go to bed Hungry: Oxfam

The East India Corporation did it to India, China and the West Indies it was termed PLUNDER the unregulated process of “free marketing” whitewashed and legitimised by the British government. It has never stopped since its systemised corporate application came into being only allowed to accelerate and be refined with the politics and media that promote it rewarded in return. Piracy has never really stopped merely redefined.

Oxfam , the British charity, has released a new report finding that the global problem of wealth inequality is growing ever more threatening. Of all the new wealth the entire human race has produced in the past two years, the richest 1% gobbled up 66% of it. The less-rich 99% of us only got a third of it.

Source: Billionaires Gobbled up 2/3s of New Wealth at $2.7 bn/ day, as 800 million go to bed Hungry: Oxfam

ExxonMobil predicted climate change but kept the world burning

Decades ago, research conducted by ExxonMobil predicted the global effects of climate change, which was then denied in the name of profit, writes Dr Binoy Kampmark.

Source: ExxonMobil predicted climate change but kept the world burning

Australia’s industrial makeover ramps up – Michael West

Worry is always the decision-makers’ burden when moving forward and doing things “right”. Unintended mistakes tend to occur but are often politicized by the opposition, and oh boy, did we see that with the”Pink Bats” scandal. But here is the difference the difference ” Robodebt” The NBN and Asylum seeker deaths were wrong, Yes. one was right the other totally wrong on human and AI grounds and none were accomplished overnight. Pink Bats couldn’t be predicted to have 5 deaths the other three could be guaranteed to be system failures on a grand scale. .

The Chubb review shows there’s integrity in the carbon credit system designed to support decarbonisation, but Ms Constable is concerned about the proposed rapid changes for the regulator. “It takes time to build expertise and get things running smoothly, so we’ll be watching to make sure implementation matches the ambition.”

Source: Australia’s industrial makeover ramps up – Michael West

Ideas for a better democracy – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Australians are sticklers for tradition when it comes to our Constitution. Despite 44 proposed changes, only eight have ever been successful.

Source: Ideas for a better democracy – » The Australian Independent Media Network

False Equivalence: Biden’s Documents | The Smirking Chimp

The task for Biden and the White House will be to keep an even keel by not getting distracted by this commotion, and continuing the important business of governing the nation. Over the long term (meaning during the next two years of run-up to the 2024 election), the contrast between the House Republicans’ zany partisan escapades and Biden’s seriousness of pubic purpose will offer the most potent means of avoiding all false equivalences. Classified Documents,

Source: False Equivalence: Biden’s Documents | The Smirking Chimp

Joining the War Club: Australia’s HIMARS Purchase – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Another needless, fatuous endeavour; another irresponsible drain on the public purse; another expression that the military-industrial complex Down Under is thriving in all its insidious stupidity. But Australia’s purchase of HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket System) batteries from the United States can be put down to loneliness – or the feeling of being left out. And history shows that loneliness in the context of weapons and harm involves a need to acquire more means to do further harm.

Source: Joining the War Club: Australia’s HIMARS Purchase – » The Australian Independent Media Network

New Study Blows Up Myth That Russian Bots Swayed 2016 Election for Trump – scheerpost.com

A New Study Blows Up Myth That Russian Bots Swayed 2016 Election for Trump However, one of the paper’s authors warned that “it would be a mistake to conclude that simply because the Russian foreign influence campaign on Twitter was not meaningfully related to individual-level attitudes that other aspects of the campaign did not have any impact on the election.”

Source: New Study Blows Up Myth That Russian Bots Swayed 2016 Election for Trump – scheerpost.com

The dog ate my Cabinet document: Christian Porter’s vanishing rorts advice – Michael West

First a Morrison government whitewash, next disappearing advice from former Attorney-General Christian Porter. On the trail of government rorts, Transparency Warrior Rex Patrick finds obfuscation at every turn and a broken Freedom of Information regime which attacks the heart of democracy and responsible government.

Source: The dog ate my Cabinet document: Christian Porter’s vanishing rorts advice – Michael West

With McCarthy, the Trump Coalition of MAGAs and Oligarchs Lives On | The Smirking Chimp

The real battle for America isn’t between the left and right, or even between Republicans and Democrats. It’s between the oligarchy — corporate and Wall Street monied interests — and everybody else.

Source: With McCarthy, the Trump Coalition of MAGAs and Oligarchs Lives On | The Smirking Chimp

A comprehensive to-do list for Labor in 2023 – » The Australian Independent Media Network

The year 2023 will be a hard slog for the government. Perhaps a momentous one in terms of urgency and necessity. There is no point in prioritising one over the other because they are all critical.

Source: A comprehensive to-do list for Labor in 2023 – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Today’s Job and Wage Numbers Show the Fed Is Winning, Big Corporations Are Doing Great, and Workers Are Losing Ground | The Smirking Chimp

The government must stop putting the responsibility for fighting inflation on working people whose wages have gone nowhere for four decades. Put the responsibility where it belongs — on big corporations with power to raise their prices.

Source: Today’s Job and Wage Numbers Show the Fed Is Winning, Big Corporations Are Doing Great, and Workers Are Losing Ground | The Smirking Chimp

A History of Dissent

The Western establishment doesn’t appear to understand how Western journalists could exercise their own agency and judgment to critique U.S. foreign policy without them being agents of a foreign power, writes Joe Lauria. By Joe Lauria Special to Consortium News The United States was fou

Source: A History of Dissent

2023: A year of change, of progress – » The Australian Independent Media Network

The fact that the people of Australia almost lost faith in our system of Government is unsurprising. To say that we were ambivalent about our politicians was an understatement and that we were ashamed of them was undeniable. We still are with some.

However, 2023 presents the Government with a unique opportunity to continue with the policy agenda introduced in the last half of 2022 and right the wrongs of Howard, Abbott, Turnbull and Morrison. Never has a government inherited a more incredible mess but never has a leader come along who is more capable of fixing it.

Source: 2023: A year of change, of progress – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Does conservatism have a future now that liberalism is down for the count? – » The Australian Independent Media Network

The first thing I asked myself before commencing this piece was, does conservatism have a future? By conservatism, in this instance, I refer to the philosophy practised by the LNP over the last decade or so. ( John Lord )

Source: Does conservatism have a future now that liberalism is down for the count? – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Opinion | How the Corporate Takeover of American Politics Began | Common Dreams

The model dates back to EIC or The British East India Company the first speculative share-for-profit company formed to commercialise war. Within 50 years it had grown, controlled and taken the wealth of nations. India and China constituted well over 25% of the world’s trade, At one time the company even had 25% of British MPs in its pocket.

When almost bankrupt after failing to pay taxes, it was the first organisation deemed too big to fail, so it became a government-owned public/private partnership under the protection of the British government. India’s famine and the opium wars with China required EIC to look for new territories to plunder and rapaciously profit from. So it turned its eye to the Americas where it had been slave trading. However, the multicultural colonies wouldn’t have a bar of what had been done to India and fought for and won their Independence from the British effort and Company. The East India Company gave us the birth to and the model of the systemic structure called the Corporation. It had set the standard of a system of no physical body or soul to punish With no identifiable owner only an office and shareholder list they were free to do what they wanted and did.

Corporations regularly outspend labor unions and public interest groups during election years. And too many politicians in Washington represent the interests of corporations — not their constituents. As a result, corporate taxes have been cut, loopholes widened, and regulations gutted.

Source: Opinion | How the Corporate Takeover of American Politics Began | Common Dreams

Number 3 for 2022: Morrison is an “arsehole”, just ask his colleagues – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Morrison is an “arsehole”, just ask his colleagues It seems whatever he does,

Scott Morrison leaves a bevy of disgruntled colleagues in his wake.

An early job was with the Tourism Task Force where he was 2IC. After he jumped ship to join its main rival, Tourism Council Australia run by Bruce Baird, the TTF was unimpressed and changed its employment contracts to prevent others from “doing a Morrison”.

Source: Number 3 for 2022: Morrison is an “arsehole”, just ask his colleagues – » The Australian Independent Media Network

#8 TOP IA STORY OF 2022: 9 things Scott Morrison could have done for the flood emergency — but didn’t

9 things Scott Morrison could have done for the flood emergency — but didn’t When people are sitting on their rooftops and clinging to discarded car tyres to avoid drowning as they watch all their worldly possessions float away in a torrent of devastation, what is the leader of the nation to do?

Source: #8 TOP IA STORY OF 2022: 9 things Scott Morrison could have done for the flood emergency — but didn’t

How To Survive a Senate Confirmation (Part III: The Hearing) | The Smirking Chimp

The hearing ended a half hour later. I survived. Flashbulbs exploded all around. I could see my burly chief interrogator across the hearing room. He was beaming. I couldn’t reach him in the crowd, but our eyes met. He pointed his thumb straight upward.

Source: How To Survive a Senate Confirmation (Part III: The Hearing) | The Smirking Chimp

We may find a way into a better future by looking at our past – » The Australian Independent Media Network

My thought for the day

Life is about doing things, not having things (but it’s probably too late now). ( John Lord )

Source: We may find a way into a better future by looking at our past – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Josh and Scott deliver Goldman Sachs the giant vampire squid a giant quid – Michael West

Goldman Sachs

Josh Frydenberg as treasurer and Scott Morrison as secret treasurer made a motza for foreign vulture funds in last year’s takeover boom and mega-sell-off of Australian assets. Who knew what when, and why are we flogging essential monopoly services to cuff-linked tax crooks? Callum Foote and Michael West report.

Source: Josh and Scott deliver Goldman Sachs the giant vampire squid a giant quid – Michael West

Trump, Bankman-Fried and Musk are the monsters of American capitalism | Robert Reich | The Guardian

Elon Musk and Donald Trump on 30 May 2020 in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

For them, and for everyone who still regards them as heroes, there is no morality in business or economics. The winnings go to the most ruthless

Source: Trump, Bankman-Fried and Musk are the monsters of American capitalism | Robert Reich | The Guardian

What The Liberals Need To Do To Win According To The Liberals Behind The Loss! – » The Australian Independent Media Network

The Liberals consistently overlook the fact that their views on a number of issues are inconsistent with the majority. They’ve been elected on a number of occasions because of their perceived ability to manage the economy. This is like when your hairdresser gives you a running commentary that you ignore because you like the way he cuts your hair and the rest of it doesn’t seem important enough to find a new one. However, with their inability to actually deliver the Budget surplus they promised and the blowout in government debt to triple what it was when it was an emergency have left people feeling like they’ve been given a mullet they didn’t ask for.

It’s all very well to blame Labor, the pandemic and various other things, but if Labor do actually balance the budget the Coalition will have a long road back to government.

 

Source: What The Liberals Need To Do To Win According To The Liberals Behind The Loss! – » The Australian Independent Media Network

The Monsters of American Capitalism | The Smirking Chimp

If this past week presents any single lesson, it’s the social costs of greed. Capitalism is premised on greed but also on guardrails – laws and norms — that prevent greed from becoming so excessive that it threatens the system as a whole.

Yet the guardrails can’t hold when avarice becomes the defining trait of an era, as it is now. Laws and norms are no match for the possibility of raking in billions if you’re sufficiently ruthless and unprincipled.

Source: The Monsters of American Capitalism | The Smirking Chimp

The Perils of Pious Neoliberalism

Amid extreme wealth inequality, Vijay Prashad considers the appeal of reactionary new religious traditions that measure salvation in the present balance of your bank account.   By Vijay Prashad

The International Labour Organisation’s “Global Wage Report 2022–23” tracks the horrendous collapse of real wages for billions of people around the planet.

The gaping distance between the incomes and wealth of 99 percent of the world’s population from the incomes and wealth of the billionaires and near-trillionaires who make up the richest 1 percent is appalling.

During the pandemic, when most of the world has experienced a dramatic loss in their livelihoods, the 10 richest men in the world have doubled their fortunes. This extreme wealth inequality, now entirely normal in our world, has produced immense and dangerous social consequences.

If you take a walk in any city on the planet, not just in the poorer nations, you will find larger and larger clusters of housing that are congested with destitution.

They go by many names:

bastisbidonvilledaldongnehfavelasgecekondukampung kumuh, slums and Sodom and Gomorrah. Here, billions of people struggle to survive in conditions that are unnecessary in our age of massive social wealth and innovative technology.

Source: The Perils of Pious Neoliberalism

The Real News About the January 6 Committee’s Criminal Referral of Donald Trump | The Smirking Chimp

The big news is not that a committee of Congress has made a criminal referral to the Justice Department urging that the Department prosecute a former president. The big news is that the committee has compiled overwhelming evidence that the former president has committed serious crimes.

Source: The Real News About the January 6 Committee’s Criminal Referral of Donald Trump | The Smirking Chimp

Military Bloat Versus Unnecessary Misery | The Smirking Chimp

When in a two-party system both parties agree

Because support for military spending is bipartisan. No lawmaker wants to be portrayed as weak on national defense. Democrats have been jumping onto the military spending bandwagon as fast as Republicans. Bipartisanship is not always good. In fact, it’s a problem when, as now, the lack of political conflict means no news. Absent political conflict, there’s no story. Without a story, there’s no debate or discussion in the media. Absent any debate in the media, most Americans have no idea what’s happening. We’re sleepwalking through history.

Source: Military Bloat Versus Unnecessary Misery | The Smirking Chimp