It is extraordinary that the profit from Barnaby Joyce’s record payment for Australian water rights, an $80 million payment of taxpayers’ money, found its way to a company in the Cayman Islands which had been set up by Angus Taylor, a company at which Taylor had been a director for six years. Report by Michael West.
Why is it that when we talk about reform it is nearly always about how much something costs rather than what it is worth?
I remember the joy of the Whitlam years. It was invigorating. The changes he made – not promises for the distant future but real achievements – could truly be labelled reform.
Ended conscription and got us out of Vietnam
Opened relationships with China
Introduced the supporting mother’s benefit and welfare payment for homeless people.
Equal pay for women and extended adult minimum wage to include women workers
Abolished the death penalty
Federal funding for state schools
Free university education
25% cut in tariffs across the board
Reduced voting age to 18
An Order of Australia replaced the British Honours system
Racial discrimination act
Land rights to Indigenous people
Replaced God Save the Queen with Advance Australia Fair as the national anthem.
Established the National Gallery of Australia, the Australia Council for the Arts, the Australian Heritage Commission, FM and community radio.
The film industry flourished
Talk about tax cuts, national security, and surpluses doesn’t have the same inspirational ring to it somehow.
Here’s what Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., said that wound everyone up: The U.S. should tax income over $10 million per year at a top rate of 60 or 70 percent.
Republicans responded by shamelessly lying about what this meant, pretending that Ocasio-Cortez was advocating a tax rate of 70 percent on all income. Some older Democrats, such as House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, adopted the standard Democratic tactic of cowering in fear before a deceptive Republican onslaught, like abused dogs.
The hullabaloo was understandable: Ocasio-Cortez’s forthright advocacy demonstrated that American politics, against the odds, can sometimes be about what Americans want. After the “60 Minutes” episode aired, The Hill commissioned a poll that found that 59 percent of registered voters support raising the top marginal tax rate to 70 percent. The idea, The Hill wrote, even receives “a surprising amount of support among Republican voters. … 45 percent of GOP voters say they favor it.”
Cash and ScomosMona Lisa Smirk (ODT)
The idea that Morrison will run a “truth campaign” is laughable. He doesn’t understand the meaning of the word.
Shorten, although not popular, is a thinker on policy and a leader with 6 hard years under his belt. He affords us the opportunity to make over our democracy. Instil fairness into it and intercede in all the rorting and corruption that has taken place over the past 6 years.
The Abbott, Turnbull and Morisson governments have been a mixture of blind incompetence and outright greed where simply doing the right thing by people became a step too far but advancing the lot of the wealthy and privileged was always a lightweight to lift.
Never in the history of this nation have the rich and the privileged been so openly brazen.
My thought for the day
The peoples of all the nations of the world increasingly seem to be having less to say about their own destiny.
If, as the polls predict, the latest budget will be the final one delivered by this LNP government, then it will be a perfectly apt way to go out. It was a document that reflected the full personality of the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison government – an amalgam of incompetence and greed, where the right thing is done belatedly and poorly, and underlying it all is a desire to deliver the largest benefits to the wealthy.
Socialism isn’t fundamentally about public ownership of private resources. It is about collective action in pursuit of common goals, where private action has destroyed or damaged the common good. It is demonized by concentrated private wealth precisely because it is so effective at redressing so many of the problems that concentrated private wealth has inflicted on society and the world.
Makarrata is a word from the language of the Yolngu people in Arnhem Land. As Noel Pearson has explained:
The Yolngu concept of Makarrata captures the idea of two parties coming together after a struggle, healing the divisions of the past. It is about acknowledging that something has been done wrong, and it seeks to make things right.
Mahatma Gandhi once said that ‘The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members’.
Unfortunately, we have a government who is more focused on wealth creation than on protection and support for those who need it the most.
If the government really cared about suicide prevention, they would look at what causes it – » The Australian Independent Media Network
The government has decided to quote modelling by Brian Fisher, who is already well known for his very dodgy modelling in favour of the coal mining industry, to say that Labor’s policy will cost workers $9,000 per year. This is, of course, complete rubbish and totally at odds with modelling by Frontier Economics and research by the ANU.
The question is not how much Labor’s policy will cost. The cost of not taking action is far too great to contemplate.
The damage from the cyclone coupled with a fire at a port facility in January will lead to a loss of about 14 million tonnes of production in 2019, the miner said in a statement.At today’s iron ore price, that equates to over $1.7 billion dollars lost revenue for one company from one cyclone.
In February, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the state budget is estimated to take a hit of at least $1.5 billion after catastrophic bushfires and floods ravaged Queensland over the summer.
How I look at the past few years. They have been the catalyst that might wake us from the political malaise that had bogged us down in a quagmire of narcissism. It’s the individual first second and third.
Every part of society, when you think about it, has been indoctrinated with a nefarious, me first attitude that has seen the common good almost vanish.
Where as the common good should be at the center of any political philosophy. However, it is more likely to be found on the left than the right.
What they deny and the denials Bolt Jones and Sky support (ODT)
The comments were broadcast at the tail end of part two of last week’s Al Jazeera documentary on One Nation, the compelling result of the covert recordings.
“You cannot, in life, and especially in politics… take into account everybody’s emotions,” Ashby, Pauline Hanson’s chief of staff, tells Rodger Muller, the undercover operative he believes is the head of an Australian gun rights lobby group.
The men, accompanied by One Nation’s Steve Dickson, are about to board a plane back to Australia, having completed their piss-powered bumpkins’ tour of the odious Washington gun lobby, trying to solicit cash and pick up tips on how to weaken Australia’s gun laws.
There really are no secrets here. In the end, Donald Trump clearly cares about nothing but himself (and perhaps his family as an extension of that self).
So read or listen to that first campaign speech again. Reintroduce yourself to Donald Trump presenting himself with naked honesty—with that single exception—and then consider the future for a moment. Whether in his first or second term (should he win again in 2020), if things start to head south economically, count on this: He’ll repeat his well-documented history and jump ship, leaving the American people, including that beloved base of his, holding the bag.
Right. Turnbull was a means to an end; a ploy to win the next election. Neither the electorate nor his own faction saw him as particularly effective or useful. To the extent that he was trapped, a degree of empathy is due Mr. Turnbull. Had he been allowed to govern in his own right, he could arguably have been quite effective. But he craved power itself, and thought more about that, than how he would use that power to better the country. He was shortsighted, and paid the political price.
My thought for the day
The left of politics is concerned with people who cannot help themselves. The right is concerned with those who can.
The winner-take-all result where the party or Coalition with the majority of seats has all the power just does not work. Politicians are focused on beating their opponents rather than working collaboratively to do what is in the best interests of the nation. And increasingly, it is attracting those who are in it for themselves.
We must break the influence of vested interests and lobbyists who, by donating to a political party, can buy a whole bloc of votes.
We must invest in a public service capable of giving frank and fearless advice based on real evidence and who have the resources to oversee and assess the results from the expenditure of public money.
But first and foremost, we must elect people whose focus is on facilitating all Australians to make the best contribution they can to our society and supporting them to lead happy fulfilling lives in a healthy environment.
There are no Jacinda Arderns here! All we have is Scott Morrison, Peter Dutton, Tony Abbott, Barnaby Joyce, Pauline Hanson, Fraser Anning, Cory Bernardi, and their ilk; the pitiable list goes on. What hope have we?
The only hope we have is to rid ourselves of this pox upon our nation. We want an Ardern. As we can’t find one among our current crop of ministers, let’s start again when next we get the chance. We might not do much better, but at least it’s worth a try.
One Nation is openly racist, it wants to wind back Australia’s gun laws, and its short-lived representatives are a policy-free zone pushing fringe conspiracy theories. The Greens have a history of long-serving MPs, and a policy platform developed over decades that includes serious action on climate change and inequality, and which promotes acts of tolerance like legislating for marriage equality, supported by two-thirds of Australians. When Prime Minister Scott Morrison calls the Greens “a real, serious danger to Australia” he is using nicer words but saying the same thing as James Ashby who, in the first instalment of How to Sell a Massacre, called the Greens “f*cktards”. It is the same false equivalence that Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton drew in the wake of the Christchurch massacre, when he equated Fraser Anning with Richard Di Natale, and in doing so simply showed where his own sympathies lay, and revealed his own extremism.
We have to thank Andrew Bolt for giving this embarassment more air to the detriment of himself and Gerard Henderson neither of whom laid a glove on Bolt’s media nemesis Waleed Aly. Who was invited to NZ unlike them (ODT)
My interpretation of Henderson’s words was that Aly had no right to question Morrison simply because he was the Prime Minister and he should have more respect.
Was Aly supposed to concede that politicians are the citadels of all knowledge?
Aly is an author, journalist, newspaper columnist, radio and television presenter, lawyer, academic, guitarist, songwriter and thinker.
Scott Morrison is the Prime Minister of Australia has a BSc (Honour’s) from Sydney University.
Central to Aly’s criticism was the proposition that Scott Morrison had, at a shadow cabinet meeting in 2010 “urged the shadow cabinet to capitalise on the electorate’s growing concerns” about Muslims and appeal to the public perception of their “inability to integrate”
This followed his questioning in the same month after forty-eight asylum seekers died in the Christmas Island boat disaster. In February 2011, Morrison publicly questioned the decision of the Gillard Labor government to pay for the relatives of the victims to travel to funerals in Sydney, arguing that the same privilege was not extended to Australian citizens.
After fellow Liberal and shadow treasurer Joe Hockey disagreed with Morrison’s statements, Morrison said that the timing of his comments was insensitive, but did not back away from the comments themselves.
Ther was amajor Qatari investment partnership with Rupert Murdoch is Ashby pointin fingers at him too? oh Dear!! How almighty crumble. (ODT)
Firstly, we are supposed to believe that the Qatari government have launched a three-year sting operation employing spies to influence the elections in Australia and, in order to exert influence over our government, they sought out James Ashby.
Sorry James, but that’s narcissism on steroids. As if the Qatari government has ever heard of you and as if One Nation will ever have any actual influence over government in this country. You can’t keep a Senator long enough for them to even get letterhead printed at the exorbitant rates you charge for your monopoly on One Nation printing business.
Trump and his propaganda machine at Fox News have so aggressively undermined the legitimacy of Robert Mueller’s inquiry – repeatedly conjuring a “witch hunt” and maintaining a drumbeat of “no collusion” – that Mueller’s report, whatever it shows, will almost surely be overwhelmed by a fog of alt-interpretation and epistemological confusion. What’s “collusion?” What’s illegal? What’s unethical? Has Trump been vindicated or not?
The real danger is that as attention inevitably turns to the 2020 campaign, controversy over the Mueller report will obscure the far more basic issues of Trump’s competence and character.
An American president is not just the chief executive of the United States, and the office he (eventually she) holds is not just a bully pulpit to advance policy ideas. He is also a moral leader, and the office is a moral pulpit invested with meaning about the common good.
Why they need Michelle (ODT)
Sociopathy is a broad term that refers to various personality defects. In this instance, I am using the term in the popular sense to mean one who is devoid of empathy for their fellow humans. The resultant lack of empathy often leads to cruelty. This has largely been the approach of right wing governments over the decades. Instead of taking a compassionate and humanistic approach to the issues of the day, the right demands conformity. Indeed, conformity is the price for safety.
As examples of the ostracism principle, consider how Trump treats anyone who looks at him sideways. Alternatively, consider Morrison’s or Canavan’s response to the protesting climate kids. Even if brownshirts do not yet exist and our so-called leaders are not yet actual fascists, they are hardline ideologues who are about using fear to control the population. We will keep you safe from this thing over which we keep stoking fear. Don’t believe me? Let us take a look back.
Compassion is not weakness, and we need to stop viewing in this way. It is possible for humanity to do better than this. We need to stop seeing governmental sociopathy as strength. Rather, we need to see it for what it is: vindictive cruelty designed to maximise fear, breed conformity and maintain the current power structure.
Where is the collective culpability for encouraging an atmosphere of suspicion and mistrust where raids on suspects’ houses are televised before they have even been charged with anything?
Where is the admission that collectively blaming all Muslims for the acts of a few has promoted fear and hatred?
Where is the acceptance that conflating asylum seekers with criminals is dogwhistling?
Wasn’t me, says Scott. They love me. I even went on a walk with some Muslim boys once.
Scott says he has led by example and that he has set the tone.
The tragedy is that he is right about that – and look at what has happened.
White Supremacy in Australia Set the Stage for the Christchurch Massacre
The mainstreaming of hate has become routine, in both the media and politics.
via The Nation
Perhaps in preparation for threatened defamation action against Waleed Aly for reminding us of the reports of Scott Morrison suggesting the Liberal Party should capitalise on community concerns about the inability of Muslims to integrate, Peter Dutton and Greg Hunt have lined up to deny it ever happened.
Dutton and Hunt had in their mind that they would be PM and Deputy leader last August. Both have been censured for their disrespect for the legal system. They have no loyalty, no honesty, no integrity – just naked ambition.
If they are the best you can come up with to provide alibis/cover/character reference, then you are stuffed.
Our founder, Senator Cory Bernardi, has been a regular critic of Islam, including here calling on Muslims to ‘reject, refute and reform’ Islam, and here where he called out the error of Britain’s migration program accepting Islamic migrants.
One question states that “some have attributed the migration of people of Islamic belief to terror attacks in Australia and abroad” and asks people for their view. In an obvious attempt to solicit negative responses, other questions included, “What is your view on the practice of sharia law in Australia?” and, “What is your view on the Islamic practice of allowing men to marry girls who are under the legal age of sexual consent?”
Bernardi defended the timing of the survey saying “We’re not politicising anything, we’re trying to decide what the Australian people want.”
Far from an innocent information gathering exercise, the very format was intended to offend.
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.
Of course, I did delete a certain senior politician’s name from a recent piece that I wrote. Apparently, the PM’s office got all hot and bothered when Waleed Aly suggested in a response to Christchurch something that was widely reported in 2011 and threatened defamation action.
A rather interesting response, given Scott didn’t threaten to react so litigously when it was reported way back in 2011. I guess it was different then. It wasn’t being said by a Muslim.
“The party is now characterised by disunity and disloyalty, by tribalism, not by principle or policy but by personal interests – not even party interests and certainly not the national interest.
Despite what they claim, few who stand as Liberals come with a genuine policy agenda or commitment. Their end game is simply to be a politician, or a minister, or even prime minister. Not necessarily to achieve anything in particular – just to be there, and to enjoy the trappings of the position.
“it is easy to condemn the far right nut case,” but dealing with the “soil and what’s been created, the culture of demonization, of fear, of incitement from main stream columnists, pundits, TV hosts, and politicians” is another matter entirely.
We have been conditioned to believe that a terrorist attack is only an attack carried out by a brown dude with a beard shouting something in Arabic.
Of course, statistics show otherwise. The ADL says three-quarters of terrorist deaths in the United States over the past decade were carried out by far right domestic white nationalist terrorists, a quarter by Muslims.
Can we say that the media coverage of terrorism in this country is 75 percent white nationalists, 25 percent Islamic terrorists? In face, Georgia State University did a study. They found that a Muslim terrorist gets four and a half times as much coverage of his crimes as a non-Muslim terrorist. Four and a half times.
a non-Muslim terrorist has to kill, on average, seven people more than a Muslim terrorist to get equal coverage, as a Muslim terrorist. That’s a hashtag media fail. And I’m always reminded of that old viral tweet that terrorism is one of the only areas where white people do most of the work and get none of the credit.
The children of working stiffs learned a brutal lesson this week as federal prosecutors criminally charged rich people with buying admission to elite universities for their less-than-stellar children.
The lesson is that no matter how hard you work, no matter how smart or talented you are, a dumb, lazy rich kid is going to beat you.
Other than in the headline I have managed not to use the word “kids”. I tried not to do so because it would insult the adult behaviour shown by them during the Climate Strike. Frankly, I don’t give a flying pig if they stayed away from school to give their protest its full weight.
The fact that the Liberal Party consider John Howard some sort of elder statesman with great knowledge to impart, the fact that they wheel him out every election like he has some relevance to the contemporary electorate, shows just how bereft of ideas they are.
The blame for pretty much every problem we have can be sheeted squarely at the feet of the Howard era, exacerbated by his disciple, Tony Abbott.
After the New Zealand Terrorist attack, it is evident that every single politician who does not show democratic leadership to unite us and instead plays to the politics of fear and division will soon learn the transactional cost at the ballot box in May. We will no longer tolerate divisive politicians.
Furthermore, many suggest that Bill Shorten will become our next Prime Minister. Bill Shorten stands out head and shoulders as a leader who does seek to unite us. The current Government has a sordid history of politics of fear and division, particularly the Prime Minister. It is clear that Bill Shorten will be the next Prime Minister of Australia.
Bill Shorten, you have a huge responsibility ahead of you. Huge. You need to lead the way and be the voice that will be the emotional contagion to drive the eradication of stigmatisation, discrimination and racist culture in this country.
Bill Shorten – All eyes are on you.
I wrote the following:
I have continued learning throughout life, from a maths degree at 21 to a law degree at 71, with other qualifications including a Masters in between. I have been a teacher (and even an insurance representative) as well as a lawyer and a mediator and have raised 3 children who are also all well-qualified.
In this process I have met thousands of people of all ages and backgrounds and believe I have earned respect from most of them.
But I do not think I would survive in the doghouse which is occupied by our politicians. They lack respect for others, they are too often inflexible, and, clearly, too many of them are there for their own benefit not ours.
It also ignores Labor’s proposed income tax cuts which would see everyone who earns less than $125,000 a year – that is, most Australians – hundreds of dollars a year better off compared to what the Coalition is offering.
Coalition policies got the budget in trouble in the first place. They facilitate tax avoidance by those who can most afford to contribute at the expense of government services and payments to those who can least afford to pay.
If you call that success, then you patently care more about the wealth of the few than the well-being of the many.
Trump wants us to believe he’s the Triumphant Individual. But in fact he’s a conman who inherited his wealth
The second tale is the Benevolent Community – neighbors and friends who pitch in for the common good.
The third tale is the Mob at the Gates – threatening forces beyond our borders. Daniel Boone fought Indians, described then in racist terms as savages. Davy Crockett battled Mexicans.
The fourth and final tale is The Rot at the Top. It’s about the malevolence of powerful elites – their corruption and irresponsibility, and tendency to conspire against the rest of us.
But the real Rot at the Top consists of concentrated wealth and power to a degree this nation hasn’t witnessed since the late 19th century. Billionaires, powerful corporations, and Wall Street have gained control over much of our economy and political system, padding their nests with special tax breaks and corporate welfare while holding down the wages of average workers.
In this, the rich have been helped by Republicans in Congress and the White House whose guiding ideology seems less capitalism than cronyism, as shown time and again through legislative and regulatory gifts to big pharma, Wall Street, big oil and coal, big agriculture and giant military contractors.