Category: Informed Comment

Is the ACCC being verballed or has Sharri got it wrong? – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Markson won the Kennedy award for breaking a story that been said she didn’t break(ODT)

According to the Liberal letterbox, Sharri Markson, “The Turnbull government will underwrite multi-billion dollar investments to build new coal-fired power stations…The Daily Telegraph understands Mr Turnbull will announce his support for the ACCC recommendation at [today’s] party room meeting.”

Except the ACCC didn’t recommend that at all Sharri.

Here is what they actually said:

via Is the ACCC being verballed or has Sharri got it wrong? – » The Australian Independent Media Network

When handshakes and reputation meant more than money – » The Australian Independent Media Network

It is easy to lie and cheat and steal and exploit. But infinitely more rewarding to know that you have done the right thing by others. We have to set our own standards. We have to honour our obligations, not because of fear of punishment, but because it is the right thing to do.

When you shake someone’s hand, whether physically or metaphorically, it should mean something.

via When handshakes and reputation meant more than money – » The Australian Independent Media Network

It’s getting crowded around here, and that’s a good thing

Politicians stoking malcontent, shock jocks firing up audiences, their message is simple: if you want to fix traffic congestion, crowded trains, housing affordability, inappropriate development, even African youth gangs, then just pull the handbrake on immigration.

via It’s getting crowded around here, and that’s a good thing

This goes beyond Bolt: It’s about racism and the government’s involvement. – » The Australian Independent Media Network

August 9 2018

On the same day that Indian-born migrant Akshay Venkatesh was receiving the prestigious Fields Medal in mathematics, the Australian born son of Dutch immigrants, mediocre columnist Andrew Bolt was publishing an article full of racist gobbledygook to titillate those on the extreme-right of Australian society.

The piece titled; “The foreign invasion” claimed that a “tidal wave” of migrants was “changing our culture.” In it he pointed out the proportion of Chinese, Cambodian, Indian and Jewish people living in various suburbs.

He has, as a consequence of his rather thoughtless, some say racist observations, been referred to the National Press Council.

via This goes beyond Bolt: It’s about racism and the government’s involvement. – » The Australian Independent Media Network

No need to import alt-right nutters, we have plenty of our own

Peter FitzSimons

Importing what’s already home grown. Making hay and being Alt-Right it’s a Gold Rush.(ODT)

As for paying up to $750 to see Ms Southern, close-up, and speak? Please.

Save your money, my friends. Turn on Sky News After Dark any day of the week. You can watch hours of that kind of stuff, from the comfort of your own home. You can call Bronwyn Bishop “Butter,” ’cos she’s always on a roll, on those very subjects. And don’t forget Ross Cameron. And that other fellow, someone-or-other Hargraves. On Sunday night, and I am not making this up, they even provided a platform for Blair Cottrell – previously notable for his criminality, and for advocating that every Australian classroom should have a portrait of Hitler on the walls – to give his views on immigration. I am not making that up, I said! And tell us, Blair, given your boast about using “violence and terror”, to get what you want from women, your views on feminism?

Yes, Sky News costs a bit, but if you divide the cost of subscribing by the number of cans of Pissed-Off they serve up, it is, seriously, as cheap as chips.

via No need to import alt-right nutters, we have plenty of our own

Andrew Bolt is a threat to our social cohesion – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Conservatives in this country have made it impossible to have a sensible discussion about anything.

Population is a topic we should be discussing. Infrastructure planning depends on it. Allocation of finite resources depends on it. Town and environmental planning depend on it. Education and training depend on it. Health services depend on it.

Immigration must be part of this discussion.

The statistics show that immigration is good for the economy but it is reasonable to question the effect it is having on employment, housing affordability and urban congestion.

It is also necessary to consider what can be done to assist people to become active and productive participants in the community and to recognise impediments to social cohesion.

Andrew Bolt is one such impediment.

In true Hansonesque style, Bolt has written a column headlined “The foreign invasion”.

Andrew Bolt is a threat to our social cohesion – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Race politics is back – and the far-right are loving it

Five years ago, when I began my term as Race Discrimination Commissioner, I wouldn’t have said it was likely that we would see the resurgence of far-right politics. I wouldn’t have expected that the biggest threats to racial harmony would come from within our parliaments and media.

Race looms large. It’s there in the panic about “African gangs”, the warnings about multiculturalism veering into “ethnic separatism”, the questioning of a non-discriminatory immigration policy, the alarm about foreign influence by China.

Debates about such issues help set the tone for our society. They have made some groups in our society more vulnerable than ever to racism. In Melbourne, for example, Sudanese-Australian leaders have spoken about how members of their communities fear being targeted. Many are fearful about leaving their homes.

This is how racism works. It creates doubts and divisions – and it forces its targets into retreat. And where the seeds of racism are planted in political speech, they bear bitter fruit in society.

And it’s false to charge that calling out racism is an act of national disloyalty. Anti-racism is in fact an expression of patriotism. We fight racism because it diminishes our nation. We fight it because it is an assault on our values and our fellow citizens.

 

via Race politics is back – and the far-right are loving it

ASIO seeing fewer young Australian jihadists

Security agency ASIO has confirmed it has started seeing a drop in the number of Australian youngsters pursuing violent Islamist extremism.

The agency has told a hearing in Canberra that the number of children and teens being drawn to jihad on the wave of the so-called Islamic State’s previous success in the Middle East has passed its peak, though it warns Islamist terrorism remains a significant threat.

ASIO seeing fewer young Australian jihadists

30 plus reasons why you shouldn’t vote for an incumbent government who couldn’t govern a kindergarten – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Two things stood out during the by-elections. Firstly the importance they made of the constant flow of polls, and secondly, the “Kill Bill” campaigns.

Murdoch news continued to push them as though they were God’s gift to determining the winner – and they didn’t.

Again, despite having run the same course many times the “Kill Bill” campaign by Newscorp and others, yet again fell flat because Australians don’t like “playing the man.” The naming of Bill Shorten as a liar every day by the PM doesn’t cut with a lot of people, and he would be well advised to stop.

The importance of reporting factually what was said, or the truth or otherwise of it, seemed to take second place to whatever controversy could be manufactured.

The media do it because they like to think they alone have the power to elect governments, forgetting that it is the public that votes them in or out.

Finding the truth and reporting it should be more important than creating a narrative where controversy matters more.

But Newscorp has started its pre-election propaganda in earnest. Not even the failure to influence will stop them.

So the average punter would be well aware of the many national issues that the country faces. The first question they might ask is:

via 30 plus reasons why you shouldn’t vote for an incumbent government who couldn’t govern a kindergarten – » The Australian Independent Media Network

The biggest business in the country is run by amateurs whose self-interest comes before that of its shareholders – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Annual government expenditure is over $450 billion per year making it, by far, the biggest business in the country.

They decide what percentage of our income they will take and how they will spend it. They have total control over our common wealth and the ability to sell our assets as they please.

They make our laws. They can send us to war. They can choose to ignore existential threats like climate change.

via The biggest business in the country is run by amateurs whose self-interest comes before that of its shareholders – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Society versus Capitalism. And the winner is … – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Capitalism never fights for fairness or equality of opportunity, only for what it can wring out of those who have not, in order to make richer those who have.

Sports people no longer play for the sheer joy of it. In local competitions they demand to be paid for their unexceptional talents.

Large companies screw down wages and ask their suppliers to supply for less than a fair price then try to pay as little tax as possible, if any at all.

via Society versus Capitalism. And the winner is … – » The Australian Independent Media Network

“You Can’t Eat GDP”: Reminder That Most Workers Are Struggling as Trump and Corporate Media Tout Economic Growth

Making the pie bigger for who?

“Any administration would tout a strong GDP report like today’s, but if it’s not reaching workers’ paychecks, which it isn’t, then cease the applause.”

via “You Can’t Eat GDP”: Reminder That Most Workers Are Struggling as Trump and Corporate Media Tout Economic Growth

We cannot let racism win – » The Australian Independent Media Network

OUR GOVERNMENT IS PREACHING OXYMORONs (ODT)

We read in yesterday’s online Guardian that “Australia will consider adding a “values test” for those considering permanent residency in order to protect its “extraordinarily successful” multicultural society.”

In London the Citizenship and Multicultural Minister Alan Tudge, last week, in a speech to the Australia/UK Leadership Forum was suggesting a “values” test to fend off “segregation.”

“Segregation,” I thought to myself. we have practiced for as long as immigration has existed and is as natural as life itself.

When the Italians came to Melbourne they gathered together in Brunswick, the Greeks in Carlton and the Vietnamese in Springvale and now Box Hill. And so on. Then over time they disintegrated and neatly integrated into general society.

I observed the advent of Asian immigration and all the recycled hatred only to see it vanish in the same way the Greek and Italian animosity did.

Now we are confronted with yet more odious loathing. This time it is directed at those from the Africa. It doesn’t matter what their country of origin if they are Muslim they will suffer the full thrust of minorities xenophobia. Just as 99 per cent of Muslims want peace so do 99 per cent of Australians.

We have a long history of finding fault with things we don’t understand. At various times we have blamed communists, Jews, women, the devil, indigenous people and witches, even God, for all manner of things.

I have been privy to the ignorance that history has recorded on these matters and I am angry with the likes of Pauline Hanson, Peter Dutton and our Prime Minister who would seek to deny Australia of others who desire to, not only seek their personal freedom, but also the opportunity to give of themselves to the advancement of this great nation.

When I sit on the platform at Flinders street Station and watch the passing parade of ethnicity I can but only admire a country I could never envisage from the same seat in the 1950s.

via We cannot let racism win – » The Australian Independent Media Network

We are not facing an energy trilemma – » The Australian Independent Media Network

We cannot eliminate emissions entirely so we must be very selective in our activities so we can try to get back to a level that can be managed by the natural carbon cycle instead of powering on past saturation point.

The fools who say Australia’s contribution is negligible have obviously never done any titration – it’s that last drop that causes the reaction to happen.

In comparison, reliability and affordability of energy are miniscule issues.

via We are not facing an energy trilemma – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Lesson one – don’t dob on the government – » The Australian Independent Media Network

For years now, the OECD corruption watchdogs have been recommending that Australia improve its protection for whistleblowers. In their latest report last December, they pointed to some work that had been done towards this but still expressed concerns.

And with good reason.

via Lesson one – don’t dob on the government – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Gravy train charlatans – » The Australian Independent Media Network

It’s not new where there is money the Gravy Train follows currently it’s focusing on the NDIS services. fraudulent child minding  an example. Easy money whenthe government caps NDIS staff, budget and offers an IT system that doesn’t work. The LNP is bent on watching it fail and is doing the same to the ABC (ODT)

The challenge of doing things with people, not to them, means having to assume Indigenous people have a sense of agency and then actively embracing and engaging that capacity at a local level rather than sub-contracting those profoundly important relationships out to those gravy train charlatans.”

And there have been plenty of those.

via Gravy train charlatans – » The Australian Independent Media Network

A move to curtail the ABC would only ‘punish Australian audiences’: Michelle Guthrie

ABC radio and television broadcasts focus on genres that are far removed from commercial output. We have no interest in reality TV formats, chequebook interviews and the music genres of commercial FM – programming that draws the biggest and therefore most lucrative audiences for commercial media. Nor are we in competition for rights to any of the marquee sports events. Instead, we complement the market as the trusted, independent source of Australian conversations, culture and stories.

via A move to curtail the ABC would only ‘punish Australian audiences’: Michelle Guthrie

WEALTH AND POWER KEEP ON WINNING – » The Australian Independent Media Network

“In the short term, it’s a formula in keeping with the Institute of Public Affairs’ prescription for a new Australia – an Australia with less government, richer rich and fewer controls on markets – especially the labour market.”

He goes on to say, “The IPA has emerged as not just the favoured right-wing think tank, but the government’s guiding light. It is too tempting to not again repeat one of John Kenneth Galbraith’s many golden quotes:
“The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.””

via WEALTH AND POWER KEEP ON WINNING – » The Australian Independent Media Network

The land of the fair gone | The Saturday Paper

For all its flaws, I love this country. If you have been born an Australian, or have become one, you have been hit by the lucky stick. But we are squandering that good fortune as surely as Steve Smith destroyed his baggy green.

Much of the mainstream media are on the same bandwagon, chiefly at Murdoch’s News Corpse, where vendetta journalism has become an art form.

via The land of the fair gone | The Saturday Paper

Our Minister for Women misses the point….again – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Kelly is an improvement on her two predecessors in the role in that she is a woman and also a feminist. (Mind you, it would be hard to find someone worse than Abbott and Cash)

Meanwhile, family benefits have been cut, funding for legal aid has been slashed, refuges have closed, men’s help groups have folded, early intervention community programs have been defunded, over 100,000 are homeless, elder abuse is rampant, anti-bullying programs have been attacked, and women continue to be beaten, raped and killed.

It’s all very nice for high-flying women to empower each other but what about those women who are struggling to survive? They don’t need investment advice. They need a way to put food on the table and a roof over their children’s heads. They need to know that they have a place to be safe.

I agree that economic independence is a desirable goal that provides choices but Kelly seems to think that the only reason many women are not financially independent is because they just don’t understand how the system works.

We understand well enough, it’s just that the majority of women do not have enough left over to worry about whether to put it into superannuation or a negatively-geared property or shares.

Single parents don’t need lessons on economic literacy – they need practical help.

Victims of domestic violence don’t need advertising campaigns – they need safe havens, legal help, and paid DV leave.

It isn’t women that have to get smarter, it’s society that has to change.

via Our Minister for Women misses the point….again – » The Australian Independent Media Network

If Abbott and Kelly want to cross the floor, let them – » The Australian Independent Media Network

One of the most important roles of government is to prioritise. They must identify the challenges facing us and the consequences of inaction. They must rank the urgency of responding to problems and decide on the most efficient use of resources to address them.

The current debate about energy policy is a prime example of a government failing to do that.

via If Abbott and Kelly want to cross the floor, let them – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Donald Trump a ‘critical threat’ to Australia’s interests as trust in US hits record low, Lowy survey reveals – Donald Trump’s America – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Key points:

Trust peaked under Barack Obama, hits low with Mr Trump
Mr Trump ranks low in world leader confidence
Poll shows Australians put faith in other Western allies
Political analyst says Washington will note the loss of trust

Lowy Institute annual poll results on trust in world powers.

via Donald Trump a ‘critical threat’ to Australia’s interests as trust in US hits record low, Lowy survey reveals – Donald Trump’s America – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Shifting sands in the Galilee Basin – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Wondering what’s happening with Adani?

Well there have been a few developments of late.

Adani’s original plan was to use the coal from the Carmichael mine in its own generators at the Mundra power plant in Gujarat, India. Except Adani Power Mundra is on the verge of bankruptcy.

Faced with mounting operational losses, they have already started scaling down generation from the Mundra plant. The average plant load factor in the January-March 2018 quarter dropped to 37%, from 73% a year ago.

Currently Adani Power has debts of about $US7.4bn, having lost $US927m last year and $US317m this year. They tried to give the government a 51% stake in the Mundra plant for a token amount of Re 1 but they weren’t interested.

via Shifting sands in the Galilee Basin – » The Australian Independent Media Network

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

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 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

With Abbott and Joyce gone we have an opportunity for a reset – » The Australian Independent Media Network

The boys from St Ignatious College

For almost a decade, Tony Abbott and Barnaby Joyce have been hugely instrumental in the destruction of bipartisan support for action on climate change (and a lot of other things). They have both now had their power stripped from them by their own parties for showing a stellar lack of judgement.

This presents an opportunity for a reset that should be grasped.

But will they?

via With Abbott and Joyce gone we have an opportunity for a reset – » The Australian Independent Media Network

We are mired in the gutter of character assassination for political purposes – » The Australian Independent Media Network

The Coalition has spent all of its time attacking unions, attacking Labor, attacking individuals who question their policy, and fostering division by ‘othering’ various groups in our community. Five years in and they still are looking for others to blame. The rich have got richer but the vast majority of the population are feeling disappointed and uneasy, concerned about the future. It doesn’t need to be this way. The Coalition election strategy is, once again, to go for character assassination of the Labor leader – “Kill Bill” and “Unbelieva-Bill” and other such puerile nonsense It is up to the public to reject this inadequate attempt at deflection and to demand a genuine debate of important policy.

Source: We are mired in the gutter of character assassination for political purposes – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Day to Day Politics: Is capitalism stuffed? – » The Australian Independent Media Network

In Australia, a similar situation is developing. Wages growth is at an all-time low and the government seems intent on keeping them so. The problem though is that without wages growth consumers don’t have expendable income sufficient to meet consumer demand for goods and services. America has found that out. Conservatives don’t seem to comprehend that you may be able to obtain growth on the back of low wages but if the low wages prevent people from buying what you produce, you have defeated your purpose.

Of course inequality is not just confined to the United States. It is truly universal. The two countries with the highest populations have chosen to improve the quality of life of their citizens with greedy economic capitalism, which is the same system that has caused inequality in the advanced economies. The advances in China, particularly over the past forty years have been spectacular. And at the same time, it is breeding billionaires like confetti. And all on the back of a low wage work force. In 50 years or so, if they continue on the same path, they will face the same problems that the west faces now.

Robert Reich outlines a plan to resolve the issue which is sound in economic rationale.

In the absence of another economic system, capitalism is what we have. The problem with it is its inherent greed and misuse. It is a system that could be moulded and shaped for good. However, the conservative forces of the right of politics seem determined to enshrine the existing hungry evil greed of unregulated capitalism on us.

Revolutionised morally regulated capitalism could if legislated and controlled enable everyone an equitable opportunity for economic success. With equality of opportunity being the benchmark of all economic aspiration and legislation.

via Day to Day Politics: Is capitalism stuffed? – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Day to Day Politics: Cash must be hiding something. What did she know? – » The Australian Independent Media Network

cash

  1. So why would Senator Cash, if she has nothing to hide, instruct her lawyer to have the subpoena set aside so that she is not forced to give evidence?
  2. If one is looking for reasons to justify a Royal Commission into banking here is a small but significant one. The cash rate is 2%. The bank card rate on credit is 21% or thereabouts. A 19% differential.Here is another. Why is it, if you try to get a $10k personal loan unsecured at around 8% you have a 50/50 chance of being knocked back, but banks can’t give you a $10k credit card at 20% quick enough?

     

 

Day to Day Politics: Cash must be hiding something. What did she know? – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Day to Day Politics: The Murdoch machine has started its right wing crusade – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Murdoch

Of course, The Australian is Rupert Murdoch’s favourite broadsheet. It loses around $20 million every year but Murdoch refuses to give it a decent burial, instead, using it as a feeder publication for the likes of Jones, Bolt and Hadley and other shock jocks of dubious accountability.

Shock jocks who shout the most outrageous lies and vilify people’s character with impunity and in the process do nothing to promote decent democratic illumination.

The Australian online edition is full of anti-ALP headlines that at times beggar belief. One example is their support for the Government’s massive tax cuts for the top end of town. One day recently I counted 10 headlines either supporting the government or attacking Labor.

In every publication, derogatory names for the Leader of the Opposition are used more often than “stop the boats.” Because of there juvenile nature none have captured the imagination of the public. Now they are having another go with “Unbelieva-Bill.” Unbelievable isn’t it.
–– ADVERTISEMENT ––

Of course, these days Murdoch and his majority-owned newspapers; with blatant support for right-wing politics have done nothing to advance Australia as a modern enlightened democratic society. On the contrary, he has damaged it, perhaps irreparably. His only interest seems to be the elimination of the ABC and the superiority of right wing conservatism.

via Day to Day Politics: The Murdoch machine has started its right wing crusade – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Why do governments find it so hard to say we were wrrrr………. – » The Australian Independent Media Network

OUR PM IS THE HIGHEST PAID IN THE OECD & INCOMPETANT

Another example is the government’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Labor government introduced a carbon price which was achieving the goal of reducing emissions. The Coalition chose Direct Action instead and, ever since, emissions have been rising.

We have always had the goal to provide affordable, reliable energy. The thing that has changed is the urgent need to minimise global warming. But somehow that imperative has been discarded.

Privatisation of the electricity sector has proven a disaster. The NSW government, against the advice of the ACCC but with the encouragement of the Federal government, sold off Bayswater and Liddell power stations and now the Coalition want to prosecute the company they sold them to if they don’t give it back. They want them to keep using coal rather than implement their plans to use gas and renewables.

Then there’s our asylum seeker and refugee policy. Supposedly, the draconian offshore detention was to save lives. Peter Dutton keeps telling us about the deaths at sea. But he refuses to talk about the deaths in custody or the sexual abuse or the mental health issues or the cruelty and illegality of indefinite detention of people whose only crime was to come by boat instead of plane to ask for our help.

Or we could talk about how we let the car industry die but are now going into the armaments industry. Apparently giving billions to foreign arms manufacturers is preferable to giving foreign aid which has been slashed to record lows.

via Why do governments find it so hard to say we were wrrrr………. – » The Australian Independent Media Network

The Significance of Karl Marx

He was certainly an inspiration in the latter respect, but it is his writings that are timeless. The fanatical and violent hatred they’ve always elicited from the enemies of human progress, the spokesmen of a power-loving, money-worshipping misanthropy, is the most eloquent proof of their value.

The owner of the means of production, i.e., the capitalist, has control over more resources than the person who owns only his labor-power, which means he is better able to influence the political process (for example by bribing politicians) and to propagate ideas and values that legitimate his dominant position and justify the subordination of others. These two broad categories of owners and workers have opposing interests, most obviously in the inverse relation between wages and profits. This antagonism of interests is the “class struggle,” a struggle that need not always be explicit or conscious but is constantly present on an implicit level, indeed is constitutive of the relationship between capitalist and worker. The class struggle—that is, the structure and functioning of economic institutions—can be called the foundation of society, the dynamic around which society tends to revolve, because, again, it is through class that institutions and actors acquire the means to influence social life.

. The powerful in particular love to clothe themselves in the garb of moral grandeur. They insist that they’re invading a country in order to protect human rights or spread democracy and freedom; that they’re expanding prisons to keep communities safer, and deporting immigrants to keep the country safe; that by cutting social welfare programs they’re trying honestly to reduce the budget deficit, and by cutting taxes on the rich they only want to stimulate the economy. When journalists and intellectuals take seriously such threadbare, predictable rhetoric, they’re disregarding the lesson of Marxism that individuals aren’t even the main actors here in the first place; institutions are. The individuals can tell themselves whatever stories they want about their own behavior, but the primary causes of the design and implementation of political policies are institutional dynamics, power dynamics. Political and economic actors represent certain interests, and they act in accordance with those interests. That’s all.

via The Significance of Karl Marx

Dodgy dealings – » The Australian Independent Media Network

government who seems to view Treasury as their private piggy bank to use as they see fit, a government that showers largesse on their supporters at our expense, a government who thinks we have no right to know what they are doing as they strip away our privacy rights in the name of national security.

The latest example is the gifting of almost half a billion dollars to ‘save the reef’ to a charity who, last year, spent (or promised to spend) $5.9 million on “science investments” whilst spending $1.44 million on “employee benefits” and another $1.7 million on various administrative expenses. They have six full-time employees and a further five part-time employees who have “roles relating to science, marketing, communications and accounting.”

This gift was made without any tender process or any consultation with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority who have 206 full-time equivalent employees.

via Dodgy dealings – » The Australian Independent Media Network

The Coming Collapse

As a foreign correspondent I covered collapsed societies, including the former Yugoslavia. It is impossible for any doomed population to grasp how fragile the decayed financial, social and political system is on the eve of implosion. All the harbingers of collapse are visible: crumbling infrastructure; chronic underemployment and unemployment; the indiscriminate use of lethal force by police; political paralysis and stagnation; an economy built on the scaffolding of debt; nihilistic mass shootings in schools, universities, workplaces, malls, concert venues and movie theaters; opioid overdoses that kill some 64,000 people a year; an epidemic of suicides; unsustainable military expansion; gambling as a desperate tool of economic development and government revenue; the capture of power by a tiny, corrupt clique; censorship; the physical diminishing of public institutions ranging from schools and libraries to courts and medical facilities; the incessant bombardment by electronic hallucinations to divert us from the depressing sight that has become America and keep us trapped in illusions. We suffer the usual pathologies of impending death. I would be happy to be wrong. But I have seen this before. I know the warning signs. All I can say is get ready.

via The Coming Collapse

Day to Day Politics: Liberal Party’s “women problem” and other stuff. – » The Australian Independent Media Network

My thought for the day. (John Lord)

”Lying in the media is wrong at any time however when they do it by deliberate omission it is even more so. Murdoch’s papers seem to do it with impunity.”

PS: “Its is a pity that the written word cannot convey the tone of the spoken one. It has to rely on the skill of the writer.”

via Day to Day Politics: Liberal Party’s “women problem” and other stuff. – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Israel, USA, & Middle East on the road to Armageddon

immorality neoliberalism

The Immorality of Neoliberalism. 62457.jpeg

If we speak of liberalism, or neoliberalism, in today’s society, it’s usually in a negative sense. And that is remarkable, because liberalism was originally intended to ‘liberalize’ the citizen, that is, to free him from the ruling elite. How then did modern liberalism become a new instrument of oppression? And why is it time to take a new look at this prevailing system?

via immorality neoliberalism

Budget 2018: This budget is too good to be true

Much of this rapid return to “the old normal” rests on the government’s forecast that the past four or five years of exceptionally weak growth in wages will end next month. Wage rises will be a lot higher in 2018-19, higher again the following year and still higher, at 3.5 per cent a year, in the following two years and for the remaining years out to 2028-29.

I think this is the basic explanation for the budget’s forecasts and projections, prepared by that well-known Italian economist, Rosie Scenario.

via Budget 2018: This budget is too good to be true