Category: Informed Comment

Bannon must go, but after that, Protesters should listen to Bernie | Informed Comment

Steve Bannon ran, and is still likely pulling the strings at, Breitbart, the “Stormfront” in a business suit with a skinny tie. Bannon once characterized it as enabling what he called the “alt right,” by which he meant a slightly more presentable version of the skinheads, KKK, bikers, Neo-Nazis and other far right fringe supremacist groups that might appeal to today’s youth, including the educated.Breitbart has been wildly successful, since conspiracy theories, race resentment, Islamophobia, misogyny and other base emotions have a visceral appeal.I would argue that the success of the Neo-Neo-Nazis calling themselves “alt-” lies in an unconscious class dilemma that they displace onto

I would argue that the success of the Neo-Neo-Nazis calling themselves “alt-” lies in an unconscious class dilemma that they displace onto race.That is, not only must Trump dump Bannon, but so should the youth protesters who have been misled by Breitbart fake news. They should turn instead to a different challenger of the status quo, Bernie Sanders

Source: Bannon must go, but after that, Protesters should listen to Bernie | Informed Comment

Crime and terror in the banks | The Saturday Paper

The Saturday Paper logo

Tabcorp was fined $45 million in March for breaching money laundering laws 108 times over five years. AUSTRAC boasted at the time that the ruling was the largest civil penalty in Australian corporate history. Applying the same standard to the 53,760 breaches Commonwealth Bank is accused of would see it staring down the barrel of a $22 billion penalty.

Source: Crime and terror in the banks | The Saturday Paper

Freedom of speech? You gotta be shitting me – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Just to be clear, political correctness is “the avoidance of forms of expression or action that are perceived to exclude, marginalize, or insult groups of people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against.”Tony seems fixated on protecting the Aussie right to sink the boot in and to keep the bastards out of our pubs – oh no, wait…. that was women and Aboriginals.Tony’s concern for religious freedom comes from the man who thought the burqa should be banned, the man who called for a “religious revolution” inside Islam, declaring “all cultures are not equal”, the man whose government insisted the school chaplaincy program must not fund non-religious counsellors, the man who insists that our laws and our school curriculum should be based on some “Judeo-Christian” heritage.

”Tony seems fixated on protecting the Aussie right to sink the boot in and to keep the bastards out of our pubs – oh no, wait…. that was women and Aboriginals. the man who insists that our laws and our school curriculum should be based on some “Judeo-Christian” heritage.

History Repeats: Abbott walks in the shoes of Bob Santamaria and the NCC Australia’s answer to America’s Senator McCarthy  hunting out the godless left and others ” Old Dog

Source: Freedom of speech? You gotta be shitting me – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Australia is once again a frightened country. We need to reconstruct our values | Anne Summers | Australia news | The Guardian

Can any of our politicians tell us what the ‘national interest’ is? We have no clear economic policy, population policy, employment policy or immigration policy

Source: Australia is once again a frightened country. We need to reconstruct our values | Anne Summers | Australia news | The Guardian

“Strong leaders” don’t blame others when their plan doesn’t work – » The Australian Independent Media Network

During the 2013 election campaign, Joe Hockey was asked “Should you win the election, at what stage will you own the economy and at what stage will it no longer be Labor’s fault?” He responded “We will own the economy from day one, whether it’s Labor’s fault or not… I’m not afraid to accept responsibility…

Source: “Strong leaders” don’t blame others when their plan doesn’t work – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Day to Day Politics: Abbott makes his intentions known. – » The Australian Independent Media Network

1 In a doorstop interview on a cold and winter day in Canberra the former Prime Minister Tony Abbott made his intentions known as to how he will campaign for the ‘NO’ vote.He intends linking it to free speech.He intends linking it to political correctness.He intends linking it to freedom of religion.It wasn’t my intention to continue with this subject today but I recalled when working on the Republic campaign in 1999 just how dangerous Tony Abbott was. John Howard played good cop and Abbott and Nick Minchin played bad cops.They did so by scare-mongering, lying and fabricating impossible situations like riots with alsatians in the streets.His intention is clear. He will if he can turn the plebiscite into a public brawl on these unrelated issues. He will try to drag Turnbull into an ideological demarcation dispute – separating the right and left of his party.In meat in the middle of Abbott’s sandwich will be lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people whose emotional wellbeing he gives not a thought.How on earth the three things he mentioned are related to a question about marriage equality are beyond me, but the devious Abbott – who couldn’t lie straight in bed – will find a way.

Source: Day to Day Politics: Abbott makes his intentions known. – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Day to Day Politics: The Abbott Solution with Turnbull’s support. – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Wednesday 9 August 2017 So the best-assembled brains-trust ever in the history of Australian politics has decided to let the issue of Marriage Equality go yet again down the path of a plebiscite. So desperate they are to have the public confirm what is already known that they are prepared to spend up to $170…

Source: Day to Day Politics: The Abbott Solution with Turnbull’s support. – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Labor should get specific about job creation – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Bill Shorten needs to be better prepared with some specifics when asked about Labor’s plan for job creation. Obvious answers are the renewable energy industry and building infrastructure but there is one Labor initiative that never rates a mention that will create jobs in every part of Australia – the NDIS. In July, the Productivity…

Source: Labor should get specific about job creation – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Record corporate profit has seen record low wage growth – » The Australian Independent Media Network

The government is trying to sell us the line that, if businesses make more profit, wages will go up. This flies in the face of all evidence. Corporate profits in Australia rose 6.0 percent quarter-on-quarter to 82.63 AUD billion, an all time high, in the March quarter of 2017 from a 20.1 percent rise…

Source: Record corporate profit has seen record low wage growth – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Day to Day Politics: Inequality. What’s mine is mine and what’s yours is negotiable. – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Thursday 3 August 2017 When the lady with the awful hairdo uttered these villainous words of inequity … ”There is no such thing as society. There are only individuals making there are only individuals making their way” (paraphrased) … and when the second-rate actor aligned his politics with the Christian Right, the scene was set for…

Source: Day to Day Politics: Inequality. What’s mine is mine and what’s yours is negotiable. – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Day to Day Politics: Conservative’s foot-dragging reluctance for change. – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Tuesday 1 August. One of the central tenants of the ideology of conservatism is that change should only ever be incremental. It is totality unsuited to a modern society where technology and a newly awakened benefit of the benefits of science is driving change at a relentless pace. But it is not only technology that…

Source: Day to Day Politics: Conservative’s foot-dragging reluctance for change. – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Why Tax Cuts for the Rich Solve Nothing | By Joseph Stiglitz | Common Dreams

Although America’s right-wing plutocrats may disagree about how to rank the country’s major problems – for example, inequality, slow growth, low productivity, opioid addiction, poor schools, and deteriorating infrastructure – the solution is always the same: lower taxes and deregulation, to “incentivize” investors and “free up” the economy. President Donald Trump is counting on this package to make America great again.

Source: Why Tax Cuts for the Rich Solve Nothing | By Joseph Stiglitz | Common Dreams

Can the World Defend Itself from Omnicide? | By Ralph Nader | Common Dreams

“Success in creating Artificial Intelligence would be the biggest event in human history. Unfortunately, it might also be the last, unless we learn how to avoid the risks. In the near term, world militaries are considering autonomous-weapon systems that can choose and eliminate targets.” We humans, Hawking adds, “are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn’t compete and would be superseded by AI” In short, the robots race out of control, become self-actuating and are not held back by any moral boundaries.

Source: Can the World Defend Itself from Omnicide? | By Ralph Nader | Common Dreams

Day to Day Politics: What does art say about politics? – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Friday 28 July 2017 When I was studying for my Dip of Fine Arts I often used to say when we were discussing its history that ”Art in all its forms is but a reflection of society”. A “class” fascination for me was trying to identify the political leanings of my fellow students. Invariably when…

Source: Day to Day Politics: What does art say about politics? – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Coalition advice for the poor – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Back in 2001, Four Corners did a program on the working poor called Going Backwards, where they quoted the statistic that 42 per cent of Australians living in poverty lived in families where one or both adults work.Then Employment Minister, Tony Abbott, summed up the Coalition view.“I’m prepared to accept that lots of people in work are doing it tough. But that’s true of lots of people at — on comparatively good incomes because they have heavier responsibilities.”Lord knows, keeping up with the lifestyle in the Northern and Eastern suburbs of Sydney can be expensive. Even people who score a job that requires no qualifications, no experience and no expertise, that pays in the top 1% of incomes and that allows you to charge your employer for pretty much everything, can struggle because of their “higher responsibilities”.

Source: Coalition advice for the poor – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Day to Day Politics: Class warfare coming to a polling booth near you. – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Media commentary research shows that the Murdoch press is the major contributor to this supposed idea of class warfare. The Financial Review has recently run 10 articles on this theme. The Daily Telegraph 21 and The Australian 77. Add to that a few disgruntled Labor hacks that couldn’t get their own way and you can identify who is leading the chorus. But us, well we seem to be leaderless.

Source: Day to Day Politics: Class warfare coming to a polling booth near you. – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Day to Day Politics: 6 Months of Trump sewage and the lake overflows. – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Friday 21 July 2017 When in February of 2016 I was invited to write a piece for the US political blog Crooks and Liars about Donald Trump I did so with the thought innermost in my mind that he would drift from the American psyche long before the Republican Convention. He would never become President.…

Source: Day to Day Politics: 6 Months of Trump sewage and the lake overflows. – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Day to Day Politics: Murdoch’s mysterious millions. – » The Australian Independent Media Network

ReachTEL: 51-49 to LaborThe Coalition gets a better federal voting intention result from ReachTEL, although the result would be more typical of recent polling of preferences are applied as per the 2016 election result.Essential Research: 54-46 to LaborLabor maintains its wide lead in an Essential Research poll that also gauges opinion on party polarisation, same-sex marriage and foreign leaders.BludgerTrack: 53.0-47.0 to LaborA bit of a fillip for Labor in the latest reading of the BludgerTrack poll aggregate, and also for Bill Shorten whose net approval rating has edged ahead of Malcolm Turnbull’s.My thought for the day.”Just because we are governed by clowns it doesn’t mean we have to laugh.”

Source: Day to Day Politics: Murdoch’s mysterious millions. – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Day to Day Politics: It Dutton get much worse than this. – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Thursday 20 July 2017 Have you ever so desperately wanted to express a view on a subject only to find that someone else has encapsulated everything you wanted to say perfectly in his words? It happened to me on Tuesday. I put the subject on my list to write about only to receive Sean Kelly’s…

Source: Day to Day Politics: It Dutton get much worse than this. – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Power prices: Australia has a gold-plated electricity grid that consumers can’t afford – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Australia has gold-plated power grid which is the envy of the world. So why are consumers so unhappy?

Source: Power prices: Australia has a gold-plated electricity grid that consumers can’t afford – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Day to Day Politics: The Trump Report No. 17 – Making sense of illegal activity. – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Sunday 16 July 2017 1 After repeating phrase’s like ”crooked Hillary”, ”lock her up”, ”fake news”, or ”but the emails’’ on numerous occasions during the Presidential campaign, the President is now confronted with similar claims of dishonesty himself. Now we have seen released some highly provocative emails that suggest that the real news is Donald…

Source: Day to Day Politics: The Trump Report No. 17 – Making sense of illegal activity. – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Day to Day Politics: Murdoch, Bolt, Jones and others – where the truth goes to die – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Saturday 15 July 2017 Do people ever stop to think how manipulated we have become? Everything the media does, displays or says is for its own self-interest, not ours. It does so because it gives it influence, power and control. Certainly not for the ideals of truth, justice and the common good. It never considers…

Source: Day to Day Politics: Murdoch, Bolt, Jones and others – where the truth goes to die – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Truffles, Canavan, Kelly and McSween shine in Australia’s galah week of stupid

IT HAS BEEN a great week for ‘not-racists, but’ in Australian politics this week. In a widely-reported speech, former prime minister and unindicted war criminal John Howard praised the completely “not racist” Donald Trump and promised to eat a lump of coal to prove it’s good for humanity.

Source: Truffles, Canavan, Kelly and McSween shine in Australia’s galah week of stupid

Day to Day Politics: Dumbing us down with drivel. – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Friday 14 July 2017 I confess to having been a news junkie all my life. An obsession with news generally – and newspapers in particular – started when I was around fourteen or fifteen. I would purchase a newspaper to read on the tram on my way to work and The Herald on my way…

Source: Day to Day Politics: Dumbing us down with drivel. – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Chris Hedges and Noam Chomsky: How the U.S. Became an Oligarchy That Makes War on the Middle Class – Truthdig

In the first of a two-part conversation, the two intellectuals discuss the shift in the U.S. and U.K. in the late 1970s toward neoliberalism, an ideology that Chomsky says claims to increase freedom while actually increasing tyranny.

Source: Chris Hedges and Noam Chomsky: How the U.S. Became an Oligarchy That Makes War on the Middle Class – Truthdig

Day to Day Politics: Donald Trump. A puppet on a string. – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Monday 10 July 2017 1 Americans once used to think they were exceptional. So much so that they termed the phrase “American exceptionalism.” It was this phrase that gave birth to neo-conservatism. When people thought the US was so superior to the United Nations that they could treat the rest of us with contempt. So,…

Source: Day to Day Politics: Donald Trump. A puppet on a string. – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Day to Day Politics: Conservatives’ bizarre acts of self-importance. – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Saturday 7 July 2017 This time last year I was in bed with some sort of virus feeling miserable and sorry for myself. The new Turnbull Government had taken office and the hypocrisy of our new leader was becoming very apparent. If as Shakespeare said; “time is but the essence of history,” then a lot…

Source: Day to Day Politics: Conservatives’ bizarre acts of self-importance. – » The Australian Independent Media Network

When Governments Lie: Humanitarian intervention from Serbia to Syria and beyond. – » The Australian Independent Media Network

But don’t expect to hear any of this on the evening news. The corporate media, as always, will continue to construct their narrative according to the US’ script, bringing us daily new stories of state violence and corruption, preparing the ground for eventual ‘humanitarian intervention.’Twenty years after Bill Clinton declared that ‘NATO must stop Milosevic’s atrocities against Kosovo’, few would be aware of the Hague Tribunal’s exoneration of the former Yugoslav president for war crimes allegedly committed against Muslims and Bosnian Croats during the 1992-95 war. Sadly the ruling came 10 years too late for Milosevic, who died in a UN prison in 2006 from complications arising from an untreated heart condition. Too late as well for the people of the former Yugoslavia, on whom NATO dropped humanitarian bombs for 78 consecutive days and nights

Source: When Governments Lie: Humanitarian intervention from Serbia to Syria and beyond. – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Day to Day Politics: The beat of a challenge comes nearer. – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Personally, I feel that a return to Abbott would be political suicide. The world has moved on and men like Abbott are of an obsolete breed. With the young likely to make their presence felt at the next election they will be looking for fresh ideas. Abbott has proven that he is devoid of any and his slogans are now held in mistrust.He wants to freeze the RET at 15%, have a moratorium on wind farms, build our own coal-fired power stations and slash immigration. He also advocates the banning all new spending except on defence and infrastructure. He advocates now what he re…..The ACT is aiming to go 100% renewable Abbott doesn’t mention that

The ACT is aiming to go 100% renewable Abbott doesn’t mention that (olddog thought)

 

Source: Day to Day Politics: The beat of a challenge comes nearer. – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Day to Day Politics: The Future of Faith in Australia (Updated) – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Friday 30June 2017 Author’s note: What follows is a summary of the Australian 2016 Census. It doesn’t paint a very rosary picture for faith in Australia. If the figures are repeated in subsequent census’s then over time religion – as we have known it – will gradually fade away. A minister friend of mine recently…

Source: Day to Day Politics: The Future of Faith in Australia (Updated) – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Who needs experts when we have Tony Abbott – » The Australian Independent Media Network

If there is one thing Tony Abbott hates, it’s consensus.  He would much rather have a fight than fix a problem, as shown by his speech yesterday to the IPA where he said Australia “plainly, is not working as it should” and that “we are letting ourselves down”. So what are his suggestions? Whilst bemoaning…

Source: Who needs experts when we have Tony Abbott – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Day to Day Politics: Abbott rears his head again. – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Wednesday 28 June 2017 1. Tony Abbott lost the leadership of his party and the Prime Ministership for a number of reasons. He was/is a liar of monumental proportion, appallingly incapable, but mainly he didn’t have character. Character is a combination of traits that etch the outlines of a life, governing moral choices and infusing…

Source: Day to Day Politics: Abbott rears his head again. – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Day to Day Politics: 2014, the year of the wink. – » The Australian Independent Media Network

My thought for the day.”We dislike and resist change in the foolish assumption that we can make permanent that which makes us feel secure. Yet change is in fact part of the very fabric of our existence. Change sometimes disregards opinion and becomes a phenomenon of its own making. With Its own inevitability.”

Source: Day to Day Politics: 2014, the year of the wink. – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Wayne Swan says Labor must boost workers’ power and rein in corporate excess | Australia news | The Guardian

Former treasurer says party should focus on jobs and introduce ‘Buffett rule’ as part of changes to tax system

Source: Wayne Swan says Labor must boost workers’ power and rein in corporate excess | Australia news | The Guardian

Politicians should listen to educators and employers – standardised testing is a waste of time – » The Australian Independent Media Network

NAPLAN and PISA are not the be all and end all. In fact, slavish preoccupation with standardised test results is stultifying the attributes students need most to succeed – creativity, initiative, innovation, agility, teamwork and good communication skills.

Source: Politicians should listen to educators and employers – standardised testing is a waste of time – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Shooting yourself in the foot – » The Australian Independent Media Network

By their own admission, Coalition politicians don’t bother reading reports to inform their opinion before they shoot their mouths off – Abbott with the BHP Olympic Dam report, Pyne with the original Gonski report, MacDonald with the Forgotten Children report, Kelly with the Finkel report – they have their ingrained ideological views that will not…

Source: Shooting yourself in the foot – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Day to Day Politics: They still think it’s about them. – » The Australian Independent Media Network

”With 10 years now elapsed no party in the history of Australian politics has been so pathetically incompetent with its policy failure on climate change than the Liberal, National parties. Policy failure of this magnitude in some other countries would invoke street protests.

Source: Day to Day Politics: They still think it’s about them. – » The Australian Independent Media Network

This self-serving bunch of boondogglers will be the death of us – literally – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Even before they could possibly have read Chief Scientist Alan Finkel’s energy report, the coal cheerleaders from the backbench of the Coalition have come out swinging. Tony Abbott jumped the gun, saying two days before the report was even released that “Anything that makes it impossible for us to bank new, efficient coal-fired power stations…

Source: This self-serving bunch of boondogglers will be the death of us – literally – » The Australian Independent Media Network