Category: Informed Comment

Biden cannot govern from the center – ending Trumpism means radical action | Joe Biden | The Guardian

Joe Biden speaks in Wilmington, Delaware.

This Republican party traffics in conspiracy and thuggery – the new president must be bold on healthcare, equality and more

Biden cannot govern from the center – ending Trumpism means radical action | Joe Biden | The Guardian

Tamed Estate: media kicks of 2021 copying and pasting government “drops” – Michael West

Tamed Estate: media kicks of 2021 copying and pasting government “drops” – Michael West
Tamed Estate

Spruiking the Coalition’s 2020 tax cuts; Australians’ ‘$200 billion’ war chest; Google’s experiments; free speech; and even a Liberal Party self-congratulatory piece on the NBN. Michael Tanner checks out the past week in the mainstream media.

Tamed Estate: media kicks of 2021 copying and pasting government “drops” – Michael West

Australia’s environmental scientists intimidated, silenced by threats of job loss – Michael West

The silencing of environmental scientists, as revealed in a study late last year, profoundly damages our democracy, wastes taxpayers’ money, takes a huge personal toll, allows fake news to proliferate and short-changes the public. Elizabeth Minter reports.

Australia’s environmental scientists intimidated, silenced by threats of job loss – Michael West

James Murdoch: “the Damage” of Right-wing Media “is Profound” | The Smirking Chimp

The media moguls won’t stop, of course. And they won’t stop simply because they’re as sociopathically acquisitive as the bloated hotelier who started it all. In their tireless pursuit of material gain, they “are only too happy to make a mess and burn things down,” as James himself notes. Why would they ever consider putting a stop to something that makes them so happy?

James Murdoch: “the Damage” of Right-wing Media “is Profound” | The Smirking Chimp

Acting Prime Minister Morrison, Acting Prime Minister McCormack And Not Acting At All – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Is the decision of the editor not to publish my letter substantially different from Twitter’s decision to cease the publication of Trump’s opinions? If the answer is that he has the right to be published because he’s President, then you’ve already decided that, when it comes to freedom of speech, it’s no longer a right but a privilege granted to the important few and the rest of us just have to accept that it’s conditional for the many. If you need to ask permission, it’s no longer a right.

Acting Prime Minister Morrison, Acting Prime Minister McCormack And Not Acting At All – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Is Scott Morrison a Donald Trump lite? – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Thanks to WWF

Morrison’s National Cabinet served the purpose of his being able to claim credit for any worthwhile policies agreed to, while passing national responsibility for issues like quarantine – for which the Federal government is responsible – onto the states and territories, brushing aside the appalling level of deaths in Aged Care accommodation – again a Federal responsibility – and generally doing little but appearing to be in charge. Because of Trump, the USA has experienced a massive loss of respect from the rest of the world. Recent events have brought out very clearly the extent to which Trump’s Presidency has been a total disaster. Because of Morrison and his stubborn refusal to properly review his policies on emissions reductions, Australia is also losing respect in the developed world.

Is Scott Morrison a Donald Trump lite? – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Origin of the specious: how the Murdoch business polluted a democracy

Murdoch had rehersed his skills as far back as the 70″s in Australia (ODT)

Rupert Murdoch had never had a US president in his pocket before Donald Trump landed there in 2016.

Origin of the specious: how the Murdoch business polluted a democracy

Accountability for the Attempted Coup | The Smirking Chimp

Call me old-fashioned, but when the president of the United States encourages armed insurgents to breach the Capitol and threaten the physical safety of Congress, in order to remain in power, I call it an attempted coup.

Accountability for the Attempted Coup | The Smirking Chimp

The baggage the Morrison government has lugged from one year to the next means that 2021 will be a hard slog – » The Australian Independent Media Network

My thought for the day Wouldn’t it be good if in our parliament, regardless of ideology, we had politicians whose first interest was the peoples’ and not their own. Eg: Wage stagnation. Massive tax cuts for the wealthiest Australians and foreign corporations. Attempts to undermine Medicare. More expensive university degrees. Shrinking homeownership. The everyday cost of living up. Higher debt. ( John Lord)

The baggage the Morrison government has lugged from one year to the next means that 2021 will be a hard slog – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Why You’re Wrong About Journalists And If You Disagree You’re Toxic! – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Some of you may have avoided the toxic cesspool of Twitter, but let me tell you it’s been rough on some of the journalists because, well, sometimes people disagree with them.

Why You’re Wrong About Journalists And If You Disagree You’re Toxic! – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Sedition! | The Smirking Chimp

I’ve been in or around politics for over a half century now, and I never imagined how low and looney the Republican Party would become. Eleven Republican senators and senators-elect said today they will vote to reject President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory next Wednesday when Congress meets to formally certify it.

Sedition! | The Smirking Chimp

2020: The Top 5 – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Welcome to our annual Top 5. 2020 had it all as far as articles on The AIMN, but it was the incompetence and distrust of the prime minister and his government that stirred the senses, dominating our Top 5 list.

2020: The Top 5 – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Where have all the flowers gone? – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Too many people have suffered severely under this government – and are continuing to suffer – and they include Australian citizens, many of whom are in the arts and entertainment industries, who have performed to raise funds for others, like after the 2020/21 bush fires, but who have been given no support by government; foreign nationals on work visas with no work.now available; refugees deprived of freedom to a greater extent than murderers, and those caught out overseas who have definitely not been returned to Australia by Christmas! We need a ray of hope that the Coalition can be voted out – so we need an effective Opposition!

Where have all the flowers gone? – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Here’s Why It Is Necessary to Speak out about Trump’s Psychological Dangerousness and Lack of Mental Capacity | The Smirking Chimp

Mary Trump’s recent memoir about her uncle validated just about everything you and your co-authors wrote over three years ago. And in your new book completed over the summer, you wrote: “Now with an election looming, he will likely refuse to concede the results, call the election a fraud, and refuse to leave office.” This is exactly what is happening right now. In contrast to journalists who approach Trump based on what they know about politics and past presidents, you approach him based on your experiences with patients. Tell me about your work in forensic psychiatry.

Here’s Why It Is Necessary to Speak out about Trump’s Psychological Dangerousness and Lack of Mental Capacity | The Smirking Chimp

Good Riddance to a Terrible Year | The Smirking Chimp

About the only good thing that can be said about 2020 is that it’s over. It was an annus horribilis. COVID took the lives of more than 340,000 Americans, about 1 out of every 1,000 of us. Over 22 million of us lost our jobs in March and April, and unemployment is again surging. The trend of fatal police shootings increased this year, with a total 864 civilians having been shot, 192 of whom were Black (as of December 1, 2020, the latest data available). Climate change has worsened. The U.S. suffered an extraordinary 12 hurricane landfalls in 2020, smashing previous records. California had the worst wildfire season ever, burning a staggering 4.1 million acres. The President of the United States made all these crises worse. He played down and lied about COVID. He condemned Black Lives Matter protesters and encouraged right-wing violence. He made the climate crisis worse than it might have been by rejecting climate science and rolling back environmental protections.

Good Riddance to a Terrible Year | The Smirking Chimp

Wake up, Australia! – » The Australian Independent Media Network

We live in an era where the advice on which government Ministers seem to rely does not come from experienced Public Servants, but from political advisers, whose duties are centred – not on “What is best for the country?”, but “What is most likely to help win the next election?” When people’s lives are being damaged in consequence of a totally flawed policy approach, something has to change. And we who are electors have got to be much more vocal in making it clear that what we are being offered doesn’t begin to meet the pub test!

Wake up, Australia! – » The Australian Independent Media Network

The last words on Trump, hopefully – » The Australian Independent Media Network

My thought for the day If we are to save our democracy, we might begin by asking that at the very least our politicians should be transparent and tell the truth.

The last words on Trump, hopefully – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Faustian Pact: no way back from public relations for News and Nine – Michael West

Tamed Estate

Old media caps off annus horribilis 2020 with its traditional horrible week. Michael West, standing in for Michael Tanner, looks at the fall of Fairfax, PR masquerading as journalism, who guards the Guardian, Seven News’ calls for war with China and how Scott Morrison’s media team has the game sown up.

Faustian Pact: no way back from public relations for News and Nine – Michael West

War With China So Thank God Those Subs Are On Their Way… – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Perhaps my young dog gave me a better analogy. He’s still at a stage where he’s likely to steal shoes or other miscellaneous objects. When he gives them back without a fight, I pat him on the head and say, “Good boy!” This doesn’t mean that I trust him not to steal another one and neither does it mean that I believe I’ll get it back without a fight… I suspect that many of the Australians who gave Morrison a tick of approval feel exactly the same way.

War With China So Thank God Those Subs Are On Their Way… – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Trump’s Vilest Legacy | The Smirking Chimp

Most of the 74,222,957 Americans who voted to reelect Donald Trump – 46.8 percent of the votes cast in the 2020 presidential election – don’t hold Trump accountable for what he’s done to America. Their acceptance of Trump’s behavior will be his vilest legacy.

Trump’s Vilest Legacy | The Smirking Chimp

Americans’ acceptance of Trump’s behavior will be his vilest legacy | Donald Trump | The Guardian

More than 74m Americans voted to re-elect Donald Trump.

Trump has brought impunity to the highest office in the land, wielding a wrecking ball to American democracy

Americans’ acceptance of Trump’s behavior will be his vilest legacy | Donald Trump | The Guardian

Bernie Sanders Blasts Trump: ‘What The President Is Doing Right Now Is Unbelievably Cruel’ | Crooks and Liars

Senator Bernie Sanders blasted Trump’s refusal to sign the negotiated COVID relief plan because ‘we have a pathologically narcissistic in the White House.”

Bernie Sanders Blasts Trump: ‘What The President Is Doing Right Now Is Unbelievably Cruel’ | Crooks and Liars

Right-Wing Populism May Be Wounded, But It’s Certainly Not Dead

With Trump’s defeat and other setbacks for the Right around the world, some commentators have proclaimed the death of right-populism. But the structural factors that gave rise to it remain in place, and only a recharged left-wing movement can address them.

Right-Wing Populism May Be Wounded, But It’s Certainly Not Dead

Coronavirus Australia: This year wasn’t unprecedented. If anything, it set the precedent

Locals and tourists on the Mallacoota wharf as fire devastated the region over summer.

The common thread running through 2020 is not merely “shit”, unprecedented or otherwise. It is environmental degradation, accumulated over decades, now accelerating out of control and rebounding upon us in exactly the ways we’ve been told they would. Unprecedented? Possibly. But then consider this year the precedent.

Coronavirus Australia: This year wasn’t unprecedented. If anything, it set the precedent

Inside Australia’s Secret Rich List – Michael West

Have Australia’s wealthiest old families bought off the political process? Despite myriad attempts over the years to repeal the cosy “grandfathering” exemption, the billionaires are still permitted – like no other Australians – to keep their companies “dark”. Today Michael West Media unveils the first in a series of investigations by Luke Stacy and Stephanie Tran involving more than 5,000 corporate searches to find the people and the labyrinthine structures behind the Secret Rich List. Luke Stacey and Michael West report.

Inside Australia’s Secret Rich List – Michael West

How the Richest 1 Percent Came Out Big Winners in the Covid Relief Bill | The Smirking Chimp

Hidden in the bill combining Covid relief and government spending is a cool $200 billion in tax breaks. An estimated $120 billion of those tax breaks will go to the richest 1 percent of Americans. Those giveaways include:

How the Richest 1 Percent Came Out Big Winners in the Covid Relief Bill | The Smirking Chimp

Thank Socialism for the Vaccine. Blame Capitalism for Its Distribution.

The jaw-dropping speed of COVID-19 vaccine development is a glorious marvel of science, cooperation, and economic planning — a glimpse of how much more an egalitarian world could produce and achieve. But the lifeboat ethics of vaccine rollout is a horrifying display of the inefficiency and cruelty of capitalism.

Thank Socialism for the Vaccine. Blame Capitalism for Its Distribution.

The Morrison Government’s program of class warfare

I’m here to sell product not manufacture it.

The reality is the Coalition Government has engaged in blatant class warfare that has punished and disenfranchised workers and the most vulnerable, whilst protecting corporate interests and its political donors. Let’s take a tour of the most recent policy misadventures.

The Morrison Government’s program of class warfare

Pathetic leadership = pathetic policy = pathetic cabinet = pathetic governance – » The Australian Independent Media Network

We are Teflon coated

My thought for the day I feel people on the right of politics in Australia show an insensitivity to the common good that goes beyond any thoughtful examination. They have hate on their lips, and their hate starts with the beginning of a smile.

Pathetic leadership = pathetic policy = pathetic cabinet = pathetic governance – » The Australian Independent Media Network

They Said Tax Cuts for the Rich Would Create Jobs. It Never Happened.

For forty years, governments around the world have been cutting taxes on the rich, claiming that the result would be more jobs and higher incomes. A new study shows how catastrophically wrong that policy has been.

They Said Tax Cuts for the Rich Would Create Jobs. It Never Happened.

Trickle-down economics doesn’t work but build-up does – is Biden listening? | US economy | The Guardian

The development and distribution of Covid-19 vaccines shows public investment works.

A new study confirms tax cuts for the rich do not benefit the rest. Recovery from the pandemic is a chance to change course

Trickle-down economics doesn’t work but build-up does – is Biden listening? | US economy | The Guardian

Scott Morrison’s Successful Year! – » The Australian Independent Media Network

GOTTA LAUGH

Scott Morrison has had a really successful year! I know this, and not just because the media keep telling me what a great year he’s had.

Scott Morrison’s Successful Year! – » The Australian Independent Media Network

How Trump’s Authoritarian Playbook will Turn America into a Banana Republic

For the United States, the lesson is stark. Surviving the recent electoral turmoil does not guarantee it will outlast a similar scenario the next time. Republican leaders’ failure to repudiate baseless allegations of electoral fraud – and some Republicans’ willingness to pursue legal action based on these claims – further undermines the legitimacy of the democratic process. Trump was defeated, but Trumpism will have a lasting effect.

How Trump’s Authoritarian Playbook will Turn America into a Banana Republic

Who is the owner of Nature?

Who owns Nature?

The greatest threat to humanity lies in this unprecedented and unequal distribution of resources – the inability of the selfish few to share what they have stolen from all of us through globalism. The future of life on this planet hangs in the balance.

Who is the owner of Nature?

Without a reboot in 2021, can Anthony Albanese win the next election? | Anthony Albanese | The Guardian

Anthony Albanese

I once supported Albanese’s leadership tilt, but the Labor leader’s competitiveness is compromised by factors internal and external

Without a reboot in 2021, can Anthony Albanese win the next election? | Anthony Albanese | The Guardian

How come a pathetic government leads in the polls? – » The Australian Independent Media Network

“How come?” with almost three terms of pathetic governance is the Morrison government able to maintain such a lead in the polls?

How come a pathetic government leads in the polls? – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Trump appointees protest politicization of the pandemic now — but the GOP has long distorted science | Salon.com

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main article image

“two Trump appointees at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) who witnessed “the White House’s slow suffocation of the agency’s voice, the meddling in its messages and the siphoning of its budget.”

Trump appointees protest politicization of the pandemic now — but the GOP has long distorted science | Salon.com

JOHN PILGER: The most lethal virus is not COVID-19 — it’s war

I have reported a number of wars. I have seen the remains of children and women and the elderly bombed and burned to death — their villages laid to waste, their petrified trees festooned with human parts. And much else. Perhaps that is why I reserve a specific contempt for those who promote the crime of rapacious war, who beckon it with bad faith and profanities, having never experienced it themselves. Their monopoly must be broken.

JOHN PILGER: The most lethal virus is not COVID-19 — it’s war

The Usual Suspects: oil and gas majors star in Australian tax heist – Michael West

Top40 Tax Dodgers

Angus Taylor’s rescue package for the oil industry is a testament to the ability of large corporations to game governments. The latest Tax Office transparency data shows that oil and gas juggernauts are, again, Australia’s biggest tax cheats, yet are demanding and getting more public subsidies to prop up their oil refineries. Michael West reports on the good and the bad in multinational tax dodging land.

The Usual Suspects: oil and gas majors star in Australian tax heist – Michael West

A considered reflection – » The Australian Independent Media Network

My thought for the day The pedlars of verbal violence and dishonesty are the most vigorous defenders of free speech because it gives their vitriolic nonsense legitimacy. With the use of free speech, the bigots and hate-mongers seek to influence those in the community who are susceptible or like-minded.

A considered reflection – » The Australian Independent Media Network

My view of the year that was: A year of scandal and corruption – » The Australian Independent Media Network

My thought for the day People need to wake up to the fact that government affects every part of their life and should be more interested. But there is a deep-seated political malaise. ( John Lord)

My view of the year that was: A year of scandal and corruption – » The Australian Independent Media Network

To reverse inequality, we need to expose the myth of the ‘free market’ | Opinion | The Guardian

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest person. The wealth of the world’s billionaires has risen by more then $10t since the start of the pandemic.

We need an informed public that sees through the poisonous myth billionaires want us to believe: that income is a measure of your market worth

To reverse inequality, we need to expose the myth of the ‘free market’ | Opinion | The Guardian